Robert McDonald, a former Hollywood stuntman, will captain the ship after spending two years with two volunteers painstakingly gluing together the birch-wood sticks that make up the 15-metre-long vessel.
“I never want to look at glue again. I don’t think I will be in a hurry to look at ice cream sticks again,” said the 45-year-old native of Jacksonville, Florida.
The ice cream sticks used to construct the ship were provided by Unilever’s ice cream maker, OLA, a main sponsor of the effort, and by children who collected and donated discarded sticks from around the world.
The Sea Heart Viking is named after McDonald’s charity organisation, the Sea Heart Foundation, which provides leisure activities for children in hospitals.
The intrepid adventurer said he is keen to break his own record after successfully sailing a smaller prototype, the Baby Ola Bison, on December 20, 2003.
That vessel was made up of 370,000 popsicle sticks and sailed for 15 minutes.
McDonald’s larger Sea Heart Viking ship will be taken from an Amsterdam workshop to Urk on the eastern rim of the IJssel Lake where it will be put through its paces in a 90-minute test.
All going to plan, the popsicle-stick ship will take to the high seas, to chart a course across the North Sea and the Atlantic for a final destination at Key West in the United States.
“That’s still the ultimate goal, to sail across the Atlantic in the Viking-style,” McDonald said.
The 15-tonne longship will be equipped with oars and a 10-metre high mast which, with a full sail, is expected to push the vessel along at an average speed of 14 knots.
The crew will sleep in the traditional Viking-fashion, in hammocks hung over the deck.
McDonald aims to follow in the footsteps of such venerable Scandinavian seamen as Thor Heyerdahl and Leif Ericsson.
Thor Heyerdahl, a Norwegian explorer and anthropologist, sailed into history in 1947 after completing a voyage from Peru to the Tuamotu Islands, in Polynesia, in an experimental balsa raft.
The journey leant weight to theories that Polynesia could have been populated by people sailing west across the Pacific from South America.
In recent decades, evidence has come to light showing that the ancient Icelander Leif Ericsson, born in the 10th century, may have been the first European to set foot on the American continent.
Ericsson’s believed to have set down in Labrador, Newfoundland and a third location along the east coast of North America.
His arrival places him in America 500 years before Christopher Columbus, who stumbled into the Caribbean in search of the East Indies in 1492.