Sunday, 10 April 2011

Hurtigruten Celebrate Amundsen and Nansen

This year marks the centenary of Roald Amundsen’s trek to the South Pole and the 150th Anniversary of the birth of Fridtjof Nansen. The original slides taken on their journeys were seen on a helioscopic projector at the Royal Geographical Society in April in an evening organised by polar specialsists Hurtigruten, the first time since they were shown by the explorers themselves nearly 100 years ago.

Sadly, the slides and artifacts are not available for public viewing but there are still plenty of ways to follow in their footsteps today. You can take part in adventure cruising and actually walk where these men walked or sip a gin and tonic from the observation lounge as the icebergs and snow capped mountains slip slowly by.

Like the old explorers, you will have to cross the Drake Passage, the unpredictable stretch of water from Tierra del Fuego to the White Continent and, like them, you can marvel at the albatrosses as they soar around the ship with majestic ease.

Both Amundsen and Nansen were Norwegian and, indeed, the company’s polar cruise ship holding around 200 people on an average trip is named the Fram, the same as the original ship that was used by both men between 1893 and 1912 (Nansen had originally planned to get her stuck in the ice and drift across the North Pole).

Hurtigruten visit both the Arctic and Antarctic plus Greenland, Spitsbergen and operate their famous Norwegian coastal cruise, the Hurtigruten itself.

Our picture shows, from left to right, Alasdair McLeod, Head of Enterprises and Resources at the Royal Geographical Society; Ian Nash and Kathryn Beadle, Hurtigruten UK; Amja Erdmann Antarctic and Arctic Expedition leader onboard Fram; and Olav Fjell, Chief Executive of Hurtigruten.

For more info, visit www.hurtigruten.co.uk or The Cruise Line Ltd.