Famous 'Firsts' Under the Norwegian Flag

Sailing under the Norwegian flag carries a lot of significant maritime history. In the heroic age of exploration (around the turn of the 20th century), man’s desire to map the globe and the pursuit of science drove the race to unveil the planet’s last ‘terra incognitas’.

The polar ship Fram and explorer Fridtjof Nansen left Norway for an expedition to the North Pole in 1893. The same year, captain Richard With established a regular steamship service linking northern and southern Norway – Hurtigruten.

The original Fram was the most famous vessel of its time, and the achievements of her expeditions are unparalleled: With Fridtjof Nansen, she was the first ship to sail across the Arctic Ocean. Then Otto Sverdrup used her to survey an area larger than any previous expedition – the Canadian territory of Nunavut. Most famous of all, she took Roald Amundsen to his starting point in Antarctica, as he raced to reach the South Pole.

In 1896 Hurtigruten started the ‘Sports Route’ from Hammerfest to Spitsbergen with DS Lofoten. the captain on board was Otto Sverdrup, who had just returned from an expedition to the Arctic Ocean. That same year Richard With built a hotel near Longyearbyen on the island of Spitsbergen.

In 1969, Hurtigruten set up an express route to spitsbergen in the summer months, and 2002 was Hurtigruten’s rst season in Antarctica.

Hurtigruten had its first season in Greenland with its new explorer ship MS Fram in 2007. the ship was named after the polar ship Fram. In 2008, MS Fram passed both the northern and the southern polar circles.

Today, more than 120 years later, Hurtigruten’s explorer ships take guests to Antarctica, Spitsbergen, Greenland, Iceland, and Europe. Our ships travel in the wake of these great explorers. The original Fram was a vessel for broadening the understanding of the world – let our explorer ships be the same for you!