A warm welcome

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Photo: Anders Beer Wilse

The historical polar ship “Maud” has returned to Norwegian waters 100 years since she set sail from Oslo after a long and slow journey over the Atlantic.

100 years after the Norwegian explorer, Roald Amundsen, set sail to reach the North Pole, the ship he used for the job has finally returned to Norwegian waters. The ship, named after the Norwegian Queen Maud sank in shallow waters in the Northwest Passage in 1931, after serving as a research vessel for several expeditions in the Arctic.

“Maud’s” primary mission was to explore and do research in the arctic sea, with the main goal of drifting with the sea ice to reach the geographical North Pole. Norwegian geophysicist and oceanographer Harald Ulrik Sverdrup, after whom the measurement unit of ocean current flow, “Sverdrup” is named, was also among the crew members and conducted valuable research while on the ship. However, even though Amundsen’s initial goal of drifting with the ice to the North Pole failed, the expeditions had significant value. Sverdrup made important geophysical studies of the ocean currents and sea floor and also conducted several ethnographic studies of the Russian arctic population. More specific details about his research can be found here.

After years of sailing around in the Arctic Ocean, “Maud” finally sank on the coast of Canada in 1931. In 1990, the Norwegian county of Asker bought the ship with the intention to bring her back home, and in 2016, “Maud” was finally raised out of the Canadian water. The preparation and trip from Cambridge Bay to Norway took two years, and last Sunday “Maud” Finally returned to her home country.

The first stop in Norway was on the western coast of Norway, but her final resting place will be at a museum outside Oslo. If you want to check out the ship for yourself, or maybe take a look at Amundsen's two other polar vessels, “Fram” and “Gjøa”, visit the Norwegian Maritime Museum located in Oslo.