Polarship Fram Museum

Museum in Aker Brygge & Bygdøy
Hans-Peter Merten / Getty Images
Hans-Peter Merten / Getty Images

This museum is dedicated to one of the most enduring symbols of early polar exploration, the 39m schooner Fram (meaning ‘Forward’). Wander the decks, peek inside the cramped bunk rooms and imagine life at sea and among the polar ice. Allow plenty of time, as there's an overwhelming volume of information to absorb, with detailed exhibits complete with maps, pictures and artefacts of various expeditions, from Nansen's attempt to ski across the North Pole to Amundsen's discovery of the Northwest Passage.

Launched in 1892, the polar ship Fram, at the time the strongest ship ever built, spent much of its life trapped in the polar ice. From 1893 to 1896 Fridtjof Nansen's North Pole expedition took the schooner to Russia's New Siberian Islands, passing within a few degrees of the North Pole on their return trip to Norway.

In 1910 Roald Amundsen set sail in the Fram, intending to be the first explorer to reach the North Pole, only to discover en route that Robert Peary had beaten him to it. Not to be outdone, Amundsen turned the Fram around and, racing Robert Falcon Scott all the way, became the first man to reach the South Pole. Otto Sverdrup also sailed the schooner around southern Greenland to Canada's Ellesmere Island between 1898 and 1902, travelling over 18,000km.

In addition to the Fram, the museum also houses the Gjøa, the first ship to successfully navigate the Northwest Passage.