The Recovery Of Roald Amundsen’s Historic Ship

Known as one of the most remarkable polar explorers, Roald Amundsen has recently come back into the spotlight as his historic ship, Maud, has resurfaced after spending almost 100 years under the ice of Canada. Many of his feats include leading the first team to reach the South Pole on 14th December 1911 and leading the first air expedition to the North Pole in 1926. Along with his adventures, he gained valuable research that has better helped us understand the North and South Poles today.

The History of Roald Amundsen’s Maud

Built back in 1916, Maud was named after Queen Maud of Norway and was given to Roald Amundsen for his expedition through the Northern Passage. The expedition, unfortunately, did not end as planned and they found themselves in Nome, Alaska where she was sold to Hudson’s Bay Company and quickly used as a supply vessel. Ten years after her inauguration, she was frozen into the ice in 1926, and slowly sank in 1930.

The Resurrection

After the repurchase of Maud by the town of Asker, Norway (where she was built) in 1990, the main challenge that the company faced was getting the ship back to the surface. Jan Wanggaard, a Norwegian artist, and his team were faced with the near-impossible task of returning the Maud to its former glory. Wanggaard and his team had to come to the area every summer for six years, with each year becoming more and more successful as they managed to find new ways to bring the ship closer to the shore.

In June 2016, the team began inflating airbags and balloons around the ship in hope of a more successful outcome. With an unsuccessful lift last year, the team were better prepared and had brought with them an addition floatation device. Finally, the ship returned to the surface.

Throughout the rest of the summer months, they worked on keeping the ship afloat and decided to rest it on a barge. At the beginning of the winter months, the team started to clean the ship, anticipating that it would freeze over again when the temperatures dropped.

The Long Trip Home

With the resurrection of the ship completed, the team looked to move the Maud back to its hometown of Asker over 100 years later. Plans have been made to build a futuristic museum in Vollen devoted to the return of the ship. Fortunately, the egg-like shape of the ship has still remained, meaning she is still seaworthy with the help of the stabilising balloons.

Jan Wangaarrd knew that the task of bringing the ship home was not easy, but he was determined to keep the heritage of the ship within Norway. In the summer of 2017, Maud began her journey through the Northwest Passage, being tugged by Tandberg Polar, a small Norwegian vessel. She arrived in Greenland and remained there until the end of the winter months. Wanggaard and his team have since returned the vessel back to Norway, completing its Northern Passage expedition almost 100 years later. 

If you would like to experience the Northwest Passage or see the return of the Maud then call us today on 01473 242609 and we can tailor make your expedition today.

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