Norwegian ship reaches North Pole

126 years after Nansen’s attempt, KV Svalbard reaches 90 degrees N

KV Svalbard

Photo: NASA ICE
The North Pole.

Victoria Garza
Norway Today

The Norwegian Coast Guard ship KV Svalbard on Aug. 21 achieved what the Arctic sailors Fridtjof Nansen and Roald Amundsen never managed—to sail to the North Pole.

The ship reached 90 degrees north at 9.32 am on Aug. 21, writes Aftenposten.

KV Svalbard is on assignment from the Nansen Center in Bergen, and the assignment consists of, among other things, placing measuring instruments on the seabed that will observe temperatures and the climate in the Arctic Ocean, according to TV 2.

“It went much faster than we had anticipated. We thought we were going to meet thicker ice along the way and were aware that we might not have reached it,” said Chief Ottar Haugen of the Coast Guard.

“For us in the Coast Guard, this is a milestone and a confirmation that we have a vessel that can operate up here, to the North Pole and across the Arctic,” he says.

KV Svalbard was launched in 2001. The vessel is 103 meters long (338 feet), 19 meters wide (62 feet), and weighs 6,375 metric tons (7,027 tons).

Nansen set his course north in 1893 in the polar ship Fram, but never got farther north than 86 degrees north. Amundsen attempted to reach the North Pole on the Maud expedition in 1918, but never reached the goal of drifting across the North Pole. In 1926, however, he flew over the pole point on the airship Norway.

This article was originally published on Norway Today.

This article originally appeared in the September 6, 2019, issue of The Norwegian American. To subscribe, visit SUBSCRIBE or call us at (206) 784-4617.

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