The legendary expeditions of Roald Amundsen put Norway on the map in earnest as a polar nation.
People gathered on the quayside in Tromsø on 18 June 1928 to catch a glimpse of the folk hero Roald Amundsen as he climbed aboard the flying boat Latham to head north on a rescue mission to find Umberto Nobile’s crashed airship. A few hours after leaving Tromsø, radio contact with Latham was lost and the crew disappeared without a trace.
The story of Roald Amundsen’s last journey has a central position at the Polar Museum. The exhibition is based on original objects and photographs and conveys the fascinating story about the life and work of Amundsen in the polar region at the beginning of the 20th century. By traversing the Northwest Passage, reaching the South Pole and flying over the North Pole, Amundsen had certainly put Norway on the map as a leading nation in the exploration of the polar regions.
Amundsen used Tromsø as the starting point for several of his expeditions. It was here that he bought the polar vessel Gjøa and recruited crews with Arctic experience, including Helmer Hanssen who participated in three of Amundsen’s expeditions. Several of the objects in the exhibition come from Tromsø pharmacist Fritz Zapffe, who was Amundsen’s friend and storekeeper for several years.