On Thursday, June 23, 2022, His Serene Highness Prince Albert II of Monaco accompanied by his two children, His Serene Highness Hereditary Prince Jacques of Monaco and Her Serene Highness Princess Gabriella of Monaco arrived on the island of Spitsbergen to begin their polar cruise around the Svalbard archipelago.
This morning, Prince Albert II and his two children visited the Norsk Polarinstitutt (Norwegian Polar Institute) in Longyearbyen where he was warmly welcomed by the director of the NPI, Mr. Kim Holmén, and staff.
After speeches were made Prince Albert II unveiled a bronze bust of the late His Serene Highness Prince Albert I of Monaco. The late Prince Albert I, also known as the Navigator Prince, had organized and financed four major polar expeditions in the Svalbard archipelago from 1906-1907. These expeditions were to become the prelude to the Norwegian Polar Institute.
Tomorrow, the princely family will set sail around the Svalbard archipelago aboard the Commandant Charcot, which is the first high polar exploration cruise ship powered by liquefied natural gas, to retrace the historic expeditions of the late Prince Albert I of Monaco.
On the afternoon of Wednesday, June 22, 2022, Their Serene Highnesses Prince Albert II and Princess Charlene of Monaco accompanied by their two children His Serene Highness Hereditary Prince Jacques of Monaco and Her Serene Highness Princess Gabriella of Monaco along with His Royal Highness Crown Prince Haakon of Norway attended the opening of the exhibition entitled, Sailing the Sea of Science: Scientist and Explorer. Prince Albert I and the Early Norwegian Exploration of Svalbard, at the Frammuseet (Fram Museum) in Oslo.
The exhibition tells the story of the late Prince Albert I of Monaco and his four scientific expeditions around Svalbard and the Arctic Archipelago aboard his yacht, Princess Alice. According to the periodical, Polar Record, Prince Albert I:
“…from an early age evinced a strong fascination for the polar regions. But it was only after 1898 that he was able to mount four scientific cruises to Svalbard. The first cruise was an oceanographical and zoological reconnaissance, aimed mainly at adding to the collections of the Musée Océanographique de Monaco, the construction of which had just started.
In 1899, the focus was on the hydrography and topography of Raudfjorden, of which a map was published. In 1906, meteorology was added to the range of observations and surveys were pursued. The Prince also provided support for two other expeditions, that of the Norwegian, Gunnar Isachsen, to northwestern Spitsbergen, and that of the Scotsman, William Bruce, to Prins Karls Forland.
The Prince’s expedition in 1907 was aimed at completing the results from the previous summer. Prince Albert also lent his support, either financially, or through gifts or loans of oceanographic instruments, to numerous Arctic and Antarctic explorers. Finally, he showed a keen interest in environmental protection, especially in Svalbard.”
Sailing the Sea of Science: Scientist and Explorer. Prince Albert I and the Early Norwegian Exploration of Svalbard is organized in cooperation with the Frammuseet with the contribution of the Palais Princier de Monaco Archives, the Musée Océanographique de Monaco and the Albert I Committee.
The exhibition will be open to the public from June 23 – August 31, 2022.
Prior to the opening, the princely family attended a private luncheon at Bygdø Kongsgård (royal estate) hosted by Their Majesties King Harald V and Queen Sonja of Norway. Other royal guests in attendance included Their Royal Highnesses Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway and Her Highness Princess Martha Louise of Norway.
Tomorrow, the princely family will make a private visit to Longyearbyen on the island of Spitsbergen as well as visit tour parts of the Svalbard archipelago. The purpose of the private visit is to retrace the steps of Prince Albert II’s great-great-great-grandfather, Prince Albert I, on the 100th anniversary of his death on June 26, 2022.