Sponsors: The Antarctic Circle and The Fram Museum

Principles of the SouthPole-sium
Registration information and Form
Those who have registered
Those who are planning to attend, have expressed interest in doing so or are unable to
Subjects of talks proposed to be presented so far
Subject ideas for talks that might be presented
Oslo & Norway
Fram Museum & Norwegian Maritime Museum, our venues
Accommodation options
Optional Excursion to Uranienborg
Optional Excursion to Horten, Tønsberg, Sandefjord and Larvik
Optional Excursions: Oslo-Bergen via Finse and Coastal Cruise: Bergen to Tromsø
Updates & E-mails


Following the SouthPole-sium some may choose to extend their time in Norway by visiting Finse and Bergen and taking a boat up the coast at least as far as Tromsø. I will definitely be doing that myself, probably setting out on Tuesday, May 16. It's up to others to make their own arrangements but here's a bit of information.

The Oslo-Bergen train (Bergensbanen) is among the world's great rail journeys. There are four departures from Oslo every day. (See Norwegian State Railways (NSB) for more information.) The 308-mile trip to Bergen takes about 6-1/2 hours. The highest point is Finse, visted by Shackleton in May of 1914 when testing motor sledges. There is a stone obelisk outside the station memorializing the members of Scott's polar party although Scott never was at Finse (he did his testing at Fefor, but that's a different story). And apparently there's no proof that Amundsen was ever a visitor either. Portions of the movie "Scott of the Antarctic" were shot at Finse. There's also a replica of Amundsen's Framheim at Finse.
There's a hotel at Finse—Finse 1222 (the numbers referring to the elevation in meters). It opened in 1909. Tryggve Gran was a regular at the hotel right up to the 1930s and Victor Campbell (Scott's Northern Party) visited in 1914 and again in the 1930s.

You can break your journey at Finse so as to have a look around. You can then resume the trip to Bergen on a later train or possibly stay overnight and continue on in the morning.


Taking a boat up the Norwegian coast has been a popular excursion for many years. Hurtigruten is the company that operates this service. A different boat departs from Bergen each evening at 10:30, headed north for the top of Norway at Kirkenes. You can do the whole trip, up and back, or just go from one port to another.

I've spent a lot of time researching this. It can be confusing. I discovered that there are at least two Hurtigruten websites: American and European, with prices in US dollars and in Euros. The Euro prices are significantly less than the US prices. So I tried to book through the European website but in the end was stopped from doing so because the website detected I was in the US. It showed a UK phone number to call and I ended up speaking with a knowledgeable person who was able to book the trip for me and allowed me to pay in pounds by credit card. The price in pounds was even less than the Euro price. I thought she was speaking with me from London but it turns out she was in Tallinn, Estonia!

In any event, I made the booking and will be sharing a cabin with Shane Murphy who will be at the SouthPole-sium as well.

Just in case you'd like to do this trip and want to be on the same boat, here are the details:

Depart: Bergen, 10:30pm, Friday, 19 May.
Arrive and disembark: Tromsø, 2:30pm, Tuesday, 23 May. Why Tromsø? It's home to the Polar Museum which deserves a visit.
Boat: MS Nordlys
Type of Service: Basic, Polar Outside unspecified outside cabin. Breakfast and dinner only.
Cost per person: £609 per person senior fare.
Contact: Email: uk.sales@hurtigruten.com. Tel: +44 (0)20 8846 2666

Feel free to contact me if you have any questions. I might be able to help.