Gjøa - welcome aboard!
The Gjøa was the first ship to be sailed through the entire Northwest Passage. Roald Amundsen and his six companions accomplished this in 1903-06. The Gjøa belongs today to the Fram Museum. An extension to house the ship was opened in 2013 and today the Gjøa is open to the public!
After Roald Amundsen’s successful navigation of the Northwest Passage in 1906, the Gjøa has been the subject of great interest. In 2009 it was 100 years since she was brought ashore in San Francisco and put on public exhibition for the first time. Since then there have been numerous discussions about the ship’s condition, the lack of maintenance and the possibility of putting her under a roof as has been done with the polar ship Fram. In this period the Gjøa has been through several extensive restorations owing to damage from normal wear and tear, wind and rain, vandalism and souvenir hunters.
In May 2009 the Norwegian Maritime Museum and the Fram Museum signed an agreement for the Fram Museum to take over the Gjøa. She could at last be brought inside. This gives the Fram Museum the possibility of developing a more complete Norwegian polar museum and ensuring the Gjøa’s future as an historical monument. It will also contribute to develop the Bygdøy area as a Norwegian maritime culture centre. In this connection the Directorate for Cultural Heritage (Riksantikvaren) stated in a letter of 27/4 -09: “On the basis of the ship’s history, as the first through the Northwest Passage, it is of national interest that the ship be secured as a maritime monument for future generations. This can best be done by erecting a protective building which will prevent the deterioration that will naturally occur when a ship is exposed to alternating weather conditions, freshwater, frost and sun throughout the year”.
In 2017 the Gjøa underwent extensive restorations and she is now open to the public!
Together with the Fram the Gjøa represents some of the most interesting events in Norway’s maritime and polar history. The public is now welcome to fully experience these in the extended Fram Museum.