Kronprins Haakon, following the stern wave of Fram

Being a pioneer and an ambitious researcher not letting any obstacle stand in his way, Nansen’s ambition was to explore the Arctic further north than anyone else. To do that, he would have to deal with a problem that many polar explorers had encountered before him: the freezing ice that could crush a ship. Nansen’s idea was to build a ship that could survive the pressure, not by pure strength, but because it would be of a shape designed to let the ice push the ship up, so it would “float” on top of the ice. This ship was built to set the frames and foundation for climate and environmental research in Northern latitudes.

Fram was full of advanced research technology, some of it specially constructed for the expedition by Nansen himself.

In the same way the new research vessel is being built. With the same ambition to explore the polar environment, this new ship will follow the stern wave of Fram.


Kronprins Haakon is a multi-purpose research vessel, a icebreaker suitable for year round operations in multi-year ice. It is capable of breaking 1m of solid ice with 20cm of snow on top at a steady speed of 3.5 knots. The Vessel is equipped with state of the art scientific instrumentation, labs for oceanography, geophysics, marine biology and marine geology, including facilities for ROV, AUV, demersal and bottom trawling and helicopter operations. With a moon pool (an opening to the ocean in the middle of the ship) instruments can be lowered into the water even with ice packing around the ship.  This new vessel will be an important platform and inspiring new journeys of exploring and understanding areas that even today are little known.

For more information about Kronprins Haakon explore Havforskningsinstituttets page HERE.