Destination Arctica

The second Princess-Alice

In 1898, Prince Albert Ist decided that the summer campaign of his new yacht, the second Princesse-Alice, would take place in the North Polar regions. This choice originated from projects he had planned since his teenagehood. Reports on polar trips were his favourite books when he was a child. During his first endeavour with the Hirondelle in 1882, he had planned to skirt the Eastern coasts of Greenland after a stop in Iceland, and then visit Jan Mayen Island and Norway. Before reaching Iceland however, a huge wave caused such significant damages he had to turn back and head for Ireland to restore his schooner.

The second Princesse-Alice offered a noticeable manoeuvrability, power and speed. To carry out a zoological and physicochemical exploratory examination of this new oceanic sector (Bear Island, Hope Island, Svalbard), the Prince was assisted with distinguished scientists, representing five nationalities. A priority goal was to collect animals to build up collections for the Oceanographic Museum, which erection was starting in Monaco. Usual oceanographic operations were carried out up to the pack ice boundaries, at 80°37' Northern latitude.

Monaco Tuesday 22 April () - Copyright © 2008 Prince's Palace of Monaco -