Estonian Antarctic expedition calls into London and Cambridge

On the occasion of celebrating 200 years of discovery of Antarctica, the Estonian popular scientific expedition on their way from Kronstadt, Russia to Antarctica calls into London and holds a joint public forum with the Scott Polar Research Institute in Cambridge.


The Polar forum “200 years after discovery of Antarctic – different approaches and voyages” takes place on September, 2 at 13:00-17:00 PM (Scott Polar Research Institute, lecture theatre), and is open to everyone interested.


“We expect an interesting forum, which next to Fabian Gottlieb von Bellingshausen – the Russian admiral, considered to be one of those who discovered Antarctica, born in Saaremaa, today’s Republic of Estonia – also brings into spotlight the explorations by James Cook, and the icy reality when sailing on these frigid far southern waters,” said Katrin Savomägi, the secretary of Estonian Polar Club, which acts by the Estonian Maritime Museum.


The programme of the Polar forum

Professor Julian Dowdeswell, Director of the Scott Polar Reseach Institute: Welcome address
Hannes Rumm, member of the board of the NGO Thetis Ekspeditsioonid: The role of the Estonian boy in the exploration of the 6th continent

Robert Headland, polar historical geographer of the Scott Polar Research Institute: Antarctic Circumnavigations of Captains Cook and Bellingshausen : exploration and discovery
Feliks Gornischeff, researcher of the Estonian Maritime Museum: Fabian Gottlieb von Bellingshausen and the first Russian Antarctic Expedition 1819-1821
Rip Bulkeley, polar historian: 29 islands – a Bellingshausen myth?
Robert Paterson, Captain of British Antarctic Survey ships: The reality about sailing in the icy waters of Antarctica

Panel discussion moderated by Katrin Savomägi, Secretary of the Estonian Polar Club.


The sailing yacht of the expedition, named after admiral Bellingshausen, will be open for visitors on September, 3 until noon at Tower Bridge Moorings. „London is a significant stop for the entire commemorative expedition. The historical expedition ships stopped in Portsmouth in 1819, but Bellingshausen traveled to London by horse-drawn carriage to buy the most modern navigational instruments of the time,“ added Katrin Savomägi.


The voyage, organised by Estonian Maritime Museum and NGO Thetis Ekspeditsioonid, has nearly 30 stops, where the researches on board together with the partners on the shore discuss maritime and scientific history as well as today’s climate change issues. The crew expects to reach Antarctica by the end of January, 2020.

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