Jason (ship)

Jason in Carl Anton Larsen's expedition to Antarctica.
Name: Jason
Owner: Christen Christensen
Builder: Rødsverven, Sandefjord,
Launched: 1881
  • 1889 A/S Oceana
  • (Mgr, Christen Christensen)
Homeport: Sandefjord
Owner: Luigi Amedeo, Duke of the Abruzzi
Acquired: 1898
Renamed: Stella Polaris
Homeport: Genoa
Fate: In July 1909 she was given as training ship to an association in Rome and was taken under tow and anchored at Ripa Grande on the river Tiber, Italy.
General characteristics
Type: Barque
Length: 147 ft (45 m)
Beam: 30.6 ft (9.3 m)
Draft: 17 ft (5.2 m)
Propulsion: Sails with steam assisted propulsion 60 hp (45 kW).
Speed: 7.5 knots (13.9 km/h)
Complement: 40

Jason was a Norwegian whaling vessel laid down in 1881 in Rødsverven, Norway, the same shipyard which later built Ernest Shackleton's ship Endurance. The ship, financed by Christen Christensen,[1] an entrepreneur from Sandefjord, was noted for her participation in an 1892-1893 Antarctic expedition led by Carl Anton Larsen.[2]

Additionally, the vessel was noted for reaching 68°10'S, setting a new record for distance travelled south along the eastern Antarctic Peninsula. The ship's first mate during the expedition was Søren Andersen, also of Sandefjord. Jason was sold to an Italian company in 1899 and rechristened Stella Polare.

Usage as Jason

In 1888, Fridtjof Nansen captained Jason to Greenland in order to attempt the first documented crossing of the island.

From 1892 to 1894, the ship was used on scientific whaling expeditions to the Antarctic, funded by A/S Oceana. The purpose of these expeditions were to map the presence of whales and seals in the area. During this mission, Jason achieved a record of going the longest south in the area, reaching 68°10'S.

Seal hunting vessel Jason stuck in the ice off Sermilik in 1888. The ship had the members of the Greenland Expedition on board.

Geographical locations named after Jason

Antarctic discoveries during Jason's 1892-1893 voyage

Usage as Stella Polare

The crew of Stella Polare

The ship was sold to the Italian prince and explorer Luigi Amedeo of Savoy-Aosta in 1899 and named Stella Polare. Amedeo gathered an expeditionary crew of Italian and Norwegian civilians and sailed from Christiana on 12 June of that year. By the 30th, they had reached Archangel, Russia to load sled dogs onto the ship.[3] Leaving Russia, they headed for Franz Josef Land. They landed in Teplitz Bay in Rudolf Island, with a hope to establish a winter camp for the expedition. From here, they established a string of camps designed to supply each other with food and men. During the expedition, Amedeo lost two fingers to frostbite, and had to hand command of the voyage over to Captain Umberto Cagni.[4] On 25 April 1900, Cagni planted the Italian flag at 86°34'N, claiming the title of "Farthest North."

Stella Polare was decommissioned in 1902.


  1. "Lardex". Lardex.net. Retrieved 15 October 2009.
  2. "Hvalfangstmuseet". hvalfangstmuseet.no. Retrieved 15 October 2009.
  3. Paine, Lincoln P. Ships of Discovery and Exploration. New York: Mariner, 2000. 131.
  4. Edwards, Deltus M. The Toll of the Arctic Seas. New York: Henry Holt, 1910. 387-388.

Larsen, C.A. "The Voyage of the "Jason" to the Antarctic Regions." The Geographical Journal, Vol. 4, No. 4. (Oct., 1894), pp. 333–344.

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