Oslo fjord boat museum in Vollen (Oslofjordmuseet)
For most Norwegians, boat life means having your own boat – be it a little sailboat for a youngster of 9, an 8 foot rubber dingy with a small outboard, a competition yacht, a day cruiser and many many more. To learn more about these, visit Vollen’s Oslo Fjord Museum. There are special events on Sundays for children depending on the season – most associated with the sea. You will find a brochure about these events in the apartment.
When visiting the museum, children can construct their own wooden boat and try it out for seaworthiness in the special basin. As grandmother, I can enthusiastically recommend this, especially on a rainy afternoon. The children buy a ticket for kr. 40,- and are presented with a hammer. They then go down to the workshop where they can (with a little help for the youngest) study the construction diagram, choose their materials and set to work at the real carpenters’ tables. Once completed, they can check seaworthiness in the big tank and practice loading up the propeller to see how far their boats can travel. Pride in personal achievement is at an absolute premium! And best of all, they take their boats home to bring out to the real sea on a later occasion.
There are also lots of exhibits to look at and various skills to practice – such as trying the rowing simulator or (for strong children and adults) attempting to pull up loads of bricks.
Beside the cafeteria, there is a fascinating museum shop where, apart from gifts and souvenirs,visitors can browse an extensive selection of books on marine subjects.
Visitors to Vollen who are interested in Polar History, will be fascinated to learn that Vollen is preparing for the return of a very famous ship. The Maud Returns Home expedition left Norway in June 2014 with tug and barge to cross to Canada and there bring the Maud up to the surface, load her on the barge and then begin the long, slow voyage back to Vollen where she was build for Roald Amundsen in 1918 after his successful race to the South Pole. The expedition successfully brought Maud to the surface in Cambridge Bay, Nunavut, Canada. In 2016/17 she overwintered there before being slowly tugged towards Greenland. In summer 2018, Maud was proudly sailed into Maud Bay outside the museum in Vollen where she was feted and greeted by thousands of people both in accompanying boats and along the shore. At present, in 2019 and 2010, she is being treated and worked on further south on the peninsular in a marina at Tofte. It is planned that a special building will be constructed to house Maud at Vollen in the coming years.
Of course big boats, cruise ships, oil platforms, cargo boats are always interesting – and you’ll find them all in the Maritime Museum in Oslo.