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© FPA2

Prince Albert II of Monaco is the world’s only head of state to have visited both the North and South poles.

It was on 16 April 2006 that Prince Albert II of Monaco reached the North Pole after a four-day expedition across the ice pack, becoming the first head of state to complete such a feat. Under sometimes extremely difficult conditions, Albert II travelled nearly a hundred kilometres by dog sled from Camp Barneo, a Russian weather station, to the North Pole. On his arrival at the pole, the Prince planted the Monegasque flag and then the Olympic flag on the ice.

“I’m delighted to have achieved the goal I set myself and to have arrived, safe and sound, with my entire team, at the North Pole. The exceptional human adventure we have just undertaken must not make us forget that our planet is in grave danger, and that we need, more than ever, to take action to safeguard it.”

Albert II at the North Pole.

© FPA2
© FPA2

The aim of the expedition was to raise public awareness of the impact of global warming, especially in the polar regions which are particularly at risk.

Prince Albert II was also paying tribute to his great-great-grandfather. The father of modern oceanography, Prince Albert I conducted four polar exploration campaigns. The most significant of these took place in 1906 in Spitsbergen, 100 years before this latest Monegasque expedition.

Three years later, Prince Albert II of Monaco reached the South Pole, becoming the world’s only head of state to visit both poles.

There, he met explorer Mike Horn, with whom he completed his journey across Antarctica by sled in harsh conditions (with temperatures as low as minus 40 degrees, gusting winds and an altitude of 2,800 metres). “I watched a prince pull his sled and walk every metre himself. All to protect our planet, to have a voice, to do something for future generations. This is someone who is committed,” said Mike Horn.

© FPA2
© FPA2

During his 17-day journey, Prince Albert II visited 24 scientific bases and met many researchers specialising in fields such as climatology, volcanology and glaciology. Following his trip, he alerted the international community to the situation on this continent, which is so valuable to all of humanity.

The Prince also decided to launch the first project to trial electric vehicles in Antarctica. The aim of the programme, which has been entrusted to Venturi Automobiles and is supported by the Prince Albert II Foundation, is to introduce the Venturi Antarctica, the first electric vehicle adapted to operate in extreme climates, to the South Pole.

Learn more
Fondation Prince Albert II de Monaco

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