Royal and Ancient Polar Bear Society
An Antipodean travel company serving world travellers since 1983
Royal & Ancient Polar Bear Society (Isbjørklubben)
The Royal & Ancient Polar Bear Society (even though the simple translation would be just ‘Polar Bear Club’) was founded in 1963 in Hammerfest, the most northerly town not only in Norway, but in the world. The Society is dedicated to preserving the culture of Hammerfest. The polar bear is the city’s coat of arms and was therefore chosen as the society’s logo. The strength of the polar bear reflects the willpower and survival skills necessary for living in the Arctic. Unfortunately you won’t be able to see actual polar bears around Hammerfest.
Becoming a member of the Polar Bear Society
To become a lifetime member, one must visit Hammerfest in person, and pay the 220 NOK onetime membership fee (as of 2020). In return, you’ll get a certificate, an ID card, a sticker and a pin, and the right to attend the club’s yearly meetings (held on the third Sunday in January every year). Once you return home, you can definitely prove you made it that far North!
You can also visit the exhibition dedicated to the history and culture of Hammerfest, arctic fishing, hunting, polar expeditions and the animals of the Northern areas. You can also explore a separate exhibition about Adolf Henrik Lindstrøm, probably the most famous citizen of Hammerfest. Lindstrøm was a chef for several arctic expeditions of Roald Amundsen and Otto Sverdrup, frequently serving his famous ‘Biff à la Lindstrøm’, still part of many restaurant menus across the world.