The Final Expedition

Relics from Sir John Franklin’s doomed 1845 Arctic expedition are going on display for the first time since their recovery.

6th September 2017
The Final Expedition National Maritime Museum advertisement feature

The tragic story of Sir John Franklin’s ill-fated voyage to the unforgiving Arctic is being told in an unprecedented exhibition at the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, south London. Death in the Ice: The Shocking Story of Franklin’s Final Expedition seeks to reveal what exactly may have happened to Franklin and his men as they charted the North-West Passage.

It remains one of the world's greatest mysteries, and now visitors to the exhibition are among the first to observe over 200 artefacts in one place. Objects from the shipwrecked HMS Erebus are on display in Europe for the first time, 170 years after the 129-strong crew set sail from the Thames on Britain’s largest expedition to the Arctic. Their voyage ended in disaster, sparking one of the largest searches in history.

In the decades that followed, relics including tin cans, snow goggles and cutlery filtered back to Britain along with horrific news: the men eventually died through a combination of factors including scurvy and starvation. There was also speculation of cannibalism and even madness brought on by lead poisoning.

The exhibition was developed by the Canadian Museum of History in partnership with the National Maritime Museum and Parks Canada Agency, and in collaboration with the Government of Nunavut and the Inuit Heritage Trust. Until 7 January 2018, visitors will get the chance to step into a forensic tent and explore the evidence and theories behind these mysterious deaths.

For more information and to book your tickets,


win tickets

To mark the historic exhibition, BBC Focus readers are invited to win a pair of tickets to visit. To be in with a chance of winning,

 and enter the competition code FRANKLIN.


You must be over 16 years old to enter the competition.

The prize comprises two tickets to the National Maritime Museum’s special exhibition ‘Death in the ice: the shocking story of Franklin’s final expedition’. The competition winner must redeem the prize by 7 January 2018, and it can only be redeemed Monday-Friday, during normal Museum opening hours (as advertised), and is not valid for any special event, lecture or late opening. Last admission is one hour before closing.

This competition is non-transferable, cannot be resold and no cash alternative will be offered. Royal Museums Greenwich reserves the right to refuse entry. General Museum entry regulations apply.