We aim to head into the heart of the Northwest Passage. Since the late 15th century, the search for this fabled seaway through the Canadian Arctic was a holy grail for hardy adventurers.
The first recorded voyage was led by John Cabot in 1497. The most famous journey here was James Cook’s failed attempt in 1776, and of course the ill-fated Franklin expedition of 1845. The first to conquer the Passage by ship was Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen on an expedition that lasted from 1903 to 1906.
Ice conditions vary, so each voyage here is unique. Subject to favourable conditions, we hope to be able to explore some of the following places:
Gjøa Haven honours the Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen, who wintered here from 1903 on the Gjøa expedition. He called the place 'the finest little harbour in the world.' He learned a great deal from local Netslik Inuit people about survival and travel in polar regions.
Fort Ross was established in 1937. There are two small huts ashore maintained by the Canadian Coast Guard, and occasionally used by the local Inuit for shelter.
Beechey Island is closely linked to the history of exploration of the Northwest Passage, particularly the voyage led by Sir John Franklin, whose two ships sailed into the passage in 1845, but never returned. It is known that the Franklin Expedition over-wintered here in 1845.
Radstock Bay is dominated by the rock of Caswell Tower. The shoreline here is excellent for short walks to a pre-historic Inuit site. Caswell Tower itself features a challenging hike to the summit for great views.
Dundas Harbour is an abandoned settlement with an old Royal Canadian Mounted Police camp and several archaeological sites from the Thule period.
Picturesque Pond Inlet, called 'Mittimatalik' in Inuktitut, is a traditional Inuit community on Baffin Island. Pond Inlet is surrounded by mountain ranges, with glaciers, scenic fjords, ice caves, geological hoodoos and drifting icebergs to marvel at.
Throughout the journey, we will sail in pristine straits that support rich wildlife, so we will be on a constant look out for amazing creatures such as polar bears.