Heart of the Northwest Passage
Next, we aim to head into the heart of the historic Northwest Passage. The first recorded voyage here was led by John Cabot in 1497. The most famous journey was James Cook’s failed attempt to sail the Passage in 1776, and of course the ill-fated Franklin expedition of 1845. The first to conquer the Passage by ship was Norwegian Roald Amundsen on an expedition that lasted from 1903 to 1906.
The ice varies from year to year, so we hope to be able to show you some of the following places:
Pond Inlet, called 'Mittimatalik' in Inuktitut, is a traditional Inuit community surrounded by mountains, glaciers, fjords, ice caves, geological hoodoos and drifting icebergs.
Dundas Harbour is an abandoned settlement with an old Royal Canadian Mounted Police camp and several archaeological sites. Come shore to see the ruins of some of these buildings, along with an impressive Thule site.
Radstock Bay is dominated by the striking outcropping of Caswell Tower. The shoreline here is ideal for walks to a pre-historic Inuit dwelling site. Caswell Tower itself features a challenging hike to the summit for great views.
Beechey Island is known for the ill-fated Franklin expedition. Two ships sailed into the passage in 1845, but neither were ever seen again. It is known that the Franklin Expedition over-wintered on Beechey Island in 1845-1846.
Fort Ross is a trading post established in 1937. There are two small huts ashore that are maintained by the Canadian Coast Guard.
Gjøa Haven honours the Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen, who wintered here from 1903. He was in contact with the local Netsilik Inuit people, and learned a lot from them about survival and travel in polar regions.
Throughout the journey, we will be sailing in amazing straits with unique nature and hopefully enough ice to be on the constant look out for wildlife.