The Northwest Passage – a route almost across the top of the world – has long fired the imagination of explorers, traders and fortune seekers. Expeditions to these parts were many and most notable for their failure, a true testament to the wildness and remoteness of this region. On this voyage the shallow draft of your adventure ship may make it possible to recreate a portion of Amundsen’s route that ships with deeper drafts cannot – this expedition certainly promises to be an exciting journey of discovery. Your remarkable journey begins in the small community of Resolute, sailing east through Lancaster Sound to Beechey Island. On your first morning you will awake in Erebus and Terror Bay, overlooking the beach at Beechey Island, where Franklin and his men spent a winter before disappearing. Despite its bleakness, this site stands as a reminder of all the courageous people that died exploring this vast land. It is also a fitting place to start your voyage of exploration. Encounters with Polar Bear, Beluga Whale, Narwhal and the occasional Bowhead Whale are likely at the well known summering grounds around Prince Leopold Island and Prince Regent Inlet. En-route to Bellot Strait you will stop at Depot Bay, where signs of ancient Dorset and Thule habitation are found around the abandoned Hudson’s Bay Company trading post; obviously a good trading place for many centuries. From Bellot Strait, you head out into Franklin Strait and south towards King William Island – a historical highlight of your trip. Here the mystery surrounding the notorious Franklin expedition still prevails; within 25 kilometres of King William Island, Franklin’s HMS Erebus and Terror remained trapped in ice for two winters. The ships were abandoned in 1848 and no trace has ever been discovered. In contrast to Franklin’s disastrous expedition, in 1903 and 1904, Roald Amundsen, with very little trouble, sailed down the west coast of King William Island. You visit the small village of Gjoa Haven named after his ship, the Gjoa. Your last excursion will most likely be on Victoria Island: a location frequented by the shaggy haired, pre-historic looking Musk Ox that lives in this harsh landscape, and a great place for hiking. Your adventure ends in Cambridge Bay but not without a thought for the Arctic explorers before you who shared the same spirit of adventure. Northwest Passage Via Simpson Strait Traverse the historic Northwest Passage – one of the world’s most elusive sea routes – linking the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans through Canada’s Far North. S E E U S O N T H E W E B AT wildlifeworldwide.com Itinerary Day 1. Embark Resolute Day 2. Beechey Island Days 3 & 4. Bellot Strait to King William Island Day 5. Gjoa Haven and Simpson Strait Days 6 to 8. Jenny Lind Island to Holman Day 9. Smoking Hills Days 10 & 11. Pearce Point to Bernard Harbour Day 13. Byron Bay to Cambridge Bay and disembark Vessel Akademik Ioffe (see Vessel pages for more details). Things you need to know Embark Resolute, Nunavut, Canada Disembark Cambridge Bay, Nunavut, Canada Voyage nights 12 nights Departure dates 25 Aug to 6 Sep 6 to 18 Sep (itinerary operates in reverse) Price From £3,495 in a triple share cabin From £4,295 in a twin share cabin Single supplement On request. If you are travelling alone ask about our request share programme which enables solo travellers to share a cabin with another solo traveller. What’s included Voyage including guided shore & zodiac excursions, all meals onboard & transfers. Adventure options • Kayaking supplement £395 Guide price for flights & accommodation package Around £1,025 including return flights from the UK & 1-night in Iqaluit. Additionally, the charter flights from Ottawa to Iqaluit and from Resolute to Ottawa need to be added to your trip cost. These are around £995. 189
Since the sixteenth century explorers have attempted to transit the fabled trading route of the Northeast Passage which follows the Arctic coast of Russia from the Barents Sea to the Bering Strait. It was in 1878 (some 500 years later) that the Swedish explorer Nordenskjold, made the first successful transit. The Arctic summer of 2008 is the 130th anniversary of that celebrated voyage. Relative darkness for six months of the year, coupled with extreme ice and weather conditions, make Russia’s Northeast Passage relatively inaccessible to travellers. But not to those privileged few sailing on the polar-class icebreaker, Kapitan Khelbnikov. This extraordinary 25-day expedition will take you into the heart of a very remote and littleexplored part of the world. To reach the Northeast Passage you sail north from Anadyr on Russia’s Asian shore through the Bering Strait and past Cape Dezhnev, the eastern-most point of Asia. Landings are planned at the small Russian village of Uelen, the uninhabited island of Kolyuchin, where puffins and other seabirds nest, and on Wrangel Island, a UNESCO World Heritage Site designated for its diverse flora and importance for migratory birds. Making your way through the pack ice of the East Siberian Sea you reach the New Siberian Islands where you explore ancient hunting camps, see the northern-most part of the European continent and, with luck, spot the rare Leptev Walrus. Landings are planned on Severnaya Zemlya, the least accessible group of islands in the Arctic, as well as on islands in the archipelago of Novaya Zemlya. The shipboard helicopters will be used for flightseeing and transfers to otherwise inaccessible landing sites. Well above the Arctic Circle lie the most northerly group of islands in Eurasia - Franz Josef Land. These islands are home to Polar Bears and Atlantic Walrus. Conditions permitting, you visit Cape Flora, where the remains from three expeditions are found. This great journey ends in Murmansk, from where you will fly to Helsinki – a time to reflect on your rare and impressive achievement. Northeast Passage Transit Russia’s Northeast Passage and discover some of the world’s least explored shores on this extraordinary 7,000 kilometre icebreaker expedition. 190 F O R R E S E R V A T I O N S C A L L U S O N 0845 130 6982 Itinerary Day 1. Anchorage Day 2. Flight from Anchorage to Anadyr and embark Days 3 to 5. Chukotka Peninsula Days 6 & 7. Wrangel Island Days 8 to 14. New Siberian Islands Days 15 to 19. Severnaya Zemlya and Novaya Zemlya Days 20 & 21. Franz Josef Land Days 22 to 25. Barents Sea to Murmansk and disembark. Flight from Murmansk to Helsinki. Vessel Kapitan Khlebnikov (see Vessel pages for more details). Things you need to know Embark Anadyr, Russia Disembark Murmansk, Russia Voyage nights 23 nights Departure dates 28 Jun to 23 Jul Price From: £13,795 in a twin share cabin Single supplement On request. If you are travelling alone ask about our request share programme which enables solo travellers to share a cabin with another solo traveller. What’s included One night hotel accommodation in Anchorage, return air charter between Anchorage & Anadyr and Murmansk & Helsinki, voyage including guided shore, zodiac and helicopter excursions, all meals onboard & transfers. Guide price for flights & accommodation package Around £895 including return flights from the UK & 1-night in Helsinki.