An Epic Journey for Modern Day Adventurers
Cruise the fabled Northwest Passage – 4600 nautical miles in 23 days – with A&K
April 22, 2014To sail the Northwest Passage — the sea route linking the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans — is a goal that has fired the imaginations of seafarers for the past 600 years. Searching for the route challenged the courage, skill and determination of some of history’s greatest explorers. Not until the early 20th century was the daunting feat finally accomplished and it’s still a very exclusive club.
Join Abercrombie & Kent aboard the exclusively-chartered ‘Le Boreal’ for an epic 23-day journey from Kangerlussuaq, Greenland, to Anadyr in the Russian Far East, past cathedrals of ice, early explorer’s ship graveyards and sparsely-settled lands where explorers were forced to over winter when their ships were trapped by fast-moving ice. Learn about the indigenous cultures (many centuries old) that survived in the vast wilderness from West Greenland’s majestic Fjord’s, Bays and Glaciers to Inuit villages in Nunavut and the Northwest Territories of Arctic Canada, and the isolated Bering Sea village of Little Diomede.
Yet unlike the voyagers who blazed a trail before them, enduring hardship and privation along the way, guests will explore in utmost comfort aboard the all-balcony 'Le Boreal,’ one of the most stable and luxurious vessels plying polar regions today.
A Different Kind of Voyage
“The Northwest Passage is something unique, a voyage that can be done only with a specific vessel during a very short period of the year,” explains ‘Le Boreal’ commander, Captain Etienne Garcia, who has navigated ‘Le Boreal’ through polar waters in the Antarctic and Arctic, including the Northwest Passage last year. “The main difference between this voyage and other Arctic cruises is that we will transit across the continent from the Atlantic to the Pacific. The most challenging aspect is forecasting the movement of ice in different channels in order to find the best way through, following in the wake of great explorers like Franklin, Amundsen and McClure.”
Naturally, the safety of all guests and crew will be the ultimate determining factor in whether ‘Le Boreal’ completes the full transit. For this reason, the vessel employs the latest technology to track not only weather, but the hourly location of sea ice.
Wildlife in an Untouched Expanse
While the captain and his crew study the movements of the sea ice, A&K guests will have time to take in the exciting flora, fauna and geology of these islands and shorelines. Musk oxen are a possibility, as are walrus, narwhal and beluga, Minke and gray whales. There will be harp and ringed seals on the ice and possibly walrus, bearded and harbor seals along the coast. Bird enthusiasts will be drawn by the chance to see snowy owls, peregrine falcons, fulmars, kittiwakes and guillemots.
But what promises to make the trip truly memorable are sightings of the world’s greatest land predator, the threatened polar bear, the first animal to be put on the endangered species list because of climate change.
Hands-On Exploration with the Finest Guides
A&K’s team of research and field scientists, naturalists, historians and cultural experts will offer enriching lectures and personal insights into how the many species that are part of the delicate Arctic ecosystem are interconnected and in a state of flux. The boreal forests are drifting northward, the tundra community is changing dramatically as the permafrost melts, and bird and mammal distributions are shifting.
Some of the oldest rocks on earth are found the Arctic. Amazingly, despite the cold, there are fossils of dinosaurs and trees that tell a story of a once warmer climate. With no vegetation today, the rocks are clearly visible when snow and ice recede, revealing a glimpse of a geological wonderland that few travellers have ever witnessed.
With a guide-to-guest ratio of 1:12, there is time to talk to the expert geologists, ornithologists, historians and marine biologists about the changes.
The Perfect Blend of Luxury and Adventure
A&K delivers its trademark blend of luxury, adventure and personalized service aboard ‘Le Boreal’, including a butler in cabin categories 6-8. By exclusively chartering ‘Le Boreal’, A&K limits the number of guests to no more than 199, guaranteeing each stateroom and suite has a private balcony.
MV ‘Le Boreal’ is environmentally-friendly, equipped with cutting-edge technology that includes the most up-to-date waste water system, recycling facilities, and other measures designed to ensure that the ship operates with minimal impact on the environment. Zodiac boats are equipped with fuel efficient 4-stroke engines that meet the strictest environmental standards. The ship has been “Cleanship” certified by the Bureau Veritas. This label is given to ships whose design and equipment limit emissions and go beyond the MARPOL convention for waste treatment, antifouling and propulsion systems.
Abercrombie & Kent has orchestrated more than 175 unrivaled expeditions to Antarctica and the Arctic with 23 years of safe and successful polar exploration. Guests will enjoy A&K's signature blend of luxury and adventure, while taking their place in the historic cavalcade of explorers and dreamers who braved the elements to discover the Northwest Passage.
Abercrombie & Kent’s Northwest Passage (August 22 – September 13, 2015) 23 days from $24,995 per person, double occupancy (when booked by Oct 31, 2014). For more details on this once-in-a-lifetime adventure, contact your travel professional or go to www.abercrombiekent.com or call 800 554 7094 to speak to a travel consultant.
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Prices are per person, double occupancy