It was a journey made in heaven, twenty-three glorious days sailing the Northwest Passenger on Silversea Cruises luxury expedition ship the Silver Explorer with just 132 passengers and plenty of staff to cater to your every need. The cruise began in Kangerlussuaq, Greenland on August 9 and concluded in Nome, Alaska on September 1. Distance covered a distance was nearly 3,500 nautical miles, following a route through the Canadian Arctic Archipelago similar to Roald Amundsen's momentous east-to-west expedition of 1903 to 1906, the first successful navigation by boat through the passage. All that while enjoying luscious cuisine, soaking in an outdoor Jacuzzi and being totally pampered.
"Sailing the Northwest Passage is an experience reserved for true adventurers and dedicated explorers," said Conrad Combrink, Silversea's director of expedition planning and strategic development. "We are honored to know that what was once an unfulfilled dream for such renowned explorers as Captain James Cook, Henry Hudson, and many others, is now a successful chapter in the history of Silversea Expeditions."
The epic Northwest Passage comprises shallow channels filled with floating ice. Although summer ice conditions have permitted a number of successful transits since Amundsen's expedition, the passage can still present challenges. The small-sized Silver Explorer, with her shallow draft, ice-strengthened hull, 1A ice class certification, and Captain Alexander Golubev at the helm, was well suited to take on such missions.
"It's a special privilege to sail through the world's most elusive and historic waterways. Such a journey requires careful and meticulous planning at every stage," said Golubev, who has led over 50 voyages to the Arctic, Antarctic and Greenland. In an abundance of caution, Captain Golubev enlisted the services of an icebreaker to escort Silver Explorer through a critical portion of the route. "I'm pleased that all our strategizing and preparations resulted in success for Silversea's first-ever Northwest Passage expedition, and I'm very grateful to be among a small group of mariners who have experienced such an extraordinary opportunity during their careers."
Environmentalists might like to know that Silversea is a member of the Association of Arctic Expedition Cruise Operators (AECO), dedicated to managing respectable, environmentally friendly and safe expedition cruising in the Arctic.
For additional information go to www.silverseacruises.com.