In August 2019, a spectacular expedition will set sail deep into Nordic polar lands following a route that was mapped out by famous intrepid polar explorers, and named the Northwest Passage. The course will link ports in the United States, Russia, and Norway, venturing as far north as the ice allows. The adventure will take place aboard the luxury cruise ship Silver Explorer, from prestigious specialized firm Silverseas.
The ship has been designed especially to navigate through seas as remote and challenging as those of the polar Arctic Circle. The reinforced hull is registered with Lloyd and has an ice class rating of 1 A, a condition that enables it to navigate around the huge icebergs and the ice-covered seas. Its size is that of a medium-sized ship –107.9 meters long– but it’s equipped with suites built to the highest standards of luxury and comfort conceived for a cruise ship.
The voyage through the Nordic seas will leave from the port of Nome, in Alaska, on Saturday, August 10, 2019 with 144 passengers.
The expedition to the “Northwest Passage” will follow in the heroic footsteps of Amundsen, Nansen, Nordenskiöld and other polar explorers who dared to sail those latitudes in fragile craft. It’s a unique opportunity to discover the wild fauna of the region and its nearly pristine landscape. It is expected that during the trip frequently there will be conferences organized by experts in regional fauna and flora, which will encourage appreciation of the exclusive experience in its full dimensions.
The day after departure, heading toward the Russian coast from Nome, Alaska, the international date line is crossed. It will be like going into a new dimension. One more day of navigation and the first Soviet port is reached: Provideniya. After that moment the ship will sail between the Chuchki and Bering seas, and it will round Cape Dezhnev and the Chukotka peninsula. The Russian coastal towns at those latitudes are small and their inhabitants are very friendly toward visitors.
The trajectory will cause a cascade of excitement, with landings in uninhabited islands such as Kolyuchin, a refuge for cormorants, seagulls, and the colorful puffins. Another highlight will be disembarkation on Wrangel Island, declared a World Heritage Site because of its settlements attesting to the presence of humans 3,400 years ago. Hiking on an island inhabited by large terrestrial mammals like polar bears and musk oxen, along with walrus colonies on the coast and multitudes of birds, not to mention the typical flora of the tundra, will be an otherworldly experience for nature lovers.
In this context, after over a month of navigating through amazing places, the arrival at Murmansk, the last city founded by the Russian empire, will be like getting back to civilization. Notwithstanding the cold Soviet architecture and the smokestacks of the city, it will be like a return to the familiar. There will still be a two day journey before reaching the final destination, the surprising and modern city of Tromsø on the coast of Norway, an ideal moment to savor a glass of fine wine under the midnight sun.
In order to partake of this unique experience, you will need to reserve and choose a cabin, whose prices range from US $37,000-US $88,000. ■