Tuesday 30 August 2011

Explore the Northwest Passage with Wild Earth Travel

The Northwest Passage is a sea route through the Arctic Ocean sought by explorers for centuries as a possible trade route connecting the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Until recently, Arctic pack ice prevented regular marine shipping throughout most of the year, but climate change has contracted the pack ice, and this reduction has made the waterways more navigable.

Wild Earth Travel is offering adventurous travellers the opportunity to follow in the footsteps of early explorers such as Roald Amundsen, Captain James Cook, and James Ross, on two separate voyages exploring this famous waterway on board the MS Clipper Adventurer.

The 15-day 'Into the Northwest Passage' expedition starts with a monumental voyage along one of Greenland's longest fjords, cross the Arctic Circle, and ventures to Upernavik, the farthest north the Vikings are known to have travelled in this region. In addition abundant wildlife, this voyage explores the themes of exploration, human history, art, climate and culture, with many intimate encounters with indigenous communities along the way.

Major highlights of the voyage include a visit to the chilling site of the lost Franklin Expedition, where passengers will see first-hand the signs of their struggle against the harsh Arctic winter; Fort Ross, the last trading post built by the Hudson's Bay Company; Zodiac cruising to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Ilulissat Icefjord; and a visit to Devon Island, the largest uninhabited island in the world, which supports significant concentrations of wildlife.

Wildlife encounters are likely to include narwhal and beluga whales, polar and grizzly bears, bald eagles, walrus, muskox and caribou; while the Queen Maud Gulf Migratory Bird Sanctuary contains the largest variety of geese of any nesting area in North America.

The voyage also operates in reverse with a 17-day 'Out of the Northwest Passage' expedition starting in Kugluktuk (Coppermine River), the site where Samuel Hearne became the first European to reach the Arctic coast of the continent.

The 122-passenger MS Clipper Adventurer is specifically constructed for expedition voyages to the far reaches of this remote land. Her A-1 ice class rated hull permits her to sail easily and safely through ice-strewn waters that are not accessible to conventional cruise vessels. Built in the style of great ocean liners; the ship features all new outside cabins with large windows, private facilities, and modern amenities.

Prices for the 15-day 'Into the Northwest Passage' voyage start from US$6,995 per person with one departure on 19 August 2012.Owner's Suite, two lower berths, shower & bathtub, picture window.Owner's Suite, two lower berths, shower & bathtub, picture window. The 17-day 'Out of the Northwest Passage' voyage is priced from US$7,195 per person with one departure on 2 September 2012.

Wild Earth Travel can also arrange pre and post touring in Greenland and Canada and competitively priced airfares to embarkation and disembarkation points.

For further information phone 1800 107 715 (within Australia) or +64 3 365 1355 (New Zealand) or visit www.wildearth-travel.com

Heritage Expeditions · Antarctic House · 53b Montreal Street · Christchurch, Canterbury 8023

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