Every year, we get numerous inquiries from captains and prospective guests about taking a luxury expedition yacht through the Northwest Passage.
It is a route our staff has done several times—in fact, on an expedition we led in 2012, our staff had collectively been on more than 10% of all successful transits. However, the other route ‘across the top’ has been receiving a lot of media attention recently—the Northeast Passage above Russia.
As this article in the Maritime Executive about Stena and Hyundai collaborating on an upcoming departure illustrates, there are clear economic considerations for companies considering such a route: the northern route can shave almost two weeks steaming time.
Only a few days later, the New York Times also ran an article on the Northeast Passage. After the flagship of the Russian Northern Fleet- the Pyotr Velikiy- completed a trip across the Arctic Ocean, the government announced that it will begin regular naval patrols of the area.
Finally, in December, the New Yorker ran this article describing the passage onboard a cargo vessel. Thankfully, all of these stories point out the potential hazards of the route, and that an abundance of preparation and experience- not to mention a well built, ice-classed vessel- is needed to safely complete the transit.
This summer, as EYOS was leading an expedition to the White Sea, Novaya Zemlya and Franz Joseph Land, we couldn’t help but think how exciting it would be to turn east and keep going. For the right expedition yacht with an adventurous owner or charterer, it would be a groundbreaking and once-in-a-lifetime experience. We look forward to working on this pioneering expedition in the coming years.