Sep 02, 2014 – Luxury expedition cruise specialist Silversea’s 132-guest Silver Explorer has successfully completed the company’s first-ever journey through the legendary Northwest Passage.
The 23-day voyage commenced in Kangerlussuaq, Greenland on 9 August and concluded in Nome, Alaska on 1 September. It covered a distance of 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.
Conrad Combrink, Silversea’s director of expedition planning and strategic development, said: “Sailing the Northwest Passage is an experience reserved for true adventurers and dedicated explorers. We are honoured 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 Northwest Passage is famous for its shallow channels and 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, is 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 strategising 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.”
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.
About Silversea Cruises
Silversea Cruises, which is chaired by Manfredi Lefebvre d’Ovidio, is recognised as an innovator in the ultra-luxury cruise line industry, offering guests large-ship amenities aboard its intimate, all-suite vessels: Silver Cloud, Silver Wind, Silver Shadow, Silver Whisper and Silver Spirit – all designed to offer an atmosphere of conviviality and casual elegance. With the inclusion of the expedition ships Silver Explorer, Silver Galapagos, and Silver Discoverer, Silversea Cruises’ itineraries encompass all seven continents and feature worldwide luxury cruises to the Mediterranean, Caribbean, both polar regions and over 700 fascinating destinations in between.
In the US, Silversea has been voted “World’s Best” by the readers of Condé Nast Traveler (nine times) and Travel + Leisure (seven times), and awarded “Best Luxury Cruise” by TravelChannel.com (2014) and “Best Small Ship Cruise Line” by Global Traveler (2014). International awards include “Five Star Diamond Award” from the American Academy of Hospitality Sciences (2013); “Best Small Ship Cruise Line” in the Readers’ Choice survey conducted by Britain’s Condé Nast Traveller magazine (2013); “Best Expedition Cruise Ship” by Australia’s Cruise Passenger magazine (2013); “Best Small Luxury Cruise Line” by China’s Travel + Leisure (2013); and “Star Luxury Cruise Company” according to U.K.’s Travel Bulletin (2013).
SOURCE: Silversea Cruises