Silversea Expeditions, the luxury adventure cruising arm of Silversea Cruises, are taking on the Northeast Passage in 2019, with what the cruise line is calling a “once-in-a-lifetime explorative journey” through one of the most challenging regions in the world for shipping.
The passage along the Arctic Ocean coasts of Norway and Russia, connecting Europe and the northern Atlantic with the Pacific Ocean, took explorers and seafarers 800 years to eventually successfully navigate.
The first confirmed complete passage, from west to east, was made by the Fenno-Swedish explorer Adolf Erik Nordenskiöld aboard Vega in 1878–79.
The alternate route via the top of Canada, known as the Northwest Passage, was infamously the demise of the Franklin Expedition, in which 134 men died of sarvation and lead poisoning after their two ships became entrapped in the ice.
Fast forward more than 150 years and the 144-passenger, luxury expedition ship Silver Explorer will cruise the Northeast Passage in total comfort, with every indulgence taken care of for passengers.
Silver Explorer’s library, observation lounge and dining room.
During the 25-day voyage, covering 5,019 nautical miles along dramatic seascapes and untamed wilderness, passengers can relax in the observation lounge, eat gourmet food in the main dining room, and work out in the gym.
There’s even an on-board spa, complete with a sauna and state of the art massage room.
“In this special anniversary year, which marks Silversea’s decade of ultra-luxury expedition cruising, we’re particularly thrilled to announce our inaugural crossing of the Northeast Passage,” says Conrad Combrink, Silversea’s senior vice president of strategic development for expeditions and experiences.
“Continuing our legacy of exploration, this epic Arctic passage will take guests across the top of Asia and Europe to discover extraordinary landscapes, unique cultures and rare animal species, while enjoying the comfort of Silversea’s ultra-luxury Silver Explorer,” he adds.
Silver Explorer will depart August 10th, 2019 from Nome, Alaska bound for Tromsø, Norway on a 25-day journey that will encompass the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Wrangel Island, where polar bears and walruses roam and migratory birds nest; Champ Island, known for the large, mysterious stone spheres that dot its otherworldly landscape; Tikhaya Bay’s Rubini Rock, with its stunning basalt columns; and the archipelago of Severnaya Zemlya, famous for its impressive fjords and majestic glaciers.
The ship will also spend a day navigating as far north as possible, in the direction of the Ice Edge, in search of seals, walruses and polar bears on ice floes. History buffs will be intrigued by a visit to Murmansk, the last city founded by the Russian Empire. Quaint coastal villages like Chukotka’s Uelen, populated by the Chukchi and Yupik people, will offer immersion in rare cultural experiences.
Guests will be taken ashore in remote ports without a dock aboard the ship’s fleet of 12 Zodiac tenders and Silversea’s dedicated Expedition Team of qualified specialists will be at hand to share expert knowledge and topical insights.
They will provide lectures, run workshops, lead Zodiac trips, and guide shore excursions – all of which is complimentary for guests.
Aboard the ship, guests will enjoy ocean-view suites, sumptuous cuisine, and the personalized service of a butler.
Enriching the experience are such all-inclusive amenities as complimentary premium wines and spirits, specialty coffees, bottled water, juices and soft drinks served throughout the ship; an in-suite bar stocked with guests’ preferences; in-suite 24-hour dining; and unlimited complimentary Wi-Fi.
Double-occupancy fares start from US $37,170 per person.