In 1848, a British voyage of Arctic exploration led by Captain Sir John Franklin met with disaster trying to find the Northwest Passage, but now in 2023, Seabourn will be offering cruises through the region.
While Franklin’s lost expedition got stuck in the ice for two years and ultimately disappeared, with the wreck of the two ships only found more than a century later, Seabourn will be providing something more pleasant.
The luxury cruise line has announced a line-up of voyages for the summer of 2023 on its two new purpose-built expedition ships, Seabourn Venture and Seabourn Pursuit, which includes its first-ever voyages to the Northeast and Northwest Passages in the Arctic.
Seabourn Venture will depart July 29th, 2023, for a 26-day voyage across the Northeast Passage from Tromsø, Norway to Nome, Alaska.
Her sister ship, Seabourn Pursuit, scheduled to launch in March, 2023, will offer a 21-day adventure to the infamous Northwest Passage departing August 27th, 2023, from Kangerlussuaq, Greenland to Nome.
Northeast Passage highlights
Highlights of the Northeast Passage include navigating across the top of Norway and Arctic Russia, viewing polar bears at UNESCO World Heritage Site Wrangel Island and hundreds of thousands of seabirds at Storstappen Island and a call at Mumansk including a visit to the nuclear icebreaker Lenin. Travelers will sail the Barents Sea and through Franz Joseph Land, an archipelago of 192 islands in the Russian Arctic National Park where polar bears, Atlantic walruses, bowhead whales and ivory gulls are among the protected species.
Northwest Passage highlights include the opportunity to experience one of the most infamous and storied passages in the world and traverse the narrow and challenging Bellot Strait. Travelers can visit the lonely grave sites of the Franklin Expedition on stark Beechy Island, small Inuit towns such as Cambridge Bay and destinations in Greenland including Ilulissat, which means ‘iceberg,’ located at the terminus of the Jakobshavn Glacier.
“Our Northeast Passage and Northwest Passage are truly epic itineraries that are perfect for travellers who want to explore regions less travelled, and take in the landscapes, nature and wildlife they never thought they would ever see,” said Josh Leibowitz, President of Seabourn.
“Seabourn offers the most luxurious and most exclusive ocean and expedition experiences on Earth,” he added.
Seabourn Pursuit’s maiden season starts with a 12-day ‘Wild & Ancient Scotland & Iceland’ pre-inaugural voyage departing March 23rd, 2023, from Amsterdam to Reykjavik, Iceland.
The ship will then sail a 14-day ‘Lands of Fire & Ice’ inaugural voyage April 4th, 2023 round-trip from Reykjavik.
Following that are a 14-day ‘Lands of Fire & Ice’ in Greenland and Iceland, followed by a series of explorations of the Arctic Circle from Norway, most with Seabourn’s popular Svalbard experience in the mix, including a 14-day ‘Norway & Iceland Polar Bears & Puffins’ itinerary.
A series of 14- and 15-day voyages between Greenland and Iceland will follow, as well as a 12-day ‘Bering Sea & Inside Passage Cruise’ visiting destinations in Alaska and British Columbia.
Seabourn Venture’s second year will be spent cruising in the Arctic, Scotland, Norway and the Russian Arctic during the summer.
The ship will begin its summer season on May 12th, 2023, with a 10-day ‘Wild Isles of Scotland and Iceland’ voyage from London to Reykjavik. Seabourn Venture will then operate a 12-day ‘Fjords of the Norwegian Sea’ voyage, followed by a series of 11- and 12-day expeditions exploring Svalbard from Norway.
In mid-July, the ship will cruise a 14-day ‘Norway, Novaya Zemlya & Franz Joseph Land’ expedition.
After the Northeast Passage journey, Seabourn Venture will explore the Russian Far East with a 14-day ‘Wild Coasts of Kamchatka’ expedition in August and 14-day ‘Volcanoes & Wildlife of the Kuril Islands’ voyage in September.