Wednesday, May 1, 2013


(Blogger Comment - The below e-document was provided on April 16, 2013 by R.K. Headland - it has been reformatted for better web readability)


R. K. Headland - Revised 3 March 2013
Scott Polar Research Institute, University of Cambridge, Lensfield Road, Cambridge, United Kingdom, CB2 1ER.

   The earliest traverse of the Northwest Passage was completed in 1853 but used sledges over the sea ice of the central part of Parry Channel.  Subsequently the following 185 complete transits of the Northwest Passage have been made to the end of the 2012 navigation season.  These transits proceed to or from the Atlantic Ocean (Labrador Sea) in or out of the eastern approaches to the Canadian Arctic archipelago (Lancaster Sound or Foxe Basin) then the western approaches (McClure Strait or Amundsen Gulf), across the Beaufort Sea and Chukchi Sea of the Arctic Ocean, from or to the Pacific Ocean (Bering Sea).  The Arctic Circle is crossed near the beginning and the end of all transits unless they proceed to the west coast of Greenland.  The routes and directions are indicated.  Complements of a few vessels left them for winter to return in a later navigation season.  Details of submarine transits are not included because only two have been reported (1960 USS Sea Dragon, Capt. George Peabody Steele, West 1 and 1962 USS Skate, Capt. Joseph Lawrence Skoog, East 1) and they do not need to navigate through ice.

   Seven routes have been used for transits of the Northwest Passage with some minor variations (for example through Pond Inlet and Navy Board Inlet) and three composite courses in summers when ice was minimal (transits 140, 168, and 170).  These are:

1:  Davis Strait, Lancaster Sound, Barrow Strait, Viscount Melville Sound, McClure Strait, Beaufort Sea, Chukchi Sea, Bering Strait.  The shortest and deepest, but most difficult way owing to the severe ice of McClure Strait. The route is used by submarines because of its depth.

2:  Davis Strait, Lancaster Sound, Barrow Strait, Viscount Melville Sound, Prince of Wales Strait, Amundsen Gulf, Beaufort Sea, Chukchi Sea, Bering Strait.  An easier variant of route 1 which may avoid severe ice in McClure Strait.  It is suitable for deep draft vessels.

3:  Davis Strait, Lancaster Sound, Barrow Strait, Peel Sound, Franklin Strait, Victoria Strait, Coronation Gulf, Amundsen Gulf, Beaufort Sea, Chukchi Sea, Bering Strait.  The principal route; used by most vessels of draft less than 10 m.

4:  Davis Strait, Lancaster Sound, Barrow Strait, Peel Sound, Rae Strait, Simpson Strait, Coronation Gulf, Amundsen Gulf, Beaufort Sea, Chukchi Sea, Bering Strait.  A variant of route 3 for small vessels if ice from McClintock Channel has blocked Victoria Strait.  Simpson Strait is only 6?4 m deep and has complex currents.

5:  Davis Strait, Lancaster Sound, Prince Regent Inlet, Bellot Strait, Franklin Strait, Victoria Strait, Coronation Gulf, Amundsen Gulf, Beaufort Sea, Chukchi Sea, Bering Strait.  This route is dependent on ice conditions in Bellot Strait which has complex currents.  Mainly used by eastbound vessels.

6:  Davis Strait, Lancaster Sound, Prince Regent Inlet, Bellot Strait, Rae Strait, Simpson Strait, Coronation Gulf, Amundsen Gulf, Beaufort Sea, Chukchi Sea, Bering Strait.  A variant of route 5 for small vessels if ice from McClintock Channel has blocked Victoria Strait.  Simpson Strait is only 6?4 m deep, complex currents run in Bellot and Simpson Straits.

7:  Hudson Strait, Foxe Basin, Fury and Hecla Strait, Bellot Strait, Franklin Strait, Victoria Strait, Coronation Gulf, Amundsen Gulf, Beaufort Sea, Chukchi Sea, Bering Strait.  A difficult route owing to severe ice usually at the west of Fury and Hecla Strait and the currents of Bellot Strait.  Mainly used by eastbound vessels as an alternative is practicable.

   Complete transits have been made by 135 different vessels.  The Russian icebreaker Kapitan Khlebnikov has made 17 transits, the largest number of any vessel.  Hanseatic has made 10, Bremen 6 (2 with the former name, Frontier Spirit), and Polar Bound 4; 4 vessels have each made 3 transits, and 13 have made 2.  More than one year was taken by 19 of these vessels, mainly small craft, to complete a transit wintering at various places along the route.   Five vessels have made return transits in one summer.  The vessels are from 29 registries: 43 from Canada, 24 Russia, 22 United States, 20 Bahamas, 17 Britain, 11 France, 6 Cayman Islands, 5 Sweden, 4 Australia, and Germany, 3 Poland, 2 Belgium, Finland, Netherlands, and Norway, and 1 from Antigua and Barbuda, Austria, Barbados, Croatia, Denmark, Ireland (Éire), Italy, Japan, Marshall Islands, New Zealand, Singapore, Spain, South Africa, and Switzerland.  Passengers have been carried on 40 transits but only three (numbers 74, 75, and 172) were otherwise commercial voyages.  Four of the vessels have travelled through the Panama Canal and circumnavigated North America, three have circumnavigated all America, and eight have circumnavigated the Arctic Ocean.  Captain Viktor Vasiliev has commanded 8 transits, Heinz Aye and Piotr Golikov 6, David Scott Cowper and Thilo Natke 5, several others have commanded more than one.

    To the 2012 end of navigation 185 transits of the Northwest Passage have been made.  A route analysis shows:
Route 1 west   3 east    0 total     3
Route 2 west 11 east    4 total   15
    Route 3 west 30 east  26 total   56
Route 4 west 31 east  14 total   45
    Route 5 west 12 east  22 total   34
Route 6 west   7 east  19 total   26
    Route 7 west   0 east    3 total     3
Composite west  2   east    1    total      3 [marked ‘Cp’ in list]
All Routes west 96  east   89  total 185

    The list is in alphabetical order in the years of completion of the voyages (not by the precedence of completion).  Superscript numbers in the list are cumulative numbers of voyages, commands, flags, etc.

   Sources include a compilation by Thomas Pullen and Charles Swithinbank published in Polar Record (1991), with advice from Lawson Brigham (USCG), Peter Capelotti (USCG), David Fletcher, Chris Havern (USCG),  Brian McDonald (CCG), John MacFarlane, Peter Semotiuk, Tony Soper, Patrick Toomey (CCG), and Victor Wejer, personal observations made during several transits with Quark expeditions, many publications, advice from persons directly involved and several internet sites.  Advice of subsequent voyages, corrections and additions, or similar details is appreciated.  It is intended to revise this compilation annually.

Year Vessel Flag Master Route
1 Gjøa (21 m auxiliary sloop) Norway1 Roald Engelbregt & Gravning Amundsen West 4
Wintered twice in Gjøa Haven and once off King Point
2 St Roch1 (29∙7 m RCMP auxiliary schooner) Canada1 Henry Asbjørn Larsen1 East  6
Wintered at Walker Bay and Pasley Bay, traversed Pond Inlet
3 St Roch2 (RCMP auxiliary schooner) Canada2 Henry Asbjørn Larsen2 West 2
Return voyage, first transit in one season, traversed Pond Inlet
4 HMCS Labrador (icebreaker) Canada3 Owen Connor & Struan Robertson West 2
First continuous circumnavigation of North America
5 USCGC Bramble (buoy tender) United States1 Henry Hart Carter East  6
6 USCGC Spar (buoy tender) United States2 Charles Vinal Cowing East  6
7 USCGC Storis (icebreaker) United States3 Harold Lambert Wood East  6
Travelled in convoy, Storis escorted Bramble and Spar, accompanied by HMCS Labrador from Bellot Strait
8 CCGS John A. McDonald (icebreaker) Canada4 Paul M. Fournier West 3
Assisted USCGC Northwind beset 900 km N off Point Barrow with damaged propeller, circumnavigated North America
9 USCGC Northwind 1 (icebreaker) United States4 Donald J. McCann1 East 5
10 USCGC Northwind 2 (icebreaker) United States5 Donald J. McCann2 West 3
Earliest return voyage in one season1, to and from Thule in Greenland, escorted Manhattan for part of westbound voyage
11 USCGC Staten Island (icebreaker) United States6 Eugene F. Walsh East  2
Escorted oil tanker Manhattan on eastbound voyage from Point Barrow
12 CSS Baffin (research icebreaker) Canada5 Paul M. Brick East  2
13 CSS Hudson1 (research icebreaker) Canada6 David W. Butler East  2
Hudson made the first circumnavigation of the Americas, Baffin accompanied Hudson through the Northwest Passage
14 Pandora II (hydrographic research vessel) Canada7 R. Dickinson East  7
15 Theta (research vessel) Canada8 K. Maro East  7
Travelled in company
16 CSS Skidgate (buoy tender) Canada9 Peter Kallis East  6
17 CCGS J. E. Bernier1 (icebreaker) Canada10 Paul Pelland East  3
18 Williwaw (13 m sloop) Netherlands1 Willy de Roos West 4
Single-handed after Gjøa Haven, continued to circumnavigate the Americas
19 CCGS Pierre Radisson (icebreaker) Canada11 Patrick R. M. Toomey East  2
20 J. E. Bernier II (10 m ketch) Canada12  Réal Bouvier West 4
Wintered in Holsteinborg, Resolute, and Tuktoyaktuk
21 Canmar Kigoriak (icebreaker) Canada13  C. Cunningham West 2
22 CCGS Louis S. St Laurent (icebreaker) Canada14  George Burdock West 2
Circumnavigated North America
23 CCGS J. E. Bernier2 (icebreaker) Canada15  E. Chasse East  4
24 Pandora II (hydrographic survey vessel) Canada16  Robin A. Jones East  4 
Both vessels circumnavigated North America
25 CSS Hudson2 (research icebreaker) Canada17  Frederick Mauger East  3 
Circumnavigated North America
26 Mermaid (15 m sloop) Japan Kenichi Horie West 6
First single-handed voyage1, wintered in Resolute and Tuktoyaktuk
27 Arctic Shiko (tug) Canada18  S. Dool East  3
28 Polar Circle (research vessel) Canada19  J. A. Strand East  4
29 Lindblad Explorer1 (ice strengthened ship) Sweden1 Hasse Nilsson West 4
First passenger1 voyage
30 USCGC Polar Sea1 (icebreaker) United States7 John T. Howell West 2
Accompanied by CCGS John A. McDonald for part of voyage
31 World Discoverer (ice strengthened ship) Singapore Heinz Aye1 East  6
Carried passengers2, traversed Pond Inlet
32 Canmar Explorer II (drilling ship) Canada20  Ronald Colby West 3
Reached Beaufort Sea for oil drilling programme from 1976 until completed transit
33 Belvedere (18 m yacht) United States8 Sven Johansson East  6
Reached Tuktoyaktuk 1983, conducted whaling research to 1987, completed transit in 1988, traversed Pond Inlet
34 Vagabond II1 (12·8 m yacht) France1 Janusz Kurbiel ('85-87) and Wojciech Jacobson ('88) East  6
Wintered in Tuktoyaktuk and twice in Gjøa Haven (where changed masters), circumnavigated North America
35 CCGS Henry A. Larsen (icebreaker) Canada21 Stephen A. Gomes East  4
36 CCGS Martha L. Black (icebreaker) Canada22 Robert J. Mellis1 East  4 
Circumnavigated North America
37 USCGC Polar Star1 (icebreaker) United States9 Paul A. Taylor East  3
Accompanied by CCGS Sir John Franklin to Demarcation Point
38 Society Explorer2 (ice strengthened ship) Bahamas1 Heinz Aye2 East  4
Carried passengers3, traversed Pond Inlet [formerly Lindblad Explorer]
39 Mabel E. Holland (12∙8 m lifeboat) Britain1 David Scott Cowper1 West 6
Single-handed voyage2, vessel wintered at Fort Ross twice, and at Inuvik
40 Northanger (15 m ketch) Britain2 Richard Thomas1 West 4
Wintered in Inuvik
41 USCGC Polar Star2 (icebreaker) United States10 Robert Hammond West 3
Accompanied by CCGS Sir John Franklin to Demarcation Point
42 Ikaluk1 (icebreaker) Canada23 R. Cormier1 East  3
Reached Beaufort Sea in 1983, where worked to 1990 when completed transit
43 Terry Fox (icebreaker) Canada24 Peter Kimmerley East  3
44 USCGC Polar Sea2 (icebreaker) United States11 Joseph J. McCleland West 3
Accompanied by CCGS Pierre Radisson to Demarcation Point
45 Canmar Tugger (tug) Canada25 L. Lorengeek East  3
46 Frontier Spirit1 (ice strengthened ship) Bahamas2 Heinz Aye3 West 3
Carried passengers4, traversed Pond Inlet
47 Ikaluk2 (icebreaker) Canada26 R. Cormier2 West 3
48 Kapitan Khlebnikov1 (icebreaker) Russia1 Piotr Golikov1 East  3
Carried passengers5
49 Dagmar Aaen1 (27 m yacht) Germany1 Arved Fuchs West 5
50 Frontier Spirit2 (ice strengthened ship) Bahamas3 Heinz Aye4 West 3
Carried passengers6
51 Kapitan Khlebnikov2 (icebreaker) Russia2 Piotr Golikov2 East  3
Carried passengers7
52 Hanseatic1 (ice strengthened ship) Bahamas4 Hartwig van Harling1 West 3
Carried passengers8
53 Itasca (converted tug) Britain3 Allan Jouning East  4
54 Kapitan Khlebnikov3 (icebreaker) Russia3 Piotr Golikov3 East  3
55 Kapitan Khlebnikov4 (icebreaker) Russia4 Piotr Golikov4 West 2
Return voyage in one season2, carried passengers9 & 10
56 CCGS Arctic Ivik1 (icebreaker) Canada27 Norman Thomas2 East  5
57 CCGS Arctic Ivik2 (icebreaker) Canada28 Robert J. Mellis2 West 5
Return voyage in one season3, to and from Kap York
58 Canmar Ikaluk3 (icebreaker) Canada29 D. Connolly East  3
[formerly Ikaluk]
59 Canmar Miscaroo (icebreaker) Canada30 D. W. Harris East  3
60 Dove III (8∙5 m yacht) Canada31 Winston Bushnell East  3
61 Hrvatska Cigra (19∙8 m yacht) Croatia Mladan Sutej West 5
62 Kapitan Khlebnikov5 (icebreaker) Russia5 Viktor Vasiliev1 East  5
Carried passengers11
63 Arctic Circle (tug) Canada32 Jack McCormack East  3
64 Canmar Supplier II (cargo vessel) Canada33 P. Dunderdale East  3
65 Hanseatic2 (ice strengthened ship) Bahamas5 Hartwig van Harling2 West 3
Carried passengers12, grounded in Simpson Strait, escorted by CCGS Henry A. Larsen to Victoria Strait, traversed Pond Inlet
66 Kapitan Dranitsyn1 (icebreaker) Russia6 Oleg Agafonov East  5
Carried passengers13
67 CCGS Sir Wilfrid Laurier (icebreaker) Canada34 Norman Thomas3 East  5
Escorted by CCGS Louis S. St Laurent for part of voyage, traversed Pond Inlet
68 Alex Gordon (tug) Canada35 Paul Misata East  5
Escorted by CCGS Sir Wilfrid Laurier to Franklin Strait and then CCGS Pierre Radisson
69 Hanseatic3 (ice strengthened ship) Bahamas6 Heinz Aye5 West 3
Carried passengers14, escorted to Victoria Strait by CCGS Henry A. Larsen, traversed Pond Inlet
70 Kapitan Khlebnikov6 (icebreaker) Russia7 Viktor Vasiliev2 East  3
Carried passengers15
71 Supplier (tug) Bahamas7 Allan Guenter East  5
Escorted by CCGS Terry Fox to Victoria Strait
72 Hanseatic4 (ice strengthened ship) Bahamas8 Heinz Aye6 East  3
Carried passengers17, escorted to Victoria Strait by CCGS Sir John Franklin, traversed Pond Inlet
73 Kapitan Khlebnikov7 (icebreaker) Russia8 Piotr Golikov5 East  3
Carried passengers16
74 Admiral Makarov (icebreaker) Russia9 Vadim Kholodenko East  3
75 Irbis (tug) Russia10 Aleksandr Aleksenko East  3
Travelled in convoy each towing a component of a steel floating dock, Korea to Caribbean
76 Kapitan Dranitsyn2 (icebreaker) Russia11 Viktor Terekhov1 West 3
Carried passengers18, circumnavigated the Arctic1
77 Ocean Search (12∙5 m yacht) France2 Olivier Pitras1 East  5
Traversed Pond Inlet
78 Evohe (25 m yacht) New Zealand1 Stephen Kafka East  6
79 Hanseatic5 (ice strengthened ship) Bahamas9 Thilo Natke1 West 3
Carried passengers19, traversed Pond Inlet
70 USCGC Healy1 (icebreaker) United States12 Jeffrey M. Garrett West 3
81 Kapitan Dranitsyn3 (icebreaker) Russia12 Viktor Terekhov2 West 3
Carried passengers20, circumnavigated the Arctic2
82 Nadon (17·7 m RCMP catamaran) Canada36 Kenneth Burton East  6
Voyage to commemorate St Roch 1940-42 transit; circumnavigated North America
83 Simon Fraser (icebreaker) Canada37 Robert J. Mellis3 East  6
Escorted Nadon
84 Kapitan Khlebnikov8 (icebreaker) Russia13 Viktor Vasiliev3 East  3
85 Kapitan Khlebnikov9 (icebreaker) Russia14 Viktor Vasiliev4 West 1
Return voyage in one season4, carried passengers21 & 22
86 Northabout (14∙9 m yacht) Ireland (Éire) Jarlath Cunnane West 4
Circumnavigated the Arctic3
87 Turmoil1 (46 m motor yacht) Cayman Islands1 Philip Walsh West 4 
Traversed Pond Inlet
88 Nuage (12∙8 m yacht) France3 Michèle Demai East  3
Complement of mother and daughter, wintered in Cambridge Bay
89 Apostol Andrey (16∙2 m yacht) Russia15 Nikolay A. Litau East  5
Assisted by CCGS Louis S. St Laurent through Prince Regent Inlet, circumnavigated the Arctic4
90 Arctic Kalvik (icebreaker tug) Barbados Sanjeev Kumar East  3
91 Hanseatic6 (ice strengthened ship) Bahamas10 Thilo Natke2 West 3
Carried passengers23, traversed Pond Inlet
92 Kapitan Khlebnikov10 (icebreaker) Russia16 Piotr Golikov6 East  3
Carried passengers24
93 Sedna IV (51 m yacht) Canada38 Stéphan Guy West 5
94 Bremen3 (ice strengthened ship) Bahamas11 Daniel Felgner West 3
Carried passengers26, traversed Pond Inlet [formerly Frontier Spirit]
95 USCGC Healy2 (icebreaker) United States13 Daniel Oliver West 3
96 Kapitan Khlebnikov11 (icebreaker) Russia17 Viktor Vasiliev5 East  5
Carried passengers25
97 Norwegian Blue (12∙9 m yacht) Britain4 Andrew Wood East  5
Traversed Pond Inlet
98 Vagabond2 (15·3 m yacht) France4 Eric Brossier East  5
Traversed Pond Inlet, circumnavigated the Arctic5 [formerly Vagabond II]
99 Dagmar Aaen2 (27 m yacht) Germany2 Arved Fuchs2 East  5
Wintered in Cambridge Bay, assisted by CCGS Louis S. St Laurent, traversed Pond Inlet; circumnavigated the Arctic6
100 Polar Bound1 (14·6 m motorboat) Britain5 David Scott Cowper2 East  5
Single-handed voyage3, wintered in Cambridge Bay, assisted by CCGS Louis S. St Laurent in Prince Regent Inlet
101 Kapitan Khlebnikov12 (icebreaker) Russia18 Pavel Ankudinov1 East  5
Carried passengers27
102 Fine Tolerance (13·7 m yacht) Australia1 Philip Hogg East  6
Wintered in Cambridge Bay, assisted by CCGS Sir Wilfrid Laurier and CCGS Louis S. St Laurent through Bellot Strait
103 Idlewild (17∙3 m motorboat) Canada39 Benjamin Grey East  6
Assisted by CCGS Sir Wilfrid Laurier and CCGS Louis S. St Laurent through Bellot Strait
104 Kapitan Khlebnikov13 (icebreaker) Russia19 Viktor Vasiliev6 East  3
105 Kapitan Khlebnikov14 (icebreaker) Russia20 Viktor Vasiliev7 West 3
Return voyage in one season5, carried passengers28 eastbound
106 Oden (icebreaker) Sweden2 Anders Wikström West 3
107 Minke I (12·8 m yacht) Canada40 Peter Brook East  6
Wintered in Tuktoyaktuk and in Cambridge Bay twice
108 Kapitan Khlebnikov15 (icebreaker) Russia21 Pavel Ankudinov2 East  7
Carried passengers29
109 Nekton (13·6 m yacht) Poland1 Tadeusz Natanek West 6
110 Stary (13·5 m yacht) Poland2 Dominik Bac, West 6
Jacek Waclawski & Slawek Skalmierski
   Travelled in company, traversed Pond Inlet (Stary changed masters at Cambridge Bay and Tuktoyaktuk)
111 Babouche (7·5 m catamaran) France5 Sébastien Roubinet East  5
112 Cloud Nine (17·3 m ketch) United States14 Roger Swanson West 4
113 Hanseatic7 (ice strengthened ship) Bahamas12 Ulf Wolter1 West 5
Carried passengers30
114 Kapitan Khlebnikov16 (icebreaker) Russia22 Viktor Vasiliev8 East  5
Carried passengers31
115 Luck Dragon (12·1 m yacht) Britain6 Jeffrey Allison West 3
Vessel abandoned and lost during a storm in Bering Sea
116 Arctic Wanderer (11∙9 m yacht) United States15 Gary E. Ramos East  6
Single-handed voyage4, wintered in Cambridge Bay thrice
117 Amodino (23 m yacht) Spain Juan Ribos East  4
118 Baloum Gwen1 (14·9m yacht) Belgium1 Thierry Fabing1 West 4
119 Berrimilla (10 m yacht) Australia2 Alexander Whitworth East  4
120 Bremen4 (ice-strengthened ship) Bahamas13 Ulf Wolter2 West 5
Carried passengers32
121 Geraldine (14 m yacht) United States16 Walter Jones West 3
122 Southern Star (23·7m yacht) France6 Olivier Pitras2 West 4
123 Tyhina (10·4 m yacht) New Zealand2 Peter Elliott West 4
124 Apoise (67 m motor vessel) Canada41 David Ritchie West 4
125 Bagan (17·4 m motorboat) United States17 Clinton Bolton West 4
126 Bremen5 (ice-strengthened ship) Bahamas14 Marc Behrend1 West 4
Carried passengers33, traversed Pond Inlet
127 Baloum Gwen2 (14·9m yacht) Belgium2 Thierry Fabing2 East  6
Return voyage
128 Fleur Australe (20 m yacht) France7 Philippe Poupon West 4
129 Fiona (12·8 m yacht) United States18 Eric Forsyth West 4
130 Glory of the Sea (15·3 m yacht) France8 Charles Hedrich West 4
131 Hanseatic8 (ice-strengthened ship) Bahamas15 Thilo Natke3 East  4
Carried passengers34, voyage included a return transit of Bellot Strait from Peel Sound
132 Ocean Watch (19·2 m yacht) United States19 Mark Schrader East  6
133 Perithia (14·6 m yacht) Germany3 Uwe Wohnort West 4
134 Polar Bound2 (14·6 m motorboat) Britain7 David Scott Cowper3 West 5
Single-handed voyage5
135 Precipice (9·1 m yacht) United States20 Rolland Trowbridge West 6
136 Silent Sound (12·2 m yacht) Canada42 Cameron Dueck East  6
Traversed Pond Inlet
137 Ariel IV (15·2 m sloop) Sweden3 Eric Boye West 4
138 Dion Sky2 (46 m motor yacht) Cayman Islands2 Brian Harrison West 2 
[formerly Turmoil]
139 Hanse Explorer (48 m motor yacht) Antigua Bernd Buchner West 3
Carried Passengers35, traversed Pond Inlet
140 Hanseatic9 (ice-strengthened ship) Bahamas16 Thilo Natke4 West 4
Carried Passengers36, traversed Pond Inlet
141 Kapitan Khlebnikov17 (icebreaker) Russia23 Anatoliy Kovalenko East  5
Carried passengers37
142 Octopus1 (128 m motor yacht) Glenn Dalby1 West  2
Traversed Pond Inlet
143 Rx II (11 m yacht) Norway2 Trond Aasvoll East  4
144 Sarema (15·2 m yacht) Finland1 Pekka Kauppila East  4
Traversed Pond Inlet
145 Solanus (14·5 m yacht) Poland3 Bronisław Radliński West 4
146 Young Larry (13·4 m yacht) Britain8 Andrew Wilkes West 4
147 Anna (10·5 m ketch) Sweden4 Börje Ivarsson West 4
Wintered in Inuvik
148 Arcadia (35·8 m motor yacht) Cayman Islands4 James Pizzaruso West 5
Traversed Pond Inlet
149 Asteria (converted tug) Marshall Islands Donald Feil West 3
150 Bremen6 (ice-strengthened ship) Bahamas17 Marc Behrend2 East Cp
Composite course: McClure Strait, Prince of Wales Strait, and then route 4; carried passengers38
151 Chamade (13·3 m yacht) Switzerland Marc Decrey West 4
152 Eshamy (15·5 m yacht) Britain9 Jeffrey Allison West 3
Circumnavigated the Arctic7
153 Imvubu, (15·9 m ketch) South Africa Ralf Dominick, West 3
154 Issuma (15 m schooner) Canada43 Richard Hudson West 5
155 Kotuku (12·2 m yacht) New Zealand3 Ian Douglass East  6
156 Leava (12·5 m sloop) France9 Alain Bataedat East  5
157 Muktuk (14·3 m sloop) Austria Karl Mayer West 4
158 Pangaeas (35 m yacht) United States21 Michael Horn East  4
159 Polar Bound3 (14·6 m. motorboat) Britain10 David Scott Cowper4 East  3
160 Rus (7·6 m trimaran) Russia24  Oleg Volynkin West 5
161 St. Brendan (8·2 m yacht) United States22 Matt Rutherford West 3
Single-handed voyage6, circumnavigated the Americas
162 Santa Maria Australis (20·1 ketch) Germany4 Wolf Kloss West 4
163 Roxane (10·7 m sloop) France10 Luc Dupont West 4
164 Teleport (8∙9 junk rigged yacht) Australia3 Christopher Bray  West 5
Both wintered in Cambridge Bay
165 Beelzebub II (9∙4 m yacht) Sweden5 Edvin Buregren West 1
Also visited Grise Fjord
166 Beothuk (31∙1 m motor vessel) Cayman Islands5 Liam Devlin West 6
167 Best Explorer (15∙6 m yacht) Italy1 Giovanni Acquarone West 4
Traversed Pond Inlet
168 Billy Budd (34∙3 m) Britain11 Clive Shute West Cp
Made a return transit of Bellot Strait, visited Winter Harbour.
169 Coriolis 14 (25 m yacht) France11 Richard Mergeaux West 2
170 Dodo’s Delight (10∙1 m yacht) Britain12 Robert Shepton West Cp
171 Fortrus (50 m motor yacht) Britain13 Scott Newson West 6
172 Gotland Carolina (183 m tanker) Bahamas18 J. Justin West 2
173 Hanseatic10 (ice-strengthened ship) Bahamas19 Thilo Natke5 East  5
Carried passengers39, circumnavigated Cornwallis Island
174 Jonathan III (14∙9 m yacht) Netherlands2 Mark van de Weg West 4
Made a return transit of Bellot Strait, traversed Pond Inlet
175 Katharsis II (21∙9 m yacht) Britain14 Mariusz Koper West 3
Made a return transit of Bellot Strait
176 Lena (13∙1 m yacht) Finand2 Veli Kärkkäinen East  3
Circumnavigated the Arctic8
177 Marguerite (15∙8 m. sloop) France11 Janusz Kurbiel West 4
178 Nordwind (26∙8 m yacht) Britain15 Hans Albrecht West 3
Made a return transit of Bellot Strait
179 Octopus2 (128 m motor yacht) Cayman Islands6 Glenn Dalby2 West 2
180 Philos (15∙2 m yacht) Australia4 Roger Wallis West 4
181 Polar Bound4 (14·6 m. motorboat) Britain16 David Scott Cowper5 West 1
182 Sol (12∙8 m yacht) Denmark Kim Bork Mathiesen East  5
183 The World (196∙3 m condominium vessel) Bahamas20 Dag Harald Saevik East  5
Carried resident passengers40, largest ship to transit; traversed Pond Inlet
184 Tokimata (13∙1 m yacht)  New Zealand4 Peter Garden East  5
Traversed Pond Inlet
185 Upchuk (15∙8 m motor yacht) Britain17 Frank Rothwell East  4
Balthazar (10∙5 m yacht) Canada François Roberge West 6
Wintered at Inuvik
Tranquillo (17∙6 m yacht) Netherlands Bart Veldink East  5
Wintered off Pim Island

Advice of corrections and additions appreciated; <>

Notes: in 2008 Polarstern, an icebreaker, from Germany, westbound, traversed the Canadian Arctic archipelago, Beaufort Sea and Chukchi sea while circumnavigating the Arctic Ocean; the vessel did not transit Bering Strait nor enter the Pacific Ocean thus is not included in this list.  Similarly in 2010 Northern Passage (9·6 m trimaran from Norway, Capt. Thorleif Thorleifssen) and Piotr I (18 m yacht, from Russia, Capt. Daniel Gavrilov), and in 2012 Scorpius (29·5 m yacht from Russia, Capt. Sergei Nizovtsov) traversed the Chukchi Sea, Beaufort Sea, and Canadian Arctic archipelago eastbound but did not arrived from the Pacific Ocean, through the Bering Strait, thus they are also not included in this list.  Many other voyages have been made through the archipelago of the Canadian Arctic, such as that of Manhattan which reached the Arctic coast of Alaska but did not continue to the Pacific Ocean; these, and one carried partly as deck cargo aboard a Canadian icebreaker, are not regarded as complete transits of the Northwest Passage.


(Q) What is a Northwest Passage?
(A) A Northwest Passage is a sea route navigation through the Polar Arctic by a vessel on it's own bottom between the geographic points of the Davis Strait Atlantic Arctic Circle and the Bering Strait Pacific Arctic Circle. Direction of transit is usually indicated. Distance depending on route exceeds 5200kms.


Anonymous said...

Polar prince complete the passage west to east last week. The earliest?

Captain on GREY GOOSE said...

No information here on the POLAR PRINCE - please provide pointers to references. The NWP has been icechocked in 2013 - I'd need lots of information to think a west to east NWP in 2013 was completed as of 20130822.

Anonymous said...

polar prince made the trip

Captain on GREY GOOSE said...

I don't know of any details for a POLARPRINCE - DO YOU? - please provide captain's name, dates and ports of call and anyway to validate a NWP transit. Here is the 2014 updated information - don't see a POLAR PRINCE.

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