The Northwest Passage is one of Canada’s most amazing chapters of discovery, history and exploration. 

The Northwest i is a sea corridor connecting the Atlantic and also Pacific Oceans through Canada’s Arctic Archipelago islands and also along the northern-most coast of North America. Europeans searched because that 300 years to find a viable sea trade-route come Asia. Names of adventurers, like Henry Hudson and Sir john Franklin, are etched into the history of the Northwest Passage. 

The fascinating history has sparked an interest in travellers from around the world. Modern-day explorers space drawn to Canada’s High Arctic because that the chance to walk in the footsteps of the first Arctic explorers.Let’s dive right into this thrilling history with some of the most well known names in Arctic exploration.




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Early map that Northeast Arctic (canadiangeographic.ca)


Exploring The North

Explorers young name Frobisher (1576) and also John Davis (1585) described Baffin Island together a barren obstacle with ice-blocked passages to the west. Henry Hudson (1611) discovered Hudson Strait and the huge Hudson only on his final expedition.

When he want to travel additional west after ~ wintering in James Bay, his homesick crew mutinied and set him adrift as they sailed back to England. It is said that Hudson test to keep pace v the ship in his rowboat until the crew grew exhausted of this guilty presence and let down their sails leaving Hudson behind the horizon.  


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Map that Bering Strait (oldprintshop.com)


The second Era that Exploration

The most famed of every attempts to discover the Northwest Passage were Sir man Franklin’s disastrous expedition and Sir Robert McClure’s cool success. 

In 1845, Sir man Franklin to be chosen regardless of being 59 year old to command a lavishly-equipped exploration to graph the last unknown parts of the Northwest Passage. The two ships came to be ice-locked in 1846 close to King wilhelm Island, around halfway through the Passage. Franklin passed away in 1847, leaving Francis Crozier in command. In 1848, they exit the two ships and tried to escape south by sled throughout the northern tundra. None survived. 


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Exploring through sea and also ice (www.canadianmysteries.ca)

A successful Journey  

Roald Amundsen was the first to do the journey v the Passage totally by ship. 

The expeditions led through Franklin and also McClure were instances of the British heritage of expedition with expensive ships the were well-funded with offers and modern technologies. In contrast, a Norwegian explorer named Roald Amundsen set sail through a little crew of 6 on a tiny and shallow-draft vessel called the Gjøa. He was escaping creditors that were seek to prevent the expedition.

As Amundsen’s expedition travelled previous Baffin Island, they harboured off King william Island come take shelter from the winter. They spent two winter (1903-04 and also 1904-05) in what is now a neighborhood called Gjøa Haven. Castle learned indigenous the neighborhood Netsilik Inuit human being how to make it through in the Arctic. 




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Modern-Day Explorers Return

The Northwest Passage has an incredible history filled through heroic figures pushing us to the borders of survival for the services of exploration. Steeped in history and surrounded through breath-taking landscapes, Canada’s High Arctic has end up being an progressively popular location for adventurers, history buffs and travellers seeking the next frontier that travel.  

Trips favor Narwhal & Polar be afflicted with Safari take it you to the floe leaf of Eclipse Sound, close to the eastern gateway of the Northwest Passage. This region is filled with several of the most iconic wildlife in the Arctic, consisting of migrating narwhal and roaming polar bears.  

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By: Mat Whitelaw


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