The Northwest Passage is a stretch of water in the Canadian Arctic which forms a key part of the route on many of our Arctic expeditions. Strictly speaking, there are a number of different waterways that make up the Northwest Passages, but they are often referred to collectively. There have been frequent discussions as to which country these waters belong to but, in 2009, they were renamed the Canadian Northwest Passage with Canada claiming that they should be classed as Canadian internal waters. Despite this new moniker, there are still disagreements as to whether the passages should be considered an international strait or not.
Due to recent shifts in the ice in this region, the waters have become much more navigable and this has opened the route up for possible trade activity. However, there is still a lot to learn about this tricky course as some areas are thought to only be a few metres deep.
It is in this part of the world that John Franklin’s famous expedition came to a premature end. Amongst the stops during your trip, there may well be a chance to visit Beechey Island where three graves act as a memorial to the brave men’s lives.