Ice Conditions in Northwest Passage Disrupt Expedition Voyages

Extremely challenging ice conditions in the Northwest Passage are disrupting high-yielding expedition voyages for two expedition cruise operators.

Ponant announced that due to the ice conditions, as well as a poor weather outlook, it is currently unable to sail through the Northwest Passage. Two ships, Le Boreal and Le Soleal, are altering their routes and will continue their expedition voyages to Kangerlussuaq (Greenland), which they will reach on September 10 and 18, respectively.

Hurtigruten is in a similar situation with the Fram.

“This year’s ice conditions in the area are proving to be quite different from previous years; the current conditions in the Victoria and James Ross Straits are such that unfortunately, no ordinary ship can sail through the area,” the company said, in a prepared statement. 

“The Fram will therefore be unable to reach Cambridge Bay and the embarkation point for the voyage will be changed. We are currently exploring various new itinerary options and will confirm the new embarkation point as soon as possible. The charter flight from Montréal will be redirected to this new port.”

It is unclear how the itinerary changes will affect voyages as it will most likely leave ships out of position.

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