4 Reasons To Visit The Canadian Arctic
The Canadian Arctic has everything you would expect from a polar region. There is varied and fascinating wildlife, stunning views wherever you look and places that are steeped in the history that was created during successful and failed expeditions of the past. The region is made up of some of over 36,000 different islands and it covers around 500,000 square miles in total.
Here are just a few great reasons to set sail on a cruise in the Canadian Arctic.
Canada is one of the best places in the world to see polar bears in the wild. Not only is the town of Churchill, Manitoba the planet’s capital for sightings, the various islands that make up the Canadian Arctic are great feeding grounds for these majestic animals. Areas such as Akpatok Island, Pond Inlet and Monumental Island are all places where there’s a good chance you’ll spot a polar bear and, if you’re really lucky, you may even catch one mid-hunt.
The Northwest Passage
Much of the Canadian Arctic’s expedition history is made up of attempts to locate the Northwest Passage. Rumoured for many years, this shortcut from the North Atlantic into the Pacific was the subject of John Franklin’s last expedition. It was whilst trying to locate part of the passage that his two ships, HMS Erebus and HMS Terror, got stuck in the ice, resulting in both crews losing their lives. You’ll find a small grave dedicated to John Franklin and his men on Beechey Island.
The Northwest Passage was finally navigated in 1903 by Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen and debate rages to this day as to whether it is considered as Canadian internal waters or an international strait. Today, the route offers stunning views and the chance to spot many different polar creatures.
When you look at your cruise itinerary you will see that the British influence in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago is obvious. Due to the fact that some of the first people who visited these islands were from the UK, there are some place names that you will undoubtedly recognise. Destinations such as Devon Island (named by William Edward Parry), Somerset Island (visited first by James Clark Ross) and Southampton Island (explored by Thomas Button in 1613) join areas like Cornwall, Wales and North Kent in creating a familiar British feel in these foreign lands.
Hudson’s Bay Company
Hudson’s Bay Company has a history in Canada that stretches back as far as 1670, but it was actually founded by the British. Once the largest landowner in the entire world, the corporation has grown from a company that sold furs out of Arctic huts to one which now owns a range of different luxury retail brands within Canada, Germany and the USA. Incidentally, you can visit an abandoned Hudson’s Bay trading post at Fort Ross on Somerset Island.
We have a great choice of Canadian Arctic cruises available, some of which also visit destinations like Greenland and the Canadian mainland. If you would like to know more, or indeed book your expedition, call our team today.