For the first time in the history of the cruise company, Silversea guests recently crossed the iconic Northeast Passage. Between August 10 and September 5, 2019, guests traveled 5,019 miles between Nome (Alaska) and Tromsø (Norway), stopping at 27 incredible destinations in three countries. They traveled aboard the Silver Explorer with superlative comfort, on the route taken by the famous explorers of yesteryear. Among the numerous highlights of the trip, several sightings of polar bears were made with their cubs; two paths through the Arctic sea ice, accompanied by an icebreaker; a unique culinary experience in the remote Ostrov Isachenko; and a polar dive above 80 ° N latitude.
«It was a life-changing journey,» says Stefan Kredel, Silversea Expedition Leader for this particular passage in the Northeast Passage. “Nothing is guaranteed in the far north, but we were very lucky with the weather and ice conditions. We are delighted to have offered so many unique and memorable experiences for our guests in this remarkable region, from a folk performance of locals in Provideniya (Russia) to several sightings of polar bears and walruses. »
Silversea’s guests were accompanied on this unique trip by 15 experts from the company’s expedition team, including three historians, a marine biologist, a botanist, a geologist, an ornithologist and a professional photographer. Nearly 50 conferences inspired by the destination were offered aboard the Silver Explorer throughout the journey, allowing guests to assimilate very interesting information that enriched their experiences.
Those with a penchant for bird watching, enjoyed great activity outside Cape Dezhnev aboard the Zodiacs of the Silver Explorer, spotted short-tailed shearwaters, crested alcas, broad-nosed araos, horned and tufted puffins, seagulls with black legs, glaucous gulls and seagulls from vega that offer interesting entertainment. Ornithologist Dr. Danaë Sheehan was present to identify the various species and share fascinating information about each one.
Near the impressive island of Kolyuchin, the guided zodiac tours allowed guests to safely witness seven polar bears in just one hour, as well as a large number of walruses. Subsequently, the marine biologist Robin Aiello organized a conference on polar bears once on board, enriched the experiences of guests with a scientific vision on the behavior of animals.
On August 19, near the island of Ayon, in the East Siberian Sea, the guests rose at 6:00 a.m. to explore the wildlife in the surrounding ice floes. In addition to seeing many walruses resting on the ice, the guests enjoyed a spectacular sighting of polar bears, in which a female and her two cubs sailed on the ice. Subsequently, the guests visited the isolated settlement on Ayon Island, which houses a small city of old Soviet-style buildings and is inhabited by approximately 300 residents. Local children were eager to interact with Silversea’s guests, performing traditional songs and dances in an authentic display of the region’s historical culture.
On August 24, the Silver Explorer reached the Arctic ice and bordered it to the north, accompanied by a Russian icebreaker. Then, forging a clear path for the Silversea expedition ship, guests were able to move to the thicker ice for a truly unforgettable experience. The weather conditions were exceptional and the water was calm. In addition to the conferences and observation sessions on deck with the expedition team, the guests took the opportunity to enjoy the various luxury features that enrich all Silversea trips, including the personalized butler service; An exceptional kitchen, 24-hour room service and complimentary drinks throughout the ship.
Silversea’s industry-leading culinary offer was extended to the remote coast of Ostrov Isachenko on August 26, providing a unique experience for guests. The ship’s hotel team ventured ashore to establish a temporary bar near an abandoned weather station, from where the group enjoyed champagne and caviar, while exploring abandoned buildings and the surrounding tundra at a temperature of only 3 ° C .
«Our guests shared with us 100% maximum satisfaction on the overall cruise experience at the crossing of the Northeast Passage, which says a lot about Silversea’s approach to the ultra-luxury expedition cruise,» said Conrad Combrink, Vice President Senior Strategic Development for Expeditions and Experiences of Silversea. “The depth with which we explore each destination guarantees that guests enjoy a journey of immersive and global discovery, which is both enriching and unforgettable. Silversea’s first crossing of the Northeast Passage captured the true spirit of expedition. I look forward to 2020 when the company offers the Northwest and Northeast Steps to passengers once again! »
Crossroads of the northwest and northeast in 2020
In 2020, Silversea will operate two crossings present to the Northwest and Northeast Steps, aboard the Silver Cloud and the Silver Explorer, respectively. A 24-day trip, the crossing of the Northwest Passage will depart from Kangerlussuaq to Nome on August 21, 2020, traveling through remote regions in Greenland, Canada and Alaska. The crossing of the Northeast Passage will depart from Nome on August 22 and arrive in Tromsø 25 days later, leading guests to delve into the breathtaking landscapes of Alaska, Russia and Norway. Both promise a lot of remarkable experiences in some of the most remote regions of the world.
The recently improved all-inclusive Polar package from Silversea enriches the Arctic offer with a pre-cruise night at a hotel; flights in the country when the itinerary requires it; guided land experiences and excursions in Zodiac; polar parka, a post cruise hotel night; transfers and luggage service between airport, hotel and ship.
video of the first crossing of Silversea of the Northeast Passage: