Cruising Over the Troubled Waters of the Northwest Passage - Pacific Standard

Cruising Over the Troubled Waters of the Northwest Passage

This past September, the largest luxury cruise ever completed a journey over the Canadian Arctic, with some 1,700 passengers aboard.
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Lining up for a plaque on Beechey Island in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago of Nunavut, Canada. (Photo: Eva Holland)

The writer Eva Holland took a small-ship cruise through the eastern Northwest Passage in the Canadian Arctic for Pacific Standard’s May/June 2016 issue. She described an Arctic leisure industry growing rapidly thanks to melting Arctic ice, which leaves the route more easily navigable during the summer months. But is all that sailing a good thing? In September, the largest luxury cruise ever completed the journey, with some 1,700 passengers paying over $19,000 per berth, prompting experts to worry about a Titanic-style disaster in a region with little public-safety infrastructure. “The Northwest Passage is thousands and thousands of nautical miles with absolutely nothing,” the boss of one Finnish shipping firm told Reuters.

Explore more stories from the March/April 2017 issue of Pacific Standard.

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