Early expeditions[ edit ] Before the Little Ice Age late Middle Ages to the 19th centuryNorwegian Vikings sailed as far north and west as Ellesmere IslandSkraeling Island and Ruin Island for hunting expeditions and trading with the Inuit and people of the Dorset culture who already inhabited the region. The Northwest Passage represented a new route to the established trading nations of Asia.
He sailed from Bristol, England, in May with a small crew of 18 men and made landfall somewhere in the Canadian Maritime islands the following month.
Like Christopher Columbus five years before him, Cabot thought he had reached the shores of Asia. This expedition included five ships and men. Cabot and his crew never returned. They are thought to have been shipwrecked in a severe storm in the North Atlantic.
Hudson navigated along the North American coast looking for a more southern, ice-free route across the North American continent to the Pacific Ocean. Henry Hudson made another attempt at the Northwest Passage in By spring ofhis crew mutinied.
Once they were free of the ice, the mutineers set Hudson and those loyal to him adrift in a small boat before the mutineers returned to England. Hudson was never seen again. Nineteenth century reports from local Inuit suggested the men may have resorted to cannibalism as they trekked on foot across the ice.
Cut marks on the bones support the cannibalism claims. McClure confirmed the existence of the route when his crew became the first to traverse the Northwest Passage—by ship and over the ice on sled—in Yet it would be more than fifty years before Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen would make the entire passage by sea.
The entire route was ice-free for the first time in recorded history in the summer of Traffic through the Arctic sea route has increased in the past decade. Ina record 30 ships made the transit.
Crystal Serenity, a luxury cruise liner, made headlines in when it became the first tourist cruise ship to navigate the Northwest Passage. Less ice means that marine species once separated by the North American continent are now able to cross from ocean to ocean with greater ease.
Intwo gray whales—native to the Pacific Ocean—were spotted in the Atlantic Ocean for the first time in more than years. Experts think the Pacific whales may have made their way through the open waters of the Northwest Passage and into the Atlantic.
Increased access to the route has stirred up a decades-old debate over who controls the Arctic waters. Canada claims parts of the passage as its own territorial waters, while the U.Flyboard with Miami Watersports is for everyone!
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The Northwest Passage (NWP) is, from the European and northern Atlantic point of view, the sea route to the Pacific Ocean through the Arctic Ocean, along the northern coast of North America via waterways through the Canadian Arctic Archipelago.
The eastern route along the Arctic coasts of Norway and Siberia is accordingly called Northeast Passage (NEP).