Northeast Passage and Russian Arctic Coast
Daring sea passage linking the North Pacific to Europe
The Northeast Passage is the name given to the little-used maritime polar shipping route between the Bering Sea in the North Pacific and Northern Europe via the Russian Arctic coast.
First successfully navigated in 1878, the route is not frequently used by commercial vessels due to the sea ice that makes the route unusable for much of the year. It's precisely the difficulty of traversing the Northeast Passage that makes it such a wonderful destination for adventure cruises.
From the remote and still mainly unexplored polar desert of Severnaya Zemlya ("Northern Land") - an archipelago discovered in 1913 and only finally mapped in 1930 - to the remote tundra plains of Chukotka, and the largest city north of the Arctic Circle, Murmansk, the Northeast Passage offers an unlimited variety of landscape and wildlife.
If sea conditions allow, landings by Zodiac will bring you to encounters with polar bears and walruses, and from your ship, you will see bowhead whales, beluga, and narwhals, as well as large concentrations of many species of seabirds.
Interesting facts about Northeast Passage
Our expert guide says: 'Franz Joseph Land is a great place to spot the elusive bowhead whale, a great highlight of a Northeast Passage trip. Another fantastic wildlife encounter available on these trips is with the "unicorn of the sea", the remarkable narwhal, the toothed whale with the iconic tusk.'
Our trips to Northeast Passage