HomeAdventure TravelHapag-Lloyd Cruises’ Hanseatic to Explore Northwest Passage

REI.comHapag-Lloyd Cruises’ expedition ship Hanseatic will operate a 24-day Northwest Passage voyage departing Kangerlussuaq, Greenland, on Aug.16.

The voyage will cruise north of the Arctic Circle and end in Nome, Alaska, on Sept. 9.

The Hanseatic premiered the Northwest Passage for Hapag-Lloyd Cruises in 1994. Since then, both of the company’s expedition ships, the Hanseatic and the Bremen, have successfully cruised through the Northwest Passage a total of 12 times. In summer 2009, for the first time in Hapag-Lloyd Cruises’ history, both ships met in the Northwest Passage, traveling in opposite directions.

This legendary route does not come without challenges. “The challenges of this route begin long before the actual journey starts,” said Mark Behrend, captain of the Bremen. “The length of the journey means we have to make an accurate forecast of all the provisions we will need, including fuel, drinking water and food, to maintain the high standards aboard the ship.”

“Despite global warming and retreating ice, it continues to be essential for the ships to have the appropriate ice class, without which the passage can be extremely dangerous,” said Hanseatic’s Capt. Thilo Natke, who also has successfully crossed the passage. “Thanks to their reinforced hulls and the highest ice class (E4) for passenger ships, the Hanseatic and Bremen are ideally equipped to conquer the Northwest Passage on their own. The voyages offer guests natural spectacles and fascinating ice formations, along with seafaring traditions and a spirit of discovery.”

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