National Maritime Museum Highlights Sheer Majesty of the Canadian Arctic with New Exhibition Unveiling finds from Fateful Franklin Expedition
Since the discovery in 2014 of Sir John Franklin’s ship, HMS Erebus in the Canadian Arctic, interest in the region and his mysterious disappearance has continued to grow, according to specialist adventure cruise operator, One Ocean Expeditions (OOE).
Now, a major new exhibition, ‘Death In The Ice’, due to open at the National Maritime Museum 14 July, will explore further the still unsolved puzzle of Franklin’s fatal last journey.
Showcasing the magnificent Canadian Arctic, the exhibition will also display finds from HMS Erebus for the first time since their recovery.
OOE, which played a significant role in the discovery of the ship, operates a number of expedition cruises following in the footsteps of pioneering explorers. Among them is Pathways to Franklin, scheduled to depart on 23 August 2018, which focuses on the history of Arctic exploration and the early quest for the Northwest Passage.
Navigating through the same waters as HMS Erebus, the10-day itinerary begins in Resolute, a remote outpost above the Arctic Circle. Thankfully, unlike the ships of the 19th century, One Ocean Navigator is an ice-strengthened cruise vessel. Not only is it far more robust than its predecessors, it also boasts many home comforts from welcome and comfortable cabins to a sauna, hot tub and three meals a day plus afternoon tea.
Highlights of the expedition include a visit to Prince Leopold Island, one of the largest migratory bird sanctuaries in Canada, where several hundred thousand birds nest.
Crossing Lancaster Sound to Baffin Island is also truly memorable. Dubbed the wildlife ‘super highway’ for its abundant wildlife sightings, there is a high chance of spotting seals, whales and narwhal en route and, along the northern coast of Baffin Island, the mighty polar bear.
For many passengers, however, the history of the region provides the greatest draw and the most poignant impressions are those made on the windswept terrain of Beechey Island, where Franklin and his men spent their last relatively comfortable winter in 1845/6, amid the barren, frozen landscape.
Prices for the nine-night voyage start from US $6795pp based on triple share, up to US $12,995pp based on two sharing the One Ocean suite. Return charter flights from Edmonton are available at a cost of $1995.
Airport transfers, accommodation and meals onboard, outdoor gear, zodiac boat excursions, guided hiking trips, visits to wildlife colonies and educational presentations from experts in their field are all included.