The expedition ship Hanseatic of Hapag-Lloyd Cruises claims a new record for passenger ships in the Northeast Passage. Yesterday afternoon (August 26, 2014), the 122.8-meter-long ship reached the northernmost point at 85°, 40.7' north and 135°, 39.6' east. At this latitude, the Hanseatic was just 480 kilometers from the North Pole.
“Unusual ice conditions made this record possible. North of the New Siberian Islands in the Russian Arctic, there was a large ice-free zone stretching north through the Arctic Ocean, which we used for this spontaneous detour,” said Captain Thilo Natke. In temperatures of around zero degrees and a brisk north-easterly wind, the passengers took a Zodiac ride along the edge of the pack ice. This event was then celebrated in style with a party on deck.
The expedition through the Northeast Passage set off from Nome/Alaska on August 12, 2014 and will continue on to Severnaya Zemlya in the next few days. It will feature expeditionary landings followed by cruises through the Kara Sea, Novaya Zemlya, the Barents Sea, Murmansk (end of the Northeast Passage), Hammerfest and Bodo, where the expedition will come to an end on September 10, 2014.