This summer saw EYOS Expeditions, the leader in expedition services for private superyachts, add another “World’s First” to their list of accomplishments with the successful transit by the 43,000 ton, 196-meter long mv “The World” through the legendary Northwest Passage. Having reached Nuuk in Greenland, The World now represents the largest unsupported vessel ever to complete the full ocean-to-ocean transit.
Expedition Leader & EYOS Partner Tim Soper said, “While we’re seeing less ice in recent years, the Northwest Passage can be a very challenging undertaking for any vessel. Fewer than 200 vessels have successfully completed the transit since explorer Roald Amundsen first did so in 1906. We work closely with Captains to enable them to comfortably and safely take their yacht through poorly charted areas and narrow channels.”
EYOS Expeditions worked with the owners of The World to provide an initial feasibility study and provided all planning, preparation, staffing and leadership of the expedition.
The EYOS team members had collectively guided over 20 individual expeditions through the Northwest Passage, meaning their combined experience accounts for more than 10% of all successful transits.
Beginning on August 17 in Nome, Alaska, The World navigated 26 days through 4,800 miles without icebreaker escort. Under the command of Captain Dag Saevik, and with the advice of a qualified ice-pilot supplied by EYOS Expeditions, The World stopped at several high Arctic communities, including Ulukhaktok (Holman), Cambridge Bay, Pond Inlet and Herschel Island Territorial Park. In addition she made a number of remote expedition landings where residents disembarked by Zodiac for wildlife viewing (including polar bears, musk ox and walrus) and visits to historic sites.
EYOS Expeditions organized a number of activities onshore, including kayaking, hiking, zodiac cruising, wildlife viewing and fishing. The EYOS team of specialist lecturers and naturalists on board provided presentations on ornithology, wildlife, polar bear management, Arctic history, Arctic anthropology and Inuit culture.
A Bell 407 helicopter, arranged by EYOS Expeditions, was carried onboard for the duration of the voyage. In addition to being used for advance scouting of ice conditions, it provided clients with sightseeing flights and the ability to make high mountain landings for the best scenic views.
EYOS Expeditions Partner Rob McCallum said, “Every expedition carries some uncertainty, but this one proved to be an unqualified success. We saw 27 polar bears during our transit, had spectacular sunny days where we were able to kayak amidst stunning Arctic scenery, cruised through enchanting icy landscapes, and were warmly welcomed to Inuit villages. It would have been hard to improve on this historic voyage.”
The World’s transit was the first of two this summer for EYOS Expeditions. A 125-meter Lurssen expedition yacht, which is a repeat client of EYOS for expeditions to the Arctic and Antarctic, enjoyed an equally successful voyage transiting from east to west.
McCallum added, “We are seeing more and more yacht Owners becoming interested in the Northwest Passage and wanting to follow in the footsteps of great explorers. Whether on a full transit or a shorter exploration for those with time constraints, our expedition specialists and ice masters have a proven track record of delivering remarkable, once-in-a-life time experiences in this legendary passage.”