Journeys Adventure Specialist Gail Scherer highlights a few awesome things about her journey through the Northwest Passage.

This August I embarked on a 12-day journey through the Northwest Passage, one of the the most infamous routes in the world. Check out my photos to see what this Arctic adventure is all about!

Houses in Sisimiut, Greenland
Our first landing was Sisimiut, Greenland. This charming little seaside town is rich with native culture. One of the highlights of this stop was an artist’s colony where they specialized in seal-skin products.
Young Inuit girl
I met this adorable Inuit girl in Pond Inlet, Canada. She and her family performed native songs for our group. They also demonstrated competitive Inuit games, such as the Alaskan High-Kick and the Knuckle Hop.
Ice cliff seen on Northwest Passage trip
Our ship, the Akademik Ioffe, sailed along this large chunk of tabular ice for about 1.5 miles, and when we got to the end of it, we were rewarded with this magnificent view.
No, this is not the little brother from “A Christmas Story.” This get-up was the standard issued equipment for our Arctic landings. Let’s just say I was nice and warm but afraid that if I fell down I wouldn’t be able to get up!
Over the course of the trip, we were fortunate enough to have 5 polar bear sightings. This was by far the coolest sighting because it was a mother bear with her two cubs. They eventually worked their way around our ship, carefully navigating the sparse ice.
Not only did I take away some priceless experiences, but I also made some great new friends. When we weren’t making Arctic landings, we enjoyed great presentations on the wildlife and history and the camaraderie amongst the travelers.
My fellow explorers and I landed at Beechey Island at 10pm and raised a glass of whiskey to toast the sailors from Franklin’s expedition who died and were buried there.

Beechey Island was the site where British Explorer John Franklin chose to over-winter in 1845 on his ill-fated quest to discover the Northwest Passage. His ships, the Erebus and Terror, have not been found. Unfortunately, these early explorers were not on board the Akademik Ioffe, and were not as well-equipped or as well-dressed as we were. Roald Admundsen was the first explorer to sail through the Northwest Passage in 1903-1906. His success was largely due to the fact that he learned his survival skills from the local Inuit. He copied their dress, wearing insulating and water-proof animal skins, and followed their diet of seal meat, so he did not succumb to scurvy or lead poisoning from canned European food like earlier explorers. There may be a travel lesson here somewhere about being open to the local cultural customs and cuisine…