By Kari Herbert, Sep 15 2016 02:17PM
"Remember, this is an expedition, not a cruise," declares our leader Boris Wise.
Projected on the wall behind him are a series of maps of the maze of islands of the Canadian Far North. These aren't just any maps though; these are real-time satellite charts, specifically detailing the extent and density of sea ice in the area. For the past five days they have been the focus of intense scrutiny.
We are hoping to navigate, from east to west, the Northwest Passage – the sea route between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans along the north coast of North America explored from the 15th century as a trading route with Asia. Once attempted only by experienced polar explorers, the journey is now being offered by small, select expedition cruise ships and a few modern mariners. This is a very special trip. Although I have been to the Arctic several times, I will be visiting areas I have never been to before.