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Historic First Passenger Crossing Of Kennedy Channel to Be Attempted This Summer

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Icebreaker Kapitan Khlebnikov Attempts Arctic Circumnavigation PhotoCredit HenryMiltenburg Kapitan Khlebnikov IcebreakerQuark Expeditions®, the world leader in polar expedition travel, is excited to share the details of its upcoming attempt to make history with the first passenger crossing of the Kennedy Channel separating Greenland and Canada. This July, as part of Quark’s epic 75-day Arctic Circumnavigation voyage, legendary icebreaker Kapitan Khlebnikov will attempt to traverse a channel that has only been crossed by submarine.

Quark’s Arctic Icebreaker Expedition: Arctic Circumnavigation consists of four separate itineraries that, taken together, guide passengers around the top of the world. It’s a once in a lifetime voyage that will see passengers explore the challenging Northeast Passage, circumnavigate Greenland while exploring its fascinating culture and geography, traverse remote areas of the Canadian Arctic and Russia, and cross the fabled Northwest Passage.

The attempt will take place during the 21-day Extreme Greenland expedition, the second of the Arctic Circumnavigation’s four itineraries. On August 7, 2016, the crew and expedition staff will attempt a landing at incredibly remote Cape Morris Jesup, the most northerly point in Greenland. From there, ships navigator and pilots will use the two on-board Mil Mi-2 helicopters to scout out over the northern coast. If sea and ice conditions are favorable, Khlebnikov may alter course to make a landmark journey over the north end of Greenland. Passengers aboard this historic journey will reach Kangerlussuaq via the Kennedy Channel, rather than down the eastern coast of Greenland.

“We’re thrilled our Extreme Greenland expedition passengers have this rare opportunity to be a part of polar exploration history,” said Andrew White, President of Quark Expeditions®. “Our Arctic Circumnavigation voyage is only offered for 2016, making the experience even more exciting and meaningful for the few travelers who make this epic journey.”

Authentic Soviet icebreaker Kapitan Khlebnikov has transited the Northwest Passage more than any other passenger vessel on the planet and tied Roald Amundsen’s record for reaching 78° South in 1996. That same year, Khlebnikov became the first ship to circumnavigate Antarctica with passengers on board; it remains the only passenger vessel to have circumnavigated Antarctica twice. Refurbished in 1990 and 2015, Khlebnikov has 51 outside cabins and suites, all featuring private facilities, large windows and closets. Quark passengers enjoy its dining room, lounge, heated plunge pool, sauna, auditorium and Polar Boutique throughout their voyage.

Its advanced ice breaking technology and powerful 24,000 horsepower engine make Khlebnikov the perfect vessel to tackle this record setting crossing. Situated at 80°55′N 66°30′W, the Kennedy Channel provides an Arctic sea passage between Northwestern Greenland and Ellesmere Island, the most northerly island in Canada. If successful, passengers including top scientists, marine biologists, field staff and polar-passionate adventure travelers will make history while experiencing the Arctic in a way no one ever has before.


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