Everything was yet so well party. Come in by plane from Paris to Kangerlussuaq, Greenland, the 400 passengers of the Compagnie du Ponant had embedded at the end of August to the edge of the Boreal and the Soléal for a cruise exception. Better : a veritable polar expedition, ” far from the busy roads “, ” on the borders of the land of extreme, where the pack ice breaks up and the sun goes over the horizon “, said the brochure.
Cap had therefore been placed in the North, to the North-West passage. A sea route that mythical, far beyond the polar circle, connects the Atlantic to the Pacific through the ice of the Great canadian North.
But here it is : on 3 September, arrived at the entrance to the strait of Bellot, the two French ships of luxury have had to turn back. Too much ice. More question to go to Alaska, or to fly to the United States.
“Crossing the strait promised to be complicated, says Nicolas Dubreuil, the director of expeditions Ponant. She waited three days. Canadian icebreakers are passed, the income, and we were told : “For you, it’s too risky”. Our two boats have made a half-turn. Nobody wanted a new Franklin expedition ! “In 1845, the two ships of John Franklin disappeared while attempting to chart the northwest passage. All of the sailors died of cold, starvation and scurvy.
From the time she began to borrow this passage through the Arctic in 2013, this is the first time that Compagnie du Ponant has to renounce to such a cruise. A costly failure. The expedition of twenty-three days was being proposed ” from 17 270 euros, including aircraft flights. The firm owned by François Pinault and his family will have to pay off part of the passengers, 200 per boat. “We warn that the programme will depend on…