Tracing the fringes of North America, Asia, and Europe, the icy Northeast Passage has called to adventure-seeking sailors and ever-industrious merchant shippers for centuries. But, much like its Antarctic counterpart, the route can be treacherous even on its calmest days, as ships navigate rolling seas, impenetrable ice floes, and mammoth glaciers, making it largely inaccessible to even the most intrepid travelers. But now, Silversea is looking to change that. The luxury cruise line will embark on its first sailing through the region in August 2019—and while we still recommend landlubbers take caution (or at least a hefty dose of Dramamine), the voyage aboard the plush Silver Explorer promises to be the most luxurious way to see this rugged end of the Earth.
Available to book now, the cruise will ferry just 144 passengers across nearly 6,000 miles of wild ocean from Nome, Alaska, to Tromsø, Norway, over the course of 25 days. Along the way, the all-suite ship (a signature of the brand) will make stops at rarely visited destinations like Wrangle Island, a UNESCO World Heritage Site where polar bears and walruses roam free. On other days, guests will make like Roald Amundsen and pile into Zodiacs to get a close look at the otherworldly stone spheres that dot the shoes of Champ Island, or head into Tikhaya Bay to see the sweeping basalt columns of Rubini Rock. The ship will also make stops at some of the most remote villages in the world, where guests will have the rare chance to interact with the Chukchi and Yupick people that call Uelen—Russia’s easternmost settlement—home.
When it comes time to retreat from the cold, the Explorer’s upgraded interiors offer plenty of warming diversions. Spacious suites offer plenty of room to spread out for some hard-earned downtime, and public areas like the Connoisseur’s Corner (where guests can grab a glass of fine Cognac and puff on an exceptional cigar) and the Zagara Spa ensure there are plenty of places to unwind on the intimate ship. On the top deck, Tor’s Observation Library and the Panorama Lounge ensure that you won’t miss a moment of the dramatic scenery as you warm your bones with a hot toddy.
And though the Explorer’s interiors suggest otherwise, the vessel is an expedition ship through and through, designed to navigate some of the toughest waters on earth. Its exterior is ice-clad, allowing it to push through huge floes with ease—and before passengers disembark in Norway, they will spend a day on the ship putting it to the test, navigating as far north as conditions will allow as a final adrenaline-pumping adventure.