HMCS Labrador and RCMP St Roch

The RCMP schooner St. Roch and HMCS Labrador together in Esquimalt Harbour after each had made successful transits of the Northwest Passage - 10 years apart.

A List of the Full Transits of the Canadian Northwest Passage 1903 to 2006

by John MacFarlane (1990 - Revised 1995, 2011 & 2012)

Any vessel crossing both the entry to the Bering Strait and Davis Strait (or vice versa) is deemed to have made a full transit of the Northwest Passage.

Year Name Master Nationality Vessel Type Details
1903-06 (1) Gjoa Roald Amundsen Norway Herring Schooner East to West transit. (The first transit of the Northwest Passage by sea.)
1940-42 (2) RCMP St. Roch SSgt. Henry Larsen RCMP Canada RCMP Schooner (The first West to East transit of the Northwest Passage and the first circumnavigation of North America.)
1944 (3) RCMP St. Roch SSgt. Henry Larsen RCMP Canada RCMP Schooner East to West transit. (The first vessel to transit the Northwest Passage in both directions.)
1954 (4) H.M.C.S. Labrador Captain O.C.S. Robertson RCN Canada Naval Icebreaker East to West transit. (The first warship to transit the Northwest Passage and the first warship to circumnavigate North America)
1957 (5) USCGS Storis Commander Harold Lambert Wood USCG USA Icebreaker She traveled as part of a U.S. Coast Guard Squadron, West to East (the first US vessels to transit the Northwest Passage.)
1957 (6) USCGS Spar Lieutenant Charles Vinal Cowing USCG USA Icebreaker (Buoy tender) She traveled as part of a U.S. Coast Guard Squadron, West to East (the first US vessels to transit the Northwest Passage.)
1957 (7) USCGS Bramble Lieutenant-Commander Henry Hart Carter USCG USA Icebreaker (Buoy Tender) She traveled as part of a U.S. Coast Guard Squadron, West to East (the first US vessels to transit the Northwest Passage.)
1958 (8) USS Nautilus Submarine The first (publicly known) underwater transit of the Northwest Passage. (See Submarine Transit List section)
1960 (9) USS Seadragon Submarine (See Submarine Section)
1967 (10) CCGS John A. MacDonald Paul M. Fournier Canada Icebreaker East to West transit. (She assisted the USCGC Northwind beset in ice north of Point Barrow AK. She circumnavigated North America)
1969 (11) CCGS John A. MacDonald Paul M. Fournier Canada Icebreaker East to West transit, she accompanied the tanker Manhattan through to preserve Canadian sovereignty over the Passage.
1969 (12) Manhattan Roger Steward USA Oil tanker chartered by the Humble Oil & Refining Company East to West transit (The first commercial vessel to make a full transit.)
1969 (13) CCGS John A. MacDonald Paul M. Fournier Canada Icebreaker West to East transit. She accompanied the tanker Manhattan, she accompanied the tanker Manhattan through to preserve Canadian sovereignty over the Passage.
1969 (14) Manhattan Roger Steward USA Oil tanker West to East transit. (She was chartered by the Humble Oil & Refining Company. An attempt to investigate the feasibility of commercial vessels utilizing the Northwest Passage.)
1969 (15) USCGC Northwind Captain Donald J. McCann USCG USA Icebreaker East to West transit. She accompanied the tanker Manhattan.
1969 (16) USCGC Northwind Captain Donald J. McCann USCG USA Icebreaker West to East transit. She was the first vessel to transit the Northwest Passage twice in one year.
1969 (17) USCGC Staten Island Captain Eugene F. Walsh USCG USA Icebreaker West to East transit. She accompanied the tanker Manhattan on the return voyage from Pt. Barrow AK.
1970 (18) USS Queenfish Submarine (See Submarine Section)
1970 (19) CSS Hudson David W. Butler Canada Research Ship West to East transit. (She was the first vessel to circumnavigate both North and South America.)
1970 (20) CSS Baffin Paul M. Brick Canada Hydrographic Survey Ship West to East transit, She accompanied the CSS Hudson.
1975 (21) Pandora II R. Dickinson Canada Research Vessel West to East transit. She circumnavigated North America.
1975 (22) Theta I K. Maro Canada Hydrographic Survey Vessel (converted sealer) West to East transit. She circumnavigated North America.
1975 (23) CCGS Skidegate Peter Kalis Canada West to East transit A small aids–to–navigation vessel (buoy tender) transferred to the East Coast via the Northwest Passage.
1976 (24) CCGS J.E. Bernier F. Chouinard & Paul Pelland Canada Icebreaking Buoy Tender East to West transit. (She circumnavigated North America.)
1976 (25) Williwaw Willy de Roos Holland Yacht Sloop (13m) East to West transit. (This was the first transit of the Northwest Passage by a sailing yacht. De Roos solo–ed after Gjoa Haven, and circumnavigated North and South America.)
1975-1977 (26) J.E. Bernier II Real Bouvier Canada SailingYacht East To West transit. (She wintered in Resolute Bay and Tuktoyaktuk.)
1978 (27) CCGS Pierre Radisson Patrick M.R. Toomey Canada Medium Icebreaker West to East transit. (This was the vessel’s maiden voyage.)
1979 (28) CCGS Louis S St. Laurent George Burdock Canada Heavy Icebreaker East to West transit. (She assisted the CCGS Franklin, and circumnavigated North America.)
1979-82 (29) Mermaid Kenichi Horie Japan Sloop (17m plastic yacht) East to West transit. (He claims the first single-handed transit of the NWP. He wintered in Resolute and Tuktoyaktuk.)
1980 (30) Pandora II Robin A. Jones Canada Hydrographic Research Vessel West to East transit. (She circumnavigated North America.)
1980 (31) CCGS J.E. Bernier E. Chasse Canada Icebreaker West to East transit.(She circumnavigated North America.)
1981 (32) CSS Hudson Frederick W. Mauger Canada Hydrographic Survey Vessel West to East transit. (She circumnavigated North America.)
1983 (33) Arctic Shiko J. Dool Canada Tug/Supply Vessel, (Ice Strengthened) West to East transit.
1983 (34) Polar Circle J.A. Strand Canada Research & Hydrographic Survey Vessel West to East transit.
1984 (35) Lindblad Explorer Hasse Nilsson (with T.C. Pullen as ice pilot) Bahamas Passenger Vessel (Ice strengthened) East to West transit. (This was the first transit by passenger cruise ship.)
1985 (36) USCGC Polar Sea Captain John T. Howell USCG USA Icebreaker East to West transit. (She was accompanied by CCGS John A. MacDoanld for part of the voyage.)
1985 (37) World Discoverer Heinz Aye Liberia Passenger Vessel (Ice strengthened) West to East transit. (She traversed Pond Inlet.)
1985-86 (38) Arctic Helios R. Huckfield Canada Icebreaking Tug/Supply Vessel (ex-Victoria) Westward (Partial Transit, Lancaster Sound, Victoria Strait to Tuktoyaktuk. She completed the full Northwest Passage to Vancouver BC in 1986.)
1988 (39) CCGS Henry A. Larsen Stephen Gomes Canada Medium Icebreaker West to East transit. (This was her maiden voyage.)
1976-88 (40) Canmar Explorer II Ronald Colby Canada Drill Ship East to West transit. (See also the list of partial transits).
1988 (41) Society Explorer (ex-Lindblad Explorer) Heinz Aye Bahamas Passenger Vessel West to East transit. (She was carrying passengers. She traversed Pond Inlet.)
1988 (42) USCGC Polar Star Captain Paul A. Taylor USCG USA Icebreaker West to East transit. (She was accompanied by CCGS Sir John Franklin to Demarcation Point.)
198? (43) CCGS Pierre Radisson C. Guimont Canada Icebreaker East to West transit. (She circumnavigated North America and return to assist the CCGS Martha L. Black.)
1982-88 (44) Belvedere Sven Johansson (Master) & John Bockstoce (owner) USA Sailing Yacht (18m) West to East transit. (She was the first sailing yacht to transit from West to East. (Navigation and command of vessel was under Sven Johansson. The expedition leader and vessel owner was John Bockstoce. They traversed Pond Inlet.)
1985-88 (45) Vagabond II Janusz Kurbiel (1985-87), relieved by Wojtek Jacobsen (1988) France Small sailing yacht (12.8m) West to East transit. (This was the first French–registered vessel transit of the Northwest Passage.)
1988 (46) CCGS Martha L. Black Robert Mellis Canada Icebreaking Aids To Navigation Vessel East to West transit. (She circumnavigated North America.)
1988-89 (47) Northanger Richard "Rick" Thomas UK Yacht (18 m Ketch) East to West transit. (She wintered in Inuvik.)
1986-89 (48) Mabel E. Holland David Scott Cowper UK Small Yacht (Retired RNLI Lifeboat) Single-handed. West to East transit. (This was the first British transit of the northwest Passage. She wintered in Fort Ross twice and at Inuvik.)
1989 (49) USCGC Polar Star Captain Robert E. Hammond USCG USA Icebreaker East to West transit. (She was accompanied by CCGS Sir John Franklin to Demarcation Point.)
1990 (50) Asma C. Steede Germany Yacht (13m) East to West transit. (She was assisted by an icebreaker without which the transit would not have been successful.)
1990 (51) USCGC Polar Sea Captain Joseph J. McCleland USCG USA Icebreaker East to West transit. (She was accompanied by USCGS Pierre Radisson to Demarcation Point.)
1983-90 (52) Ikaluk R. Cormier Canada Icebreaking tug/supply vessel. West to East transit. (The passage took seven years in stages. She worked in the Beaufort Sea 1983-1990.)
1991 (53) Terry Fox Peter Kimmerley Canada Icebreaking tug/supply vessel. West to East transit.
1991 (54) Canmar Tugger L. Lorengreek Canada Ice strengthened tug. West to East transit.
1992 (55) Kapitan Khlebnikov Piotr Golikov Russia Polar icebreaker (carrying passengers) West to east transit. She was owned by the Far Eastern Shipping Co.
1992 (56) Frontier Spirit Heinz Aye Bahamas Ice strengthened passenger vessel East to West transit, carrying passengers. She traversed Pond Inlet.
1992 (57) Ikaluk R. Cormier Canada Ice-breaker East to west transit.
1993 (58) Dagmar Aaen Arved Fuchs Germany Yacht (27 m) East to West transit
1993 (59) Frontier Spirit Heinz Aye Bahamas Ice strengthened passenger ship. East to west transit carrying passengers.
1993 Kapiitan Khlebnikov Piotr Golikov Russia Polar icebreaker West to east transit carrying passengers.
1994 (60) USCGS Polar Sea Captain Lawson Brigham USCG United States Ice Breaker
1994 (61) Hanseatic Hartwig van Harling Bahamas Ice strengthened passenger ship East to west transit carrying passengers.
1994 (62) Itasca Allan Journing UK Tug (175') (Owned by William F. Simon) West to east transit, completed in 26 days.
1994 (63) Kapiitan Khlebnikov Piotr Golikov Russia Polar icebreaker West to east transit carrying passengers.
1994 (64) Kapiitan Khlebnikov Piotr Golikov Russia Polar icebreaker East to west transit carrying passengers.
1995 (65) Kapitan Khlebnikov Viktor Vasiliev Russia Polar icebreaker (carrying passengers) West to east transit. She was owned by the Far Eastern Shipping Co.
1995 (66) Dove III Winston Bushnell Canada Yacht (8 m) West to East transit. She was the the fourth yacht to make a full transit in one season.
1995 (67) Hrvatska Cigra (Croatian Tern) Mladen Sutej Croatia Yacht (19.8 m) East to West transit. She was the the fifth yacht to make a full transit in one season.
1995 (68) Arctic Ivik Norman Thomas Canada Icebreaking Anchor-handling & Supply vessel West to east transit.
1995 (69) Arctic Ivik Robert Mellis Canada Icebreaking Anchor-handling & Supply vessel East to west transit.
1995 (70) Canmar Ikaluk D. Connolly Canada Ice strengthened Supply Vessel West to east transit.
1995 (71) Canmar Miscaroo D.W. Harris Canada Ice strengthened Supply Vessel West to east transit.
1996 (72) Arctic Circle Jack McCormack Canada Tugboat West to east transit.
1996 (73) Hanseatic Hartwig van Harling Bahamas Ice strengthened passenger vessel (She ran aground near Cambridge Bay NT. She was escorted by the USCGS Henry A. Larsen to Victoria Strait, and traversed Pond Inlet.)
1996 (74) Canmar Supplier II P. Dundervale Canada Cargo vessel West to east transit.
1996 (75) Kapitan Dranitsyn Oleg Agaforov Russia Polar Icebreaker West to east carrying passengers.
1996 (76) CCGS Wilfred Laurier Norman Thomas Canada Icebreaker West to east escorted by CCGS Louis St. Laurent for part of the voyage. She traversed Pond Inlet.
1997 (77) Kapitan Khlebnikov Piotr Golikov Russia Polar icebreaker (carrying passengers) West to east transit. She was owned by the Far Eastern Shipping Co.
1997 (78) Alex Gordon Paul Misata Canada Tug West to east transit. Escorted by CCGS Wilfred Laurier to Franklin Strait and then escorted by CCGS Pierre Radisson.
1997 (79) Hanseatic Heinz Aye Bahamas Ice strengthened passenger vessel. East to west transit. Escorted by CCGS Henry A. Larsen to Victoria Strait, and traversed Pond Inlet.
1997 (80) Supplier Allan Guenter Bahamas Tug West to east transit. Escorted by CCGS Terry Fox to Victoria Strait.
1998 (81) CCGC Louis St Laurent Canada She transited by the difficult northern route.
1998 (82) Kapitan Khlebnikov Captain Viktor Vasiliev Russia Polar icebreaker (carrying passengers) She was owned by the Far Eastern Shipping Co.
1998 (83) Hanseatic Heinz Aye Bahamas Ice strengthened passenger vessel. West to East transit. She was escorted by CCGS Sir John Franklin to Victoria Strait. She traversed Pond Inlet.
1999 (84) Kapitan Dranitsynz Viktor Terkhov Russia Polar icebreaker East to West transit. She circumnavigated the Arctic Ocean.
1999 (85) Ocean Search Olivier Pitras France Yacht (12.5m) West to east transit. She traversed Pond Inlet.
1999 (86) Ocean Search Olivier Pitras France Yacht (12.5 m) West to East transit.
1999 (87) CCGC Louis St. Laurent Canada She transited by the difficult northern route.
1999 (88) Irbis Aleksandr Aleksenko Russia Icebreaker She accompanied the Russian ocean-going tug towing a floating drydock.
1999 (89) Admiral Makarov Vadim Akholodenko Russia Ocean-going Tug (towing a floating dry dock) West to East transit. She was accompanied by the Russian icebreaker while towing a floating dry dock from Vladivostok to Bermuda.
1999? (90) Kapitan Khlebnikov Captain Viktor Vasiliev Russia Polaricebreaker (carrrying passengers) She was owned by the Far Eastern Shipping Co.
2000 (91) RCMP Nadon (St. Roch II) SSgt. Kenneth Burton RCMP Canada RCMP patrol vessel West to East transit. (She circumnavigated North America in a voyage to commemorate the transit of the North West Passage by the RCMP St. Roch in 1940-1942.)
2000 (92) CCGS Simon Fraser Captain Robert Mellis Canada Icebreaker West to East transit. (She acted as a support vessel to the RCMP Nadon (St. Roch II)).
2000 (93) Evohe Stephen Kafka New Zealand Yacht, ketch (25 m) West to East transit. She was a sailing yacht.
2000 (94) USGC Healey Captain Jeffrey M. Garrett USCG United States Polar icebreaker & research vessel This was her maiden voyage.
2000 (95) Hanseatic Thilo Natke Bahamas Ice strengthened passenger vessel East to West transit. (She traversed Pond Inlet.)
2000 (96) Kapitan Dranitsyn Victor Terekhov Russia Polar icebreaker East to West transit. (She circumnavigated the Arctic Ocean.)
2001 (97) Kapitan Khlebnikov Captain Viktor Vasiliev Russia Polar icebreaker (carrying passengers) West to East transit. he was owned by the Far Eastern Shipping Co.
2001 (98) Northabout Paddy Barry & Jarlath Cunnane Ireland Yacht sloop (15 m) East to West transit. She circumnavigated the Arctic.
2001 (99) Kapitan Khlebnikov Captain Viktor Vasiliev Russia Polar icebreaker (carrying passengers) East to West transit. She was owned by the Far Eastern Shipping Co. on charter to Quark Expeditions.
2001 (100) Turmoil Philip Walsh Cayman Islands Yacht (46 m) East to West Transit, in one season. Traversed Pond Inlet.
2001-02 (101) Apostol Andrey Dmitry Shparo & Matvey Shparo Russia Yacht (16.2m) In 1996-1999 they transited the Northeast Passage (first by a yacht) and in 2001-2002 they transited the Northwest Passage and circumnavigated the Arctic. (She was assisted by CCGS Louis S. St. Laurent through Prince Regent Inlet.
2001-02 (102) Nuage Michele Demai & Sabrina Tiery France Yacht (13 m.) East to West Transit. Mother and daughter crew, they wintered in Cambridge Bay.
2002 (103) Aslan Simon Layton UK Yacht East to West Transit, solo transit. Falmouth UK to Prince William Sound AK.
2002 (104) Sedna IV Jean Lemire Canada Yacht (3-masted 51 m) East to West Transit
2002 (105) Kapitan Khlebnikov Piotr Golikov Russia Polar icebreaker (carrrying passengers) West to East transit, Anadyr to Resolute NT carrying passengers. She was owned by the Far Eastern Shipping Co.
2002 (106) Arctic Kalvik Sanjeev Kumar Barbados Ice-breaking Tug West to East transit.
2002 (107) Hanseatic Thilo Natke Bahamas Ice Strengthened passenger vessel East to West transit. She traversed Pond Inlet, carrying passengers.
2003 (108) Bremen (ex-Frontier Spirit) Daniel Felgner Bahamas Ice strengthened passenger vessel East to West transit. She transited Pond Inlet.
2003 (109) Norwegian Blue Andrew Wood UK Yacht (12.9m) West to East transit. She traversed Pond Inlet.
2003 (110) Arctic Helios Icebreaking Tug She was owned by Svitzer Wijsmuller, A/S Em. Z. Svitzer, Copenhagen DK
2003 (111) USGC Healey Captain Daniel Oliver USCG United States Polar icebreaker & research vessel West to east transit.
2003 (112) Kapitan Khlebnikov Viktor Vasiliev Russia Polar icebreaker (carrrying passengers) West to East transit. (From Anadyr, Siberia to Resolute NT carrying passengers. She was owned by the Far Eastern Shipping Co.
2003 (113) Northanger Keri Pashuk & Greg Landreth Canada Yacht, steel ketch East to West Transit, the second time for this vessel.
2003 (114) Vagabond (ex-Vagabond II) Eric Brossier France Yacht, sloop (15.3m) West to East transit, the second time for this vessel. She circumnavigated the Arctic. She traversed Pond Inlet.
2003-04 (115) Dagmar Aaen Arved Fuchs Germany Yacht (27m) West to East transit. She wintered in Cambridge Bay. She circumnavigated the Arctic. She traversed Pond Inlet.
2003-04 (116) Polar Bound David S. Cowpers UK Yacht, motor (14.6m) East to West transit. Assisted by CCGS Louis S. St. Laurent in Prince Regent Inlet.
2004 (117) Kapitan Khlebnikov Pavel Ankudinov Russia Polar icebreaker (carrying passengers) West to East transit. Carrying passengers.
2004-05 (118) Fine Tolerance Philip Hogg Australia Yacht (13.7m) West to East transit. Assisted by CCGC Sir Wilfrid Laurier and CCGS Louis St. Laurent in Bellot Strait.
2005 (119) Kapitan Khlebnikov Viktor Vasiliev Russia Polar icebreaker West to East transit.
2005 (120) Kapitan Khlebnikov Viktor Vasiliev Russia Polar icebreaker (carrying passengers) East to West transit.
2005 (121) Idlewild Benjamin Grey Canada Yacht, motor (17.3m) West to East transit. Assisted by CCGS Sir Wilfrid Laurier and CCGS Louis S. St. Laurent in Bellot Strait.)
2005 (122) Oden Anders Wikstrom Sweden Icebreaker East to West transit.
2003-06 (123) Minke I Peter Brook Canada Yacht (12.8m) West to East transit. Wintered in Tuktoyaktuk and in Cambridge Bay (twice).
2006 (124) Kapitan Khlebnikov Pavel Ankudinov Russia Polar icebreaker (carrying passengers) West to East transit.
2006 (125) Nekton Tadeusz Natenek Poland Yacht (13.6m) East to West transit. (She traveled in company with Stary.)
2006 (126) Stary Jacek Waclawski and Slawek Skalmierski Poland Yacht (13.5m) East to West transit. (She traveled in company with Nekton.)

Sources:

  • J.M. MacFarlane (1992) Northwest Passage Challengers. In Resolution. Spring Issue. Maritime Museum of British Columbia;
  • Sale, Richard (2002);
  • Vaughan, Richard (1994);
  • Lalor, William G. (1959) Submarine Through The North Pole. In The National Geographic. Vol. CXV, No. 1 January 1959;
  • Sven Johansson Victoria BC;
  • Struzik, Edward. (1991);
  • Storrs, A.H.G. and T.C. Pullen. (1970);
  • Smith, William D. (1970);
  • Robinson, J. Lewis. (1945);
  • Robertson, O.C.S. (1964);
  • Rasmussen, Knud (1927);
  • Pullen, T.C. & C. Swithenbank (1990);
  • Pharand, D. (1984);
  • Nuligak (1966);
  • McKinlay, William Laird. (1976);
  • McGrath, Robin (1989);
  • Marshall, C.J. (1958);
  • MacInnis, Jeff (1989);
  • Larsen, Henry A. (1954);
  • Larsen, Henry A., Frank Sheer & Edward Omholt-Jensen (1967);
  • Kemp, Peter (Ed.) (1976);
  • Keating, Bern (1970);
  • Harding, Les (1991);
  • Hancock, Lyn, (1974);
  • French, Alice (1976);
  • Fillmore, Stanley and R.W. Sandilands (1983);
  • de Roos, Willy (1977);
  • de Poncins, Gontrans (1954);
  • Coast Guard Northern Arctic Operations Division (1991)

To quote from this article please cite:

MacFarlane, John M. (1990 - Revised 1995, 2011 & 2012) Full Transits of the Canadian Northwest Passage. Nauticapedia.ca 2012. http://nauticapedia.ca/Articles/NWP_Fulltransits.php

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