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Ponant completes historic Northwest Passage double

Ponant completes historic Northwest Passage double
Ponant has just completed a first in the history of navigation, as two of its sister ships, Le Boréal and Le Soléal, have crossed the Northwest Passage from Greenland in the east to Siberia in the west.

The two ships crossed the passage three days apart on the historic explorers’ route via the Bellot Strait. This latest achievement is the culmination of more than 15 years’ experience sailing in the Arctic and Antarctic regions. 'It is with great pride that we announce this crossing under the French flag, unique in international maritime history,' says Jean-Emmanuel Sauvée, ceo of Ponant.
Captains Etienne Garcia and Patrick Marchesseau on Le Boréal and Le Soléal ensured their passengers were able to take full advantage of an extraordinary experience aboard the two luxury yachts which have obtained the CLEANSHIP label from Bureau Veritas for their innovative green equipment.
Along the voyage through the narrow channels and shifting glaciers of this little known region, the vessels explored historic landmarks like Beechey Island of Franklin expedition fame, Gjoa Haven where Amundsen anchored his ship over a century ago, and Cape Bathurst. They also saw hundreds of belugas, around 60 bears and nearly 500 narwhals. Another highlight for passengers was meeting French adventurer Charles Hedrich, the first man to cross the Northwest Passage solo in a rowing boat.