The Northwest Passage is an ice-choked waterway with spectacular landscapes and a powerful history of naval endeavour. It is also an unfolding opportunity for adventurous travel. The five-century dream of a trade route to Asia by way of a short-cut through the Arctic archipelago is, Bradt Travel Guide: The Northwest Passage shows, finally a reality. Over the last decade global warming has opened this fabled passage in late summer for freight and for bold tourists.
This is the first book to draw together the rich history with a guide to the region – home for the majority of the world's seabirds, enormous numbers of seals, plenty of polar bears and narwhals and more than enough mosquitoes. It is also home for Inuit, who arrived from the east, adapting superbly to a cruel climate. Today's travellers can see incomparable scenery and a wealth of wildlife. In 1819, John Franklin commanded one of the first naval expeditions to attempt the passage. He was reduced to eating his boots in order to survive.
Tony Soper was more fortunate in his own five transits of the Passage and draws on these to describe this unique and relatively unexplored territory.
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Tony Soper is best known as a naturalist who has presented many programmes for the BBC Natural History Unit.