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Expedition Greenland - Ellesmere 2014
On the tracks of the Fram's second expedition

The expedition

In 2014 « Southern Star » will set sail following the tracks of Fram's second expedition.
A definitely modern sailing adventure on the tracks of the elders. We'll sail to Iceland, West and North-West Greenland, North of Baffin Bay, the Canadian archipelago, and Ellesmere and Devon Islands.

Groenland 2014

I have already sailed twice in the northern parts of Baffin Bay, in 1999 and 2008, and each time the wish to push further North was a big temptation, but on both occasions I had to keep focussed on the expedition course through the North-West Passage.

Sail to see what is beyond the horizon is something very natural for a sailor man !

In 2014, the North of Baffin Bay will be our destination, following the thread of the Fram's historic second expedition.

During the expedition, 69 Nord in partnership with the Fram Museum in Oslo will focus on the tremendous achievements of the Sverdrup crew. The modern expedition will try to get as close as possible to the four winter harbors of the Fram's second expedition. Archives, pictures and footage of the historic and the modern expeditions will be compiled to once again document Sverdrup's impressive achievements, in preparation for future exhibitions, books, films and lectures. The key exhibition will take place in Fram Museum after the expedition.

Olivier Pitras




Between 1898 to 1902, Norwegian captain Otto Sverdrup and 15 crew members discovered and charted 260 000 km2 of the Canadian archipelago. They spent four gruelling years exploring one of the last major swaths of uncharted land on earth


Carte Otto Sverdrupt

Cartography of the American polar Archipelago before and after the Sverdrup's expedition
(Click on the map to enlarge it


From four winter harbors situated on Ellesmere Island's West and South coast, Sverdrup and his team used dog sledges in the dark and cold winter periods to complete their successful discoveries. Axel Heiberg, Amund and Ellef Ringnes Islands, and numerous bays, fjords and spits in the region are the silent witnesses of this expedition.

An expedition where involvement, determination, trust, organisation, good fellowship and teamwork are key words.

In 2014, « Southern Star » will set sail from Tromsø in late May for a four month sailing expedition towards Iceland, Baffin Bay, North-West Greenland, the Canadian archipelago, and Ellesmere and Devon Islands. This four month expedition will cover 9000 nautical miles of polar adventure divided into 8 legs from and to: Tromsø, Reykjavik, Nuuk, Ilulissat, Upernavik and Qaanaaq.

During these four months of polar sailing expedition we will approach as close as possible the four wintering harbors of Fram's second expedition. This thread will lead us through the wilderness and polar beauty of the North.

The 8 legs of the expedition are divided in three categories

1 - Offshore:

Tromsø / Reykjavik (June) and Reykjavik / Tromsø (Sept)
Reykjavik / Nuuk (June) and Nuuk / Reykjavik (Sept)

For these offshore sailing passages it's difficult to anticipate the exact stop-overs. The weather will decide. You can visit and read the logbook of our earlier expedition « Around North America » for information on these same passages. We were able to call in at Husavik and Olafsvik and enjoy the northern coast of Iceland. These passages are ideal for crewmembers who want to build up some offshore experience and enjoy the pleasure of landing after couple of days at sea. A good opportunity to discover Iceland and Greenland's South-West.

These offshore passages require all crew to actively participate in deck watches, vessel maneuvering and helming. Crew members must therefore be familiar with such tasks.


2 – Coastal navigation, Greenland's West coast:

Nuuk / Ilulissat
Ilulissat / Upernavik

A lighter navigation program will give us ample opportunity to call into numerous villages, wild fjords and the gigantic Disko Bay. We will have plenty of time to enjoy Greenland's nature and villages, icebergs and sea mammals.

3 – Greenland's North West coast:

Upernavik / Qaanaaq
Qaanaaq / Nuuk

Shore logistical facilities are minimal on these two legs where most communities have no docks or harbor facilities. Crew members will participate in the complex re-fueling and re-watering operations.

These legs are difficult to plan and will be influenced by the weather and ice conditions. We will sail surrounded by icebergs from Melville Bay onwards and will access remote villages.

The trip from Qaanaaq to Nuuk should give us the opportunity to approach the winter harbors of Fram's second expedition South of Ellesmere Island. If we're lucky we will sail through Cardigan Straight and Norwegian Bay. During this trip we should spot muskox. A stopover in Grise Fjord should be possible.

Southern star

Southern star

Southern star

Southern star

Southern star

Southern star

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