Tuesday, January 24, 2017

First Expedition to HMS Erebus Wreck: Adventure Canada

Arctic expedition company Adventure Canada will be the first to facilitate public access to the wreckage of Franklin’s vessel, HMS Erebus, located in the Wrecks of HMS Erebus and HMS Terror National Historic Site in Nunavut.
The discovery of the wreck of HMS Erebus in 2014, ended the close to 170 years of mystery that has surrounded Franklin’s mysterious disappearance since 1845. With today’s announcement, for the first time ever, members of the public, history buffs, and Arctic enthusiasts will be able to lay eyes on the wreck of HMS Erebus—the vessel Sir John Franklin himself commanded—in person. Adventure Canada is teaming up with Parks Canada to present a pilot project visit to the Erebus site during their acclaimed Out of the Northwest Passage expedition—a Canadian Signature Experience which sails from Kugluktuk, Nunavut to Kangerlussuaq, Greenland from September 7 – 23, 2017.
The wreck of HMS Erebus lies on the ocean floor in eleven metres of water. Here, travelers may be able to view the site on screen where a member of Parks Canada’s Underwater Archaeology Team can interpret the wreck using an underwater remotely operated vehicle (ROV). Parks Canada’s Underwater Archaeology Team are recognized experts in the documentation and preservation of underwater archaeology sites such as the Franklin ships. Parks Canada conservators work to protect artefacts from the sites, so people in Canada and around the world are able to enjoy this important piece of history. Working with partners like Adventure Canada, Parks Canada will continue to develop new and innovative opportunities to experience Canada’s most northern national parks and historic sites while supporting local economies and growth in the tourism sector in the north.
The visit will coincide with a community event in Gjøa Haven—the closest community to the wreck site - to celebrate Canada 150. Details about other specific activities guests will engage in surrounding the wreckage site are currently being determined.
“We are so excited to be the first to bring guests to see such an important site in Arctic exploration history,” says Cedar Swan, Adventure Canada CEO. “We are honoured to be awarded this privilege, and look forward to working alongside Parks Canada to set precedent for sustainable visitation of this and other archaeological wonders.”
“This opportunity to experience the wreck site of HMS Erebus offers a unique and meaningful way for Canadians and international travelers to discover our northern environment and heritage,” says The Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada. “It’s also a great way for visitors to learn more about Inuit history and culture and the significant contributions of Inuit knowledge to the story of the lost Franklin Expedition. I hope to see more partnerships like this, which will support northern communities through employment opportunities and community development, and showcase the wonders of the Canadian north.”

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