The 2025 North by Northwest Passage Kayak Expedition

Trip Description – The First Kayak Expedition Through the Northern Route of the Northwest Passage.

The first recorded transit of this route was by Robert McClure in 1850-53 as part of a search effort for the Franklin Expedition. His ship, the HMS Investigator, was ice-bound and crushed at Banks Island, so the crew made their way east with sledges over land and ice until they met their rescue party. In 1960, the USS Seadragon, one of the first nuclear-powered submarines, was the first submarine to navigate the McClure route. The crew used Edward Parry’s 1819 journal as a guide.


Location: Cape Sherard, Devon Island to Griffiths Point, Prince Patrick Island. The route may be altered, depending upon sea ice conditions.

Expedition Leaders: West Hansen and Jeff Wueste. In 2023, West and Jeff led the first human-powered (kayak) navigation through the entire Northwest Passage. They are also the first to paddle the entire Amazon and Volga Rivers from most-distant sources to the sea. Their expeditions have been ranked as two of the top ten kayak expeditions of the century (thus far):

Dates: Pending weather/sea conditions, the team will gather in Ottawa near the end of June to travel together to the launch site. Once at the launch town, the team will complete a gear check and food pack. We will have continuous mission control support, which will post daily updates to designated friends and/or family members, as well as composing a daily public blog. Logistics, daily weather/ice reports and safety measures will be conducted on a non-stop basis through our support system. The team will have one resupply point at Resolute and potentially an additional resupply point near the end, pending ice conditions. The expedition is expected to last 50 – 80 days. Team members are required to attend a weeklong training session on the Texas coast in January 2025.

Eligible team members will have sea kayaking experience OR engage in a training program with regular updates showing progress.

As with all our expeditions, the priority will be placed on the authority of the people who have lived on this land for centuries for proper permits, customs and regulations over any other authority. Strict adherence to Canadian Coast Guard regulations will be enforced for all team members.

Cost: Please contact for the price and detailed description of the requirements. Financial obligation includes the training week, all food/gear (except bank clothing), travel to the Arctic from Ottawa, ON and back to Inuvik, NWT. The expedition does not cover the costs to Ottawa or from Inuvik, or any travel from the expedition in case of unplanned interruptions.

Please send inquires and resumes for consideration to (click on my name): West Hansen

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