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Family Become First Hungarians To Make The Epic Sea Voyage Across Northwest Passage

By Ferenc Sullivan // 2015.09.22.

A Hungarian family has become the first to complete the close to 4000-kilometre journey across the Northwest Passage, the sea route connecting the northern Atlantic and Pacific Oceans through the Arctic Ocean, along the northern coast of North America via waterways through the Canadian Arctic Archipelago, on board a ship.

Budapest-based Zoltán Balaton and his two-children, 19-year-old Csenge and 6-year-old Kristóf set out on the voyage on 12 July from the town of Sisimiut on the western shore of Greenland on board their own 1-metre sailboat and arrived to Tuktoyaktuk in Canada’s Northwest Territories on 5 September after almost two months at sea, according to a statement sent to the Hungarian state news agency MTI.


Their successful completion of the voyage makes them the first Hungarians ever to have sailed across the Northwest Passage, which, due to contigous ice, is only navigable during a short period of the year, during which sea travel across it is a highly difficult and dangerous undertaking.

Between the early 15th and the early 17th centuries and later in the 19th and 20th centuries, colonising powers – mainly the British and also, to a lesser extent, the Dutch and French – launched several expeditions to find a passage circling North America to the west and north leading towards Asia but controlled by neither the Spanish nor the Portuguese. The search for the passage, named Northwest Passage by the British while still undiscovered, accelerated the discovery of the northwestern and northeastern shores of the North American continent.

The first man to sail across Canada’s Arctic waters was Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen, on board his ship Gjøa, in 1906.

photos: and Wikipedia