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Press Release

Historic Beechey Island Now More Accessible

Quark Expeditions® Introduces Excursion To Remote Northwest Passage Landmark

[Seattle, WA] – December 10, 2014 – Quark Expeditions® is excited to introduce Franklin’s Lost Expedition, a  unique excursion to Nunavut’s Beechey Island exclusively for passengers staying at Arctic Watch Wilderness Lodge, Quark’s first land-based expedition. The optional day trip will give passengers the chance to retrace the heroic footsteps of famed polar explorer Sir John Franklin and his crew, as they explored the island over a century ago.

For 2015, Arctic Watch passengers can discover the island via a scenic one-hour flight over the Northwest Passage, with a chance to glimpse breaking ice, narwhal, beluga whales, and even polar bears enroute. With the assistance of a guide, a maximum of 12 passengers will recall what Franklin and his crew, and other explorers before them, might have experienced on the secluded island. Visitors will see the historic graves and storage depot, explore the island and enjoy a picnic lunch while surrounded by rugged landscapes and majestic ice formations.

Andrew White, Quark’s President, is delighted to offer the excursion to Quark passengers. “Beechey Island is one of our passengers’ favorite Arctic landing sites. To retrace the footsteps of such iconic polar explorers is a very unique and special experience, and truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. We are happy to extend this rare experience to our Arctic Watch guests.” 

Beechey Island, National Historic Site of Canada

As one of the Arctic’s most historic places, the small yet storied island was named after famed explorer Sir William Beechey. Due to its relatively flat topography and shelter, many exploration crews wintered here over the years. Now, visitors to the island are transported back to the explorations of Captain William Edward Parry, the first European visitor in 1819, and to the times of the “lost” expedition of Sir John Franklin and his ill-fated crew in 1845. In September 2014, Franklin’s lost ship, Erebus, was found just south of the island.

Many important discoveries were made on the island after Franklin's expedition, as it continued to be used as a base and depot for exploration and mapping, including the surveying of three Northwest Passages and half of the Canadian Arctic. The area is revered as a pilgrimage site for sailors interested in this significant trade route. Beechey Island is also accessible as a possible landing site for Quark passengers on the In the Footsteps of Franklin, Northwest Passage: Franklin's Legend, and Epic High Arctic: Baffin Island Explorer voyages.   

How to Book 

Franklin’s Lost Expedition is available from Arctic Watch Wilderness Lodge July 2 to August 15, 2015, for $895USD per person. Arctic Watch Wilderness Lodge expeditions are avalable from $7,995USD per person. Contact a Quark Expeditions®’ Polar Travel Adviser by telephone or live chat Monday through Thursday 7:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Friday 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. Travelers in North America may call toll free 1.888.892.0073 or +1.203.803.2666. Bookings can also be made online at

About Quark Expeditions®

For almost 25 years, Quark Expeditions® has been the leading provider of polar adventure travel. With its diverse fleet of specially equipped vessels, unique land-based adventures and seasoned expedition leaders, it offers travelers unparalleled access to the most remote regions on earth: the Arctic and Antarctica. In 2013, Quark Expeditions® was voted “World’s Leading Polar Expedition Operator” by the World Travel Awards, received the “Blow the Budget” award from the Amadeus & World Travel Mart Travel Experience Awards and was named one of National Geographic Traveler’s 50 Tours of a Lifetime for its “Three Arctic Islands” voyage.