Victoria Strait (Nunavut, Arctic Canada)

Cruise Port schedule, map, terminals, news

Arctic - Antarctica

69.00000 N, -101.00000 W

  Port Map

Victoria Strait is a sea channel (waterway) located in in the Arctic Ocean (Nunavut, Arctic Canada) off mainland Canada. It is located between Victoria Island (to the west) and King William Island (to the east). North to south the Victoria Strait links M'Clintock Channel and Larsen Sound with Queen Maud Gulf.

  • The strait has length of approx 160 km (100 ml), width between 80-130 km (50-80 ml) and is almost without islands (excepting the Royal Geographical Society Island at its extreme south (within the Queen Maud Gulf).
  • Altough Victoria Strait has never been surveyed comprehensively, some of its charted portions indicate water depth of only 10 m (30 ft). This allows smaller ships (with draft/drought under 10 m) to navigate it. However, most of the year its waters are covered with pack (thick) ice, much of it being polar ice flowed from Viscount Melville Sound through McClintock Channel. The strait is relativelly free of ice between late July trough late September, when it freezes again.
  • Due to the strait's hazards, a longer shipping route is used (around King William Island) which is easier for navigation, but with lesser depth.
  • In 1967, the strait was used for the first time by the Canadian icebreaker ship John Macdonald. In 1969, the ice-strengthened supertanker SS Manhattan was the ever first cargo ship that traversed the strait. The vessel was accompanied (assisted) by the icebreaker John MacDonald. This voyage was only done to test the Passage as an alternative to the Alaska Pipeline project. The Passage was determined not economical and the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System was built (between 1974-1977). The icebreaker crossed the strait again in 1975. In 1976 it was crossed by the USCG icebreakers "Louis S St-Laurent" and "J E Bernier".

Victoria Island is among the Arctic Ocean territories along the Northwest Passage route.

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