Beechey Island is located on Wellington Channel (Canada's Nunavut Arctic archipelago). The island covers a total area of 4,6 km2 (1,8 mi2). Barrow Strait separates it from Devon Island's southwestern corner. Other features include Erebus Harbour, Terror Bay, and Wellington Channel.
Captain William Edward Parry (1790-1855) was the first European to visit the island in 1819. Beechey Island was named after the popular artist William Beechey (1753–1839) by Frederick William Beechey (1796–1856), his son, who was then serving as lieutenant of Capt. Parry.
Beechey Island is the site of a few very significant events in the Arctic exploration's history. In 1845, British explorer Sir John Franklin (1786-1847), commanding a new though ill-fated search for Northwest Passage on HMS Erebus and Terror, chose island's protected harbor for a first winter encampment. In1851 American and British search vessels anchored close by.
In 1903, in order to pay respect to Franklin, Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen (1872-1928) stopped at Beechey Island at the beginning of a successful sailing in search of the Northwest Passage. In 1975 Beechey Island was declared a "Territorial Historic Site" by the government of Northwest Territories. Since 1999, it's been part of the newly established Canadian territory of Nunavut.
In 1993, 5 archaeological sites on Beechey and nearby Devon Island (HMS Breadalbane National Historic Site, Franklin wintering camp of 1845-1846, Northumberland House, Devon Island site at Cape Riley and 2 message cairns) were designated "Beechey Island Sites" National Historic Site of Canada.
The explorers in the novel "Voyages et Aventures du Capitaine Hatteras" by Jules Verne visit Beechey Island. Clive Cussler's novel, "Arctic Drift" (2008), featured characters who would visit the island in the quest for the ships of Franklin. Beechey Island was also mentioned in the novel, "The Terror" by Dan Simmons.
Beechey Island cruise terminal
Cruise ships to Beechey Island dock (anchor) at Resolute - port town on the south-eastern coast of Cornwallis Island.
Port Beechey Island cruise ship schedule shows timetable calendars of all arrival and departure dates by month. The port's schedule lists all ships (in links) with cruises going to or leaving from Beechey Island, Nunavut Canada. To see the full itineraries (ports of call dates and arrival / departure times) and their lowest rates – just follow the corresponding ship-link.