Herschel Island is located in Beaufort Sea (Arctic Ocean), and approx 5 km (3 mi) off the coast of mainland Canada (Yukon). The island is uninhabited. It covers a total area of 116 km2 (45 mi2), has width 8-15 km (5-9 mi) between shorelines and highest elevation point 182 m (596 ft).
The island was first discovered by Europeans in 1826. Sir John Franklin (1786-1847, British Navy officer, Arctic explorer) named it after Sir William Herschel (1738-1822, British astronomer and composer). At the time of Franklin's arctic expeditions, there were 3 indigenous (Inuvialuit) settlements on the isle using it as a hunting and fishing base.
In the late-19th century, the island was used as an overwinter Canadian Arctic base in Beaufort Sea. The base started accommodating large whaling ships in its harbour in 1889. In 1890 was established the Pauline Cove settlement. In the period 1893-1894, the island's population was around 1,500, ranking it Yukon's largest community. Most of the residents, however, lived onboard their ships.
In 1893, the Pacific Steam Whaling Company constructed the Community House building at Pauline Cove. It had a lounge room, company office and storage facilities. In 1896 the whaling company donated the building to the Anglican church, who used it until 1906. In 1911, Canada purchased all Herschel Island assets. The Community House (still standing) is the Yukon's oldest frame building. Being in excellent condition, it is now used as a office and tourist centre. Between 1890-1910, the last of the Island's residents re-settled to Tuktoyaktuk - an Inuvialuit port town on mainland Canada.
In the 1970s the island became a temporary safe harbor for oil-drilling ships in the region, its last permanent residents left in 1987. Inuvialuit people still use it seasonally as base for hunting, fishing and camping. In 1987 was created the Herschel Island Territorial Park. The Territorial Park, together with the Canadian national parks Ivvavik and Vuntut (both on mainland Canada) are contenders to enter the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Herschel Island was included as port of call in the Northwest Passage cruises of the following passenger ships:
Herschel Island cruise terminal
Cruise ships to Herschel Island Canada dock (anchor) at Pauline Cove - port harbor on the western coast.
Port Herschel 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 Herschel Island, Yukon Canada. To see the full itineraries (ports of call dates and arrival / departure times) and their lowest rates – just follow the corresponding ship-link.
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