First solar-powered Arctic voyage

French sailor Anne Quéméré is planning to traverse the Northwest Passage between the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans in a solar-powered electric boat in 2018.

Quéméré, who has already rowed twice across the Atlantic alone and without assistance, discovered the icy landscape of the northern polar region during an expedition to Greenland in 2010. After seeing the devastating effects of global warming in the area and getting to know the local population, she decided to highlight the issue by completing the 3,500km journey using emerging technology.

Speaking about the project, Quéméré said: “My aim is to optimise the sun’s resources on a long and difficult journey, while moving away from the constraints of pollution and solar disturbances.

“Beyond the ‘sport’ aspect, this odyssey remains a human adventure which ebbs and flows between fascination and disappointment, peace of mind and perils. This contact with nature in all its disproportion demands considerably of the mind and aims at new targets for oneself.”

Quéméré will leave Tuktoyaktuk in Canada in 2018 and cross the Northwest Passage during the Arctic summer, which occurs when the ice melts in warmer temperatures.

The project has been given the operation name of Arctic Solar and will follow the same path as the first ever crossing, which was completed by Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen between 1903 and 1906.