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Nils Nordenskjold: First Through NE Passage

The Swedish explorer Nils Adolf Erik Nordenskjold (1832-1901) was the first to complete a voyage through the Northeast Passage along the northern coast of Europe and Asia.

Travelling in the steamship Vega, he started in 1878 from Tromso, Norway. He almost made it through the entire passage, but just short of the Bering Strait and the ice-free water of the Pacific Ocean, the ship became ice-bound for the winter. He completed the Atlantic to Pacific voyage the following spring.

It wasn't until 1915 that the first trip was made through the passage from east to west. Today, thanks to icebreakers, the Northeast Passage has become a more practical shipping route than the Northwest Passage.

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