Northwest passage

Canada, 1970

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It took a supertanker like the U.S.S. Manhattan, assisted by a nimble icebreaker, the Canadian John A. Macdonald, to realize the dream of centuries: the navigation of a commercial sea lane through the Arctic channels. This is a record of that historic expedition, filmed in colour from both ships and from a reconnaissance helicopter. Commentary by ships’ navigators and observers, and shipside sounds of formidable sea ice groaning, straining and cracking make this an adventure rarely seen on film.



Bernard Gosselin


Francois Seguillon

production company

National Film Board of Canada







ACMI Identifier


Subject categories

Anthropology, Ethnology, Exploration & Travel → Arctic regions

Anthropology, Ethnology, Exploration & Travel → Arctic regions - Discovery and exploration

Anthropology, Ethnology, Exploration & Travel → Canada - Exploring expeditions

Anthropology, Ethnology, Exploration & Travel → Ice-breaking vessels

Anthropology, Ethnology, Exploration & Travel → Ocean travel

Climate, Environment, Natural Resources & Disasters → Geology

Communications, Infrastructure, & Transport → Ice-breaking vessels

Communications, Infrastructure, & Transport → Navigation - Equipment and supplies

Communications, Infrastructure, & Transport → Navigation - History

Communications, Infrastructure, & Transport → Shipping

Communications, Infrastructure, & Transport → Ships

Communications, Infrastructure, & Transport → Ships - Equipment and supplies

Communications, Infrastructure, & Transport → Transportation - History


Documentary → Documentary films - Canada

History → History

History → Navigation - History

History → Trade routes - History

Mathematics, Science & Technology → Geology

Mathematics, Science & Technology → Ice-breaking vessels

Places → Arctic regions

Short films

Short films → Short films - Canada




16mm film; Access Print (Section 1)

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