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FRONTIER SPIRIT COMPLETES FIRST HALF OF NORTHWEST PASSAGE; HEAVY ICE ENCOUNTERED BEFORE REACHING OPEN WATER

 FRONTIER SPIRIT COMPLETES FIRST HALF OF NORTHWEST PASSAGE;
 HEAVY ICE ENCOUNTERED BEFORE REACHING OPEN WATER
 FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla., Sept. 2 /PRNewswire/ -- The M.S. Frontier Spirit has reached the open water beyond Cambridge Bay in the Canadian Arctic in her attempt to become the fourth cruise ship in history to successfully navigate the Northwest Passage. The vessel left Greenland on August 18; by August 30, she had penetrated thick packice in convoy with two Canadian icebreakers.
 If the Frontier Spirit successfully achieves her objective, Captain Heinz Aye will be credited with three of the four cruise ship crossings of this formidable route. On Sunday he reported the vessel anchored off Victoria Island midway in the Passage.
 Since August 22, the Frontier Spirit had only sailed 395 miles in a generally southerly direction due to the difficult ice conditions. During this period, the ship, with 119 passengers aboard, spent almost four days and nights in heavy pack ice.
 At one point, Captain Aye said, the ice was so thick that both icebreakers accompanying the Frontier Spirit, including the 24,000 horsepower Terry Fox, were unable to move. However, the tide changed on Aug. 28 and the convoy got under way again. By two in the morning, they had reached open water.
 The Frontier Spirit is expected to reach the end of her Northwest Passage voyage in Nome on Sept. 9, 1992. The existence of the Northwest Passage was disputed until the middle of the 19th century. The rugged ocean route connects the North Atlantic and the North Pacific via the Canadian Arctic.
 The 164-passenger Frontier Spirit features 82 all-outside staterooms; a mini-fleet of Zodiac landing craft; 24-hour open bridge; single-seating dining and cabin service; ship-based helicopter for ice reconnaissance; two lounges and seven decks; extensive library and audio-video room; gymnasium, sauna, swimming pool; and observation lounge offering panoramic views.
 For further information, contact SeaQuest Cruises at 600 Corporate Drive, Suite 410, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida 33334; toll-free 1-800-223-5688, or 305-772-7552.
 -0- 9/2/92
 /NOTE TO EDITORS: Color photography of the vessel in the Northwest Passage is available on request/
 /CONTACT: Patty Weir, director of marketing of SeaQuest Cruises, 305-772-7552, or David Kleinman or Lisa Brainin, both of Spring, O'Brien & Co., 212-213-4133, for SeaQuest Cruises/ CO: SeaQuest ST: Florida IN: LEI SU:


LD-TM -- NYFNS4 -- 5713 09/02/92 07:33 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Sep 2, 1992
Words:389
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