Twenty years after Canadian icebreakers first reached the North Pole, two Canadian Coast Guard ships have recreated the feat.
The CCGS Louis S. St-Laurent and the CCGS Terry Fox arrived at the North Pole at 7:26 p.m. Wednesday night.
When a fog lifted, the ships were surrounded by blue sky and second year ice, a senior officer on board the St-Laurent said in an email to the CBC.
"A visit from Santa preceded a hockey game and an ‘Ice Bucket Challenge’ in support of ALS."
The ships will spend another nine days in the work area, then head back to Kugluktuk, Nunavut, for a crew change September 18.
The coast guard vessels left earlier this month to gather scientific data in support of Canada's territorial claim on the Arctic sea floor, including the area under and beyond the North Pole.
The six-week journey will take them to the eastern side of the Lomonosov Ridge, a long undersea feature that runs from near Ellesmere Island in Nunavut northward over the pole.
The move comes seven years after a Russian submarine planted a Russian flag on the seabed beneath the pole.
During his annual northern tour earlier this month, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said Canada cannot be complacent in the face of growing Russian aggression.