High Arctic Haulers·Video

Wind, ice, brutal storms—shipping in the Arctic means fighting the elements

In the Arctic, cargo ships battle the elements to reach remote communities with essential supplies before their window for deliveries closes.

Cargo ships battle the elements each summer to reach remote Arctic communities with essential supplies

Fighting the elements to make deliveries to the Far North

3 years ago
Duration 1:01
Cargo ships bound for the north face an extreme battle with the elements when navigating treacherous Arctic waters.

"The Arctic. It's a rough environment—one of the most challenging navigational waters in the world," says Michel Duplain, Captain of the Sedna Desgagnés.

This fleet of cargo ships face ice-choked waters, shallow passages, high winds and battering waves on their journey to deliver essential supplies to remote communities in Canada's North. Each year, they only have a few weeks throughout the summer where the weather allows for access to these hard-to-reach areas. And even still, it's a gamble. 

It's the High Arctic. It's completely unpredictable.- Joshua Desgagnés-Sirdey, Lead Checker, Sedna Desgagnés

The pressure is on to reach these isolated communities, despite the obstacles and delays, as some only receive one annual sealift. With no roads in or out, these deliveries are their lifeline. "We only get one boat a year, so if you miss the first one, you gotta wait till next year to get it," says Frank Holland, Co-Op Manager, Grise Fiord.

Watch the new documentary series, High Arctic Haulers, as it follows the sealift on its journey to the Far North.