Canadian flotilla to retrace the path of Franklin Expedition

Canada's Prime Minister Stephen Harper (L) shakes hands with Canadian Rangers upon arrival in...

Canada's Prime Minister Stephen Harper (L) shakes hands with Canadian Rangers upon arrival in Cambridge Bay, Nunavut August 23, 2014. Harper is on the third day of his annual tour of Northern Canada. REUTERS/Chris Wattie

Giuseppe Valiante, National Bureau

, Last Updated: 6:23 PM ET

A naval expedition including the Royal Canadian Navy will soon travel through the Northwest Passage in search of the doomed Franklin Expedition, but also to reinforce Canada's claims to the Arctic.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper set sail for the Arctic Passage Saturday night from Pont Inlet, Nunavut.

His trip is largely symbolic and part of his six-day Northern Tour, which ends Tuesday.

He visited the Northern Passage in advance of the scientists, Canadian Navy and Coast Guard members as well as the adventurers who will set sail this week in search of Franklin.

The Sir John Franklin Expedition sailed to the High Arctic in 1845 in order to find a way to travel its icy waters. They thought they could find a shipping route to Asia, instead they got trapped and more than 100 men - including Franklin - perished.

 


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