Expedition cruise lines Silversea and Hapag-Lloyd have broken new polar records in the Arctic.

Last week, Silversea’s 132-passenger Silver Discoverer completed its first voyage through the Northwest Passage during a 23-day cruise.

The Northwest Passage is famous for its shallow channels and floating ice.

Commencing in Kangerlussuaq, Greenland, the ship travelled through the Canadian Arctic Archipelago to reach Nome in Alaska.

Covering 3,500 nautical miles, the line’s director of expedition planning and strategic development, Conrad Combrink said sailing the Northwest Passage is an experience for true adventurers.

“We are honoured to know that what was once an unfulfilled dream for such renowned explorers as Captain James Cook, Henry Hudson, and many others, is now a successful chapter in the history of Silversea Expeditions,” he said.

The ship’s captain Alexander Golubey noted that it took careful planning to complete the voyage.

“It’s a special privilege to sail through the world’s most elusive and historic waterways,” he added.

Meanwhile, last month Hapag-Lloyd Cruises’ 175-passenger Hanseatic also broke records in the Arctic, getting extremely close to the North Pole.

The ship was the first non-Russian ship to reach the point on the Northeast Passage at 85°, 40.7′ north and 135°, 39.6′ east.

At this latitude, the Hanseatic was just 480 kilometres from the North Pole.

Captain Thilo Natke said the ship was able to sail further than usual due to ‘unusual ice conditions’.

“North of the New Siberian Islands in the Russian Arctic, there was a large ice-free zone stretching north through the Arctic Ocean, which we used for this spontaneous detour,” he explained.

During the detour, guests took a Zodiac ride along the edge of the pack ice and later celebrated the feat with a party on the ship’s deck.