The Polarquest team have successfully completed a scientific expedition of the Svalbard archipelago.
Their mission: to study the impact of climate change in this sensitive area of the planet and to encourage people to save the white.
About the mission
Views from our expedition circumnavigating Svalbard
Nautical Miles Explored
Exploring the highest latitudes
About the expedition
Polarquest2021: Save the White was an Arctic research expedition to the Svalbard Archipelago carried out on board the record-breaking Best Explorer. Polarquest Association partnered with Arctic Sail Expeditions-Italia for the organization of this expedition.
The expedition explored the impact of human activity on the archipelago: sampling the driftwood and plastic we leave behind, and monitoring impact of climate change on biodiversity through eDNA sampling.
Polarquest2021 crossed the 80th parallel North, into uncharted waters in the Northeast of the Svalbard archipelago. The team carried out first-of-a-kind mapping by air and sea, giving testimony to the state of the Arctic environment in the northernmost regions of Svalbard.
Our record-breaking results
On board: Best Explorer
The expedition was carried out on board 51ft S.Y. Best Explorer, a Steel Cutter with mobile central board. The record-breaking Best Explorer is the first Italian sailboat to sail the Northwest passage along the classical Amundsen route, sailing 140 days from Norway to Alaska for 8,200 nautical miles, 5000 of which were above the polar circle. Later Best Explorer became the first Italian sailboat to circumnavigate the Arctic sailing north of Siberia from Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky to Tromsø and the second ever to do it clockwise.
The Best Explorer crew have experience with scientific research. In 2019, during their wold cruise, they tested scientific equipment for the research institutes ENEA and ISPRA, taking samples and analysing sea plankton to calibrate satellite data. Skipper Nanni Acquarone is a real sea wolf, with 55 years of sailing experience including a world tour of 50,000 nautical miles.
The Polarquest2021 expedition is featured on the TFnews.it website, highlighting the mission’s scientific accomplishments.
16 Sept ’21: Team members Paola Catapano, Mike Struik and Kevin Monneron give a talk on Polarquest missions at IUT Tarbes, France.
The Polarquest2021 expedition has successfully completed its seafloor mapping programme.
Discover the journey on Instagram
Scientific projects of polarquest2021
Carrying out detailed cartography & measuring greenhouse gases.
Collect non-invasive e-DNA samples from Svalbard fjords.
Study accumulation dynamics of the driftwood.
Document the environmental status of uninhabited areas.