Transglobal Car Expedition Completes Historic First Crossing of North Pole by Vehicle from North America to Greenland

Must Alter Route Following Greenland Permit Setback and Continues Their Journey
Station Nord, Greenland – 11 May 2024 – The Transglobal Car Expedition has successfully crossed the true geographic North Pole and the Arctic Ocean as part of its historic first circumnavigation of the globe by vehicle across both poles, starting and ending in New York City.

The twelve international team members departed Yellowknife, Canada, on February 4th 2024 and reached 90 degrees north latitude on April 6th. After a short reset, they began their trek south to Greenland through the Arctic ice cap at an average speed of about 35 kilometres per day. On May 10th, they reached the north coast of Greenland. It is the first time this difficult route from Canada to Greenland via the North Pole has been ever attempted by vehicle. The team succeeded in just over three months.

"We are thrilled with the success of the Arctic leg of the expedition," said expedition leader Vasily Shakhnovsky, "We always knew that in any season we would be at the mercy of the ice and that in some years it was simply impossible to cross the Pole on the surface. But through hard work on route planning, endeavour on the ground, and some luck we managed to cross the top of the world. This really sets us up for the success of the whole project."

In total, the group's expedition across ocean ice from the northernmost point of land in Canada to the north coast of Greenland was more than 2,000 kilometres of direct travel and 3,200 kilometres of actual travel over ice and open water crossings. It was the second of seven sections of the overall expedition.

The Transglobal Car Expedition departed from the Explorers Club in New York City on 9 January 2024 and travelled to Yellowknife, Canada, completing the first leg on public roads. From there, the team switched to 6x6 Arctic Trucks to begin the second leg and go overland through the Northwest Territories and Nunavut on an 800-kilometre route that the team pioneered in 2022.

In Cambridge Bay, Nunavut, the team transferred to four amphibious "Emelya" vehicles to cross the North Pole, as open water and thin ice are ongoing challenges along the route. A week of driving on the internal waters of Canada in the Northwest Passage got them to Resolute Bay, and they left from there for the North Pole and then Greenland.

Throughout the Arctic leg, the expedition team monitored ice condition closely both for their own safety and for contribution to ice databases such as by using a ground-penetrating ice thickness meter throughout. It is very unusual for continuous data of ice thickness to be collected in a journey across the Pole. The team also collected data on cosmic ray penetration through the atmosphere; these muons have a known relationship with cloud formation and climate change, and also a predictive correlation with terrestrial seismic activity. This data has never before been collected above 83 degrees latitude and so offers new possibilities for analysis to partner scientists. “We’re thrilled to be able to offer these data sets that until now have been difficult or impossible to collect,” said Andrew Comrie-Picard, a main team member and science liaison on the Expedition.

At the end of the route on the Arctic Ocean, the expedition planned to cross the whole of Greenland along a route that its members had travelled in previous years. But the Greenland government's Expedition Office, acting on the advice of the Greenland Police, refused permission for the crossing on the grounds that local search and rescue services (SAR) might be overwhelmed in the event of an emergency. As a result, the expedition will not be able to go overland in any part of North Greenland.

"This is really unfortunate as it is an expedition doing some ground-breaking work in collaboration with scientists from European universities and legitimate international scientific institutions such as CERN and Italian space agency," said Dr. Maxim Artamonov, manager of Swiss non-profit that sponsors the Expedition.

This leaves the Expedition in a difficult position. Ships cannot approach the northern coast of Greenland, and the condition of ocean ice at these lower latitudes prevents vehicles from travelling in a southerly direction around the coast. So, given the government's refusal, there is no possibility of continuing the expedition on the surface. The expedition plan was to cross Greenland overland from Wulff Land in the north to Sisimiut in the south, and then transfer by ship to Denmark via Iceland and the Faroe Islands. The expedition team is hopeful that they may still be able to achieve this route but in a subsequent winter season after discussions with Greenland authorities.

The Transglobal Car Expedition remains committed to its goal of completing the world's first round-the-world expedition without leaving land and water. The team would like to thank everyone who follows and supports our journey.

About Transglobal Car Expedition:

The Transglobal Car Expedition is a pioneering initiative to circumnavigate the Earth by travelling through the North and South Poles. The expedition incorporates human adventure, technological innovation, scientific data collection and educational media initiatives. At the heart of this amazing journey is a passion for discovery and a collective desire for the local and scientific communities to benefit from its passage.

The expedition, which has been carefully planned over five years and has included several full exploration trials in the Arctic and Antarctic, includes explorers and scientists from eight countries including Canada, the United States, Russia, Ukraine, Georgia, Iceland, Germany and Italy. The Icelandic and Russian teams are considered the world's experts in wheeled polar travel and this is the first time they have come together for an expedition.

More information about the expedition can be found at:

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Press release