1. Who was the first English explorer to sail to the Arctic in 1576? Martin Frobisher
2. How far did he get? The southeast corner of Baffin Island at Frobisher Bay.
3. Early explorers ran into a lot of ice as it was still the Little Ice Age. Which explorer first penetrated the ice to start mapping the Northwest Passage over 250 years later? William Parry, for whom Parry Channel is named.
4. Sir John Franklin was perhaps the most famous of Arctic explorers because he became trapped in ice and he and all his crew starved to death. What were the names of his two ships? Erebus and Terror, finally located by Parks Canada, remarkably intact, in 2014 and 2016.
5. Who was the biggest champion of Arctic exploration in the following years? Lady Jane Franklin who ran a dedicated campaign to convince the English government to search for her lost husband.
6. Which Arctic explorer is now credited with finding the last link in the Northwest Passage during the search for Franklin? John Rae, who was vilified at the time, in 1854, as he discovered evidence of cannibalism among the starving men.
7. Near which island were Franklin's ships finally found in 2014 and 2016? King William Island.
8. Who was the Inuit man who directed Parks Canada to Terror Bay to find one of the ships? (After 3 dogged years of searching, they found it in ten minutes with his help.) Louie Kamookak who lived in Gjoa Haven on King William Island and had compiled oral history of the area, including reports of starving white men in the mid-19th century several generations earlier.
9. Almost all Arctic islands and waterways are named after various Victorian English gentlemen. Queen Maud Gulf is named after a queen of which country? Norway.
10. Who named the gulf and why? Amundsen, a Norwegian, because she was his Queen. Amundsen was the first to actually travel through the entire Northwest Passage, in 1903-06.
11. In what year did the American oil tanker, strengthened with an icebreaker bow, sail through the Northwest Passage escorted by the Canadian icebreaker CCGS John A. Mac Donald? 1969. It sailed from east to west and collected a symbolic barrel of oil in Prudhoe Bay, then sailed back from west to east.
12. Which Arctic community known as a centre for native art changed its named to Kinngait less than a year ago? Cape Dorset on Baffin Island, known particularly for Inuit print making.
13. In which community is the Canadian High Arctic Research Station (CHARS)? Cambridge Bay. It's an architecturally spectacular facility just recently opened.
14. How many cruise ships plied the Arctic waters in 2019? 73. Cruise ships are a rapidly growing feature of Arctic tourism after the Crystal Serenity cruised the Northwest Passage in 2016 bringing 1000 passengers to tiny Arctic communities.
15. How far north in the Canadian Arctic do those Snowy Owls nest? All the way to the north end of Ellesmere Island.