Image via Wikipedia
When I saw the first trailer for Big Miracle, I was captivated by the icebreaker footage. Admittedly, because I thought I recognized some of it. When the 30 second spots began playing I was disappointed to see that the icebreaker footage had been left on the cutting room floor.
So it was with trepidation that I bought a ticket for the octogenarian and I. What if the icebreaker that I saw in that first trailer never actually made it to the film. I needn’t have worried. An icebreaker played a significant role in the real life story of the rescue of a trio of California Grey Whales.
I posted my review of the film, a week or so ago. The film didn’t do too well at the box office that first weekend, so I did not expect to see much traffic to my blog. I could never have been more wrong. That review has generated more traffic than any one post since the inception of this blog. Big Miracle’s audience leaves the theatre and Googles – Big Miracle icebreaker. [They don't always spell miracle correctly, fyi.] Despite the fact the icebreaker used looks nothing like the icebreaker actually involved in the incident – Admiral Makarov, 50 Years of Victory – the icebreaker in the film – makes a big impact. Pun intended!
The other keyword driver to my blog has been Sarah Palin Big Miracle. A very young Sarah Palin is seen in the last few minutes of the film as the credits role. She also receives a shout-out during the credits. No mention was ever made of the former governor of Alaska’s appearance in the film in the publicity material that I saw.
Two big and miraculous marketing opportunities were missed.
PS – the header photo at the top of the page – that is Victory, June 29, 2008, just a couple of days before the footage you see in the film was shot. The tripod to the left – that held the camera on which the ice level footage was shot.
50 Years of Victory, departing from the Arctic Ocean
I have sailed on the world’s largest nuclear powered icebreaker, 50 Years of Victory. One question I’m often asked is she really a working icebreaker? If you don’t believe my resounding yes, then take a look at this story in Tanker News.
I took the photo from Victory’s fly bridge. She had just been pulled from her moorings by tug boats, and was now under her own steam. That was about midnight at the end of June 2008. The light on the horizon was the midnight sun reflecting off the Arctic Ocean.
Quark will operate another North Pole expedition in 2011. The dates and rates haven’t been announced by the company has a waiting list started. And it isn’t empty!
- Sharing the Adventure
I’m often told, “I would love to sail on an icebreaker in the Arctic, but it is pricey.” Undeniable as that statement is, I have a suggestion that lets you share some big savings – as much as $5,500 US per person on an Arctic cruise!
Get your gal-pals together and share a triple cabin. If you sailed the Northwest Passage
in a twin cabin, you would have to pay an additional $5,500 per person. And you would have a third of the fun.
So you don’t have two pals who are as mad about the Arctic as you are. I live that. Then request a triple-share. All you do is book at the triple price and tell the person that you want to share. [The same gender, no pre-arranged shenanigans - you have to arrange that on the ship all by yourself.] If Quark Expeditions can’t find you two cabin mates - you still sail at the triple fare and you have a cabin to yourself or with one other – and you haven’t had to pay a supplement or the twin price! There is no way you can lose.
- Chinese Icebreaker – Xuelong
Let’s recap. There are five circumpolar countries – Canada, the US, Russia, Norway and Denmark. With three additional countries – Sweden, Iceland and Finland – they comprise the Arctic Council. Later this month, the circumpolar countries will meet in Quebec to discuss the Arctic – minus the other three AC members, and representatives of the indigenous peoples of the Arctic.
China won’t be at the Chelsea Summit. China has no Arctic shoreline. However, Chinese diplomats are lobbying for permanent observer status with the Arctic Council, according to a report by Randy Boswell in the Calgary Herald.
China’s commitment to polar research includes investing in the world’s largest icebreaker. The one depicted in the photograph is the sum total of their polar-class icebreaker fleet. Her name translates to Snow Dragon. She transports researchers and supplies to The Great Wall, China’s Antarctic research base.
The irony of this news has not escaped anyone with familiar with polar history. The search for the Northwest Passage
was an attempt to find the northern trade route to – that’s right – China. Now that the Passage – and the Arctic Ocean – may be free of ice in our lifetime – the Chinese are seeking the northern trade route to – Europe!
There are 13 End of an Era expeditions. 3.5 are sold out, already. Three in Antarctica in 2010. The .5 is in the Antarctic in 2011. So, if you want to see the polar regions on an icebreaker better book now. A deposit holds your cabin until 120 days prior to travel. That will give you lots of time to save, yet ensure you won’t miss the boat.