The Wrecks of HMS Erebus and HMS Terror National Historic Site is the first national historic site to be co-managed by Inuit and Parks Canada.
In 1845, explorer Sir John Franklin set sail from England with two ships, HMS Erebus and HMS Terror, in search of a Northwest Passage across what is now Canada’s Arctic. The ships and crew were last seen by Inuit on King William Island and never returned to England. Their apparent disappearance, prompted a massive search that continued unsuccessfully for nearly 170 years.
In September 2014, an expedition led by Parks Canada discovered the wreck of HMS Erebus in an area that had been identified by Inuit. Two years later the wreck of HMS Terror was located. Historical research, Inuit knowledge and the support of many partners made these discoveries possible. Now Inuit and Parks Canada are working together to jointly manage this fascinating National Historic Site. Public access to the Wrecks of HMS Erebus and HMS Terror National Historic Site is not yet allowed.
See Superintendent’s Order for details.
Over one hundred and seventy years ago, British explorer Sir John Franklin and his crew went missing while searching for a Northwest Passage. Over time, Inuit traditional knowledge (Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit) combined with new knowledge and modern technology, led to the discovery of the wreck sites of HMS Erebus and HMS Terror. Today, there is still much to learn from the story of these shipwrecks.
What to do?
Parks Canada and Inuit are working in partnership to explore the wrecks of HMS Erebus and HMS Terror ― the fabled ships of the 1845 Franklin Expedition that set sail from England in search of a Northwest Passage across what is now Canada’s Arctic. Take an unprecedented look inside the wreck of HMS Terror – lost at sea over 170 years ago!