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While researching this answer, I learned that there about 5 times per year between late July and September, there are passenger boats from Yakutsk all the way north to Tiksi at 71°39' north. For comparison, the Norwegian North Cape is at 71°10' north and Prudhoe Bay, Alaska is quite far south at 70°20'N, so this passenger boat goes further north than one can drive in either Europe or North America. In fact, to get to Tiksi the boat has to pass along the mouth of the Lena River at 72°25'N before calling at Быковский / Bykovskiye (72°00'N) just north of Tiksi.

lenaturflot route
Lenaturflot route Yakutsk–Tiksi. Source: Lenaturflot.

What is the furthest north one can get, using only public (winter) roads or regular land-based public transportation? By regular public transportation, I mean public transportation that primarily exists to service communities along the way, as opposed to cruises that exist primarily/exclusively for entertainment purposes. Is Tiksi the northernmost?

Assume a starting point in any capital city in mainland Europe or mainland North America (connected by ocean liner, so either continent counts); any point that can be reached without flying from at least one such capital city counts (I think those are all inter-connected by public transport anyway).

  • On the map, Юрюнг-Хая / Yuryung-Khaya appears even further north, and indeed it's located at 72°49'N, but whether one can get there without flying, I don't know. – gerrit Jan 13 at 19:10
  • According to WIkipedia, Yuryung-Khaya is reachable by road in the Winter. Dikson (73°30′N) is not reachable by road, but I have found some articles mentioning irregular passenger ferry services in the summer. – Tor-Einar Jarnbjo Jan 13 at 20:47
  • @Tor-EinarJarnbjo Ah, one can drive to Yuryung-Khaya indeed. That does look a lot harder than booking a boat ticket to Tiksi though...! I didn't find such articles for Dikson but then again I can't read Russian very well. – gerrit Jan 13 at 21:07
  • Wikipedia also has a 'List of northernmost items' placing the world's northernmost road in Yuryung-Khaya, but that is obviously not correct, since there many, but perhaps isolated, road networks further north. Perhaps they mean that the road in Yuryung-Khaya is the northernmost road connected to a continental road network? – Tor-Einar Jarnbjo Jan 13 at 21:42
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    @Tor-EinarJarnbjo True, and it's also a bit of a stretch to call a river that one can drive on for 4–6 months per year a "road". – gerrit Jan 13 at 22:49
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The Qaanaaq Hotel (hotelqaanaaq.dk) in Greenland, 3971   Qaanaaq Kalaallit Nunaat, is at 77.469, and there is a whole village around it.

They website explains: "The travel route is Copenhagen to Kangerlusuaq and to Ilulisat where you have to stay overnight, next morning the flight starts in Ilulisat to Upernavik and to Qaanaaq. There are flights from Ilulisat to Qaanaaq on Wedensday."

P.S. I missed 'land-based travel'. So this is probably not valid.

  • Indeed, title says "without flying"; without a special cruise or own ocean going vessel, one cannot get to Greenland without flying. So I'm afraid this is not a correct answer. – gerrit Apr 17 at 7:00
  • @gerrit clearly Aganju's answer doesn't meet your criteria because, as (s)he notes, it's flying all the way. But I'd sort of assumed that flying to the major land mass the land route is on was still lawful - not least because the question mentions both Alaska and Norway, and I'd love to know where you are if you can get to both of them without some flying. Could you clarify the rules of the question a little, maybe? – MadHatter Apr 17 at 7:05
  • @MadHatter One can easily get between Alaska and Norway without flying. There are (seasonal) buses and ferries to Alaska, trains and buses and ferries to Norway, and passenger-taking freighters and an ocean liner between Europe and N-America. So I'm not sure what clarification is needed. – gerrit Apr 17 at 7:22
  • @gerrit fair enough, though I'm genuinely surprised to hear about regular passenger boats between Europe and North America; I looked for those a few years back and found none that weren't cruise ships. But it seems to me you still need to clarify starting point, so we can be aware where we need to get to entirely by general-purpose surface routes. – MadHatter Apr 17 at 7:26
  • @MadHatter See Queen Mary 2, which is an ocean liner with cruise-like luxuries but not a cruise ship (it's much faster, and it's designed for point-to-point journeys that regular cruise ships are not designed to handle or may not even permit). I have added a starting point clarification to the question (I think all European countries can be reached by land-based public transportation, not so in N-America though) – gerrit Apr 17 at 7:35

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