The southern route of the Northwest Passage is wide open. The first image is a close-up showing the blue open water; the second, due to the clouds, is an infrared image showing the entire NWP. The parry Channel is clearing out enough to be called unambiguously open, too, but given the clods, we'll wait a bit. It has become very navigable, so far as I can tell.
UPDATE 8/13: The image below is roughly outlined by the yellow box above and shows the southern route almost completely clear of ice.
UPDATE 6: 8/10/11
The Parry Channel is NAVIGABLE.
The southern route is just gettin' more opener. This image is from 8/7/11.
UPDATE 5 8/4/11
Northwest Passage unambiguously OPEN
UPDATE 4 7/31/11