The long-term trends of the expected largest waves in the ice-free Arctic waters from Laptev to Beaufort Seas was studied analyzing the ERA-interim reanalysis from 1979 to 2016. The analysis showed that the positive trend is largest in October and increased almost 70 cm in 38 years. For ships navigating the Northern Ship Route, it is important to know what the possible largest waves to expect during its cruise. In view of conducting the extreme value analysis, the uncertainty of the largest wave needs to be validated. However, the observation in the Arctic Ocean is limited. We, therefore, rely on the reanalysis wave products in the Arctic Ocean, whose uncertainty is yet to be determined. ERA-Interim and ERA-5 are compared in the Laptev, the East Siberian, Chukchi and Beaufort Seas. The comparison is relevant as the two products differ in its horizontal grid resolution and availability of the satellite altimeter significant wave height data assimilation. During 2010–2016 when the ERA5 is available, only a small difference from ERA-Interim was detected in the mean. However, the expected largest waves in the domain tended to be large for the ERA-5, 8% normalized bias. The tendency was quite similar with a high correlation of 0.98.

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