Parks Canada has released the first pictures from inside the HMS Terror, one of the two ships in the doomed Franklin Expedition.

The pictures show a vessel amazingly shipshape despite more than 170 years beneath the Arctic seas.

Parks Canada archaeologist Ryan Harris says a robotic camera showed everything from neatly stacked plates to chamberpots to scientific instruments still in their cases.

He says the camera was able to peer into the private quarters of the ships officers.

He says everything is in such good order that he suspects the ship may have been abandoned suddenly with little warning.

The Terror and its sister ship the Erebus set out from England in 1845 in search of the Northwest Passage.

Neither Sir John Franklin nor his 129 were ever heard from again and little trace of them was found, despite more than 30 expeditions to find them.

But with a blend of Inuit oral history and systematic, high-tech surveys, the Erebus was found in 2014 and the Terror two years later.

With files from Canadian Press