Northwest Passage

Polar bear on ice floe, Arctic Canada
from £9862 12-16 nights | Aug & Sep Exc. flights See price details
  • Departs:
  • Aug & Sep

Overview

Join an adventurous cruise following one of the Arctic's most iconic routes - the epic quest to find the Northwest Passage occupied some of the best minds of European civilization for half a millennium. Today this elusive route offers a fascinating history, spectacular icebergs and the chance to see wildlife including polar bears and narwhals

Highlights

  • stop at Beechey Island to see the graves from the lost Franklin Expedition
  • enjoy cultural presentations including traditional throat-singing and Inuit games
  • deep fjords, ancient glaciers and countless icebergs provide a spectacular backdrop
  • wildlife in abundance including polar bears, narwhals, seals, muskox and caribou

The legendary Northwest Passage boasts a fascinating polar history, and this voyage from Greenland to Canada includes some interesting historical visits.

In addition to its long history of exploration, this region also offers a chance to visit local communities and to experience the isolated way of life faced by the Inuits of the Canadian Arctic. The Northwest Passage may now be an established sailing route but it remains a legendary voyage of discovery to this day!

*SPECIAL DEPARTURE: 7th SEPT 2017*
includes an exclusive visit to the wreck of HMS Erebus - see 'other information' tab for more details.

Itinerary & Accommodation

Day 1: Fly to Kangerlussuaq and embark ship
Begin your adventure by flying from Toronto to Kangerlussuaq and embarking the ship. Set sail in Sondre Stromfjord, one of the longest fjords in the world - boasting 168 kilometres of superb scenery.
Day 2: Sisimiut
People have lived in the Sisimiut area for 4,500 years. For the first 2,000 years, the people of the Saqqaq culture made it their home before the Dorset culture took over around 2,500 years ago. They lasted for 1,500 years and were followed by the people of the Thule culture - the ancestors of the current population. All these cultures came from Canada and primarily lived on fish, birds, and mammals such as whales and seals. You will explore this historic region and learn more about the society’s evolution through time.
Day 3: Ilulissat
Ilulissat translates literally into “iceberg”, and there couldn’t be a more fitting name for this pretty town on Greenland’s west coast. Your visit will include a chance to hike out along a boardwalk to an elevated viewpoint where you can observe great fields of ice crackling ice. You will also take a Zodiac cruise to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Ilulissat Icefjord.

The icefjord is where you will find the Sermeq Kujalleq Glacier, one of the most active and fastest moving in the world, which calves more than thirty-five square kilometres of ice annually. The glacier has been the object of scientific attention for 250 years.
Day 4: Karrat Fjord
Today cruise one of Greenland’s most spectacular fjords, known for plentiful marine life and inspiring landscapes. Seals use the long leads created by high winds in this region to hunt in the nutrient rich waters. The cliffs and talus slopes within the fjord should also allow good opportunities to see colonies of dovekies.
Day 5-7: Qaasuitsup Kommunia
To the north of the Upernavik Archipelago, Melville Bay opens into Baffin Bay. Its Kalaallisut name, Qimusseriarsuaq, means “the great dog sledding place”. Ice does not clear from the bay each summer and it is totally isolated and uninhabited. Because of local winds and extensive ice, Melville Bay is the site of dramatic landscape views. Moving into Smith Sound, spend a day exploring this fabled body of water that served as the main route for explorers and adventurers searching for the North Pole. Adolphus Greely, Sir George Nares and Elisha Kent Kane all travelled these waters with varying degrees of success. The Sound was named by William Baffin after Sir Thomas Smythe, promoter of voyages to find a Northwest Passage. Between 48 and 72 kilometres wide and 88 kilometres long - Smith Sound is often packed with ice and provides favourable conditions for wildlife viewing.
Day 8: Aujuittuq (Grise Fiord)
Prepare for spectacular views as you approach the heart-shaped mountain of Uummannaq today. The town of the same name was founded as a Danish colony in 1758 on the Nuussuaq mainland, but moved in 1763 to the nearby island to take advantage of better seal-hunting opportunities. Later, visit Qilaqitsoq where five Greenland mummies were discovered in 1972. Four women and a child are thought to have drowned and remained buried in a dry and cool cave for around 600-700 years. The mummified remains are now in Nuuk, the capital of Greenland.
Day 9: Coburg Island
At the entrance to Jones Sound is Coburg Island, where the spectacular seabird cliffs are a designated National Wildlife Area. Thirty thousand pairs of black-legged kittiwakes and 160,000 pairs of thick-billed murres, crowd the rocky ledges on this island, which is itself almost completely covered by an ice cap.
Day 10: Devon Island
Devon Island is the largest uninhabited island on earth and comprises over fifty thousand square kilometres. It was first sighted by Europeans in 1616, though it was not inhabited for another three hundred years with the arrival of the Hudson’s Bay Company. The island’s geology consists of reddish Precambrian gneiss and Paeleozoic siltstones and shales; these, combined with its harsh climate, have drawn comparisons with the conditions on the planet Mars.
Day 11: Beechey Island
In 1845 Sir John Franklin took his expedition of 129 men and two ships into the Wellington Channel in search of a safe passage through the icy waters to help establish a potentially lucrative new trade route. Not a soul returned alive. It was two years before search parties were launched and aside from three bodies buried on Beechey Island, only relics were found as clues to the mysterious disappearance.

In the autumn of 2014, Canadian archaeologists finally found remnants of the HMS Erebus. This was followed in 2016 by the discovery of the wreck of the Erubus’ sister ship, the HMS Terror. These historic finds have helped re-galvanized interest in the fabled region.
Day 12: Bathurst Island
Good soil conditions and a rare wetland environment produce abundant vegetation here, making Bathurst a major calving area for the endangered Peary caribou. Here you also find the Polar Bear Pass National Wildlife Area, a migratory route for polar bears from March to November.
Day 13: Melville Island
British explorer Sir William Parry first visited Melville Island in 1819. Not only did he discover the island; ice forced him to spend the winter of 1820 at what is now called ‘Winter Harbour’. The island is named for Robert Dundas, second Viscount Melville, who was First Sea Lord at the time.

Melville Island is one of two major breeding grounds for a small sea goose, the western High Arctic Brant. DNA analysis and field observations suggest that these birds may be distinct from other Brant stocks. Numbering only 4-8 thousand birds, this is one of the rarest goose stocks in the world.
Day 14: Banks Island
In 1820, Sir William Parry named Banks Island in honour of British naturalist and botanist Sir Joseph Banks. Two federal Migratory Bird Sanctuaries were founded here in 1961. The island is home to two thirds of the world’s population of lesser snow geese, and also supports barren-ground caribou, polar bears, and birds like robins and swallows. The first grizzly-polar bear hybrid found in the wild was sighted here in April 2006, near Sachs Harbour. Musk ox, numbering over 40,000, are the most striking of the abundant wildlife on the island.
Day 15: Prince of Wales Strait
Prince of Wales Strait is part of the Arctic Ocean, extending northeastward for 275 kilometres from the Amundsen Gulf to Viscount Melville Sound and separating Banks and Victoria Islands. It was discovered in 1850 by Irish explorer Robert McClure, who came within sight of Viscount Melville Sound before heavy ice forced him to turn back. Named after Albert Edward, then the Prince of Wales, the strait was not navigated until the RCMP patrol of Sgt. Larsen in 1944.
Day 16: Ulukhaktok (Holman)
Found on the west side of Victoria Island, a Hudson’s Bay Company post was opened at Prince Albert Sound in 1923, moved to Walker Bay in 1928 and finally to Ulukhaktok (Holman) in 1939. The large bluff that overlooks Ulukhaktok was the source that provided the slate and copper used to make ulus - traditional Inuit knives - and gives the community its name. Printmaking is popular in Ulukhaktok, as are beautifully intricate pieces carved from the horns of the abundant local musk ox population. The musk oxen also provide the community with qiviut, one of the warmest and most luxurious fibres in the world, used to make all manner of clothing and coverings.
Day 17: Kugluktuk (Coppermine)
Located at the mouth of the Coppermine River, southwest of Victoria Island on the Coronation Gulf, Kugluktuk is the western most community in Nunavut. Coppermine reverted to its original Inuinnaqtun name - Kugluktuk, meaning “place of moving waters”- on January 1st, 1996. The Coppermine River itself is designated a Canadian Heritage River for the important role it played as an exploration and fur trade route. Copper deposits along the river attracted the first explorers to the area.

Today disembark the ship and fly to Edmonton before continuing your journey home from here.
Notes

Itinerary Variations

2017 Season

Akademik Ioffe - 24 Aug 2017

Day 1 Fly from Edmonton to Cambridge Bay for embarkation
Day 2 Victory Point, King William Island
Day 3 Conningham Bay
Day 4 Bellot Strait and Fort Ross
Day 5 Beechey Island
Day Lancaster Sound and Dundas Harbour
Day 7 Pond Inlet
Day 8 Gibbs Fjord
Day 9 At sea in Baffin Bay
Day 10 Ilulissat and Jacobshavn Icefjord
Day 11 Sisimiut
Day 12 Sondre Stromfjord
Day 13 Disembark in Kangerlussuaq and fly to Ottawa

Special Departure - See 'More Information' tab for details

Ocean Endeavour - 07 Sep 2017

Day 1 Fly from Edmonton to Kugluktuk (Coppermine) for embarkation
Day 2 Coronation Gulf
Day 3 Wreck of the HMS Erebus
Day 4 Gjoa Haven
Days 5-6 Peel Sound and Parry Channel
Day 7 Qausuittuq National Park
Day 8
Beechey Island
Day 9
Simirlik National Park
Day 10 Pond Inlet
Day 11 Northeast Baffin Fjords
Day 12 Auyuittuq National Park
Day 13 East Baffin Island
Day 14 At sea
Day 15 Ilulissat
Day 16 Itilleq Fjord
Day 17 Disembark at Kangerlussuaq, fly to Toronto

2018 Season

Akademik Vavilov - 12 Aug 2018

Day 1 Fly from Ottawa to Kangerlussuaq for embarkation
Day 2 Sisimiut
Day 3 Ilulissat and icefjord
Days 4-5 Baffin Bay
Day 6 Pond Inlet
Day 7-8 Lancaster Sound and Devon Island
Day 9 Beechey Island
Day 10 Fort Ross and Bellot Strait
Day 11 Coningham Bay
Day 12 Victory Point, King William Island
Day 13 Disembark in Cambridge Bay and fly to Edmonton

Ocean Endeavour - 17 Aug 2018

Day 1 Fly from Toronto to Kangerlussuaq for embarkation
Day 2 Sisimiut
Days 3-4 Ilulissat
Days 5-6 Western Greenland
Day 7 Qikiqtarjuaq
Day 8
Eastern Baffin Island
Day 9
Northeast Baffin Island
Day 10 Devon Island
Day 11 Beechey Island
Days 12-13 Parry Channel and Peel Sound
Day 14 Usqsuqtuuq (Gjoa Haven)
Day 15 Queen Maud Gulf
Day 16 Coronation Gulf
Day 17 Disembark in Kugluktuk (Coppermine) and fly to Edmonton

Akademik Vavilov - 24 Aug 2018

Day 1 Fly from Edmonton to Cambridge Bay for embarkation
Day 2 Victory Point, King William Island
Day 3 Conningham Bay
Day 4 Bellot Strait and Fort Ross
Day 5 Beechey Island
Day Lancaster Sound and Dundas Harbour
Day 7 Pond Inlet
Day 8 Gibbs Fjord
Day 9 At sea in Baffin Bay
Day 10 Ilulissat and Jacobshavn Icefjord
Day 11 Sisimiut
Day 12 Sondre Stromfjord
Day 13 Disembark in Kangerlussuaq and fly to Ottawa

Ocean (Sea) Adventurer - 26 Aug 2018

Baffin Island and Northwest Passage
Day 1
Overnight in Ottawa
Day 2 Fly from Ottawa to Kangerlussuaq and embark ship
Days 3-4 West Greenland - Maniitsoq and Nuuk
Day 5 At sea towards Baffin Island
Days 6-15 Baffin Island and Northwest Passage exploration
Possible calling points include:
Pangnirtung
Cape Mercy
Qikiqtarjuak (Broughton Island)
Isabella Bay
Sam Ford Fjord
Pond Inlet
Devon Island
Beechey Island
Somerset Island
Day 16 Disembark in Resolute and fly to Ottawa
Day 17 Depart for home or choose to extend your stay in Canada

Akademik Ioffe - 01 Sep 2018

Day 1 Fly from Edmonton to Cambridge Bay for embarkation
Day 2 Victory Point, King William Island
Day 3 Conningham Bay
Day 4 Bellot Strait and Fort Ross
Day 5 Beechey Island
Day Lancaster Sound and Dundas Harbour
Day 7 Pond Inlet
Day 8 Gibbs Fjord
Day 9 Isabella Fjord
Day 10 Sunshine Fjord
Day 11 Pangnirtung
Day 12 Monumental Island
Day 13 Disembark in Iqaluit and fly to Ottawa

Ocean Endeavour - 02 Sep 2018

Day 1 Fly from Edmonton to Kugluktuk (Coppermine) for embarkation
Day 2 Coronation Gulf
Day 3 Queen Maud Gulf
Day 4 Usqsuqtuuq (Gjoa Haven)
Days 5-7 Peel Sound and Parry Channel
Day 8
Beechey Island
Day 9
Lancaster Sound
Day 10 Aujuittuq (Grise Fjord)
Day 11 Smith Sound
Day 12-14 Northwest Greenland
Day 15 Ilulissat
Day 16 Itilleq Fjord
Day 17 Disembark at Kangerlussuaq, fly to Toronto

Ocean (Sea) Adventurer - 09 Sep 2018

West Greenland and Northwest Passage
Day 1
Overnight in Ottawa
Day 2
Fly from Ottawa to Resolute and embark ship
Days 3-6
Northwest Passage exploration
Possible calling points include:
Beechey Island
Radstock Bay
Arctic Bay
Devon Island
Days 7-8
Smith Sound
Day 9 Qaanaaq
Day 10 At sea
Days 11-15 Exploring West Greenland
Possible calling points include:
Nuussuaq (Kraulshavn)
Uummannaq
Qilaqitsoq (Qilakitsoq)
Eqip Sermia
Ilulissat
Sisimiut
Day 16 Disembark in Kangerlussuaq and fly to Ottawa
Day 17 Depart for home or choose to extend your stay in Canada


Please note
that all voyage itineraries are intended as a guideline only - embracing the unexpected is part of the legacy of expedition travel. Actual routes and landings will be dependent on weather, sea and ice conditions. A degree of flexibility is essential in the polar regions!

Accommodation Options

Ocean Endeavour

  • Grade:
  • Type: Luxury Ship

The largest ship we feature offers a spacious and comfor…

Akademik Ioffe

  • Grade:
  • Type: Expedition Ship

Taking up to 96 passengers the Akademik Ioffe is the num…

Sea Adventurer (known as Ocean Adventurer from 2017)

  • Grade:
  • Type: Expedition Ship

This attractive ice-strengthened vessel is a comfortable…

Akademik Sergey Vavilov

  • Grade:
  • Type: Expedition Ship

Taking up to 92 passengers, this ice-strengthened vessel…

Excursions

Kayaking

Optional Adventure Activity on selected Arctic Cruises

Prices & Dates

2017 Season

Prices are per person, based on a twin cabin. Please contact our team of travel specialists for alternative occupancies and cabin upgrades.

DepartureActivitiesDurationVesselPrices from
22 Aug 2017   17 days Ocean Endeavour £11,019
24 Aug 2017 13 days Akademik Ioffe £9,569
07 Sep 2017 *   17 days Ocean Endeavour £11,019

* This itinerary includes an extraordinary opportunity to explore the wreck of the HMS Erebus - part of the ill fated 1845 Franklin Expedition which aimed to discover the Northwest Passage. Please visit the 'Other Information' tab for more details.

Please see itinerary page for all route variations

Activity options:
≠ Kayaking is available on this voyage: £535 per person on the Akademik Ioffe

Inclusions & Exclusions

Ocean Endeavour

Price includes domestic charter flights between Toronto and Kangerlussuaq and between Kugluktuk and Edmonton • Group transfer between airport and port of embarkation/disembarkation • Shipboard accommodation on a full board basis • All shore landings and Zodiac excursions as per the daily programme • Programme of lectures by noted naturalists and leadership by experienced expedition staff • Comprehensive pre-departure material • All miscellaneous service taxes, port charges and park fees throughout the programme • Discovery Fund Fee: supporting local community projects

Price excludes Return airfares from the UK • Government arrival and departure taxes (payable locally) • Any pre- or post-voyage accommodation/land arrangements • Passport and visa expenses (we will be pleased to advise you on any necessary documentation, however this is passengers' own responsibility) • Alcoholic and soft drinks, telecommunication charges, laundry costs and other charges of a personal nature • Travel insurance • Gratuities and tips (for stewards and other service personnel - guidelines will be provided) • Jackets are not provided on this voyage; passengers must provide their own outdoor clothing • A selection of boots may be available on board the ship (left by previous passengers) - as we cannot guarantee availability and sizes we recommend our clients take their own boots • Doctor's fees confirming fitness for travel (compulsory for all passengers)

Akademik Ioffe

Price includes Charter flight between Cambridge Bay and Edmonton • Charter flight between Kangerlussuaq and Ottawa • Group transfers between airports and ports of embarkation/disembarkation • Shipboard accommodation with daily housekeeping • All breakfasts, lunches and dinners on board throughout your voyage • Leadership throughout the voyage by an experienced Expedition Leader, including shore landings and other activities • All shore landings per the daily program • All Zodiac transfers and cruising per the daily program • Formal and informal presentations by the Expedition Team and guest speakers as scheduled • Comprehensive pre-departure materials • All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the program • Loan of boots, jacket and waterproof trousers - must be requested at time of booking

Price excludes Return airfares between UK and Canada • Any pre- or post-voyage accommodation. A pre-voyage night is strongly recommended • Additional airport or airline security charges • Passport and visa expenses (we will be pleased to advise you on any necessary documentation, however this is passengers' own responsibility) • Alcoholic and soft drinks, telecommunication charges, laundry costs and other charges of a personal nature • The customary gratuity at the end of the voyage for Hospitality Team members, ship's crew and Expedition Team members (guidelines will be provided) • Travel insurance

2018 Prices and Dates

2018 Season

Prices are per person, based on a twin cabin. Please contact our team of travel specialists for alternative occupancies and cabin upgrades.

DepartureActivitiesDurationVesselPrices from
12 Aug 2018 13 days Akademik Vavilov £9,862
17 Aug 2018   17 days Ocean Endeavour £11,316
24 Aug 2018 13 days Akademik Vavilov £9,862
26 Aug 2018 17 days Ocean (Sea) Adventurer £11,123
01 Sep 2018 13 days Akademik Ioffe £10,377
02 Sep 2018   17 days Ocean Endeavour £11,316
09 Sep 2018 17 days Ocean (Sea) Adventurer £11,123

Please see itinerary page for all route variations

Activity options:
≠ Kayaking is available on this voyage: £535 per person on the Ocean (Sea) Adventurer; £561 per person on the Akademik Vavilov

Inclusions & Exclusions

Ocean (Sea) Adventurer - 12 Aug 2018

Price includes One night accommodation pre-voyage in Ottawa, with breakfast • Transfer from hotel in Ottawa to airport, for charter flight • Flight from Ottawa to Kangerlussuaq on day of embarkation (luggage allowance is 20kg in hold and 5kg carry on) • Transfer from airport to ship in Kangerlussuaq for embarkation • Transfer from ship to airport on disembarkation • Flight from Resolute to Ottawa on day of disembarkation (luggage allowance is 20kg in hold and 5kg carry on) • Transfer from airport to hotel in Ottawa on day of disembarkation • One night accommodation post-voyage in Ottawa, with breakfast • Shipboard accommodation with daily housekeeping • All breakfasts, lunches and dinners on board throughout your voyage • Digital photographic journal, documenting the voyage • Coffee, tea, cocoa available around the clock • Leadership throughout the voyage by an experienced Expedition Leader • All Zodiac transfers, cruising and shore landings as per the daily program • Formal and informal presentations by our Expedition Team and guest speakers as scheduled • A pair of waterproof expedition boots on loan for shore landings • A Quark Expeditions parka to keep • Hair dryer and bathrobe in every cabin • Comprehensive pre-departure materials, including a map and an informative Arctic Reader • All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the program • All luggage handling aboard ship • Emergency Evacuation Insurance for all passengers to a maximum benefit of $100,000 per person

Price excludes Return airfares from the UK • Transfers between Ottawa airport and hotel on arrival and departure days • Government arrival and departure taxes (payable locally) • Any pre- or post-voyage accommodation/land arrangements • Passport and visa expenses (we will be pleased to advise you on any necessary documentation, however this is passengers' own responsibility) • Waterproof trousers are not provided on this voyage; passengers must provide their own wet weather trousers for zodiac cruising and shore lan • Alcoholic and soft drinks, telecommunication charges, laundry costs and other charges of a personal nature • Travel insurance • Gratuities and tips (for staff and other service personnel - guidelines will be provided) • Excess baggage charges

Ocean (Sea) Adventurer - 09 Sep 2018

Price includes One night accommodation pre-voyage in Ottawa, with breakfast • Transfer from hotel in Ottawa to airport, for charter flight • Flight from Ottawa to Resolute on day of embarkation (luggage allowance is 20kg in hold and 5kg carry on) • Transfer from airport to ship in Resolute for embarkation • Transfer from ship to airport on disembarkation • Flight from Kangerlussuaq to Ottawa on day of disembarkation (luggage allowance is 20kg in hold and 5kg carry on) • Transfer from airport to hotel in Ottawa on day of disembarkation • One night accommodation post-voyage in Ottawa, with breakfast • Shipboard accommodation with daily housekeeping • All breakfasts, lunches and dinners on board throughout your voyage • Digital photographic journal, documenting the voyage • Coffee, tea, cocoa available around the clock • Leadership throughout the voyage by an experienced Expedition Leader • All Zodiac transfers, cruising and shore landings as per the daily program • Formal and informal presentations by our Expedition Team and guest speakers as scheduled • A pair of waterproof expedition boots on loan for shore landings • A Quark Expeditions parka to keep • Hair dryer and bathrobe in every cabin • Comprehensive pre-departure materials, including a map and an informative Arctic Reader • All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the program • All luggage handling aboard ship • Emergency Evacuation Insurance for all passengers to a maximum benefit of $100,000 per person

Price excludes Return airfares from the UK • Transfers between Ottawa airport and hotel on arrival and departure days • Government arrival and departure taxes (payable locally) • Any pre- or post-voyage accommodation/land arrangements • Passport and visa expenses (we will be pleased to advise you on any necessary documentation, however this is passengers' own responsibility) • Waterproof trousers are not provided on this voyage; passengers must provide their own wet weather trousers for zodiac cruising and shore lan • Alcoholic and soft drinks, telecommunication charges, laundry costs and other charges of a personal nature • Travel insurance • Gratuities and tips (for staff and other service personnel - guidelines will be provided) • Excess baggage charges

Akademik Vavilov - 12 Aug 2018

Price includes Arrival group transfer from airport to hotel in Ottawa • Charter flight between Ottawa and Kangerlussuaq • Charter flight between Cambridge Bay and Edmonton • Group transfers between airports and ports of embarkation/disembarkation • Shipboard accommodation with daily housekeeping • All breakfasts, lunches and dinners on board throughout your voyage • Leadership throughout the voyage by an experienced Expedition Leader, including shore landings and other activities • All shore landings per the daily program • All Zodiac transfers and cruising per the daily program • Formal and informal presentations by the Expedition Team and guest speakers as scheduled • Comprehensive pre-departure materials • All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the program • Loan of boots, jacket and waterproof trousers - must be requested at time of booking

Price excludes Return airfares between UK and Canada • Any pre- or post-voyage accommodation. A pre-voyage night is strongly recommended • Additional airport or airline security charges • Passport and visa expenses (we will be pleased to advise you on any necessary documentation, however this is passengers' own responsibility) • Alcoholic and soft drinks, telecommunication charges, laundry costs and other charges of a personal nature • The customary gratuity at the end of the voyage for Hospitality Team members, ship's crew and Expedition Team members (guidelines will be provided) • Travel insurance

Akademik Vavilov - 24 Aug 2018

Price includes Arrival group transfer from airport to hotel in Edmonton • Charter flight between Edmonton and Cambridge Bay • Charter flight between Kangerlussuaq and Ottawa • Group transfers between airports and ports of embarkation/disembarkation • Shipboard accommodation with daily housekeeping • All breakfasts, lunches and dinners on board throughout your voyage • Leadership throughout the voyage by an experienced Expedition Leader, including shore landings and other activities • All shore landings per the daily program • All Zodiac transfers and cruising per the daily program • Formal and informal presentations by the Expedition Team and guest speakers as scheduled • Comprehensive pre-departure materials • All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the program • Loan of boots, jacket and waterproof trousers - must be requested at time of booking

Price excludes Return airfares between UK and Canada • Any pre- or post-voyage accommodation. A pre-voyage night is strongly recommended • Additional airport or airline security charges • Passport and visa expenses (we will be pleased to advise you on any necessary documentation, however this is passengers' own responsibility) • Alcoholic and soft drinks, telecommunication charges, laundry costs and other charges of a personal nature • The customary gratuity at the end of the voyage for Hospitality Team members, ship's crew and Expedition Team members (guidelines will be provided) • Travel insurance

Akademik Vavilov - 01 Sep 2018

Price includes Arrival group transfer from airport to hotel in Edmonton • Charter flight between Edmonton and Cambridge Bay • Charter flight between Iqaluit and Ottawa • Group transfers between airports and ports of embarkation/disembarkation • Shipboard accommodation with daily housekeeping • All breakfasts, lunches and dinners on board throughout your voyage • Leadership throughout the voyage by an experienced Expedition Leader, including shore landings and other activities • All shore landings per the daily program • All Zodiac transfers and cruising per the daily program • Formal and informal presentations by the Expedition Team and guest speakers as scheduled • Comprehensive pre-departure materials • All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the program • Loan of boots, jacket and waterproof trousers - must be requested at time of booking

Price excludes Return airfares between UK and Canada • Any pre- or post-voyage accommodation. A pre-voyage night is strongly recommended • Additional airport or airline security charges • Passport and visa expenses (we will be pleased to advise you on any necessary documentation, however this is passengers' own responsibility) • Alcoholic and soft drinks, telecommunication charges, laundry costs and other charges of a personal nature • The customary gratuity at the end of the voyage for Hospitality Team members, ship's crew and Expedition Team members (guidelines will be provided) • Travel insurance

Ocean Endeavour

Price includes Charter flights between Toronto and Kangerlussuaq and between Kugluktuk and Edmonton • Group transfer between airport and port of embarkation/disembarkation • Shipboard accommodation on a full board basis • All shore landings and Zodiac excursions as per the daily programme • Programme of lectures by noted naturalists and leadership by experienced expedition staff • Comprehensive pre-departure material • All miscellaneous service taxes, port charges and park fees throughout the programme • Discovery Fund Fee: supporting local community projects

Price excludes All airfares not listed in inclusions • Government arrival and departure taxes (payable locally) • Any pre- or post-voyage accommodation/land arrangements • Passport and visa expenses (we will be pleased to advise you on any necessary documentation, however this is passengers' own responsibility) • Alcoholic and soft drinks, telecommunication charges, laundry costs and other charges of a personal nature • Travel insurance • Gratuities and tips (for stewards and other service personnel - guidelines will be provided) • Jackets are not provided on this voyage; passengers must provide their own outdoor clothing • A selection of boots may be available on board the ship (left by previous passengers) - as we cannot guarantee availability and sizes we recommend our clients take their own boots • Doctor's fees confirming fitness for travel (compulsory for all passengers)
 
We would be pleased to quote for the best available airfares and comprehensive travel insurance to suit your specific holiday requirements.
 
 

Other Information

Out of the Northwest Passage:
Including an exclusive visit to the wreck of the HMS Erebus with Parks Canada

September 7 – 23, 2017

The Northwest Passage remains one of the world’s last true frontiers, and this expedition takes you to its heart. Presented in proud partnership with Parks Canada, this remarkable voyage will feature visits to some of Canada’s most spectacular and remote wilderness areas. As you explore Qausuittuq, Simirlik and Auyuittuq national parks, you will gain a new respect for these protected areas and experience the landscape, history and wildlife in the company of Parks Canada experts.

You will also have the rarest of experiences at the site of the recently-discovered wreck of HMS Erebus. Here you could be among the first expedition voyagers to snorkel the wreck, or for those not keen to get in the water, you can observe the wreck from the comfort of the observation platform via a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) equipped with a camera. This epic voyage also offers visits to remote northern communities, Arctic wildlife in their stunning natural habitats, Zodiac cruises featuring frequently calving glaciers and icebergs towering in deep fjords. Also spend time above the Arctic Circle in true expedition style, searching for the aurora borealis and magnificent sea ice.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Visit some of Canada’s largest and most remote national parks
  • Optional snorkelling above the wreck of the HMS Erebus
  • Explore Qausuittuq aboard the first expedition vessel to visit the park
  • Travel the route that has enchanted explorers for centuries
  • Cruise the Ilulissat Icefjord, a UNESCO World Heritage Site

DETAILED ITINERARY

Day 1: Edmonton - Kugluktuk (Coppermine)

Located at the mouth of the Coppermine River, southwest of Victoria Island on the Coronation Gulf, Kugluktuk is the westernmost community in Nunavut. Coppermine reverted to its original Inuinnaqtun name—Kugluktuk, meaning “place of moving waters”—on January 1st, 1996. The Coppermine River itself is designated a Canadian Heritage River for the important role it played as an exploration and fur trade route. Copper deposits along the river attracted the first explorers to the area. Because the tundra is close to the tree line, a variety of wildlife can be viewed in the area, including grizzly bears, wolverines and moose, as well as tundra wildlife, such as musk ox, caribou, foxes, and wolves.

Day 2: Coronation Gulf

Located between Victoria Island and the Arctic coast of mainland Canada, the Coronation Gulf is an extensive body of water that is linked to the Arctic Ocean via the Dolphin and Union Strait on the west and by the Dease Strait and Queen Maud Gulf on the east. The gulf was named in 1821 by John Franklin in honour of the coronation of King George IV. The environment and Inuit cultural history of the region was studied by Rudolph Anderson and Diamond Jenness in 1916 as part of the Canadian Arctic Expedition.

Day 3: The Wreck of the HMS Erebus

The HMS Erebus was a Hecla-class bomb vessel, built in Wales in 1826. She was named after the dark region in Hades of Greek mythology. The ship took part in the Ross Expedition from 1839 to 1843, and was abandoned during the legendary Franklin Expedition of 1845 after becoming icebound during an attempt to locate the fabled Northwest Passage. Her sunken wreck was finally found in September 2014 by a Parks Canada underwater archaeology team. Here, adventurous travellers may have a chance to snorkel over the wreck. Those not wanting to get in the water may be able to view the remains on screen where a member of Parks Canada’s Underwater Archaeology Team can convey the scene with the help of an underwater remotely operated vehicle (ROV).

Day 4: Usqsuqtuuq (Gjøa Haven)

In 1903, explorer Roald Amundsen, while looking for the Northwest Passage, sailed through the James Ross Strait and stopped at a natural harbour on the island’s south coast. Unable to proceed due to sea ice, he spent the winters of 1903–04 and 1904–05 at Usqsuqtuuq. While there, he learned Arctic living skills from the local Netsilik Inuit, skills that would later prove invaluable in his Antarctic explorations. He used his ship, Gjøa, as a base for explorations in the summer of 1904, sledding the Boothia Peninsula and travelling to the magnetic North Pole. Usqsuqtuuq offers a lot to its visitors, including the Northwest Passage Territorial Historic Park, where visitors can learn about the voyages of explorers such as Frobisher, Ross, and Franklin. Although Usqsuqtuuq is becoming more modern, many traditional Inuit activities are still being enjoyed, including throat singing, drum dancing, and hunting.

Days 5–6: Peel Sound and Parry Channel

As you head north up Peel Sound, you get into serious polar bear country and should be on the lookout for spotting opportunities. Parry Channel is named after Arctic explorer William Edward Parry who got as far as Melville Island in 1819 before being blocked by ice at McClure Strait. Depending on ice conditions, the ship may make expedition stops along the way among the spectacular landscapes, a perfect setting for hiking and exploring the geological diversity of the area.

Day 7: Qausuittuq National Park

Parks Canada and the Qikiqtani Inuit Association (QIA) worked together with the community of Resolute Bay to create this new national park on Bathurst Island. After a local contest, the name of the park was selected: Qausuittuq means “place where the sun doesn’t rise”. During the winter months, the sun stays below the horizon for several months at a time. It is a traditional Inuit hunting ground, a vast habitat for the endangered Peary caribou, and a pristine example of Arctic wilderness. Ocean Endeavour passengers will be the first expedition vessel to visit the park since its opening in 2015. Parks Canada is excited to be providing this opportunity, and travellers will set precedent for travel to this region by exploring the untouched areas and helping to establish new criteria to govern future sustainable land use. Today represents an unparalleled opportunity to experience the true spirit of expedition, and become a part of Qausuittuq’s future.

Day 8: Beechey Island

In 1845 Sir John Franklin took his expedition of 129 men and two ships into the Wellington Channel. Not a soul returned from the fateful expedition, but it was two years before any search parties were launched. Aside from the bodies of three souls buried here, until recently only relics had been found as clues to the disappearance. The three graves found at Beechey Island left no indication as to the fate of the rest of the British party.

Day 9: Sirmilik National Park

Sirmilik National Park, located in the Qikiqtaaluk region of Nunavut, is known as “the place of glaciers” in Inuktitut. It is composed of three areas: most of Bylot Island, Oliver Sound, and Baffin Island’s Borden Peninsula. Beluga whales, seals, walruses, Peary caribou, Arctic foxes, Arctic hares, and wolves all call the area home - and the park is a migratory area for narwhals. A major seabird colony is found in Baillarge Bay and Bylot Island, the latter of which contains a rare colony of greater snow geese. The local glacial activity is of particular note, as are the sedimentary remains they deposits in the sea, leading to stunningly opaque, azure waters. Though the area became a national park in 2001, it continues to be inhabited by the Inuit who hunt and fish the area as their ancestors did.

Day 10: Mittimatalik (Pond Inlet)

Mittimatalik is a bustling Arctic community surrounded by one of the most beautiful landscapes in the eastern Canadian Arctic. You will have a chance to explore the town, including its excellent library and other facilities, and meet many local citizens who will gladly share their culture. Mittimatalik is also a famous region for viewing marine mammals, including the elusive narwhal.

Day 11: Northeast Baffin Fjords

This day will be an expedition in the truest sense as you navigate the fjords of northeast Baffin Island. Baffin’s fjords are striking, affording stunning perspectives on geological processes. As ever, the expedition team will be on deck for the duration, searching for wildlife and contextualizing the mighty landscape.

Day 12: Auyuittuq National Park

Located on the Cumberland Peninsula, Auyuittuq National Park (“the land that never melts”) transitioned from a national park reserve to a full national park in 2000. It is home to little vegetation, although plants like mountain avens and saxifrage eke out lives on the barren terrain. Only twelve species of mammal call this remarkable area home due to the exceptionally low food supply. Auyuittuq is noted for spectacular fjords, glaciers, and ice fields.

Day 13: East Baffin

Explore the eastern coast of Baffin Island or Qikiqtaaluk, the largest island in Canada and the fifth largest island in the world, with a population of just over 11,000. Named after English explorer William Baffin, it is likely that the island was known to Pre-Columbian Norse of Greenland and Iceland during the eleventh century, and presumed to be the Helluland of the Viking sagas. The coastline of Baffin Island is highly indented, particularly on the east and north. Large bays such as those of Frobisher Bay and Cumberland Sound are the largest and cut deeply into the southeast coast. The island's immensity and bewildering coastline confused early explorers and concealed its geography until recent times. It was likely here that one of the great ice sheets that covered most of Canada originated some 18,000 years ago, and ice lingered on the island until almost 1500 years ago; vast areas are still sheathed in ice year-round. Today, the Penny and the Barnes are the largest ice caps on the island – both are remnants of the Laurentide ice sheet that once covered much of the North American continent.

Day 14: At Sea

Today the presentation series will kick into high gear as you steam across the Davis Strait, bound for the spectacular Greenlandic coast. Expect to participate in workshops, engage in discussions and hear expert reflection on the journey thus far, and take a look forward to the exciting trip finale that awaits.

Day 15: Ilulissat

Ilulissat translates literally into “iceberg”, and there couldn’t be a more fitting name for this stunning coastal community. Your visit will include time in the colourful town and a chance to hike out along a boardwalk to an elevated viewpoint where you can observe the great fields of ice. You will also cruise by Zodiac through the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Ilulissat Icefjord. The Icefjord is home to the Sermeq Kujalleq Glacier, the most active and fastest moving glacier in the world at nineteen metres per day, calving more than thirty-five square kilometers of ice annually. The glacier has been the object of scientific attention for 250 years.

Day 16: Itilleq Fjord

The west Greenland coastline is a rich mixture of fishing communities, islands and complex coastal waterways. You will make an expedition stop here to explore the Greenlandic landscape.

Day 17: Kangerlussuaq - Toronto

Journey down spectacular Sondre Stromfjord, one of the longest fjords in the world, boasting 168 kilometres of superb scenery! Kangerlussuaq, the town at its eastern head, means ‘the big fjord.’ Disembark here and make your way to the airport to meet the charter flight to Toronto.

Please note
All voyage itineraries are intended as a guideline only - embracing the unexpected is part of the legacy of expedition travel. Actual routes and landings will be dependent on weather, sea and ice conditions. A degree of flexibility is essential in the polar regions!

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