16 Nights The Northwest Passage Adventure

$10,995.00 Regular Price
$9,346.00Sale Price

One of the world’s greatest voyages is calling! Pristine fjords. Looming glaciers. Jagged icebergs. Grand vistas, historic sites. Marine mammals, bears, and birds. Find a warm welcome in Nunavut’s communities, and enjoy Greenland’s geology, geography, and culture with a European flair.

 

Every day is a new adventure in the Northwest Passage: hiking, photography, birding. Learning with our experts. Meeting the people who call the Arctic home. Sailing the passage at the top of the world!

Cabin Type
Departure Date

Aug 22 2020 Departure

DAY 1 Kangerlussuaq

Kangerlussuaq is a former US Air Force base and Greenland’s primary flight hub. After our charter flight from Toronto, we will be bused along Greenland’s longest road—less than twenty kilometres—to the port. Zodiacs will be waiting to transfer us to the Ocean Endeavour.

 

Sondre Stromfjord is one of the longest fjords in the world and boasts 168 kilometres of superb scenery. We begin our adventure by sailing down this dramatic fjord, crossing the Arctic Circle as we go.

 

DAY 2 Sisimiut Coast

People have lived in the Sisimiut area for 4,500 years. For the first 2,000 years, the people of the Saqqaq culture occupied the area. Approximately 2,500 years ago, new people brought the Dorset culture to the Sisimiut area. They lived here 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.

 

The people primarily lived on fish, birds and mammals such as whales and seals. The ice-free conditions in the sea around Sisimiut, including some of Greenland’s deepest fjords, allow us to sail in waters that are home to many whales and seals.

 

DAY 3 Ilulissat

Ilulissat translates literally into “iceberg”, an apt name for this site at the mouth of the Ilulissat Icefjord—a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The icefjord is the outlet of the Sermeq Kujalleq glacier, source of many of the icebergs in the north Atlantic.

 

Here, we will cruise in our fleet of Zodiacs to appreciate the icebergs. And we’ll also visit the bustling town of Ilulissat, with its museums, cafes, craft shops, and busy fishing harbour.

 

DAY 4–6 Western Greenland

Our adventure builds as we explore by ship and Zodiac along the west coast of Greenland. Here we find spectacular fjords, where we will be watching for marine life in majestic and inspiring landscapes dotted with icebergs.

 

We have numerous options for expedition stops, to make the most of weather and wildlife conditions. Departing Greenland, we cross Baffin Bay toward Nunavut. Our onboard presentation schedule will have us learning as we go.

 

DAY 7 Qikiqtarjuaq

Qikiqtarjuaq, a community located on Broughton Island in Nunavut, is known for wildlife, art, and Aujuittuq National Park. “Qik” was home to a NORAD military station that formed part of the Distant Early Warning (DEW) line in the 1950s.


Qikiqtarjuaq boasts a burgeoning craft industry, and local artisans are eager to share their wares. Talented local artists have a focus on intricate ivory work and jewelry. The community is famously warm and welcoming to visitors.

 

DAY 8–9 East Baffin Island

These days will be an expeditions in the truest sense as we navigate the fjords of eastern Baffin Island. The Ocean Endeavour is a perfect mobile observation platform, while our fleet of Zodiacs allows us to quickly scramble for a closer look when opportunities arise.

 

As we move through waters known to harbour polar bears, belugas, narwhals, and other marine mammals, we will be monitoring from the deck and bridge to maximize chances of seeing wildlife.

 

DAY 10 Devon Island

Devon Island is the largest uninhabited island on Earth at over fifty thousand square kilometres. The island's geology is stunning, and very visible as we sail the coast. Flat topped mountains, glacial valleys, and a substantial ice cap give Devon Island its unique character.

 

Devon Island has a rich human history, and boasts historical and archeological features. We’ll also be on the watch for wildlife!

 

DAY 11 Beechey Island

In 1845, Sir John Franklin set out from England with HMS Erebus and Terror, attempting to sail through the Northwest Passage. Franklin’s party overwintered at Beechey Island—where three of his men died.

 

Numerous search parties later used Beechey as a depot and rendezvous. Amundsen, Bernier, and Larsen visited Beechey. Thomas Morgan of the HMS Investigator was buried there in 1854 alongside Franklin’s men. The graves and the ruins of Northumberland House are a haunting memorial.

 

DAY 12–13 Peel Sound & Parry Channel

Peel Sound was the Franklin expedition’s route south. It presents numerous wildlife and exploratory opportunities. The setting is optimal for hiking and exploring the geological diversity of the area.

 

The ‘obvious’ route through the Northwest Passage, Parry Channel seldom provides a full transit because of ice. It 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.

 

DAY 14–16 Kitikmeot Region

The Kitikmeot Region consists of parts of Victoria Island, the adjacent part of the mainland as far as the Boothia Peninsula, King William Island, and the southern portion of Prince of Wales Island. Its regional seat is Iqaluktuuttiaq (Cambridge Bay), though it also contains five other hamlets.

 

Recently, the Kitikmeot Region has been in the news since the finding of the lost ships of the Franklin Expedition in its waters. It is Nunavut’s least-populated region, though wildlife abounds here both in the sea and on land.

 

DAY 17 Kugluktuk

Located at the mouth of the Coppermine River, Kugluktuk is the westernmost community in Nunavut. Known for many years as Coppermine, the community reverted to its original Inuinnaqtun name—meaning “place of moving waters”—on January 1, 1996.

 

The Coppermine River is designated a Canadian Heritage River for the important role it played as an exploration and fur trade route. Today we will disembark the Ocean Endeavour and make our way to the airport to meet our charter flights to Calgary.

 

Sep 7 2020 Departure

DAY 1  Kugluktuk

Located at the mouth of the Coppermine River, Kugluktuk is the westernmost community in Nunavut. Known for many years as Coppermine, the community reverted to its original Inuinnaqtun name—meaning “place of moving waters”—on January 1, 1996.

 

The Coppermine River is designated a Canadian Heritage River for the important role it played as an exploration and fur trade route. Our charter flight will land in Kugluktuk and we will embark the Ocean Endeavour by Zodiac to commence our trip!

 

DAY 2–4  Kitikmeot Region

The Kitikmeot Region consists of parts of Victoria Island, the adjacent part of the mainland as far as the Boothia Peninsula, King William Island, and the southern portion of Prince of Wales Island. Its regional seat is Iqaluktuuttiaq (Cambridge Bay), though it also contains five other hamlets (including Uqsuqtuuq and Kugluktuk).

 

Recently, the Kitikmeot Region has been in the news since the finding of the lost ships of the Franklin Expedition in its waters. It is Nunavut’s least-populated region, though wildlife abounds here both in the sea and on land.

 

DAY 5–7  Peel Sound and Parry Channel

Peel Sound was the Franklin expedition’s route south. It presents numerous wildlife and expedition opportunities. The setting is optimal for hiking and exploring the geological diversity of the area.

 

The ‘obvious’ route through the Northwest Passage, Parry Channel seldom provides a full transit because of ice. It 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.

 

DAY 8  Beechey Island

In 1845, Sir John Franklin set out from England with HMS Erebus and  Terror,  attempting to sail through the Northwest Passage. Franklin’s party overwintered at Beechey Island where three of his men died.

 

Numerous search parties later used Beechey as a depot and rendezvous. Amundsen, Bernier, and Larsen visited Beechey. Thomas Morgan of HMS Investigator was buried there in 1854 alongside Franklin’s men. The graves and the ruins of Northumberland House are a haunting memorial.

 

DAY 9  Tallurutiup Imanga (Lancaster Sound)

We will spend the day exploring the ocean wilderness of Tallurutiup Imanga (Lancaster Sound). In August of 2017, this enormous body of water was declared a National Marine Conservation Area.

 

Large populations of marine mammals, including narwhal, beluga and bowhead whales transit and feed in this area. There is a great selection of landing sites available, depending on weather, wildlife, and sea conditions.

 

DAY 10 Aujuittuq (Grise Fiord)

Aujuittuq means ‘place that never thaws.’ 1,150 kilometres above the Arctic Circle, Canada’s northernmost “civilian” community originated in the Cold War; in 1953, residents were relocated to Aujuittuq to boost Canadian sovereignty. In 2016, the census placed the population at 129.

 

Our activities will centre in the village where we will have a chance to meet members of the community, learn about their way of life, and hear their poignant stories.

 

DAY 11  Smith Sound

Smith Sound 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.

 

Between forty-eight and seventy-two kilometres wide and eighty-eight kilometres long, Smith Sound divides Ellesmere Island from Greenland. Here, the sea ice provided an ancient Inuit travel route. Optimal sea ice conditions in Smith Sound can also make for excellent wildlife viewing.

 

DAY 12–14  Northwest Greenland

We will explore the stunning fjords that line the coast. Glaciers and icebergs abound here. In true expedition style, we will seek opportunities to hike, explore, and view wildlife as conditions allow.

 

DAY 15  Ilulissat

Ilulissat translates literally into “iceberg”, an apt name for this site at the mouth of the Ilulissat Icefjord—a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The icefjord is the outlet of the Sermeq Kujalleq Glacier, source of many of the icebergs in the north Atlantic.

 

Here, we will cruise in our fleet of Zodiacs to appreciate the icebergs. And we’ll visit the bustling town of Ilulissat, with its museums, cafes, craft shops, and busy fishing harbour.

 

DAY 16  Itilleq Fjord

The west Greenland coastline is a rich mixture of fishing communities, many islands and complex coastal waterways. The waters are relatively warm here, due to the West Greenland current and the more southerly location. This makes for lusher vegetation.

 

As we enter the Arctic autumn, the tundra foliage will be in gorgeous colour. We will be making an expedition stop here to explore the landscape of wild Greenland.

 

DAY 17  Kangerlussuaq

Sondre Stromfjord is one of the longest fjords in the world and boasts 168 kilometres of superb scenery. We end our adventure by sailing up this dramatic fjord where we'll have a good chance of experiencing the majesty of the Northern Lights.

 

Kangerlussuaq, the town at its eastern head, is a former US Air Force base and Greenland’s primary flight hub. Here we will disembark the Ocean Endeavour and transfer to the airport for our return charter flight.

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