25 Nights Northwest Passage - In the Wake of the Great Explorers

25 Nights Northwest Passage - In the Wake of the Great Explorers

$29,588.00 Regular Price
$26,588.00Sale Price

Be among an elite few to attempt a journey through the rarely traveled and legendary Northwest Passage. We will be following in the wake of historic explorers like Norwegian Roald Amundsen, sailing aboard an advanced expedition ship bearing his name. You will experience the raw beauty of the remote Arctic on this route and visit close-knit communities in Canada and Greenland.

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    Day 1 Modern City, Stunning Setting

    Location : Vancouver, Canada

     

    Your journey begins with an overnight stay in Vancouver, giving you the opportunity to get a taste of the Canadian city’s rich culture, great restaurants, and undeniable natural beauty. To experience more of the region before your voyage begins, join an optional Pre-program travelling on the scenic Rocky Mountaineer train.

     

    Day 2 There’s No Place Like Nome

    Location : Nome, Alaska

     

    We fly to Nome to board MS Roald Amundsen. Set at the tip of the Seward Peninsula, overlooking the Bering Sea, Nome is perhaps the most famous gold rush town in Alaskan history. There are artifacts of the gold rush era to be seen everywhere, including abandoned dredges, turn-of-the-century steam engines, and old railroad tracks.

     

    Day 3-7 Seeing the Sights While Sailing the Seas

    Location : At Sea

     

    Days at sea are spent at your leisure aboard the ship. Relax while gazing out at the view, learn more from the knowledgeable Expedition Team in our lecture series, or chat with your fellow explorers.

     

    We sail through the Bering Strait before heading into the Chukchi Sea. As we reach Point Barrow, the northernmost point of the United States, we enter the Beaufort Sea. We will keep a sharp eye open here for bowhead and gray whales, and we might also start seeing sea ice. 

     

    We continue into the Amundsen Gulf, where we hope to observe the remarkable Smoking Hills - an amazing sight, with smoke billowing from the cliffs on the east coast of Cape Bathurst. Lignite – a combination of eroded shale and pyrite – spontaneously ignites when exposed to air, creating this photogenic phenomenon.

     

    Day 8-17 Heading into the Heart of the Northwest Passage

    Location : Northwest Passage

     

    Almost 40 expeditions tried to navigate this seaway as far back as 1497. James Cook attempted it in 1776 and many are familiar with the ill-fated Franklin expedition of 1845. The first explorer to conquer the Northwest Passage by ship was Norwegian Roald Amundsen on an expedition that lasted from 1903 to 1906. Now, in our modern era, we aim to follow the wake of their ships and sail through the Northwest Passage, too.

     

    During our journey, we will land at sites that are linked to early exploration history, visit Inuit communities, and hope to spot Arctic wildlife such as polar bears, whales, seals, and large colonies of seabirds. There will also be opportunities for small-boat cruising between ice floes, and in true expedition style, we will go ashore and experience the pristine wilderness firsthand.

     

    The ship captain and Expedition Leader will continuously assess the current weather and sea conditions, adapt activities accordingly, and adjust the itinerary to where the sea ice allows us to go. Like all good explorers, we respect and work with nature, not against it.

     

    Here are some of the places in the region that we plan to explore together, subject to favorable conditions:

     

    Ulukhaktok

    Many in the 500-strong community are involved in the local  artists’ co-op, producing prints, tapestries, and other crafts. This is also the location of the the world's northernmost golf course, which plays host to a tournament each summer.

     

    Cambridge Bay

    Located on Victoria Island, this is the largest stop for vessels traversing the Northwest Passage. It is also called ‘Iqaluktuuttiaq', or ‘A Good Fishing Place’ due to the Ekalluk River, which attracts giant char, musk oxen, and caribou.

     

    Gjøa Haven

    Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen wintered at this hamlet in 1903 on his Gjøa expedition. There is an informative walking tour, Heritage Centre, and Hamlet Centre dedicated to the history and culture of the area.

     

    Fort Ross

    An abandoned Hudson’s Bay Trading post located at the southern end of Sommerset Island, the storehouse here is still used as a shelter by occasional travellers, with bunk beds and shelves of canned goods.

     

    Beechey Island

    This is the final resting place for three members of the lost Franklin expedition, which sailed into the Northwest Passage in 1845 but never returned. It is customary for explorers to stop and pay their respects, as Roald Amundsen did in 1903.

     

    Devon Island

    Welcome to the largest uninhabited island on Earth. The only signs of human life are at the long abandoned settlement of Dundas Harbour along with several archaeological sites from the Thule period. 

     

    Pond Inlet

    Picturesque Pond Inlet, called 'Mittimatalik' in Inuktitut, is a traditional Inuit community on Baffin Island. It overlooks the Eclipse Sound and the mountains of Bylot Island and is known as a great place to see large pods of narwhal.

     

    Day 18 Crossing the Davis Strait

    Location : Labrador Sea - At sea

     

    This strait was named after English explorer John Davis, who searched for a route through the Northwest Passage between 1585 and 1587. Wind down and watch the waves aboard the ship, or enjoy a lecture from the Expedition Team as we head north toward Greenland.

     

    Day 19 Where Icebergs are born

    Location : Ilulissat - Full Day

     

    This small town is set in the stunning scenery of the Ilulissat Icefjord UNESCO World Heritage Site. At the mouth of the fjord you can see enormous icebergs that have run aground. These ice masses originate from the Jakobshavn Glacier, one of the fastest-moving glaciers in the world. Join one of our many optional excursions here.

     

    Included Excursions:  Ilulissat - Walk to the Icefjords - Hear the ice cracking in the distance?

     

    Day 20  'The People Living in a Place of Fox Dens'

    Location : Sisimiut - Half Day

     

    Sisimiut is the second largest town in Greenland, located 25 miles north of the Arctic Circle. It is a modern, growing settlement with a history that goes back 4,500 years. For example, its name means `The People Living in a Place of Fox Dens.´ There are a variety of optional excursions to discover the area. 

     

    Included Excursion: Sisimiut - Kayak Demo and Museum visit - Sisimiut is Greenland's second largest town with approximately 5.500 inhabitants. That's almost 4 times smaller than the Capital, Nuuk.

     

    Day 21-22 Across the Labrador Sea

    Location : Labrador Sea - At sea

     

    It is time to say goodbye to Greenland, and head out on another stretch of open sea. We will cross the southern part of the Labrador Sea, this time toward Newfoundland and Labrador in Canada.

     

    Day 23 Canada’s Hidden but Rich Maritime History

    Location : Red Bay

     

    Preserved in the ice-cold waters, the remains of several 17th century Basque whaling ships have led to the town being designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visit the local museum that documents this interesting history or take the trail up to Tracey Hill for scenic views, and where, legends say, pirate captain Kidd buried treasure.

     

    Included Excursion: Red Bay Highlights Access - Want to get a feel for Red Bay’s local culture and history?

     

    Day 24 A Classic Canadian City

    Location : Corner Brook - Half Day

     

    Located at the mouth of the Bay of Islands and Humber River, Corner Brook is the second largest city in the province and local to the core. Explore the city center or enjoy its many walking trails along the Humber River, decorated at this time of year with vibrant autumn leaves.

     

    Day 25 Relaxing Day

    Location : At Sea

     

    The adventure is drawing to a close. Spend time with the other guests and the Expedition Team reviewing the many exciting experiences you shared during our voyage together. 

     

    Day 26 The End of the Passage

    Location : Halifax

     

    Your journey exploring the Northwest Passage comes to an end in Halifax, capital of Nova Scotia. There are red-brick heritage buildings, parks, a landmark citadel, some world-class museums, and a 2.5 mile seafront boardwalk. If you can, we recommend spending an extra day or two here on one of our Post-programs before you head home.