Parks Canada Northwest Passage
The Northwest Passage remains one of the world’s last true frontiers, and this special Parks Canada expedition takes you to its heart with the opportunity to get an in depth experience of this unique area.
- Visit some of Canada’s largest and most remote National Parks with representatives of Parks Canada
- Snorkel in a dry-suite 11m (30ft) above the wreck of the HMS Erebus, part of the ill-fated Franklin expedition, and visit their historic graves
- Explore Qausuittuq aboard the first expedition vessel to visit the park
- Photograph the wild creatures of the Arctic wilderness, with opportunity to encounter whales and polar bears
- Enjoy visits to vibrant Inuit communities and the UNESCO World Heritage Site at the Ilulissat Icefjord
Cat. 1, Quad – US$9,295
Cat. 2, Triple – US$10,895
Cat. 3, Interior Twin – US$12,595
Cat. 4, Exterior Twin – US$14,095
Category 5: Main Twin US$15,595
Category 6: Comfort Twin US$17,095
Category 7: Select Twin US$18,595
Category 8: Superior Twin US$20,095
Category 9: Junior Suite US$21,595
Category 10: Suite US$23,095
Prices are shown per person in US$ based on four people sharing a quad cabin, three people sharing a triple, two people sharing a twin and one person in a single. Special single pricing is available in select cabins in Cat. 3-7, depending on availability.
Discovery Fund Fee: US$250
Charter Flights: Please inquire for details.
Sondre Stromfjord is one of the longest fjords in the world, boasts 168 kilometres of superb scenery and calm waters. Kangerlussuaq, the town at its eastern head, means ‘the big fjord.’ We begin our adventure by sailing down this dramatic fjord as the sun sets before us.
Blessed with an ice-free harbour year-round, Sisimiut has been inhabited for the last 4,500 years, first by the the Saqqaq, the Dorset, and then by the Thule (the ancestors of today’s Inuit). Their descendants form the majority of its present-day population of some 6,000 inhabitants. It is the largest business centre north of Nuuk and the fastest-growing community in Greenland.
Ilulissat translates literally into “iceberg”, and there couldn’t be a more fitting name for this spectacular place. Our visit will include time in the colourful town, famed for its handicrafts, cafes, museums, and picturesque habitation. We’ll have a chance to hike out along a boardwalk to an elevated viewpoint where we can observe the great fields of ice. We will also cruise in our fleet of Zodiacs in the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Ilulissat Icefjord. The Sermeq Kujalleq Glacier is one of the most active and fastest moving in the world at nineteen metres per day and calving more than thirty-five square kilometres of ice annually. The glacier has been the object of scientific attention for 250 years.
Today we will cruise one of Greenland’s most spectacular fjords, known for plentiful marine life, plentiful icebergs and inspiring landscapes. Seals use the long leads created by high winds in this region to hunt the rich waters of the fjord. The cliffs and talus slopes within the fjord should give us good opportunities to see colonies of dovekies. Time spent on deck today should result in some good wildlife sightings, not to mention unbeatable photographic opportunities of icebergs amid mountain peaks.
Qikiqtarjuaq, a community located on Broughton Island, is known for its wildlife, whale watching, and as an access point for Auyuittuq National Park. It is one of the Nunavut communities closest to Greenland. Qikiqtarjuaq (fondly called “Qik”, for short) is known as the iceberg capital of Nunavut and was home to a NORAD military station that formed part of the Distant Early Warning (DEW) line in the 1950s.
Qikiqtarjuaq also boasts a burgeoning traditional Inuit craft industry, and local craftspeople are eager to share their wares. Talented local artists produce Inuit carvings, with a particular focus on intricate ivory work and jewellery. The community is famously warm and welcoming of visitors.
Today we will explore the eastern coast of Baffin Island or Qikiqtaaluk in the region of Auyuittuq National Park. Named after English explorer William Baffin, Baffin Island is the largest island in Canada, and home to 11,000 people. Likely known to Pre-Columbian Norse of Greenland and Iceland during the eleventh century, the island is presumed to be the Helluland of the Viking sagas. The Penny Ice Cap and the Barnes Ice Cap are the largest ice caps on the island, both remnants of the Laurentide ice sheet that once covered much of the North American continent. Both are currently in a state of retreat.
Today will be an expedition day in the truest sense as we navigate the fjords of northeast Baffin Island. The Ocean Endeavour is the perfect vessel for exploring these hidden treasures of the north, as her manoeuvrability and shallow draft allow her to access regions that would be impassable to larger vessels. Moving through waters known to harbour belugas, narwhals, and other marine mammals, we will be monitoring at all times from the deck and bridge to maximize our wildlife opportunities.
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 they never set up a base here until the arrival of the Hudson’s Bay Company, three hundred years later—a short-lived endeavour now long abandoned. The island’s geology consists of reddish Precambrian gneiss and Paeleozoic siltstones and shales; a landscape so barren in places that NASA has tested its Mars rovers at Devon Island. Substantial Thule sites are among Devon Island’s many treasures.
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. It was two years before search parties were launched. Aside from the bodies of three souls buried here, only relics were 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. In the autumn of 2014, Canadian archaeologists discovered remnants of the HMS Erebus in the frozen waters of the Northwest Passage, and in 2015, her sister ship—the Terror—was similarly located.
Sailing Peel Sound, we get into serious polar bear country and will be on the lookout for good 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, we may make expedition stops along the way among the spectacular landscapes, a perfect setting for hiking and exploring the geological diversity of the area.
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 he Northwest Passage Territorial Historic Park, where visitors can learn about the voyages of explorers such as Frobisher, Ross, and Franklin. Also, there is a 9-hole golf course, known to be Canada’s most northerly course. Although Usqsuqtuuq is becoming more modern, many traditional Inuit activities are still being enjoyed, including throat singing, drum dancing, and hunting.
Sir John Franklin’s flagship, 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 and weighed 372 tons. The ship took part in the Ross Expedition from 1839 to 1843, and was abandoned during the legendary Franklin Expedition after becoming icebound during an attempt to locate the fabled Northwest Passage. Her sunken wreck had actually been designated a National Historic Site prior to being located in September of 2014 by a Parks Canada underwater archaeology team. Two years later, Franklin’s other ship, Terror, was located, spurring further interest in one of the great mysteries of polar exploration.
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. We will be exploring the area, and making an opportunistic expedition stop.
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.
Today we will disembark the Ocean Endeavour and make our way to the airport to catch our charter flight.
- Seventeen day voyage in the cabin category of your choice
- All entry & park fees
- Team of resource specialists
- Educational program and pre-departure materials
- All shipboard meals
- All Zodiac excursions
- Service charges and port fees
- Commercial flights
- Mandatory medical / evacuation insurance
- Personal expenses
- Additional expenses in the event of delays or Itinerary changes
- Discretionary gratuities to ship’s crew (approximately $10 – 14 per passenger per day)
- Visas, or inoculations, if required
- Possible fuel surcharges
- $250 Discovery Fund Fee
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 we explore Qausuittuq, Simirlik and Auyuittuq national parks, we will gain a new respect for these protected areas as we experience the landscape, history and wildlife in the company of Parks Canada experts.
We will also have the rarest of experiences at the site of the recently-discovered wreck of HMS Erebus. Here we will be the first expedition voyagers allowed to snorkel the wreck, or for those not keen to get in the water, observe the wreck from the newly-constructed observation platform and via an underwater remote operated vehicle (ROV).
This epic voyage also offers visits to remote northern communities, expeditions to seek out Arctic wildlife in their stunning natural habitats, zodiac cruises featuring glaciers calving and icebergs towering in deep fjords. We will spend our time above the Arctic circle in true expedition style, searching for the aurora borealis and magnificent sea ice as we sail the paths of history.
This is our proposed itinerary. It is highly probable that weather, sea, and ice conditions will not allow us to travel this exact route. Our Expedition Leader and the Ocean Endeavour‘s captain will determine our exact route day by day.
Singles: Free single supplement! Singles get their own cabin in categories 3-7 aboard the Ocean Endeavour at no additional cost–subject to availability.
Multiple expedition savings: Book multiple expeditions with Adventure Canada in a single calendar year aboard the Ocean Endeavour and receive 10% off the total berth cost of Arctic itineraries and 20% off the total berth cost of east coast itineraries!
30 Under 30: Save 30% on the berth cost of travellers under thirty aboard Ocean Endeavour expeditions!
Children & Infants: Children under two travel for free, and children between two and four pay for charter flights only!
To check availability for any of these special offers and applicable terms and condition, just give us a call!
Disclaimer: We do our utmost to ensure that information posted on our website is correct at the time of publication, however trip details are subject to change without notice by the suppliers and operators involved. We update the information as soon as possible when changes are advised to us, however, we cannot assume responsibility for such changes made by the suppliers and operators.