Canada’s Northwest Passage Expeditions
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The Northwest Passage remains one of the world’s last true frontiers! These expedition cruises take you to its heart, with the opportunity to get in-depth experiences and exclusive access to this unique Arctic area.
- Cross the Arctic Circle as you sail the 168km length of Sondre Stromfjord
- Zodiac cruise among icebergs at Ilulissat Icefjord, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
- Seek polar bears, seabirds and other Arctic wildlife in pristine natural environments
- Explore Nunavut's rarely visited national parks, including the remote Qausuittuq National Park
- Visit Queen Maud Gulf, home to the wrecks of the Franklin ships, HMS Erebus and Terror
- Enjoy an Inuit cultural welcome in Qikiqtarjuaq (Broughton Island)
Westbound – Into the Northwest Passage
Eastbound – Out of the Northwest Passage
From US$10,995 – quad, Category 1 to US$25,095 – twin, Category 10 Suite
Toronto to Kangerlussuaq or Kangerlussuaq to Toronto – US$1,500
Kugluktuk (Coppermine) to Calgary or Calgary to Kugluktuk (Coppermine) – US$1,145
Charter flight prices are approximate rates shown in US$, per person per flight. Approximate round trip US$2,645 per person.
Prices are “starting from” rates, shown in US$, per person based on four people sharing a quad cabin and two people sharing a twin. Rates are also available for one person in a single cabin in select categories and three people in a triple. Prices now include the Discovery Fund Fee of US$250 per person.
See Tour Notes for special pricing and discounts available for solo travellers; under 30’s travellers discount, great for multi-generational family travel; multiple expedition savings.
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 archaeological features. We’ll also be on the watch for wildlife!
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.
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. 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. Sailing Peel Sound, we get into serious polar bear country and will be on the lookout for good spotting opportunities. 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.
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.
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.
The itinerary shown is the proposed route for this cruise. It is highly probable that weather, sea, and ice conditions will not allow the route to be followed exactly. The ship’s Captain and Expedition Leader will determine the exact route day by day, with the safety of guests, crew and ship of paramount importance.
The expedition operates in the reverse, departing from Kugluktuk and returning to Kangerlussaq.
- Seventeen day voyage in the cabin category of your choice
- Applicable taxes and credit card fees
- All shipboard meals
- Complimentary expedition jacket
- Special access permits, entry & park fees
- Team of expedition staff
- Educational programs & interactive workshops onboard
- Evening entertainment
- Guided activities
- Nikon Camera Trial program
- Sightseeing and community visits
- All Zodiac excursions
- Port fees
- Pre-departure materials
- Discovery Fund Fee
- Commercial and charter flights to co-ordinate with cruise
- Program enhancements/optional excursions added
- Mandatory medical evacuation insurance
- Personal expenses
- Additional expenses in the event of delays or Itinerary changes
- Discretionary gratuities to ship’s crew (suggest approximately $15 per passenger per day)
- Passport and visas fees, vaccinations as required
- Possible fuel surcharges
- Pre & post hotel accomodation
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! Great option for family multi-generational travel!
Children & Infants: Children under two travel for free, and children between two and four pay for charter flights only!
Price Guarantee: If the price of the berth portion of your program decreases more than 120 days prior to departure, previously booked clients may claim the lower rate. So, no need to wait for sales to get the best price!
League of Adventurers Loyalty Program: Return travellers are eligible for savings and added benefits when booking on an Ocean Endeavour expedition voyage. Ask us for details.
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.