Out of the Northwest Passage

004223 - W20

2020 sailings, save 15% for bookings made by October 31, 2019. (See Tour Notes for details). Canadian Signature Experience/Experience Canadienne Distinctive – The Northwest Passage remains one of the world’s last true frontiers, and this expedition takes you to its heart. The recent finding of the ill-fated Franklin expedition’s ships, the HMS Erebus and HMS Terror reminds us that we sail into history, legend and myth that continues to this day.

Not Included
Tour Notes
  • Queen Maud Gulf, where the wreckage of the Franklin Expedition ships was located
  • Usqsuqtuuq (Gjøa Haven), a traditional Inuit community with a strong heritage of music and dance
  • Franklin Expedition graves on Beechey Island
  • 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
2019 Dates:
September: 02

2019 Pricing:
Cat. 1, Quad – US$9,995
Cat. 2, Triple – US$11,895
Cat. 3, Interior Twin – US$13,595
Cat. 4, Exterior Twin – US$15,095
Category 5: Main Twin US$16,595
Category 6: Comfort Twin US$18,095
Category 7: Select Twin US$19,595
Category 8: Superior Twin US$21,095
Category 9: Junior Suite US$22,595
Category 10: Suite US$24,095

2020 Dates:
September: 07

Sale discount will be applied to the berth cost only for 2020 sailings. Regular prices are listed below before any discount has been applied.

2020 Pricing:
Cat. 1, Quad – US$10,995
Cat. 2, Triple – US$12,895
Cat. 3, Interior Twin – US$14,595
Cat. 4, Exterior Twin – US$16,095
Category 5: Main Twin US$17,595
Category 6: Comfort Twin US$19,095
Category 7: Select Twin US$20,595
Category 8: Superior Twin US$22,095
Category 9: Junior Suite US$23,595
Category 10: Suite US$25,095

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 rates are offered in Category 3-7, based on availability.

Charter Flights:
02 September, 2019 (Calgary to Kugluktuk/Coppermine) – US$1,095 / 18 September, 2019 (Kangerlussuaq, Greenland to Toronto, ON) – US$1,500. Charter Prices in US$ per person, inclusive of all taxes and fees.
07 September, 2020 (Calgary to Kugluktuk/Coppermine) – US$1,145 / 23 September, 2019 (Kangerlussuaq, Greenland to Toronto, ON) – US$1,550. Charter Prices in US$ per person, inclusive of all taxes and fees.

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.

Tour Code:
004223 - W20

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Day 1: 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.

After arrival in Kugluktuk on the charter flight from Edmonton you will transfer to the pier and board the Ocean Endeavour.

Nunavut’s communities offer a warm welcome, blending the traditional and the contemporary in unique and compelling ways. Making our way north to Smith Sound, we enter the realm still defined by ice: towering icebergs, vast glaciers, and the last redoubt of the great northern pack. Greenland offers geology, geography, and culture with a European flair.

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.

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. We will be exploring the area, and making an opportunistic expedition stop.

Day 3: Queen Maud Gulf

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 wreckage 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, HMS Terror, was located as well, spurring further interest in one of the great mysteries of polar exploration.

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 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.

Day 5–7: Peel Sound and Parry Channel

As we head north up 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. Expert historical and archaeological interpretation will be provided for wherever you land!

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. 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. A fourth grave, that of a sailor from a search party, completes a haunting historic site here. 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 HMS Terror—was similarly located.

Day 9: Lancaster Sound

We will spend two days exploring Lancaster Sound—a proposed Marine Protected Area, with large populations of marine mammals, including narwhal, beluga whales, and bowhead whales. There is a great selection of landing sites available. Weather, wildlife, and sea conditions will influence our choice of landing today.

Day 10: Aujuittuq (Grise Fiord)

Aujuittuq means ‘place that never thaws.’ It is an apt name for this peaceful hamlet, 1,150 kilometres above the Arctic Circle. Canada’s northernmost “civilian” community is a living reminder of the Cold War; residents were relocated to Aujuittuq in an effort to boost Canadian sovereignty . We’ll be welcomed by the population of about 165. 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

Between forty-eight and seventy-two kilometres wide, and eighty-eight kilometres long—Smith Sound is often packed with ice and provides favourable conditions for wildlife viewing. We will 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.

Day 12-14: Northwest Greenland

There are a number of charming fishing villages and majestic fjords along the west coast of Greenland. Depending on timing and sea conditions, we way call in at one of these communities to experience small town Greenlandic life, or explore the stunning fjords that line the coast. This is a day in the true spirit of expedition travel and we will avail ourselves of any and all opportunities that present themselves.

Day 15: Ilulissat

Ilulissat translates literally into “iceberg”, and there couldn’t be a more fitting name for this stunning coastal community. Our visit will include time in the colourful town and 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 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, many islands and complex coastal waterways. We will be making an expedition stop here to explore the Greenlandic landscape.

Day 17: Kangerlussuaq

We will make our journey down spectacular Sondre Stromfjord, and early risers will have a chance to experience its beauty. Sondre Stromfjord is one of the longest fjords in the world and boasts 168 kilometres of superb scenery! Kangerlussuaq, the town at its eastern head, means ‘the big fjord.’

We will disembark the Ocean Endeavour and make our way to the airport to meet our charter flight back to Canada.

  • 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
  • Discovery Fund Fee
Not Included
  • 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
Tour Notes

2020 sailings, save 15% on the berth only cost on any sailing on the Ocean Endeavour, for bookings made by October 31, 2019. The discount is subject to final approval by the cruise line at the time of booking and may be changed or withdrawn without advance notice.

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.