Northwest Passage – East to West

Canadian Arctic Cruise

  • Akademik Ioffe
  • Research Ship
  • 96 Capacity
  • 12 Days
  • View Departure>
  • Price from
  • $999,999,999

Summary : Spend 11 days on an Arctic adventure aboard a comfortable and well-equipped expedition vessel through Canada’s most historical waterway, the Northwest Passage. Known for adventure, exploration and navigational skill, follow the famous route from Kangerlussuaq to Cambridge Bay exploring ruggedly beautiful landscapes by ship, Zodiac, and foot. Visit local communities, such as the scenic town of Sisimiut, and meet traditional Greenlandic kayakers. Enjoy abundant opportunities to spot wildlife such as Arctic seals, whales, and sea birds.

Activities : Birding, Culture, Hiking, Kayaking

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Itinerary
Day 1
Ottawa / Kangerlussuaq

Board your charter flight in Ottawa to Kangerlussuaq, one of the world's longest fjords which cuts into the interior of Greenland. Board the expedition vessel by Zodiac and sail down the fjord crossing the Arctic Circle.

Day 2
Sisimiut

Explore the fjord behind Sisimiut before visiting the town in the afternoon. Meet traditional Greenlandic kayakers and possibly see an “Eskimo Roll” by former kayaking champions.

Day 3
Jacobshavn Icefjord / Ilulissat

One of the wonders of the world, Jacobshavn Icefjord calves massive tabular icebergs into Disko Bay. Knud Rasmussen, one of Greenland's most famous explorers and anthropologists, was born in Ilulissat in 1879.

Day 4 – 5
Baffin Bay

Sail across Baffin Bay cruising along the receding ice edge. Time at sea will depend upon the extent of ice and amount of wildlife. Fin, sperm, sei and humpback whales as well as numerous species of Arctic seals and seabirds abound in Baffin Bay.

Day 6
Northeast Baffin Island

Rising straight out of the water and almost blotting out the sky, marvel at Baffin Island's incredible fjords. Sail up fjords while looking for a place to go ashore and view wildlife often abundant due to the confluence of glacial melt mixing with the seawater of Baffin Bay.

Day 7
Pond Inlet

Visit Pond Inlet's Natinnak Centre and experience a spectacular cultural exhibit hosted by its Elders and youth. Inuit carvings, jewellery and crafts will be available to purchase from local artisans. Meet the children of Pond Inlet and marvel at their athletic talents as they demonstrate the Inuit Games.

Day 8
Lancaster Sound

Lancaster Sound is considered a wildlife "super-highway", home to an incredibly diverse concentration of wildlife. Massive amounts of water travel down the Arctic archipelago mixing with the nutrient rich waters below creating opportunities to observe seals, whales, sea birds and walrus. Stops along the shore will be dependent upon ice and weather conditions.

Day 9
Beechey Island / Prince Leopold Island

Beechey Island holds great importance along the Northwest Passage. Franklin’s ill-fated expedition spent its last “comfortable” winter here in 1845 before disappearing into the icy vastness, sparking an incredible series of search expeditions that finished the charting of Canada’s northern archipelago. Almost sixty years later, Roald Amundsen stopped at Beechey Island during the first complete transit through the Northwest Passage.

Sail to Prince Regent Inlet, stopping for a view at Prince Leopold Island's bird cliffs, a migratory bird sanctuary. Observe hundreds of thousands of murres, guillemots, kittiwakes and northern fulmars.

Day 10
Fort Ross / Bellot Strait

Sail to Fort Ross on Somerset Island's southern tip, site of a former Hudson’s Bay Company fur trading outpost. Ancient archaeological sites nearby tell a story of more than a thousand years of habitation at this site by the Inuit and their predecessors.

Attempt the passage of the Bellot Strait, entering at slack water in order to avoid strong currents. Nutrient rich waters provide an ample food source for marine mammals. Watch for harp seals, bearded seals and even polar bears.

Day 11
Victory Point, King William Island

Little is known of how the Franklin Expedition spent its last months in the frozen Arctic. The vessels, abandoned in the ice of Victoria Strait, have left no trace. An abandoned lifeboat, bits and pieces of copper and iron, cutlery, buttons and a few skeletons tell a story of a desperate race south in search of a rescue which never occurred. Visit Victory Point and continue to reflect on the quest that opened up the Arctic, while sacrificing some of its bravest explorers.

Day 12
Cambridge Bay, Victoria Island

Zodiac to shore and time permitting visit the small community of Cambridge Bay on the southern shores of Victoria Island. Also known as Ikaluktutiak or "good fishing place", it is a center for hunting, trapping and fishing. Local Inuit have had summer camps in the locality for hundreds of years. Today ships visit the region annually bringing supplies. Amundsen spent two winters here learning dog sledding from the locals. Previous to this, McClintock found solid evidence of the Franklin Expedition here in 1859, including naval artifacts, sledges, graves and letters.

Board your charter flight back to southern Canada.

Notes

Specific sites visited will depend on ice and weather conditions experienced and the itinerary will be updated throughout the voyage in order to take advantage of favorable conditions.

Medical Documentation: Once you have booked your voyage to the Polar Regions, you will be required to complete a Medical Information Form. This form must be completed, signed and returned no later than 90 days prior to departure.

Sea Kayaking Option: $695 per person
Pre-booked option for up to 16 guests. If you have experience sea kayaking and are interested in doing this activity during the expedition, you will need to book this option prior to departure from home. You cannot book this activity once onboard. There is a separate document for sea kayakers that you will need to review beforehand. Provided equipment includes full Gore-Tex drysuits, kayak specific PFD's, neoprene booties, a waterproof deck bag, pogies and many other vital paddling accessories.

Mandatory Insurance:
All guests are required to have comprehensive travel insurance which must cover accidents, injury, illness and death, medical expenses, including any related to pre-existing medical conditions, emergency repatriation (including helicopter) and personal liability. You must carry proof of insurance with you and produce it if requested by expedition staff. The expedition team reserves the right to cancel or suspend your participation on a trip or in certain activities that comprise part of a trip, at any time, including after the commencement of your tour, with no right of refund, if you are unable to provide proof of insurance when requested.

Included:
Transfers from designated hotel to charter flight; transfers from Kangerlussuaq airport to ship and ship to Cambridge Bay airport; educational presentations; experienced team of naturalists and resident photographer; Zodiac excursions; all meals and farewell captain's dinner, afternoon tea with fresh snacks each afternoon, coffee, tea, and hot chocolate; onboard medical officer; use of multimedia station to download photos; use of foul weather gear sets – rain jacket with bib pants or SeaLine water proof backpack with Bushnell waterproof binoculars, both gear sets include Lacrosse gumboots.

Not Included:
All airfares; passport and visa fees; excess baggage charges; airport taxes; hotel accommodations; travel insurance; all gratuities; extra meals; items of a personal nature such as laundry, postage, drinks; medical expenses; optional activities and trips; kayaking supplement ($695 per person).

Photos by Boris Wise