Summary : Sail from Cambridge Bay, Victoria to Halifax, Novia Scotia in the wake of early explorers, visiting several sites in Greenland along the way. This long-ranging adventure showcases the raw, daunting beauty of the terrain that some of history’s greatest explorers encountered. Even today, few ships have the capability to navigate the Northwest Passage, which cuts through remote Arctic regions of North America. Gaze on vast expanses of pristine wilderness from the deck as you make your way through icy waters. Call at some of the world’s northernmost communities and learn about Inuit culture with visits to remote settlements. Explore legendary inlets and channels and scout for whales, a variety of bird species, and musk oxen.
Activities : Birding, Child-Friendly, Culture, Hiking, Kayaking
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$17,680 to $44,996
Enjoy the lively and colorful city of Edmonton during your included overnight stay here.
After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your included flight to Cambridge Bay. Called “Iqaluktuuttiaq” in Inuinnaqtun, meaning “good fishing place,” Cambridge Bay is famous for the giant char caught in its local waters. There is also abundant wildlife in the area: seals, geese, muskoxen and caribou. Your expedition begins with embarkation here.
The goal is to sail into the heart of the Northwest Passage. Since the late 15th century, the search for this fabled seaway through the Canadian Arctic was the holy grail for hardy explorers. The first recorded voyage was led by John Cabot in 1497. The most famous journey here was James Cook’s failed attempt in 1776, and, of course, the ill-fated Franklin expedition of 1845. The first to conquer the Passage by ship was Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen on an expedition that lasted from 1903 to 1906.
Ice conditions vary, so each voyage here is unique. Subject to favorable conditions, hope to explore some of the following places:
-Gjøa Haven, which honors Amundsen, who wintered here in 1903/04 and 1904/05 on the Gjøa expedition. He called the place “the finest little harbor in the world.” He learned a great deal about survival and travel in polar regions from the local Netslik Inuit people.
-Fort Ross, which was established in 1937. There are two small huts here maintained by the Canadian Coast Guard, and occasionally used by the local Inuit for shelter.
-Beechey Island, which is closely linked to the history of Northwest Passage exploration, particularly the expedition led by Sir John Franklin, whose two ships sailed into the passage in 1845 but never returned. It is known that the Franklin party overwintered here in 1845.
-Radstock Bay, which is dominated by rocky Caswell Tower. The shoreline here is excellent for short walks to a prehistoric Inuit site. Caswell Tower itself features a challenging hike to the summit for great views.
-Dundas Harbor, which is an abandoned settlement with an old Royal Canadian Mounted Police camp and several archaeological sites from the Thule period.
-The traditional Inuit community, Pond Inlet, on Baffin Island. Called “Mittimatalik” in Inuktitut, this picturesque settlement is surrounded by mountain ranges, glaciers, scenic fjords, ice caves, geological hoodoos, and drifting icebergs.
Throughout the journey, you'll sail in pristine straits supporting rich wildlife and scout out for amazing creatures such as polar bears.
Davis Strait was named for the English explorer, John Davis, who searched for a route through the passage between 1585 and 1587. He was the first to draw attention to seal hunting and whaling possibilities in the area.
Ilulissat lies amidst the stunning scenery of the Ilulissat Icefjord, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Outside of town, at the mouth of the fjord, you often see giant icebergs that originate from nearby Jakobshavn Glacier, one of the most productive glaciers in the Northern Hemisphere.
Some 25 miles north of the Arctic Circle, Sisimiut is a modern settlement that maintains ancient traditions. Come ashore to explore this colorful town, visit the small museum, hike in the hills, and shop for local handicrafts.
Nuuk is the political and social center of Greenland and the oldest town in the country, founded in 1728. It is beautifully situated at the mouth of one of most spectacular fjord systems in the world. This is where old and new meet, from picturesque historic buildings to modern architecture.
Kvanefjord is a 30-mile-long fjord on the west coast of Greenland. Spend the day here exploring the amazing landscape.
Leave Greenland and head for open sea. You will cross the southern part of the Labrador Sea, this time sailing towards Newfoundland and Labrador in Canada.
Red Bay, on the coast of Labrador, is a classic outpost of Atlantic Canada with a population of less than 200. In 2013, the Red Bay Basque Whaling Station was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site. Wander around the former whaling town and learn about its interesting history.
Corner Brook is located on the west coast of Newfoundland and has approximately 20,000 inhabitants. The area was first surveyed by Captain James Cook in 1767. Explore the charming town center or enjoy its many walking trails amidst vibrant autumn foliage.
Enjoy the deep relaxation of a day at sea as the expedition team leads a recap of your fantastic expedition.
The British established Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1749. This colorful gateway town is both hip and historic. Enjoy views from atop the Citadel on a hill overlooking the city. Your expedition ends upon disembarkation from the ship.
Read this itinerary as a guide only; the exact route and program—including a full circumnavigation of Iceland—varies according to ice and weather conditions and the wildlife you encounter. Flexibility is the key to the success of this expedition. ExpeditionTrips is not responsible for itinerary changes.
This shipping company recommends that all passengers purchase a travel protection plan to help protect you and your trip investment from unexpected events such as cancellations, delays, and medical emergencies. ExpeditionTrips strongly recommends at least $200,000 Emergency Medical/Evacuation coverage for polar trips which includes coverage for cancellation, trip disruption, baggage, and personal property. Other conditions may apply based on pre-existing conditions. ExpeditionTrips can assist U.S. residents with travel protection options.
Multilingual Departures: English/German (All Departures)
Explorer Science Program: Included
Participate in lectures, activities, and current research to cultivate greater knowledge about the regions explored.
From kayaking to glacier traversing, there are several supplemented activities to choose from. Some are pre-bookable. Most are booked once on board. Please contact ExpeditionTrips for details and rates.
One-way economy flight Edmonton/Cambridge Bay; one pre-cruise hotel night in Edmonton including breakfast; transfer hotel/airport in Edmonton; transfer airport/ship in Cambridge Bay; shipboard accommodations; landings and activities onboard and ashore; professional English-speaking expedition team that gives lectures and accompanies landings and activities; introductory photography lecture; Explorer Science program; expedition logbook; Wi-Fi (limited access; streaming not supported); complimentary wind- and water-resistant parka; gear on loan (waterproof rubber boots, trekking poles, and equipment needed for optional and included activities); meals onboard the ship; house beer and wine during lunch and dinner; sodas, coffee, tea, and mineral water. Inclusions subject to change without notice.
Expedition Suites include a separate check-in; welcome package on embarkation day; a la carte restaurant; room service from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.; minibar replenishment; fleece blanket/throw; espresso maker; turn-down service; and laundry service. Subject to change without notice.
International flights; transfers unless mentioned as included; travel protection plan (highly recommended); luggage handling; optional excursions with local partners and small-group adventures (such as kayaking) with expedition team; gratuities; fuel surcharge may apply.
PHOTOS: © Thomas Haltner (Ilulissat Eisfjord), © Harald Maikisch (Sisimiut), © Mads Pihl (Ilulissat Zodiac riders), © Mark McDermott (Ilulissat plants), © Petra Wöbke (whale tail), © Hurtigruten