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The Northwest Passage – Greenland to Canadian Arctic

Northwest Passage cruise

  • © Dann Catt
    © Dann Catt
  • © Michelle Valberg
    © Michelle Valberg
  • © Andre Gallant
    © Andre Gallant
  • © Andre Gallant
    © Andre Gallant
  • © Andrew Stewart
    © Andrew Stewart
  • © Andre Gallant
    © Andre Gallant

Summary : Cross the Arctic Circle as you sail the length of Sondre Stromfjord! Cruise among icebergs at Ilulissat Icefjord, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visit Queen Maud Gulf, home to the wrecks of the Franklin ships, HMS Erebus and HMS Terror. Watch for marine mammals and wildlife in Tallurutiup Imanga (Lancaster Sound) Marine Protected Area. Seek polar bears, seabirds, and other Arctic wildlife in pristine natural environments

Activities : Birding, Culture, Hiking, Kayaking, Photography, Triple/Quad Cabins


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Day 1
Toronto, Canada

Attend the mandatory orientation at the Sheraton Gateway Hotel. Hotel not included.

Day 2
Toronto, Canada / Kangerlussuaq, Greenland

Kangerlussuaq is a former US Air Force base and Greenland’s primary flight hub. After your charter flight from Toronto, transfer to the Ocean Endeavour.

Sondre Stromfjord is one of the longest fjords in the world and boasts superb scenery. Voyaging down this dramatic fjord cross the Arctic Circle—from the north!

Day 3
Sisimiut Coast

Enjoy West Greenland’s magnificent coastal waterways, which include glaciers, islands, and fjords against a towering mountain backdrop. The waters are relatively warm here, due to the West Greenland Current and the sub-Arctic location. Abundant fauna and marine life have supported human habitation here as far back as 4,500 years.

Day 4

Ilulissat means “iceberg”, an apt name for this site at the outlet of the Sermeq Kujalleq glacier—a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the source of many of the icebergs in the North Atlantic.

Travel by Zodiacs to appreciate the icebergs, and visit the town of Ilulissat, with its museums, cafes, craft shops, and busy fishing harbor.

Day 5 – 6
Western Greenland

Exploring by ship and Zodiac along the west coast of Greenland, you have numerous options for expedition stops, to make the most of weather and wildlife conditions. Departing Greenland, cross Baffin Bay toward Nunavut.

Day 7
At Sea - Davis Strait

As the ship heads toward Nunavut, your resource staff will deepen your understanding of the Arctic. This is an excellent time to enjoy workshops, watch a documentary, and get out on deck looking for whales, seabirds and marine wildlife.

Day 8
Mittimatalik (Pond Inlet)

Mittimatalik is a busy Arctic community in a beautiful setting, a fascinating place to wander. The cultural presentation at the Community Hall is not to be missed—handcrafted goods may be available here too.

Day 9 – 11
Tallurutiup Imanga (Lancaster Sound) / Devon Island

Spend your days exploring Tallurutiup Imanga (Lancaster Sound), one of Canada's newest National Marine Conservation Areas. Narwhal, beluga, and bowhead whales transit and feed in this area. Transit by ship and Zodiac in search of wildlife.

On the northern border of Tallurutiup Imanga lies Devon Island, the largest uninhabited island on Earth at over fifty thousand square kilometers. Flat topped mountains, glacial valleys, and a substantial ice cap give Devon Island its unique character. Hike the tundra, see a glacier face, and seek wildlife from ship and by shore.

Archaeological sites with expert interpretation allow you to learn about the Inuit history of this now-abandoned island. You’ll visit the remains of a RCMP and Hudson's Bay Company site at Dundas Harbour.

Day 12
Beechy Island

In 1845, Sir John Franklin set out from England with HMS Erebus and HMS Terror, attempting to sail through the Northwest Passage. Franklin’s crew overwintered at Beechey Island.

Numerous search parties later used Beechey as a depot and rendezvous. Amundsen, Bernier, and Larsen all visited Beechey. Thomas Morgan of HMS Investigator was buried there in 1854 alongside Franklin’s men. The graves, and the ruins of nearby Northumberland House, are a haunting memorial.

Day 13 – 14
Prince Regent Inlet

This passage marks an area rich in marine and avian life. Thick-billed Murres, Ivory Gulls, beluga, narwhal and bowhead whales reside in the ice-strewn waters. In addition to abundant wildlife, delve deeper into the exploration of the Northwest Passage and mercantile efforts of the Hudson's Bay Company.

Day 15 – 17
Kitikmeot Region

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. 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. Spend time navigating the ice-strewn waters in search of wildlife.

Call in at Uqsuqtuuq (Gjoa Haven) home of the Guardians of Terror Bay. The European name, Gjoa Haven, honors Roald Amundsen who overwintered in the bay for two years while searching for the Northwest Passage. Amundsen became the first European to cross the Northwest Passage, thanks to the knowledge and largesse of Inuit. The community has an excellent cultural center and is well known for carvings and wall hangings.

Day 18
Kugluktuk / Calgary (2020) or Yellowknife, Canada (2021)

Located at the mouth of the Coppermine River, Kugluktuk is the westernmost community in Nunavut.

Disembark the Ocean Endeavour after breakfast.


Read this itinerary as a guide only; the exact route and program 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.

Mandatory Travel Insurance:
Emergency evacuation and medical insurance is mandatory in order to travel with Adventure Canada. As a requirement of participation on this expedition, all passengers must purchase at least $75,000 of medical evacuation insurance and medical insurance. Please note that this is a suggested minimum by Adventure Canada and that actual medical and evacuation costs may far exceed this amount. Other conditions may apply based on pre-existing conditions. Persons that already have their own medical and emergency evacuation coverage will be asked to provide full policy details upon booking. ExpeditionTrips strongly recommends at least $200,000 Emergency Medical/Evacuation coverage which includes coverage for cancellation, trip disruption, baggage and personal property. ExpeditionTrips can assist U.S. residents with travel protection options.

Nikon Photography Program
Adventure Canada is proud to partner with Nikon Canada for the onboard Nikon Camera Trial Program, taking place aboard all Ocean Endeavour expeditions. Through this program, travelers will have the opportunity to try professional quality photography equipment in stunning environments, and take advantage of onsite instruction from Nikon Ambassadors. You can also experience the power of Nikon products through onboard seminars and onshore photography workshops, designed to help you capture the perfect image of your trip of a lifetime.

Optional Kayaking:
Explore at water level in small groups with experienced kayak guides. Excursions are offered on double kayaks, as well as the essential gear for safety and comfort.

Optional Mountain Biking:
Experience communities and landscapes at your own pace! For fitness enthusiasts and independent explorers, the ship carries a fleet of Kona mountain bikes. These multi-geared, all-purpose bikes are available during select community excursions.

Transfer from recommended pre-trip hotel to airport on embarkation day; transfer from ship to airport on disembarkation day; late evening transfer from airport to recommended post-trip hotel on disembarkation day; Nikon Camera Trial Program; gear to keep (expedition jacket); gear on loan (boots); photo journal; all meals onboard ship. Subject to change without notice.

Not Included:

Airfare; pre- and post-trip accommodations; passport and visa expenses; spa expenses; kayaking; mountain biking; optional excursions and extensions; WiFi; alcohol; soft drinks; laundry services; onboard medical charges; personal expenses; cancellation/luggage/assistance/repatriation/medical insurance(s); gratuities; fuel surcharge may apply.

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