- Experience highlights of the Canadian Arctic and Greenland
- Visit traditional Inuit and Greenlandic communities
- View arctic wildlife, such as whales, walrus and muskoxen
- Explore the Ilulissat Icefjord, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
- Cruise in a Zodiac to get up close to the spectacular scenery
For centuries, intrepid explorers were determined to find the Northwest Passage, the fabled and often fatal route of icy channels connecting Europe with Asia. None of their stories is as enduring as that of Sir John Franklin and his crew, who never returned from their fateful 1845–46 expedition. The tragic tale has captured the imagination of history lovers ever since. On this new, 17-day voyage, journey back in time to the height of arctic exploration. As a modern-day adventurer, navigate the same waters and visit the same sites that played an important role in the discovery of the sea route—all from the comfort of your small expedition vessel, of course!
Though Franklin’s legend will be our focus, spectacular scenery and unique wildlife abound on this active expedition, which also has you exploring the deep fjords, ancient glaciers and innumerable icebergs of Greenland’s west coast. Zodiac cruises and hiking excursions bring you closer to the raw beauty of lands few have set foot on and waters few have sailed.
Day 1 — Arrive in Ottawa, Canada
Your arctic expedition begins in Ottawa. Explore Canada’s capital
city on your own before spending the night at your well-appointed
Day 2 — Fly to Resolute
This morning, board your charter flight to Resolute. Upon arrival,
you’ll have a chance to walk around this small arctic town before
enjoying your first of many Zodiac cruises as you’re transferred to
Days 3 to 6 — Exploring Canada’s High Arctic
Remote and rich in history, the Canadian High Arctic is as awe
inspiring as it is informative.
Named after explorer Frederick William Beechey, of the Royal Navy,
Beechey Island is a Canadian National Historic Site. It’s an important
stop on our voyage, as this is the final resting place of three
members of Sir John Franklin’s ill-fated 1845–46 expedition to find
the Northwest Passage. The graves, on a remote windswept beach, were
discovered in 1851 by the crew of British and American vessels
searching for signs of Franklin’s lost expedition.
Radstock Bay is a popular research location for observing polar
bears, which are often seen here in summer. An impressive Thule
archaeological site provides insight into how these pre- Inuit people
lived in the Far North.
For almost 5,000 years, the hamlet of Arctic Bay and its surrounding
area has been occupied by Inuit nomads migrating from the west.
Surrounded by soaring cliffs teeming with seabirds, this is a great
spot to go ashore and learn about the Inuit community’s traditional
way of life. The eastern end of Lancaster Sound affords numerous
hiking opportunities on Devon Island. We’ll anchor at Croker Bay,
where we’ll Zodiac cruise along the face of an active glacier. We’ll
try to keep a safe distance, but still hope to get close enough to
appreciate the splendor of calving ice. Walrus frequent the waters
here, so be sure to have your camera handy. A hike to a nearby
archaeological site is another possible excursion. At Dundas Harbour,
trek along a beach to a former Royal Canadian Mounted Police outpost.
Encounters with muskoxen are possible here.
Canada’s most northern settlement, Grise Fjord will be your final
shore visit in the Canadian High Arctic. Now home to about 150
residents, the traditional, mostly Inuit community was created in
1953, when the federal government resettled eight Inuit families from
northern Quebec. Hunting and fishing are a significant part of their
way of life. Visit the monument to the first Inuit settlers, as well
as the remnants of the “old camp” where they lived.
Days 7 and 8 — Exploring Smith Sound
Before saying goodbye to Canada, we’ll try to cruise as far north as
possible, exploring both sides of Smith Sound, the uninhabited passage
between Ellesmere Island and Greenland.
Day 9 — Qaanaaq, Greenland
Your first stop in Greenland is Qaanaaq, formerly known as Thule, one
of the northernmost towns in the world (there’s a reason ancient
philosophers called it Ultima Thule, or “edge of known territory”).
Here, local Inuit share their culture and traditions, and the museum
sheds more light on what it’s like living near the top of the world.
Day 10 — At Sea
As we sail south along the west coast of Greenland, presentations by
our on-board experts will prepare you for the adventures that lie
Days 11 to 15 — Exploring West Greenland
With spectacular glaciers, soaring fjords and vibrant communities,
the west coast of Greenland will leave you breathless.
Nuussuaq (formerly known as Kraulshavn) is the only mainland
community in the Upernavik Archipelago. Founded in 1923 as a trading
station, it’s one of the most traditional hunting and fishing villages
in Greenland .
It’s not surprising that the red-hued, heart-shaped mountain that
rises up behind Uummannaq gave the traditional community its name
(Uummannaq means “heart-like” in Greenlandic). As your ship approaches
the shore, you’ll want to be on deck to take in the incredible view of
the twin peaks towering over the vibrantly painted wooden houses
dotting the rocky terrain below. The settlement was established as a
Danish colony in 1758 on the mainland, but it relocated five years
later because seal hunting was more plentiful here.
In the nearby archaeological site of Qilaqitsoq (also known as
Qilakitsoq), you’ll visit the ruins of an ancient settlement, where
the remains of eight fully dressed mummies were discovered under a
rock outcrop in 1972 by a pair of hunters. The famous Greenlandic
mummies, which date back to 1475 AD, are on view at the Greenland
National Museum in Nuuk.
Cruising farther south rewards with spectacular views of Eqip Sermia.
The jagged, blue-tinged glacier soaring out of the crystal-clear water
is one of the most beautiful sights in Greenland, and we hope to
Zodiac cruise along its massive front from a safe distance. We may
also go ashore to explore nearby.
Just south of Ilulissat, which means “iceberg” in Greenlandic, is the
impressive Ilulissat Icefjord. The UNESCO World Heritage Site is home
to Sermeq Kujalleq, the most productive glacier in the northern
hemisphere. As we Zodiac cruise at the mouth of the fjord, you may be
lucky to witness the wonders of calving ice (listen to the loud roars
as the ice breaks off ). Founded in 1741, the traditional town, which
boasts more sled dogs than people, is famous in its own right: it was
the birthplace of explorer Knud Rasmussen, the first to traverse the
Northwest Passage by dogsled, in the early 1920s. Hikes here lead out
to stunning views of the young icebergs as float out the fjord to
In Sisimiut, you’ll be treated to a traditional kayaking
demonstration. The kayak (an Inuit word that the English borrowed) is
Greenland’s national symbol and can be traced back to the country’s
first immigrants, who used vessels that resemble the narrow one- or
two-person boats. The town has several 18th-century colonial
buildings, including the oldest surviving church in Greenland, so take
time to wander through the historic area. You’ll also have a chance to
hike amongst the area’s surrounding mountains.
Situated in a scenic hollow on a small island with no freshwater, the
colorful community of Itilleq, which has about 130 inhabitants, is
surrounded by sea, mountains and fjords. The final excursion of your
arctic adventure may be a hike around Itilleq Fjord.
Day 16 — Disembark in Kangerlussuaq
Enjoy one more Zodiac ride to shore, where you’ll board your charter
flight back to Ottawa, Canada. Upon arrival in Ottawa, we will
transfer you to your included hotel.
Day 17 — Depart Ottawa, Canada
Today, you can make your way home at your leisure or spend some time
exploring this historic city.
2018 MANDATORY TRANSFER PACKAGE INCLUDES:
- One night’s pre- and post-expedition hotel accommodation in Ottawa
- Charter flight from Ottawa to Resolute
- Transfers to and from the ship
- Charter flight from Kangerlussuaq to Ottawa
- Transfers between the airport and hotel in Ottawa
2018 Package Cost: $2,495
Embracing the unexpected is part of the legacy—and excitement—of
expedition travel. When traveling in extremely remote regions, your
expedition staff must allow the sea, the ice and the weather to
guide route and itinerary details. This itinerary is a tentative
outline of what you’ll experience on this voyage; please be aware
that no specific itinerary can be guaranteed.
Dates, Costs & Booking
Choose Number of Berths & Category
Date Selected: 9th Sep 2018
Adult (1) US$9695
Sub total US$9695
Kayaking in the Arctic is probably one of the most intimate and inspiring ways you can explore the rugged coastlines and calm bays of the regions we visit. Kayaking in the Polar Regions is highly weather-dependent, however we guarantee at least one outing throughout your voyage, but your kayak guides will take you out as many times as possible throughout your voyage.
Rates and Share Bookings
Prices shown are per person in US Dollars on a shared basis. If you are travelling alone and wish to share, you will be matched with someone of the same gender and pay only the share rate. If desired, Single occupancy is available at 1.7 times the twin share rate.
Reservations require a deposit of 20% (minimum $1000 per person) at the time you receive a booking confirmation from Expeditions Online. A payment link will be sent to you and this may be paid by major credit card. Bookings within 120 days of departure require full payment.
Balances are due 120 days prior to departure and may be paid by bank transfer.
All requests for cancellation must be received in writing to Expeditions Online. Cancellations received 180 days or more prior to departure, are refunded less a fee of $1000 per person. If cancellation is received between 179 days and 120 days, the full deposit is forfeited. If cancellation occurs less than 120 days prior to departure, all payments are forfeited. If full payment has not yet been received, the full penalty will still apply and any unpaid balance is due immediately. We strongly recommend that you obtain adequate trip cancellation insurance.
Please read carefully the Terms and Conditions for Expeditions Online (link at the bottom of this page). This voyage is operated by Quark Expeditions and you additionally travel under their terms and conditions as the operator as well as of the Shipping Company/transport carrier. Details will be forwarded to you at the time of booking.
Shipboard accommodation with daily housekeeping All breakfasts, lunches, dinners and snacks on board All shore landings per the daily program Leadership throughout the voyage by our experienced Expedition
Leader All Zodiac transfers and cruising per the daily program Formal and informal presentations by our Expedition Team and special
guests as scheduled Photographic journal documenting the expedition Waterproof expedition boots on loan for shore landings Official Quark Expeditions® parka to keep Coffee, tea and cocoa available around the clock Hair dryer and bathrobe in every cabin Comprehensive predeparture materials, including a map and an
informative Arctic Reader All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the
program All luggage handling aboard the ship Emergency evacuation insurance to a maximum benefit of US$100,000
Mandatory transfer package*
Passport and visa expenses
Canadian eTA required for non-Canadian or US visa-exempt passengers
Government arrival and departure taxes not mentioned above
Meals ashore unless otherwise specified
Baggage, cancellation, interruption and medical travel insurance — strongly recommended
Excess-baggage fees on international flights
Mandatory waterproof pants for Zodiac cruising, or any other gear not mentioned
Laundry, bar, beverage and other personal charges unless specified
Phone and Internet charges
Voluntary gratuity at the end of the voyage for shipboard staff and crew
Additional overnight accommodation
Optional kayaking activities
*MANDATORY TRANSFER PACKAGE INCLUDES
One night’s pre- and post-expedition hotel accommodation in Ottawa with breakfast
Charter flight from Ottawa to Resolute
Transfers to and from the ship
Charter flight from Kangerlussuaq to Ottawa
Transfers between the airport and hotel in Ottawa
Package cost: $2,495