Pathways to Franklin
Early Booking Offer
Book before 30 October 2017: Save 50%of the charter flight costs.
Book before 30 October 2017: Save 50%of the charter flight costs.
This voyage starts from Edmonton on a charter flight & ends ends with a charter flight to Edmonton.
*2017 itinerary ends in Resolute and 2018 itinerary ends in Cambridge Bay.
Discover the dramatic history of early polar exploration Frequent shore landings in the company of expert guides allow us to explore on foot, observing wildlife, Arctic flora, and points of historical interest. All of this is set against a backdrop of epic Arctic scenery and massive skies. This is an ideal introduction to small ship expedition cruising in the remote Canadian Arctic. Day 1 - Edmonton We depart Edmonton on our charter flight to Resolute, a remote outpost above the Arctic Circle. Located on the southern shores of Cornwallis Island, the town is named after the British ship HMS Resolute which was trapped in ice and abandoned here in 1850 while searching for the lost Franklin Expedition. A weather station and airstrip made it a strategic outpost during the Cold War. On arrival, we meet our expedition team and prepare for our zodiac ride to the ship. After a welcome cocktail, we weigh anchor and depart Resolute in the early evening. Day 2 - Beechey Island | Prince Leopold Island Beechey Island holds great historic importance in the story of the Northwest Passage. It is here that Sir John Franklin’s ill-fated expedition spent its last ‘comfortable’ winter in 1845 before disappearing into the icy vastness, sparking an incredible series of search expeditions. The mystery of what happened to Franklin was partially solved in September 2014, when a joint Parks Canada and Royal Canadian Geographic Society expedition found the HMS Erebus in the Victoria Strait. One Ocean Expeditions played a vital role in the discovery by carrying underwater search equipment on our ship as well as scientists, historians, researchers, dignitaries and sponsors. A trip ashore at Beechey Island to visit the grave markers on a remote windswept beach is a thrilling location for history buffs. 2017: Through the afternoon we will sail across Barrow Strait and approach the towering bird cliffs of Prince Leopold Island. This is an important migratory bird sanctuary, home to thick-billed murres, black guillemots, northern fulmars and black-legged kittiwakes. Numbering several hundred thousand birds, Prince Leopold Island is one of the most significant bird sanctuaries in the whole of the Canadian Arctic and makes for fantastic zodiac cruising. The sea ice around Prince Leopold Island is a great place for spotting ringed seals - and wherever we find ringed seals, we usually find polar bears. Day 3 - Fury Beach | Elwin Inlet 2017: Overnight we sail south into Prince Regent Inlet and wake up along the southeastern shore of Somerset Island. Our objective is to go ashore at Fury Beach, named after the HMS Fury, a Royal Navy sloop used in two Arctic expeditions by Commander Edward Parry. During her second expedition, she was damaged in the ice while overwintering and abandoned here in 1825. Her stores were unloaded on the beach and left as a future supply depot for future Royal Navy expeditions into the Arctic. 2018: We cross the broad expanse of Lancaster Sound, spending time on the ship’s bridge, or outer decks looking for wildlife. The sound has been likened to the wildlife ‘super highway’ of the Arctic. Approaching northern Baffin Island we are in awe of the spectacular Arctic landscape that seemingly stretches on forever. Cape Charles Yorke offers several great walking opportunities and we may enjoy some sightings of polar bears along this coast. We navigate the ship into nearby Elwin Inlet, a breathtaking fjord which is well protected and great for a zodiac cruise or hike onshore. Day 4 - Bellot Strait | Prince Leopold Island 2017: Continuing to the southern end of Prince Regent Inlet, we find the historic site of Fort Ross on Somerset Island. A former Hudson’s Bay Company fur trading outpost, fascinating archaeological sites nearby tell a story of more than a thousand years of habitation by the Inuit and their predecessors. A transit of Bellot Strait is a thrilling experience as the currents roar through this narrow channel. We are now in the heart of the Northwest Passage. The mixing of waters in this strait provides an abundant food source for numerous marine mammal species including harp seals, bearded seals and even polar bears. The skill of the Captain and Officers and capabilities of the ship becomes apparent during this exciting day of Arctic navigation. 2018: Having crossed Prince Regent Inlet overnight, we approach the towering bird cliffs of Prince Leopold Island in the morning. The island is home to thick-billed murres, black guillemots, northern fulmars and black-legged kittiwakes. Numbering in the order of several hundred thousand birds, Prince Leopold Island is one of the most significant Migratory Bird Sanctuaries in the whole of the Canadian Arctic and makes for fantastic zodiac cruising. Day 5 - Coningham Bay | Bellot Strait 2017: We cross the Franklin Strait and arrive at Coningham Bay on the shore of Prince Of Wales Island. This is a known hotspot for polar bears who come here to feast on beluga whales, often caught in the rocky shallows at the entrance to the bay. It is not unusual to find the shoreline littered with whale skeletons – and very healthy looking polar bears! 2018: Continuing to navigate the ship south into Prince Regent Inlet, we approach the eastern end of the Bellot Strait. The historic site of Fort Ross, located at the southern end of Somerset Island, is a former Hudson’s Bay Company fur trading outpost. The mixing of waters in this strait provides an abundant food source for marine mammals and we keep our eyes peeled for harp seals, bearded seals and even polar bears. Day 6 - Victoria Strait | Coningham Bay 2017: Pushing further to the south, the mystery of Sir John Franklin and his ‘lost expedition’ is beginning to unravel. Prior to the recent discovery of the HMS Erebus in September 2014, very little was known of how the Franklin Expedition spent its last months in the frozen Arctic. The vessels, abandoned in the ice of Victoria Strait, are just coming to life thanks to the ongoing efforts of Parks Canada’s marine archaeological team and the recent Victoria Strait Expedition. On Victory Point a lifeboat left abandoned, bits and pieces of metal, cutlery, buttons and a skeleton here and there, tell a story of a desperate race south in the hope of a rescue that never came. We will aim to travel very near the location of the wreck of HMS Erebus. 2018: Having emerged from Bellot Strait, we cross Franklin Strait and arrive at Coningham Bay on the shore of Prince Of Wales Island. Here, in the heart of the Northwest Passage we hope to encounter one of the most remarkable wildlife sites in the Arctic Day 7 - Pasley Bay | Victory Point 2017: Pasely Bay on the Boothia Peninsula is another fascinating historic location. The RCMP vessel St. Roch spent a winter here in 1942 frozen into the sea ice. The ship was the first Canadian vessel to ever transit the Northwest Passage. One of the ship’s crew passed away while in this location and was buried by shipmates along the shoreline. 2018: On Victory Point a lifeboat left abandoned, bits and pieces of copper and iron, cutlery and buttons and a skeleton here and there - all tell a story of a desperate race south in search of rescue that never came. We hope to visit Victory Point as we transit Victoria Strait, travelling very near the actual location of the wreck of HMS Erebus, all the while, learning about the quest for exploration that eventually opened up the Arctic. Days 8 - 9 - Peel Sound | The Royal Canadian Geographical Society Island 2017: We track northwards through the Franklin Strait and into Peel Sound. The area is known for its heavy sea ice concentrations, and is only open to vessel navigation for a short period each year. The high ice-rating of our expedition ship means we are well equipped to take on the challenges of this route through the heart of the Northwest Passage. We now know that Franklin sailed his two expedition ships through Peel Sound in the summer of 1846, before becoming beset in the ice. 2018: Today we explore The Royal Canadian Geographical Society Island and follow the footsteps of Sir Franklin and his crew. Day 9 - Aston Bay 2017: We have an exciting last day planned in Aston Bay. A deep inlet of Peel Sound, this location often features heavy concentrations of ice and is a known hotspot for wildlife activity. We explore in the zodiacs and aim to make a shore landing searching for wildlife. 2018: We are in a very historic part of the Northwest Passage as we explore the waters of southern Victoria Strait and into the top of Queen Maud Gulf. Our itinerary today will be driven by the weather and ice conditions as we surround ourselves in history and search for wildlife. This evening, we enjoy a special dinner attended by the Captain of the ship and the chance to reflect on a what has been a superb 10-days of exploration in this pristine Arctic wilderness. Day 10 - Edmonton 2017: By morning, we are at anchor in Resolute. We make our way ashore by zodiac and bid farewell to our crew. A charter flight returns us to Edmonton where our journey comes to an end. 2018: Our journey through the Arctic is all but complete as we disembark the ship in Cambridge Bay and make our way to the airport and a charter flight returns us to Edmonton. A transfer is provided from the airport to a central location downtown.
Designed for polar research, the Akademik Ioffe, also known as the One Ocean Navigator is modern, comfortable, safe and ice-strengthened. From small group sessions to briefings for all passengers, the public spaces onboard the ship are ideally suited for each and every need. A separate bar and lounge, as well as a library provide ideal places to sit and relax or catch up on some reading. A selection of movies and documentaries can also be watched in the lounge. Enjoy the sumptuous meals prepared for you by the culinary team in our dining room, which can host all clients in a single seating with ample room. Other facilities include the theatre style presentation room, gift-shop, fitness room, massage room, sauna and plunge pool.
|Kayaking Arctic||Imagine the swish of water is it passes your hull, or the clack of brash ice against your paddle blade. Sea kayaking in the polar regions allows you to experience another side of this magnificent destination. Highly experienced guides help you with safety and interpretation and introduce you to a slower paced, quieter environment. Kayak excursions will be offered in conjunction with the Zodiac excursions whenever weather conditions permit. This program is directed at any passenger with an adventurous spirit and a basic paddling ability. The sea kayaking option should be added at the time of booking and, due to its great popularity, is generally not available for booking onboard the vessel.||US$695|