Classic Northwest Passage & Greenland

Canadian Arctic

Explores the remote Northwest Passage and the stunning fjords of the Baffin Island coastline before crossing to Greenland. We follow in the footsteps of the early Arctic explorers such as Franklin, Amundsen and Larsen, exploring the archipelago of islands and channels that create Canada’s High Arctic region. This is the home of the polar bear, the barren ground grizzly bear, musk ox, caribou and walrus. Wildlife is a major draw card of our expedition but there is plenty of historical interest

  • Spectacular scenery of Canadian Arctic
  • Expert staff onboard including specialists in photography, geography, wildlife, ornithology
  • Visit remote Iniut communities
  • Explore icy shorelines by Zodiac and kayaks looking for polar bears
  • Cross the Arctic Circle at 66⁰ degrees, 33 minutes North
  • Jacobshavn Icefjord – a UNESCO World Heritage site - spewing its icebergs into Disko Bay
  • Transit the legendary Northwest passage

In the Wake of Franklin

Stories of the ill-fated expedition by Sir John Franklin nearly 170 years ago are central to our voyage. Franklin made his last heroic foray into the Arctic in 1845 with two ships and 129 men, never to be heard from again. The fate of the expedition remained a mystery until September 2014 when one of the vessels, HMS Erebus, was discovered in a remarkable state of preservation in the frigid waters of Victoria Strait. The find is undoubtedly one of the great archeological discoveries of the last 100 years and has been likened to the discovery of Tutankhamen’s tomb.

Early Booking Offer

Save with Flight Credit of US$1000 pp (or equivalent currency). Credit amount varies by departure and is shown during the booking process.

Stewart's Take

Wilderness plus exploration - this is small ship expedition cruising at its best!

Overview

Explores the remote Northwest Passage and the stunning fjords of the Baffin Island coastline before crossing to Greenland. We follow in the footsteps of the early Arctic explorers such as Franklin, Amundsen and Larsen, exploring the archipelago of islands and channels that create Canada’s High Arctic region. This is the home of the polar bear, the barren ground grizzly bear, musk ox, caribou and walrus. Wildlife is a major draw card of our expedition but there is plenty of historical interest.
Explores the remote Northwest Passage and the stunning fjords of the Baffin Island coastline before crossing to Greenland. Wildlife is a major draw card, as we venture through the home of the polar bear, muskox, caribou and walrus. There is also a strong historical element: the stories of the ill-fated expedition by Sir John Franklin more than 170 years ago are central to our voyage. Day 1 - Edmonton We depart Edmonton on a charter flight to Cambridge Bay, a remote outpost above the Arctic Circle. Located on the southern shores of Victoria Island, today it is a centre for hunting, trapping and fishing. Enjoy a walking tour of the town and then board our expedition ship, the Akademik Ioffe. Excitement is in the air as we enjoy a welcome cocktail and cast off, bound for the fabled Northwest Passage. Day 2 - Victory Point As we chart a course into the Northwest Passage, our onboard presentation series begins and we delve into the tale of the Franklin expedition. The mystery of what happened 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 pivotal role in the search by carrying underwater search equipment on our ship as well as scientists, historians, researchers, dignitaries and sponsors. We aim to visit Victory Point, travelling very near the actual location of the wreck of HMS Erebus, while learning about the quest for exploration that eventually opened up the Arctic. To end this remarkable find, the sister ship - HMS Terror was discovered nearby in the Summer of 2016. Day 3 - Coningham Bay This morning we arrive at Coningham Bay on the shore of Prince of Wales Island. This is one of the most remarkable wildlife sites in the Arctic. A hotspot for polar bears who come here to feast on Beluga whales, it is not unusual to find the shoreline littered with whale skeletons and very healthy looking polar bears! Day 4 - Bellot Strait and Fort Ross Today we transit the narrow passage of Bellot Strait. The mixing of waters in this strait provides an abundant food source for marine mammals, and we will keep our eyes peeled for harp seals, bearded seals and even polar bears. The skill of the Captain and officers and the capabilities of the ship become apparent during this exciting day of Arctic navigation. The historic site of Fort Ross, located at the southern end of Somerset Island, is 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. Day 5 - Beechey Island Beechey Island is of great historic importance. It is here that Sir John Franklin’s ill-fated expedition spent its last ‘comfortable’ winter in 1845 before disappearing into the icy vastness. A trip ashore at Beechey Island to visit the grave markers on a remote windswept beach gives one pause to wonder on the bravery (or foolhardiness) of these pioneering explorers, as they sought a way through the barren, frozen landscape. Day 6 - Devon Island and Dundas Harbour Cruising the coastline of Devon Island, we are now in the waters of Lancaster Sound – a rich, bio-diverse region often referred to as the wildlife ‘super highway’ of the Arctic. Massive volumes of water from Baffin Bay to the east, Beaufort Sea to the west, and the archipelago of islands to the north combine here to make a rich cocktail of nutrients supporting an abundance of Arctic wildlife. We plan to visit the old Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) outpost at Dundas Harbour. Muskox and Arctic hare are sometimes seen around here, and there are great hiking options in the area. Day 7 - Mittimatalik (Pond Inlet) We sight the wild north coast of Baffin Island and navigate through Navy Board Inlet. The vast landscapes of Sirmilik National Park surround us as we approach the remote Inuit community of Mittimatalik (Pond Inlet). A highlight will be a visit to the Natinnak Centre, where a fascinating cultural exhibit showcases daily life, culture and history of the people of the north. We also enjoy meeting the local children of Mittimatalik and marveling at their athletic abilities as they demonstrate traditional Inuit games. Day 8 - Gibbs Fjord This morning we enter the spectacular Gibbs Fjord. Our expedition ship will be dwarfed by the giant peaks and snowy glaciers as we cruise along the dark waters. Day 9 - Baffin Bay Leaving the rugged coastline of Baffin Island, our crossing of Baffin Bay allows us time to slow down and reflect on the beauty and experiences we have shared. Our team of onboard experts will continue to educate us on the history and wildlife of the region while our naturalists keep watch looking for fulmars and dovekies, pilot whales and perhaps even orca. As we approach Greenland, we also increase our likelihood of spotting some of the big baleen whales like the fin and sei whales. Day 10 - Ilulissat Icefjord If one word could sum up today’s experience it would be 'ice'. Truly one of the wonders of the world, the Ilulissat Icefjord – a UNESCO World Heritage site - spews giant tabular icebergs out into Disko Bay. The glacier that creates these stunning monoliths advances at over 40 metres per day, creating around 50 cubic kilometres of ice annually. Our approach to Ilulissat is dependent on the amount of ice in and around the mouth of the fjord. Our Captain and officers are skilled ice navigators and our ship has one of the highest ice ratings of any vessel exploring Arctic waters. Day 11 - Sisimiut We will explore the fjord behind the town of Sisimiut before going ashore to explore this beautiful location. Characterized by colourful local houses, the town features a towering granite peak as a backdrop. We hope to meet a few of the traditional Greenlandic kayakers and to see a demonstration of ‘Eskimo rolling’ by one of the former Greenland kayak champions. A small museum is another interesting diversion. Day 12 - Sondre Stromfjord One of the world’s longest fjords, Sondre Stromfjord towers above the ship as we sail up it. We plan to venture into some of the small side fjords that we can zodiac into and explore on foot or by kayak. Major geologic and geomorphologic features will surround us and we hope to find muskox along the shores of the fjord as well. Soaring high above us will be the white-tailed sea eagle, riding the thermals off the ridges. There are fantastic opportunities for hiking. Day 13 - Kangerlussuaq and Ottawa Our journey through the Arctic is all but complete as we disembark the ship in Kangerlussuaq and make our way to the airport and a charter flight returns us to Ottawa. A transfer is provided from the airport to a central location downtown. ABOUT OUR ITINERARY: Polar exploration can be unpredictable. Specific sites visited will depend on prevailing weather and ice conditions at the time of sailing. The above itinerary should be read as a ‘guide only’ and may change. The ship’s Captain in conjunction with the Expedition Leader continually review the sailing plan throughout the voyage, making adjustments to the itinerary along the way to take advantage of optimal weather and ice conditions or to maximize our encounters with wildlife. Decades of experience spent exploring these waterways mean we have a large number of outstanding landing sites and zodiac cruising locations to consider, even when the weather conditions may not be ideal or when heavy ice may hinder our a planned route. A flexible approach is something we encourage you to bring to the ship.

Luxury Expedition Vessel: RCGS Resolute

RCGS Resolute

The purpose built polar expedition vessel RCGS Resolute provides a most capable, safe, and exclusive expedition cruise experience.  Designed for comfort, there are public spaces ideally suited for each and every need. Two separate bar and lounge areas featuring 180 degree views and a wonderfully stocked library provide ideal places to relax or catch up on some reading. RCGS Resolute has the highest ice class (Lloyds 1AS).  Equipped with propellers of stainless steel, high density steel plating and small frame spacing on her hull, RCGS Resolute continues into the ice, when others simply cannot.  The ship is very stable and her stability and strength are features greatly appreciated in ice laden large waters.  Unmatched stability, coupled with superior speed allows for more time at your destination and more flexibility with itinerary planning – a critical factor in polar waters where ice and weather conditions sometimes dictate daily plans. All cabins feature outside viewing ranging from deck three traditional with port holes, up to decks 4 through 6 offering expansive panoramic windows.  Cabins all have lower berths that have the ability to be single beds, or 1 double bed depending on our guests needs. 

For full information about this vessel click here:

Included
  • Pre-voyage information package to help you prepare for your trip
  • Free use of expedition gear package with quality waterproof/windproof jacket, bib-pants plus insulated rubber boots, waterproof backpack, set of binoculars and a Nordic trekking pole.
  • Transfers to the ship on embarkation day and from the ship to the airport on disembarkation
  • Shipboard accommodation in your selected cabin category with daily housekeeping. Cabins feature outside views with windows or portholes
  • All breakfasts, lunches and dinners on board with daily afternoon tea
  • 24-hour tea, coffee, hot chocolate in bar/lounge plus in-cabin tea and coffee making facilities
  • Expedition Leader and professional expedition team of biologists, naturalists, historians, adventure guides and photographers
  • Daily off-ship excursions by Zodiac boat breaking into small groups for shore landings
  • Guided hikes and walks for guests of all abilities
  • Visits to wildlife colonies, historic sites, places of outstanding natural beauty and science stations
  • Resident photography guide
  • An emergency trained medical physician
  • Dedicated hospitality team including Hotel Manager, four chefs, professional bar staff and Adventure Concierge staff
  • Onboard sauna, plunge pool, Jacuzzi and fitness centre including massage options (charge applies for massage and treatments)
  • Sea Kayaking program available (additional charge of US$795pp) – must be reserved at the time of booking your voyage and you must have some prior paddling experience
  • Well-stocked library with polar reference books
  • End of voyage video, photos and take-home USB
  • Port fees and all permits to access visited areas
Excluded
  • Any international or local airfare unless otherwise specified in the voyage itinerary
  • Visa and passport expenses
  • Pre or post-cruise hotel accommodation unless otherwise specified in the itinerary (or pre-arranged)
  • Pre or post-cruise transfers unless otherwise specified in the itinerary (or pre-arranged)
  • Personal expenses on board such as alcoholic beverages, bar charges or laundry expenses
  • Telecommunication charges (i.e. email, satellite phone)
  • Baggage, cancellation or medical travel insurance related expenses (travel insurance is mandatory on all voyages)
  • A voluntary gratuity at the end of the voyage for expedition staff and ship crew (suggested amount – US$15-20 per day)
Deposit Reservations require a 20% deposit 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. Final Payment Balances are due 120 days prior to departure and can be paid by bank transfer. Balance payments may be made by credit card subject to a 2% surcharge. Cancellations All requests for cancellation must be received in writing to Expeditions Online. Cancellations received 120 days or more prior to departure = loss of deposit. If cancellation occurs less than 120 days up to and including the day of departure: 100 % of the total price. 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. Pricing, Sharing and Single Occupancy Prices shown are per person 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 1.5 times the twin share rate (not available in the Triple category), or 2 times the rate for Suites. Family Travel and Child Discounts For youth up to and including 17 years of age there is a 25% reduction in price. For youth between the ages of 18-21 there is a 20% reduction in price with proof of educational enrolment (current student card). These youth bookings must accompany an adult booking. Permission is required for any traveller under the age of 18 years and a Child Consent form to be completed. Booking Terms Please read carefully the general Terms and Conditions for Expeditions Online. This voyage is operated by One Ocean 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.
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