Northwest Passage to Ellesmere and Axel Heiberg Islands

Canadian Arctic

Showcasing the region’s cultural, historic and geographic treasures, this expedition approaches the farthest stretches of this rugged, rarely visited landscape. Ultramarine’s unprecedented range of adventure options, including activities such as helicopter flightseeing, gives you an unrivalled polar experience. Look for wildlife at home in this forbidding region: sea mammals, polar bears, muskox, and possibly even the elusive arctic wolf. From soaring cliffs to mummified forests, spectacular glacial formations to stunning alpine vistas, this expedition provides a definitive Arctic experience

  • Search for iconic arctic wildlife, such as polar bears, muskoxen, walrus and whales
  • Follow in the footsteps of famous explorers like Franklin and Amundsen
  • Eight full days exploring the Canadian Arctic
  • Onboard helicopters for unparalleled access and sightseeing
  • Cruise in a Zodiac to explore icebergs, glaciers, fjords and more
  • Immerse yourself in the icy realm of the Arctic with optional kayaking adventures
Here, at the top of the world, nature has created unique wonders in astonishing variety. The game-changing new expedition vessel Ultramarine is equipped with two twin-engine helicopters and 20 quick-launching Zodiacs, to enable you to explore this breathtaking environment from brand new perspectives. You’ll  experience the same sense of wonder felt by early explorers as they navigated the region’s formidable bays, inlets and channels.

In the footsteps of Legends...

Remote and rich in history, the Canadian High Arctic is as awe inspiring as it is informative. Your days spent exploring this mysterious region will have you traveling back in time to the Age of Exploration. While following in the wake of famous explorers like Sir John Franklin and Roald Amundsen, you’ll navigate the waters and visit the historic sites in the area around Lancaster Sound that were key to the discovery of the Northwest Passage. You’ll also learn about the scientific, cultural, geopolitical and environmental aspects of the route from our world-class experts, guides and the local communities. Reaching remote lands that have lured adventurers for centuries will be an experience you’ll never forget.

Pay in Full save 10%

All departures - discounted/early booking sale prices as shown!

Payment in Full at time of booking (2025 only) eligible for additional 10% savings - use Promocode PIF10 during the booking process!

Terms and Conditions: Must quote promo code and provide passengers’ full names at time of booking. The right is reserved to limit, change or discontinue promotion at any time without notice.  No cash value. Brochure Terms & Conditions apply.

Stewart's Take

A mysterious, magical region few ever get to see!

Overview

Showcasing the region’s cultural, historic and geographic treasures, this expedition approaches the farthest stretches of this rugged, rarely visited landscape. Ultramarine’s unprecedented range of adventure options, including activities such as helicopter flightseeing, gives you an unrivalled polar experience. Look for wildlife at home in this forbidding region: sea mammals, polar bears, muskox, and possibly even the elusive arctic wolf. From soaring cliffs to mummified forests, spectacular glacial formations to stunning alpine vistas, this expedition provides a definitive Arctic experience.
Day 1 Arrive in Toronto, Canada (*or Calgary in 2024) Your Arctic expedition begins in Toronto/Calgary*. Explore the city on your own before spending the night at your well-appointed hotel. Day 2 Fly to Resolute and Embark This morning, board your charter flight to Resolute. Upon arrival, you may have a chance to check out some of the town’s sites before being transferred to your ship via Zodiac or helicopter (depending on ship location and weather conditions). Days 3 to 10 Exploring Canada’s High Arctic Cruising around the remote islands of the Canadian High Arctic aboard the brand-new ship Ultramarine, you’ll navigate the same icy inlets, channels and bays that fascinated legendary explorers of long ago. Designed to give polar adventurers unprecedented access to the hardest-to-reach places on the planet—and equipped with two onboard twin-engine helicopters for unparalleled access—this one-of-a-kind ship, in its inaugural year, will take you beyond the familiar in polar exploration. Throughout your journey, your Expedition Team will keep an eye toward immersing you in the best the Arctic has to offer, including reaching Canada’s most northerly islands: Axel Heiberg Island and the rarely visited Ellesmere Island, at the top of the world. - Remember that no two polar voyages are alike, since each expedition presents new opportunities and different weather and ice conditions. While this voyage has no fixed itinerary, our objective is to visit as many of the incredible highlights this season has to offer, using the opportunities provided by the weather and ice to give you the best experience. Each day, your highly skilled Expedition Team will read the conditions and choose the best course to set, but despite their extensive expertise in these areas, each visit brings something new to discover. That said, our expeditions will have some elements in common, including daily Zodiac cruising, land excursions, a robust education program, a community visit and wildlife viewing opportunities. And thanks to our onboard helicopters, you’ll also discover the ultimate polar expedition experience: As stunning as polar landscapes are from your ship, they’re even more striking from the air! Conditions permitting, you’ll enjoy ultra-immersive activities like flightseeing (short sightseeing flights around your ship and surrounding areas) and heli-landings (flying to places we could not otherwise access for shore excursions), two breathtaking options that are unique to Ultramarine and give you an awe-inspiring polar experience like no other. - While this waterway is known to European cultures as the Northwest Passage, this area has nurtured and sustained the Inuit and their predecessors who have called these shores home for almost 5,000 years. Moving through these remote landscapes you will be traveling through the ancestral homelands of this ancient culture, illuminated in person by Inuit guides onboard and ashore. Nunavut is an Inuktitut word meaning “our land” and the Nunavummiut (the people of Nunavut) are renowned for their incredible resourcefulness, hospitality, good humor, and a deep knowledge of the land and animals that has allowed them to thrive in the far north for millennia. - Ultimately, your Expedition Team will keep its eye northward, hoping to follow in the footsteps of the lucky few polar adventurers who have transited through the famous Hell Gate to reach the top of the world, the spectacular Ellesmere Island. If conditions are right, the soaring, ominous snow-capped peaks of this polar desert will come into focus as we approach. The northernmost island in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago, to fly up to explore the Devon ice cap, one of the largest in the Canadian Arctic. History buffs will also be intrigued by the chance to visit an abandoned Hudson’s Bay Company trading post at Fort Ross, at the southern end of Somerset Island, and pay their respects to the ill-fated Franklin expedition of 1845–46 at the gravesite of three crew members on Beechey Island, one of Canada’s most significant Arctic sites. - You may have the opportunity to cruise in a Zodiac along the face of an active glacier near Croker Bay and possibly even witness the wonders of calving ice, at a safe distance. Listen closely for the steady crackle and loud roars as pieces of ice break off and crash into the water below. You’ll also want to be on the lookout for the walrus that are often seen in the area. There is no shortage of natural beauty, wildlife and history in Canada’s High Arctic. Each day, you’ll discover something new and inspiring, whether it is admiration of the tundra flora to survive the rugged environment, a rare bird species soaring overhead, a polar bear on the hunt in its natural habitat, or the remains of a century-old hut. Day 11 Disembark in Resolute, Canada & fly to Toronto/Calgary* After disembarking in Resolute, you’ll be transferred to your charter flight to Toronto/Calgary*, where you’ll spend the night at your included hotel. Day 12 Depart Toronto/Calgary* Today, make your way to the airport to catch your homeward flights, or spend the day exploring the city. MANDATORY TRANSFER PACKAGE INCLUDES:
  • One night’s pre-expedition hotel accommodation in Toronto/Calgary*
  • Group transfer from the hotel to the airport on Day ‘
  • Charter flights between Toronto/Calgary* and Resolute
  • Group transfers between the Resolute airport and the ship
  • Group transfer from Toronto/Calgary* airport to the hotel on disembarkation day
  • One night’s post-expedition hotel accommodation in Toronto
PACKAGE PRICE: $1,995 USD Important reminder: 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.

Luxury Expedition Vessel: Ultramarine

Ultramarine

The newest ship in Quark's fleet, Ultramarine, is designed to go beyond the familiar in polar exploration, to discover new places, and to immerse you in the best the region has to offer. Equipped with two twin-engine helicopters for extraordinary sightseeing, this outstanding vessel offers the widest range of adventure activities in the industry, the most spacious suites in its category, breathtaking public spaces, and more outdoor wildlife viewing spaces than other expedition ships its size. It also features an innovative mix of sustainability features that exceed all industry standards. With all this and more, Ultramarine is set to give you the ultimate polar expedition experience!

For full information about this vessel click here:

Included
  • Leadership throughout your voyage by experienced Expedition Leaders, including shore landings and other activities
  • All Zodiac transfers and cruising per the daily program
  • All shore landings per the daily program
  • Shipboard accommodation with daily housekeeping
  • All meals, snacks, soft drinks and juices on board throughout your voyage (Please inform us of any dietary requirements as far in advance as possible. Unfortunately, the ships’ galleys cannot prepare kosher meals.)
  • Beer and wine during dinner; and coffee, tea and cocoa available around the clock
  • Formal and informal presentations by our Expedition Team and guest speakers as scheduled
  • A photographic journal documenting the expedition
  • A pair of waterproof expedition boots on loan for landings and Zodiac cruising excursions
  • An official Expedition parka to keep
  • Complimentary reusable water bottle
  • Hair dryer and bathrobes in every cabin
  • All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the program
  • All luggage handling aboard the ship
  • Emergency Evacuation insurance for all passengers to a maximum benefit of USD $500,000 per person
  • Greenland voyages cruise passenger tax
Excluded
  • Mandatory Transfer Package*
  • International airfare
  • Arrival and departure transfers, except where listed in the Mandatory Transfer Package
  • Passport and visa expenses
  • 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
  • Adventure Options not listed in Included Activities
Rates and Share Bookings 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 at share rate. If desired, Single occupancy is available at 1.7 times the twin share rate for standard cabins (or twice the share rate for premium cabins or suites). Deposit Reservations require a deposit of 25% 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 made within 90 days of departure require 100% payment. Final Payment Balances are due 90 days prior to departure and may be paid by bank transfer. Cancellation All requests for cancellation must be received in writing to Expeditions Online.
  • Cancellations received 120 days or more prior to departure, are refundable less an administrative fee of US$500/€450/AUD650/GBP400/SEK5500 per person. 
  • If cancellation is received between 119 days and 90 days, the deposit is forfeited.
  • If cancellation occurs between 89 days and 60 days prior to departure, the cancellation fee is 75% of the expedition cost. 
  • If cancellation occurs between 59 days and departure, the cancellation fee is 100% of the expedition cost.
If full payment has not yet been received, the full penalty will still apply, and any unpaid balance is due immediately. To protect your investment, we highly recommend that you obtain adequate trip cancellation insurance. Flexible Cancellation Fees!  All cancellation Fees are eligible to be applied to a future voyage booked within 1 year of cancellation date.  No surcharges - ever. For peace of mind, the shipping company will not apply fuel or any other surcharges—for any reason—to a booking once it’s confirmed. The price you book, is the price you pay. Booking Terms 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.
Booking Request
Back To Top

Expeditions Online Newsletter

Sign up to be an Expeditions Online insider and receive info on exclusive deals, discounts and more!

Subscribe

* indicates required