This celebrated voyage explores the remote Northwest Passage, starting in western Greenland and finishing in the remote Arctic outpost of Cambridge Bay, at the western extremity of the fabled waterway. 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.

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Special Offer

2020 Season Discount:
Save $750 on all cabin categories when you book by November 30, 2019! Offer also includes a pre-voyage hotel stay!

• Available on new bookings only
• Cannot be combined with other offers
• Discounts available while supplies last
• TravelWild reserves the right to modify or discontinue this offer at any time and without prior notification

 

Starting from $13,195

Rates & Dates Prices are per person and shown in USD.

TripleTwin PrivateSuperiorSuperior PlusShackleton SuiteOne Ocean Suite
Aug 18, 2020 - Aug 30, 2020$13,195
$12,445
$16,595
$15,845
$17,895
$17,145
$18,195
$17,445
$19,495
$18,745
$21,495
$20,745

Itinerary

Day 1: Ottawa to Kangerlussuaq, Greenland

We depart Ottawa this morning on our charter flight to Kangerlussuaq, situated on the west coast of Greenland. Upon arrival into Kangerlussuaq we enjoy a short tour before boarding the ship in the afternoon. After settling in to our cabins and exploring the vessel, we meet our expedition team and fellow passengers. Excitement is in the air as we cast off and enjoy a welcome cocktail while cruising along Sondre Stromfjord, bound for the fabled Northwest Passage.

Day 2: Sisimiut

We will explore the fjord behind the town of Sisimiut before going ashore to explore this beautiful location in the afternoon. Characterised by colorful 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 3: Ilulissat, Greenland and the Jacobshavn Icefjord

For many, today is a highlight of the voyage. Truly one of the wonders of the world, the Jacobshavn Icefjord – a UNESCO World Heritage site - spews gigantic tabular icebergs out into Disko Bay. The glacier that creates these stunning monoliths advances at over 40 meters per day, creating around 50 cubic kilometers of ice annually. Our approach to Ilulissat is always 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 4: At Sea – Baffin Bay

Leaving the rugged coastline of Greenland, our crossing of Baffin Bay is highly dependent on the extent of the so-called ‘middle ice’. We probe northwards seeking out the edges of the middle ice and plan to follow the line of ice until we reach the coast of Baffin Island. Our time at sea will be determined by the extent of the ice and amount of wildlife we encounter. As we transit Baffin Bay we are always on the lookout for fin, sperm, sei and humpback whales as well as the numerous species of Arctic seals and seabirds that inhabit these waters. Our onboard experts deliver fascinating presentations on board focusing on the wildlife, history, geology and culture of the Arctic.

Day 5: Pond Inlet

Nearing the far north of Baffin Island we enter a broad channel - home to the remote Inuit community of Pond Inlet. A highlight is a visit to the Natinnak Centre, where a fascinating cultural exhibit showcases aspects of daily life, culture and history of the people of the north. Inuit carvings, jewelry and other traditional crafts are on display and purchasing such items from the local artisans is a great way to support the community. We enjoy meeting the children of Pond Inlet and marveling at their athletic abilities as they demonstrate the skills and challenges of traditional Inuit games. Skills and physical agility developed by such games were often those necessary for everyday survival in the harsh Arctic environment.

Day 6: Lancaster Sound and Dundas Harbor

We are now at almost 75° degrees north of latitude. 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. These massive volumes of water from Baffin Bay to the east, Beaufort Sea to the west, and from the archipelago of islands to the north, combine to make a rich cocktail of nutrients supporting an abundance of Arctic wildlife. We plan on visiting the old Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) outpost at Dundas Harbor, situated on the southern shores of Devon Island.

Day 7: Maxwell Bay

A large bay on the south coast of Devon Island, Maxwell Bay offers some wonderful hiking opportunities ashore and great wildlife watching from the water. Muskox and caribou can be found here as well as polar bears. Harp seals, ringed seals, bearded seals and even walruses have been spotted in the various coves and inlets of the bay.

Day 8: Beechey Island

Continuing Beechey Island holds great historic importance on our journey through 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 that would span almost three decades. 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 long lost Franklin shipwreck, HMS Erebus, in the Victoria Strait. One Ocean Expeditions played a vital role in the search by carrying underwater search equipment on our ship as well as scientists, historians, researchers, dignitaries and sponsors of this history-defining mission.

Day 9: Prince Leopold Island

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. 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 bear. Nearby Port Leopold is an historic site where in 1848, English explorer James Clark Ross wintered here during the search for the missing Franklin expedition. In addition to Port Leopold’s historical attraction, the shallow gravel beds along the shoreline are attractive to the beluga whales who tend to molt in this part of the Arctic each summer.

Day 10: Fort Ross and Bellot Strait

Continuing to navigate the ship south into Prince Regent Inlet, we approach the eastern end of 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. Fascinating archaeological sites nearby tell a story of more than a thousand years of habitation by the Inuit and their predecessors. Having explored Fort Ross, we attempt a transit through the narrows of Bellot Strait. The aim is to enter at slack tide if possible, in order to avoid a current that roars through the passage at more than seven knots during the peak flow. 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. The skill of the Captain and Officers and capabilities of the ship becomes apparent during this exciting day of Arctic navigation.

Day 11: Coningham Bay

Having emerged from Bellot Strait, we cross the Victoria 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. This is a known hotspot for polar bears. They 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.

Day 12: Victory Point, King William Island

Heading further into the Northwest Passage, 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 archeological team and the recent Victoria Strait Expedition. 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 and the 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. On this, our last night of the expedition, we enjoy a celebratory dinner, attended by the Captain of the ship and reflect on our epic voyage.

Day 13: Cambridge Bay, Nunavut to Edmonton, Alberta

Our journey is all but complete as we approach the community of Cambridge Bay. This remote outpost is a center for hunting, trapping and fishing. The Inuit have had summer camps in the vicinity for hundreds of years. Amundsen spent two winters in this area, learning how to master dog-sledding from the locals prior to his attempt on the South Pole. We say farewell to our crew and make our way ashore by zodiac. A special charter flight returns us to Edmonton

RCGS Resolute

RCGS Resolute

Deckplan & Cabin Photos

Highlights

  • Cruise throught the historic Northwest Passage aboard the comfortable Vavilov
  • Opportunities to see many of the Arctic's iconic species including polar bears, musk oxen, walruses, belugas and many more
  • Travel above the Arctic Circle
  • Expert naturalist guides offer on-shore nature interpretation and lectures throughout the voyage
  • Shore landings by Zodiac

Included

  • Itinerary/pre-departure information
  • Extensive program of relevant educational presentations
  • Experienced team of naturalists and a resident photographer
  • All Zodiac excursions
  • On board welcome reception & dinner
  • Farewell Dinner hosted by the ship's Captain
  • All meals during the voyage
  • Tea and fresh snacks each afternoon
  • Coffee, tea, hot chocolate throughout the day
  • Onboard medical officer
  • Access to our special programs on board (such as hiking, photography, etc)
  • Use of multimedia station
  • Foul weather gear set
  • Transfers from the designated hotel to the charter flight and from the charter flight to the ship on day 1 of the cruise
  • Transfers from ship to the charter flight on the last day of the cruise

NOT INCLUDED:

  • Mandatory Charter Flight: $1,995
    • In the Canadian Arctic, charter flights are required to get to the start and finish points of the voyage
  • All bookings on voyages that operate domestically within Canada, are subject to a compulsory 5% goods and services tax (GST)

Adventure Options

  • Kayaking: $695
 

PLEASE NOTE: Due to the nature of expedition cruising, itineraries are subject to change due to weather, ice conditions, natural and cultural events, wildlife viewing opportunities and other logistical considerations. In general, a ship's crew will endeavor to complete the itinerary provided, but the ultimate decision lies with the ship's captain and expedition leaders.

 
 
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