Into the Northwest Passage Cruise

17 Days from
$13,995 USD
Ship Trip
Highlights

Highlights

  • Cruise the heart of the Northwest Passage in comfort aboard our ice-strengthened expedition ship
  • Cross the Arctic Circle as you sail the length of Sondre Stromfjord—168 kilometres!
  • Visit ancient sites of the Thule and Dorset people with our onboard archaeologist
  • Cruise among icebergs at Ilulissat Icefjord, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, where 90% of the North Atlantic’s icebergs calve
  • Experience Inuit communities and culture first hand
  • See haunting artifacts of the northern explorers, HBC, and RCMP
  • Spend three days in Canada’s second largest National Marine Conservation Area, Tallurutiup Imanga, searching for marine life
  • Visit Queen Maud Gulf, home to the wrecks of the Franklin ships, HMS Erebus and Terror
  • Seek polar bears, seabirds, and other Arctic wildlife in pristine natural environments
  • Transit Ikirasak (Bellot Strait), the narrow and dramatic waterway at the very northern tip of continental North America
Map

Map

Map for Into the Northwest Passage Cruise

Tour Overview

The Northwest Passage represents the pinnacle of Arctic exploration. On this trip, like the explorers before us, we’ll experience the quaint villages, dramatic fjords, and calving glaciers of Greenland, working our way north to spectacular Kap York. Then, crossing Smith Sound, we’ll visit Aujuittuq (Grise Fiord), Canada’s northernmost community, and pay respects at the Franklin Expedition graves at Beechey Island. Melville, Banks, and Devon Islands offer opportunities to spot Peary caribou, polar bear, walrus and musk ox—and visits to ghostly RCMP and Hudson’s Bay Company posts. Prince of Wales Strait affords a passage to Amundsen Gulf and our destination: Kugluktuk (Coppermine), the end of our epic journey above the Arctic Circle.

To sail the Northwest Passage is to sail living history and the history of the Inuit who have called this remarkable place home for countless generations. This is your chance to cruise the Northwest Passage and join the ranks of the fearless adventurers who have been lured by its spirit and legend.

Departures & Cabins

DEPARTURES & CABINS

What's Included

Tour Price Includes

  • Passage aboard the Ocean Endeavour
  • Applicable taxes and credit card fees
  • Complimentary expedition jacket
  • Contribution to Discovery Fund
  • Special access permits, entry, and park fees
  • Expert expedition team
  • Guided activities
  • Sightseeing and community visits
  • All Zodiac excursions
  • Port fees
  • Pre-departure materials
  • Educational program
  • Photo Equipment Trial Program
  • Interactive workshops
  • Evening entertainment
  • All shipboard meals

Tour Price Does Not Include

  • Commercial and charter flights
  • Program enhancements/optional excursions
  • Gratuities
  • Personal expenses
  • Mandatory medical evacuation insurance
  • Additional expenses in the event of delays or itinerary changes
  • Possible fuel surcharges and administrative fees
  • Pre- and post-trip hotel accommodation
  • Fuel surcharge of $48 USD per person per day (2023 tours)

Itinerary

The itinerary for 2025 is slightly revised from below with 2 days in Sisimiut area and 1 day in Western Greenland.

Day 1: Kangerlussuaq, Greenland

After your charter flight from Toronto, ON, you’ll transfer to the Ocean Endeavour by Zodiac.

Begin your journey by sailing down Kangerlussuaq Fjord (Søndre Strømfjord), a 190-kilometre-long fjord surrounded by mountains and glaciers, and cross the Arctic Circle on your way.

Kangerlussuaq, the settlement at the head of the fjord, is a former US Air Force base and Greenland’s primary flight hub.

Kangerlussuaq

Day 2: Sisimiut Coast

Explore West Greenland’s complex coastal waterways that includes glaciers, islands, and fjords against a towering mountain backdrop, with plentiful opportunities for hiking and Zodiac cruising.

Learn about the Saqqaq, Dorset, Thule, and modern Inuit cultures that have called the Sisimiut region home for the past 4,500 years.

The waters are relatively warm here, due to the West Greenland Current and the subarctic location.

Sisimiut Greenland

Day 3: Ilulissat

Visit the town of Ilulissat, with splendid museums, cafés, craft shops, and a busy fishing harbour.

View the icebergs from shore on a hike along the boardwalk at this UNESCO World Heritage Site, then board a Zodiac to cruise your way among them!

Ilulissat translates literally to “iceberg”—an apt name for this site at the mouth of the Sermeq Kujalleq glacier, a source of many of the icebergs in the North Atlantic.

Ilulissat boardwalk

Day 4–5: Western Greenland

Choose the activity you like best during an expedition landing on Greenland’s stunning west coast.

Whether you prefer hiking, walking, photography, or sitting contemplatively, you’ll be delighted!

Admire the mighty mountains and the tiniest tundra flowers—a stop in this area will offer many outstanding features to pique your interest. 

hiking in western Greenland

Day 6: At Sea — Davis Strait

Deepen your understanding of the Arctic as we steam across the Davis Strait towards Nunavut, Canada.

Enjoy workshops and presentations, watch a documentary, and get out on deck with your binoculars to look for whales, seabirds, and marine wildlife.

Northern Fulmar flying

Day 7: Mittimatalik (Pond Inlet), NU, Canada

Attend a cultural performance put on by the talented Tununiq Arsarniit Theatre Group, featuring drum dancing, throat singing, and storytelling.

Mittimatalik is a busy Arctic community in a beautiful setting—the views of nearby Bylot Island are stunning!

Enjoy exploring the town and take the opportunity to purchase unique handcrafted mementos when available, too.

A qamutiik, the wooden single sledge runner using by the inuit - eskimo people in winter, Pond inlet, Canada.

Day 8–10: Tallurutiup Imanga (Lancaster Sound) & Devon Island

Spend three fun-filled days exploring Tallurutiup Imanga (Lancaster Sound), one of Canada's newest National Marine Conservation Areas.

Cruise by ship and by Zodiac in search of narwhal, beluga, and bowhead whales that transit and feed in this area.

Admire Devon Island’s unique geological character, with its flat-topped mountains, glacial valleys, and substantial ice cap. At the northern edge of Tallurutiup Imanga, it’s the largest uninhabited island on Earth at over 50,000 square kilometres.

Hike the tundra, cruise a glacier face, and keep your eyes peeled for polar bears and other wildlife from ship and from shore.

Visit archaeological sites with expert interpretation to learn about the human history of Inuit and their ancestors who once lived on this now-abandoned island.

Then catch a glimpse of more recent history when you visit the remains of a Royal Canadian Mounted Police and Hudson's Bay Company site at Dundas Harbour.

Hudson Bay Company post in Arctic

Day 11: Beechey Island

Pay your respects at this haunting memorial to Sir John Franklin’s failed expedition. Learn the compelling history of the HMS Erebus and HMS Terror’s attempts to sail through the Northwest Passage.

Franklin’s crew overwintered at Beechey Island, where three of his men died, and numerous search parties later used the spot as a depot and rendezvous. Thomas Morgan of the HMS Investigator was buried here in 1854 alongside Franklin’s men.

Visit their graves and the ruins of nearby Northumberland House while contemplating the poignant history.

Beechy Island and Franklin's Graves

Day 12–13: Prince Regent Inlet

Search this area rich in marine and avian life for the thick-billed murres, ivory gulls, beluga, narwhal, and bowhead whales who reside in the ice-strewn waters.

Delve deeper into the exploration of the Northwest Passage and the mercantile efforts of the Hudson's Bay Company at intriguing expedition landing sites.

Into the Northwest Passage Cruise

Day 14–16: Kitikmeot Region

Navigate the ice-strewn waters of this infamous waterway in search of wildlife. Although this is Nunavut’s least-populated region, wildlife abounds here both in the sea and on land.

Call in at Uqsuqtuuq (Gjoa Haven), home of the Guardians of Terror Bay.

Listen to the stories shared by locals of Roald Amundsen, who overwintered in the bay for two years while searching for the Northwest Passage. Amundsen became the first European to cross the Northwest Passage, thanks to the knowledge and largesse of Inuit.

Visit the excellent cultural centre, well-known for carvings and wall hangings.

Inuk elder in Uqsuqtuuq

Day 17: Kugluktuk, NU, Canada

Say your goodbyes to the Arctic in Kugluktuk, the westernmost community in Nunavut, located at the mouth of the Coppermine River.

Known for many years as Coppermine, the community reverted to its original Inuinnaqtun name—meaning “place of moving waters”—on January 1st, 1996.

Iqaluktuuttiaq (Cambridge Bay), NU, is an alternate disembarkation point, and may be used based on sea, ice, and weather conditions.

Disembark the Ocean Endeavour and transfer by Zodiac to shore for your charter flight to Yellowknife, NT.

Kuglukluk

What to Expect

Our small ship Northwest Passage cruise program allow you to experience the best of the natural world, while enjoying the comforts of our friendly floating hotel. The ship generally makes crossing between islands at night, so every morning you awake to new vistas and discoveries. Every day we offer a combination of interesting shore excursions and fun shipboard activities. You can choose which elements of the program you want to participate in.

This expedition cruise necessitates passengers to be in reasonably good health. Zodiac cruises and transfer times can be lengthy. You must be able to climb stairs between decks on the ship, as well as the external gangway stairs to transfer between the zodiac and ship.

Some of our shore landings will be ‘wet’, requiring waterproof boots. Once you have left the zodiac, you’ll find our shore excursions accommodate both those who wish to enjoy a gentle stroll and those who prefer more active hikes. The excursion may involve walking over uneven or sandy terrain in variable weather conditions. Our onboard specialists will join us on these shore excursions to provide interpretation and narration to these wonderful landscapes and experiences.

Each evening we will gather in the lounge to recount the day’s events and share memorable stories. Our onboard musician will provide some lively entertainment during happy hour and the expedition leader will outline the following day’s schedule. Our resource staff of naturalists, historians, and other guest speakers will give informative talks at various times throughout the voyage.

Meals in the ship's dining room are a great opportunity to meet new friends and recount the day's adventures. Special diets can be accommodated with advance notice. Safety is also a top priority with Eagle-Eye Tours – our team has extensive experience in the field, and all of our Voyages are run in conjunction with operators with the highest safety standards.

When the ship is underway, it is a wonderful time to join a naturalist on deck, take photos of the stunning scenery, or get caught up on some reading in the library.

Weather, ice, government regulations, and community requests may necessitate changes to the planned itineraries and/or the cancellation of certain shore excursions and enhancements. Published itineraries are examples only and we reserve the right to change or modify the itinerary and landing sites at any time prior or during an expedition. Changes will be communicated at your expedition orientation or during your onboard expedition briefings.

We know that everyone travels for different reasons. Over the years, however, we have found one common element among the guest who choose to travel with us - a thirst of knowledge and authentic experience. Knowing this drives us to ensure the highest quality learning experience on our trips, by taking time to carefully design each trip we offer.

Ship & Deck Plan

Ocean Endeavour

Ocean Endeavour

Sailing with a maximum of 198-passengers, Ocean Endeavour is the perfect vessel for expedition cruising. Outfitted with twenty Zodiacs, advanced navigation equipment, multiple lounges and a top deck observation room, she is purpose-built for passenger experiences in remote environments. The Ocean Endeavour boasts a 1B ice class, enabling her to freely explore throughout the Arctic summer.

Launched in 1982, she has had numerous upgrades, most recently in 2010 and 2014. At 137 meters (450ft) in length, Ocean Endeavour has plenty of interior and exterior space. Enjoy multiple decks offering comfortable lounge chairs, outdoor dining, a swimming pool, sauna and even a hot tub! The spacious interiors allow for multiple workshops and presentations to occur simultaneously. Community is at the heart of Adventure Canada’s expedition experience. We gather together to learn, enjoy a drink, sing a song or share a yarn – connecting with one and other. The three lounges aboard Ocean Endeavour are fantastic public spaces for seminars, events and dialogue.

The Ocean Endeavour’s private spaces are stylish and comfortable. All cabins have private washroom facilities, a phone for internal calls, radio, TV and air-conditioning.

Ocean Endeavour’s crew is experienced, and friendly. Her shallow draft and maneuverability allow her to access isolated fiords, bays and secluded communities. The stylish vessel is at home among the glorious settings we seek. Enjoy the class and comfort of a boutique hotel, while venturing to some of the world’s last great frontiers aboard the Ocean Endeavour!

Learn More

Featured Wildlife

While we cannot guarantee sightings of the birds or mammals listed below, we believe that encountering these species is quite likely during this tour.

  • Northern Fulmar
  • Dovekie
  • Thick-billed Murre
  • Black-legged Kittiwake
  • Black Guillemot
  • Glaucous Gull
  • Thayer's Gull
  • Iceland Gull
  • Northern Wheatear
  • Polar Bear
  • Musk ox
  • Humpback Whale

Past Tour Checklists

View the list of birds and other wildlife we encountered on our past tours.

Tour Reviews