Out of the Northwest Passage Cruise

17 Days from
$12,995 USD
Canada
Ship Tour
Highlights

Highlights

  • Sail the fabled Northwest Passage
  • Seek polar bears, walrus, seabirds, and other Arctic wildlife in pristine natural environments
  • Experience the majesty of the Northern Lights
  • See the Franklin Expedition graves at Beechey Island
  • Watch for marine mammals and wildlife in Tallurutiup Imanga (Lancaster Sound) Marine Protected Area
  • Visit Aujuittuq (Grise Fiord), Canada’s northernmost community
  • Seek your ‘furthest north’ in Smith Sound
  • Zodiac cruise among icebergs at Ilulissat Icefjord, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Voyage the length of Sondre Stromfjord—168 kilometres long!

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Map

Map

Map for Out of the Northwest Passage Cruise

Tour Overview

The Northwest Passage remains one of the world’s last true frontiers, and this expedition takes you to its heart. In Canada’s vast northern wilderness, wildlife roams free and the great geological forces shaping our planet reveal themselves to the wondering eye. The recent finding of Franklin’s ships, hms Erebus and hms Terror reminds us that we sail into history, legend, and myth that continues today!

Nunavut’s communities offer a warm welcome, blending the traditional and the contemporary in unique and compelling ways. Making our way north to Smith Sound, we enter the realm still defined by ice: towering icebergs, vast glaciers, and the last redoubt of the great northern pack. Greenland offers geology, geography, and culture with a European flair.

Itinerary

DAY 1: KUGLUKTUK (COPPERMINE), NU, CANADA

Located at the mouth of the Coppermine River, Kugluktuk is the westernmost community in Nunavut. Known for many years as Coppermine, the community reverted to its original Inuinnaqtun name—meaning “place of moving waters”—on January 1st, 1996. Our charter flight will land in Kugluktuk and we will embark the Ocean Endeavour by Zodiac.

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

The Kitikmeot Region consists of parts of Victoria Island, the adjacent part of the mainland as far as the Boothia Peninsula, King William Island, and the southern portion of Prince of Wales Island. Recently, the Kitikmeot Region has been in the news since the finding of the lost ships of the Franklin Expedition in its waters. It is Nunavut’s least-populated region, though wildlife abounds here both in the sea and on land. We'll explore by Zodiac and on foot.

This passage marks an area rich in marine and avian life. Thick-billed murres, ivory gulls, beluga, narwhal, and bowhead whales reside in the ice-strewn waters. In addition to abundant wildlife, we’ll delve deeper into the exploration of the Northwest Passage and mercantile efforts of the Hudson's Bay Company.

In 1845, Sir John Franklin set out from England with HMS Erebus and HMS Terror, attempting to sail through the Northwest Passage. His crew overwintered at Beechey Island where three of his men died.

Numerous search parties later used Beechey as a depot and rendezvous. Amundsen,
Bernier, and Larsen visited Beechey. Thomas Morgan of HMS Investigator was buried there in 1854 alongside Franklin’s men. The graves and the ruins of Northumberland House are a haunting memorial.

We will spend two days exploring Tallurutiup Imanga (Lancaster Sound), one of Canada's newest National Marine Conservation Areas.

Large populations of marine mammals, including narwhal, beluga, and bowhead whales, transit and feed in this area. There is a great selection of landing sites available to choose from, depending on weather, wildlife, and sea conditions.

Aujuittuq means "place that never thaws". 1,150 kilometres above the Arctic Circle, Canada’s northernmost “civilian” community originated in the Cold War; in 1953, Inuit were relocated to Aujuittuq to boost Canadian sovereignty.

We’ll be welcomed into the hamlet, where we will have a chance to meet members of the community, learn about their way of life, and hear their poignant stories.

Smith Sound, an ancient Inuit travel route, divides Ellesmere Island from Greenland, and served as the main route for explorers and adventurers searching for the North Pole. Adolphus Greely, Sir George Nares, and Elisha Kent Kane all travelled these waters with varying degrees of success.

On this exploration day, we’ll be making the most of what the wind, weather, and wildlife have to offer. Our expedition staff will scan for polar bears, walrus, whales, seals, and seabirds as we go.

We will explore stunning fjords that line the coast. Glaciers and icebergs abound here. In true expedition style, we will seek opportunities to hike, explore, and view wildlife as conditions allow.

Ilulissat translates literally into “iceberg”, an apt name for this site at the mouth of the Ilulissat Icefjord—a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The icefjord is the outlet of the Sermeq Kujalleq Glacier, source of many of the icebergs in the North Atlantic.

Here, we will cruise in Zodiacs to appreciate the icebergs. And we’ll visit the bustling town of Ilulissat, with its museums, cafes, craft shops, and busy fishing harbour.

The west Greenland coastline is a rich mixture of islands and complex coastal waterways. As we enter the Arctic autumn, the tundra foliage will be in gorgeous colour. We will be making an expedition stop here to explore the landscape of wild Greenland.

Søndre Strømfjord is one of the longest fjords in the world and boasts 168 kilometres of superb scenery. We end our adventure by sailing up this dramatic fjord.

Kangerlussuaq, the town at its eastern head, is a former US Air Force base and Greenland’s primary flight hub. Here we will disembark the Ocean Endeavour for our return charter flight to Toronto, ON.

Departures & Prices

Departures

What's Included

Tour Includes

  • Passage aboard the Ocean Endeavour
  • Applicable taxes and credit card fees
  • Complimentary expedition jacket
  • Contribution to Adventure Canada’s 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
  • Nikon Camera Trial Program
  • Interactive workshops
  • Evening entertainment
  • All shipboard meals

Tour Does Not Include

  • Commercial and charter flights
  • Program enhancements/optional excursions
  • Gratuities
  • Fuel surcharge of $44 USD per person per day (2022); $53 USD per person per day in 2023
  • Personal expenses
  • Mandatory medical evacuation insurance
  • Additional expenses in the event of delays or itinerary changes
  • Pre- and post-trip hotel accommodation

What to Expect

Our small ship cruising programs 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.

Our excursions onshore will involve a relatively low level of exertion, but you will need a reasonable level of mobility to get up and down the gangway and climb into and out of Zodiacs (with assistance). 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. 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.

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

Even though we cannot guarantee a sighting of the animals below, we feel quite confident that an encounter with the ones listed below is quite likely.

  • Northern Fulmar
  • Dovekie
  • Glaucous Gull
  • Thayer's Gull
  • Iceland Gull
  • Polar Bear
  • Musk ox
  • Narwhal
  • Humpback Whale

Past Tour Checklists

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

Tour Reviews