Out of the Northwest Passage Cruise

17 Days from
$13,995 USD
Ship Trip
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!
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.

Save 15% when you book on a 2024 departure (book by May 31, 2023):
• Out the Northwest Passage: Sep 12 – 28, 2024 (prices marked below)

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 2025 itinerary is slightly different than below, spending days 2-5 in the Kitikmeot Region, Day 6 in Bellot Strait, then to Beechey Island.

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 ship by Zodiac.

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

Kuglukluk

Day 2–4: Kitikmeot Region

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

Visit a local community where Inuit hosts will share their knowledge of their home and the area's history.

Discover the legacy of this important waterway and the captivating story of Roald Amundsen, who overwintered in the bay for two years while searching for the Northwest Passage. Learn more about the triumphs of explorers like Amundsen and the vital role that Inuit knowledge played in successful crossings.

Inuk in Gjoa Haven

Day 5: 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.

Hudson Bay Company post in Arctic

Day 6: Beechey Island

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 here in 1854 alongside Franklin’s men. The graves and the ruins of Northumberland House are a haunting memorial.

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

Beechy Island and Franklin's Graves

Day 7–8: Tallurutiup Imanga (Lancaster Sound)

We will spend ample time exploring Tallurutiup Imanga (Lancaster Sound), one of the newest National Marine Conservation Areas in Nunavut. Narwhal, beluga, and bowhead whales transit and feed in this area.

Cruise by ship and Zodiac in search of wildlife with expert biologists and ecologists. Learn more about the crucial role Inuit play in conserving the vibrant biodiversity of these waterways and the enduring connection between the ocean and Inuit.

On the northern border of Tallurutiup Imanga lies Devon Island, the largest uninhabited island on Earth at over 50,000 square kilometres. Flat-topped mountains, glacial valleys, and a substantial ice cap give Devon Island its unique character. We will hike the tundra, cruise a glacier face, and seek wildlife from the ship and on shore.

Visit archaeological sites and the remains of an RCMP and Hudson's Bay Company site at Dundas Harbour.

Polar bear

Day 9: Aujuittuq (Grise Fiord)

Ausuittuq means "place that never thaws." 1,150 kilometres above the Arctic Circle, Canada’s northernmost civilian community originated during the Cold War. In 1953, Inuit were relocated here by the Canadian government under false pretenses, with the aim of asserting 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.

Grise Fiord, Ellesmere Island, in Nunavut, Canadian Arctic,

Day 10–11: Smith Sound

Break your personal record of northern latitude in Smith Sound.

Ausuittuq means "place that never thaws." 1,150 kilometres above the Arctic Circle, Canada’s northernmost civilian community originated during the Cold War. In 1953, Inuit were relocated here by the Canadian government under false pretenses, with the aim of asserting 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.

Etah Greenland

Day 12: At Sea

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

This is an excellent time to enjoy workshops, watch a documentary, or get out on deck. Keep your binoculars ready for minke and humpback whales, as well as the seabirds that are sure to mark our passage.

Indulge in the unique opportunity to learn from Inuit in their homeland, gaining a better understanding of the daily lives of the regions we visit. Enjoy cultural performances and maybe even participate in Inuit games, or sample country food.

Through shared experiences and interactions, develop a deep appreciation for the region’s vibrant culture and gain a profound connection to the stunning landscapes we traverse.

Northern Fulmar in flight

Day 13–14: Northwest Greenland

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.

Whether you're setting foot on land, cruising by Zodiac, or out on the ship's deck, you'll have plenty of chances to learn alongside expert geologists, naturalists, and marine biologists. You'll gain an intimate perspective on the abundant flora and fauna you encounter.

Take a moment to savour the tranquility and absorb the knowledge and stories shared by Inuit cultural educators, which will deepen your connection to this breathtaking landscape.

Karat Fjord

Day 15: Ilulissat

Experience the remarkable beauty of Ilulissat Icefjord, renowned for its enormous icebergs. Ilulissat means “iceberg”—an apt name for this site at the outlet of the Sermeq Kujalleq glacier. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the source of many of the icebergs in the North Atlantic.

Marvel at the sheer grandeur of the towering ice formations as you take a stroll along the boardwalk—truly a sight to behold!

Visit the town, with its museums, charming cafes, craft shops, and bustling fishing harbour. Be sure to make your way to the Ilulissat Icefjord Centre, where you can delve into the fascinating narratives surrounding the ice and gain a deeper appreciation for this awe-inspiring natural wonder.

Ilulissat boardwalk

Day 16: Sisimiut

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.

Out of the Northwest Passage Cruise

Day 17: Kangerlussuaq, Greenland

Kangerlussuaq Fjord (Søndre Strømfjord) is one of the longest fjords in the world and boasts 190 kilometres of superb scenery. We end our adventure by sailing up this dramatic fjord.

Kangerlussuaq, the town at its eastern head, is a former U.S. Air Force base. Here we will disembark for our return charter flight to Toronto, ON.

Musk ox in arctic valley, Greenland

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.

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
  • 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