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A polar bear sniffs the Arctic air

High Arctic Explorer

Example 10 Day Cruise aboard Akademik Sergey Vavilov
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The first vessel to circumnavigate North America was the Royal Canadian Mounted Police patrol vessel, the St. Roch. Trace parts of her sovereignty patrols through the High Arctic while taking in some of the wildlife super-spots of the High Arctic. A visit to one of the largest migratory bird sanctuaries in the world and frequent sightings of seals, beluga whale and narwhal are magical experiences, especially for wildlife lovers. It is always very special to catch sight of polar bears, and you may encounter these iconic hunters of the north at the locations discovered over the years.

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Embark in Resolute
Day 2 : Maxwell Bay
Day 3 : Crocker Bay
Day 4 : Nirjutiqavvik National Wildlife Area
Day 5 : Grise Fiord
Day 6 : Sirmilik National Park
Day 7 : Elwin Inlet
Day 8 : Prince Leopold Island
Day 9 : Beechey Island
Day 10 : Disembark in Resolute

Highlights

  • Walk in Franklin's footsteps, learning about his ill-fated voyage
  • Discover towering bird cliffs of Prince Leopold Island and Cape Hay
  • Visit the northernmost community in Canada, Grise Fiord & learn its history
  • Sail through wildlife "super highway" of the Arctic, Lancaster Sound

Ship

Akademik Sergey Vavilov

Places Visited

Activities

Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level

Relaxed

Trip Snapshots

A polar bear sniffs the Arctic air A Chukchi child holds a pup Kayaking through the icy waters. Travelers walking around the arctic landscape. A zodiac tour to see the beluga whale.

Day 1 Embark in Resolute

Depart Edmonton on your charter flight to Resolute, a remote outpost above the Arctic Circle. Located on the southern shores of Cornwallis Island, the town is named after the British ship HMS Resolute which was trapped in ice and abandoned here in 1850 while searching for the lost Franklin Expedition. A weather station and airstrip made it a strategic outpost during the Cold War. On arrival, meet your expedition team and prepare for your zodiac ride to the ship. After a welcome cocktail, weigh anchor and depart Resolute in the early evening.

Day 2 Maxwell Bay

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
A large bay on the south coast of Devon Island, Maxwell Bay offers wonderful hiking ashore and 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 walrus have been spotted in the coves and inlets of the bay.

Day 3 Crocker Bay

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Your voyage continues east through Lancaster Sound along the southern coastline of Devon Island. Lancaster Sound, which separates Devon and Baffin Island, has been named the wildlife ‘super highway’ of the Arctic. Waters from the Atlantic Ocean, Arctic Ocean, and the northern archipelago of islands meet here, combining to create a rich source of nutrients and food for an abundance of arctic wildlife. Croker Bay is home to a healthy population of muskox and you can look for these prehistoric looking creatures as you hike ashore. Crocker Bay features particularly dramatic scenery, with deep blue icebergs set against a backdrop of richly-colored peaks. The immense Croker Glacier descends into the steely waters and is a great location for a zodiac cruise. In the afternoon plan to visit the abandoned Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) outpost at Dundas Harbour which was established in 1924. The old buildings make great photography subjects in this wild and remote location.

Day 4 Nirjutiqavvik National Wildlife Area

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Nirjutiqavvik National Wildlife Area is home to almost 400,000 seabirds, including a significant number of Canada’s population of thick-billed murres and northern fulmars. As you zodiac cruise along the bird cliffs, expect to be awestruck by the sheer number of birds in the skies above. Marine mammals are often encountered when exploring these waters, including beluga whales.

Day 5 Grise Fiord

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Grise Fiord is the northernmost community in Canada and one of the most isolated communities in the world. Settled in 1953 by the Canadian government as a sovereignty exercise during the Cold War, the fewer than 100 people living in Grise Fiord are mostly descended from eight Inuit families who were relocated there from Northern Quebec. The scenery is stunning, the wildlife is abundant, and you are warmly welcomed by the community. Nearby Craig Harbour is the site of an abandoned RCMP outpost, established in 1922 as the RCMP sought to patrol the north and provide services to the Inuit. Visit and learn about the history of this site as you hike and explore the bay and hillsides of Craig Harbour.

Day 6 Sirmilik National Park

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Located on the northern coast of Bylot Island and within the boundary of Sirmilik National Park, the bird cliffs of Cape Hay are home to thick-billed murres and black guillemots, along with black-legged kittiwakes. This superb location is a prime nesting spot for several hundred thousand birds. The scenery here takes your breath away as your eyes gaze beyond the tundra, towards the soaring mountain ranges in the distance.

Day 7 Elwin Inlet

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Navigate the ship into nearby Elwin Inlet, a breathtaking fjord which is well protected and great for a zodiac cruise or hike onshore. Cape Charles Yorke offers several great walking opportunities. Keep your eyes peeled for polar bears, which are plentiful along this coastline.

Day 8 Prince Leopold Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Having crossed Prince Regent Inlet overnight, approach the towering bird cliffs of Prince Leopold Island in the morning. This is an important migratory bird sanctuary, home to thick-billed murres, black guillemots, northern fulmars and black-legged kittiwakes. The sea ice around Prince Leopold Island is a great place for spotting ringed seals - and wherever you find ringed seals, usually find polar bears. Nearby Port Leopold is where English explorer, James Clark Ross, wintered over in 1848 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 come here to moult in the summer.

Day 9 Beechey Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Beechey Island holds great historic importance in the story of 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. 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 HMS Erebus in the Victoria Strait. One Ocean Expeditions played a vital role in the discovery by carrying underwater search equipment on their ship as well as scientists, historians, researchers, dignitaries and sponsors. A trip ashore at Beechey Island to visit the grave markers on a remote windswept beach is a thrilling location for history buffs. Return to the ship and this evening enjoy a special dinner attended by the Captain and the chance to reflect on the wildlife, history and dramatic scenery of this pristine Arctic wilderness.

Day 10 Disembark in Resolute

  • 1 Breakfast
By morning, anchor in Resolute – from where you commenced your expedition a week ago. Make your way ashore by zodiac and bid farewell to your crew. A charter flight returns you to Edmonton where your journey comes to an end.

Akademik Sergey Vavilov

Per person starting at
$6,495
The Triple Cabins.
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Triple Share
Bunk beds and a sofa bed. Facilities are shared and there is a washbasin in the cabin, writing desk, porthole.
Twin Private Cabins.
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Twin Semi-Private
1 lower berth, 1 sofa bed and semi-private (one bathroom between two cabins) facilities. Writing desk, window.
Twin Private Cabin.
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Twin Private
1 sofa bed, 1 lower berth and private facilities. Writing desk, window.
The Superior Cabins.
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Superior
2 lower berths, sofa and private facilities. Writing desk, window.
The Shackelton Suite.
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Shackleton Suite
1 double berth, 1 sofa bed, separate sleeping quarters and private facilities, up-graded bedding. Fridge, TV, VCR, writing desk, windows.
One Ocean Suite.
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One Ocean Suite
1 double berth, 1 sofa bed, separate sleeping quarters and private facilities, up-graded bedding. Fridge, TV, VCR, writing desk, windows.

Notes

- Single Supplement: 1.5x for twin and superior cabins and 2x for suites. Single supplement is not available in the triple cabin category.

- Child and Youth Prices: 25% discount for young people aged up to 17 years, and 20% off for those aged from 18-21 years who can prove they are in full-time education.

All bookings on voyages that operate domestically within Canada are subject to a compulsory 5% goods and services tax

Included

  • 9 Breakfasts, 8 Lunches, 9 Dinners

Excluded

  • Internal Flights
    • $1,995 Round-trip Edmonton-Resolute-Edmonton
    • Flight cost is subject to change
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Callie W

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Our guide and driver were very good with their knowledge and were very helpful with our questions. It was a very pleasant visit that would have been impossible to do on our own. Hotels and restaurants were fantastic. The special places we got to go to, like the kitchens, were great. Enjoyed the entire trip!
Meyer Smolen

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