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Icebergs in Greenland

The Northwest Passage

Example 23 Day Cruise aboard Le Soleal
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Embark Le Soleal for a five-star expedition to the Arctic Circle and beyond. Set sail for the Far North to a legendary, highly-coveted maritime route: the Northwest Passage. Once the only possible shipping route between the Atlantic and the Pacific, the area transforms into a majestic white desert in the winter. Come to the "roof of the world" during this 23-day summer voyage to see the Arctic as life reappears, nature is reborn, and this mythical route is open.

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Depart Paris | Embark in Kangerlussuaq, Greenland
Day 2 : Sisimiut, Greenland
Day 3 : Ilulissat
Day 4 : Tugtutoq
Day 5 : Kullorsuaq
Day 6 : Savissivik
Day 7 : Pond Inlet, Canada
Day 8 : Beechey Island
Day 9 : Fury Beach, Nunavut
Day 10 : Fort Ross | Sailing Bellot Strait
Day 11 : Gjoa Haven
Day 12 : At Sea
Day 13 : Johanssen Peninsula | Edimburgh Island
Day 14 : Holman
Day 15 : Minto
Day 16 : Franklin Bay
Day 17 : At Sea
Day 18 : Herschel Island
Day 19 : Point Barrow, Alaska
Day 20 : At Sea
Day 21 : Inalik, Little Diomede | Fairway Rock
Day 22 : Savoonga
Day 23 : Disembark in Nome | Fly Seattle

Highlights

  • Discover the famous Ilulissat ice fjord, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Visit Kullorsuaq, a traditional hunting and fishing village
  • Cross the Arctic Circle, the line that separates man from lands of mystery
  • Admire Franklin's Bay breathtaking and enormous "Smoking Hills"

Ship

Le Soleal

Places Visited

Activities

Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level

Relaxed

Trip Snapshots

Icebergs in Greenland Sisimiut A mother polar bear and her young relax on the Arctic landscape Colin and Eugene Hiking in Greenland Whale sighting in Polar waters!

Day 1 Depart Paris | Embark in Kangerlussuaq, Greenland

Fly from Paris. Arrive in Kangerlussuaq and transfer to the port where Le Soleal awaits you. Kangerlussuaq is a settlement on the west coast of Greenland near the end of a fjord of the same name. A former U.S. military base, Kangerlussuaq is the transportation hub for the country today, connecting travelers and locals with other towns in Greenland to international destinations like Copenhagen, Denmark, and Iceland. The town is also surrounded by breathtaking landscapes and wildlife. Thousands of musk oxen roam the mountains and valleys near the town, which are accessible by hiking trails.

Day 2 Sisimiut, Greenland

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
North of the Arctic Circle, Sisimiut is both the northernmost city in Greenland able to maintain a year-round, ice-free port, as well as the southernmost town with sufficient snow for dogsledding in winter and spring. Visit the local museum with its exhibits on Inuit culture and Greenlandic colonial history.

Day 3 Ilulissat

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Cruise into Disko Bay, a wide inlet off of Baffin Bay first explored by Erik the Red in 985, when he established the first Norse settlements in Western Greenland. Discover the Ilulissat ice fjord, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, at the sea mouth of one of the fastest and most active glaciers in the world, Sermeq Kujalleq. The scene is spectacular with giant icebergs, floating glacial ice, and the sounds of the iceberg calving. Take a walking tour of Ilulissat, including a visit to the local history museum, and meet with villagers to learn about life in this often-harsh Arctic region and shop for local handicrafts.

Day 4 Tugtutoq

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Karrat Fjord is one of Greenland's most spectacular fjords. During ice breakup, narwhals and seals use the long leads created by high winds in this region to hunt the rich waters of the fjord. The cliffs within the fjord offer good opportunities to see colonies of dovekies and good wildlife sightings, not to mention unbeatable photographic opportunities.

Day 5 Kullorsuaq

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Kullorsuaq is a settlement in the Qaasuitsup municipality in northwestern Greenland. It is the northernmost settlement in the Upernavik Archipelago, located on Kullorsuaq Island at the southern end of Melville Bay, itself part of the larger Baffin Bay. The settlement was founded in 1928 and became a trading station, growing in size after World War II when hunters from several small villages around Inussulik Bay, Sugar Loaf Bay, and Tasiusaq Bay moved into the larger settlements such as Nuussuaq and Kullorsuaq. Today, Kullorsuaq remains one of the most traditional hunting and fishing villages in Greenland, but maintains a stable population.

Day 6 Savissivik

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Cape York is an important geographical landmark that delimits the northwestern end of Melville Bay, with the other end commonly defined as Wilcox Head, the western promontory on Kiatassuaq Island. A chain of small coastal islands stretches between Cape York and Cape Melville to the east, the largest of which is Meteorite Island. The cape is located 37 km (23 mi) west-south-west of the Savissivik settlement on Meteorite Island.

Day 7 Pond Inlet, Canada

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
On Baffin Island, located in northern Canada at the mouth of the famous Northwest Passage, there is a small Inuit settlement at the very bounds of infinity. To get there, cross the Arctic Circle, the imaginary line that separates man from lands of mystery and wonder. It’s not so much the way of life that sets Pond Inlet’s inhabitants apart, so much as the setting. Snow-capped mountains, fjords, and glaciers combine in a dazzling natural environment that fills space and expands time. Some discoveries change you forever: this is one of them.

Day 8 Beechey Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Historic Beechey Island is best known for providing a safe haven to British explorer Sir John Franklin during the 1845 expedition. Look east toward Resolute Bay at the huge silhouette of Cape Riley and imagine what Captain Franklin saw here in Erebus Harbor, where he took shelter for two years before his ill-fated attempt to conquer the Northwest Passage. See the wooden grave markers for three of Franklin's men, now bleached by the sun, and visit the memorial erected in memory of the lost explorer.

Day 9 Fury Beach, Nunavut

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
On the east coast of Somerset Island, Fury Beach situated on a wide pebbly raised beach backed by limestone cliffs, and is home to the HMS Fury which was stranded, unloaded, and abandoned in the summer of 1825 during William Edward Parry’s third voyage in search of the Northwest Passage.

Day 10 Fort Ross | Sailing Bellot Strait

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Fort Ross is an abandoned trading post on the tip of Somerset Island founded in 1937 as a place for trappers to barter arctic fox pelts in exchange for food and necessities. Explore the remaining wooden buildings of the post, which closed in 1948, and imagine life in such a barren landscape. Keep an eye out for bowhead whales. Later in the day, the ship sails Bellot Strait, a narrow and dramatic channel named after French explorer Joseph René Bellot. The strait separates Somerset Island in the north and then Boothia Peninsula to the south. To the east is Murchinson Promontory, the northernmost part of mainland North America. As you sail, there may be opportunities to view polar bear, snow geese, and from a distance, musk oxen.

Day 11 Gjoa Haven

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The community of Gjoa Haven is located on the southeast coast of King William Island at the heart of the Northwest Passage. It is also called 'Uqsuqtuuq' which means ‘place of plenty blubber’ in Inuktitut. The English name for this place honors the Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen who wintered here with his ship the Gjøa. He called this place 'the finest little harbor in the world.' In 1906 he was the first European explorer to transit the Northwest Passage. The John Ross expedition of 1829-1833 had previously visited this region and the ill-fated John Franklin expedition of 1845 perished nearby, so Gjoa Haven is often visited by Arctic history buffs.

Day 12 At Sea

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner

Day 13 Johanssen Peninsula | Edimburgh Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Today sail along the Johanssen Peninsula to Edinburgh Island. Edinburgh Island is located within the Coronation Gulf south of Victoria Island, the form site of the Distant Early Warning Line (a system of radar stations in the far Northern Arctic). Approach via zodiac with opportunities for hiking.

Day 14 Holman

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Holman Village (Ulukhaktok) is a hunting, trapping, and fishing village located on the west coast of Victoria Island at the entrance to Prince Albert Sound. The village was named after J.R. Holman, a member of the 1853 Inglefield expedition searching for the lost Franklin party. The village witnessed significant development due to mineral exploration, and in recent years, with the establishment of the Holman Eskimo co-op, residents of the hamlet have developed the local economy with the production of arts and crafts, particularly Holman prints.

Day 15 Minto

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner

Day 16 Franklin Bay

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
In the Northwest Territories at Franklin Bay, see the spectacular and enormous "Smoking Hills," cliffs of bituminous shale that endlessly combust and burn. This rare geological phenomenon has likely been occurring for millennia, with layers of the relatively delicate mineral jarosite covering these hills. When the mineral comes into contact with cold air, it becomes red-hot and produces a thick, black smoke, a fantastic sight not unlike the smoky fumaroles produced by volcanoes, though far rarer to see.

Day 17 At Sea

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner

Day 18 Herschel Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Named by Franklin, Herschel Island is a landmark in the West Arctic and has since served alternately as a whaling station, relay station, and refuge for travelers. The island teems with wildlife that includes the migrating bowhead whale, walrus, moose, musk ox, arctic fox, and 94 species of birds. It is also one of the only places on earth where you may see a grizzly bear, black bear, and polar bear, the last of which live along the ice edge in summer. Evidence of the island's whaling culture and Thule Inuit predecessors remains near the shoreline.

Day 19 Point Barrow, Alaska

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Normally dense with ice floes and fog, the Beaufort Sea opens up a 60-mile-wide coastal pass from August to September. As the voyage continues, participate in lectures led by the expedition team. Be on the watch across the sea for bowhead and beluga whales. The expedition now takes you into the U.S. and clears at Point Barrow, Alaska, and continues through this narrow passage between North America and the ever-changing Arctic ice cap.


Day 20 At Sea

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner

Day 21 Inalik, Little Diomede | Fairway Rock

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Continue cruising through the Bering Sea to Little Diomede, an island that sits between Alaska and Russia at the edge of the International Dateline. There may be an opportunity to disembark for a Zodiac cruise of the island, where the Ingalikmiut still maintain a traditional lifestyle of hunting and fishing. The Ingalikmiut also use seal, walrus, and polar bear hides to make clothing, parkas, hats, and mukluks.

Typically dense with ice floes and fog, the Beaufort Sea opens up a 60-mile-wide coastal pass from August to September. Continue sailing in the comfort of your luxury expedition cruiser, participating in eye-opening lectures led by the expedition team. Be on the lookout across the sea for bowhead and beluga whales. The ship sails into the U.S. and clears at Point Barrow, Alaska. The voyage continues through this narrow passage between North America and the ever-changing Arctic ice cap.


Day 22 Savoonga

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Experience the local Siberian Yupik culture during your visit to Savoonga situated on St. Lawrence Island. Your visit to this community includes sights of walrus hides drying on racks and a performance of traditional dance to a concert of drum music. Birders delight in the opportunity to hike and observe red-necked phalarope, long-tailed duck, yellow and white wagtail, and perhaps sight an emperor goose.

Day 23 Disembark in Nome | Fly Seattle

  • 1 Breakfast
Located along the Bering Strait at the westernmost point of Alaska, Nome offers the rustic charm of a former gold-mining town, set in the middle of magnificent wilderness. As you weave in and out of the brightly colored houses, discover the pioneering legacy that still marks local traditions. Fishing, reindeer rearing, sled-racing - people here live doing manual labor. The surrounding plains provide stunning vantage points for observing Arctic fauna. Disembark after breakfast and catch your flight back to Paris.

Le Soleal

Per person starting at
$16,140
Superior Stateroom
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Superior Stateroom
The Superior Stateroom has a capacity of up to 3 passengers per cabin, with a king-sized bed or twin beds.
Deluxe Stateroom
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Deluxe Stateroom
The Deluxe Stateroom has a capacity of up to 2 passengers per cabin, with a king-sized bed or twin beds and a private balcony.
Prestige Stateroom
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Prestige Stateroom Deck 4
The Prestige Stateroom on Deck 4 has a capacity of up to 2 passengers per cabin, with a king-sized bed or twin beds and a private balcony.
Prestige Stateroom
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Prestige Stateroom Deck 5
The Prestige Stateroom on Deck 5 has a capacity of up to 2 passengers per cabin, with a king-sized bed or twin beds and a private balcony.
Prestige Stateroom
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Prestige Stateroom Deck 6
The Prestige Stateroom on Deck 6 has a capacity of up to 2 passengers per cabin, with a king-sized bed or twin beds and a private balcony.
Deluxe Suite
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Deluxe Suite
The Deluxe Suite has a capacity of up to 2 passengers per cabin, with a king-sized bed or twin beds and a private balcony.
Prestige Suite
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Prestige Suite Deck 5
The Prestige Suite on Deck 5 has a capacity of up to 4 passengers per cabin, with a king-sized bed or twin beds and an 8m² private balcony.
Prestige Suite
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Prestige Suite Deck 6
The Prestige Suite on Deck 6 has a capacity of up to 4 passengers per cabin, with a king-sized bed or twin beds and an 8m² private balcony.
Owner's Suite
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Owner Suite
The Owner's suite is situated on Deck 6 with a capacity up to 2 passengers per cabin. With a king-sized bed, it has been decorated by French interior designers and provides you with a breathtaking panoramic sea view.

Notes

Please note:
Fares are based on double occupancy and are capacity controlled. Rates may increase at any time as the ship sells out and are subject to change without notice.

Discounts are available for children sharing a cabin with two adults and third adult passengers in select cabin categories. Please contact us for details.

Single travelers can opt for a solo cabin - supplements start at 50%.

Please note:
  • An individual Russian visa must be obtained prior to cruise departure
  • Canadian National Park fees (approximately $50, subject to change) will be charged to your shipboard account
  • A Russian disembarkation fee (approximately $40, subject to change) will be charged to your shipboard account
These voyages include activities such as Zodiac landings (sometimes with "wet landing"), zodiac outings, moderate walks to more active hikes. All this accompanied by an expedition team of naturalist guides. Certain zodiac outings will not allow for landings just cruising. Landings will depend on weather conditions, position of ice and winds and the state of the sea. These can force a change of plans at any time.

Taking into consideration the unusual and exceptional character of this itinerary, the calls shown are an indication only. The final route will be confirmed by the Captain of the ship, who will take into account the touristic quality of the sites and above all, the safety of the passengers. His decision will be subject to that of local authorities and the expert pilots present on board during the navigation in the Arctic zone.


Cruise fares are per person and include the following:
  • All meals while on board the ship 
  • Captain’s welcome cocktail and gala dinner
  • “Open Bar” (pouring wines, house champagne, alcohol except premium brands...list available upon request)
  • Evening entertainment and events
  • 24h room service (special selection)
  • English-speaking lecturer 
  • Water sports activities (except scuba diving) using the ship’s equipment, when permitted by local authorities and confirmed by ship Master according to safety and sea conditions onsite
  • Highly experienced bilingual (French-English) Expedition team 
  • Park entry fees into protected areas
  • Complimentary boot rental on select cruises
 
Cruise, Flights & Transfers program rates are per person and also include:
  • Flight Paris/Kangerlussuaq and Nome/Seattle in economy class
  • Meet and Greet by representatives at the destination airport
  • Transfers to and/or from the ship and other services before and after the cruise according to detailed programs available upon request 10 months prior departure
* Flights are being studied and are subject to change until the flight plan is confirmed and this up to 3 months prior to each cruise
 
Cruise fares do not include:
  • Any ground services before and/or after the cruise other than the ones mentioned in each “Cruise, Flights & Transfers” package and for which details are available upon request
  • Pre or post cruise programs, overland programs or shore excursions mentioned
  • Airport taxes (other than the ones included)
  • Port and safety taxes
  • Visa expenses and/or immigration reciprocity taxes if applicable
  • Luggage handling
  • Gratuities to onboard crew, local guides and drivers
  • Optional Spa package to be booked prior to your departure
  • Beverages other than the ones mentioned
  • Laundry services, hair salon and à la carte Spa treatments
  • Personal expenses, on board medical consultations and drug prescriptions
  • Cancellation/luggage/assistance/repatriation/medical insurance(s)

Included

  • 22 Breakfasts, 21 Lunches, 22 Dinners
Payment & Cancellation Policies
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The trip might have been the absolute best of our lifetime (thus far). We particularly want to commend our guide Peter in the Guilin area-he was so incredibly attentive, energetic, enthusiastic-and absolutely dedicated to ensuring that our meals were 100% vegetarian.
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