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A mother polar bear and her young relax on the Arctic landscape

Out of the Northwest Passage - 2018

Example 17 Day Cruise aboard Ocean Endeavour
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An iconic journey, the Northwest Passage remains an adventure today. Join the Ocean Endeavour on this 17-day journey as it sets sail eastward from Kugluktuk toward Gjoa Haven, where Amundsen honed his polar skills. Sail the Queen Maud Gulf, stopping for daily hikes and Zodiac cruises. Continue on to Beechey Island, Lancaster Sound, and Canada's northernmost community: Aujuittuq (Grise Fjord), before continuing north to Greenland.

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Kugluktuk (Coppermine) | Embark
Day 2 : Coronation Gulf
Day 3 : Queen Maud Gulf
Day 4 : Usqsuqtuuq (Gjøa Haven)
Days 5-7 : Peel Sound and Parry Channel
Day 8 : Beechey Island
Day 9 : Lancaster Sound
Day 10 : Aujuittuq (Grise Fiord), NU
Day 11 : Smith Sound
Days 12-14 : Northwest Greenland
Day 15 : Ilulissat
Day 16 : Itilleq Fjord
Day 17 : Kangerlussuaq, Greenland | Disembark

Highlights

  • Travel the route that obsessed explorers for centuries
  • Enjoy the legendary hospitality of vibrant Inuit communities
  • Visit the historic graves of the ill fated Franklin Expedition
  • Find and photograph the wild creatures of the Arctic wilderness

Ship

Ocean Endeavour

Places Visited

Activities

Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level

Relaxed

Trip Snapshots

A mother polar bear and her young relax on the Arctic landscape A local stands in traditional dress for the arctic. Colorful homes in Greenland The White-Beaked Dolphin swimming by the Greenland coast. Midnight sun light, Ilulissat

Day 1 Kugluktuk (Coppermine) | Embark

Arrive in Kugluktuk, located at the mouth of the Coppermine River on the Coronation Gulf. Kugluktuk is the westernmost community in Nunavut and the perfect place to begin your journey. Coppermine reverted to its original Inuinnaqtun name—Kugluktuk, meaning “place of moving waters”—on January 1st, 1996. The Coppermine River itself is designated a Canadian Heritage River for the important role it played as an exploration and fur trade route. Copper deposits along the river attracted the first explorers to the area. Upon arrival on your charter flight to Kugluktuk, embark the Ocean Endeavour.

Day 2 Coronation Gulf

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Located between Victoria Island and the Arctic coast of mainland Canada, the Coronation Gulf is an extensive body of water that is linked to the Arctic Ocean via the Dolphin and Union Strait on the west and by the Dease Strait and Queen Maud Gulf on the east.
 
The gulf was named in 1821 by John Franklin in honour of the coronation of King George IV. The environment and Inuit cultural history of the region was studied by Rudolph Anderson and Diamond Jenness in 1916 as part of the Canadian Arctic Expedition. Explore the area, and make an opportunistic expedition stop.

Day 3 Queen Maud Gulf

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Sir John Franklin’s flagship, the HMS Erebus, was a Hecla-class bomb vessel, built in Wales in 1826. She was named after the dark region in Hades of Greek mythology and weighed 372 tons. The ship took part in the Ross Expedition from 1839 to 1843, and was abandoned during the legendary Franklin Expedition after becoming icebound during an attempt to locate the fabled Northwest Passage. Her sunken wreck had actually been designated a National Historic Site prior to being located in September of 2014 by a Parks Canada underwater archaeology team. Two years later, Franklin’s other ship, Terror, was located, spurring further interest in one of the great mysteries of polar exploration.

Day 4 Usqsuqtuuq (Gjøa Haven)

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
In 1903, explorer Roald Amundsen, while looking for the Northwest Passage, sailed through the James Ross Strait and stopped at a natural harbour on the island’s south coast. Unable to proceed due to sea ice, he spent the winters of 1903–04 and 1904–05 at Usqsuqtuuq. While there, he learned Arctic living skills from the local Netsilik Inuit, skills that would later prove invaluable in his Antarctic explorations. He used his ship, the Gjøa, as a base for explorations in the summer of 1904, sledding the Boothia Peninsula and travelling to the magnetic North Pole. Usqsuqtuuq offers a lot to its visitors, including he Northwest Passage Territorial Historic Park, where visitors can learn about the voyages of explorers such as Frobisher, Ross, and Franklin. Also, there is a nine-hole golf course, known to be Canada’s most northerly. Although Usqsuqtuuq is becoming more modern, many traditional Inuit activities are still being enjoyed, including throat singing, drum dancing, and hunting.

Day 5-7 Peel Sound and Parry Channel

  • Ship
  • 3 Breakfasts, 3 Lunches, 3 Dinners
Sailing Peel Sound get you into serious polar bear country and spotting opportunities are maximized. Parry Channel is named after Arctic explorer William Edward Parry who got as far as Melville Island in 1819 before being blocked by ice at McClure Strait. Depending on ice conditions, you may make expedition stops along the way among the spectacular landscapes, a perfect setting for hiking and exploring the geological diversity of the area. Your experts interpret historical and archeological sites for you wherever you land!

Day 8 Beechey Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
In 1845, Sir John Franklin took his expedition of 129 men and two ships into the Wellington Channel. Not a soul returned from the fateful expedition. The three graves found at Beechey Island left no indication as to the fate of the rest of the British party, but the island gradually became a touchpoint for those searching for survivors. A fourth grave on Beechey today holds a sailor from one such expedition. In the autumn of 2014, Canadian archaeologists discovered remnants of the HMS Erebus and in 2016, Franklin’s second ship, the Terror was also located.

Day 9 Lancaster Sound

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Spend the day exploring Lancaster Sound—a proposed Marine Protected Area, with large populations of marine mammals, including narwhal, beluga whales, and bowhead whales. There is a great selection of landing sites available. Weather, wildlife, and sea conditions influence your choice of landing today.

Day 10 Aujuittuq (Grise Fiord), NU

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Aujuittuq means ‘place that never thaws.’ It is an apt name for this peaceful hamlet, 1,150 kilometres above the Arctic Circle. Canada’s northernmost “civilian” community is a living reminder of the Cold War; residents were relocated to Aujuittuq in an effort to boost Canadian sovereignty . Be welcomed by the population of about 165. Your activities are centre in the village where you have a chance to meet members of the community, learn about their way of life, and hear their poignant stories.

Day 11 Smith Sound

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Spend a day exploring this fabled body of water that 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. The Sound was named by William Baffin after Sir Thomas Smythe, promoter of voyages to find a Northwest Passage. Between forty-eight and seventy-two kilometres wide, and eighty-eight kilometres long—Smith Sound is often packed with ice and provides favourable conditions for wildlife viewing.

Day 12-14 Northwest Greenland

  • Ship
  • 3 Breakfasts, 3 Lunches, 3 Dinners
There are a number of charming fishing villages and majestic fjords along the west coast of Greenland. Depending on timing and sea conditions, call in at one of these communities to experience small town Greenlandic life, or explore the stunning fjords that line the coast. This is a day in the true spirit of expedition travel and the crew takes advantage of any and all opportunities that present themselves.

Day 15 Ilulissat

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Ilulissat translates literally into “iceberg”, and there couldn’t be a more fitting name for this spectacular place. Your visit include time in the colourful town, famed for its handicrafts, cafes, museums, and picturesque habitation. Have a chance to hike out along a boardwalk to an elevated viewpoint where you can observe the great fields of ice. Cruise in your fleet of Zodiacs in the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Ilulissat Icefjord. The Sermeq Kujalleq Glacier is one of the most active and fastest moving in the world at nineteen metres per day and calving more than thirty-five square kilometres of ice annually. The glacier has been the object of scientific attention for 250 years.

Day 16 Itilleq Fjord

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The west Greenland coastline is a rich mixture of fishing communities, many islands and complex coastal waterways. Make an expedition stop here to explore the Greenlandic landscape.

Day 17 Kangerlussuaq, Greenland | Disembark

  • 1 Breakfast
Make your journey down spectacular Sondre Stromfjord, and early risers have a chance to experience its beauty. Sondre Stromfjord is one of the longest fjords in the world and boasts 168 kilometres of superb scenery! Kangerlussuaq, the town at its eastern head, means ‘the big fjord.’
 
Disembark the Ocean Endeavour and make your way to the airport to meet your charter flights home.

Ocean Endeavour

Per person starting at
$9,295
Ocean Endeavour - Cat 1 Quad
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Quadruple - Category 1
Deck four. Interior cabin, four lower berths, private bath (separate shower room and powder room) - approx. 240 sq. ft.
Ocean Endeavour - Cat 2 Triple
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Triple - Category 2
Deck four. Interior cabin, 3 lower berths, two private baths - approx. 200 sq. ft.
Interior Twin cabin on the Ocean Endeavour
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Interior Twin - Category 3
Deck five. Interior cabin, 2 lower berths, private bath - approx. 125 sq. ft. (twin)/110 sq. ft. (single)
Exterior Twin Cabin on the Ocean Endeavour
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Exterior Twin - Category 4
Deck four. Porthole window, unobstructed view, two lower berths, private bath - approx. 100 sq. ft. (twin)/90 sq. ft. (single)
Exterior Twin Cabin on the Ocean Endeavour
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Main Twin - Category 5
Deck five. Picture window, unobstructed view, 2 lower berths, private bath - approx. 115 sq. ft.
Comfort Twin cabin on board Ocean Endeavour
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Comfort Twin - Category 6
Deck four. Two portholes, views, two lower berths OR matrimonial bed- 175 sq.ft. Deck seven: picture window, partial view, two lower berths- 135 sq.ft. Deck eight: Picture windows, obstructed view, matrimonial bed, pvt. bath, fridge - 160 sq.ft.
Top Deck Twin on the Ocean Endeavour
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Select Twin - Category 7
Deck five. Picture windows, unobstructed view, two lower berths OR matrimonial bed, approx. 190 sq. ft. and deck eight: oversize windows, partial obstruction, private bath, refrigerator - approx. 145 sq. ft.
Superior Twin on the Ocean Endeavour
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Superior Twin - Category 8
Deck five. Two picture windows, view, two lower berths, sitting area- 210 sq.ft. Deck seven: forward-facing windows,view, matrimonial, private bath w/full tub- 180 sq.ft. Deck seven: picture windows, partial view, matrimonial, pvt bath, fridge - 160 sq.ft
Junion Suite on board the Ocean Endeavour
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Junior Suite - Category 9
Deck five: picture windows, views, matrimonial bed, sitting area- approx. 270 sq. ft. Deck seven: forward-facing picture windows, views, matrimonial bed, private bath w/full tub, sitting area, private bath, refrigerator - approx. 290 sq. ft.
Suite on the Ocean Endeavour
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Suite - Category 10
Deck seven. Forward-facing picture windows, unobstructed view, matrimonial bed, private bath with full tub, refrigerator - approx. 310 sq. ft.

Notes

- Rates are quoted in U.S. dollars and represent costs per person, double occupancy. Request the Twin Share Program where you are matched with a cabin mate of the same gender. Even if a cabin mate is not found for you, no single supplement will be charged.

- Cabins are available for single occupancy at 1.5 times the double occupancy rate.

Expedition Costs Include:
  • Pre-departure materials
  • The expertise and company of our expedition staff 
  • Onboard educational programming
  • Interactive workshops
  • Evening entertainment
  • All shipboard meals, including on deck barbecues & afternoon tea, 24-hour coffee, tea and snacks
  • Hors d’ouevres & snacks during evening recaps
  • 24-hour documentary and film programming
  • Fully stocked library
  • Nikon Camera Trial Program
  • Introductions to local people and customs
  • Sightseeing
  • Museum entries, park accesses, port taxes
  • Access to pristine wilderness areas
  • Zodiac tours and cruises
  • On-site archaeology workshops
  • Community programming: local performances, presentations, and demonstrations
Expedition Cost Does Not Include:
  • $250 USD Discovery Fund Fee
  • Commercial and charter flight costs
  • Gratuities (suggested at $15 USD per person per day)
  • Bicycle rentals
  • Personal expenses
  • Mandatory medical evacuation insurance
  • Additional expenses in the event of delays or itinerary changes
  • Possible fuel surcharges
  • Pre- and post-trip hotel accommodation
  • Additional costs associated with credit card payment
  • Program enhancements
Charter Flights:
  • Northbound Charter Flight: 
Edmonton, AB to Kugluktuk (Coppermine), NU. 
Early-morning flight

$1,045 usd per person including all taxes and fees.
  • Southbound Charter Flight: 
Kangerlussuaq, Greenland to Toronto, ON
. Evening arrival
    $1,450 usd per person including all taxes and fees.
Pre and post hotel nights are available in Edmonton and Toronto at additional cost, upon request.

Included

  • 16 Breakfasts, 15 Lunches, 16 Dinners

Excluded

  • Internal Flights
    • $2,495 Northbound: Edmonton, AB to Kugluktuk (Coppermine), NU. Southbound: Kangerlussuaq, Greenland to Toronto, ON.
    • Flight cost is subject to change
Payment & Cancellation Policies
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Kassandra Miller
Kassandra M

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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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