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Zodiac tour to see glacier and the arctic landscape.

Pathways to Franklin

Example 10 Day Cruise aboard Akademik Ioffe
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This outstanding 10-day expedition showcases the breathtaking wilderness of Canada's High Arctic. Wildlife is a major draw card of your adventure, and throughout the voyage you can visit one of the largest migratory bird sanctuaries in Canada and a number of locations where encounters with polar bears are frequent. Sightings of seals, whales and narwhal are also common. Throughout your journey, visit numerous historic locations, join interpretative shore visits, experience close encounters with the Arctic's outstanding wildlife, and enjoy onboard presentations by polar experts.

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Fly from Edmonton, Alberta to Resolute, Nunavut | Embark
Day 2 : Beechey Island | Radstock Bay
Day 3 : Cape Charles Yorke | Elwin Inlet
Day 4 : Prince Leopold Island
Day 5 : Fort Ross | Bellot Strait
Day 6 : Coningham Bay
Day 7 : Victory Point, King William Island
Day 8 : Royal Geographical Society Islands
Day 9 : Victoria Island | King William Island
Day 10 : Fly from Cambridge Bay, Nunavut | Disembark | Fly to Edmonton, Alberta

Highlights

  • Cross the broad expanse of Lancaster Sound, the Arctic's "super highway"
  • Zodiac cruise to Prince Leopold Island, a Migratory Bird Sanctuary
  • Arrive at Coningham Bay, a known hotspot for polar bears
  • Visit the location where Franklin and his men abandoned their ships

Ship

Akademik Ioffe

Places Visited

Activities

Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level

Relaxed

Trip Snapshots

Zodiac tour to see glacier and the arctic landscape. A polar bear wanders across the ice Explore the mysterious polar waters by zodiac with your fellow travelers Arctic Reindeer An old run down building with the Hudson's Bay Company sign on it.

Day 1 Fly from Edmonton, Alberta to Resolute, Nunavut | Embark

Depart Edmonton this morning on your special 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 became trapped in ice and abandoned here in 1850 while searching for the lost Franklin Expedition. A weather station and airstrip here made it a strategic outpost during the time of the Cold War. On arrival, be transferred to the beach and meet your expedition team, then prepare for your zodiac ride to the ship. Onboard, have time to explore the ship and get to know your cabin before a welcome cocktail. Weigh anchor and depart Resolute in the early evening.

Day 2 Beechey Island | Radstock Bay

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Beechey Island is a site of great historical importance. It is here that Sir John Franklin’s ill-fated expedition spent its last ‘comfortable’ winter in 1845-1846 before disappearing into the icy vastness to the south, as they probed for a route through the Northwest Passage. The enduring mystery of what happened to the Franklin party and two ships, was partially solved in September 2014, when a joint Parks Canada and Royal Canadian Geographic Society expedition, found the long lost Franklin shipwreck, HMS Erebus in the Victoria Strait. One Ocean Expeditions played a vital role in the search by carrying underwater search equipment on your ship as well as scientists, historians, researchers, dignitaries and sponsors of this history defining mission.

A trip ashore at Beechey Island to visit the grave markers on a remote windswept beach, gives one pause to wonder on the bravery (or foolhardiness) of these pioneering explorers, as they sought a way through the barren, frozen landscape. Over the coming days learn about this enduring Arctic tale from your onboard historians and polar experts. An afternoon visit to Radstock Bay brings us to the imposing Caswell Tower - a huge rock headland and known archaeological site. Remains of Thule ‘qarmat’ homes, made of rocks, whale bones, rock and sod walls and skins for roofs can be found in the vicinity telling a story of over 800 years of human habitation.

Day 3 Cape Charles Yorke | Elwin Inlet

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Cross the broad expanse of Lancaster Sound, spending time on the ship’s bridge, or outer decks looking for wildlife. The sound has been likened to the wildlife ‘super highway’ of the Arctic. A massive confluence of water from the Atlantic to the east and Pacific to the west, and from the archipelago of islands to the north all mix here, combining to make a rich source of nutrients and food for an abundance of Arctic wildlife. Approaching northern Baffin Island you are in awe of the spectacular Arctic landscape that seemingly stretches on forever. Cape Charles Yorke offers several great walking opportunities and you may enjoy some sightings of polar bears along this coast. Navigate into nearby Elwin Inlet, a breathtaking fjord which is well protected and great for a zodiac cruise or hike onshore.

Day 4 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. The island is home to thick-billed murres, black guillemots, northern fulmars and black-legged kittiwakes. Numbering in the order of several hundred thousand birds, Prince Leopold Island is one of the most significant Migratory Bird Sanctuaries in the whole of the Canadian Arctic and makes for fantastic zodiac cruising. The sea ice around Prince Leopold Island is a great place for spotting ringed seals and wherever you find ringed seals - you usually find polar bears. Nearby Port Leopold is a historic site where in 1848, English explorer James Clark Ross wintered here 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 tend to moult in this part of the Arctic each summer.

Day 5 Fort Ross | Bellot Strait

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Continuing to navigate the ship south into Prince Regent Inlet, approach the eastern end of the Bellot Strait. The historic site of Fort Ross, located at the southern end of Somerset Island, is a former Hudson’s Bay Company fur trading outpost. Fascinating archaeological sites nearby tell a story of more than a thousand years of habitation by the Inuit and their predecessors. Having explored Fort Ross, attempt a transit through the narrows of Bellot Strait. The aim is to enter at slack tide if possible, in order to avoid a current that roars through the passage at more than seven knots during the peak flow. The mixing of waters in this strait provides an abundant food source for marine mammals and you must keep your eyes peeled for harp seals, bearded seals and even polar bears. The skill of the Captain and Officers and capabilities of the ship becomes apparent during this exciting day of Arctic navigation.

Day 6 Coningham Bay

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Having emerged from Bellot Strait, cross Franklin Strait and arrive at Coningham Bay on the shore of Prince Of Wales Island. Here, in the heart of the Northwest Passage hope to encounter one of the most remarkable wildlife sites in the Arctic. This is a known hotspot for polar bears who come here to feast on beluga whales, often caught in the rocky shallows at the entrance to the bay. It is not unusual to find the shoreline littered with whale skeletons – and very healthy looking polar bears!

Day 7 Victory Point, King William Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Heading further south, the mystery of Sir John Franklin and his ‘lost expedition’ is beginning to unravel. Prior to the recent discovery of the HMS Erebus in September 2014, very little was known of how the Franklin Expedition spent its last months in the frozen Arctic. The vessels, abandoned in the ice of Victoria Strait are just coming to life thanks to the ongoing efforts of Parks Canada’s marine archaeological team and the recent Victoria Strait Expedition.

On Victory Point a lifeboat left abandoned, bits and pieces of copper and iron, cutlery and buttons and a skeleton here and there - all tell a story of a desperate race south in search of rescue that never came. Hope to visit Victory Point as you transit Victoria Strait, travelling very near the actual location of the wreck of HMS Erebus, all the while, learning about the quest for exploration that eventually opened up the Arctic. One can only imagine the last desperate days of Franklin’s men as another frigid Arctic winter approached, supplies dwindling and health failing.

Day 8 Royal Geographical Society Islands

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
This small non-descript group of islands is of tremendous historic importance. In this vicinity the wreck of HMS Erebus was found in September 2014. To end this remarkable find, the sister ship - HMS Terror was discovered nearby in the Summer of 2016. It is profoundly moving to be in the location where Franklin and his men abandoned their ships knowing hope of rescue was virtually nonexistent. Plan a shore landing on the islands to stretch your legs as you cross islands that may have felt the doomed footsteps of Franklin's men.

Day 9 Victoria Island | King William Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
You are in a very historic part of the Northwest Passage as you explore the waters of southern Victoria Strait and into the top of Queen Maud Gulf. Your itinerary today is driven by the weather and ice conditions as you surround ourselves in history and search for wildlife. This area was travelled on foot (on the sea ice) as well as by small boat before it was ever navigated by sailing or motor vessel. As you wrap up your last excursion marvel at the sense of adventure that each explorer must have had. Returning to the ship, meet in the presentation room and enjoy a memorable voyage recap by your expedition leader. Celebrate with a special dinner, attended by the Captain of the ship reflecting on a wonderful expedition.

Day 10 Fly from Cambridge Bay, Nunavut | Disembark | Fly to Edmonton, Alberta

  • 1 Breakfast
By morning, anchor in Cambridge Bay – your final destination. Today, this remote outpost on the southern shores of Victoria Island is a centre for hunting, trapping and fishing. 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 Ioffe

Deals

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Early Bird Savings - Book before January 31, 2019 and save $1,000 per person. Some restrictions may apply. Select departures only. Contact us for details.
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Per person starting at
$7,095
Main Deck Triple Cabins
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Main Deck Triple
Deck 3. Two lower berths (one which can be converted to a sofa during the day) and one upper berth. Shared facilities, in cabin washbasin, writing desk/chair, ample storage, and two portholes.
Twin Semi Private Cabins
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Twin Semi-Private
Deck 4. Two lower berths (one which can be converted to a sofa during the day), a writing desk/chair, bookshelf and tall wardrobes with internal shelving for storage. Facilities are semi-private (one bathroom between two cabins) and all cabins have a window that can be opened.
Twin Private Cabins
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Twin Private
Deck 4 and 5. Two lower berths (one which can be converted to a sofa during the day), a writing desk/chair, bookshelf and ample storage. Facilities are private and all cabins have a window that can be opened.
Superior Cabins
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Superior
Deck 6. Two lower berths, a sofa, a writing desk/chair and ample storage. Facilities are private and all cabins have a window that can be opened.
Shackleton Suites
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Shackleton Suite
Deck 4 & 5. One double bed, one sofa bed, separate sleeping quarters, up-graded bedding, a writing desk/chair, IPod alarm clock, mini stereo, capsule coffee maker, mini bar. Private facilities. Large window that can be opened.
One Ocean Suite
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One Ocean Suite
Deck 5. One double bed, one sofa bed & separate sleeping quarters, up-graded bedding, a writing desk/chair, IPod alarm clock, mini stereo, capsule coffee maker, mini bar. Private facilities with tub. Windows overlooking the bow.

Notes

- Rates are quoted in U.S. dollars and represent costs per person, double or triple occupancy. Request the Twin or Triple 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.

- Twin and superior cabins are available for single occupancy at 1.5 times the shared price, suites for 2 times the shared price. Single supplement is not available in triple cabins.

- 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.

This itinerary includes:
  • Comprehensive pre-voyage information package including details to help you prepare for your trip in Canada's Atlantic provinces
  • Transfers from the airport to your hotel upon arrival
  • Transfers to the ship on embarkation day and from the ship to the airport or local hotel on disembarkation
  • Shipboard accommodation in your selected cabin category with daily housekeeping. Cabins feature outside views with windows or portholes that open on each deck
  • High quality, eco friendly, Canadian made natural amenities in every cabin
  • All breakfasts, lunches and dinners on board throughout your voyage with daily afternoon tea
  • 24 hour tea, coffee, hot chocolate in bar lounge plus in cabin tea, coffee, hot chocolate replenished daily
  • Experienced Expedition Leader and professional expedition team of marine bioligists, naturalists, historians, adventure guides and photographers
  • Daily off-ship excursions by Zodiac boat breaking into small groups for shore landings
  • Guided hikes and walks on shore of various durations for guests of all abilities
  • Visits to wildlife colonies, historic sites, places of outstanding natural beauty and community visits
  • Educational presentations and talks by polar experts in their field (ie. marine biologists, naturalists, historians etc). Onboard or on shore
  • Resident photography guide available to assist all guests
  • Access to computers in the multimedia lab for image downloads, file back up and management
  • An emergency trained Physician onboard every voyage
  • Dedicated hospitality team including Hotel Manager, four chefs, professional bar staff and Adventure Concierge staff
  • Onboard sauna, plunge pool, Jacuzzi and fitness centre including personal trainer and massage options (charge applies for massage and spa treatments)
  • Sea Kayaking program available (additional charge of $695pp) – must be reserved at the time of booking your voyage and you must have some prior paddling experience
  • Access to well stocked library full of polar reference books
  • End of voyage video, photos and take home USB
  • Port fees and all permits to access visited areas
This itinerary does not include:
  • 5% Goods and Services Tax (GST)
  • Any international or local airfare unless otherwise specified in the voyage itinerary
  • Visa and passport expenses
  • Pre or post-cruise hotel accommodation unless otherwise specified in the itinerary (or pre-arranged)
  • Pre or post-cruise transfers unless otherwise specified in the itinerary (or pre-arranged)
  • Personal expenses on board such as alcoholic beverages, bar charges or laundry expenses
  • Telecommunication charges (ie. email, satellite phone)
  • Baggage, cancellation or medical travel insurance related expenses (comprehensive travel insurance is mandatory on all trips)
  • A voluntary gratuity at the end of the voyage for expedition staff and ship crew (suggested amount – $US12-15 per day)


* This voyage operates domestically within Canada and is subject to a compulsory 5% goods and services tax (GST).
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Kate was great to work with in the planning stage. She was prompt, helpful, and efficient. Our tour guide, Edwin, was knowledgeable and passionate. We were very happy to have traveled with Adventure Life, it made the trip easy and a true pleasure. We could concentrate on enjoying the experience rather than the details of travel.
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