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Houses of Greenland

The Northwest Passage – Iceland to Cambridge Bay

Example 19 Day Cruise aboard MS Fram
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Be among the few to sail in the wake of great explorers as we attempt to cruise through the legendary Northwest Passage. Experience the raw, daunting beauty of the remote Arctic on this rarely-traveled journey. Even today, few ships have the capability to navigate this isolated sea passage that slices through stunning far northern wilderness.

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Reykjavik | Embark
Days 2-3 : At Sea
Day 4 : Prince Christian Sound
Day 5 : Kvanefjord
Day 6 : Nuuk
Day 7 : Sisimiut
Day 8 : Ilulisaat
Day 9 : At Sea
Day 10 : Sam Ford Fjord
Days 11-17 : Northwest Passage
Day 18 : Cambridge Bay | Disembark | Fly
Day 19 : Edmonton

Highlights

  • Explore some of the most spectacular and unspoiled scenery on Earth
  • Enjoy great wildlife spotting opportunities - including polar bears and walrus
  • Trace the history as you explore the routes of famous past expedition vessels
  • Discover the Ilulissat Icefjord, an UNESCO World Heritage site

Ship

MS Fram

Places Visited

Activities

Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level

Relaxed

Trip Snapshots

Street view of old town Reykjavik Houses of Greenland Midnight sun light, Ilulissat Walrus A towering iceberg

Day 1 Reykjavik | Embark

Reykjavik is the world’s northernmost capital city. Nordic settlers named the place Reykjavik (meaning “Smoky Bay”) after the columns of steam rising from area hot springs. The surroundings offer fantastic natural beauty with geysers, mountains, glaciers and geothermal baths that are well worth exploring before embarking on MS Fram. 

Day 2-3 At Sea

  • Ship
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
Cross Denmark Strait, plied by Vikings to migrate from Iceland to South Greenland some 1,000 years ago. Use the days at sea preparing for your upcoming adventure.  Enjoy lectures by the expedition team, explore our Science Center, relax with a book or get to know your fellow explorers.

Day 4 Prince Christian Sound

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Prince Christian Sound separates Greenland from the Cape Farewell archipelago. If conditions allow, sail through this narrow channel and enjoy the spectacular scenery. The sound is around 60 miles long and very narrow. If the channel is blocked with ice, sail around Nunap Isua (Cape Farewell).

Day 5 Kvanefjord

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Kvanefjord is a 30 mile-long fjord on the west coast of Greenland.  Spend the day here exploring the amazing landscape.

Day 6 Nuuk

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Nuuk is the oldest town in Greenland, founded in 1728. Nuuk, which means peninsula, is located at the mouth of one of the most spectacular fjord systems in the world. Today, Nuuk is where old and new traditions meet, from historic buildings in ”Kolonihaven” to sleek modern architecture.

Day 7 Sisimiut

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Sisimiut is situated 25 miles north of the Arctic Circle and is a modern settlement that maintains ancient traditions. Come ashore and explore this colorful town. Visit the small museum, hike in the hills and shop for local handicrafts.

Day 8 Ilulisaat

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Ilulissat lies in the stunning setting of Ilulissat Icefjord, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Just outside town you can often see enormous icebergs from Jakobshavn Glacier, one of the most productive glaciers in the Northern Hemisphere. The icebergs make their way down the 12-mile-long fjord before entering Disko Bay.

Day 9 At Sea

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Davis Strait is named for English explorer John Davis, who led expeditions searching for the Northwest Passage between 1585 and 1587. He was the first to draw Europe’s attention to the region’s seal hunting and whaling possibilities and that the Newfoundland cod fisheries extended this far north.

Day 10 Sam Ford Fjord

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Sam Ford Fjord is on the east coast of Baffin Island. The fjord is known for its magnificent glaciers and granite cliffs rising steeply from the shoreline to heights reaching 5,000 ft above sea level.

Day 11-17 Northwest Passage

  • Ship
  • 7 Breakfasts, 7 Lunches, 7 Dinners
Next,  head into the heart of the historic Northwest Passage. The first recorded voyage here was led by John Cabot in 1497. The most famous journeys were James Cook’s failed attempt to sail the passage in 1776, and the ill-fated Franklin expedition of 1845. The first to conquer the passage by ship was Norwegian Roald Amundsen on an expedition from 1903 to 1906.
The ice varies from year to year. Be able to visit some of the following places:

Pond Inlet, called “Mittimatalik” in Inuktitut, is a traditional Inuit community surrounded by mountains, glaciers, fjords, ice caves, geological hoodoos and drifting icebergs.

Dundas Harbour is an abandoned settlement with an old Royal Canadian Mounted Police camp and several archaeological sites. Come ashore to see the ruins of some of these buildings, along with an impressive Thule site.

Radstock Bay is dominated by the striking rock of Caswell Tower. The shoreline here is ideal for walking to a pre-historic Inuit site. Caswell Tower itself features a challenging hike to the summit for great views.

Beechey Island is known for the ill-fated Franklin expedition. Two ships sailed into the passage in 1845, but neither were ever seen again. It is known that the Franklin Expedition overwintered on Beechey Island in 1845-1846.

Fort Ross is a trading post established in 1937. There are two small huts ashore that are maintained by the Canadian Coast Guard.

Gjøa Haven, which honors the Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen, who wintered here in 1903/04 and 1904/05. He learned a lot from about survival and travel in polar regions from the local Netsilik Inuit people.

Throughout your journey, sail in amazing waters with unique nature and hopefully enough ice to spot exciting wildlife like polar bears.

Day 18 Cambridge Bay | Disembark | Fly

In Inuinnaqtun, Cambridge Bay is called “Iqaluktuuttiaq,” meaning a “good fishing place.” It is known for the giant char caught nearby. Local wildlife is abundant and includes seals, geese, muskoxen and caribou. Our expedition ends here, and you will be transferred to the airport for your flight to Edmonton.

Day 19 Edmonton

  • 1 Breakfast
Enjoy the exciting city of Edmonton before your flight home or extend your stay

MS Fram

Edmonton

Per person starting at
$16,604
Cabin I MS Fram
Select a Date
Polar Inside I
113-140 square feet. Inside cabin: One bed, one sofa bed, TV, refrigerator, shower/wc
Cabin FJ MS Fram
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Polar Outside FJ
172-226 square feet. Outside cabin: Double bed, seating area, TV, refrigerator, shower/wc, limited or no view. (FJ 503 with twin beds).
A comfortable twin cabin on the MS Fram
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Polar Outside N
113-140 square feet. Outside cabin: One bed, one sofa bed, table, TV, refrigerator, shower/wc. (N-352 with upper/lower berths).
Cabin U MS Fram
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Arctic Superior U
118-252 square feet. Outside cabin: One bed, one sofa bed, table, TV, refrigerator, kettle, shower/wc. (U-526 with upper/lower berths).
Cabin F MS Fram
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Arctic Superior F
183-248 square feet. Double bed, seating area, TV, refrigerator, kettle, shower/wc.
Cabin M MS Fram
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Expedition Suite M
172-215 square feet. One room with seating area, TV, mini-bar, kettle, double bed, shower/wc.
Cabin MG MS Fram
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Expedition Suite MG
260-420 square feet. One room with private balcony, seating area, TV, mini-bar, kettle, double bed, shower/wc.

Notes

Included in Your Expedition
  • Expedition cruise in the cabin grade of your choice   
  • One night in Edmonton, incl. breakfast
  • Coach-class flight from Cambridge Bay to Edmonton
  • Transfer ship to airport in Cambridge Bay and airport to hotel in Edmonton
Not Included In Your Expedition
  • International flights
  • Optional shore excursions with our local partners 
  • Optional small-group adventures such as kayaking with our expedition team 
  • Travel protection plan
  • Luggage handling 
Payment & Cancellation Policies
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This was our first trip to South America and we were a little nervous. But Adventure Life made things so easy! All our questions were answered before we left, and our guide, Vidal, was amazing! He gave us enough space to explore without rushing us along. He also knew where the best picture taking opportunities were, which was great.
Lindsay Gompf

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