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Arctic puffins

Classic Northwest Passage and Greenland - From Kangerlussuaq to Cambridge Bay

Example 13 Day Cruise aboard RCGS Resolute
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During this 13-day expedition observe spectacular glacial landscapes, encounter outstanding Arctic wildlife, tour historic locations, visit remote Inuit communities, and explore colorful Greenlandic villages. This iconic voyage aboard the RCGS Resolute explores the remote Northwest Passage, starting in western Greenland and finishing in the remote Arctic outpost of Cambridge Bay, at the western extremity of the fabled waterway. Follow in the footsteps of the early Arctic explorers such as Franklin, Amundsen and Larsen, exploring the archipelago of islands and channels that create Canada’s high Arctic region.

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Ottawa to Kangerlussuaq | Embark
Day 2 : Sisimiut
Day 3 : Ilulissat Icefjord
Day 4 : Baffin Bay
Day 5 : Mittimatalik (Pond Inlet)
Day 6 : Lancaster Sound & Dundas Harbor
Day 7 : Maxwell Bay
Day 8 : Beechy Island
Day 9 : Prince Leopold Island
Day 10 : Fort Ross & Bellot Strait
Day 11 : Coningham Bay
Day 12 : Victory Point, King William Island
Day 13 : Cambridge Bay, Nunavut | Disembark | Fly to Edmonton

Highlights

  • Visit Prince Leopold Island's cliffs, an important migratory bird sanctuary
  • Visit Jacobshavn Icefjord – a UNESCO World Heritage site
  • Transit the narrow passage of Bellot Strait looking for seals & polar bears
  • Explore Conningham Bay, one of the Arctic's most remarkable wildlife sites

Ship

RCGS Resolute

Places Visited

Activities

Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level

Relaxed

Trip Snapshots

Auklets circle the zodiac Cruise iceberg laden waters Polar bears in the Arctic Walrus in the Arctic Arctic puffins

Day 1 Ottawa to Kangerlussuaq | Embark

Depart Ottawa this morning bound for Kangerlussuaq, on the west coast of Greenland. Excitement is in the air as you cast off. Enjoy a welcome cocktail while cruising along Sondre Stromfjord, en route to the fabled Northwest Passage.

Day 2 Sisimiut

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Explore the fjord behind the town of Sisimiut by Zodiac before going ashore to explore this beautiful location. Characterized by colorful local houses, the town features a towering granite peak as a backdrop. You will meet a few of the traditional Greenlandic kayakers as they show you their incredible skills in their small watercraft.

Day 3 Ilulissat Icefjord

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Truly one of the wonders of the world, the Ilulissat Icefjord releases gigantic tabular icebergs out into Disko Bay. The glacier that creates these stunning monoliths advances up to 40 meters per day, creating around 50 cubic kilometers of ice annually. Your Captain and officers are skilled ice navigators and your ship has one of the highest ice ratings of any vessel exploring Arctic waters, making for safe and comfortable travel through the iceberg-laden waters.

Day 4 Baffin Bay

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Leaving the rugged coastline of Greenland, your crossing of Baffin Bay is highly dependent on the extent of the so-called ‘middle ice’. You will probe northwards seeking out the edges of the middle ice and plan to follow the line of ice until you reach the coast of Baffin Island. As you transit Baffin Bay you are always on the lookout for fin, sperm, sei and humpback whales as well as the numerous species of Arctic seals and seabirds that inhabit these waters.

Day 5 Mittimatalik (Pond Inlet)

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Nearing the far north of Baffin Island you arrive at Mittimatalik (Pond Inlet). The Natinnak Centre features a fascinating cultural exhibit showcasing aspects of daily life, culture and history of the people of the north. Inuit carvings, jewelry and other traditional crafts are on display and purchasing such items from the local artisans is a great way to support the community.

Day 6 Lancaster Sound & Dundas Harbor

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
You are now at almost 75° degrees north of latitude. Cruising the coastline of Devon Island, you are now in the waters of Lancaster Sound – a rich, bio-diverse region often referred to as the wildlife ‘superhighway’ of the Arctic. These massive volumes of water from Baffin Bay to the east, Beaufort Sea to the west, and from the archipelago of islands to the north, combine to make a rich cocktail of nutrients supporting an abundance of Arctic wildlife. You'll plan on visiting the old Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) outpost at Dundas Harbour, situated on the southern shores of Devon Island.

Day 7 Maxwell Bay

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

Day 8 Beechy Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Continuing Beechey Island holds great historic importance on your journey through 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 that would span almost three decades.

Day 9 Prince Leopold Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Having crossed Prince Regent Inlet overnight, you'll 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 will find ringed seals and polar bear.

Day 10 Fort Ross & Bellot Strait

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Continuing to navigate the ship south into Prince Regent Inlet, you'll approach the eastern end of 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, you will attempt a transit through the narrows of Bellot Strait.

Day 11 Coningham Bay

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Having emerged from Bellot Strait, you'll cross the Victoria Strait and arrive at Coningham Bay on the shore of Prince of Wales Island. Here, in the heart of the Northwest Passage, you'll encounter one of the most remarkable wildlife sites in the Arctic. This is a known hotspot for polar bears. They 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 12 Victory Point, King William Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Heading further into the Northwest Passage, 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.

Day 13 Cambridge Bay, Nunavut | Disembark | Fly to Edmonton

  • 1 Breakfast
Your journey is all but complete as you approach the community of Cambridge Bay. This remote outpost is a center for hunting, trapping and fishing. The Inuit have had summer camps in the vicinity for hundreds of years. Amundsen spent two winters in this area, learning how to master dog-sledding from the locals prior to his attempt on the South Pole. You'll say farewell to your crew and make your way ashore by Zodiac. A special charter flight returns you to Edmonton.

RCGS Resolute

Per person starting at
$13,195
RCGS Resolute Cabin
Select a Date
Main Deck Triple
Deck 3. Double or two single beds. Features a sectional lounge, portholes, writing desk and chair, and private washroom facilities.
RCGS Resolute Cabin
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Twin Private Cabin
Deck 4. Double or two single beds. Features a sectional lounge, large windows, writing desk and chair, and private washroom facilities.
RCGS Resolute Cabin
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Superior Cabin
Deck 5. Double or two single beds. Features a sectional lounge, large windows, writing desk and chair, and private washroom facilities.
RCGS Resolute Cabin
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Superior Plus Cabin
Deck 5. Double or two single beds. Features a sectional lounge, large picture windows, writing desk and chair, and private washroom.
RCGS Resolute Cabin
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Shackleton Suite
Deck 6. 22 m2. Double or two single beds. Features a sectional lounge convertible to a sofa bed, large picture windows, a large desk, expansive cabinetry, and washroom facilities including both a shower & bathtub.
RCGS Resolute Cabin
Select a Date
One Ocean Suite
Deck 6. 44 m2. Double or two single beds. Features a sectional lounge convertible to a sofa bed with matching club chairs, large picture windows, a large desk, expansive cabinetry, and washroom facilities including both a shower & bathtub.

Notes

- Rates are quoted in U.S. dollars and represent costs per person, double occupancy.  No single supplement will be charged for passengers willing to share.

- Twin Private, Superior and Superior Plus Cabins are available for single occupancy at 1.5 times the double occupancy rate. The supplement for a Shackleton or One Ocean Suite is 2 times the shared rate. Single Supplement is not available in triple cabins.

Please note: Specific sites visited will depend on ice and weather conditions experienced and the itinerary will be updated throughout the voyage in order to take advantage of favorable conditions.

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 biologists, 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 center including personal trainer and massage options (charge applies for massage and spa treatments)
  • Sea Kayaking programme 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:
  • 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)
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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