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Walruses coming ashore in the arctic

The Northwest Passage

Example 25 Day Cruise aboard Le Commandant Charcot
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Depart from Reykjavik and set sail along the south coast of Greenland, before reaching the Hudson Strait, named after the English sailor Henry Hudson, who mapped the region for the first time in the early 17th Century. Then chart a course towards the Fury and Hecla Strait, named after the ships of the explorer William Parry. When you enter the passage, you will have the privilege of visiting Igloolik, an Inuit village that was only discovered in 1822. A little further on, the Bellot Strait will offer you a unique sailing experience, in the midst of countless icebergs. Sail along Banks Island, famous for the wreck of HMS Investigator lying offshore – the ship was tasked to search for Sir John Frankin’s lost expedition, but also for its national park, which is home to extremely rich fauna. Disembark in Nome, Alaska.

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Reykjavík, Iceland | Embark
Day 2 : At Sea
Days 3-4 : Southern Coast of Greenland
Days 5-6 : At Sea
Days 7-10 : Hudson Strait
Days 11-12 : Fury and Hecla Strait
Days 13-14 : Bellot Strait
Days 15-18 : Sailing Ice Floes North of the Arctic Archipelago
Days 19-20 : Banks Island
Days 21-24 : Sailing Ice Floes in Beaufort Sea
Day 25 : Nome, Alaska | Disembark | Flight to Seattle

Highlights

  • Explore the city of Reykjavik, Iceland’s famous capital
  • Visit of a traditional Inuit village at the entrance to the Fury and Hecla Strait
  • Discover Aulavik National Park, renowned for the largest concentration of musk oxen in the world.
  • Observe unique wildlife including Arctic foxes, belugas, and polar bears

Ship

Le Commandant Charcot

Places Visited

Activities

Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level

Relaxed

Trip Snapshots

Walruses coming ashore in the arctic Street view of old town Reykjavik An Arctic fox scouts the terrain Exploring Greenland Polar bears in the Arctic

Day 1 Reykjavík, Iceland | Embark

Iceland’s capital stretches along the edge of a vast bay in the west of the country. Perlan, the “Pearl of Reykjavík”, a museum located on ’Oskjuhlið hill, offers a panoramic view of the lush, green landscapes. A little further, one can easily spot the signpost showing the way to the evangelical Hallgrímskirkja church, and to the historical center where one can stroll along the Skólavördustígur and the Laugavegur, two lively streets with charming small shops. For some relaxation just outside of the city, visitors have the opportunity to visit the Reykjanes peninsula and its famous thermal lagoons of the Blue Lagoon.

In the afternoon, embark on the Le Commandant Charcot for your exciting cruise along the North West Passage.

Day 2 At Sea

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
During your day at sea, make the most of the many services and activities on board. Treat yourself to a moment of relaxation in the spa or stay in shape in the fitness center. This day without a port of call will also be an opportunity to enjoy the conferences or shows proposed on board, to do some shopping in the boutique or to meet the photographers in their dedicated space. As for lovers of the open sea, they will be able to visit the ship’s upper deck to admire the spectacle of the waves and perhaps be lucky enough to observe marine species. A truly enchanted interlude, combining comfort, rest and entertainment.

Day 3-4 Southern Coast of Greenland

  • Ship
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
Set sail in the path of the Norwegian explorer Erik the Red by traveling along the south coast of Greenland. Your ship will head deep into the longest network of fjords in the region, the Prinz Christian Sund. This sumptuous natural canal, surrounded by craggy mountains and impressive glaciers will offer you views of stunning landscapes. During your journey, you will also get a glimpse of the spectacular cliffs of Akpatok, a mysterious and uninhabited island where it is not uncommon to encounter bears in the summertime, drawn by the impressive colony of thick-billed murres that have taken up residence there.

Day 5-6 At Sea

  • Ship
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
During your days at sea, make the most of the many services and activities on board. Treat yourself to a moment of relaxation in the spa or stay in shape in the fitness center. This time without a port of call will also be an opportunity to enjoy the conferences or shows proposed on board, to do some shopping in the boutique or to meet the photographers in their dedicated space. As for lovers of the open sea, they will be able to visit the ship’s upper deck to admire the spectacle of the waves and perhaps be lucky enough to observe marine species. A truly enchanted interlude, combining comfort, rest and entertainment.

Day 7-10 Hudson Strait

  • Ship
  • 4 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, 4 Dinners
Linking Hudson Bay, the second-largest bay in the world, to the Atlantic Ocean, the Hudson Strait was identified for the first time by the Venetian explorer Sebastian Cabot in 1517. However, it wasn’t until 1660 that the English sailor Henry Hudson explored this maritime passage as far as the bay. Offering privileged access to the center of Canada, in the 18th Century, the Hudson Strait became a commercial route, notably used for fur trading. Some 800 km in length and congested with ice for most of the year, it will offer you a truly unique sailing experience.

Day 11-12 Fury and Hecla Strait

  • Ship
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
At the heart of the Arctic Ocean, set sail in the footsteps of the British explorer W.E. Parris who in 1822, during his desperate quest to find the North West Passage, discovered the Fury and Hecla Strait. The expedition that he led with two Royal Navy vessels, HMS Fury and HMS Hecla, in the hope of crossing the mythical maritime passageway, ended in failure. Trapped in the ice, the two ships were blocked to the north of Foxe Basin, but this allowed them to identify the strait separating the Melville Peninsula and Baffin Island. Covered by ice floe for the majority of the year, this narrow stretch of sea is very difficult to access. When you enter the passage, you will have the privilege of visiting the Inuit village of Igloolik.

Day 13-14 Bellot Strait

  • Ship
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
A key stage in the North West Passage, the Bellot Strait, crossed by strong currents, promises you an unforgettable sailing experience. The entrance to the strait is dominated by the Ross Cairn. The buildings of Fort Ross also stand not far from here. Separating Somerset Island from the Boothia Peninsula, this 2-km-wide strait was discovered in 1852 by Captain William Kennedy of the Royal Navy, and the Frenchman Joseph-René Bellot, during an expedition in search of Sir John Franklin. Discover the magnificent landscape covered in snow, fragmented by large ice floes. As you sail between them, your ship will perhaps be accompanied by a few polar bears.

Day 15-18 Sailing Ice Floes North of the Arctic Archipelago

  • Ship
  • 4 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, 4 Dinners
At the far north of the American continent, you will sail in the most northerly part of the Arctic archipelago. Covering some 1.4 million km² and boasting more than 35,000 islands, this region offers spectacular landscapes made up of sheer reliefs and gigantic fjords. Notably characterized by the particularly impressive scale of its channels, sculpted by glacial erosion and trapped in a thick ice floe for most of the year, the region has been little mapped or explored.

Day 19-20 Banks Island

  • Ship
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
Located north of the Canadian archipelago of the Northwest Territories, Banks Island, also known as Banks Land offers landscapes that are as grand as they are spectacular. The island, covering some 70,000 km², offers a landscape of hills and valleys as well as sheer cliffs and canyons, a result of the glacial erosion. To the north of the island, the Aulavik National Park is home to very rich wildlife mainly consisting of Arctic wolves, muskox, caribou, Arctic foxes, lemmings and many varieties of birds.

Day 21-24 Sailing Ice Floes in Beaufort Sea

  • Ship
  • 4 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, 4 Dinners
Bordering the north coasts of Alaska and Canada, the Beaufort Sea was feared for centuries because of its extreme climatic conditions. Covered for most of the year with a thick layer of ice, and unexplored until 1914, this part of the Arctic Ocean, named in honor of the British Admiral Francis Beaufort, will reveal to you its icy landscapes. With a bit of luck, maybe you will cross the path of some beluga whales, the region is known for its colonies of these white whales.

Day 25 Nome, Alaska | Disembark | Flight to 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, you will discover the pioneering legacy that still marks local traditions. Fishing, reindeer rearing, sled-racing, people here live from their manual labor. The surrounding plains provide stunning vantage points for observing Arctic fauna.

Disembark after breakfast and transfer to the airport for your included flight to Seattle.

Le Commandant Charcot

Per person starting at
$41,980
Le Commandant Charcot cabin
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Prestige Stateroom Deck 6
20m² and a 5m² private balcony, king-sized bed or two twin beds, private bathroom with shower, dressing table with hairdryer, flat screen tv, wifi, minibar and safe
Le Commandant Charcot cabin
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Prestige Stateroom Deck 7
20m² and a 5m² private balcony, king-sized bed or two twin beds, private bathroom with shower, dressing table with hairdryer, flat screen tv, wifi, minibar and safe
Le Commandant Charcot cabin
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Prestige Stateroom Deck 8
20m² and a 5m² private balcony, king-sized bed or two twin beds, private bathroom with shower, dressing table with hairdryer, flat screen tv, wifi, minibar and safe
Le Commandant Charcot cabin
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Privilege Stateroom Deck 6
28m² and a 5m² private balcony, king-sized bed or two twin beds, private bathroom with shower, dressing table with hairdryer, flat screen tv, wifi, minibar and safe
Le Commandant Charcot cabin
Select a Date
Privilege Stateroom Deck 7
28m² and a 5m² private balcony, king-sized bed or two twin beds, private bathroom with shower, dressing table with hairdryer, flat screen tv, wifi, minibar and safe
Le Commandant Charcot cabin
Select a Date
Privilege Stateroom Deck 8
28m² and a 5m² private balcony, king-sized bed or two twin beds, private bathroom with shower, dressing table with hairdryer, flat screen tv, wifi, minibar and safe
Le Commandant Charcot cabin
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Prestige Suite Deck 7
40m² and a 10m² private balcony, king-sized bed or two twin beds, private bathroom with two showers, dressing table with hairdryer, flat screen tv, wifi, minibar and safe
Le Commandant Charcot cabin
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Prestige Suite Deck 8
40m² and a 10m² private balcony, king-sized bed or two twin beds, private bathroom with two showers, dressing table with hairdryer, flat screen tv, wifi, minibar and safe
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Privilege Suite Deck 6
48m² and a 12.5m² private balcony, king-sized bed or two twin beds, private bathroom with shower and Balneo bathtub, dressing table with hairdryer, butler service, flat screen tv, wifi, minibar and safe
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Privilege Suite Deck 8
48m² and a 12.5m² private balcony, king-sized bed or two twin beds, private bathroom with shower and Balneo bathtub, dressing table with hairdryer, butler service, flat screen tv, wifi, minibar and safe
Le Commandant Charcot cabin
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Suite Duplex
48m² and a 26m² private balcony with jacuzzi, king-sized bed or two twin beds, private bathroom with shower and Balneo bathtub, dressing table with hairdryer, butler service, flat screen tv, wifi, minibar and safe
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Owner's Suite
114m² and a 186m² private balcony with jacuzzi, king-sized bed or two twin beds, private bathroom with shower and Balneo bathtub, dressing table with hairdryer, butler service, flat screen tv, wifi, minibar and safe

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.

Cruise fares are per person and include the following:
  • All meals while on board the ship 
  • Captain’s welcome cocktail and gala dinner
  • Post-cruise flight Nome/Seattle and transfer from the ship
  • Gratuities to the onboard crew, local guides, and drivers
  • “Open Bar” (pouring wines, house champagne, alcohol except for premium brands...list available upon request)
  • Evening entertainment and events
  • 24h room service (special selection)
  • Highly qualified bilingual French/English expedition team
  • 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 (except for guarantee deposit)
  • Complimentary polar parka for you to keep (no children sizes available)
  • Free and unlimited Wi-Fi (Internet access may be slower or in some situations interrupted, depending on certain geographic locations or other circumstances beyond the ship's control).
Cruise, Flights, and Transfers program rates are per person and also include:
  • On disembarkation day in Nome: one-way flight from Nome to Seattle
  • Meet and Greet by representatives at the destination airport
  • Transfers 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
*Tourist infrastructures are very limited in Nome. Flexibility and understanding of the following will be appreciated:
  • Due to limited local transportation resources, waiting might be generated.
  • Due to local transportation conditions, comfort is basic and carry on could be limited on board the buses used for passengers transfer to the airport (if too large the carry on could be transferred with the main luggage). The use of a backpack is suggested.
  • Due to limited human resource, please note that drivers act as guides.
  • For passengers in transit in Seattle, it is recommended to stay one night in Seattle after your connecting flight.
    Cruise fares do not include:
    • Any ground services before and/or after the cruise other than the ones mentioned above
    • Pre or post-cruise programs, overland programs or shore excursions mentioned
    • Visa expenses and/or immigration reciprocity taxes if applicable
    • Luggage handling
    • 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)
    • Dives when authorized by local authorities and feasible with ship equipment and Zodiacs®. Rates: €70 per standard dive; €80 per dive when local equipment or staff must be used, €80 for a “discover scuba dive” course, on some cruises a dive package might be on offer. In order to participate to diving sessions, guests must have with them a medical certificate less than 1-year-old and their up to date dive book.
    These voyages include activities such as Zodiac® landings (sometimes wet landings), Zodiac® outings, moderate walks, to more active hikes. All this accompanied by your expedition team of naturalist guides. Considering the nature of the programs, a reasonable level of mobility is required to enjoy these expeditions.

    Ports of call, visited sites, outings and landings will depend on weather conditions, position of ice, winds and the state of the sea. These can force a change of plans at any time. The Captain and the Expedition Leader may at any time cancel or stop any activity, or even modify the itinerary. The final itinerary will be confirmed by the Captain, who will take into account the touristic quality of the sites and above all, the safety of the passengers. His decision will be based on advice from experts and authorities.
    Payment & Cancellation Policies
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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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