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Views of the Ilulissat Icefjord

Northwest Passage: Epic High Arctic

Example 17 Day Cruise aboard Ultramarine
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The fabled sea route connecting the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, the Northwest Passage continues to grip the collective imagination. On this captivating 17-day voyage, you are invited aboard the game-changing new vessel, Ultramarine, to explore this fascinating waterway with an incredible range of on-board comforts and off-ship adventures no other vessel can offer. Passing through the Canadian Arctic archipelago, guests will journey back in time to the height of Arctic exploration, navigating the waters explored by sailors from different lands and visiting the sites that helped unlock the eventual discovery of this long-coveted route. 

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Arrive in Toronto, Canada
Day 2 : Fly to Resolute | Embark
Days 3-6 : Exploring Canada’s High Arctic
Days 7-8 : Exploring Smith Sound
Day 9 : Qaanaaq, Greenland
Day 10 : At Sea
Days 11-15 : Exploring West Greenland
Day 16 : Disembark in Kangerlussuaq | Fly to Toronto
Day 17 : Toronto | Departure

Highlights

  • Experience highlights of the Canadian Arctic and Greenland
  • Visit traditional Inuit and Greenlandic communities
  • Explore the Ilulissat Icefjord, a UNESCO World Heritage Site

Ship

Ultramarine

Places Visited

Activities

Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level

Easy Active

Trip Snapshots

Kayaking in the Northwest Passage Humpback whales in Greenland Views of the Ilulissat Icefjord Arctic wildlife Hiking in Radstock Bay, Nunavut Isabella Bay, Nunavut
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Day 1 Arrive in Toronto, Canada

Your Arctic expedition begins in Toronto. Explore this vibrant city on your own before spending the night at your well-appointed hotel.

Day 2 Fly to Resolute | Embark

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Dinner
This morning, board your charter flight to Resolute. Upon arrival, you’ll have a chance to walk around this small Arctic town before enjoying your first of many Zodiac cruises as you’re transferred to your ship.

Day 3-6 Exploring Canada’s High Arctic

  • Ship
  • 4 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, 4 Dinners
Cruising around the remote regions of Greenland and the Canadian Arctic aboard Ultramarine, you’ll navigate the same icy inlets, channels and bays that fascinated legendary explorers of long ago.

Named after explorer Frederick William Beechey, of the Royal Navy, Beechey Island is a Canadian National Historic Site. It’s an important stop on your voyage, as this is the final resting place of three members of Sir John Franklin’s ill-fated 1845–46 expedition to find the Northwest Passage. 

Radstock Bay is a popular research location for observing polar bears, which are often seen here in summer. An impressive Thule archaeological site provides insight into how these pre-Inuit people lived in the Far North.

For almost 5,000 years, the hamlet of Arctic Bay and its surrounding area has been occupied by Inuit nomads migrating from the west. Surrounded by soaring cliffs teeming with seabirds, this is a great spot to go ashore and learn about the Inuit community’s traditional way of life.

The eastern end of Lancaster Sound affords numerous hiking opportunities on Devon Island. You’ll anchor at Croker Bay, where you’ll Zodiac cruise along the face of an active glacier. You'll keep a safe distance, but still hope to get close enough to appreciate the splendor of calving ice. Walrus frequent the waters here, so be sure to have your camera handy. A hike to a nearby archaeological site is another possible excursion. At Dundas Harbour, trek along a beach to a former Royal Canadian Mounted Police outpost. Encounters with muskoxen are possible here.

Canada’s most northern settlement, Grise Fjord will be your final shore visit in the Canadian High Arctic. Now home to about 150 residents, the traditional, mostly Inuit community was created in 1953, when the federal government resettled eight Inuit families from northern Quebec. Hunting and fishing are a significant part of their way of life. Visit the monument to the first Inuit settlers, as well as the remnants of the “old camp” where they lived.

Day 7-8 Exploring Smith Sound

  • Ship
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
Before saying goodbye to Canada, you’ll try to cruise as far north as possible, exploring both sides of Smith Sound, the uninhabited passage between Ellesmere Island and Greenland.

Day 9 Qaanaaq, Greenland

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Your first stop in Greenland is Qaanaaq, formerly known as Thule, one of the northernmost towns in the world (there’s a reason ancient philosophers called it Ultima Thule, or “edge of known territory”). Here, local Inuit share their culture and traditions, and the museum sheds more light on what it’s like living near the top of the world.

Day 10 At Sea

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
As you sail south along the west coast of Greenland, presentations by on-board experts will prepare you for the adventures that lie ahead.

Day 11-15 Exploring West Greenland

  • Ship
  • 5 Breakfasts, 5 Lunches, 5 Dinners
With spectacular glaciers, soaring fjords and vibrant communities, the west coast of Greenland will leave you breathless.

Nuussuaq (formerly known as Kraulshavn) is the only mainland community in the Upernavik Archipelago. Founded in 1923 as a trading station, it’s one of the most traditional hunting and fishing villages in Greenland.

It’s not surprising that the red-hued, heart-shaped mountain that rises up behind Uummannaq gave the traditional community its name (Uummannaq means “heart-like” in Greenlandic). As your ship approaches the shore, you’ll want to be on deck to take in the incredible view of the twin peaks towering over the vibrantly painted wooden houses dotting the rocky terrain below. 

In the nearby archaeological site of Qilaqitsoq (also known as Qilakitsoq), you’ll visit the ruins of an ancient settlement, where the remains of eight fully dressed mummies were discovered under a rock outcrop in 1972 by a pair of hunters. The famous Greenlandic mummies, which date back to 1475 A.D., are on view at the Greenland National Museum in Nuuk.

Cruising farther south rewards with spectacular views of Eqip Sermia. The jagged, blue-tinged glacier soaring out of the crystal-clear water is one of the most beautiful sights in Greenland.

Just south of Ilulissat, which means “iceberg” in Greenlandic, is the impressive Ilulissat Icefjord. The UNESCO World Heritage Site is home to Sermeq Kujalleq, the most productive glacier in the northern hemisphere. As you Zodiac cruise at the mouth of the fjord, you may be lucky to witness the wonders of calving ice (listen to the loud roars as the ice breaks off).

In Sisimiut, you’ll be treated to a traditional kayaking demonstration. You’ll also have a chance to hike amongst the area’s surrounding mountains.

Situated in a scenic hollow on a small island with no freshwater, the colorful community of Itilleq, which has about 130 inhabitants, is surrounded by sea, mountains and fjords. The final excursion of your Arctic adventure may be a hike around Itilleq Fjord.

Day 16 Disembark in Kangerlussuaq | Fly to Toronto

Enjoy one more Zodiac ride to shore, where you’ll board your charter flight back to Toronto, Canada. Upon arrival in Toronto, you will be transferred to your included hotel.

Day 17 Toronto | Departure

  • 1 Breakfast
Today, you can make your way home at your leisure or spend some time exploring this fascinating city.
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Ultramarine

Toronto

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Deals

50% Reduced Deposit
Arctic Savings - Book until November 30, 2020 and pay 10% deposit instead of the regular 20% to confirm reservation. For new bookings after July 9, 2020 only. Some restrictions may apply. Contact us for details.
Applicable to all departures up to September 30, 2022.

Save 15%
Early Booking Savings - Book until September 30, 2020 and save 15% off per person. Valid for Standard cabin types, except Triples. For new bookings after July 9, 2020. Select departures only. Contact us for details.
Applies to Aug 31, 2021 departure

Save 15%
Early Booking Savings - Book until September 30, 2020 and save 15% off per person. Valid for Premium cabin types. For new bookings after July 9, 2020. Select departures only. Contact us for details.
Applies to Aug 31, 2021 departure

Save 10%
Full Payment Savings - Pay in full by September 30, 2020 and save an additional 10% off per person. For new bookings after July 9, 2020. Select departures only. Contact us for details.
Applies to Aug 31, 2021 departure

Per person starting at
$14,495
Select a Date
Solo Panorama
Located on Deck 6, approximately 132 sq. ft. Features a single bed, floor-to-ceiling window, desk, refrigerator, TV, a private bathroom with shower and heated floors.
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Explorer Triple
Located on Deck 3, approximately 285 sq. ft. Features three single beds (two of which can be combined into a double bed), sitting area, picture window, desk, refrigerator, TV, private bathroom with shower and heated floors.
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Explorer Suite
Located on Deck 3, approximately 285 sq. ft. Features one double or two single beds, sitting area with sofa bed, picture window, desk, refrigerator, TV, private bathroom with shower and heated floors.
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Balcony Suite
Located on Decks 4 and 6, with approximately 226 sq. ft. Features one double or two single beds, sitting area with sofa bed, private balcony, desk, refrigerator, TV, private bathroom with shower and heated floors.
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Deluxe Balcony Suite
Located on Decks 4 and 6, with approximately 299 sq. ft. Features one double or two single beds, sitting area with sofa bed, private balcony, desk, refrigerator, TV, private bathroom with shower, bathtub and heated floors.
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Terrace Suite
Located on Deck 6, with approximately 350 sq. ft. Features one double or two single beds, sitting area with sofa bed, private extra-wide balcony, desk, refrigerator, TV, private bathroom with shower, bathtub and heated floors.
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Penthouse Suite
Located on Deck 7, with approximately 369 sq. ft. Features one double or two single beds, sitting area with sofa bed, private balcony, desk, refrigerator, TV, private bathroom with shower, bathtub and heated floors.
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Owner's Suite
Located on Deck 6, with approximately 446 sq. ft. Features one double or two single beds in a private bedroom with walk-in closet, sitting area with sofa bed and additional closet, private balcony, desk, refrigerator, TV, private bathroom with shower, bathtub and heated floors and separate powder room.
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Ultra Suite
Located on Deck 6, with approximately 563 sq. ft. Features one double or two single beds in a private bedroom with walk-in closet, sitting area with sofa bed and additional walk-in hallway closet, private balcony, refrigerator, TV, private bathroom.

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.

- Standard Cabins are available for single occupancy at 1.7 times the double occupancy rate. The supplement for a Premium Cabin is 2 times the shared rate.

Rate Includes: 
  • Leadership throughout your voyage by our experienced Expedition Leaders, including shore landings and other activities
  • All Zodiac transfers and cruising per the daily program
  • All shore landings per the daily program
  • Shipboard accommodation with daily housekeeping
  • All meals, snacks, soft drinks and juices on board throughout your voyage (Please inform us of any dietary requirements as far in advance as possible. Unfortunately, the ships’ galleys cannot prepare kosher meals.)
  • Beer and wine during dinner; and coffee, tea and cocoa available around the clock
  • Formal and informal presentations by our Expedition Team and guest speakers as scheduled
  • A photographic journal documenting the expedition
  • A pair of waterproof expedition boots on loan for landings and Zodiac cruising excursions
  • An official Quark Expeditions® parka to keep
  • Complimentary reusable water bottle
  • Hair dryer and bathrobes in every cabin
  • All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the program
  • All luggage handling aboard the ship
  • Emergency Evacuation insurance for all passengers to a maximum benefit of USD $500,000 per person
  • Greenland voyages cruise passenger tax
Rate Exclusions: 
  • Mandatory Transfer Package* 
  • International airfare
  • Arrival and departure transfers, except where listed in the Mandatory Transfer Package
  • Passport and visa expenses
  • Government arrival and departure taxes not mentioned above
  • Meals ashore unless otherwise specified
  • Baggage, cancellation, interruption and medical travel insurance—strongly recommended
  • Excess-baggage fees on international flights
  • Mandatory waterproof pants for Zodiac cruising, or any other gear not mentioned
  • Laundry, bar, beverage and other personal charges unless specified
  • Phone and Internet charges
  • Voluntary gratuity at the end of the voyage for shipboard staff and crew
  • Additional overnight accommodation
  • Adventure Options not listed in Included Activities
Mandatory Transfer Package*
  • One night’s pre-expedition airport hotel accommodation in Toronto
  • Group transfer from the Toronto hotel to the airport on Day ”
  • Charter flight from Toronto to Resolute
  • Group transfer from the Resolute airport to the ship on embarkation day
  • Group transfer from the ship to the Kangerlussuaq airport on disembarkation day
  • Charter flight from Kangerlussuaq to Toronto
  • One night’s post-expedition airport hotel accommodation in Toronto
PACKAGE PRICE: $ 2,895 USD

Important reminder: Embracing the unexpected is part of the legacy—and excitement—of expedition travel. When traveling in extremely remote regions, your expedition staff must allow the sea, the ice and the weather to guide route and itinerary details. This itinerary is a tentative outline of what you’ll experience on this voyage; please be aware that no specific itinerary can be guaranteed.
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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.
Lisa Bridge
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