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The edge of Greenland's ice cap

Canadian Northwest Passage & Northern Lights

Kangerlussuaq Roundtrip - Example 18 Day Cruise aboard SH Vega
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Embark on an unforgettable 18-day Canadian Arctic Discovery cruise, starting from Greenland on the SH Vega expedition ship. Sail around Baffin Bay in the Canadian Arctic and venture through part of the Northwest Passage amidst stunning mountainous icebergs and picturesque fjords. This area is ice-bound for a significant part of the year. Witness polar bears and experience the enchanting sight of narwhals diving around you, their long white tusks breaking through the icy arctic waters. The landscapes will be adorned with arctic willow and purple saxifrage.
Colorful Sisimiut, GreenlandAmazing blue water and ice in GreenlandMidnight sun light, IlulissatDisko BayGet a close up view of the Greenland ice sheetThe edge of Greenland's ice cap
Highlights
  • Marvel at the glistening icebergs that crack off glaciers into the meltwater
  • Explore the nutrient-rich waters of Lancaster Sound
  • Admire the nesting birdlife on the craggy cliffs of Prince Leopold Island
  • Learn about the history of the Inuit, Dorset, and Thule people
Places Visited
Activity Level: Variable
Activity options vary depending on destination and operator. Activity level is determined by the range and intensity of activities you choose to participate in. Discuss with your Trip Planner which options are best for you.
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Full Itinerary

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Day 1: Reykjavik, Iceland

Arrive at the airport and head to the hotel via the group transfer to your hotel. Relax, and spend the overnight here preparing for your adventure.

*Pre/Post hotels and flights are always subject to change until the Travel Documents are provided.

Day 2: Kangerlussuaq | Embark

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Dinner
In the morning, you'll be transferred via group to the airport to catch your flight bound for Kangerlussuaq. Upon arrival, you'll join the group transfer to the port and set sail on the SH Vega for an exciting polar adventure.

Once a WWII airbase at the head of Kangerlussuaq Fjord, Kangerlussuaq's history is told at the airport’s museum, showcasing Inuit artifacts. This ice-filled glacial area and tundra is a haven for wildlife, including reindeer, arctic foxes, arctic hare, gyrfalcons, and around 10,000 muskoxen. Inland, Point 660 offers a chance to walk on the Greenland ice cap, and the 60-m tall Russell Glacier calving is a highlight nearby.

Day 3: Sisimiut

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The northernmost city in Greenland, just north of the Arctic Circle, Sisimiut remains ice-free in winter and is known as an adventure sports hub. Inhabited for more than 4,500 years by the Inuit, Dorset, and then Thule people, dog sled remains a common form of transport. Abandoned settlements lie between Sisimiut and the Thule district to the north. The area is home to humpback whales, walruses, and Arctic foxes in their summer coat.

Day 4: Ilulissat, Disko Bay

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Sailing through the iceberg capital of the world to Disko Bay, the Ilulissat Icefjord is one of the cruise highlights. Given UNESCO World Heritage Site status, the Ilulissat Icefjord is a popular tourist destination, and thanks to the productive Sermeq Kujalleq glacier, thousands of gargantuan icebergs calve from the Greenland ice cap into the sea. Ilulissat, formerly Jakobshavn or Jacobshaven, is home to as many sled dogs as people.

Included Excursion
Shuttle to Ilulissat Ice Fjord, Boardwalk, and Ice Fjord Centre: Explore the UNESCO Ilulissat Icefjord, home to the colossal Sermeq Kujalleq glacier—nearly 66,000 football fields wide. Hike the World Heritage Trail for stunning views and potential wildlife sightings. Dive into the ice cycle, wildlife, and human history at the Fjord Centre.

Ilulissat visit with Ice Fjord Centre and Boardwalk: The Ilulissat Icefjord Centre showcases the beauty and importance of the Icefjord. Learn about its geology and cultural significance, and admire towering icebergs. Explore freely and enjoy the flexible program.
 

Day 5: Qeqertarsuaq, Disko Bay

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Qeqertarsuaq is the largest town on Disko Island, Greenland's largest island, on its west coast, part of Disko Bay, a UNESCO-listed Site for its icebergs. The Lyngemark Glacier rises above the town. The area’s hills, basalt columns, and black sand beaches reflect its volcanic origin. The area is fertile and home to species not found elsewhere in Greenland. Keep an eye out for its hot springs as we move through floating icebergs and whales.

Included Excursion
Singing and storytelling in church: Feel the charm of the historic wooden church, erected in 1914, nestled in the heart of this seaside town. Savor the ethereal hymns sung in Greenlandic, woven with local tales, within its venerable walls.

Included Activities
Disko Island Discovery Walk: Discover black sand beaches and volcanoes with your Expedition Team. Experience the authentic lifestyle of Greenlandic communities and learn about the rich scientific legacy of the region at the Arctic Station.

Day 6: At Sea

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Sea days are rarely dull. Take the time to sit back and let the world go by. The ship’s observation decks provide stunning views of the passing ocean. A day at sea allows you to mingle with other passengers and share your experiences of this incredible trip or head to the library stocked with reference books. Get an expert’s view in one of the on-board lectures or perhaps perfect your photography skills with invaluable advice onboard professional photographers.

Day 7: Pond Inlet, Nunavut

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The views of snow-capped mountains have given Pond Inlet in northern Baffin Island the name of Canada’s ‘jewel of the north’ and the area is a prime breeding ground for narwhals - toothed whales with a distinct large tusk. The traditional Inuit community living in the hamlet of Mittimatalik is renowned for its craft skills from printmaking and stone carving. Nearby at Qulalukat the thousand-year-old Inuit sod houses, or qarmaq, merit a visit.

Included Activities
Pond Inlet Discovery & Community Activities: Zodiac to Inuit village on Baffin Island. Watch a captivating Inuit performance. Hike to Salmon Creek's archaeological site.

Day 8: Dundas Harbour | Croker Bay

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Dundas Harbour, the eastern entrance to the Northwest Passage on Devon Island, Canada's largest uninhabited island, shows signs of life despite the harsh terrain, with relics of a 1000 A.D. Thule settlement and a 1920s Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) outpost for controlling illegal whaling. Nearby Croker Bay is on the shores of iceberg-laden Lancaster Sound. The Devon ice cap feeds the huge South Croker Bay Glacier that calves into the bay.

Gracing the eastern high Arctic, Croker Bay, a mesmerizing Arctic waterway, carves its way into Devon Island within the vibrant Qikiqtaaluk Region. This deep inlet, an extension of Lancaster Sound and Barrow Strait, unveils a landscape of captivating beauty.

Included Activities
Discover Dundas Harbour abandoned community - Town Walk: Explore historic RCMP outpost on walking tour. Learn about ancient Thule settlements. Marvel at Devon Island's beauty: mountains, wildflowers, glaciers.

Zodiac Tour with Swan Hellenic Expedition Team: Embark on glacier exploration. The team navigates close for stunning views. Encounter birds, seals, walruses.

Day 9: Radstock Bay | Beechey Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
This area is closely associated with the exploration of Canada’s High Arctic and the Northwest Passage. Much of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago was mapped while searching for the missing crew of British explorer Sir John Franklin’s fateful 1845-46 Northwest Passage Expedition. Radstock Bay sits below the mighty Caswall Tower mountain and hides many secrets, with evidence of sled tracks, camps, and food tins that may help reveal what happened.

Beechey Island Sites, five historical sites in Canada's High Arctic, mark where British explorer Sir John Franklin wintered in 1845-46 during his fateful Northwest Passage Expedition. Much of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago was mapped while searching for the crew. Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen paid his respects to Franklin in 1903 before successfully discovering the Northwest Passage.

Included Activities
Nature & Discovery walk with Swan Hellenic Expedition Team: Explore the Canadian Arctic Archipelago with the Expedition Team. Discover Radstock Bay's mysteries: sledge tracks, Thule settlements. Visit Quarmat homes ashore.

Discovery walk with Swan Hellenic Expedition Team: Explore Beechey Island, Nunavut. Learn Sir John Franklin's fate. Discover historic sites.

Day 10: Port Leopold | Elwin Bay

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Port Leopold is a place of raw, rugged natural beauty and landscapes that evoke a sense of awe and wonder. The pristine wilderness and untouched terrain create a feeling of remoteness and isolation, while the Arctic wildlife that calls this place home adds a touch of wildness and unpredictability. The area's history as a former Hudson's Bay Company trading post also lends a sense of nostalgia and intrigue.

Crossing Lancaster Sound to Elwin Bay, the ship passes Prince Leopold Island, hosting over 500,000 nesting pairs of thick-billed murres, black guillemots, northern fulmars, and black-legged kittiwakes. Beluga whales molt in shallow gravel beds, while in Prince Regent Inlet, polar bears hunt ringed seals on sea ice. Somerset Island features Port Leopold, where James Clark Ross wintered during the 1848 search for the missing Franklin expedition.

Included Activities
Expedition Landing in remote Port Leopold: Explore remote Port Leopold, Nunavut. Learn about historical figures. Bird sanctuary listed.

Zodiac Cruise with your Swan Hellenic Expedition Team: Zodiac visit to Elwin Bay. Spot beluga pods in shallow waters. Cruise to cobblestone beach for fish runs. Disembark for exploration.

Day 11: Fort Ross | Cruising Bellot Strait

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Fort Ross, on Somerset Island, was the northernmost fur trading post of the Hudson’s Bay Company. Near the Bellot Strait, it was eventually abandoned due to harsh ice conditions. The strait separates Somerset Island from the Boothia Peninsula, home to Point Zenith, the northernmost continental point of the Americas. It's also where Sir James Clark Ross located the Magnetic North Pole during Sir John Ross's 1829 Arctic expedition.

The Bellot Strait, named in honor of the French explorer Joseph-René Bellot, is a narrow, 2.3-km-wide, and 25-km-long waterway. It separates Somerset Island to the north from the Boothia Peninsula to the south. This strait played a historical role during an expedition to locate Sir John Franklin's lost expedition, tragically marked by Bellot's death in the area in 1853.

Included Activities
Zodiac cruise by Fort Ross: Explore Somerset Island's landscapes and learn about James Clark Ross. Cruise by abandoned settlement.

Cruising or Zodiac cruising with your Swan Hellenic Expedition Team: Sail past Zenith Point, North America's northernmost. Explore narrow passages with ancient tales. Transit depends on tide, sea ice, and icebergs.

Day 12: Cruise Peel Sound | ​Coningham Bay

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Choked up by ice in winter, Peel Sound is a 125-mile-long channel separating Prince of Wales Island to the west and Somerset Island to the east. The icebound arctic waters thwarted several 19th-century explorers - Sir John Franklin in 1846, Francis Leopold McClintock in 1858, and Allen Young in 1875. Today, Peel Sound remains a challenging waterway but is also home to abundant wildlife, including polar bears, seals, and whales.

Coningham Bay, on Prince of Wales Island in the heart of the Northwest Passage, holds historical and cultural significance and serves as a haven for Arctic wildlife. The nutrient-rich waters attract beluga whales, sustaining the well-fed local polar bear population. The bay's rich history is intertwined with Arctic exploration, as Captain James Cook charted it in 1778 during his final voyage through the Northwest Passage.

​Included Activities
Cruising or Zodiac cruising with your Swan Hellenic Expedition Team: Explore Prince Leopold Island by ship or Zodiac. In Summer, witness flourishing bird breeding.

Cruising or Zodiac cruise in Coningham Bay: Guide shares polar bear hotspot, beluga-rich hunting ground. Remarkable Arctic wildlife site, good for fly fishing. Spot nature's incredible creatures from ship or Zodiac, spotting not guaranteed.

Day 13: At Sea

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Days at sea are the perfect chance to relax, unwind, and do whatever you fancy. So whether that is going to the gym, visiting the spa, trying to spot a whale from the deck, reading a chapter or two, or simply topping up your tan, these blue sea days are the perfect balance to the green days spent exploring on land.

Day 14: Sam Ford Fjord

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
A breathtaking natural wonder, Sam Ford Fjord's towering cliffs and crystal-clear waters create a serene atmosphere that will leave an everlasting impression on any visitor. The fjord offers an unforgettable adventure for those seeking an authentic Arctic experience - kayaking among icebergs, hiking on the tundra, climbing rocky cliffs, and observing local wildlife like polar bears, arctic foxes, and beluga whales.

​Included Activities
Discover majestic Sam Ford Fjord: Discover Kangiqtualuk Uqquqti fjord on Baffin Island. Stretching 110km, it is a rich hunting ground for the Inuit. Weather permitting, explore diverse landscapes with the Expedition Team.

Day 15: Qikiqtarjuaq

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Qikiqtarjuaq is a remote, beautiful Baffin Island community surrounded by towering mountains and glaciers. The rugged landscape and pristine wilderness offer endless opportunities for outdoor adventure, from kayaking to wildlife watching. The town's Inuit culture and traditions are still alive. But what sets Qikiqtarjuaq apart is the warmth and hospitality of its people, who welcome visitors and share their rich history and traditions with pride.

​Included Activities
Discover the remote Inuit Hamlet and the natural beauty of Qikiqtarjuaq: Explore the picturesque community of Qikiqtarjuaq, meaning ‘big island.’ Strategically located for iceberg viewing down the Davis Strait. Spot emblematic Arctic wildlife species.

Day 16: Day at Sea

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Today, as you sail, you can enjoy the luxurious amenities of your ship. You can marvel at the stunning sea views from the deck, relax with a soothing facial treatment or massage in the spa, or explore the ship's learning resources. Alternatively, you can retreat to your cabin and unwind with some rest.

Day 17: Kangerlussuaq

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Once a WWII airbase at the head of Kangerlussuaq Fjord, Kangerlussuaq's history is told at the airport's museum, showcasing Inuit artifacts. This ice-filled glacial area and tundra is a haven for wildlife, including reindeer, arctic foxes, arctic hare, gyrfalcons, and around 10,000 muskoxen. Inland, Point 660 offers a chance to walk on the Greenland ice cap, and the 60-m tall Russell Glacier calving is a highlight nearby.

Day 18: Kangerlussuaq | Disembark

  • 1 Breakfast
On this day, make your farewell to your fellow travelers and crew. Head to the airport via the group transfer provided and then catch the flight to Reykjavik.

Ship/Hotel

SH Vega

SH Vega
SH Vega Club Lounge
SH Vega Club Lounge

Reykjavik - Hotels

Dates & Prices

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Per person starting at
$21,980 2-3 travelers
Rates are subject to change without notice. Book early to get the best rate.
SH Vega Suite OceanViewOceanview
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Oceanview D4
19 m2, Oceanview staterooms features 2 single beds, bedroom and living room and a luxurious ensuite bathroom.
SH Vega Suite OceanViewOceanview
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Oceanview M4
19 m2, Oceanview staterooms features 2 single beds, bedroom and living room and a luxurious ensuite bathroom.
Balcony
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Balcony D5
28 m2, Located at the forward and aft of the ship, these balcony staterooms feature 2 single beds or double bed bedrooms with a living room area, a luxurious bathroom and your own private 6m2 balcony
Balcony
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Balcony M5
28 m2, Located at the center of the ship, these balcony staterooms feature 2 single beds or double bed bedrooms with a living room area, a luxurious bathroom and your own private 6m2 balcony
Balcony
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Balcony D6
28 m2, Located on deck six, these balcony staterooms feature 2 single beds or double bed bedroom with living room area, a luxurious bathroom and your own private 6m2 balcony
SH Vega SuitePremium suitePremium Suite
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Suite
44 m2, Our Suites features a super king bed and separate living room with and a soothing flame-effect fireplace a luxurious ensuite bathroom, and a 12 sq.m. private balcony.
SH Vega Suite PremiumSH Vega Suite PremiumPremium suitePremium Suite
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Premium Suite
49 m2, Our grandest suites feature a super king bed and separate living room with and a soothing flame-effect fireplace a luxurious ensuite bathroom, a spacious walk-in wardrobe, and a 12 sq.m private balcony.
Included
  • 17 Breakfasts, 15 Lunches, 16 Dinners
  • 17 Nights Accommodations
  • Accommodations as listed
  • Ground transportation as listed
  • Activities as listed
  • Meals as listed
  • Access to a 24-7 Emergency line while traveling
  • Room Service 
  • Wifi
  • Coffee, tea, soft drinks and selected alcoholic beverages available 24-hours per day
  • Lecture programs by our experienced expedition team and guest speakers
  • Onboard gratuities & port taxes
  • Branded Swan Hellenic expedition parka and use of rubber boots in Polar Regions.
  • Group return transfers from the airport to the cruise port (via our included accommodation where applicable)
  • One night pre-cruise accommodation with breakfast in a 4/5-star hotel or onboard
  • Self-service laundry 
  • Regional flights to the port of embarkation and/or disembarkation (where specified)
  • One selected shore excursion/expedition activities per port of call (Kayak not included, bookable for a fee on board)
Excluded
  • Travel Insurance
  • Personal Expenses
  • Flight costs (please request a quote)
  • Additional excursions during free time
  • Fuel and transportation surcharges (when applicable)
  • Passport and Applicable Visa Expenses
  • We recommend every traveler to take out a travel cancellation insurance, travel interruption insurance and a travel health insurance policy with an assumption of the return transport costs of repatriation

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Beyond expectations! Then again we weren't sure what to expect. Lovely stay at the lodge, met other like-minded travelers (many had their trips planned by Adventure Life) and the owner was a gracious hostess. It felt like you were one happy family, visiting with a favorite aunt.
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