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Disko Bay

The Northwest Passage, in the wake of Roald Amundsen

Kangerlussuaq - Nome, Alaska - Example 23 Day Cruise aboard Le Boreal
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Experience this 23-day The Northwest Passage, in the wake of Roald Amundsen Cruise aboard Le Boreal, starting from Kangerlussuaq and concluding in Nome. Join renowned Australian photo ambassador Nick Rains, retracing Roald Amundsen's footsteps through the Northwest Passage. Discover the Far North's remote beauty, from Greenland's vibrant villages to the stunning panoramas along its west coast. Encounter Inuit traditions in Gjoa Haven and retrace Franklin's expedition at Beechey Island. Sail through majestic fjords, spot polar bears, and beluga whales, and explore surreal landscapes. This exceptional journey offers iconic wildlife, breathtaking scenery, and unforgettable encounters with the North's inhabitants.
Amazing blue water and ice in GreenlandColorful Sisimiut, GreenlandIce Bridge near Baffin IslandSled dogs on Baffin Island, CanadaMidnight sun light, IlulissatDisko Bay
Highlights
  • Cross the Northwest Passage, the famous labyrinthine shipping route at the boundaries of the Far North
  • Join renowned Australian photo ambassador Nick Rains and retrace Amundsen's footsteps
  • Discover the beauty of the Far North, including Greenland's villages
  • Encounter Inuit traditions in Gjoa Haven and Beechey Island
  • Sail through fjords, spot polar bears and beluga whales, and landscapes
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: Kangerlussuaq | Embark

From 1941 to 1992, the town of Kangerlussuaq in Greenland was home to an American military base. Nowadays, thanks to its international airport, it has become a transit point for travellers seeking adventure in the Far North. Located to the north of the Arctic Circle, this town is the starting point of magnificent discoveries surrounded by unspoiled nature. Indeed, just a few dozen kilometres from there it is possible to get close to the Greenland ice sheet, the largest body of ice in the Northern Hemisphere. From Kangerlussuaq, admire also the superb landscapes of tundra in autumnal colors, where Arctic hares, musk oxen, Arctic foxes, reindeer, falcons, and eagles live. 
 

Day 2: Sisimut

During your cruise, discover Sisimiut, founded in 1756 and the second-largest town in Greenland. This small town is typical of Greenland, boasting bewitching panoramas: here and there, colorful stilt houses dot the undulating landscape, and the small fishing port stands as the gateway to an icy realm. As for the town center, it is home to a number of historic buildings, a small church, and a museum that retraces the history of the Inuit people, as well as many craft shops. When your ship drops anchor here, you will set out to meet the locals in a typically arctic atmosphere.

Day 3: Disko Bay

To the east of Baffin Bay, discover Disko Bay, scattered with countless icebergs produced by the Ilulissat Icefjord, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. From your ship, admire the majestic ballet of these ice giants as they slowly drift across the dark waters. This site is a natural marvel of Greenland and is also renowned as an observation point for the region’s many humpback whales. The encounters with wild fauna and stunning landscapes in the heart of this spectacular and fragile nature will be pure moments of wonder for you.
 

Day 4: Paul-Émile Victor Base Camp, Eqi Glacier

"The most beautiful place in the Arctic" is how Paul-Émile Victor described Greenland, a land of great icebergs and towering ice formations calved by the giant glaciers of the polar ice cap. The Eqi Glacier is one of the region’s most impressive sights. Here, the silence is broken only by the roaring and cracking of the ice. It is impossible to know if one is shivering from the cold or from the sheer thrill of being here... Imagine the vast outline of a glacier, its translucent crystals glowing with an ice-blue fire in the sunlight. Paul-Émile Victor’s shelter cannot be overlooked; it was from here that the French Polar Expeditions’ anthropological and geographic explorations set off in the 1950s. 
 

Day 5: Akulleq

In the curve of Uummannaq Bay, opposite a narrow passage between two islands, you will discover the moonscape of the small desert island of Akulleq. The ochre yellow and orange of this mineral site look ablaze under the sunshine of the polar summer. From the island’s summit, you will be able to contemplate a panoramic view of the bay’s magical landscape and its huge icebergs with surprising shapes.

Day 6: Kullorsuaq

Well beyond the Arctic Circle, in the majestic landscapes of Greenland’s Northwest, you will find the village of Kullorsuaq, the last bastion of Greenland’s traditional hunters. Here is where you will find Greenland’s true character… Vast mineral expanses, sumptuous mountains, impressive glaciers, and, above all, the local population still lives off fishing and seal or bear hunting. Hospitality and respect for nature are essential elements in the daily lives of these men, who live an austere life. When we drop anchor in this remote part of the world, set off to discover these friendly people who are also talented craftsmen, deftly sewing the furs and skins of marine mammals. This will be a unique and authentic experience.
 

Day 7: Savissivik

Some places in this world are so magical that their beauty cannot be described in words. Savissivik, a small Inuit village with less than a hundred inhabitants, is one such place. Rightly considered to be the biggest iceberg graveyard in Greenland, it is a stunning sight to behold. During your zodiac outing, you will sail between these icy giants. Once on land, you can hike to a viewpoint from which to enjoy breathtaking views over these icebergs, which come in an incredibly diverse range of shapes and colors. Photographers will love it. Savissivik Bay attracts many bears and is also known for having been the home of one of the world’s biggest meteorites, but the latter has now been moved to a museum in New York.
 

Day 8: Pond Inlet, Nunavut

On Baffin Island, located in northern Canada at the mouth of the famous North-West Passage, there is a small Inuit settlement at the very bounds of infinity. To get there, cross the Arctic Circle, the imaginary line that separates man from lands of mystery and wonder. It’s not so much the way of life that sets Pond Inlet’s inhabitants apart, so much as the setting. Snow-capped mountains, fjords, and glaciers combine in a dazzling natural environment that fills space and expands time. Some discoveries change you forever: this is one of them.
 

Day 9: Beechey Island, Nunavut

Beechey Island, at the eastern end of Resolute Bay, will call to mind some of the most important moments of Franklin’s expedition. Sir John set off in 1845 in search of the mythical Northwest Passage and was forced to take shelter in Erebus Harbor for two long years, while he waited for the ice floes to recede and allow him a way through. It is a spectacular location; seeing the three wooden grave markers, bleached by the sun (indicating the burial places of at least three of Captain Franklin’s men) and visiting the memorial that has been erected in memory of Franklin and his men can only reinforce the hushed sense of reverence. If the surrounding wilderness impresses us, the ochre and yellows of the rocky desert soften the landscape.
 

Day 10: Fury Beach, Nunavut

The ice floe gradually appears as you approach Somerset Island, in the heart of the North West Passage. In a zodiac dinghy, you will land on Fury Beach, a place with a rich history where the English explorer William Edward Parry ran aground in 1825. He left materials and supplies here in order to help the next expeditions that would pass by this site. During your hike around the majestic canyon of Fury Beach, you’ll be dazzled by the surprising landscape: the turquoise green water and sheer cliffs are reminiscent of the Grand Canyon or the High Atlas in Morocco. If fortune smiles on you, you will perhaps come across a family of polar bears roaming the enormous ice floes. A sublime hike; a sense of wonder is guaranteed. 
 

Day 11: Fort Ross, Nunavut | Bellot Strait | Coningham Bay, Nunavut

Discover Fort Ross, the last trading post established by the Hudson's Bay Company. Constructed in 1937, it was used as a fur and whaling trading post at the same time. Fort Ross, located on a small island at the entrance to the Bellot Strait, is still home to this former store as well as the house for the manager and staff. The interior of these two buildings has been damaged over time by the presence of polar bears. After a short walk towards the summits of the island, you will be able to enjoy a breathtaking panoramic view over the Bellot Strait and the surrounding area.

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 a magnificent décor covered in snow, fragmented by large ice floes. As you sail between them, your ship will perhaps be accompanied by a few polar bears. 

At the heart of the legendary Northwest Passage, discover the sheltered Coningham Bay in the southeast of Prince of Wales Island. The surrounding waters, rich in nutrients brought in by the tides and currents, are home to cetaceans including beluga whales. The polar bear, lord of the Arctic, has also established its realm on this hunting ground where food tends to be abundant. When conditions are favorable, extraordinary encounters with wildlife are possible in these isolated lands.

Day 12: Gjoa Haven, Nunavut

Discovered by the Scottish explorer John Ross in 1830, King William Island was named in honor of the reigning British King. In September 1903, Captain Roald Amundsen was the first to drop anchor at Gjoa Haven, the only inhabited part of the island, where a few Inuit were the only sign of human life. The Norwegian sailor decided to overwinter here for two years, to attempt to find the location of the mysterious Magnetic North Pole. Roald Amundsen interacted with the local Inuit to learn how to survive in these extreme conditions and freezing temperatures. We invite you to discover this small hamlet in the Nunavut region, located just above the Arctic Circle. Do not miss this unique opportunity to discover these forgotten lands.
 

Day 13: At Sea

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. Depending on the season, let yourself be tempted by the swimming pool or a spot of sunbathing. 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 PONANT 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 14: Edinburgh Island, Nunavut

Fall under the charm of small and uninhabited Edinburgh Island, in Nunavut. Blueberries, crowberries, arctic willow, and cranberries: vegetation rules the roost here, with no fewer than 19 types of dwarf shrubs, berries, and flowers identified. In autumn, these species are adorned with shimmering colors that produce a magnificent picture. The tundra, dotted with red and yellow touches, competes in its beauty with the superb ochres of the sandy beaches and the dark tones of the surrounding cliffs. At the end of a walk towards the heights of the island, enjoy a superb panorama with a view over lakes, sea, and basalt mountains. An enchanting place, frequented by caribous, peregrine falcons, reindeer, Arctic foxes, and hares.
 

Day 15: Holman (Ulukhaktok)

Set off to meet the inhabitants of Holman for an unforgettable moment in the midst of a welcoming community. With some 500 inhabitants, this hamlet located on the west of Victoria Island has learned how best to adapt to an at-times harsh environment and a difficult climate. As you visit this village in the Canadian Far North, admire the prints and other objects created by the very rich local craftsmanship. Traditional singing and dancing are also part of the daily life of this commune, to the great delight of fans of Inuit culture. The village of Holman, also called Ulukhaktok, is one of those places in which you can share an authentic experience in a remote land. 
 

Day 16: Jesse Harbour

In the glacial waters of the Beaufort Sea, on the eastern shores of Banks Island, Jesse Harbour is thought of as the end of the world, beyond the 72nd parallel north. The island is known for its large population of musk oxen, these behemoths covered in thick fur, perfectly adapted to the harsh Arctic climate. In these distant polar lands, the changing weather imposes its will. Conditions permitting, an outing and various hikes will provide an opportunity to get as close as possible to the abundant fauna that inhabits the ice floe and this far-flung world.
 

Day 17: Smoking Hills

In the far north of the Northwest Territories, nestling at the junction of the Amundsen Gulf, the Smoking Hill astonishes, intrigues, and captivates. Considered one of the most fascinating and mysterious phenomena on the planet, this geological paradise, where dozens of kilometers of smoke columns emanate from impressive cliffs colored in ochre and crimson, will take you on a timeless journey. Spotted for the first time by the British navigator John Franklin during an exploration of the region in 1926, these smoking strata of hydrocarbons result from the chemical reaction between the oil shales and the lignite deposits, a mix of clay shale and pyrite that spontaneously ignites on contact with air, causing this unique natural phenomenon. 
 

Day 18: Sailing in Beaufort Sea

Delimited by the entrance to the Northwest Passage and the Amundsen Gulf to the east and by Canada’s Yukon and Northwest Territories to the west, the Beaufort Sea makes up part of the – almost – inaccessible Arctic Ocean. Due to its extreme weather conditions, it was not explored until 1914, by the Canadian explorer Vilhjalmur Stefansson. However, it was named after Francis Beaufort, a British admiral and hydrographer. You will sail on these remote waters strewn with a mosaic of ice resulting from sea-ice breakup. Surrounded by this stunning scenery, you may spot a few belugas and bowhead whales, established in colonies in the region. 

 

Day 19: King Point, Yukon

On the edge of the Beaufort Sea, on the northeastern side of the Yukon, one of the three territories in the far north of Canada, you will sail near King Point. It was off its rocky coast edged with tundra that Roald Amundsen anchored with other whalers after crossing the legendary Northwest Passage aboard the Gjöa, and wintered from August 1905 to March 1906. One of his crewmen, Gustav Juel Wiik, a young engineer who died of respiratory problems, is buried inside the King Point magnetic observatory. If conditions are favorable, guests could enjoy exceptional encounters with an abundance of wildlife common in the area, including polar bears.

Day 20-21: Sailing in Beaufort Sea

Delimited by the entrance to the Northwest Passage and the Amundsen Gulf to the east and by Canada’s Yukon and Northwest Territories to the west, the Beaufort Sea makes up part of the – almost – inaccessible Arctic Ocean. Due to its extreme weather conditions, it was not explored until 1914, by the Canadian explorer Vilhjalmur Stefansson. However, it was named after Francis Beaufort, a British admiral and hydrographer. You will sail on these remote waters strewn with a mosaic of ice resulting from sea-ice breakup. Surrounded by this stunning scenery, you may spot a few belugas and bowhead whales, established in colonies in the region. 

Day 22: King Island, Alaska

Situated in the Bering Sea, King Island was discovered in 1778. It is named after James King, a crew member of the expedition led by James Cook. King Island was inhabited by a group of Inupiat until the mid-20th century; their now-abandoned village was called Ukivok. You will enjoy sailing around this island with its sheer cliffs that shelter many bird species, such as tufted and horned puffins, black-legged kittiwakes, and thick-billed murres.

Day 23: Nome, Alaska | Disembark

  • 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.
 

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Le Boreal

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Enjoy the view from the bar.
Enjoy a gourmet meal at the Gastronomic Restaurant.

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$24,990 2-3 travelers
Rates are dynamic and fluctuate based on capacity. Contact us for a specific quote.
Superior Stateroom
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Superior Stateroom
8 cabins, 226 sq ft, located on Le Champollion Deck. A/C, king or twin beds, seating area and private bath.
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Deluxe Stateroom
28 cabins, 200 sq ft with private balcony. A/C, king or twin beds, seating area, private bath.
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Prestige Stateroom - Deck 4
Deck 4, 200 sq ft with 43 sq ft private balcony. A/C, king or twin beds, seating area, private bath.
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Prestige Stateroom - Deck 5
Deck 5, 200 sq ft with 43 sq ft private balcony. A/C, king or twin beds, seating area, private bath.
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Prestige Stateroom - Deck 6
Deck 6, 200 sq ft with 43 sq ft private balcony. A/C, king or twin beds, seating area, private bath.
Deluxe Suite
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Deluxe Suites
3 suites, 290 sq ft with 54 sq ft private balcony, located on the Le France Deck. A/C, king or twin beds, seating area, desk, minibar, private bath.
Prestige Suite
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Prestige Suite - Deck 5
398 sq ft with 86 sq ft private balcony. A/C, king or twin beds, communicating cabins available. Separate living area, private bath.
Prestige Suite
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Prestige Suite - Deck 6
398 sq ft with 86 sq ft private balcony. A/C, king or twin beds, communicating cabins available. Separate living area, private bath.
Owner's Suite
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Owners Suite
1 suite, 484 sq ft with 97 sq ft private balcony. A/C, king or twin beds, communicating cabins available. Separate living, dining areas, private bath with large tub and shower, minibar, 2 flat screen TVs, DVD, CD, and IPOD, Video on demand, Satellite phone.

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 subject to change without notice.
Included
  • 22 Breakfasts, 21 Lunches, 22 Dinners
  • 22 Nights Accommodations
  • Accommodations as listed
  • Ground transportation as listed
  • Activities as listed
  • Meals as listed
  • Access to a 24-7 Emergency line while traveling
  • Port Fees
  • Unlimited Wifi
  • Onboard Entertainment 
  • Captain’s Welcome Cocktail and Gala Dinner
  • Gratuities to Onboard Crew
  • “Open Bar” (pouring wines, house champagne, alcohol except premium brands...list available upon request)
  • 24h Room Service (special selection)
  • English-Speaking Lecturer 
  • Highly experienced and bilingual (French-English) expedition staff
  • Park Entry Fees into Protected Areas
  • 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. 
  • Flights: Paris - Kangerlussuaq - Nome - Seattle  in Economy Class
  • Transfer to the airport in time for check-in for the PONANT selected flight from Nome to Seattle
Excluded
  • Travel Insurance
  • Personal Expenses
  • Flight costs (please request a quote)
  • Fuel and transportation surcharges (when applicable)
  • Visa Fees
  • Optional Excursions - Ponant allows you to pre-book your excursions approximately six to two months prior to the cruise* departure. Please note that this is subject to change. Please contact us for more details.
  • Any ground services before and/or after the cruise other than the ones mentioned
  • Luggage Handling 
  • Laundry Services, Hair Salon, and à La Carte Spa Treatments
  • Pre or post cruise programs, overland programs or shore excursions 
  • Beverages other than the ones mentioned in inclusions
  • CDP recommends that every Traveler has full and adequate travel insurance covering the risks of cancellation, assistance being required, repatriation, damages to and loss of baggage, and medical expenses

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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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