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Hiking through the arctic tundra.

Out of the Northwest Passage

Example 17 Day Cruise aboard Ocean Endeavour
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An iconic journey, the Northwest Passage remains an adventure today. Join this 17-day journey as it sets sail eastward from Kugluktuk toward Gjoa Haven, where Amundsen honed his polar skills. Sail the Queen Maud Gulf, stopping for daily hikes and Zodiac cruises. Continue on to Beechey Island, Devon Island, and Canada's northernmost community, Aujuittuq (Grise Fjord), before continuing north to Greenland.
A polar bear and her cub relaxing in the ice.A local stands in traditional dress for the arctic.The White-Beaked Dolphin swimming by the Greenland coast.A local boy carries the flag of Greenland.Hiking through the arctic tundra.
Places Visited
Trip Type:
  • Small Ship
Activity Level: Relaxed

Full Itinerary

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Day 1: Embark in Kugluktuk, Nunuvut

Arrive in Kugluktuk, located at the mouth of the Coppermine River on the Coronation Gulf. Kugluktuk is the westernmost community in Nunavut and the perfect place to begin your journey - because the tundra is close to the tree line, a variety of wildlife can be viewed in the area, including grizzly bears, wolverines and moose, as well as tundra wildlife, such as muskoxen, caribou, foxes and wolves. Set sail heading east.

Day 2: Kitlineq (Victoria Island)

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The eighth largest island in the world, Victoria Island is found on the border between Nunavut and the Northwest Territories. The main community to be found here is Cambridge Bay, with a population of just over 1,000. Depending on conditions, you crew may decide to stop at the community or make an outdoor expedition stop.

Day 3: Gjoa Haven

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
In 1903, explorer Roald Amundsen sailed through the James Ross Strait and stopped at a natural harbor on the island's south coast while looking for the Northwest Passage. Unable to proceed due to sea ice, he spent the winters of 1903-04 and 1904-05 here, meanwhile learning Arctic living skills from the local Netsilik Inuit, skills that would later prove invaluable in his Antarctic explorations. The harbor where he lived is now the island's only settlement, Gjøa Haven, which he called "the finest little harbor in the world." Today the population has blossomed from 110 in 1961 to 1,064 in 2006.

Day 4: Bellot Strait

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Bellot Strait marks the first meeting of the Atlantic and Pacific tides north of Magellan Strait. Surprisingly, the strait was missed by John Ross and wasn't discovered until 1852 by William Kennedy, who named the strait after his second-in-command, Joseph-Rene Bellot.

Day 5: Fort Ross

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Fort Ross is an uninhabited former trading post in the Qikiqtaaluk Region of Nunavut, Canada. Founded in 1937, it was the last trading post to be established by the Hudson's Bay Company. Situated on the Bellot Strait at the southeastern end of Somerset Island, it was operational for only eleven years as the severe ice conditions rendered it uneconomical and difficult to access. The former store was recently refurbished and strengthened, and is still used as a shelter by Inuit caribou hunters from Taloyoak, and as a refuge for researchers and small boat travelers passing through.

Day 6: Prince Leopold Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The tall cliffs of Prince Leopold Island are one of the top bird sites in the High Arctic both during the breeding and summering seasons. It is a breeding site for thick-billed murre, black-legged kittiwake, Northern fulmar, glaucous gull, and black guillemot.

Day 7: Beechey Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
In 1845 Sir John Franklin took his expedition of 129 men in two ships into the Wellington Channel. Not a soul returned from the fateful expedition. It was two years before search parties were launched. Aside from the bodies of three souls buried here, only relics were found as clues to the disappearance. Until recently, the three graves had left no indication as to the fate of the rest of the British party. Visit the island and pay homage to the temerity of these early explorers.

Day 8: Devon Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
As the largest uninhabited island in the world, Devon Island supports significant concentrations of wildlife, including 26 species of seabirds and 11 species of marine mammals. At Dundas Harbor, you can find the lonely remains of an RCMP station dating from the 1920s. Walrus, polar bear, muskox and caribou have also been spotted here. At nearby Croker Bay, enjoy a Zodiac cruise though this scenic bay and marvel at icebergs, freshly calved from the glacier at the head of the bay.

Day 9: Aujuittuq (Grise Fjord)

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Aujuittuq means 'place that never thaws.' That's apt for this peaceful hamlet, 1,150km above the Arctic Circle - Canada's northernmost civilian community. You are sure to be welcomed by the population of about 165 souls. Your activities here center on the school where you have a chance to meet members of the community and learn about their way of life.

Day 10: Smith Sound

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Spend a day exploring north as the ship ventures into this fabled body of water that once served as the main route for explorers and adventurers searching for the North Pole. Only 48-72km wide and 88km long, Smith Sound is often packed with ice and provides favorable conditions for wildlife viewing.

Day 11: Qaanaaq

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Artistic talent runs high in this northern community. Visitors are often in search of the distinct art pieces that are created here. One of the hardest places to reach in the Arctic, it is easiest to visit by ship. Not only is it the northernmost civilian habitation on Earth, Qaanaaq is also the most northern palindrome on the planet! A well-appointed store offers outstanding hand-carved jewellery and art pieces.

Day 12: Kap York

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The rugged coastal environment at Kap York is rich in wildlife and is part of an extensive network of traditional hunting grounds. During the spring and summer months the skies and cliffs are dotted with millions of birds, primarily auks and murres. This district boasts the largest seabird population in northwest Greenland. Hike the tundra landscape and enjoy your own magnificent vistas.

Day 13: Melville Bay

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Melville Bay is a large bay off the coast of northwestern Greenland. Located to the north of the Upernavik Archipelago, it opens to the southwest into Baffin Bay. Its Kalaallisut (Greenlandic) name, Qimusseriarsuaq, means "the great dog sledding place."

Day 14: Karrat Fjord

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Cruise one of Greenland's most spectacular fjords: Karrat Fjord. During ice breakup, narwhals and seals use the long leads created by high winds in this region to hunt the rich waters of the fjord. The cliffs within the fjord also offer good opportunities to see colonies of dovekies. Time spent on deck today likely results in some good wildlife sightings, not to mention unbeatable photographic opportunities.

Day 15: Ilulissat, Greenland

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Venturing 250km north of the Arctic Circle leads one to the stunning coastal community of Ilulissat. Ilulissat translates literally to "iceberg" and there couldn't be a more fitting name. Your visit includes time in the colorful town and a chance to hike out to an elevated viewpoint where we can observe the great fields of ice. Explore the the Ilulissat Icefjord, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, as you cruise around by Zodiac. The Sermeq Kujalleq Glacier located here is one of the most active and fastest moving in the world and has been the object of scientific attention for 250 years.

Day 16: Sisimiut Coast, Greenland

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The west Greenland coastline is a rich mixture of fishing communities, myriad islands and complex coastal waterways. Make an expedition stop here to explore the Greenlandic landscape.

Day 17: Disembark in Kangerlussauq, Greenland

  • 1 Breakfast
Arrive in Kangerlussauq, which lies at the head of the longest fjord in western Greenland. Stay to explore the beautiful area on your own or transfer to the airport to continue your homeward journey.


Ocean Endeavour

Dates & Prices

My Preferred Start Date

Per person starting at
Ocean Endeavour - Cat 1 Quad
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Quadruple - Category 1
Deck four: Interior cabin, four lower berths, private bath (separate shower room and powder room) - approx. 240 sq. ft.
Ocean Endeavour - Cat 2 Triple
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Triple - Category 2
Deck four: Interior cabin, three lower berths, two private baths - approx. 200 sq. ft.
Interior Twin cabin on the Ocean Endeavour
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Interior Twin - Category 3
Deck five: Interior cabin, two lower berths, private bath - approx. 125 sq. ft. (twin)/110 sq. ft. (single)
Exterior Twin Cabin on the Ocean Endeavour
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Exterior Twin - Category 4
Deck four: Porthole window, unobstructed view, two lower berths, private bath - approx. 100 sq. ft. (twin)/90 sq. ft. (single)
Exterior Twin Cabin on the Ocean Endeavour
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Main Twin - Category 5
Deck five: Picture window, unobstructed view, two lower berths, private bath - approx. 115 sq. ft.
Comfort Twin cabin on board Ocean Endeavour
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Comfort Twin - Category 6
Deck four: Two portholes windows, unobstructed view, two lower berths - 175 sq.ft. Deck seven: picture window, partial view, two lower berths- 135 sq.ft. Deck eight: Picture windows, obstructed view, matrimonial bed, pvt. bath, fridge - 160 sq.ft.
Top Deck Twin on the Ocean Endeavour
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Select Twin - Category 7
Deck five. Picture windows, unobstructed view, two lower berths, approx. 190 sq. ft. Deck eight: oversize windows, partially obstruction view, matrimonial bed, private bath, refrigerator - approx. 145 sq. ft.
Superior Twin on the Ocean Endeavour
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Superior Twin - Category 8
Deck five. Two picture windows, unobstructed view, two lower berths, sitting area- 210 sq.ft. Deck seven: forward-facing windows with unobstructed view, matrimonial, private bath w/full tub- 180 sq.ft. Deck seven midship: picture windows, partially obstructed view, matrimonial, private bath, fridge - 190 sq.ft
Ocean Endeavour Cabin Category 9
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Junior Suite - Category 9
Deck five: Picture windows, unobstructed views, matrimonial bed, sitting area- approx. 270 sq. ft. Deck seven: forward-facing picture windows, views, matrimonial bed, private bath w/full tub, sitting area, private bath, refrigerator - approx. 290 sq. ft.
Ocean Endeavour Cabin Category 10
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Suite - Category 10
Deck seven. Forward-facing picture windows, unobstructed view, matrimonial bed, private bath with full tub, refrigerator - approx. 310 sq. ft.


Expedition Costs Include:
- Pre-departure materials
- Special access permits, entry and park fees
- Team of expedition staff
- Applicable taxes
- Educational program
- Interactive workshops
- Evening entertainment
- Guided activities
- Sightseeing and community visits
- All shipboard meals
- All Zodiac excursions
- Port fees

Expedition Cost Does Not Include:
- $250 Discovery Fee
- Commercial and charter flights
- Gratuities (suggested $15 USD per passenger per day)
- Personal expenses
- Mandatory medical evacuation insurance
- Additional expenses in the event of delays or itinerary changes
- Possible fuel surcharge
- Pre & post hotel accommodations
- Optional excursions
- Additional costs associated with payments made by credit card

Charter Flights:
Charter flights available. Northbound: Yellowknife, NU - Kugluktuk, Nunavut and Southbound: Kangerlussauq, Greenland to Toronto, Ontario are not included in cruise fare. Please add an additional $2,195 per person, subject to change.

Pre and post hotel nights are available in Edmonton and Toronto at additional cost, upon request.



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