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A mother polar bear and her young relax on the Arctic landscape

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 the Ocean Endeavour on 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, Lancaster Sound, and Canada's northernmost community: Aujuittuq (Grise Fjord), before continuing north to Greenland.

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Kugluktuk (Coppermine) | Embark
Days 2-4 : Kitikmeot Region
Days 5-7 : Peel Sound and Parry Channel
Day 8 : Beechey Island
Day 9 : Tallurutiup Imanga (Lancaster Sound)
Day 10 : Aujuittuq (Grise Fiord), NU
Day 11 : Smith Sound
Days 12-14 : Northwest Greenland
Day 15 : Ilulissat
Day 16 : Itilleq Fjord
Day 17 : Kangerlussuaq, Greenland | Disembark

Highlights

  • Travel the route that obsessed explorers for centuries
  • Enjoy the legendary hospitality of vibrant Inuit communities
  • Visit the historic graves of the ill fated Franklin Expedition
  • Find and photograph the wild creatures of the Arctic wilderness

Ship

Ocean Endeavour

Places Visited

Activities

Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level

Relaxed

Trip Snapshots

A mother polar bear and her young relax on the Arctic landscape A local stands in traditional dress for the arctic. Colorful homes in Greenland The White-Beaked Dolphin swimming by the Greenland coast. Midnight sun light, Ilulissat

Day 1 Kugluktuk (Coppermine) | Embark

Located at the mouth of the Coppermine River, Kugluktuk is the western most community in Nunavut. Known for many years as Coppermine, the community reverted to its original Inuinnaqtun name—meaning “place of moving waters”—on January 1st, 1996. 

The Coppermine River is designated a Canadian Heritage River for the important role it played as an exploration and fur trade route. Your charter flight lands in Kugluktuk and embark the Ocean Endeavour by Zodiac to commence your trip!

Day 2-4 Kitikmeot Region

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The Kitikmeot Region consists of parts of Victoria Island, the adjacent part of the mainland as far as the Boothia Peninsula, King William Island, and the southern portion of Prince of Wales Island. Its regional seat is Iqaluktuuttiaq (Cambridge Bay), though it also contains five other hamlets (including Uqsuqtuuq and Kugluktuk). Recently, the Kitikmeot Region has been in the news since the finding of the lost ships of the Franklin Expedition in its waters. It is Nunavut’s least-populated region, though wildlife abounds here both in the sea and on land.

Day 5-7 Peel Sound and Parry Channel

  • Ship
  • 3 Breakfasts, 3 Lunches, 3 Dinners
The ‘obvious’ route through the Northwest Passage, Parry Channel seldom provides a full transit because of ice. It is named after Arctic explorer William Edward Parry, who got as far as Melville Island in 1819 before being blocked by ice at McClure Strait.

Peel Sound was the Franklin expedition’s route south. It presents numerous wildlife and expedition opportunities. The setting is optimal for hiking and exploring the geological diversity of the area.

Day 8 Beechey Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
In 1845, Sir John Franklin took his expedition of 129 men and two ships into the Wellington Channel. Not a soul returned from the fateful expedition. The three graves found at Beechey Island left no indication as to the fate of the rest of the British party, but the island gradually became a touchpoint for those searching for survivors. A fourth grave on Beechey today holds a sailor from one such expedition. In the autumn of 2014, Canadian archaeologists discovered remnants of the HMS Erebus and in 2016, Franklin’s second ship, the Terror was also located.

Day 9 Tallurutiup Imanga (Lancaster Sound)

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Spend the day exploring the ocean wilderness of Tallurutiup Imanga (Lancaster Sound). In August of 2017, this enormous body of water was declared a National Marine Conservation Area. 

Large populations of marine mammals, including narwhal, beluga and bowhead whales transit and feed in this area. There is a great selection of landing sites available, depending on weather, wildlife, and sea conditions.

Day 10 Aujuittuq (Grise Fiord), NU

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Aujuittuq means ‘place that never thaws.’ 1,150 kilometres above the Arctic Circle, Canada’s northernmost “civilian” community originated in the Cold War; in 1953, residents were relocated to Aujuittuq to boost Canadian sovereignty. In 2016, the census placed the population at 129.

Your activities are centre in the village where you have a chance to meet members of the community, learn about their way of life, and hear their poignant stories.
 

Day 11 Smith Sound

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Smith Sound served as the main route for explorers and adventurers searching for the North Pole. Adolphus Greely, Sir George Nares and Elisha Kent Kane all travelled these waters with varying degrees of success. 

Between forty-eight and seventy-two kilometres wide and eighty-eight kilometres long, Smith Sound divides Ellesmere Island from Greenland. Here, the sea ice provided an ancient Inuit travel route. Optimal sea ice conditions in Smith Sound can also make for excellent wildlife viewing.
 

Day 12-14 Northwest Greenland

  • Ship
  • 3 Breakfasts, 3 Lunches, 3 Dinners
Explore the stunning fjords that line the coast. Glaciers and icebergs abound here. In true expedition style, seek opportunities to hike, explore, and view wildlife as conditions allow.
 

Day 15 Ilulissat

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Ilulissat translates literally into “iceberg”, and there couldn’t be a more fitting name for this spectacular place. Your visit include time in the colourful town, famed for its handicrafts, cafes, museums, and picturesque habitation. Have a chance to hike out along a boardwalk to an elevated viewpoint where you can observe the great fields of ice. Cruise in your fleet of Zodiacs in the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Ilulissat Icefjord. The Sermeq Kujalleq Glacier is one of the most active and fastest moving in the world at nineteen metres per day and calving more than thirty-five square kilometres of ice annually. The glacier has been the object of scientific attention for 250 years.

Day 16 Itilleq Fjord

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The west Greenland coastline is a rich mixture of fishing communities, many islands and complex coastal waterways. The waters are relatively warm here, due to the West Greenland current and the more southerly location. This makes for lusher vegetation. 

As you enter the Arctic autumn, the tundra foliage is in gorgeous colour. Stop here to explore the landscape of wild Greenland.
 

Day 17 Kangerlussuaq, Greenland | Disembark

  • 1 Breakfast
Sondre Stromfjord is one of the longest fjords in the world and boasts 168 kilometres of superb scenery. End your adventure by sailing up this dramatic fjord as the sun rises to greet us. 

Kangerlussuaq, the town at its eastern head, is a former US Air Force base and Greenland’s primary flight hub. Here disembark the Ocean Endeavour and transfer to the airport for our return charter flight.
 

Ocean Endeavour

Deals

Save 10%
Early Bird Discount - Book any twin cabin before September 30, 2018 and Save 10% per person. Some restrictions may apply. Contact us for details.
Applies to all 2019/2020 Departures

Per person starting at
$9,295
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, 3 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, 2 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, 2 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, views, two lower berths OR matrimonial bed- 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 OR matrimonial bed, approx. 190 sq. ft. and deck eight: oversize windows, partial obstruction, 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, view, two lower berths, sitting area- 210 sq.ft. Deck seven: forward-facing windows,view, matrimonial, private bath w/full tub- 180 sq.ft. Deck seven: picture windows, partial view, matrimonial, pvt bath, fridge - 160 sq.ft
Junion Suite on board the Ocean Endeavour
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Junior Suite - Category 9
Deck five: picture windows, 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.
Suite on the Ocean Endeavour
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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.

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.

- Cabins are available for single occupancy at 1.5 times the double occupancy rate.

Expedition Costs Include:
  • Pre-departure materials
  • The expertise and company of our expedition staff 
  • Onboard educational programming
  • Interactive workshops
  • Evening entertainment
  • All shipboard meals, including on deck barbecues & afternoon tea, 24-hour coffee, tea and snacks
  • Hors d’ouevres & snacks during evening recaps
  • 24-hour documentary and film programming
  • Fully stocked library
  • Nikon Camera Trial Program
  • Introductions to local people and customs
  • Sightseeing
  • Museum entries, park accesses, port taxes
  • Access to pristine wilderness areas
  • Zodiac tours and cruises
  • On-site archaeology workshops
  • Community programming: local performances, presentations, and demonstrations
Expedition Cost Does Not Include:
  • Commercial and charter flight costs
  • Gratuities (suggested at $15 USD per person per day)
  • Bicycle rentals
  • Personal expenses
  • Mandatory medical evacuation insurance
  • Additional expenses in the event of delays or itinerary changes
  • Possible fuel surcharges
  • Pre- and post-trip hotel accommodation
  • Additional costs associated with credit card payment
  • Program enhancements
Pre and post hotel nights are available in Edmonton and Toronto at additional cost, upon request.
Payment & Cancellation Policies
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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.
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