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A polar bear jumps into the arctic water.

Classic Northwest Passage and Greenland

Example 13 Day Cruise aboard Akademik Sergey Vavilov
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This iconic 13-day voyage explores the remote Northwest Passage and stunning fjords of the Baffin Island coastline. Follow in the footsteps of early Arctic explorers such as Franklin, Amundsen and Larsen, discovering the archipelago of islands and channels that create Canada’s high Arctic region. Then, journey along the coast of western Greenland aboard the celebrated Akademik Sergey Vavilov, one of the highest ice ratings of any vessel exploring Arctic waters.

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Fly from Ottawa to Kangerlussuaq, Greenland | Embark
Day 2 : Sisimiut
Day 3 : Ilulissat | Jacobshavn Icefjord
Days 4-5 : Baffin Bay
Day 6 : Pond Inlet
Days 7-8 : Lancaster Sound and Devon Island
Day 9 : Beechey Island
Day 10 : Fort Ross | Bellot Strait
Day 11 : Conningham Bay
Day 12 : Victory Point
Day 13 : Cambridge Bay, Nunavut | Disembark | Fly to Edmonton, Alberta

Highlights

  • Go ashore to explore Sisimuit, a town characterized by colorful local houses
  • Discover Jacobshavn Icefjord – a UNESCO World Heritage site
  • Enter a broad channel- home to the remote Inuit community of Pond Inlet
  • Cross Lancaster Sound to Devon Island, an area known as a wildlife "highway"

Ship

Akademik Sergey Vavilov

Places Visited

Activities

Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level

Relaxed

Trip Snapshots

A polar bear jumps into the arctic water. Fishing village in the arctic Zodiac tour to see glacier and the arctic landscape. Arctic Fox Pups Kayaking through the icy waters.

Day 1 Fly from Ottawa to Kangerlussuaq, Greenland | Embark

Depart Ottawa this morning on your charter flight to Kangerlussuaq, situated on the west coast of Greenland. Upon arrival into Kangerlussuaq enjoy a short tour before boarding the ship in the afternoon. After settling in to your cabin and exploring the vessel, meet your expedition team and fellow passengers. Excitement is in the air as you cast off and enjoy a welcome cocktail while cruising along Sondre Stromfjord, bound for the fabled Northwest Passage

Day 2 Sisimiut

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Explore the fjord behind the town of Sisimiut before going ashore to explore this beautiful location in the afternoon. Characterized by colorful local houses, the town features a towering granite peak as a backdrop. Hope to meet a few of the traditional Greenlandic kayakers and to see a demonstration of ‘Eskimo rolling’ by one of the former Greenland kayak champions. A small museum is another interesting diversion in the Canadian Arctic.

Day 3 Ilulissat | Jacobshavn Icefjord

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
If one word could sum up today’s experience it would be 'ice'. Even your expedition team members, with years spent exploring both the Arctic and Antarctica, take a moment to reflect on the awesome ice sculptures surrounding the ship in all directions. Truly one of the wonders of the world, the Jacobshavn Icefjord – a UNESCO World Heritage site - spews gigantic tabular icebergs out into Disko Bay. The glacier that creates these stunning monoliths advances at over 40 metres per day, creating something in the order of 50 cubic kilometres of ice annually. Your approach to Ilulissat is always dependent on the amount of ice in and around the mouth of the fjord. The Captain and officers are skilled ice navigators and your ship has one of the highest ice ratings of any vessel exploring Arctic waters. Ilulissat was the hometown of Knud Rasmussen, one of Greenland’s most famous early explorers. The town is home to a pretty harbor with colorful fishing boats and houses on shore.

Day 4-5 Baffin Bay

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Leaving the rugged coastline of Greenland, your crossing of Baffin Bay is highly dependent on the extent of the so-called ‘middle ice’. Cruise northwards seeking out the edges of the middle ice and plan to follow the line of ice until you reach the coast of Baffin Island. Your time at sea is determined by the extent of the ice and amount of wildlife you encounter. As you transit Baffin Bay be on the lookout for fin, sperm, sei and humpback whales as well as the numerous species of Arctic seals and seabirds that inhabit these waters. Onboard experts deliver fascinating presentations on board focusing on the wildlife, history, geology and culture of the Arctic.

Day 6 Pond Inlet

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Nearing the far north of Baffin Island enter a broad channel- home to the remote Inuit community of Pond Inlet. A highlight is a visit to the Natinnak Centre, where a fascinating cultural exhibit showcases aspects of daily life, culture and history of the people of the north. Inuit carvings, jewellery and other traditional crafts are on display and purchasing such items from the local artisans is a great way to support the community. Enjoy meeting the children of Pond Inlet and marvelling at their athletic abilities as they demonstrate the skills and challenges of traditional Inuit games. Skills and physical agility developed by such games were often those necessary for everyday survival in the harsh Arctic environment.

Day 7-8 Lancaster Sound and Devon Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Leaving the wild landscapes of Baffin Island, cross Lancaster Sound to Devon Island. You are now at almost 75̊ degrees north of latitude. This broad channel of water has been likened to the wildlife ‘super highway’ of the Arctic. Massive volumes of water from the Atlantic to the east and Pacific to the west, and from the archipelago of islands to the north all mix here, combining to make a rich source of nutrients and food for an abundance of Arctic wildlife, living both above and below the water. Plan to visit the old Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) outpost at Dundas Harbour, situated on the southern shores of Devon Island. Muskox and Arctic hare are sometimes sighted in the vicinity and there are some great hiking options in the area.

Day 9 Beechey Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Beechey Island holds great historic importance, as it is here that Sir John Franklin’s ill-fated expedition spent its last ‘comfortable’ winter in 1845 before disappearing into the icy vastness, sparking an incredible series of search expeditions that lasted almost three decades. The mystery of what happened to Franklin was partially solved in September 2014, when a joint Parks Canada and Royal Canadian Geographic Society expedition found the long lost Franklin shipwreck, HMS Erebus, in the Victoria Strait.

A trip ashore at Beechey Island to visit the grave markers on a remote windswept beach gives one pause to wonder on the bravery (or foolhardiness) of these pioneering explorers, as they sought a way through the barren, frozen landscape. This is a thrilling location for history buffs and for many it will be the defining moment of the expedition. Cross the Barrow Straight into Prince Regent Inlet, stopping to view the bird cliffs at Prince Leopold Island. This is an important migratory bird sanctuary, home to thick-billed murres, black guillemots, northern fulmars, and black-legged kittiwakes. Numbering in the order of several hundred thousand birds, Prince Leopold Island is one of the most significant bird sanctuaries in the whole of the Canadian Arctic. Given the abundance of food in this vicinity, beluga, narwhal and bowhead whales, several species of seal, and polar bear are often seen here.

Day 10 Fort Ross | Bellot Strait

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Continuing to navigate the ship south into Prince Regent Inlet, approach the eastern end of the Bellot Strait. The historic site of Fort Ross, located at the southern end of Somerset Island, is a former Hudson’s Bay Company fur trading outpost. Fascinating archaeological sites nearby tell a story of more than a thousand years of habitation by the Inuit and their predecessors.

Transit the narrow passage of Bellot Strait – a channel separating northerly Somerset Island from continental North America. The aim is to enter at slack tide if possible, in order to avoid a current that roars through the passage at more than seven knots during the peak flow. The mixing of waters in this strait provides an abundant food source for marine mammals. Keep your eyes peeled for harp seals, bearded seals and even polar bears. The skill of the Captain and Officers and capabilities of the ship are apparent during this exciting day of Arctic navigation.

Day 11 Conningham Bay

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Having emerged from Bellot Strait, cross the Victoria Strait and arrive at Conningham Bay on the shore of Prince Edward Island. This is a known hotspot for polar bears who come here to feast on beluga whales, often caught in the rocky shallows at the entrance to the bay. It is not unusual to find the shoreline littered with whale skeletons – and very healthy looking polar bears!

Day 12 Victory Point

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Heading further into the Northwest Passage, the mystery of Sir John Franklin and his ‘lost expedition’ is beginning to unravel. Prior to the recent discovery of the HMS Erebus in September 2014, very little was known of how the Franklin Expedition spent its last months in the frozen Arctic. The vessels, abandoned in the ice of Victoria Strait, are just coming to life thanks to the ongoing efforts of Parks Canada’s marine archeological team and the recent Victoria Strait Expedition. On Victoria Point an abandoned lifeboat, bits and pieces of copper and iron, cutlery, buttons, and a skeleton here and there all tell a story of a desperate race south in search of rescue that never came.

Hope to visit Victory Point and the Victoria Strait, traveling very near the actual location of the wreck of HMS Erebus, all the while learning about the quest for exploration that eventually opened up the Arctic. On this, your last night on expedition, enjoy a celebratory dinner attended by the Captain of the ship and reflect on your epic voyage across the top of the remote Canadian Arctic.

Day 13 Cambridge Bay, Nunavut | Disembark | Fly to Edmonton, Alberta

  • 1 Breakfast
Your journey through the Northwest Passage is all but complete as you approach the community of Cambridge Bay and drop anchor offshore. This remote outpost on the southern shores of Victoria Island is a center for hunting, trapping and fishing. The Inuit have had summer camps in the vicinity for hundreds of years. Today ships visit the region annually, bringing supplies. Amundsen spent two winters in this area, learning how to master dog sledding from the locals prior to his attempt on the South Pole. Make your way ashore by zodiac and say farewell to your crew. Board a charter flight to Edmonton, where your voyage through the Northwest Passage comes to an end.

Akademik Sergey Vavilov

Deals

50% Off Charter Flights
Flight Savings - Book by December 31 and receive 50% off your charter flights.
Applies to Aug 12, 2018 departure

Per person starting at
$9,595
Main Deck Triple Cabins
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Triple Share
Deck 3. Two lower berths (one which can be converted to a sofa during the day) and one upper berth. Shared facilities, in cabin washbasin, writing desk/chair, ample storage, and two portholes.
Twin Semi Private Cabins
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Twin Semi-Private
Deck 4. Two lower berths (one which can be converted to a sofa during the day), a writing desk/chair, bookshelf and tall wardrobes with internal shelving for storage. Facilities are semi-private (one bathroom between two cabins) and all cabins have a window that can be opened.
Twin Private Cabins
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Twin Private
Deck 3, 4 and 5. Two lower berths (one which can be converted to a sofa during the day), a writing desk/chair, bookshelf and tall wardrobes with internal shelving storage. Facilities are private and all cabins have a window that can be opened.
The Superior Cabins.
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Superior
Deck 3. Two lower berths, a sofa, a writing desk/chair and ample storage. Facilities are private and all cabins have portholes that can be opened.
Shackleton Suites
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Shackleton Suite
Deck 4 & 5. One double bed, one sofa bed, separate sleeping quarters, up-graded bedding, a writing desk/chair, IPod alarm clock, mini stereo, capsule coffee maker, mini bar. Private facilities. Large window that can be opened.
One Ocean Suite
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One Ocean Suite
Deck 5. One double bed, one sofa bed & separate sleeping quarters, up-graded bedding, a writing desk/chair, IPod alarm clock, mini stereo, capsule coffee maker, mini bar. Private facilities with tub. Windows overlooking the bow.

Notes

- Single Supplement: 1.5x for twin and superior cabins and 2x for suites. Single supplement is not available in the triple cabin category.

- Child and Youth Prices: 25% discount for young people aged up to 17 years, and 20% off for those aged from 18-21 years who can prove they are in full-time education.

Please note: Specific sites visited will depend on ice and weather conditions experienced and the itinerary will be updated throughout the voyage in order to take advantage of favorable conditions.

This itinerary includes:
  • Comprehensive pre-voyage information package including details to help you prepare for your trip in Canada's Atlantic provinces
  • Transfers from the airport to your hotel upon arrival
  • Transfers to the ship on embarkation day and from the ship to the airport or local hotel on disembarkation
  • Shipboard accommodation in your selected cabin category with daily housekeeping. Cabins feature outside views with windows or portholes that open on each deck
  • High quality, eco friendly, Canadian made natural amenities in every cabin
  • All breakfasts, lunches and dinners on board throughout your voyage with daily afternoon tea
  • 24 hour tea, coffee, hot chocolate in bar lounge plus in cabin tea, coffee, hot chocolate replenished daily
  • Experienced Expedition Leader and professional expedition team of marine bioligists, naturalists, historians, adventure guides and photographers
  • Daily off-ship excursions by Zodiac boat breaking into small groups for shore landings
  • Guided hikes and walks on shore of various durations for guests of all abilities
  • Visits to wildlife colonies, historic sites, places of outstanding natural beauty and community visits
  • Educational presentations and talks by polar experts in their field (ie. marine biologists, naturalists, historians etc). Onboard or on shore
  • Resident photography guide available to assist all guests
  • Access to computers in the multimedia lab for image downloads, file back up and management
  • An emergency trained Physician onboard every voyage
  • Dedicated hospitality team including Hotel Manager, four chefs, professional bar staff and Adventure Concierge staff
  • Onboard sauna, plunge pool, Jacuzzi and fitness centre including personal trainer and massage options (charge applies for massage and spa treatments)
  • Sea Kayaking programme available (additional charge of $695pp) – must be reserved at the time of booking your voyage and you must have some prior paddling experience
  • Access to well stocked library full of polar reference books
  • End of voyage video, photos and take home USB
  • Port fees and all permits to access visited areas
This itinerary does not includes:
  • Any internartional or local airfare unless otherwise specified in the voyage itinerary
  • Visa and passport expenses
  • Pre or post-cruise hotel accommodation unless otherwise specified in the itinerary (or pre-arranged)
  • Pre or post-cruise transfers unless otherwise specified in the itinerary (or pre-arranged)
  • Personal expenses on board such as alcoholic beverages, bar charges or laundry expenses
  • Telecommunication charges (ie. email, satellite phone)
  • Baggage, cancellation or medical travel insurance related expenses (comprehensive travel insurance is mandatory on all trips)
  • A voluntary gratuity at the end of the voyage for expedition staff and ship crew (suggested amount –
  • $US12-15 per day)

Included

  • 10 Breakfasts, 9 Lunches, 10 Dinners

Excluded

  • Internal Flights
    • $1,995 Ottawa to Kangerlussuaq | Cambridge to Edmonton
    • Flight cost is subject to change
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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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