Adventure Canada began in 1987 when brothers Matthew and Bill Swan, and friend David Freeze began taking travelers to "off the map" destinations. The Swan brothers, Matthew and Bill, and their good friend David Freeze had been enjoying an adventurous life as white-water rafting guides on the Ottawa River when they came up with the idea of getting a bit farther afield. The three had taken their enthusiasm to the next level: poring over a map of Canada, they searched for the biggest patch without roads and said, “Let’s go there.” Adventurers can explore off-the-beaten-path destinations like the Labrador Coast and cruise through the fjords of the sacred Torngat Mountains.
Adventure Canada remains a family operation at heart. And they remain committed to the same Mission that first inspired our founders: They engage, entertain, and educate by connecting people to each other and the land through innovative travel experiences. They cultivate connection and community. They celebrate culture. They are driven by heart, humanity, and hope.
"We engage, entertain, and educate by connecting people to each other and the land through innovative travel experiences. We cultivate connection and community. We celebrate culture. We are driven by heart, humanity, and hope."
"We can be the company that does expedition cruising the best, but we can also be the company that does it for the best reasons."
Cultural and Environmental Integrity
At Adventure Canada, we believe that healthy cultures and a healthy environment go hand in hand. We also know that preserving cultural and environmental integrity is a lifetime commitment. From educating travelers to training youth to investing in communities, we make that commitment year-round.
Concern for Conservation
Everyone depends on a healthy, thriving natural world. For Adventure Canada, that cause is even more obviously crucial: our business depends on showing travelers the most beautiful and pristine spaces. Our onboard programming is dedicated to informing and engaging our travelers. And Adventure Canada is a leader in establishing best practices for the expedition cruise industry, always seeking to make our contribution to global conservation a positive one.
Relationships with clients, staff, partners, providers, communities, and organizations are the core of our operation. We focus our efforts on ensuring our business dealings are equitable, and ethical while maintaining sustainable growth as a company.
Meaningful Cultural Exchange
The opportunity to engage with people from other cultures—to learn a little of their language, appreciate their art, and see their ways of looking at the world—is a core strength for Adventure Canada. But our commitment goes beyond simply enjoying the connections. We are actively helping provide markets for creative works, opportunities for speaking and advocacy, and support for cultural outreach—on trips, at home, and around the world.
For decades, Adventure Canada has been investing in causes close to our hearts. Our Discovery Fund supports a wide array of groups working to change the world for the better. We conduct onboard auctions and fundraisers, offer platforms for organizations with shared values, and support dozens of events and charities throughout the year.
Awards and Affiliates
Adventure Canada has always believed strongly in the power of collaboration. We are able to offer better and more innovative programming thanks to the strength of our partnerships. We work closely with organizations that share our values. We are proud to count leaders of many regional, national, and international organizations as part of our team.
The Explorers Club
The Explorer’s Club has played a significant role as the premier meeting place for explorers and scientists worldwide who have pushed the limits of discovery and human endurance. Adventure Canada is proud to be the exclusive polar travel provider of The Explorers Club.
Best Adventure Cruise Line
2023, 2022, 2021, 2019, 2018, 2017
This award, presented by USA Today and determined by public vote, honors the best adventure cruise lines in the world.
Presented by The Society of American Travel writers to recognize and honor organization and destinations that showcase responsible, sustainable tourism, including conservation; preservation; beautification and anti-pollution efforts as they relate to travel.
Tripadvisor Travellers’ Choice Award
This award recognizes winners as scoring in the top 10% of attractions worldwide. Tripadvisor selects recipients of this award based on the reviews, ratings, and saves of users on their website.
Cruise Vision Award
2020, 2014, 2007
Presented by Cruise Newfoundland & Labrador to an individual, group, or business that has demonstrated a commitment to the provincial cruise industry while contributing significantly to the growth of the industry in Newfoundland & Labrador.
Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence
This honor recognizes businesses that deliver consistently great service across the world and is presented to approximately 10% of total businesses on TripAdvisor that have consistently achieved great reviews over the past year.
Is this trip right for me?
An Adventure Canada expedition is ideal for anyone with an inquiring mind and easygoing attitude who is reasonably fit and in good health. On shore, when possible, we break into guided groups depending on interest and physical ability, so you will never be left behind. You will be walking on uneven terrain and must be able to descend a flight of stairs from the ship into a Zodiac.
Our expeditions are best suited for people with an adventurous spirit, who still want comfortable accommodations and good food. If itineraries make deviations from the expected route, it’s all part of the adventure! We do not have an age limit. Our guests have ranged in age from 3 weeks to 95 years old.
Am I fit enough to take an expedition?
Our trips do require a certain level of fitness and mobility. Some destinations can present lengthy hikes over variable terrain, without any rest facilities onshore. Other times our visit may be in a town, where you are free to explore at your own pace. When cruising in Zodiacs, you may be out for an hour or longer in chilly waters while looking for wildlife. While there is limited elevator access aboard the ship, not all decks are serviced by the elevator and you must be able to climb stairs between decks.
You must also be able to climb the external gangway stairs to transfer between the ship and the Zodiacs. Our guides and ship crew are available to assist you in and out of the Zodiacs, both on shore and at the gangway. Generally speaking, once a few people are ready to return to the ship from shore, the Zodiacs are available to take you back at the time of your choosing.
More simply: if you can negotiate a flight of stairs, you can participate in our trips.
How often do we get off the ship?
Weather and conditions permitting, we get off the ship at least once and sometimes twice a day. Depending on the expedition location, we may visit communities, go exploring in our fleet of Zodiacs to look for wildlife, or hike where possibly no one has before.
What happens when we are not on a landing or Zodiac cruise?
Onboard lies the opportunity to get involved in our immersive educational program. Join an Archaeology lecture, participate in a climate change forum, or try your hand at print making or sculpting with an Inuit artist. Each expedition’s program revolves around regional learning opportunities and the stellar contributions of our staff–all passionate experts. Join our hand-picked team as we search for wildlife from deck, share daily meals for personal in-depth conversations, participate in workshops, and attend presentations. The Adventure Canada team has a deep love for discovery learning, exploration, and growth, and are at your service.
What is a Zodiac?
Zodiacs are inflatable, rigid-hulled watercraft, powered by outboard motors. They can hold up to ten passengers, plus the driver. Zodiacs are the favoured means of transportation for all our expeditions and, indeed, wherever shallow waters and beaches ring the shoreline. They are stable, versatile craft, which cruise at an approximate speed of four knots; in windy weather, they can make for rather splashy rides. Life preservers and wet gear are absolutely compulsory for Zodiac travel. Zodiac landings will generally entail disembarking onto rocky or gravelly beaches.
Zodiacs free us from the dependency on ports, piers, and other man-made infrastructure. These safe, stable, versatile boats take you where the action is.
What do I wear while on a Zodiac and while I’m out on the land?
Our expeditions take place out on the land, where staying warm and dry is of paramount importance. You will be required to dress appropriately for the weather conditions. Waterproof pants are required for all Adventure Canada expeditions.
On Ocean Endeavour trips, Adventure Canada will provide you with a 100%-waterproof insulated expedition jacket. You must provide your own GoreTex (or similar) waterproof pants. This gear, worn over your insulating layers, will ensure that you stay safe and comfortable while on the expedition.
Your Zodiac driver is responsible for your safety as well as that of the others in the boat, and they have the authority to refuse embarkation should you be dressed inappropriately for the weather conditions, as this can put you and your fellow travellers at risk. Wet gear is absolutely essential for any Zodiac transfer, and for most shore excursions.
Adventure Canada will provide you with a packing list prior to your expedition.
What temperatures should I expect?
In June, July, and August, the temperatures in the regions we visit are usually quite comfortable. It is common to have beautiful sunny days with temperatures reaching a high of 18°C. In the Arctic, we can also experience temperatures close to 0°C. When you are on land and walking around it usually gets quite warm and people tend to take off layers.
European and Canadian maritime destinations tend to be warmer than the Arctic in the summer months, and sunshine makes a big difference. A good rule of thumb is to dress for “shoulder seasons”—spring and fall—with the option to add and remove layers as necessary.
No matter the climate, Zodiac rides can be quite chilly—and waterproof layers are absolutely necessary. Dressing in layers of warm clothes will ensure you are always comfortable. For example, a turtleneck, sweater, and waterproof jacket, gloves, hat, scarf, and a small backpack are a good idea, as you may wish to leave a layer of clothing on the beach with your rubber boots once you have disembarked the Zodiac.
Do I need to bring rubber boots?
No. We supply lightweight rubber boots for moving between Zodiac and shore as you often step into shallow water. We suggest carrying your hiking boots in a plastic bag and changing into them once you are on shore. We will leave the rubber boots on the beach near the Zodiacs.
Do families take these cruises?
Yes—and more do every year. Adventure Canada offers a 30 Under 30 Program with a 30% cost reduction for guests under thirty years of age, whether travelling alone or with someone else. We offer additional incentives for children under the age of five. Please enquire directly with our advisors for details.
What kind of food will be served?
Aboard the Ocean Endeavour, breakfast and lunch include a wide variety of tasty and healthy choices. Globally inspired a la carte suppers offer options to suit every taste, including fish and vegetarian options. Desserts, made fresh daily, are a highlight!
Food sensitivities, special diets, and personal choices can be accommodated with advance notice.
When possible, we do try to incorporate local delicacies such as caribou and Arctic char, cod cheeks, and so on. For children’s meals and those with food allergies and restrictions, please advise us in writing well in advance of departure so we can best accommodate your needs.
Can I buy local art?
Yes! Carvings and other handicrafts made by local artists are available for purchase in most of the communities we visit. Please check what currency is most appropriate based on your itinerary. Many countries impose restrictions on importing items made of certain materials. Please review CITES guidelines and check with your customs department before you depart your home country to avoid disappointment.
Some of the communities we visit are not equipped to handle credit or debit cards when purchasing; for this reason, we recommend bringing a supply of cash to purchase art, crafts, and souvenirs. Please consult with our advisors for further details.
Will we encounter rough seas?
The seas in summer are usually calm, though rough weather can be experienced at any time. There are remedies to control the case of seasickness. Please ask your physician for advice.
Is there a doctor on board?
Our ship is equipped with a small infirmary, basic emergency supplies, and an emergency doctor. Travel medical and evacuation insurance of $500,000 USD is mandatory. An adequate medical facility could be 72 hours away or more, and emergency evacuation and adequate medical treatment may be delayed or unavailable in certain areas.
Will there be any mosquitos?
Mosquitos and black flies are common in the regions through which we travel and are more numerous in June and July than August. However, it takes only a slight wind to keep them clear and fortunately, the great majority of our time will be spent along the coast—exposed to breezes, and away from the marshy breeding grounds. Bug spray and/or netted jackets with hoods can be useful.
Why are your cruises priced in US Dollars?
Although we are a Canadian company, most of our small-ship expedition operating costs are paid in US dollars. For this reason, our shipboard trips are priced in US dollars. This allows us to offer a more stable tour fare throughout the year, with less fluctuation in cost.
Where do I meet my Adventure Canada expedition?
Each expedition has a unique departure point. On some expeditions a charter flight is necessary to join the ship. For all expeditions we host a meet-and-greet event at a local venue or onboard the ship. Please enquire at the time of booking your specific expedition.
Please ensure that any commercial airfare, train or other joining arrangements are changeable or refundable. You will receive detailed joining instructions prior to your departure in your Pre-Departure Adventurer Package.
Please ensure that you have left ample time prior to joining the Adventure Canada group to accommodate for any delayed travel arrangements. Adventure Canada is not responsible for missed connections after an expedition due to late charter flights or changes, delays, or interruptions in the ship’s intended itinerary, and will not reimburse you for rebooking fees or any new ticket charges incurred.
How do I arrange my charter flight?
Adventure Canada offers charter flights on Arctic expeditions. Most charter flights to Arctic destinations leave from either Toronto, Yellowknife, or Ottawa. Charter flights usually depart in the morning and return in the late evening. Depending on where your home city is, you are best to plan at least one night before and after the expedition in the charter flight’s departure or return city. At times we have extended preferred rates at the hotels we use, so please speak to your advisor about prices and availability.
Can I extend my stay?
It is possible to extend your stay on your own. Adventure Canada is not a travel agency and therefore does not arrange independent travel arrangements at the end of our expeditions. However, we are happy to share our local knowledge of our embarkation and disembarkation cities.
I could not be happier with my Adventure Life experience, from beginning to end. I travel a lot, and I think your company and personnel do an outstanding job. I truly appreciate your professionalism, attentiveness, and flexibility. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend your company and would be happy to serve as a reference.