The Northwest Passage

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$9,595/person

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Discover why the Northwest Passage has enticed epic feats of exploration as you follow in the footsteps of legendary explorers. Like these hardy adventurers, you'll travel across the stunning archipelago of islands and channels that create Canada's High Arctic region. Look out for an amazing variety of wildlife, from polar bears to walruses, musk oxen to caribou. Hear fascinating stories from the passage's past and visit the historic site of a mysterious ill-fated expedition. From explorers' history to Inuit culture to stunning landscapes, this is the voyage of a lifetime.

Details

Duration: 13 Days
Starts in: Edmonton, Alberta
Ends in: Ottawa, Ontario
Group Size: 1-96

Operated by:

MT Sobek

MT Sobek, the originators, innovators and leaders in adventure travel for more than five decades, crafts journeys to the world's most memorable places.

Gallery

Itinerary

Fly from Edmonton, Alberta to Cambridge Bay, Nunavut

Board a charter flight from Edmonton to the remote outpost of Cambridge Bay on Victoria Island. Take a walking tour of the village then board the expedition ship in the afternoon. Settle into your cabin before gathering with your expedition team and trip mates. Finally, enjoy the thrill of casting off for the fabled passage with a welcome cocktail in hand.

Visit Victory Point & Victoria Strait

Dive into the mystery of past explorations as the story of Sir John Franklin's "lost expedition" unravels. Conditions permitting, travel near the wreck of their ship, the HMS Erebus, which was left to the ice. Visit Victory Point, the site of their abandoned lifeboat, with an expert historian providing insight and interpretation. The bits and pieces of copper and iron, cutlery and buttons tell a story of a desperate race south in search of rescue that never came. Take in the awe-inspiring landscape as you hear tales of their tragic journey.

Tour Conningham Bay by Zodiac

Arrive at Conningham Bay on Prince of Wales Island, in the heart of the Northwest Passage. Cruise the bay with an expert guide by Zodiac boat to encounter one of the most remarkable wildlife sites in the Canadian Arctic, a hotspot for polar bears. The bears come here to feast on beluga whales in the rocky shallows of the bay. It's not unusual to find the shoreline littered with whale bones — and very healthy looking polar bears!

Cross Bellot Strait & Visit Fort Ross

Spend an exciting day crossing the narrow Bellot Strait, experiencing the stellar navigation skills of the captain and crew. Look out for harp seals, bearded seals, and even polar bears who gather in these churning, fertile waters. Stop at the historic site of Fort Ross, a former fur-trading outpost on the southern end of Somerset Island. The Inuit and their predecessors have inhabited this area for more than a thousand years.

Explore Beechey Island

Make landfall at another fascinating Franklin expedition site, where the lost sailors spent their last "comfortable" winter before vanishing into the icy vastness. Visit the expedition's grave markers on a remote windswept beach. This is a thrilling location for history buffs and for many it may be the defining moment of the trip.

En route to Beechey Island, stop by one of the most important bird sanctuaries in the area, home to several hundred thousand birds. Keep an eye out for whales, seals, and polar bears here as well.

Journey through Lancaster Sound & Dundas Harbor

Venture across the Arctic wildlife "superhighway" — Lancaster Sound off the coast of Devon Island. Experience a biodiverse environment at 75° north latitude, where water from the Atlantic and Pacific converge. Search for sea and land creatures, then visit an old Royal Canadian Mounted Police outpost on Dundas Harbor. This area has great hiking options, and is home to musk oxen, Arctic hares, and even Arctic wolves.

Visit the Inuit Community of Mittimatalik

Learn the customs of the indigenous Inuit at Mittimalik, or Pond Inlet. Visit Natinnak Center, where a fascinating cultural exhibit showcases aspects of daily life, culture and history. Look at traditional carvings, jewelry and other crafts on display and available for purchase from local artisans. Then meet with the children of Pond Inlet and watch them demonstrate the skills and challenges of traditional Inuit games.

Cruise Gibbs Fjord

Cruise the waters of glacially-carved Gibbs Fjord on Baffin Island, an environment so otherworldly that it has been likened by past guests to "something out of The Lord of the Rings!" Feel dwarfed by the towering fjord walls, immense peaks, and massive glaciers that make up this epic landscape.

Cross Baffin Bay

Look for fin and humpback whales, seals, and birds that inhabit the seascape during this crossing toward Greenland. The passage is highly dependent on the extent of so-called "middle ice," and time at sea will be determined by weather conditions. During downtime, enjoy fascinating presentations on the wildlife, history, geology and culture of the Arctic from onboard experts.

Explore Jacobshavn Icefjord & Ilulissat

Behold the Jacobshavn Icefjord, an UNESCO World Heritage site and truly one of the wonders of the world. It spews gigantic tabular icebergs into Disko Bay, and awe-inspiring ice sculptures surround the area in all directions. See the glacier that creates these stunning monoliths as it advances over 130 feet per day. Then travel the waters in the hands of expert ice navigators to arrive at Ilulissat. Take in the pretty harbor with colorful fishing boats and houses.

Discover Sisimiut

Cruise into another grand fjord before going ashore to visit this beautiful town, characterized by colorful houses and a towering granite peak as a backdrop. Have the chance to meet traditional Greenlandic kayakers and to see a demonstration of 'Eskimo rolling' by one of the former Greenland kayak champions. Have the option also to peruse a small museum.

Explore Sondre Stromfjord

Take in one of the longest fjords on Earth, with its towering walls soaring above either side of the ship. Hop aboard Zodiacs and land among the small side fjords to explore by foot or kayak. Marvel at immense geologic features and look for muskox along the shores and white-tailed sea eagles riding the thermals high above. Hike along trails available for all fitness levels. This is an exceptional location for lovers of natural history.

Fly from Kangerlussuaq to Ottawa

Bid farewell to the Arctic in Kangerlussuaq. Disembark the ship and take a charter flight to Ottawa, then transfer to a central location downtown upon arrival.

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