A journey through the fascinating Northwest Passage and Greenland
This iconic voyage explores the remote Northwest Passage and stunning fjords of the Baffin Island coastline before crossing to Greenland and its mindblowing icebergs. Following the paths of the legendary early Arctic explorers, we journey through the archipelago of islands and channels of Canada’s high Arctic on our expedition ship.
Duration: 13 days
Embarkation: Cambridge Bay
Language: English speaking voyage
This voyage starts from Edmonton on a special charter flight. The voyage ends with a charter flight to Ottawa.
The itinerary starting in Kangerlussuak departs from Ottawa and finishes in Edmonton.
Charter U$1,995.- not included
We depart Edmonton for our flight to Cambridge Bay, a remote outpost above the Arctic Circle. Located on the southern shores of Victoria Island, today it is a centre for hunting, trapping and fishing. Excitement is in the air as we enjoy a welcome cocktail and cast off, bound for the fabled Northwest Passage.
As we chart a course into the Northwest Passage, our onboard presentation series begins, and the legend of Sir John Franklin and his ‘lost expedition’ starts to unravel. We aim to visit Victory Point, travelling very near the actual location of the wreck of HMS Erebus & the HMS Terror.
This morning we arrive at Coningham Bay on the shore of Prince of Wales Island. Here, in the heart of the Northwest Passage, we hope to encounter one of the most remarkable wildlife sites in the Arctic. 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 during low tide. It is not unusual to find the shoreline littered with whale skeletons – and very healthy looking polar bears!
Bellot Strait and Fort Ross
Today we transit the narrow passage of Bellot Strait – a channel separating northerly Somerset Island from continental North America. The skill of the Captain and Officers and capabilities of the ship becomes apparent during this exciting day of Arctic navigation. Nearby 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.
Beechey Island holds great historic importance on our journey through the Northwest Passage. It is here that Sir John Franklin’s ill-fated expedition spent its last ‘comfortable’ winter in 1845 before disappearing. This is a thrilling location for history buffs and for many it will be the defining moment of our expedition.
Cruising the coastline of Devon Island, we are now in the waters of Lancaster Sound – a rich, bio-diverse region often referred to as the wildlife ‘superhighway’ of the Arctic. We plan to visit the old Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) outpost at Dundas Harbour, on Devon Island. Musk ox and Arctic hare are sometimes sighted in the vicinity and there are some great hiking options in the area.
Mittimatalik (Pond Inlet)
We sight the wild north coast of Baffin Island and navigate through Navy Board Inlet. The vast landscapes of Sirmilik National Park tower surround us as we approach the remote Inuit community of Mittimatalik (Pond Inlet). We are welcomed ashore and visit 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 craft is on display and purchasing such items from the local artisans is a great way to support the community.
Buchan Golf OR Gibbs Fjord
This morning we enter the spectacular Buchan Golf (2018) or Gibbs Fjord (2019). Our expedition ship will be dwarfed by the giant peaks and snowy glaciers as we cruise along the dark waters.
Leaving the rugged coastline of Baffin Island, our crossing of Baffin Bay allows us time to slow down and reflect on the beauty and experiences we have shared. Our team of onboard experts will continue to educate us on the history and wildlife of the region while our naturalists keep watch looking for fulmars and dovekies, pilot whales and perhaps even orca. As we approach Greenland, we also increase our likelihood of spotting some of the big baleen whales like the fin and sei whales.
If one word could sum up today’s experience it would be 'ice'. Truly one of the wonders of the world, the Ilulissat Icefjord – a UNESCO World Heritage site - spews giant tabular icebergs out into Disko Bay. The glacier that creates these stunning monoliths advances at over 40 metres per day, creating around 50 cubic kilometres of ice annually. Our approach to Ilulissat is dependent on the amount of ice in and around the mouth of the fjord. Our Captain and officers are skilled ice navigators and our ship has one of the highest ice ratings of any vessel exploring Arctic waters.
We will explore the fjord behind the town of Sisimiut before going ashore to explore this beautiful location. Characterized by colourful local houses, the town features a towering granite peak as a backdrop. We 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.
One of the world’s longest fjords, Sondre Stromfjord towers above the ship as we sail up it. We plan to venture into some of the small side fjords that we can zodiac into and explore on foot or by kayak. Major geologic and geomorphologic features will surround us and we hope to find muskox along the shores of the fjord as well. Soaring high above us will be the white-tailed sea eagle, riding the thermals off the ridges. There are fantastic opportunities for hiking.
Kangerlussuaq and Ottawa
Our journey through the Arctic is all but complete as we disembark the ship in Kangerlussuaq and make our way to the airport and a charter flight returns us to Ottawa. A transfer is provided from the airport to a central location downtown.
Complimentary use of wet weather gear
Complimentary use of wellington boots
Complimentary use of waterproof backpack and binoculars
Complimentary water bottle
In room coffee & tea station
An extensive pre-departure information package
Onboard Information Folder
Educational presentations from experienced guides such as ornithologists, glaciologists, historians, geologists, naturalists and marine mammals experts
Photography advises and instructions from the resident photographer. Extended photography workshops available on select departures
All zodiac and landing excursions
Zodiac cruising, hiking, guided walks, photography workshops, fitness & yoga.
Board and Lodging
All meals during the voyage prepared by One Ocean Expeditions chefs
Welcome reception & welcome dinner
One Ocean Expeditions Farewell dinner hosted by the Captain
Daily afternoon tea with fresh snacks
Coffee, tea & hot chocolate available anytime
Access to wellness area (Finnish Sauna, Plunge Pool filled with sea water, Hot Tub)
Natural essential oil amenities
Services of English speaking medical officer.
Use of multimedia room to download images. Lightroom, Adobe, Photoshop and card readers are available for use on MAC and PC computers
Expedition Gear Package for the duration of the voyage - valued at US$1,000
Windproof / waterproof jacket and bib pants
Comfortable insulated rubber boots
Water resistant binoculars
Trekking poles available on shore.
From/ to designated meeting points to/from the ship
Additional transfers in welcome/departure cities (only applicable on certain departures)
Luggage transfer from designated locations to/from your cabin
International and national airfares
Visa and passport fees, airport taxes
Pre- or post-cruise hotel accommodation in arrival/departure cities
Meals & transfers in arrival / departure cities
Soft drinks and alcoholic beverages
Massages from a registered therapist
Personal laundry charges
Postage, telephone calls & email set up
Medical expenses such as fees, prescriptions or medications
Travel medical insurance including medical evacuation (mandatory)
Trip interruption / cancellation insurance
Gratuities to staff and crew
* The prices are per person expressed in US Dollars.
NOTE: Embracing the unexpected is part of the legacy—and excitement—of expedition travel. When traveling in extremely remote regions, your expedition staff must allow the sea, the ice and the weather to guide route and itinerary details. This itinerary is a tentative outline of what you’ll experience on this voyage; please be aware that no specific itinerary can be guaranteed.
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