Heart of the Northwest Passage

Traversing the heart of the Northwest Passage this compact trip focuses on the region’s fascinating history and wildlife. Planned visits to numerous locations linked to the Franklin expedition, narrated by onboard historians, combine with renowned wildlife hotspots such as Lancaster Sound and Bellot Strait.

10 Days

$7,095

Heart of the Northwest Passage - 10 - $7,095

Trip Summary and Itinerary Map

  • 8 full days exploring the Canadian Arctic
  • Flights Edmonton/ Resolute & Cambridge Bay/ Edmonton
  • Only 92 passengers aboard this very capable ship
  • Hiking, photographer in residence + kayaking (extra cost)
  • This ship loans full wet weather gear (jacket, trousers & boots)

Start from Edmonton and end at Edmonton

Landmarks visited on Heart of the Northwest Passage

Operator's Itinerary

Day 1: Edmonton

We depart Edmonton on our charter flight to Resolute, a remote outpost above the Arctic Circle. Located on the southern shores of Cornwallis Island, the town is named after the British ship HMS Resolute which was trapped in ice and abandoned here in 1850 while searching for the lost Franklin Expedition.

A weather station and airstrip made it a strategic outpost during the Cold War. On arrival, we meet our expedition team and prepare for our zodiac ride to the ship. After a welcome cocktail, we weigh anchor and depart Resolute in the early evening.


Day 2: Beechey Island, Prince Leopold Island

Beechey Island holds great historic importance in the story of the Northwest Passage. 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. 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 HMS Erebus in the Victoria Strait. One Ocean Expeditions played a vital role in the discovery by carrying underwater search equipment on our ship as well as scientists, historians, researchers, dignitaries and sponsors. A trip ashore at Beechey Island to visit the grave markers on a remote windswept beach is a thrilling location for history buffs. 


Day 3: Elwin Inlet

We cross the broad expanse of Lancaster Sound, spending time on the ship's bridge, or outer decks looking for wildlife. The sound has been likened to the wildlife 'super highway' of the Arctic. Approaching northern Baffin Island we are in awe of the spectacular Arctic landscape that seemingly stretches on forever.

Cape Charles Yorke offers several great walking opportunities and we may enjoy some sightings of polar bears along this coast. We navigate the ship into nearby Elwin Inlet, a breathtaking fjord which is well protected and great for a zodiac cruise or hike onshore.


Day 4 Prince Leopold Island

Having crossed Prince Regent Inlet overnight, we approach the towering bird cliffs of Prince Leopold Island in the morning. The island is 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 Migratory Bird Sanctuaries in the whole of the Canadian Arctic and makes for fantastic zodiac cruising.


Day 5: Bellot Strait

Continuing to navigate the ship south into Prince Regent Inlet, we 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. The mixing of waters in this strait provides an abundant food source for marine mammals and we keep our eyes peeled for harp seals, bearded seals and even polar bears.


Day 6: Coningham Bay

Having emerged from Bellot Strait, we cross Franklin Strait and 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.


Day 7: Victory Point

On Victory Point a lifeboat left abandoned, bits and pieces of copper and iron, cutlery and buttons and a skeleton here and there - all tell a story of a desperate race south in search of rescue that never came. We hope to visit Victory Point as we transit Victoria Strait, travelling 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.


Days 8: The Royal Canadian Geographical Society Island

Today we explore The Royal Canadian Geographical Society Island and follow the footsteps of Sir Franklin and his crew.


Day 9: Exploration of Victoria Island and King William Island

We are in a very historic part of the Northwest Passage as we explore the waters of southern Victoria Strait and into the top of Queen Maud Gulf. Our itinerary today will be driven by the weather and ice conditions as we surround ourselves in history and search for wildlife.

This evening, we enjoy a special dinner attended by the Captain of the ship and the chance to reflect on a what has been a superb 10-days of exploration in this pristine Arctic wilderness.


Day 10: Edmonton

Our journey through the Arctic is all but complete as we disembark the ship in Cambridge Bay and make our way to the airport and a charter flight returns us to Edmonton. A transfer is provided from the airport to a central location downtown.


NOTE: This itinerary is for guidance only as each voyage will vary depending on ice and weather conditions, and opportunities to see wildlife. Flexibility is key and all part of the adventure of an expeditionary cruise.

About The Ship

  • A 4* expedition ship for only 96 guests
  • Everyone can go ashore together
  • 1A ice class rating + superior stability
  • Kayaking and photo workshops
  • Hot tub & sauna
  • Boots, jacket & trousers are provided on loan
John Newby

Watching this ship from the bridge cut through rough seas really demonstrated her superior strength.

John Newby Polar Specialist

Prices, Departures and Inclusions

Prices quoted below are per person based on 2 people sharing. Cabin availability changes all the time so please contact us for up-to-date details and information on specific cabin availability.

Triple
Shared Twin
Private Twin
Superior
Shackleton Suite
Captain's Suite
August 2018
23-Aug-2018 Full Full Full Full Full Full
August 2019
11-Aug-2019 $7,095* $8,095 $9,595 $10,695 $12,195 $13,895

* Note: Prices are per person. Paid in USD ($) - figure above is based on today's exchange rate. Actual cost $7095

Additional Notes

There is a mandatory $1,995 per person charter flight package on top of the voyage cost, which covers tw pre and post voyage charter flights.

GST (Canada): All bookings on voyages that operate domestically within Canada, are subject to a compulsory 5% goods and services tax (GST). This will be itemized separately to the cruise price on the confirmation invoice.


Optional Adventure Activities

Sea Kayaking ($695 per person)


Single Supplement & Child Policy

There is no single supplement for passengers willing to share a cabin. For those who want their own cabin, the single supplement in a twin cabin is 1.5 - 2 times the cost of sharing with another passenger.

Children are welcome. 25% discount young traveller discount up to 17 years and 20% off for those aged 18 - 21. Please contact us for details.

Includes

  • Voyage aboard the vessel as indicated in the itinerary
  • Accommodation during the voyage on full board basis
  • All shore excursions and zodiac activities
  • Access to onboard photographer in residence
  • Educational lectures by expert onboard polar guides
  • Access to an onboard doctor and basic medical services
  • Loan of full outer gear: jacket, trousers & rubber boots
  • Comprehensive pre-departure information
  • Port taxes and any entry fees to historic landing sites

Excludes

  • International flights to & from Edmonton, Alberta
  • Charter flights (US$ 1995)
  • Any additional services (hotels, etc) pre/ post voyage
  • Transfers not specific to the itinerary
  • Travel insurance
  • Optional adventure activities - Kayaking
  • Any visa, passport and vaccination expenses
  • Airport arrival or departure taxes
  • Items of a personal nature: laundry, beverages, etc
  • Customary staff gratuity at the end of the voyage
  • Additional onboard purchases (i.e. gift shop)

Questions about this Voyage?