Reasons to Go

Discover the Northwest passage for yourself as you retrace the routes of legendary explorers and are enthralled by the extraordinary scenery, remarkable wildlife and unique Inuit culture.

  • Experience what true isolation feels like in one of the world’s most remote and least populated regions
  • Tread in the footsteps of the early explorers as you lose yourself amongst the endless islands, channels and bays of the Northwest Passage
  • Keep a vigilant eye out for polar bears, belugas, walrus, musk ox & narwhal – there’s nowhere better for sightings of the Arctic Big 5
  • Gain an appreciation of life on top of the world as you visit remote Inuit communities - a warm welcome is guaranteed

Discover The Northwest Passage

Trips to the Northwest Passage

Tips on planning your trip

Given the overall time and cost factors involved with a once-in-a-lifetime trip like this choosing exactly the right trip for you is crucial. To help you get started, here are a few tips on key areas you should be considering:

  • The limited number of cruises and strong demand means booking 12 -18 months ahead is recommended
  • Most depart in August/ September when late summer ice allows safe passage through the narrow channels
  • There’s no definitive route to traversing the Northwest Passage, so focus on the planned landings
  • The distances are significant - trips range from 13 -17 days - which means ship speed is significant
  • Northwest Passage cruises typically start or finish in West Greenland, providing interesting contrast
  • When to go & the direction of travel are important variables worth considering as they both carry influence

Plan your trip

Swoop Says

How much will it cost?

These trips aren’t low cost due to the logistical challenges of travelling in such a remote area, the distances covered and the overall duration of each trip. Prices start from around USD$9,600 per person.

Plus, on top of the actual voyage cost, there’s an additional mandatory charter flight package which can add on USD$1,500 - $2,500 per person, depending on the routing.


Northwest Passage Cruises: Your Questions Answered

  • What is the Northwest Passage?

    The Northwest Passage is a sea route connecting the North Atlantic and Pacific Oceans via waterways through the islands of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago. Explorers for centuries sought the existence of a navigable passage, however it wasn’t until 1903–1906 when the Norwegian Roald Amundsen proved it with the first successful transit.

  • How do I get there?

    Edmonton and Ottawa are the main international gateways for onward scheduled and charter flights to the start and end points further north, which are typically Cambridge Bay, Resolute, Kugluktuk (Coppermine) or Kangerlussuaq in West Greenland. See more.

  • What’s so interesting about the Northwest Passage?

    The search for the fabled Northwest Passage stretched across four centuries and is a fascinating story of failure, disaster and tragedy, but also of great heroism and endurance which continues to resonate and be of great interest. Recent changes in Arctic climate and the viability of an ice free Northwest Passage for commercial shipping has further peaked interest in this incredibly rich historical region.

  • Will I see Arctic wildlife?

    The wildlife in The Arctic isn’t as plentiful and guaranteed as it is in Antarctica, however it is there and can be seen with patience and tenacity. 

Ready to Book Your Arctic Adventure?

  • Swoop Arctic Expert John
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Our team of experts are ready to help you with any questions about a trip to Arctic. Call us now to start your journey.