Trip Summary and Itinerary Map
- 14 full days exploring - Canada (9) & Greenland (5)
- Flights Calgary / Coppermine (Kugluktuk) & Kangerlussuaq/ Toronto
- Travelling aboard a comfortable 199 passenger expeditionary ship
- Mountain Biking (additional cost)
- Complimentary Wellington boot loan
Day 1: Kugluktuk
Located at the mouth of the Coppermine River, southwest of Victoria Island on the Coronation Gulf, Kugluktuk is the westernmost community in Nunavut. Coppermine reverted to its original Inuinnaqtun name—Kugluktuk, meaning “place of moving waters”—on January 1st, 1996. The Coppermine River itself is designated a Canadian Heritage River for the important role it played as an exploration and fur trade route. Copper deposits along the river attracted the first explorers to the area. Upon arrival on our charter flight to Kugluktuk, we embark the Ocean Endeavour.
Day 2: Coronation Gulf
Located between Victoria Island and the Arctic coast of mainland Canada, the Coronation Gulf is an extensive body of water that is linked to the Arctic Ocean via the Dolphin and Union Strait on the west and by the Dease Strait and Queen Maud Gulf on the east. The gulf was named in 1821 by John Franklin in honour of the coronation of King George IV. The environment and Inuit cultural history of the region was studied by Rudolph Anderson and Diamond Jenness in 1916 as part of the Canadian Arctic Expedition. We will be exploring the area, and making an opportunistic expedition stop.
Day 3: Queen Maud Gulf
Sir John Franklin’s flagship, the HMS Erebus, was a Hecla-class bomb vessel, built in Wales in 1826. She was named after the dark region in Hades of Greek mythology and weighed 372 tons. The ship took part in the Ross Expedition from 1839 to 1843, and was abandoned during the legendary Franklin Expedition after becoming icebound during an attempt to locate the fabled Northwest Passage. Her sunken wreck had actually been designated a National Historic Site prior to being located in September of 2014 by a Parks Canada underwater archaeology team. Two years later, Franklin’s other ship, Terror, was located, spurring further interest in one of the great mysteries of polar exploration.
Day 4: Usqsuqtuuk/ Gjoa Haven
In 1903, explorer Roald Amundsen, while looking for the Northwest Passage, sailed through the James Ross Strait and stopped at a natural harbour on the island's south coast. Unable to proceed due to sea ice, he spent the winters of 1903-04 and 1904-05 at Usqsuqtuuq (Gjoa Haven). While there, he learned Arctic living skills from the local Netsilik Inuit, skills that would later prove invaluable in his Antarctic explorations. He used his ship, Gjoa, as a base for explorations in the summer of 1904, sledding the Boothia Peninsula and travelling to the magnetic North Pole.
Usqsuqtuuq offers a lot to its visitors, like the Northwest Passage Territorial Historic Park, where visitors can experience the voyages of explorers such as Frobisher, Ross, and Franklin. Also, there is a 9-hole golf course, known to be Canada's most northerly course. Although Usqsuqtuuq is becoming more modern, many traditional Inuit activities are still being enjoyed, including throat singing, drum dancing, and hunting.
Days 5-7: Peel Sound and Parry Channel
As we head north up Peel Sound, you get into serious polar bear country and will be on the lookout for good spotting opportunities. Parry Channel is named after Arctic explorer William Edward Parry who got as far as Melville Island in 1819 before being blocked by ice at McClure Strait. You will be making expedition stops along the way among the spectacular landscapes, a perfect setting for hiking and exploring the geological diversity of the area.
Days 8: Beechey Island
In 1845 Sir John Franklin took his expedition of 129 men and two ships into the Wellington Channel. Not a soul returned from the fateful expedition. It was two years before search parties were launched. Aside from the bodies of three souls buried here, only relics were found as clues to the disappearance. The three graves found at Beechey Island left no indication as to the fate of the rest of the British party. A fourth grave, that of a sailor from a search party, completes a haunting historic site here. In the autumn of 2014, Canadian archaeologists discovered remnants of the HMS Erebus in the frozen waters of the Northwest Passage, and in 2015, her sister ship—the Terror—was similarly located.
Day 9-10 : Lancaster Sound and Grise Fjord
We will spend two days exploring Lancaster Sound—a proposed Marine Protected Area, with large populations of marine mammals, including narwhal, beluga whales, and bowhead whales. There is a great selection of landing sites available. Weather, wildlife, and sea conditions will influence our choice of landing today.
Aujuittuq means ‘place that never thaws.’ It is an apt name for this peaceful hamlet, 1,150 kilometres above the Arctic Circle. Canada’s northernmost “civilian” community is a living reminder of the Cold War; residents were relocated to Aujuittuq in an effort to boost Canadian sovereignty . We’ll be welcomed by the population of about 165. Our activities will centre in the village where we will have a chance to meet members of the community, learn about their way of life, and hear their poignant stories.
Days 11: Smith Sound
We will spend a day exploring this fabled body of water that served as the main route for explorers and adventurers searching for the North Pole. Adolphus Greely, Sir George Nares and Elisha Kent Kane all travelled these waters with varying degrees of success. The Sound was named by William Baffin after Sir Thomas Smythe, promoter of voyages to find a Northwest Passage. Between forty-eight and seventy-two kilometres wide, and eighty-eight kilometres long—Smith Sound is often packed with ice and provides favourable conditions for wildlife viewing.
Day 12-14: Western Greenland
There are a number of charming fishing villages and majestic fjords along the west coast of Greenland. Depending on timing and sea conditions, we way call in at one of these communities to experience small town Greenlandic life, or explore the stunning fjords that line the coast. This is a day in the true spirit of expedition travel and we will avail ourselves of any and all opportunities that present themselves.
Day 15: Ilulissat
Ilulissat translates literally into 'iceberg', and there couldn't be a more fitting name for this stunning coastal community. The visit will include time in the colourful town and a chance to hike out along a boardwalk to an elevated viewpoint where you can observe the great fields of ice. You will also cruise in the fleet of Zodiacs through the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Ilulissat Icefjord. The Icefjord is home to the Sermeq Kujalleq Glacier, one of the most active and fastest moving in the world at nineteen metres per day and calving more than thirty-five square kilometers of ice annually. The glacier has been the object of scientific attention for 250 years.
Day 16: Itilleq Fjord
The west Greenland coastline is a rich mixture of fishing communities, many islands and complex coastal waterways. There will be an expedition stop here to explore the Greenlandic landscape.
Day 17: Kangerlussuaq
Journey down spectacular Sondre Stromfjord, early risers will have a chance to experience its beauty. Sondre Stromfjord is one of the longest fjords in the world and boasts 168 kilometres of superb scenery! Kangerlussuaq, the town at its eastern head, means 'the big fjord.' You will disembark the ship and transfer to the airport to meet your charter flight home.
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.
What our customers think
Keep in mind that itineraries are a guide and embrace the changes that weather, wind and ice bring to each voyage. Landing in areas where things are uncharted and new to even the most experienced expedition staff is all part of the adventure.
Elaine Green United States Of America September 2018
About The Ship
- A middle-sized 4* ship suitable for up to 189 guests
- Well-appointed, offering comfort & stability
- Recently refurbished in 2015
- 1B ice class rating
- Loan of rubber boots
Originally built for 450 people and now capped at just 199, we like this ship for her spaciousness.
Loli Figueroa 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.
* Note: Prices are per person. Paid in USD ($) - figure above is based on today's exchange rate. Actual cost $12895
The charter flights at the beginning and end of the voyage cost an additional USD $2,695 per person. The flights are outward: Ottawa to Kangerlussuaq and return: Cambridge Bay to Edmonton.
Discovery Fund Fee
The Discovery Fee is a mandatory contribution of $250 per person that is used to support local projects in the areas you will be travelling through, helping to ensure the longevity and success of educational, environmental and cultural initiatives in the regions we visit.
Optional Adventure Activities
Mountain Biking – typically only during community visits and not on expedition stops, due to polar bears. $40 CDN per rental paid onboard.
From 2019, kayaking and snorkelling will be offered.
Single Supplement And Child Policy
For those travelling solo there are dedicated single cabins available. The single supplement for your own twin cabin is 1.7 times the cost of a single berth.
Young travellers are very much welcome with no minimum age requirement. Children under 2 years old travel for free, ages 3 & 4 only cover the charter flight cost and ages 5 - 30 receive a 30% discount off the cost of the berth.
- Voyage aboard the vessel as indicated in the itinerary
- Accommodation during the voyage on full board basis
- All shore excursions and zodiac activities
- Educational lectures by expert onboard polar guides
- Access to an onboard doctor and basic medical services
- Loan of rubber boots for the voyage's duration
- Comprehensive pre-departure information
- Port taxes and any entry fees to historic landing sites
- Flights to & from points of embarkation/disembarkation
- Any additional services before & after your voyage
- Transfers not specific to the itinerary
- Optional adventure activities (e.g. mountain biking)
- Discovery Fund Fee - Out of the Northwest fee
- Any visa, passport and vaccination expenses
- Airport arrival and departure taxes
- Travel insurance
- Items of a personal nature (laundry, beverages, etc.)
- Customary staff gratuity at the end of the voyage
- Additional onboard purchases (i.e. gift shop)