Northwest Passage: In Franklin's Footsteps

The big ice and small towns of West Greenland provide a stunning start to this trip before you sail across the Davis Straight to Baffin Island and enter the Northwest Passage. Blend history, scenery and wildlife; pay your respects at the Franklin Expedition graves at Beechey Island, try to spot Musk Oxen and visit some of Canada’s northernmost communities.
17 Days

Northwest Passage: In Franklin's Footsteps - 17 Days - $11,995

Trip Summary and Itinerary Map

  • 15 full days exploring - Greenland (6) & Canadian Arctic (9)
  • A strong focus on the Franklin expedition
  • Experience the ice of the UNESCO World Heritage site at Ilulissat, Greenland
  • Meet locals and learn about Inuit history 
  • Travel aboard a comfortable 199 passenger expeditionary ship
  • Kayaking available (additional cost)
  • Complimentary rubber boot loan

Start from Kangerlussuaq and end at Kugluktuk

Landmarks potentially visited on Northwest Passage: In Franklin's Footsteps

Operator's Itinerary

Day 1 - Kangerlussuaq:

Kangerlussuaq is a former US Air Force base and Greenland’s primary flight hub. After our charter flight from Toronto, we will transfer to Ocean Endeavour by Zodiac. Sondre Stromfjord is one of the longest fjords in the world: 168 kilometres of superb scenery. Steaming down this dramatic fjord we’ll cross the Arctic Circle.

Day 2 - Sisimiut Coast:

West Greenland’s complex coastal waterways include glaciers, islands and fjords against a towering mountain backdrop. The waters are relatively warm here, due to the West Greenland current and the sub-Arctic location. Abundant fauna and marine life have supported human habitation here as far back as 4,500 years. 

Day 3 - Ilulissat:

Ilulissat means “iceberg”, an apt name for this site at the outlet of the Sermeq Kujalleq glacier, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the source of many of the icebergs in the North Atlantic. 

We will cruise in our fleet of Zodiacs to appreciate the icebergs, and visit the town of Ilulissat, with its museums, cafes, craft shops, and busy fishing harbour.

Days 4 & 5 - Western Greenland:

Exploring by ship and Zodiac along the west coast of Greenland, we have numerous options for expedition stops, to make the most of weather and wildlife conditions. Departing Greenland, we cross Baffin Bay toward Nunavut. 

Day 6: At Sea - Davis Strait

As we steam toward Nunavut, our resource staff will deepen your understanding of the Arctic. This is an excellent time to enjoy workshops, watch a documentary, or get out on deck. Keep your binoculars ready for minke and humpback whales, as well as the seabirds that are sure to mark our passage.

Day 7: Mittimatalik (Pond Inlet)

Mittimatalik is a busy Arctic community in a beautiful setting, a fascinating place to wander. The cultural presentation at the Community Hall is not to be missed—arts and crafts may be available here too.

Days 8 to 10: Tallurutiup Imanga (Lancaster Sound) & Devon Island

We will spend three days exploring Tallurutiup Imanga (Lancaster Sound), one of the newest National Marine Conservation Areas in Nunavut. Narwhal, beluga, and bowhead whales transit and feed in this area. We’ll cruise by ship and Zodiac in search of wildlife.

On the northern border of Tallurutiup Imanga lies Devon Island, the largest uninhabited island on Earth at over fifty thousand square kilometres. Flat topped mountains, glacial valleys, and a substantial ice cap give Devon Island its unique character. We hike the tundra, cruise a glacier face, and seek wildlife from ship and by shore. Archaeological sites with expert interpretation allow us to learn about the Inuit history of this now-abandoned island. We’ll visit the remains of a RCMP and Hudson's Bay Company site at Dundas Harbour.

Day 11 - Beechey Island:

In 1845, Sir John Franklin set out from England with HMS Erebus and HMS Terror, attempting to sail through the Northwest Passage. His crew overwintered at Beechey Island—where three of his men died.

Numerous search parties later used Beechey as a depot and rendezvous. Amundsen, Bernier, and Larsen visited Beechey. Thomas Morgan of the HMS Investigator was buried there in 1854 alongside Franklin’s men. The graves and the ruins of Northumberland House are a haunting memorial.

Days 12 & 13 - Prince Regent Inlet:

This passage marks an area rich in marine and avian life. Thick-billed murres, ivory gulls, beluga, narwhal and bowhead whales reside in the ice-strewn waters. In addition to abundant wildlife, we’ll delve deeper into the exploration of the Northwest Passage and the mercantile efforts of the Hudson's Bay Company.

Days 14 to 16: Kitikmeot Region:

The traditional territory of the Netsilik Inuit, the Kitikmeot Region consists of parts of Victoria Island, the adjacent part of the mainland as far as the Boothia Peninsula, King William Island, and the southern portion of Prince of Wales Island. Recently, the Kitikmeot Region has been in the news since the finding of the lost ships of the Franklin Expedition in its waters. It is Nunavut’s least-populated region, though wildlife abounds here both in the sea and on land. We will spend our time navigating the 

ice-strewn waters in search of wildlife.

We’ll also call in at Uqsuqtuuq (Gjoa Haven) home of the Guardians of Terror Bay. The European name, Gjoa Haven, honours Roald Amundsen who overwintered in the bay for two years while searching for the Northwest Passage. Amundsen became the first European to cross the Northwest Passage, thanks to the knowledge and largesse of Inuit. The community has an excellent cultural centre and is well known for carvings and wall hangings.

Day 17 - Kugluktujk:

Located at the mouth of the Coppermine River, Kugluktuk is the westernmost community in Nunavut. Iqaluktuuttiaq (Cambridge Bay), is an alternate disembarkation point, and may be used based on sea, ice and weather conditions.

Please 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.

I love this really stable ship for the huge amounts of space from which to take in your surroundings either on deck or in a cosy lounge. 

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.

Additional Notes

Charter flights

The charter flights Edmonton/ Cambridge Bay (Nunavut) & Kangerlussuaq (Greenland)/ Ottawa at the beginning and end of the voyage cost an additional:

US$ 2,695 per person in 2020

Discovery Fund Fee

The Discovery Fee of $250 per person is included in the cost of your trip. This 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

A full kayaking programme is available to give you a different view of the Arctic, the cost is US$695 per person.

Mountain Biking is available typically only during community visits and not on expedition stops, due to polar bears. $40 CDN per rental paid onboard.

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 welcome with no minimum age requirement. Children under 2 years old travel for free, ages 3 & 4 only pay the cost of the charter flight 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
  • Applicable taxes and credit card fees
  • Complimentary Expedition jacket
  • Contribution to Adventure Canada's Discovery Fund
  • Pre-departure materials
  • Nikon Camera Trial Program


  • 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 and from points of embarkation/disembarkation
  • Any additional services before and after your voyage
  • Transfers not specific to the itinerary
  • Travel insurance
  • Optional adventure activities
  • 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)
  • Additional expenses in the event of delays or itinerary changes
  • Possible fuel surcharges

Questions about this Voyage?