Things to Consider
Choosing the right ship is a key decision when planning your Northwest Passage trip. To help get you started, here are a few key tips on what to consider:
- The Northwest Passage ships vary considerably in terms of size, comfort level and style
- Distances are vast in this part of the world - choosing a ship with a good average speed reduces overall sailing time
- Generous outer decks ensure everyone has ample space, while decent viewing platforms are important too
- For those with an interest in the educational side, the size of the expedition team of experts is worth considering
- With wildlife generally being fairly skittish in the Arctic, a quieter ship can help achieve closer sightings
- Kayaking and mountain biking are popular optional add-on’s, but aren’t offered by all ships, so double check
The selection of ships for a Northwest Passage cruise is limited, but the few available do offer a good choice as they aren’t all the same.
Ships that sail the Northwest Passge
Ocean Endeavour (198 passengers)
More akin to a mini-cruise ship, Ocean Endeavour is a very comfortable option. The larger ship brings enhanced onboard facilities and extra space - everyone has plenty of space and it feels like there are fewer people than there actually are.
Her four engines provide plenty of horsepower - she comfortably cruises at 15 knots on just two. Plus, the large 34 person expedition team allows for real personalisation and 1-2-1 attention for guests. Mountain biking during community visits is available. (198 passengers) More akin to a mini-cruise ship, Ocean Endeavour is a very comfortable option. The larger ship brings enhanced onboard facilities and extra space - everyone has plenty of space and it feels like there are fewer people than there actually are.
Ocean Adventurer (134 passengers)
With her stylish lines, spacious wooden decks and covered promenade, Ocean Adventurer harks back to an earlier era of travel. But behind these details and her recently renovated stylish cabins is a very capable expedition ship. New engines installed in spring 2017 mean she can comfortably cruise at 16 knots - a big plus in the Canadian Arctic.
Sea kayaking is offered as an optional add-on.
Akademik Ioffe & Vavilov (92 & 96 passengers)
Few ships are more ideally suited for plying the waters of the Northwest Passage. These expedition-style sister ships’ 1A ice class hull, outstanding stability and manoeuvrability mean they’re seriously capable, even in heavy ice and rough weather. Plus, these ships are really quiet, which can be a big advantage when trying to approach wildlife. Few people know the best places to see wildlife than Boris, the expedition leader.
Sea kayaking is offered as an optional add-on.
Choosing the right ship can be tricky as there’s a lot to bear in mind. For me, it’s all about the integrity of the itinerary - where you’ll actually explore - and travelling with the best guides available.
Alex Mudd General Manager
Trips on these selected ships
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…
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Plan your trip
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Help Me Choose
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