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The Northwest Passage - In the Wake of Great Explorers (Itinerary 2)

from

$17,233

per person

Overview

Experience the raw and daunting beauty of the Arctic on this rarely-travelled voyage. Our advanced expedition ship is one of the few capable of navigating the Passage in premium comfort for a true adventure.

from $17,233 per person

Into the Northwest Passage

We start off exploring lively Edmonton before flying to Cambridge Bay where our sea expedition begins into the Northwest Passage. Over the next seven days, we’ll explore the islands that dot this notoriously challenging territory, navigable only a few weeks of the year. Exactly what we’ll see and do depends on the sea ice and weather conditions.  

As we sail, you’ll pass spectacular ice cliffs and ice sculpted by the elements. Your Expedition Leader will pick locations for small boat cruising and escorted landings with the Expedition Team where possible, that may include Gjoa Haven, Fort Ross, Beechey Island, Radstock Bay, Dundas Harbor and Pond Inlet, where we’ll visit Thule and Inuit settlements and historic trading posts.  

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Itinerary

Enjoy the lively and colourful city of Edmonton on one of our Pre-programmes before your expedition begins.

In Inuinnaqtun, Cambridge Bay is called 'Iqaluktuuttiaq', meaning a 'good fishing place' for the giant char that is caught nearby. Local wildlife is abundant: seals, geese, muskoxen and caribou. This is where our expedition ends, and you will be transferred to the airport for your flight to Edmonton.

We aim to head into the heart of the Northwest Passage. Since the late 15th century, the search for this fabled seaway through the Canadian Arctic was a holy grail for hardy adventurers.

The first recorded voyage was led by John Cabot in 1497. James Cook attempted but failed to sail the Passage in 1776, and many are already familiar with the ill-fated Franklin expedition of 1845. The first to conquer the Passage by ship was Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen on an expedition that lasted from 1903 to 1906.

The sea ice varies from year to year and every expedition here is unique. We hope to be able to show you some of the following places:

Gjoa Haven honours the Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen, who wintered here from 1903 on the Gjøa expedition. He called the place 'the finest little harbour in the world.' He learned a great deal from local Netslik Inuit people about survival and travel in polar regions. These skills were instrumental in helping Amundsen be the first to reach the South Pole almost a decade later.

Fort Ross was established in 1937. There are two small huts ashore maintained by the Canadian Coast Guard, and occasionally used by the local Inuit for shelter. It was one of several Hudson’s Bay Company trading posts in the Canadian Arctic.

Beechey Island is closely linked to the history of exploration of the Northwest Passage, particularly the voyage led by Sir John Franklin, whose two ships sailed into the passage in 1845, but never returned. It is known that the Franklin Expedition over-wintered here in 1845 and three of his men are buried here.

Radstock Bay is dominated by the rock of Caswell Tower. The shoreline here is excellent for short walks to a pre-historic Inuit site. Caswell Tower itself features a challenging hike to the summit for great views.

Dundas Harbour is an abandoned settlement with an old Royal Canadian Mounted Police camp and Hudson Bay Company trading post, together with several archaeological sites from the Thule period.

Set on the picturesque Eclipse Sound with Bylot Island in the distance, Pond Inlet, called 'Mittimatalik' in Inuktitut, is a traditional Inuit community on Baffin Island. Pond Inlet is surrounded by mountain ranges, with glaciers, scenic fjords, ice caves, geological hoodoos and drifting icebergs to marvel at.

Throughout the journey, we will be sailing spell-bindingly scenic straits and on the constant look out for wildlife such as the mighty polar bear.

We have left Canada behind and now set course for Greenland. While sailing across Baffin Bay, you can continue to enjoy informative lectures presented by the Expedition Team. Their topics may include wildlife you might see in Greenland, Greenlandic culture, expedition photography, geology, and historic explorers.  

 If you feel like getting active, you can hit the gym and get your pulse up. You’ll also have access to a sauna and two outdoor hot tubs. Drinks can be enjoyed in the panoramic Explorer Lounge & Bar too, while settling into a sofa and watching the rhythmic ocean waves roll by outside.   

Ilulissat – meaning simply ‘Icebergs’ – is set in the stunning scenery of the Ilulissat Icefjord, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This beautiful gem of a town is characterised by its colourful houses sitting down by the fjord which features an ever-changing gallery of icebergs – it really is a picture-perfect kind of place.

It’s also a vibrant hub for adventure seekers who head out onto the polar ice cap, and there are almost as many sled dogs living here as there are people. Each spring, one of the world’s greatest dog sled races takes place here, with 100 sleds.

Just outside the town you can often see enormous icebergs floating in the deep blue waters. They originate from the Jakobshavn Glacier, which calves some 35 billion tonnes of icebergs each year. The icebergs make their way down the 20km fjord before entering Disko Bay, and they are a photographer’s dream.

You won’t just see these huge, chiseled masses of ice, you’ll also hear them. As they bump into one another and into the shores, the sounds of cracking, rumbling, and creaking echo throughout the fjord.

If that background noise is like the drums, the crumble, crash, and splash of ice calving off the icebergs into the waters below are the cymbals. Take a moment just to sit, watch, and listen to the icebergs in the beautiful surroundings.

Spectacularly situated Sisimiut – Greenland’s second city – is placed 40km north of the Arctic Circle in the central coastal area of the Davis Strait. It’s a modern settlement but its roots stretch back in time a long way, with estimates that the area has been settled by Greenlandic peoples for over 4,500 years.

Its name translates into ‘the people at the fox holes’, a reference to the many burrows of Arctic fox that lie near the city. Another animal local to the area is the musk ox whose wool is used to make a local fabric called qiviut – said to be 10 times warmer than sheep wool. You might like to pick up a qiviut scarf, hat, or mittens while you are here.

With a population of around 5,500, Sisimiut is an important regional hub and is often a stopover point for boats heading between Nuuk and the Disko Bay area, with many coming here to enjoy backcountry sports on the Greenland ice cap such as skiing or dog sledding.

The small museum houses artefacts from excavations of ancient Saqqaq settlements near the town, some as old as 4,000 years. There’s also the Taseralik Cultural Centre, the place to go to learn more about the cultural heritage of the area.

For the fit and healthy, we offer a 4-5 hour hike up Palaasip Qaqqa mountain, a steady, steep climb to over 500 metres above sea level. The effort to go up will be well rewarded with unique views of Greenland’s exceptional scenery.

Nuuk was settled in 1728, which makes it the oldest settlement in the nation. And although Greenland’s capital is classed as a city, fewer than 17,000 people call it home. The name Nuuk means peninsula, and it’s located at the mouth of a system of spectacular fjords and mountains.

The first thing you’ll notice about this low-rise settlement is how colourful the houses are, with red, green, blue and yellow buildings standing out against the icy black and white backdrop of the mountains.

Today Nuuk is a place where old and new traditions meet, from the picturesque old buildings dotting the edge of the fjord, to the ultra-modern architecture of the Greenlandic Parliament and the wave-shaped Katuaq Cultural Centre.

You can visit the oldest building in Greenland at Hans Egede’s House, constructed in 1721 by the Norwegian missionary who is credited as founding the city. Elsewhere in the city, you can look for a statue and a church named after him.

The red-painted Nuuk Cathedral with the typical Lutheran clock tower and steeple is worth a visit too. Drop by the Greenland National Museum to see the Qilakitsoq mummies or admire local paintings at the Nuuk Art Museum, the only private arts and crafts museum in Greenland.

We’ll also be offering a long hike through Paradise Valley and around Mt. Lille Malene as part of an optional excursion. As you follow a path formed by old reindeer tracks, you’ll bask in splendid views of the Greenlandic coast and pass by a small lake and natural springs.

There are also a range of eateries in Nuuk to satisfy all tastes, some of them featuring local delicacies such as musk ox, seal soup and snow crab on the menus. If you’d rather just have a coffee, there are several excellent cafes that serve hot drinks and snacks such as burgers and Danish pastries.

Kvanefjord is a 48km-long fjord on the west coast of Greenland in the district of Sermersooq, which means ‘place of much ice’. The fjord extends around 10km inland before branching into three smaller channels, each with a glacier at its head.

We will spend the day exploring this amazing fjord and the captain will seek out places where we can drop anchor and head ashore. There will be plenty of opportunities for scouting out wildlife, either from the deck or on land, or perhaps you’d just like to stretch your legs and enjoy the stunning scenery.

Kvanefjord is also close to Kvanefjeld, an area with one of the largest concentrations of rare-earth mineral deposits in the world. Recent surveys even estimate that a quarter of the world’s rare-earth minerals lie within these hills.

Geological concentrations of uranium and the fabled Greenlandic ruby, the tugtupite – meaning ‘reindeer blood’ make the Kvanefield site particularly noteworthy. Cerium, lanthanum, and other precious metals crucial to modern technology, such as smartphones, electric cars, and MRI machines, are also found here.

You’ll have time to relax, get to know your fellow travellers better, and make full use of the facilities on board. In the Science Center, the Expedition Team will hold lecture programmes on the wildlife and ecosystems of the Arctic.  

We also support a number of Citizen Science projects that you can join. These projects include Happywhale, where your photographs help identify and track the movement of specific whales across the planet due to their distinguishing characteristics.

Or you can participate in the GLOBE Observer project, which combines your observations of clouds and sky conditions from below with data collected by satellites from above. By participating in these projects, not only will you be supporting the scientific community, you’ll also be gaining a better understanding of the world around you. 

You’ll have time to relax, get to know your fellow travellers better, and make full use of the facilities on board. In the Science Center, the Expedition Team will hold lecture programmes on the wildlife and ecosystems of the Arctic.  

We also support a number of Citizen Science projects that you can join. These projects include Happywhale, where your photographs help identify and track the movement of specific whales across the planet due to their distinguishing characteristics.

Or you can participate in the GLOBE Observer project, which combines your observations of clouds and sky conditions from below with data collected by satellites from above. By participating in these projects, not only will you be supporting the scientific community, you’ll also be gaining a better understanding of the world around you. 

As you sail into the Bay of Islands, surrounded by the jagged slopes and dense forests of the Long Range Mountains, you’ll be charting the same course that Captain James Cook did over 250 years ago.

Our next stop is Corner Brook at the mouth of the Humber River. This is the second-largest city in the Newfoundland and Labrador province after St. John’s. If the latter is trendy and international, Corner Brook is decidedly traditional and local.

You can get a sense of the regional history here at Corner Brook Museum. There are a number of artifacts that chart the indigenous cultures, logging industry, and of course, Captain James Cook. The exhibit on WWII brides from England and Scotland is particularly fascinating.

We offer an optional excursion up to Crow Hill, home of the Captain James Cook National Historic site. Standing where the famous British Explorer once stood to survey the area, you’ll have pleasant views over the city. Don’t forget to grab a photo with the statue of the man himself.

Other optional excursions include a guided hike along a portion of the Corner Brook Stream trail. Or adrenaline-inducing zip-lining high up over the scenic Humber Valley, admiring views of Marble Mountain and Steady Brook Falls.

When it’s time to depart, a local band might come aboard and treat us to a performance, sending us on a way in true Corner Brook hospitality.

It’s our final day at sea and your cruise with us is fast drawing to a close. You might like to spend this day at sea just fully unwinding from the excitement of the past two weeks.

Your thoughts might naturally turn to home, or maybe you’ll find that you’ll have already left your heart back in one of the special places you’ve visited. Today will be a good time to spend reflecting on and taking stock of all the wonderful experiences you’ve had.

The Expedition Team will likely be in a similar mood as you, and you can join them as they fondly recap the highlights of the thrilling cruise you’ve shared together. You’ll probably also have a few hundred photos of scenic landscapes, activities, and memories to sift through and sort out!

And with that, your exciting, epic journey from the heart of the Northwest Passage all the way to the other ends in Halifax.

The cosmopolitan capital of the Canadian province of Nova Scotia sits in the centre of the region’s east coast and is an important seaport that looks out over one of the world's largest natural harbours.

With its red-brick heritage buildings, the landmark Citadel Hill National Historic Site, a historic 1820 brewery and the epic 4-km seafront boardwalk, Halifax offers plenty of potential if you want to extend your trip.

Close to where we dock is Pier 21, the ‘Ellis Island of Canada’ where thousands of immigrants arrived from all over the world, and an appropriate site for Canada's Museum of Immigration. There is also the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic which contains a large exhibit of the notorious Titanic disaster.

Not far from Downtown Halifax is Halifax Common which opened in 1763 and is Canada’s oldest park. And if you enjoy art, the extensive collection in the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia is sure to make an impression on you.

If you can, spend a few extra days here on our Post-Programme before you head home. You’ll visit the historic community of Peggy's Cove and see its iconic lighthouse. There’ll also be time to pay your respects at Halifax Fairview Lawn Cemetery, the solemn burial place of 121 tragic passengers of the Titanic.

DAY 20
HALIFAX, CANADA
Capital of Nova Scotia

Itinerary Subject to Change

What's Included

Hotels

  • Overnight in Edmonton before the Expedition cruise including breakfast

Flights

  • Economy flight from Edmonton to Cambridge Bay

Transfers

  • Transfer from the hotel in Edmonton to the airport before the Expedition cruise
  • Transfer from the airport to the ship in Cambridge Bay before the Expedition cruise

Expedition Cruise

  • Expedition cruise in a cabin of your choice
  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner including beverages (house beer and wine, sodas, and mineral water) in restaurants Aune and Fredheim
  • À la carte restaurant Lindstrøm included for 5 nights for suite guests 
  • Complimentary tea and coffee
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi on board. Be aware that we sail in remote areas with limited connection. Streaming is not supported.
  • Complimentary reusable water bottle to use at water refill stations on board
  • English-speaking Expedition Team who organise and accompany activities on board and ashore
  • Range of included excursions

Onboard Activities

  • Experts on the Expedition Team deliver in-depth lectures on a variety of topics
  • Use of the ship’s Science Center which has an extensive library and advanced biological and geological microscopes
  • Citizen Science programme allows guests to assist with live scientific research
  • Professional onboard photographer gives top tips and tricks for the best landscape and wildlife photos
  • Use of the ship’s hot tubs, infinity pool, panoramic sauna, outdoor and indoor gyms, and outdoor running track
  • Informal gatherings with the crew such as daily recaps and preparation for the day to come

Landing Activities

  • Escorted landings with small expedition boats
  • Loan of boots, trekking poles, and all equipment for activities
  • Complimentary wind and water-resistant expedition jacket
  • Expedition Photographers help with your camera settings before landings
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Our business hours are:

Monday to Friday
9am – 4pm

Strictly by appointment only

Saturday
9am – 12pm

by email / phone only

Pricing is correct as of 22/01/2021. Availability and pricing are subject to change at any time. Prices are per person (pp), AUD, twin share. Pricing is inclusive of the discount. Valid for new bookings booked before 20 Feb 2021 unless sold out prior. Cabins and excursions are subject to availability. Hurtigruten operates a flexible pricing system and prices are capacity controlled and are correct at time of booking. Solo traveller supplements may apply. Normal booking payment and cancellation conditions apply. This offer is valid for new, individual bookings only and on select departures, and subject to withdrawal at any time without notice. Offer is combinable with the Ambassador offer and Corona Virus Rebooking Discount. Itinerary is subject to change and operation is subject to weather conditions, prevailing conditions and local arrangements may cause variation. Offer is subject to change or availability at time of booking and may be withdrawn without notice. Travel insurance is recommended please ask us for a quote. Payment by credit card attracts a merchant fee. Full terms and conditions provided at the time of booking.