Out the Northwest Passage, 17 Days
Starts: Yellowknife, NT, Canada
Ends: Toronto, ON, Canada
- Northbound Charter Flight: Toronto, ON, Canada to Kangerlussuaq, Greenland. Early-morning departure. Price: $1.375 USD
- Southbound Charter Flight: Kugluktuk (Coppermine), NU, Canada to Yellowknife, NT, Canada. Evening arrival. Price: $1.320 USD
- DAY 1: Kugluktuk (Coppermine), NU, Canada
Begin Your Adventure
After your charter flight from Yellowknife, NT, you’ll transfer to the?Ocean Endeavour?by Zodiac.
Begin your journey in Kugluktuk, the westernmost community in Nunavut, located at the mouth of the Coppermine River.
Known for many years as Coppermine, the community reverted to its original Inuinnaqtun name—meaning “place of moving waters”—on January 1st, 1996.
Iqaluktuuttiaq (Cambridge Bay), NU is an alternate embarkation point that may be used based on sea, ice, and weather conditions.
- DAY 2–4: Kitikmeot Region
Sail the Northwest Passage
Navigate the ice-strewn waters of this infamous waterway in search of wildlife. Although this is Nunavut’s least-populated region, wildlife abounds here both in the sea and on land.
Call in at Uqsuqtuuq (Gjoa Haven), home of the Guardians of Terror Bay.
Listen to the stories shared by locals of 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.
Visit the excellent cultural centre, well-known for carvings and wall hangings.
- DAY 5: Prince Regent Inlet
Enjoy Birdwatching & Zodiac Cruising
Search this area rich in marine and avian life for the thick-billed murres, ivory gulls, beluga, narwhal, and bowhead whales who reside in the ice-strewn waters.
Delve deeper into the exploration of the Northwest Passage and the mercantile efforts of the Hudson's Bay Company at intriguing expedition landing sites.
- DAY 6: Beechey Island
Visit a Franklin Expedition Historical Site
Pay your respects at this haunting memorial to Sir John Franklin’s failed expedition.
Learn the compelling history of the HMS Erebus?and HMS Terror’s attempts to sail through the Northwest Passage.
Franklin’s crew overwintered at Beechey Island, where three of his men died, and numerous search parties later used the spot as a depot and rendezvous. Thomas Morgan of the HMS Investigator?was buried here in 1854 alongside Franklin’s men.
Visit their graves and the ruins of nearby Northumberland House while contemplating the poignant history.
- DAY 7–8: Tallurutiup Imanga (Lancaster Sound)
Seek Whales, Seabirds, and Polar Bears
Spend two fun-filled days exploring Tallurutiup Imanga ?(Lancaster Sound), one of Canada's newest National Marine Conservation Areas.
Cruise by ship and by Zodiac in search of narwhal, beluga, and bowhead whales that transit and feed in this area.
Admire Devon Island’s unique geological character, with its flat-topped mountains, glacial valleys, and substantial ice cap. At the northern edge of Tallurutiup Imanga, it’s the largest uninhabited island on Earth at over 50,000 square kilometres.
Hike the tundra, cruise a glacier face, and keep your eyes peeled for polar bears and other wildlife from ship and from shore.
Visit archaeological sites with expert interpretation to learn about the human history of Inuit and their ancestors who once lived on this now-abandoned island.
Then catch a glimpse of more recent history when you visit the remains of a Royal Canadian Mounted Police and Hudson's Bay Company site at Dundas Harbour.
- DAY 9: Ausuittuq (Grise Fiord), NU
Experience Inuit Culture
Feel welcomed into Ausuittuq, where you will have a chance to meet members of the community, learn about their way of life, and hear their stories.
The hamlet, whose name means “place that never thaws,” sits 1,150 kilometres above the Arctic Circle.
Learn about the significance of the?origin of Canada’s northernmost community; during the Cold War in 1953, Inuit from Inukjuak, Québec and Mittimatalik were relocated under false pretences by the Canadian government with the aim of asserting Canadian sovereignty.
Be sure to talk a walk up to the touching sculpture memorializing the community’s history.
- DAY 10–11: Smith Sound
Reach Your Furthest North
Break your personal record of latitude in Smith Sound, an ancient Inuit travel route that divides Ellesmere Island from Greenland.
Learn the stories of Adolphus Greely, Sir George Nares, Elisha Kent Kane, and other explorers and adventurers searching for the North Pole, who travelled these waters with varying degrees of success.
- Day 12: At Sea
Deepen your understanding of the Arctic as we steam towards Greenland.
Enjoy workshops and presentations, watch a documentary, and get out on deck with your binoculars to look for whales, seabirds, and marine wildlife.
- DAY 13–14: Northwest Greenland
Hike the Tundra
Choose the activity you like best during an expedition landing on Greenland’s stunning northwest coast.
Whether you prefer hiking, walking, photography, or sitting contemplatively, you’ll be delighted!
Admire the glaciers and icebergs that abound here, as we seek opportunities to hike, Zodiac cruise, explore, and view wildlife as conditions allow.
- DAY 15: Ilulissat
Take a Zodiac Cruise Around Towering Icebergs
Visit the town of Ilulissat, with splendid museums, cafés, craft shops, and a busy fishing harbour.
View the icebergs from shore on a hike along the boardwalk at this UNESCO World Heritage Site, then board a Zodiac to cruise your way among them!
Ilulissat translates literally to “iceberg”—an apt name for this site at the mouth of the Sermeq Kujalleq glacier, a source of many of the icebergs in the North Atlantic.
- DAY 16: Itilleq Fjord
Witness Stunning Glaciers, Islands, and Fjords
Explore the west Greenland coastline, a rich mixture of islands and complex coastal waterways.
The tundra foliage will be in gorgeous colour during your visit in the Arctic autumn.
Enjoy one last expedition landing here to explore the landscape of wild Greenland.
- DAY 17: Kangerlussuaq, Greenland
Cross the Arctic Circle
Complete your journey up Kangerlussuaq Fjord (Søndre Strømfjord), a 190-kilometre-long fjord surrounded by mountains and glaciers, and cross the Arctic Circle one last time on your way.
Kangerlussuaq, the settlement at the head of the fjord, is a former US Air Force base and Greenland’s primary flight hub.
Transfer by Zodiac to shore, then ride to the airport by bus for your charter flight to Toronto, ON.