Northwest Passage and Greenland Expedition Cruise
starting from US $17,926per person
Choose your own activities and experiences to enjoy between scenic train tours.
Tailor your stay to perfectly suit your timeline and budget.
Travel back in time, along the paths of early explorers on this iconic Arctic cruise expedition. Travel along the Northwest Passage, explore spectacular fjords and bays, view rare Arctic wildlife, and see amazing ice formations in Greenland.
Trip at a glance
Depart Edmonton for Cambridge Bay
King William Island
Prince of Wales Island
Prince Leopold Island
Mittimatalik (Pond Inlet)
*Itinerary may vary to accommodate wildlife sightings and weather
Think of this itinerary as just a starting point. Our experienced Canadian Insiders will create a personalized experience for you that matches your schedule, travel style and budget.
Day 1 – Arrive in Edmonton
Today your adventure begins as you fly to Edmonton, Alberta and spend the night at the Fairmont Hotel MacDonald. Meet your group this evening for a briefing on tomorrow’s events.
Day 2 – Edmonton to Cambridge Bay, Nunavut
Depart Edmonton on a charter flight to Cambridge Bay, a remote outpost above the Arctic Circle. Located on the southern shores of Victoria Island. Enjoy a walking tour of the town before boarding your expedition ship, the RCGS Resolute. A welcome reception kicks off your Arctic adventure, before you cast off for the fabled Northwest Passage.
Insider tip: The RCGS Resolute is an ideal platform for exploring the Canadian Arctic. Although the vessel can hold up to 146 guests, activities and excursions are broken into small groups so its easy to find a special interest that suits you.
Day 3 – King William Island and Victory Point
As the ship charts a course into the Northwest Passage, The Captain aims to visit Victory Point, travelling very near the location of the wreck of HMS Erebus, one of the lost ships of the doomed Franklin Expedition of 1845. One Ocean was part of the expedition team which discovered the sunken Franklin vessels, so make sure to take advantage of the onboard presentations. The second ship, the HMS Terror, has just been discovered and the story continues to unravel.
Day 4 – Prince of Wales Island
This morning the ship arrives at Coningham Bay on the shore of Prince of Wales. This is one of the most remarkable wildlife sites in the Arctic – here you’ll see polar bears feeding on Beluga whales, and it is not unusual to find the shoreline littered with whale skeletons and well-fed looking bears!
Day 5 – Bellot Strait
Today the ship sails the Bellot Strait. The rich waters in this strait provide abundant food for marine mammals, so keep your eyes peeled for harp seals, bearded seals and even polar bears. In addition, you’ll visit the historic site of Fort Ross, a former fur trading outpost, located at the southern end of Somerset Island. Archaeological sites nearby reveal the centuries of habitation by the Inuit people, and their predecessors.
Day 6 – Beechey Island
Beechey Island holds a special place in Arctic history. It is here that Sir John Franklin’s ill-fated expedition was last seen, before disappearing into the icy vastness. A trip ashore at Beechey Island to visit the grave markers is haunting, as you imagine the struggle for Franklin’s team to survive in the harsh Arctic winter.
Day 7 – Devon Island
Cruising the coastline of Devon Island, you will be travelling the wildlife ‘super highway’ of the Arctic. An old RCMP outpost makes for unique photographs against the stunning landscape, and Muskox and Arctic hare may be seen as you hike the area.
Day 8 – Mittimatalik (Pond Inlet)
Today you’ll travel the wild north coast of Baffin Island. The vast landscapes of Sirmilik National Park surround you as the ship approaches the remote Inuit community of Mittimatalik (Pond Inlet). A highlight will be a visit to the Natinnak Centre, where a fascinating cultural exhibit showcases daily life, culture and history of the people of the north. Meeting local Inuit will be a highlight, as they demonstrate traditional Inuit games.
Day 9 – Gibbs Fjord
Today you are treated to the spectacular Gibbs Fjord. The expedition ship will feel almost engulfed by the giant peaks and snowy glaciers as you cruise along.
Day 10 – Baffin Bay
As you cross Baffin Bay today, your team of onboard experts will continue to educate you on the history and wildlife of the Arctic, while naturalists keep watch for fulmars and dovekies, pilot whales and perhaps even orca. As the ship approaches Greenland, the likelihood increases of spotting some of the big baleen whale species.
Day 11 – Ilulissat, Greenland
Today cruise into one of the wonders of the world, the Jacobshavn Icefjord – a UNESCO World Heritage site. The glacier that creates these stunning icebergs advances at over 40 metres per day, creating around 50 cubic kilometres of ice each year. The approach to Ilulissat is dependent on the amount of ice in and around the mouth of the fjord. Your Captain and officers are skilled ice navigators and the ship has one of the highest ice ratings of any vessel exploring Arctic waters.
Day 12 – Sisimiut
Today explore more of the fjord, before visiting the beautiful town of Sisimiut. Here cheerfully colorful houses contrast against a dark granite peak in the background. If you’re lucky, the traditional Greenlandic kayakers will demonstrate the art of ‘Eskimo rolling.’
Day 13 – Sondre Stromfjord
See one of the world’s longest fjords, Sondre Stromfjord, tower above the ship, and venture out by zodiac to explore the side fjords with your guides. Here you may see muskox on-shore, and the white-tailed sea eagle soaring above you. This is a great day for hiking.
Day 14 – Flight from Kangerlussuaq to Ottawa
Today you say farewell to your group and guides, as a charter flight takes you to Ottawa where you’ll stay overnight at the Fairmont Chateau Laurier.
Day 15 – Depart Ottawa
Check out of your hotel and make your way independently to the Ottawa airport.
Insider tip: Ask your Vacation Advisor about adding time in Ottawa, or perhaps taking the train to explore Quebec.
What are the best months to see the polar bears?
The peak bear viewing months in Churchill are October and November. As the bears wait for the ice to freeze on the Hudson Bay. But you can see the bears and other wildlife (like beluga whales) throughout the summer.
Where do we sleep at night?
You can choose to stay in a cozy hotel in the town of Churchill or sleep aboard the 'Tundra Buggy Lodge'. It's a converted and comfortable Tundra Buggy from which you can view bears round the clock.
How cold will it be?
Temperatures range from 24-35 degrees fahrenheit in October, and about 3-16 degrees in November. In October, the snow is just starting to accumulate.
What we love about this trip
Pristine and stunning Arctic wilderness
Onshore hikes and wildlife spottting
Wildlife such as polar bears, beluga whales, muscox
Small-group ship excursions
Expert guides with insider area knowledge
Exceptional onboard facilities
Team of resource specialists
Unique optional kayak program
Below you'll find examples of this trip's accommodation options. Please call us for the full list or advice on how to customize your experience.
RCGS Resolute Expedition Ship
An example of our expedition cruise accommodations
The RCGS Resolute is a modern ice-strengthened ship designed for comfort with public spaces ideally suited to every need. The ship includes two separate bar and lounge areas featuring stunning views. Delicious meals are served in either of the two dining rooms onboard, including a bistro menu for quick meals so you can get back into nature on the deck. Other facilities include a theater-style presentation room, gymnasium, wellness center, Jacuzzi, sauna, steam room, salt water pool, and gift-shop.
Prices & Dates2019 Start Dates
Prices listed may vary by departure date, hotel class and degree of personalization. Please speak with one of our travel advisors to get a personalized quote.
Twin Private Cabin
from US $17,926to US $19,360per person
Twin Private Cabins are spacious, well appointed cabins featuring two lower berths, one of which can be converted to a sofa during the day, with private washroom facilities, sink, shower, toilet and bathroom cabinet. There are tall wardrobes with internal shelving for storage, a writing desk, chair, bookshelf, and a window that can be opened.
from US $19,426to US $20,980per person
Superior Cabins feature two lower berths, a comfortable sofa, a writing desk and chair and plenty of storage space, private washroom facilities and several portholes which open. These cabins provide great access to the outer decks, ship reception and dining room and the expedition mudroom where you prepare for your off-ship excursions.
from US $21,027to US $22,709per person
Shackleton Suite type cabins are separated into two spacious rooms, one that is ideal for relaxation with a sofa convertible to bed, large table, writing desk, chair, ample storage and a large window that can be opened. The separate private bedroom features one large lower bed.
One Ocean Suite
from US $22,026to US $23,788per person
One Ocean Suite is the most spacious cabin of the ship. It is separated into two rooms and a private bathroom with bathtub and shower. The well appointed lounge area features a sofa and large windows overlooking the bow (forward facing) that can be opened. The separate bedroom features a double bed.
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