EXPEDITION CRUISE | CRUISETOUR

Northwest Passage – Epic High Arctic (17 Days)

Cruise Line: Quark Expeditions
Ottawa, ON, Canada to Ottawa, ON, Canada
DAY
PORT
Tour Segment  Cruise Segment
ARRIVE DEPART
DAY 1
Ottawa, ON, Canada

Your arctic expedition begins in Ottawa. Explore Canada's capital city on your own before spending the night at your well-appointed hotel.

DAY 2
Ottawa, ON, Canada
Air travel
Resolute, NU, Canada

This morning, board your charter flight to Resolute. Upon arrival, you'll have a chance to walk around this small arctic town before enjoying your first of many Zodiac cruises as you're transferred to your ship.

DAY 3
Beechey Island, Canada
DAY 4
Radstock Bay, NU, Canada
DAY 5
Arctic Bay, NU, Canada
DAY 6
Crocker Bay, Canada
Dundas Harbour, Canada
Grise Fiord, NU, Canada

Remote and rich in history, the Canadian High Arctic is as awe inspiring as it is informative. Named after explorer Frederick William Beechey, of the Royal Navy, Beechey Island is a Canadian National Historic Site. It's an important stop on our voyage, as this is the final resting place of three members of Sir John Franklin's ill-fated 1845–46 expedition to find the Northwest Passage. The graves, on a remote windswept beach, were discovered in 1851 by the crew of British and American vessels searching for signs of Franklin's lost expedition. Radstock Bay is a popular research location for observing polar bears, which are often seen here in summer. An impressive Thule archaeological site provides insight into how these pre-Inuit people lived in the Far North. For almost 5,000 years, the hamlet of Arctic Bay and its surrounding area has been occupied by Inuit nomads migrating from the west. Surrounded by soaring cliffs teeming with seabirds, this is a great spot to go ashore and learn about the Inuit community's traditional way of life. The eastern end of Lancaster Sound affords numerous hiking opportunities on Devon Island. We'll anchor at Croker Bay, where we'll Zodiac cruise along the face of an active glacier. We'll try to keep a safe distance, but still hope to get close enough to appreciate the splendor of calving ice. Walrus frequent the waters here, so be sure to have your camera handy. A hike to a nearby archaeological site is another possible excursion. At Dundas Harbour, trek along a beach to a former Royal Canadian Mounted Police outpost. Encounters with muskoxen are possible here. Canada's most northern settlement, Grise Fiord will be your final shore visit in the Canadian High Arctic. Now home to about 150 residents, the traditional, mostly Inuit community was created in 1953, when the federal government resettled eight Inuit families from northern Quebec. Hunting and fishing are a significant part of their way of life. Visit the monument to the first Inuit settlers, as well as the remnants of the "old camp" where they lived.

DAY 7
Smith Sound, Canada

Before saying goodbye to Canada, we'll try to cruise as far north as possible, exploring both sides of Smith Sound, the uninhabited passage between Ellesmere Island and Greenland.

DAY 8
Smith Sound, Canada
DAY 9
Qaanaaq, Greenland

Your first stop in Greenland is Qaanaaq, formerly known as Thule, one of the northernmost towns in the world (there's a reason ancient philosophers called it Ultima Thule, or "edge of known territory"). Here, local Inuit share their culture and traditions, and the museum sheds more light on what it's like living near the top of the world.

DAY 10
Day-at-Sea

As we sail south along the west coast of Greenland, presentations by our onboard experts will prepare you for the adventures that lie ahead.

DAY 11
Nuussuaq, Greenland
DAY 12
Uummannaq, Greenland
DAY 13
Qilakitsoq, Greenland
DAY 14
Eqip Sermia Glacier (Cruising), Greenland
DAY 15
Ilulissat, Greenland
Sisimiut, Greenland
Itilleq, Greenland

With spectacular glaciers, soaring fjords, and vibrant communities, the west coast of Greenland will leave you breathless. Nuussuaq (formerly known as Kraulshavn) is the only mainland community in the Upernavik Archipelago. Founded in 1923 as a trading station, it's one of the most traditional hunting and fishing villages in Greenland. It's not surprising that the red-hued heart-shaped mountain that rises up behind Uummannaq gave the traditional community its name (Uummannaq means "heart-like" in Greenlandic). As your ship approaches the shore, you'll want to be on deck to take in the incredible view of the twin peaks towering over the vibrantly painted wooden houses dotting the rocky terrain below. The settlement was established as a Danish colony in 1758 on the mainland, but it relocated five years later because seal hunting was more plentiful here. In the nearby archaeological site of Qilakitsoq, you'll visit the ruins of an ancient settlement, where the remains of eight fully dressed mummies were discovered under a rock outcrop in 1972 by a pair of hunters. The famous Greenlandic mummies, which date back to 1475 AD, are on view at the Greenland National Museum in Nuuk. Cruising farther south rewards with spectacular views of Eqip Sermia. The jagged blue-tinged glacier soaring out of the crystal-clear water is one of the most beautiful sights in Greenland, and we hope to Zodiac cruise along its massive front from a safe distance. We may also go ashore to explore nearby. Just south of Ilulissat, which means "iceberg" in Greenlandic, is the impressive Ilulissat Icefjord. The UNESCO World Heritage Site is home to Sermeq Kujalleq, the most productive glacier in the northern hemisphere. As we Zodiac cruise at the mouth of the fjord, you may be lucky to witness the wonders of calving ice (listen to the loud roars as the ice breaks off ). Founded in 1741, the traditional town, which boasts more sled dogs than people, is famous in its own right: it was the birthplace of explorer Knud Rasmussen, the first to traverse the Northwest Passage by dogsled in the early 1920s. Hikes here lead out to stunning views of the young icebergs as float out the fjord to Disko Bay. In Sisimiut, you'll be treated to a traditional kayaking demonstration. The kayak (an Inuit word that the English borrowed) is Greenland's national symbol and can be traced back to the country's first immigrants, who used vessels that resemble the narrow one- or two-person boats. The town has several 18th-century colonial buildings, including the oldest surviving church in Greenland, so take time to wander through the historic area. You'll also have a chance to hike amongst the area's surrounding mountains. Situated in a scenic hollow on a small island with no freshwater, the colorful community of Itilleq, which has about 130 inhabitants, is surrounded by sea, mountains, and fjords. The final excursion of your arctic adventure may be a hike around Itilleq Fjord.

DAY 16
Kangerlussuaq, Greenland
Air travel
Ottawa, ON, Canada

Enjoy one more Zodiac ride to shore, where you'll board your charter flight back to Ottawa, Canada. Upon arrival in Ottawa, we will transfer you to your included hotel.

DAY 17
Ottawa, ON, Canada

Today, you can make your way home at your leisure or spend some time exploring this historic city.

Northwest Passage – Epic High Arctic map

About the Ship

Antarctica Peninsula
Ocean Adventurer

This newly renovated vessel, formerly the Sea Adventurer, offers guests a new look and feel throughout, a forward lounge and observation deck to enjoy mesmerizing views, and technical enhancements – including two new engines – to improve fuel efficiency and minimize carbon footprint.

What's Included

Included

  • ON ALL SHIPS, RATES INCLUDE:

    • Shipboard accommodation with daily housekeeping

    • All breakfasts, lunches and dinners on board throughout your voyage (Please inform us of any dietary requirements as far in advance as possible. Unfortunately, the ships’ galleys cannot prepare kosher meals.)

    • All shore landings per the daily program

    • Leadership throughout the voyage by our experienced Expedition Leaders, including shore landings and other activities

    • All Zodiac transfers and cruising per the daily program

    • Snowshoes available on loan for shore excursions on designated voyages

    • Formal and informal presentations by our expedition team and guest speakers as scheduled

    • Photographic Journal on DVD, documenting the voyage

    • A pair of waterproof expedition (Muck) boots on loan for shore landings

    • An official Quark Expeditions parka to keep

    • Life jackets and immersion suits

    • Coffee, tea and cocoa available around the clock

    • Hair dryer and bathrobes in every cabin

    • Comprehensive pre-departure materials, including a map and an informative reader

    • A group transfer upon disembarkation from the ship to the local airport

    • All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the program

    • All luggage handling aboard the ship

    • Emergency evacuation insurance for all passengers to a maximum benefit of US$100,000 per person

Not Included

  • RATES SPECIFICALLY DO NOT INCLUDE:

    • For some specified departures, the purchase of a transfer package including charter or domestic flights, and hotels where specified, in conjunction with the expedition is mandatory. The applicable per-person cost is indicated on the Dates and Rates summary

    • Passport and any applicable visa expenses

    • Government arrival and departure taxes

    • Any meals ashore with the exception of breakfast at the host hotel before embarkation, when applicable

    • Baggage, cancellation, interruption, and medical travel insurance

    • Excess baggage charges

    • Laundry and other personal charges

    • Telecommunications charges

    • The voluntary gratuity at the end of the voyage for shipboard staff and crew

    • On 50 Years of Victory, any private helicopter flying time that may be available for optional flights can be purchased at an hourly rate to be announced on board

    • Adventure options that are not included in the cost of the voyage

About Us

Quark Expeditions is uncompromisingly polar, specializing in expeditions to Antarctica and the Arctic and has been the leading provider of polar adventure travel for over 25 years. With a diverse fleet of specially-equipped small expedition vessels, icebreakers, and unique land-based adventures, we offer travelers unparalleled access to the most remote places on earth. The spirit of exploration runs deep in our polar pedigree and we are passionate about creating transformational experiences for fellow adventurers visiting these regions.

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Terms & Conditions

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