Immerse yourself in a rich heritage on this 17-day expedition Into the Northwest Passage with Adventure Canada. Marvel at this pristine wilderness as you sail from Greenland into Lancaster Sound and beyond. Discover gleaming glaciers, spectacular rugged-coastline and unique wildlife. Cruise among magnificent icebergs at Ilulissat Icefjord and spend three days exploring Canada's second-largest Marine Conservation Area. This itinerary will give you a glimpse into life as an explorer as you retrace this historic route.
Kangerlussuaq is a former US Air Force base and Greenland’s primary flight hub. After your charter flight from Toronto, you will transfer to the Ocean Endeavour by Zodiac. Søndre Strømfjord is one of the longest fjords in the world: 168 kilometres of superb scenery. Steaming down this dramatic fjord we’ll cross the Arctic Circle—from the north!
West Greenland’s complex coastal waterways, which include glaciers, islands, and fjords against a towering mountain backdrop. The waters are relatively warm here, due to the West Greenland Current and the sub-Arctic location. Abundant fauna and marine life have supported human habitation here as far back as 4,500 years.
Ilulissat means “iceberg”, an apt name for this site at the outlet of the Sermeq Kujalleq glacier—a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the source of many of the icebergs in the North Atlantic. You will cruise in your Zodiac to appreciate the icebergs, and visit the town of Ilulissat, with its museums, cafes, craft shops, and busy fishing harbour
Exploring by ship and Zodiac along the west coast of Greenland, you have numerous options for expedition stops, to make the most of weather and wildlife conditions. Departing Greenland, you'll cross Baffin Bay toward Nunavut.
As your ship steams toward Nunavut, your resource staff will deepen your understanding of the Arctic. This is an excellent time to enjoy workshops, watch a documentary, or get out on deck. Keep your binoculars ready for minke and humpback whales, as well as the seabirds that are sure to mark your passage.
Mittimatalik is a busy Arctic community in a beautiful setting, a fascinating place to wander. The cultural presentation at the Community Hall is not to be missed—handcrafted goods may be available here too.
You will spend three days exploring Tallurutiup Imanga (Lancaster Sound), one of the newest National Marine Conservation Areas in Nunavut. Narwhal, beluga, and bowhead whales transit and feed in this area. You will cruise by ship and Zodiac in search of wildlife. On the northern border of Tallurutiup Imanga lies Devon Island, the largest uninhabited island on Earth at over 50,000 square kilometres. Flat-topped mountains, glacial valleys, and a substantial ice cap give Devon Island its unique character. You will hike the tundra, cruise a glacier face, and seek wildlife from ship and by shore. Archaeological sites with expert interpretation allow you to learn about the Inuit history of this now-abandoned island. You'll also visit the remains of an RCMP and Hudson's Bay Company site at Dundas Harbour.
In 1845, Sir John Franklin set out from England with HMS Erebus and HMS Terror, attempting to sail through the Northwest Passage. His crew overwintered at Beechey Island—where three of his men died. Numerous search parties later used Beechey as a depot and rendezvous. Amundsen, Bernier, and Larsen visited Beechey. Thomas Morgan of the HMS Investigator was buried there in 1854 alongside Franklin’s men. The graves and ruins of Northumberland House are a haunting memorial.
This passage marks an area rich in marine and avian life. Thick-billed murres, ivory gulls, beluga, narwhal, and bowhead whales reside in the ice strewn waters. In addition to abundant wildlife, we’ll delve deeper into the exploration of the Northwest Passage and mercantile efforts of the Hudson's Bay Company.
The traditional territory of the Netsilik Inuit, the Kitikmeot Region consists of parts of Victoria Island, the adjacent part of the mainland as far as the Boothia Peninsula, King William Island, and the southern portion of Prince of Wales Island. Recently, the Kitikmeot Region has been in the news since the finding of the lost ships of the Franklin Expedition in its waters. It is Nunavut’s least-populated region, though wildlife abounds here both in the sea and on land. We will spend our time navigating the ice-strewn waters in search of wildlife.
Your ship will also call in at Uqsuqtuuq (Gjoa Haven) home of the Guardians of Terror Bay. The European name, Gjoa Haven, honours 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. The community has an excellent cultural centre and is well known for carvings and wall hangings.
Located at the mouth of the Coppermine River, Kugluktuk is the westernmost community in Nunavut. Today you will disembark the Ocean Endeavour and make your way to the airport to meet our charter flights to Yellowknife.
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