Discover why the Northwest Passage has enticed epic feats of exploration as you follow in the footsteps of legendary explorers. Like these hardy adventurers, you'll travel across the stunning archipelago of islands and channels that create Canada's High Arctic region. Look out for an amazing variety of wildlife, from polar bears to walruses, musk oxen to caribou. Hear fascinating stories from the passage's past and visit the historic site of a mysterious ill-fated expedition. From explorers' history to Inuit culture to stunning landscapes, this is the voyage of a lifetime. See below for a sample itinerary of your day-to-day activities.
Trace the history of explorers on an Arctic Circle cruise from Nunavut to Greenland
View massive icebergs and amazing wildlife including whales, seals, walruses, and polar bears!
Explore remote Inuit communities, and discover beautiful bays and inlets by Zodiac and kayak
Board a charter flight from Edmonton to the remote outpost of Cambridge Bay on Victoria Island. Take a walking tour of the village then board the expedition ship in the afternoon. Settle into your cabin before gathering with your expedition team and trip mates. Finally, enjoy the thrill of casting off for the fabled passage with a welcome cocktail in hand.
Dive into the mystery of past explorations as the story of Sir John Franklin's "lost expedition" unravels. Conditions permitting, travel near the wreck of their ship, the HMS Erebus, which was left to the ice. Visit Victory Point, the site of their abandoned lifeboat, with an expert historian providing insight and interpretation. The bits and pieces of copper and iron, cutlery and buttons tell a story of a desperate race south in search of rescue that never came. Take in the awe-inspiring landscape as you hear tales of their tragic journey.
Arrive at Conningham Bay on Prince of Wales Island, in the heart of the Northwest Passage. Cruise the bay with an expert guide by Zodiac boat to encounter one of the most remarkable wildlife sites in the Canadian Arctic, a hotspot for polar bears. The bears come here to feast on beluga whales in the rocky shallows of the bay. It's not unusual to find the shoreline littered with whale bones - and very healthy looking polar bears!
Spend an exciting day crossing the narrow Bellot Strait, experiencing the stellar navigation skills of the captain and crew. Look out for harp seals, bearded seals, and even polar bears who gather in these churning, fertile waters. Stop at the historic site of Fort Ross, a former fur-trading outpost on the southern end of Somerset Island. The Inuit and their predecessors have inhabited this area for more than a thousand years.
Make landfall at another fascinating Franklin expedition site, where the lost sailors spent their last "comfortable" winter before vanishing into the icy vastness. Visit the expedition's grave markers on a remote windswept beach. This is a thrilling location for history buffs and for many it may be the defining moment of the trip.
En route to Beechey Island, stop by one of the most important bird sanctuaries in the area, home to several hundred thousand birds. Keep an eye out for whales, seals, and polar bears here as well.
Venture across the Arctic wildlife "superhighway" - Lancaster Sound off the coast of Devon Island. Experience a biodiverse environment at 75° north latitude, where water from the Atlantic and Pacific converge. Search for sea and land creatures, then visit an old Royal Canadian Mounted Police outpost on Dundas Harbor. This area has great hiking options, and is home to musk oxen, Arctic hares, and even Arctic wolves.
Learn the customs of the indigenous Inuit at Mittimalik, or Pond Inlet. Visit Natinnak Center, where a fascinating cultural exhibit showcases aspects of daily life, culture and history. Look at traditional carvings, jewelry and other crafts on display and available for purchase from local artisans. Then meet with the children of Pond Inlet and watch them demonstrate the skills and challenges of traditional Inuit games.
Cruise the waters of glacially-carved Gibbs Fjord on Baffin Island, an environment so otherworldly that it has been likened by past guests to "something out of The Lord of the Rings!" Feel dwarfed by the towering fjord walls, immense peaks, and massive glaciers that make up this epic landscape.
Look for fin and humpback whales, seals, and birds that inhabit the seascape during this crossing toward Greenland. The passage is highly dependent on the extent of so-called "middle ice," and time at sea will be determined by weather conditions. During downtime, enjoy fascinating presentations on the wildlife, history, geology and culture of the Arctic from onboard experts.
Behold the Jacobshavn Icefjord, an UNESCO World Heritage site and truly one of the wonders of the world. It spews gigantic tabular icebergs into Disko Bay, and awe-inspiring ice sculptures surround the area in all directions. See the glacier that creates these stunning monoliths as it advances over 130 feet per day. Then travel the waters in the hands of expert ice navigators to arrive at Ilulissat. Take in the pretty harbor with colorful fishing boats and houses.
Cruise into another grand fjord before going ashore to visit this beautiful town, characterized by colorful houses and a towering granite peak as a backdrop. Have the chance to meet traditional Greenlandic kayakers and to see a demonstration of 'Eskimo rolling' by one of the former Greenland kayak champions. Have the option also to peruse a small museum.
Take in one of the longest fjords on Earth, with its towering walls soaring above either side of the ship. Hop aboard Zodiacs and land among the small side fjords to explore by foot or kayak. Marvel at immense geologic features and look for muskox along the shores and white-tailed sea eagles riding the thermals high above. Hike along trails available for all fitness levels. This is an exceptional location for lovers of natural history.
Bid farewell to the Arctic in Kangerlussuaq. Disembark the ship and take a charter flight to Ottawa, then transfer to a central location downtown upon arrival.
MT Sobek's Polar Value Promise means that we offer in-house services to help plan and execute you polar adventure for no added cost.
Over 30 years offering polar voyages we have built strong relationships with polar service providers and ships that cruise the High Arctic.
We choose ships and operators that maintain a high level of commitment to safety, people, value, quality, environment, well-being, and customer service.
Our expert guides and trip leaders are truly the key to our trips' success. Many are locals who live in-country year-round; others have made it their second home—all are passionate, enthusiastic and endlessly knowledgeable. Meet a few of the guides that might be on your trip.
Expert polar interpretation and presentations, professional navigation through Arctic waters, wildlife experiences, hiking, Zodiac cruising, and visits to Inuit communities. Optional kayaking.
Ice-strengthened and well-appointed polar expedition ships offer a comfortable and safe way to explore the Arctic. Enjoy healthy cuisine and wellness services onboard.
The air is very dry. Expect a mix of sun, clouds, wind, rain, and possible snow. Daytime temperatures are usually 38°- 50°F.
Arrive in Edmonton on the day before the start of the trip. Hotel accommodation is not included that night, but we can help reserve for you. We recommend Fairmont MacDonald.
The group flight returns in the late afternoon. Plan your outbound flight for the next day. Transfer included from airport to a central downtown location, but hotel is not included.
No, the internal charter flights are quoted separately in the pricing section. They are not included in the cruise cost.
The Northwest Passage is an inland passage with protected waters. There is a chance you may experience rough sea conditions when crossing to Greenland. We recommend to bring seasickness medication.
Large variety of options at buffet breakfasts and buffet lunches. Dinners include plated entrée choices (including vegetarian,) appetizers, and desserts. Full-bar onboard payable with an onboard account.
Yes, each guest will have use of a complimentary rental package including a quality waterproof/windproof jacket, bib-pants, and insulated rubber boots. Includes binoculars, a waterproof backpack, and a walking stick.
Make any of our trips a custom adventure or start from scratch. Take two itineraries and match them up to create a unique third. Add extras and extensions and more...if you can imagine it, we can make it happen!
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MT Sobek Guest
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