Northwest Passage - In Franklin's Footsteps
Northwest Passage - In the Footsteps of Franklin 17 days aboard Ocean Adventurer
Set sail for this exhilarating expedition through the maze-like, icy channels of the legendary Northwest Passage for 17 days of true adventure. Immerse yourself deep into the history of the high Arctic as you set sail from Kangerlussuaq and traverse through the fabled waterways towards Resolute in Canada. Follow in the footsteps of legends as you explore the landscapes that have enchanted adventurers for hundreds of years and pay your respects at the final resting place of three of Sir John Franklin’s lost crew. Throughout your expedition you will be on the lookout for whales, polar bears, birds and other wildlife, be it from the comfort of the ship’s deck, whilst enjoying zodiac excursions, or during hiking and kayaking trips. You will also have the opportunity to visit traditional Inuit communities, and learn about ancient cultures at remote historical sites.
Please note: a mandatory transfer package of £2100 applies to this itinerary
Namibia Birding and Photography GuideAn accomplished and experienced Namibia birding and photographic guide, Toni holds a Namibia Academy for Tourism and Hospitality Level 3 qualification (the highest level attainable in Namibia) and is widely renowned for her extensive knowledge of the cultures, ornithology, flora, astronomy and wildlife of the country. Read more >
Falklands Expert & GuideBorn in Chartres in the West Falklands, Jenny grew up on the family farm where her love for animals was nurtured by the25,000 sheep, horses and cows that lived alongside her. Forever a nature, conservation and wildlife enthusiast Jenny has travelled extensively throughout the Falkland Islands, visiting each and every wildlife island at least once, and even travelling around some by yacht. Read more >
- Spectacular and varied Arctic scenery
- Traverse the fabled North West Passage
- Land, marine and avian wildlife
- Kayaking option
- Follow the footsteps of great explorers
- Inuit culture
- Full board accommodation on board ship
- Programme of expert lectures
- Guided Zodiac and shore excursions
- Expedition parka
- Loan of rubber boots
transfer package includes: Hotel stays in Ottawa pre and post
departure, charter flight from Ottawa to Kangerlussuaq & Resolute to Ottawa and all transfers
ITINERARY16 Nights 17 Days
- Day 1 | Ottawa, Canada
- Day 2 | Kangerlussuaq
- Days 3 - 4 | West Greenland
- Day 5 | At Sea
- Days 6 - 15 | Canada's High Arctic
- Day 16 | Resolute
- Day 17 | Ottawa
Arrive at anytime. Spend time enjoying the sights of this vibrant capital city.
Overnight accommodation provided as part of mandatory transfer package.
After breakfast you will board your charter flight to Kangerlussuaq, your gateway to Greenland. Enjoy your first Zodiac ride as you’re transferred from shore to ship. Out on deck, take in your new surroundings before you set sail on your Arctic adventure.
During our 2 day exploration of western Greenland our first stop will be the small, rocky town of Maniitsoq. Surrounded by soaring, snow-capped mountains the locals call Maniitsoq “the Venice of Greenland” owing to its unique situation in an archipelago intersected by natural canals. Whale spotting chances are great here as playful humpback whales spend summer in the surrounding waters.
Next stop will be the Greenlandic capital of Nuuk where colourful houses on the wildflower-covered tundra cover the landscape and a population of less than 16,000 people reside. A haven for history and culture lovers, Nuuk is home to the Hans Egede Church and Hans Egede statue, named for the missionary who established the settlement in 1728, and the excellent Greenland National Museum where you will find the famous remains of 500-year-old fully dressed mummies.
Say goodbye to Greenland’s shores as you traverse the Davis Strait on the way to the Canadian Arctic. Presentations by on-board experts will prepare you for the adventures that lie ahead.
Canada's High Arctic
This is where the adventure begins in earnest, as you visit towering fjords, historical sites and traditional Inuit communities. You will spend the next 10 days following the footsteps of famous explorers as you traverse the fabled waterways of the Northwest Passage enjoying remarkable scenery, wildlife encounters and cultural experiences.
The first stop in the Canadian High Arctic will be the picturesque Inuit hamlet of Pangnirtung nestled beneath the jagged peaks of Mount Duval. You will visit the Uqqurmiut Centre for Arts & Crafts where you will watch craftspeople in the tapestry studio creating traditional Inuit arts and crafts. You will also visit nearby Kekerten, an uninhabited island that was a major whaling destination in the 1800s.
Sailing northwards into the Davis Strait we will reach Cape Mercy at the southern tip of the Cumberland Sound, an ideal spot to go ashore for a hike, before reaching Qikiqtarjuak where icebergs are naturally trapped as they travel down the Davis Strait. Regarded as the iceberg capital of the world, the icy waters here are regularly home to narwhals, beluga and right whales, and ring and harp seals. A hike up to the hilltop inukshuk (a stone figure made by the Inuit) rewards with spectacular views of the community.
Cruising farther north along the east coast of Baffin Island, we’ll approach Isabella Bay, an important summer and autumn feeding area for a large population of bowhead whales. The next spectacular sight on your epic journey will be the dozens of soaring cliffs of Sam Ford Fjord stacked side-by-side at one of the most isolated rock=climbing spots on the planet.
At the northern tip of Baffin Island, near the eastern entrance to the Northwest Passage, we will reach the picturesque hamlet of Pond Inlet. Spend some time exploring this traditional Inuit community that’s surrounded by scenic mountains, fjords, glaciers and icebergs.
The area around Lancaster Sound affords several hiking opportunities. At Dundas Harbour, on Devon Island, you’ll visit an abandoned beachside outpost of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. At nearby Croker Bay, cruise in a Zodiac (at a safe distance) along the face of an actively calving glacier. Your Expedition Team will also keep its eyes peeled for the muskoxen and walrus that are known to visit the bay. A hike to a nearby archaeological site is another possible excursion. Farther west, some of the best ancient Thule remains in the Arctic are at Radstock Bay, beside the soaring Caswell Towers, a polar bear observation site. Exploring the area, you’ll gain insight into how these pre-Inuit people lived.
At the western end of Devon Island, the windswept Beechey Island might be small, but it’s steeped in history. Named after famed British explorer Frederick William Beechey, it’s a Canadian National Historic Site. You’ll visit the small marked graves of three crew members who died during Sir John Franklin’s tragic 1845–46 expedition. Roald Amundsen landed here in 1903, during the first successful voyage by ship through the Northwest Passage.
Sailing down the east coast of Somerset Island, you may have a chance of spotting beluga whales and narwhals, as they feed on the large numbers of arctic char that enter Creswell Bay in late summer. An Important Bird Area, the bay also attracts such species as black-bellied plovers, king eiders and white-rumped sandpipers. You’ll also have time to explore Fort Ross, where the Hudson’s Bay Company established a now-abandoned trading post in 1937. At the midpoint of the Bellot Strait, a narrow channel that separates Somerset Island from mainland North America, you’ll reach the northernmost area of the continental landmass, Zenith Point.
Arrival into Resolute marks the end of our adventurous North West Passage cruise. Disembark and transfer to the airport for your flight to Ottawa. Overnight accommodation in Ottawa is included as part of your transfer package.
After breakfast, you are free to explore the city or head to the airport for return or onward travel.
What Our Customers
Superlatives abound – a truly amazing experience...awesome. Thanks to all for making it such a memorable experience.
We have just returned from our Spitsbergen trip with Wildfoot and had to tell you what an amazing time we had! We saw 6 polar bears including a mother with 2 cubs as well as whales, walruses and lots of birds. The ship (Expedition) was really comfortable and the guides were so helpful and friendly. Thank you so much for making it all so easy.
I came to Wildfoot because a friend had booked with you when you were Antarctica Bound and they were right. Everything went perfectly, even when our flight was cancelled, you made sure we still made it to the ship with time to spare. L’Austral is a beautiful ship with first class service and food and the guides looked after us well. Very happy to recommend Wildfoot and L’Austral...
We had always wanted to see the Arctic and travelling all the way from Australia needed lots of information. After getting nowhere, we came across Wildfoot and found people who knew what they were talking about! Sara and John were so helpful and made the process easy, suggesting Iceland Greenland and Spitsbergen. This was perfect for us – amazing scenery and lots of wildlife, especially the polar bears in Spitsbergen. Thanks for everything. Ps, the ship was great too!
Just wanted to say thank you for suggesting a trip to Franz Josef Land as something different for the Arctic. We had a super trip and really enjoyed the Sea Spirit. Galapagos next!
Standing on the North Pole has been an ambition of mine since childhood and now I have done it! Thank you for making the process so easy - seeing polar bears and whales too was a real bonus.
The Sea Spirit expedition was excellent and the team organising it all were extremely good. 10 out of 10. Everything went very smoothly. The Iceland extension worked perfectly, all the organisation, connections etc. were excellent
The cruise was beyond my expectations. Got to see everything the captain wanted, even a polar bear mother with three cubs. Coal Miners Cabins were smashing. I did loads of birding and exploring over three days. All the people were great from the expedition leaders down to the passengers. So glad to have achieved my ambition of some 50 years standing and got amongst the ice of the Arctic, walked amongst it’s islands and witnessed the antics of its wonderful wildlife. What’s next??? I’ll need to speak with Sara again.
Thanks so much for enabling me to get to places I had always wanted to see from a very young age. “Ace” as my boys used to say!
Just wanted to send a quick note to say thank you very much for all your help in arranging our recent trip to Svalbard. Everything ran smoothly and the trip was a great success. Unfortunately I had to flew back a few days early and missed out on Isfjord Radio, which the rest of the team said was a brilliant place with amazing food, still the Basecamp Hotel and Nordenskiold Lodge were pretty amazing places, so I’m not complaining!
Writing back to tell you that the trip to the Arctic was all that it promised and more. It was a great wild-life sightseeing opportunity and the staff were really good.I had an excellent trip and have thousands of photos to go through.
I had an absolutely fabulous time won the Sergey Vavilov, it is an excellent ship. Sara was indeed right in her recommendation that they would be the most likely to push north into the ice to find the polar bears. We even circumnavigated Spitsbergen which was awesome and not o n the itinerary.It is such a wonderful way to take a trip when you are on your own – so if any of your potential single clients are unsure, definitely recommend it – I didn’t feel alone from the moment I stepped on board. I will be at the Birdfair next weekend and so will catch up with whoever is there – regarding this trip, and potentially my next!
Great cruise, staff and expedition team. Had a great trip.
Great cruise, staff and expedition team. Had a great trip.
We had a wonderful time, even though we didn't do all the places we were supposed to but we all felt were we went instead couldn't beaten. Saw animals I wanted to see. Bit worried what the food was like as some of the ships cooking leaves something to be desired, but food was very good. We thought all the guides were brilliant and informative, friendly and knowledgeable It was far better than we expected and even my husband thoroughly enjoyed it!
I wanted to let you know that I had a wonderful cruise in the Russian Far East. The landscape and destination were inspiring, we had some excellent wildlife sightings (sea otter, grey whale, Steller's sea eagle, snowy owl and Arctic fox were all firsts for me), and the Heritage team were superb. Rough seas forced a few changes to the itinerary but we also had some fabulous weather. All in all, a thrilling travel experience.Thanks once again for all your efforts
I thought you might like to know that this was an excellent holiday. Our guide, Brad, was absolutely wonderful, his enthusiasm and knowledge made the holiday even better. All in all the whole trip was excellent and we saw lots of bears, 24 on the first day. Fewer on the second and third days but still plenty, as well as arctic foxes,silver foxes and snowy owls. Even on the last day near the town we saw a bear on rocks by the beach.
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