The Northwest Passage - Westbound

The Northwest Passage - Westbound 14 Days

Prices From £9,151pp
19 AUG, 2019 | Up to 13 nights

The Northwest Passage - Westbound 14 Days

Aboard: MS Fram

Travel in comfort through the fabled Northwest Passage on this fantastic itinerary sailing from Kangerlussuaq in Greenland to Cambridge Bay in Canada. Visiting remote and fascinating places such as Gjøa Haven, Conningham Bay, Fort Ross, Beechy Island, Baffin Island and Ilulissat, you will travel in the paths of the early explorers to discover a world of raw, daunting, yet exceptionally beautiful, landscapes and impressive wildlife. Travelling a route that few ships have the capability to navigate, this once in a lifetime expedition is certain to exceed your expectations.

Highlights

  • Sail through the fabled Drake Passage on the ultimate adventure
  • Follow in the steps of famous historical expeditions and learn about their ventures
  • Discover wild and remote areas of historical interest including Gjøa Haven, Conningham Bay, Fort Ross, Beechy Island & Baffin Island
  • Visit the Illuissat Icefjord, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Spectacular scenery at every turn
  • Excellent chances of wildlife sightings including Polar bears, seals, whales including narwhals, musk oxen & Arctic hare

What's Included

  • Full board accommodation on board ship
  • Economy flight Copenhagen to Kangerlussuaq pre-voyage
  • Transfer airport to ship in Kangerlussuaq & ship to airport in Cambridge Bay
  • Economy flight Cambridge Bay to Edmonton
  • Transfer airport to hotel in Edmonton
  • Overnight stay in Edmonton post-voyage including breakfast
  • Wind and water-resistant jacket
  • Landings with small boats and activities on board and ashore
  • Professional English-speaking Expedition team that provide lectures as well as accompanying landings and activities
  • Free tea and coffee

Our popularitinerary Suggestions

All our itinerary holidays are fully customisable

Copenhagen to Kangerlussuaq
1Day

Copenhagen to Kangerlussuaq

Your exciting Northwest Passage expedition will begin in the Danish capital of Copenhagen, where after having arrived independently you will join your included flight to Kangerlussuaq in Greenland to board your purpose built Polar expedition vessel. After settling in to your cabin and exploring your new surroundings your ship will depart through Kangerlussuaq’s scenic 190km long fjord and into the open sea.



Sisimiut
2Day

Sisimiut

The first stop on our journey will be Sisimiut and as we sail towards here we recommend spending some time on deck in search of sightings of the numerous whale species and marine animals which frequent the waters here including humpback, fin, minke and porpoise, as well as large numbers of seals.

As we come ashore we will explore this colourful and modern settlement which has retained its ancient traditions and is home to a small museum which is well worth a visit. Here we can take a hike in the hills to enjoy the beautiful views or spend some time shopping for local handicrafts and meeting the residents of this unique and scenic town.

Ilulissat
3Day

Ilulissat

Today is likely to be one of the highlights of your expedition as we visit the stunning area of the Ilulissat Icefjord, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that quite simply needs to be seen to be appreciated. This exceptionally scenic settlement is set against the most remarkable backdrop of enormous icebergs which have made their way down from the Jakobshavn Glacier and run aground at the mouth of the fjord just outside the town. There will be ample opportunities here for exploring the Icefjord including optional boat tours and helicopter flights offering exceptional aerial views of the wonders below. Alternatively you can also enjoy a short walk through the town which will lead you to a network of short trails that take you to the shores of the fjord. Or simply sit back and relax listening to the mystical sounds of the icebergs cracking and rumbling, echoing from one end of Ilulissat to the other.

Crossing the Davis strait
4 - 5Days

Crossing the Davis strait

Leaving Greenland behind, we now spend 2 days crossing the Davis Strait towards Canada. Whilst at sea you can enjoy the informative and entertaining lecture programme, spend some time on deck looking for seabirds and attending briefings in preparation for your time in the Northwest Passage.



Pond Inlet, Baffin island
6Day

Pond Inlet, Baffin island

Today we will reach Canada and our first stop will be Pond Inlet, a traditional Inuit community on the northern tip of Baffin Island. Make sure to have your cameras ready as we sail through the scenic channel flanked by the peaks and glaciers of Baffin and Bylot Islands. Pond Inlet is surrounded by mountain ranges, with several dozen glaciers, scenic fjords and inlets, ice caves and drifting icebergs and is a fantastic place for spotting wildlife such as polar bears and large pods of narwhal. One of the highlights here will be a cultural performance by the local community and we will have the chance to visit the interesting visitor centre. In the evening, we will cruise the spectacular Arctic landscape of Eclipse Sound.

Lancaster Sound and Devon Island
7Day

Lancaster Sound and Devon Island

Next stop on our journey will be Devon Island, the largest uninhabited island on Earth, where we will come ashore at Dundas Harbour to see an abandoned settlement with an old Royal Canadian Mounted Police camp, some of the island’s numerous archaeological sites and an impressive Thule site.

West of Dundas Harbour we will visit Croker’s Bay to continue our search for wildlife. Here we are likely to see several marine species including walrus, beluga and even narwhal, along with polar bears and small populations of Arctic hare and musk ox. We will take a small boat excursion here to get up close to the action and for some photo opportunities of the two tidewater glaciers at the head of the bay.

Beechy Island and Radstock Bay
8Day

Beechy Island and Radstock Bay

Today we will arrive at Radstock Bay to see the striking landmark of Caswell Tower, an imposing prominence of sedimentary rock rising from the sea. Here we can enjoy a short walk to a pre-historic Inuit dwelling site or a longer, more challenging hike to the summit of the tower which will reward in fantastic views of the surrounding area. This is also the location of a small station used seasonally for polar bear research.

Following this we will visit Beechy Island, an area closely linked to the history of exploration of the Northwest Passage. Here we will go ashore to discover the region’s history including visiting the graves which lay testimony to the mysterious 1845 expedition of Sir John Franklin which resulted in the disappearance of 129 crewmembers. We will also see the remnants of Northumberland House which was built by the rescuers searching for Franklin and his men.

Fort Ross & Bellot Strait
9Day

Fort Ross & Bellot Strait

At the eastern end of the Bellot Strait we will arrive at historic Fort Ross, a trading post established by the Hudson's Bay Company in 1937. We hope to spend some time exploring the area on foot and see the two small huts ashore that are maintained by the Canadian Coast Guard, occasionally used by the local Inuit for shelter during hunting trips.

Having explored Fort Ross, we attempt a transit through the narrows of Bellot Strait. The Bellot Strait serves as the passage from Prince Regent Inlet to Peel Sound and Franklin Strait, and although sailing conditions may be fierce you are in excellent hands as your experienced captain will time your passage perfectly to avoid the strongest currents. Your ship was purpose built as an expedition vessel with a 1B ice class, ship-depth sounding database, extractable forward-sounding sonar and iceberg search lights, so although there may be ice in the water you will sail through with ease.

As we leave the Atlantic Ocean and enter the Pacific Ocean we recommend spending some time on deck in search of more wildlife sightings including polar bears.

Conningham Bay
10Day

Conningham Bay

After having comfortably navigated the Bellot Strait a day of adventure awaits as we arrive at Conningham Bay and launch our small boats into the waters to explore the bay in search of belugas and polar bears which are known to frequent the area.





Cruising the James Ross Strait
11Day

Cruising the James Ross Strait

Today we will be navigating through the 180 km long and 50-65 km wide James Ross Strait towards Gjøa Haven. Enjoy your informative onboard lecture and presentation programme which will cover everything from the wildlife and geology of the regions of your journey to the history of Arctic exploration. You may also wish to spend some time on deck searching for sightings of seabirds following the ship. As we sail between King William Island and the Boothia Peninsula if conditions allow we make some landings to enjoy hikes across the tundra or small boat cruising in the waters below.

Gjøa Haven
12Day

Gjøa Haven

The penultimate stop on our Northwest Passage cruise will be Gjøa Haven where you will be warmly welcomed to 'the finest little harbour in the world', so called by the Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen, who wintered here on the Gjøa Expedition. Gjøa Haven is a popular destination for fans of arctic history and along with Amundsen’s 2 years spent here collecting scientific data and learning from the local Inuit people about survival and travel in the Polar Regions, the John Ross expedition of 1829-1833 had previously visited this region and the ill-fated John Franklin expedition of 1845 perished nearby.

The local Inuit people, the Netsilik Inuit, are direct descendants of the ancient Thule people and they have lived in the area for over a thousand years. Today the settlement is known for its vibrant arts and crafts scene and it is also home to excellent cultural venues including the Heritage Centre, the Hamlet Centre and the Northwest Passage Territorial Trail. The area is also a great place for wildlife with a large herd of muskoxen living on the island alongside numerous caribou, and birding opportunities are excellent with likely sightings of loons, geese, ducks, terns, jaegers, plovers, snow buntings and snowy owls.

Cambridge Bay to Edmonton
13Day

Cambridge Bay to Edmonton

Cambridge Bay on the southeast coast of Victoria Island is rich in archaeological history and blessed with abundant wildlife including fish, seals, geese, muskoxen and caribou. Having arrived here on the morning of day 13 it will be time to bid a fond farewell to your expedition team as you disembark and transfer to the airport for your included flight to Edmonton. Upon arrival in Edmonton you will be transferred to your hotel for your included overnight stay.



Edmonton, Canada
14Day

Edmonton, Canada

Your fantastic Northwest Passage itinerary will end in Edmonton where after breakfast it will be time to go our separate ways. Edmonton is located on the North Saskatchewan River and offers many tourist attractions including Canada's largest living history museum and the longest stretch of urban parkland in North America. You may wish to spend some extra time here exploring the area, or make your way to the airport for your onward or homeward flights.

A view from Above

All Aboard

MS Fram
Mid range vessel

MS Fram

The MS Fram has been specifically designed for those who thirst for adventure. As an expedition cruise ship, it is an ideal base camp for explorers. The ship places a high priority on your comfort, which means that after a long day of exploring, you can kick back and relax in a hot tub or enjoy a meal at one of two restaurants, including an outdoor BBQ. You can also socialize with other guests over cocktails in the Explorer Lounge & Bar, taking in the stunning views as you go.

At the heart of MS Fram lies the Science Centre, where you can learn more about the places you'll be sailing to and listen to talks by the Expedition Team. The ship is equipped with key expedition features and technology, making it the perfect vessel to take you on a journey of discovery to some of the most beautiful and unspoiled regions on the planet.

The MS Fram offers an expedition experience that will bring you closer to nature and leave a lasting impression. The recent 2022 upgrade has given the ship a fresh new look that's quintessentially Nordic, while still keeping exploration and learning at the forefront of the experience.

The Science Center has been expanded and improved, and there's now a larger fleet of small expedition boats available for off-ship exploration. Lecture areas have been upgraded, and you can stream Expedition Team talks directly to your cabin.

One of the most notable aspects of MS Fram is the way the ship has been designed to blur the line between inside and outside. The Explorer Lounge & Bar, gym, sauna, and hot tubs all offer panoramic views of the surrounding scenery. The top-deck BBQ allows you to dine al fresco and enjoy local flavours, while numerous artworks commissioned from local Arctic artists adorn the interior, adding an extra layer of inspiration to your journey.

Too much to choose from? This is where we come in

Take advantage of our vast experience, passion and expertise to help you hand craft the perfect Arctic adventure for you.

Amy Lucas Travel Specialist

Amy’s abiding love of adventure travel has taken her to some of the most incredible wildlife-rich places on Earth. Her vast experience and genuine desire to share her knowledge makes her an outstanding and invaluable person to help you organise your wildlife adventure trip.

Simon Rowland Senior Travel Expert

Simon’s deep passion for and first-hand knowledge of a vast range of destinations all over the world gives him the ideal skills to help you create a truly unforgettable wildlife inspired adventure to the most exciting places on the planet.

Michael Gardiner Senior Travel Expert

Mike lives and breathes adventure travel and has a wealth of experience in some of the most exciting and inspirational destinations in the world. His expertise and first-hand experience afford him the skills to help build holidays to remember.

Ready to start planning youronce in a lifetime trip?

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0800 195 3385
Outside the uk
+ 44 1625 5811 43
Call us
+ 44 1625 5811 43
Call us
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Ready to start planning youronce in a lifetime trip?

Call us - 0800 195 3385
Outside the uk? + 44 1625 5811 43
+ 44 1625 5811 43 Call us - 0800 195 3385

Chat Now

Request a
callback

Fill in our
Enquiry form

Book Consultation

Book a
Consultation

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