Classic Northwest Passage + Greenland 13 DaysAboard: RCGS Resolute
An iconic voyage that will take you through the fabled Northwest Passage to the stunning fjords of the Baffin Island coastline and on to the spectacular western coastline of Greenland. Following in the footsteps of historic Arctic explorers, on this first-class itinerary you can enjoy thrilling Zodiac excursions, Inuit community visits, shore hikes and fantastic photo opportunities and wildlife observations. In the lands of the polar bear, musk ox, caribou and walrus, each day will bring a new adventure and experience as you travel through these remote waters discovering all that makes them so remarkable.
Please Note: The charter flights from Edmonton to Cambridge Bay and Kangerlussuaq to Ottawa are charged at US$1995
- Sail through the fabled Northwest Passage to Baffin Island and Greenland
- Searching for polar bears and other animals
- Whales and marine mammals
- Superb birdlife
- Spectacular icebergs and scenery
- Historical sites and associations
- Inuit community visits
- Kayaking options available
- Transfers to and from ship
- Full board accommodation on board ship
- Zodiac excursions and shore landings including hikes and wildlife colony visits
- Programme of expert lectures
- Experienced Expedition Leader and professional expedition team of marine bioligists, naturalists, historians, adventure guides and photographers
- 24 hour hot drinks
- Expedition gear loan package
So much to experience
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.
Mike has more than 15 years of experience in the travel industry and continues to be inspired by the people, places and wildlife he discovers. His in-depth personal knowledge of a diverse range of destinations ensures your adventure itinerary will be a holiday like no other.
Zoe’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.
With a lifetime of unforgettable nature and adventure based travel under his belt, Simon shares his passion, enthusiasm and hands-on experience to help create the perfect itinerary for every client.
Our popularitinerary Suggestions
All our itinerary holidays are fully customisable
Edmonton to Cambridge Bay
Having arrived independently to the Canadian city of Edmonton, this morning you will join your chartered flight to Cambridge Bay in Nunavut, to begin your thrilling Northwest Passage adventure. Upon arrival at this remote outpost above the Arctic Circle on the southern shores of Victoria Island, we can enjoy a walking tour before making our way to the ship for embarkation. After you have settled in to your comfortable cabin and explored your new surroundings, you will be invited to join your expedition team and fellow passengers to enjoy a welcome cocktail as we cast off to begin our exploration of some of the world’s most remote and intriguing regions.
Note: there is a flight package covering flights Edmonton to Cambridge Bay and Kangerlussuaq to Ottawa at a cost of US$1995pp.
Victory Point, King William Island
Our first full day on board will see us charting a course into the fabled Northwest Passage, with our fascinating programme of interesting lectures and presentations beginning. These expertly delivered talks will introduce you to the history and stories surrounding the areas you will be visiting, with a special focus on the historical polar explorations that took place here including the legend of Sir John Franklin and his “lost expedition”. Prior to the recent discovery of the HMS Erebus in September 2014, very little was known of how the Franklin Expedition spent its last months in the frozen Arctic. The vessels, abandoned in the ice of Victoria Strait are just coming to life thanks to the ongoing efforts of Parks Canada’s marine archaeological team and the recent Victoria Strait Expedition.
On Victory Point a lifeboat left abandoned, bits and pieces of copper and iron, cutlery and buttons and a skeleton here and there - all tell a story of a desperate race south in search of rescue that never came. We hope to visit Victory Point as we transit Victoria Strait, travelling very near the actual location of the wreck of HMS Erebus, all the while, learning about the quest for exploration that eventually opened up the Arctic.
This morning we will arrive along the shores of Conningham Bay on Prince of Wales Island where we will enjoy a day of Zodiac exploration in search of exciting wildlife observations. Known as one of the most remarkable wildlife sites in the Arctic, Conningham Bay plays host to a wide range of animals including Beluga whales and their known predator, the “Kings of the Arctic” polar bears. As we search through the bays the full reckoning of nature’s ways may become strikingly apparent as the whalebone littered shorelines lead us to the source…the iconic polar bears.
Bellot Strait and Fort Ross
Today’s adventures will include an exciting navigation through the narrows of the Bellot Strait - a channel separating northerly Somerset Island from continental North America - where we recommend spending some time on deck in search of the wildlife that abounds here including various species of seal and maybe even polar bears. This imposing stretch of water is well known for its fierce currents but you are in excellent hands as your experienced captain will time your passage perfectly to avoid the strongest currents, and your ship’s impressive capabilities will be more than apparent.
Having successfully navigated through the Bellot Strait we will arrive at the historic site of Fort Ross on Somerset Island on the eastern end of the Strait. Here we will enjoy a gentle walk around to discover the former Hudson’s Bay Company fur trading outpost along with fascinating archaeological sites which offer an insight into the more than a thousand years of habitation here by the Inuit and their predecessors.
Today will be one for the history lovers as we visit Beechey Island, an area of great historic significance. It is here that Sir John Franklin's ill-fated expedition spent its last 'comfortable' winter in 1845 before disappearing into the icy vastness, sparking an incredible series of search expeditions that lasted almost three decades. Accompanied by our expert historians we will take a walk through this area to discover more about the mystery of what happened to Franklin and about how the operators of your tour played such a huge part in the discovery of the long-lost Franklin shipwreck, HMS Erebus.
We will also visit the grave markers on the remote windswept beach, which pay homage to Franklin and his team, and for the history buffs amongst us this is likely to be one of the highlights of the voyage as we take a moment to reflect upon the bravery of these pioneering explorers.
Lancaster Sound and Dundas Harbour
This morning we will find ourselves at almost 75 degrees north of latitude as we cruise along the coastline of Devon Island in the waters of Lancaster Sound. We recommend spending some time on deck as we sail through this broad channel of water which has been likened to the wildlife 'super highway' of the Arctic. Massive volumes of water from the Atlantic to the east and Pacific to the west, and from the archipelago of islands to the north all mix here, combining to make a rich source of nutrients and food for an abundance of Arctic wildlife.
In the afternoon we plan to visit Dundas Harbour to visit the old Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) outpost located here. We can also enjoy some great hiking opportunities in search of the musk oxen and Arctic hares that are often found here.
Mittimatalik (Pond Inlet)
As we near the far north of Baffin Island we will enter the broad channel which is home to the remote Inuit community of Pond Inlet. Here we will visit the Natinnak Centre, where a fascinating cultural exhibit showcases aspects of the daily life, culture and history of the people of the north. Inuit carvings, jewellery and other traditional crafts are on display here and purchasing such items from the local artisans is a great way to support the community.
Pond Inlet is also the main access point to the pristine wilderness of Sirmilik National Park and photo opportunities will abound as the epic landscapes of the park surround us on approach.
Our last day in the Canadian Arctic will see us encounter some of the most beautiful scenery of our whole voyage as we enter the breathtaking Gibbs Fjord surrounded on all sides by majestic cliffs and snowy glaciers. As we cruise slowly through the dark waters our expedition ship will appear to be dwarfed by the giant peaks towering above us and we recommend spending the day on deck with your camera in hand. Your resident photographer will join you to offer hints and tips for capturing the perfect landscape shots.
At Sea towards Greenland
Leaving the rugged coastline of Baffin Island behind, today will be spent at sea sailing across Baffin Bay towards the grandeur of Greenland. As we sail your programme of expert lectures and presentations will continue, covering everything from the history of polar exploration to Arctic wildlife and geology. This is also a great time to relax and reflect on the adventures so far and we recommend spending some time on deck as we sail searching for sightings of the pilot whales, orcas and baleen whales like fins and seis that are frequently found in these waters. We will also be followed by numerous seabirds and should be rewarded with some sightings of fulmars and dovekies amongst many others.
Ilulissat, Greenland and the Jacobshavn Icefjord
For many of us today may well be one of the highlights of the voyage as we discover the awesome Jakobshavn Glacier set within the breathtaking UNESCO World Heritage site of the Ilulissat Icefjord. Our exact itinerary today will be dependent on ice conditions around the mouth of the fjord but we expect to be able to visit the town of Ilulissat, an exceptionally scenic settlement set against the most remarkable backdrop of enormous icebergs which have made their way down from the Glacier and run aground at the mouth of the fjord just outside the town. Here we will be able to enjoy a hike to some fantastic viewpoints high above the ice field. We will also take a Zodiac cruise along the face of the massed icebergs, an experience that is guaranteed to impress. The key word for today will be “ice”, and lots of it!
The penultimate stop on our thrilling voyage will be the colourful settlement of Sisimiut where we will explore by ship around the fjord behind the town in search of the numerous whale species and marine animals which frequent the waters here, before going ashore for some further exploration. On land you will have the chance to visit the town’s church and small museum, and we hope to meet some of the locals including the traditional Greenlandic kayakers who may offer a demonstration of ‘kayak rolling’. This scenic town, where historic houses and fishing boats lie set amongst the dramatic backdrop of a towering granite peak, is an excellent spot for perfecting your landscape photography and your onboard photography expert may accompany you here to help you capture the perfect pictures.
As we near the end of our voyage there is time for one last adventure as we sail through one of the world’s longest fjords and make our way towards Kangerlussuaq. As we sail through the fjord we recommend spending some time on deck watching as the waters flowing in from the huge Greenland ice cap change from deep blue to grey and mark our arrival in the port. Time permitting we hope to have chance to come ashore in this small town to take a walk across the tundra in search of sightings of musk oxen and birds of prey. We also hope for great hiking opportunities before re-boarding the ship to enjoy a fantastic farewell dinner attended by the captain.
Kangerlussuaq to Ottawa
Today it is sadly the end of our adventure as we bid farewell to our crew and disembark after breakfast to join our flight to the Canadian capital of Ottawa. Upon arrival in Ottawa a transfer will be provided to a downtown location. For customers returning to Europe or other destinations alternative flights can be arranged so please feel free to contact us to discuss.
A view from Above
RCGS Resolute has been purpose built for polar expedition cruising with the highest ice class (Lloyds 1AS). Equipped with propellers of stainless steel, high density steel plating and small frame spacing on her hull, RCGS Resolute continues into the ice, when others simply cannot. Designed for comfort, RCGS Resolute is modern, well appointed, safe and ice-strengthened. From small group sessions to briefings for all passengers, there are public spaces onboard the ship ideally suited for each and every need. Two separate bar and lounge areas featuring 180 degree views and a wonderfully stocked library provide ideal places to relax or catch up on some reading. The sumptuous meals prepared for you by the culinary team are enjoyed in either of the two dining rooms, one of which features a popular bistro menu offering quick and easy meals for those prioritising time out on deck. Both dining rooms have ample and open seating paired with modern furnishings and large picture windows with 180 degree views. Other facilities include the theatre style presentation room, gift-shop, gymnasium, wellness centre, hot water spa, sauna and steam room and salt water pool. There are 6 different cabin categories and all cabins feature outside viewing, from traditional port holes to expansive panoramic windows, as well as lounge quarters, spacious bathrooms and high-quality furnishings.
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