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Friday, 21 June 2019

Expedition through The Northwest Passage

#expeditioncruising .



Adventure Canada’s two Northwest Passage expeditions are Canadian Signature Experiences. The signature experience designation represents a collection of high-quality, once-in-a-lifetime experiences that can only be found in Canada.


This iconic journey through the passage has preoccupied the psyche of the western world for hundreds of years. An open route to the Orient would change the world – if only the stunning, ice-strewn waters could be navigated. Inuit innovation, missing men, shattered ships, and fool’s gold are the stuff of legends. This legendary route marks one of the greatest shipboard journeys in the last five hundred years.

Fast forward to 2009, when Adventure Canada made its first passage through the Northwest Passage in comfort and style. We still face the challenges of a complex ecosystem dominated by ice and water – yet on our journey, we do so in the company of world-class educators, experts, and locals who generously share their immense knowledge.

Both of our Northwest Passage expeditions are offered in partnership with Parks Canada. We are proud to have exclusive access to visit the site of the HMS Erebus, one of Franklin’s doomed vessels, which now rests at the bottom of the Queen Maud Gulf in the heart of Nunavut’s Kitikmeot region.

Our intended itinerary for both expeditions includes:


  • engaging with local communities
  • a visit to the National Historic Site of Beechey Island/Northumberland House
  • taking in Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and/or Hudson Bay Company (HBC) historic points of interest
  • providing onsite learning at archaeological sites
  • wildlife viewing
  • and a comprehensive educational program

These voyages are best suited for a curious mind, with an appetite for exploration, adventure, and camaraderie. Our daily excursions to shore or by Zodiac are perfect for soft adventurers who enjoy hiking, wildlife viewing, botany and geology and the opportunity to be awestruck by the grandeur and natural beauty of the Arctic.

Each expedition takes place across Greenland and Nunavut.

You can learn more about the variations below:


Into the Northwest Passage



Tracing one warm line from Greenland to Nunavut, Into the Northwest Passage retraces the westerly route of explorers in the nineteenth century. Our time in Greenland will be spent exploring communities, meeting locals, sampling local fare, Zodiac cruising, and visiting the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Ilulissat Icefjord.

We will re-enter Canada on eastern Baffin Island, dominated by the Arctic Cordillera mountain ranges. Here we can find the classic imagery of the Arctic – deep fjords and ice-capped mountains. With heights reaching up to 2,146 metres, the peaks are some of the highest in eastern North America. We can expect to see portions of the retreating Barnes Ice Cap as glaciers that tumble down to the sea.


This mountainous land is home to many species, including polar bears, whales, and seals. Travel in August represents an optimal time for lovers of botany. The purple saxifrage, Nunavut Territory’s floral emblem, will be in full bloom as temperatures average around 7 °C (44.6 °F).

The communities we visit on Baffin Island are a part of the Qikiqtani Region of Nunavut. Language, art, and hunting remain a cornerstone of life on Baffin Island. We’ll have the opportunity to visit one of the hamlets on East Baffin. You can expect to walk the community with a local guide, enjoy a presentation hosted by the hamlet, meet locals, purchase local art or products, and make new friends!


Out of the Northwest Passage



This eastward journey embarks from the hamlet of Kugluktuk, nestled at the base of the notorious Coppermine River. Our first few days are spent exploring the gentle landscapes of the Kitikmeot Region. Here we have the opportunity to view caribou, muskox and over 90% of the world’s Ross’s Goose population.

Striking north as the ice begins to reform, we can scan for wildlife out on the ice from the ship’s deck or Zodiac cruise. Temperatures hover around 0 °C (32 °F) and hikes may be over freshly snow-dusted landscapes. Darkening evening skies are perfect for aurora borealis viewing. According to Inuit lore, beware of whistling down the northern lights, or the spirits will have your head!

This voyage reaches to the far north of Nunavut. Planned excursions on Ellesmere Island include Grise Fiord, Canada’s most northerly civilian community, with a population of 140. We explore the history of relocation and the extreme measures taken in the name of sovereignty.

Human habitation on the polar desert of Ellesmere Island has been traced as far back as 4,000 years – a truly amazing feat of ingenuity. The island became familiar to explorers as the great race to reach the North Pole ensued in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Names such as Ross, Nares, Kane and Greeley feature prominently as we explore Smith Sound. We’ll push north as conditions allow with a chance to sail up to 79°N, passing magnificent fjords and glaciers along the way. This is truly a bucket-list opportunity.

Greenland’s northwest coast is wild and remote. The final third of our expedition is dominated by ice – in between our daily landings, our time will be spent out on deck taking in the grand ice parade. These natural works of art float north with the currents before turning southward, and may journey all the way down to St. John’s, Newfoundland. The ice giants are born from Sermeq Kujalleq, or Jakobshavn Glacier. Once one of the fastest moving glaciers in the world, a recent turn of events has slowed it down dramatically. Scientists are exploring this unpredicted change, as well as why its trunk has begun to thicken and lengthen. We’ll visit its epicenter, and UNESCO World Heritage Site, the stunning Ilulissat Icefjord.



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