akademik ioffe baffin island canadian arctic cruise

Pathways to Franklin

  • Overview

    This outstanding expedition showcases the breathtaking wilderness of Canada's High Arctic. Wildlife is another major draw card and throughout the voyage we visit one of the largest migratory bird sanctuaries in Canada and a number of locations where encounters with polar bears are frequent. Sightings of seals, whales and narwhal are also common.


    However, the principal focus of our expedition is the history of Arctic exploration and early quest for the Northwest Passage. The story of Sir John Franklin's expedition from the mid 18th century and the enduring mystery of their fate has gripped the imagination and intrigue of Canadians - and history lovers - for more than 150 years.


    A new chapter in this tale was written when in September 2014, when a joint government/ private expedition located the final resting place of one of two of Franklin's 'lost ships' - HMS Erebus, in the frigid waters of the Victoria Strait. 

     

    We navigate our modern expedition vessel through these very same waters and wonder about the fate of these early Arctic explorers. Throughout the journey, we enjoy onboard presentations by polar experts and fascinating shore excursions to many key historic sites.

    Duration: 10 days
    Passengers: 96 passengers
    Embarkation Point: Edmonton, Canada
    Disembarkation Point: Edmonton, Canada
    Physical rating: Soft Adventure
    Fly/Cruise: Mandatory extra flight
    Single Supplement: 1.5x - 2.0x twin rate or share options
  • Itinerary
    • Day 1 - Edmonton, Canada

      We depart Edmonton on our charter flight to Resolute, a remote outpost above the Arctic Circle. Located on the southern shores of Cornwallis Island, the town is named after the British ship HMS Resolute which was trapped in ice and abandoned here in 1850 while searching for the lost Franklin Expedition. A weather station and airstrip made it a strategic outpost during the Cold War. On arrival, we meet our expedition team and prepare for our zodiac ride to the ship. After a welcome cocktail, we weigh anchor and depart Resolute in the early evening.

      Frequent shore landings in the company of expert guides allow us to explore on foot, observing wildlife, Arctic flora, and points of historical interest. All of this is set against a backdrop of epic Arctic scenery and massive skies. This is an ideal introduction to small ship expedition cruising in the remote Canadian Arctic.

    • Day 2 - Beechey Island | Prince Leopold Island

      Beechey Island holds great historic importance in the story of the Northwest Passage. 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. The mystery of what happened to Franklin was partially solved in September 2014, when a joint Parks Canada and Royal Canadian Geographic Society expedition found the HMS Erebus in the Victoria Strait.

      A trip ashore at Beechey Island to visit the grave markers on a remote windswept beach is a thrilling location for history buffs. 2017: Through the afternoon we will sail across Barrow Strait and approach the towering bird cliffs of Prince Leopold Island. This is an important migratory bird sanctuary, home to thick-billed murres, black guillemots, northern fulmars and black-legged kittiwakes. Numbering several hundred thousand birds, Prince Leopold Island is one of the most significant bird sanctuaries in the whole of the Canadian Arctic and makes for fantastic zodiac cruising. The sea ice around Prince Leopold Island is a great place for spotting ringed seals - and wherever we find ringed seals, we usually find polar bears.

    • Day 3 - Elwin Inlet

      We cross the broad expanse of Lancaster Sound, spending time on the ship’s bridge, or outer decks looking for wildlife. The sound has been likened to the wildlife ‘super highway’ of the Arctic. Approaching northern Baffin Island we are in awe of the spectacular Arctic landscape that seemingly stretches on forever. Cape Charles Yorke offers several great walking opportunities and we may enjoy some sightings of polar bears along this coast. We navigate the ship into nearby Elwin Inlet, a breathtaking fjord which is well protected and great for a zodiac cruise or hike onshore.

    • Day 4 - Prince Leopold Island

      Having crossed Prince Regent Inlet overnight, we approach the towering bird cliffs of Prince Leopold Island in the morning. The island is home to thick-billed murres, black guillemots, northern fulmars and black-legged kittiwakes. Numbering in the order of several hundred thousand birds, Prince Leopold Island is one of the most significant Migratory Bird Sanctuaries in the whole of the Canadian Arctic and makes for fantastic zodiac cruising.

    • Day 5 - Bellot Strait

      Continuing to navigate the ship south into Prince Regent Inlet, we approach the eastern end of the Bellot Strait. The historic site of Fort Ross, located at the southern end of Somerset Island, is a former Hudson’s Bay Company fur trading outpost. The mixing of waters in this strait provides an abundant food source for marine mammals and we keep our eyes peeled for harp seals, bearded seals and even polar bears.

    • Day 6 - Coningham Bay

      Having emerged from Bellot Strait, we cross Franklin Strait and arrive at Coningham Bay on the shore of Prince Of Wales Island. Here, in the heart of the Northwest Passage we hope to encounter one of the most remarkable wildlife sites in the Arctic

    • Day 7 - Victory Point

      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.

    • Day 8 - The Royal Canadian Geographical Society Island

      Today we explore The Royal Canadian Geographical Society Island and follow the footsteps of Sir Franklin and his crew.

    • Day 9 - Aston Bay

      We are in a very historic part of the Northwest Passage as we explore the waters of southern Victoria Strait and into the top of Queen Maud Gulf. Our itinerary today will be driven by the weather and ice conditions as we surround ourselves in history and search for wildlife. This evening, we enjoy a special dinner attended by the Captain of the ship and the chance to reflect on a what has been a superb 10-days of exploration in this pristine Arctic wilderness.

    • Day 10 - Edmonton, Canada

      Our journey through the Arctic is all but complete as we disembark the ship in Cambridge Bay and make our way to the airport and a charter flight returns us to Edmonton. A transfer is provided from the airport to a central location downtown.

    Please consider that our voyages are expeditionary in nature. This means, that there are no concrete itineraries, your captain and expedition leader will utilise their vast experience to chart the best course for your expedition depending on the climatic and environmental conditions. Mentioned highlights and wildlife cannot be guaranteed.

  • Highlights & Activities

    Kayaking

    As a pre-booked activity, our group of sixteen paddlers and three guides gears you up with the best kit in the industry to experience one of the best paddling destinations in the world. Both single and double kayaks are available.

    USD 695 per person

    Charter Flights (Mandatory)

    This voyage starts from Edmonton on a special charter flight. The voyage ends with a charter flight to Edmonton.

    USD 1,995 per person

    Inspiring Inuit communities

    Baffin Island Inuit live on Baffin Island, the largest island in the Arctic Archipelago and in the territory of Nunavut. Baffin Island has been inhabited by the Inuit for thousands of years. Inuit from Baffin Island are descendants of the Thule, who expanded eastward across Canada from Alaska in the 12th and 13th centuries. The Baffin Island Inuit (like other modern Inuit) share biological and cultural links with their Thule ancestors.

    Northwest passage

    There is a sea passage through the Arctic regions of North America, that has been alluring explorers and fortune seekers for centuries. Connecting the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, the Northwest Passage, that has claimed the curiosity, hearts and lives of so many, is now a journey into the past to discover the courage, misery and pure determination of some of history’s greatest explorers. By weaving your way through explorer over-wintering sites, ceremonial grounds, and ship graveyards this remarkable journey will bring to life the endeavors of those who came before us.

  • Inclusions

    Expedition Gear Package

    A complementary expedition package is provided on a loan basis, upon boarding. Your package will include;

    - Windproof / waterproof expedition jacket and bib pants
    - Waterproof backpack
    - Comfortable insulated rubber boots
    - Water resistant binoculars
    - Trekking poles

    Inclusions / Exclusions

    Included in your Expedition

    - Free use of rubber expedition boots/pants & jacket
    - Comprehensive pre-departure material
    - Port taxes
    - All shore excursions and lectures
    - All accommodation and meals on board

    Not included in your Expedition

    - International flights
    - Baggage / cancellation / interruption and medical travel insurance
    - Mandatory expedition gear not provided
    - Luggage handling
    - Optional excursions and activities.
  • Map
    Map coming soon
  • Gallery
  • Vessel

    AKADEMIK IOFFE

    Akademik Ioffe is a purpose built oceanographic vessel featuring complex internal stabilizers and powerful engines. She accommodates just 96 guests. Combined with multi pitch propulsion and bow and stern thrusters she offers exceptional maneuverability. Expansive observation decks featuring 360 degree views make her the perfect platform for operation in Antarctica and the High Arctic. A separate lounge and bar, as well as a library provide ideal places to sit and relax or catch up on some reading. A selection of movies and documentaries can also be watched in the lounge. The sumptuous meals prepared for you by our culinary team are enjoyed in our dining room, which can host all passengers in a single seating and will keep you feeling healthy and strong for the myriad of activities offered throughout the voyage. Other facilities include the theatre style presentation room, gift-shop, fitness room, massage room, hot water spa, sauna and plunge pool. There’s also a dedicated expedition ‘mud-room’ where you prepare for your off-ship excursions.

    Features & Facilities
    • Superior accommodation
    • 360 degree observation decks
    • Lounge & Bar
    • Theatre style presentation room
    • Wellness Centre; Gym
    • Massage services
    • Hot water spa
    • Sauna
    • Plunge Pool
    • Expedition mud room
    • Digital photography lab
    • Internet/Wifi
    Key Facts
    Luxury star rating: 3
    Guests #: 96
    Crew #: 65
    Ice Class: 1A
    Speed: 14
    Refurbished:
    Technical Specs
    Year built: 1989
    Length: 117m
    Width: 18
    Draft:
    Tonnage: 6230
    Registry: Russia
    Elec Outlets: 220V / 2 Round Pin
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akademik ioffe triple cabin

Triple

11 Aug 2019 - 20 Aug 2019
Triple berth cabin with shared facilities and porthole.
USD 7,095pp
USD 6,095pp
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akademik ioffe twin semi private cabin

Twin Semi-Private

11 Aug 2019 - 20 Aug 2019
Twin cabin with semi-private facilities and a porthole.
USD 8,095pp
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akademik ioffe twin private cabin

Twin Private

11 Aug 2019 - 20 Aug 2019
Twin cabin with private facilities and window.
USD 9,595pp
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akademik ioffe superior twin private cabin

Superior Twin

11 Aug 2019 - 20 Aug 2019
Twin cabin with private facilities, window and added benefits.
USD 10,695pp
USD 9,695pp
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akademik ioffe shackleton suite cabin

Shackleton Suite

11 Aug 2019 - 20 Aug 2019
Double cabin with private facilities, window and added benefits. This cabin can also be utilised as a Triple, where the 3rd person pays the triple rate.
USD 12,195pp
USD 11,195pp
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akademik ioffe one ocean suite cabin

One Ocean Suite

11 Aug 2019 - 20 Aug 2019
Suite with double bed, private facilities and a host of luxuries.
USD 13,895pp
USD 12,895pp
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