akademik ioffe baffin island canada high arctic cruise

High Arctic Explorer

  • Overview

    The great appeal of this voyage is the immediate immersion into the Arctic wilderness from the very first day. We achieve this by commencing in Resolute, one of the most northern outposts in the Canadian Arctic. This stunning 10-day journey is the perfect blend of wildlife, history, culture and scenery. The long hours of daylight give us maximum time to explore known wildlife hot spots including one of the largest migratory bird sanctuaries in the world, at Prince Leopold Island. History is a key focus and we plan visiting numerous Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) outposts such as Grise Fjord, Craig Harbour and Dundas Harbour. A highlight for many will be a visit to remote Beechey Island, the final resting place of several men from Sir John Franklin’s ill-fated expedition in the 1840’s. Along the ice floe edge we encounter beluga and bowhead whales and hope to encounter the mythical narwhal. Sightings of polar bear can be expected at numerous locations throughout the voyage.

    Duration: 10 days
    Passengers: 96 passengers
    Embarkation Point: Edmonton, Canada
    Disembarkation Point: Edmonton, Canada
    Physical rating: Soft Adventure
    Fly/Cruise: Cruise only
    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 - including a number of former Hudson's Bay Company outposts. All of this is set against a backdrop of epic mountains, sweeping glaciers, and massive skies. This is an ideal introduction to small ship expedition cruising in the remote Canadian Arctic.

    • Day 2 - Devon Island

      A large bay on the south coast of Devon Island, Maxwell Bay offers wonderful hiking ashore and wildlife watching from the water. Muskox and caribou can be found here, as well as polar bears. Harp seals, ringed seals, bearded seals and even walrus have been spotted in the coves and inlets of the bay.

    • Day 3 - Croker Bay

      Our voyage continues east through Lancaster Sound along the southern coastline of Devon Island. Lancaster Sound, which separates Devon and Baffin Island, has been named the wildlife ‘super highway’ of the Arctic. Waters from the Atlantic Ocean, Arctic Ocean, and the northern archipelago of islands meet here, combining to create a rich source of nutrients and food for an abundance of Arctic wildlife.

      Croker Bay is home to a healthy population of muskox and we will look for these prehistoric looking creatures as we hike ashore. Crocker Bay features particularly dramatic scenery, with deep blue icebergs set against a backdrop of richly colored peaks. The immense Croker Glacier descends into the steely waters and is a great location for a zodiac cruise. In the afternoon we will plan to visit the abandoned Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) outpost at Dundas Harbour which was established in 1924. The old buildings make great photography subjects in this wild and remote location.

    • Day 4 - Coburg Island National Wildlife Area

      Nirjutiqavvik National Wildlife Area is home to almost 400,000 seabirds, including a significant number of Canada’s population of thick-billed murres and Northern fulmars. As we zodiac cruise along the bird cliffs, expect to be awestruck by the sheer number of birds in the skies above. We often encounter marine mammals when exploring these waters, including beluga whales.

    • Day 5 - Grise Fiord

      Grise Fiord is the northernmost community in Canada and one of the most isolated communities in the world. Settled in 1953 by the Canadian government as a sovereignty exercise during the Cold War, the fewer than 100 people living in Grise Fiord are mostly descended from eight Inuit families who were relocated there from Northern Quebec. The scenery is stunning, the wildlife is abundant and we are warmly welcomed by the community. Nearby Craig Harbour is the site of an abandoned RCMP outpost, established in 1922 as the RCMP sought to patrol the north and provide services to the Inuit. We will visit and learn about the history of this site as we hike and explore the bay and hillsides of Craig Harbour.

    • Day 6 - Sirmilik National Park

      Located on the northern coast of Bylot Island and within the boundary of Sirmilik National Park, the bird cliffs of Cape Hay are home to thick-billed murres and black guillemots, along with black-legged kittiwakes. This superb location is a prime nesting spot for several hundred thousand birds. The scenery here will take your breath away as your eyes gaze beyond the tundra, towards the soaring mountain ranges in the distance.

    • Day 7 - Elwin Inlet

      We navigate the ship into nearby Elwin Inlet, a breathtaking fjord which is well protected and great for a zodiac cruise or hike onshore. Cape Charles Yorke offers several great walking opportunities. We will keep our eyes peeled for polar bears, which are plentiful along this coastline.

    • Day 8 - Prince Leopold Island

      Having crossed Prince Regent Inlet overnight, we approach the towering bird cliffs of Prince Leopold Island in the morning. This is an important migratory bird sanctuary, home to thick-billed murres, black guillemots, northern fulmars and black-legged kittiwakes. 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. Nearby Port Leopold is where English explorer, James Clark Ross, wintered over in 1848 during the search for the missing Franklin expedition. In addition to Port Leopold’s historical attraction, the shallow gravel beds along the shoreline are attractive to the beluga whales who come here to moult in the summer.

    • Day 9 - Beechey 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. We return to the ship and this evening enjoy a special dinner attended by the Captain and the chance to reflect on the wildlife, history and dramatic scenery of this pristine Arctic wilderness.

    • Day 10 - Resolute Bay, Canada

      By morning, we are at anchor in Resolute – from where we commenced our expedition a week ago. We make our way ashore by zodiac and bid farewell to our crew. A charter flight returns us to Edmonton where our journey comes to an end.

    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

    The Polar Bear

    To many people, the polar bear is the Arctic. The sight of such an impressive silky white bear wandering the frozen Arctic seas in search of seals symbolizes the cold, isolated nature of the Arctic so well. Polar bears are marine mammals because they spend so much of their lives away from land. In the high Arctic where there is always some sea ice to travel on, polar bears range over ice floes in the pack ice hunting seals all summer. In some areas (e.g. southern Hudson Bay, southern Svalbard) they are simply forced to come ashore. Polar bears rarely venture inland.

    Canadian Arctic

    With a charter flight into Resolute Bay, no time is lost in time at sea on this voyage. This voyage combines wildlife, history, culture and Arctic scenery to create an exceptional itinerary. Exploring regions synonymous with maritime history and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, this voyage is sure to have something for everyone.

  • 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

    - Optional excursions and activities.
    - Luggage handling
    - Mandatory expedition gear not provided
    - Baggage / cancellation / interruption and medical travel insurance
    - International flights
  • Map
    Screen shot 2017 07 05 at 2.17.55 pm
  • 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
Check Voyage Dates, Pricing and Availability
All available dates

Triple

14 Aug 2018 - 23 Aug 2018
Triple berth cabin with shared facilities
USD 6,795pp
USD 6,795pp

Twin Semi-Private

14 Aug 2018 - 23 Aug 2018
Twin cabin with semi-private facilities
USD 7,795pp
USD 7,795pp

Twin Private

14 Aug 2018 - 23 Aug 2018
Twin cabin with private facilities
USD 9,395pp
USD 9,395pp

Superior Twin

14 Aug 2018 - 23 Aug 2018
Twin cabin with private facilities
USD 10,095pp
USD 10,095pp

Shackleton Suite

14 Aug 2018 - 23 Aug 2018
Double cabin with private facilities
USD 11,395pp
USD 11,395pp

One Ocean Suite

14 Aug 2018 - 23 Aug 2018
Suite with double bed, private facilities and a host of luxuries
USD 12,995pp
USD 12,995pp