rcgs resolute northwest passange and baffin island arctic cruise

Classic Northwest Passage - Eastbound

  • Overview

    CELEBRATE CANADA'S ARCTIC CULTURE, HISTORY, WILDERNESS AND WILDLIFE.

    This iconic voyage explores Canada's remote Northwest Passage and stunning fjords of the Baffin Island coastline before crossing Baffin Bay to Greenland where we marvel at the beauty of the gigantic icebergs calving off of the Greenland icecap.


    We follow in the footsteps of the early Arctic explorers such as Franklin, Amundsen and Larsen, exploring the archipelago of islands and channels that create Canada’s high Arctic region. This is the home of the polar bear, muskox, caribou and walrus and we journey through the wild Canadian North aboard our celebrated ice-rated expedition ship


    Wildlife is a major drawcard of our expedition, but there is plenty of historical interest and the stories of that ill-fated expedition by Sir John Franklin nearly 170 years ago is central to our voyage. Franklin made his last heroic foray into the Arctic in 1845 with two ships and 129 men, never to be heard from again. The fate of the expedition remained a mystery – until September 2014 – when one of the vessels, HMS Erebus, was discovered in a remarkable state of preservation in the frigid waters of the Victoria Strait. 


    The find is undoubtedly one of the great archaeological discoveries of the last 100 years and has been likened to the discovery of Tutankhamen’s tomb. This is small ship expedition cruising at its best.

    Duration: 13 days
    Passengers: 96 passengers
    Embarkation Point: Edmonton, Canada
    Disembarkation Point: Ottawa, 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 (ALBERTA) TO CAMBRIDGE BAY (NUNAVUT): Embarkation Day

      We depart Edmonton this morning on our special charter flight to Cambridge Bay.Today it is a centre for hunting, trapping and fishing. Upon arrival, enjoy a walking tour of the town and board our expedition ship in the afternoon. After settling into our cabins and exploring the ship, we meet our expedition team and fellow passengers. Excitement is in the air as we enjoy a welcome cocktail and cast off, bound for the fabled Northwest Passage.

      Important Voyage Logistics:
      This trip commences in Edmonton - Alberta's provincial capital city. We recommend you arrive in Edmonton at least one day prior to the scheduled voyage departure date. This gives you a buffer in the event of any unexpected travel delays between home and trip departure time. From Edmonton we
      fly to Cambridge Bay in Nunavut, via a charter flight. We transfer to the ship for embarkation via zodiac.

      At the conclusion of the trip, we fly from Kangerlussuaq in Greenland, back to Ottawa via a charter flight. Upon arrival in Ottawa, a transfer is provided from the airport to a central downtown location. This flight arrives in the early evening and we advise staying the night in Ottawa and making your onward travel plans for the following day.

    • Day 2 - VICTORY POINT, KING WILLIAM ISLAND

      As we chart a course into the Northwest Passage, our onboard presentation series begins, and the legend of Sir John Franklin and his ‘lost expedition’ is beginning to unravel. The mystery of what happened to Franklin was partially solved in September 2014, when a joint Parks Canada and Royal Canadian Geographical Society expedition, found the long-lost Franklin shipwreck, HMS Erebus in the Victoria Strait. The operator of the RCGS Resolute played a pivotal role in the search by carrying underwater search equipment on our ship as well as scientists, historians, researchers, dignitaries and sponsors of this history-defining mission. We aim to visit Victory Point, 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. Just two years later, in 2016, the wreck of Franklin's second ship, HMS Terror was located less than fifty miles from HMS Erebus - so ending one of marine archaeologies’ most enduring mysteries. Yet the discovery of the two ships leaves us with many unanswered questions as to the fate of Franklin and his men. The story continues to unravel.

    • Day 3 - CONINGHAM BAY

      This morning we 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. This is a known hotspot for polar bears who come here to feast on beluga whales, often caught
      in the rocky shallows at the entrance to the bay during low tide. It is not unusual to find the shoreline littered with whale skeletons – and very healthy looking polar bears!

    • Day 4 - BELLOT STRAIT AND FORT ROSS

      Today we transit the narrow passage of Bellot Strait – a channel separating northerly Somerset Island from continental North America. The aim is to enter at slack tide if possible, in order to avoid a current that roars through the passage at more than seven knots during the peak flow. 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. The skill of the Captain, Officers and capabilities of the ship becomes apparent during this exciting day of Arctic navigation. The historic site of Fort Ross, located at the southern end of Somerset Island, is a former Hudson’s Bay Company fur trading outpost. Fascinating archaeological sites nearby tell a story of more than a thousand years of habitation by the Inuit and their predecessors.

    • Day 5 - BEECHEY ISLAND

      Beechey Island holds great historic importance on our journey through 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 that lasted almost three decades. A trip ashore at Beechey Island to visit the grave markers on a remote windswept beach, gives one pause to wonder on the bravery (or foolhardiness) of these pioneering explorers, as they sought a way through the barren, frozen landscape. This is a thrilling location for history buffs and for many it will be the defining moment of our expedition.

    • Day 6 - LANCASTER SOUND AND DUNDAS HARBOUR

      We are now at almost 75° degrees north of latitude. Cruising the coastline of Devon Island, we are now in the waters of Lancaster Sound – a rich, bio-diverse region often referred to as the wildlife ‘super highway’ of the Arctic. These massive volumes of water from Baffin Bay to the east, Beaufort Sea
      to the west, and from the archipelago of islands to the north, combine to make a rich cocktail of nutrients supporting an abundance of Arctic wildlife. We plan on visiting the old Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) outpost at Dundas Harbour, situated on the southern shores of Devon Island.

    • Day 7 - MITTIMATALIK (POND INLET)

      We sight the wild north coast of Baffin Island and navigate through Navy Board Inlet. The vast landscapes of Sirmilik National Park surround us as we approach the remote Inuit community of Mittimatalik. We are welcomed ashore and a highlight will be a visit to the Natinnak Centre, where a
      fascinating cultural exhibit showcases aspects of daily life, culture and history of the people of the North. Inuit carvings, jewellery and other traditional craft is on display and purchasing such items from the local artisans is a great way to support the community

    • Day 8 - GIBBS FJORD

      This morning we enter the spectacular Gibbs Fjord with towering cliffs all around us. Our expedition ship will seem dwarfed by the giant peaks and snowy glaciers as we cruise slowly along the dark waters. One recent guest was heard to comment that Gibbs Fjord 'was like something out of Lord of
      the Rings' – and we think you’ll agree!

    • Day 9 - AT SEA IN BAFFIN BAY

      Leaving the rugged coastline of Baffin Island, our crossing of Baffin Bay allows us time to slow down and reflect on the beauty and experiences we have shared. Our team of onboard experts will continue to educate us on the history and wildlife of the region while our naturalists keep watch looking for fulmars and dovekies, pilot whales and perhaps even orca. As we approach Greenland, we also increase our likelihood of spotting some of the big baleen whales like the fin and sei whales.

    • Day 10 - ILULISSAT, GREENLAND AND THE JACOBSHAVN ICEFJORD

      For many, today is a highlight of the voyage. Truly one of the wonders of the world, the Jacobshavn Icefjord – a UNESCO World Heritage site - spews gigantic tabular icebergs out into Disko Bay. The glacier that creates these stunning monoliths advances at over 40 metres per day, creating around 50 cubic kilometres of ice annually. Our approach to Ilulissat is always dependent on the amount of ice in and around the mouth of the fjord. Our Captain and Officers are skilled ice navigators and our ship has one of the highest ice ratings of any vessel exploring Arctic waters.

    • Day 11 - SISIMIUT, GREENLAND

      We will explore the fjord behind the town of Sisimiut before going ashore to explore this beautiful location in the afternoon. Characterized by colourful local houses, the town features a towering granite peak as a backdrop. We hope to meet a few of the traditional Greenlandic kayakers and to see a demonstration of ‘Eskimo rolling’ by one of the former Greenland kayak champions. A small museum is another interesting diversion.

    • Day 12 - SONDRE STROMFJORD

      One of the world's longest fjords, Sondre Stromfjord towers above the ship on either side as we sail up it. Our goal is not the end of the fjord, but rather some of the small side fjords along it that we can zodiac into and explore on foot or by kayak. Major geological and geomorphological features will surround us and for those looking for living and breathing excitement, we will hope to find muskox along the shores of the fjord as well. Soaring high above us will be the white-tailed sea eagle, majestic as always while riding the thermals off the ridges. We expect some fantastic hiking opportunities with hikes geared to all fitness levels. On this, our last night of the expedition, we enjoy a celebratory dinner, attended by the Captain of the ship and reflect on our epic voyage.

    • Day 13 - KANGERLUSSUAQ, GREENLAND

      Our journey through the Arctic is all but complete as we disembark the ship and make our way to the airport. A charter flight returns us to Canada’s capital city of Ottawa. On arrival we bid farewell to our fellow passengers and our voyage comes to an end. 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

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

    RCGS RESOLUTE

    Designed for passenger comfort, RCGS Resolute is modern, well appointed, safe and ice-strengthened. Take a look at some of the superb facilities aboard, including numerous passenger areas designed for relaxation and our onboard educational programming. Quite simply, she is one of the most comfortable and capable expedition ships in the world today. Built in Rauma Finland in 1993, RCGS Resolute offers a Lloyds 1AS ice class (the highest ice rating possible for passenger ships), external stabilizers, incredible comfort and a variety of spacious interior and exterior viewing areas. The most recent refurbishment of the vessel included a complete cabin redecoration featuring new carpet and furniture throughout. One Ocean Suites feature queen beds. In all other cabins, the bed configuration is available in either a queen or two single beds (triple cabins feature two single beds and an additional lower single berth). All cabins include: private washroom, ample storage, writing desk and chair, fridge, flat screen entertainment system with in-house intranet, sectional corner lounge, 100% cotton OOE bathrobes, custom blend natural Canadian made amenities, black out blinds, complimentary water bottle and in room tea and coffee station. Superior cabins and above feature additional inclusions. For all guests, a full expedition gear package is included and features a waterproof jacket and pants, rubber boots, Nordic trekking pole, binoculars and water proof backpack.

    Features & Facilities
    Key Facts
    Luxury star rating: 5
    Guests #: 146
    Crew #: 100
    Ice Class: 1A Super
    Speed: 16
    Refurbished:
    Technical Specs
    Year built: 1993
    Length: 112m
    Width: 17
    Draft: 4
    Tonnage: 6752
    Registry:
    Elec Outlets: 2 Round Plugs
Check Voyage Dates, Pricing and Availability
All available dates
rcgs resolute triple private cabin

Triple Private Cabin

30 Aug 2019 - 11 Sep 2019
These cabins are a popular choice for solo travellers willing to share, a family, or a group of friends travelling together.
USD 12,695pp
USD 11,695pp
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rcgs resolute twin private cabin

Twin Private

30 Aug 2019 - 11 Sep 2019
Spacious and well appointed, these cabins are situated on Deck 4.
USD 15,695pp
USD 14,695pp
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rcgs resolute superior twin private cabin

Superior Cabin

30 Aug 2019 - 11 Sep 2019
Located forward on Deck 5 the Superior cabins have the option for either a queen or two single beds.
USD 17,195pp
USD 16,195pp
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rcgs resolute superior plus twin private cabin

Superior Plus

30 Aug 2019 - 11 Sep 2019
Located on deck 5 these cabins are spacious and well appointed with the option for either a queen or two single beds.
USD 17,495pp
USD 16,495pp
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rcgs resolute shackleton suite cabin

Shackleton Suite

30 Aug 2019 - 11 Sep 2019
Suites include the comfort of a sectional lounge, writing desk, substantial floor to ceiling cabinetry, and washroom facilities with shower.
USD 18,795pp
USD 17,795pp
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rcgs resolute one ocean suite cabin

One Ocean Suite

30 Aug 2019 - 11 Sep 2019
The One Ocean Suites are situated on Deck 6 and offer an indulgent amount of space.
USD 19,795pp
USD 18,795pp
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