akademik vavilov northwest passage cruise

Classic Northwest Passage & Greenland

  • Overview

    This celebrated voyage explores the remote Northwest Passage, starting in western Greenland and finishing in the remote Arctic outpost of Cambridge Bay, at the western extremity of the fabled waterway. 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, the barren ground grizzly bear, musk ox, caribou and walrus.

    Duration: 13 days
    Passengers: 96 passengers
    Embarkation Point: Ottawa, 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 - Ottawa, Canada

      We depart Ottawa this morning bound for Kangerlussuaq, on the west coast of Greenland. Excitement is in the air as we cast off and enjoy a welcome cocktail while cruising along Sondre Stromfjord, en route to the fabled NorthwestPassage.

      Wildlife is a major draw card of this Arctic vacation, but there is also plenty of historical interest, and the stories of Sir John Franklin's ill-fated expedition nearly 170 years ago are 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 Victoria Strait. One Ocean Expeditions played a vital 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.

    • Day 2 - Sisimiut

      We will explore the fjord behind the town of Sisimiut by Zodiac before going ashore to explore this beautiful location. Characterised by colorful local houses, the town features a towering granite peak as a backdrop. We hope to meet afew of the traditional Greenlandic kayakers as they show us their incredible skills in their small watercraft.

    • Day 3 - Ilulissat Icefjord

      Truly one of the wonders of the world, the Ilulissat Icefjord releases gigantic tabular icebergs out into Disko Bay. The glacier that creates these stunning monoliths advances up to 40 meters per day, creating around 50 cubic kilometers of ice annually. Our Captain and officers are skilled ice navigators and our ship has one of the highest ice ratings of any vessel exploring Arctic waters, making for safe and comfortable travel through the iceberg-laden waters.

    • Day 4/5 - Baffin Bay

      Leaving the rugged coastline of Greenland, our crossing of Baffin Bay is highly dependent on the extent of the so-called ‘middle ice’. We probe northwards seeking out the edges of the middle ice and plan to follow the line of ice until we reach the coast of Baffin Island. As we transit Baffin Bay we are always on the lookout for fin, sperm, sei and humpback whales as well as the numerous species of Arctic seals and seabirds that inhabit these waters.

    • Day 6 - Mittimatalik (Pond Inlet)

      Nearing the far north of Baffin Island we arrive at Mittimatalik (Pond Inlet). The Natinnak Centre features a fascinating cultural exhibit showcasing aspects of daily life, culture and history of the people of the north. Inuit carvings, jewellery and other traditional crafts are on display and purchasing such items from the local artisans is a great way to support the community.

    • Day 7/8 - Devon Island

      We cross Lancaster Sound to Devon Island and are now at almost 75? degrees north of latitude. Water from the Atlantic to the east, Pacific to the west, and the archipelago of islands to the north all mixes here, combining to make a rich source of nutrients and food for an abundance of Arctic wildlife. We plan to visit the old Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) outpost at Dundas Harbour, situated on the southern shores of Devon Island. Musk ox and Arctic hare are sometimes sighted in the vicinity and there are some great hiking options in the area.

    • Day 9 - Beechey Island and Prince Leopold Island

      eechey 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 would span decades.

      A trip ashore at Beechey Island to visit the grave markers on a remote windswept beach is a thrilling moment for history buffs. Prince Leopold Island is an important migratory bird sanctuary, home to thick-billed murres, black guillemots, northern fulmars and black-legged kittiwakes. Several hundred thousand birds fill the skies above –it’s an unbelievable sight. Given the abundance of food in this vicinity we often sight beluga, narwhal and bowhead whales here, as well as several species of seal and polar bear.

    • Day 10 - Bellot Strait

      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. Having explored Fort Ross, we attempt a transit through the narrows of Bellot Strait. The skill of the Captain and Officers and capabilities of the ship becomes apparent during this exciting day of Arctic navigation.

    • Day 11 - Coningham Bay

      Crossing the Victoria Strait we arrive at Coningham Bay on the shore of Prince Edward Island. Here, in the heart ofthe Northwest Passage, we hope to encounter one of the most remarkable wildlife sites in the Arctic. This is a known hotspot for polar bears. They come here to feast on beluga whales often caught in the rocky shallows at the entrance to the bay. It is an astonishing sight to see these incredible hunters in their natural environment.

    • Day 12 - Victoria Strait

      Heading further into the Northwest Passage, the mystery of Sir John Franklin and his ‘lost expedition’ is beginning to unravel. 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 archeological team and the recent Victoria Strait Expedition. We hope to visit Victory Point and the Victoria Strait, travelling very near the actual location of the wreck of HMS Erebus & HMS Terror, found in Terror Bay in 2016.

    • Day 13 - Edmonton, Canada

      Cambridge Bay is a remote outpost on the southern shores of Victoria Island and a centre for hunting, trapping and fishing in the region. Amundsen spent two winters in this area, learning how to master dog-sledding from the locals prior to his attempt on the South Pole. Our voyage through the Northwest Passage comes to an end, as we transfer to the airport for our flight to Edmonton and onto a downtown location.

    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


    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.

    AUD$ 1,070 per person

    Charter Flights (Mandatory)

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

    AUD$ 3,072 per person

    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.

    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.

  • 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


    Akademik Sergey Vavilov is the near identical sister-ship to Akademik Ioffe. Built in Rauma (Finland) these Baltic Class 1A (Canadian Type B) ice strengthened ships are the leaders in their class. They are the pride of the polar fleet featuring first class amenities catering to the demands of today’s most discerning guests. A separate lounge and bar with panoramic views, 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 with panoramic views
    • 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
    Technical Specs
    Year built: 1988
    Length: 117m
    Width: 18
    Tonnage: 6230
    Registry: Russia
    Elec Outlets: 220V / 2 Round Pin
Check Voyage Dates, Pricing and Availability
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Ready to book your expedition?

We understand that the trip of a lifetime takes planning, so we make the financial commitments easy to manage.

  • Confirm your booking today with just AUD$ 1,000 per passenger.
  • Pay your 25% deposit 5 day later.
  • Final payment due 120 days prior to departure.


12 Aug 2018 - 24 Aug 2018
Triple berth cabin with shared facilities
AUD$ 14,776pp
AUD$ 14,776pp

Twin Semi-Private

12 Aug 2018 - 24 Aug 2018
Twin cabin with semi-private facilities
AUD$ 17,548pp
AUD$ 17,548pp

Twin Private

12 Aug 2018 - 24 Aug 2018
Twin cabin with private facilities
AUD$ 21,090pp
AUD$ 21,090pp

Superior Twin

12 Aug 2018 - 24 Aug 2018
Twin cabin with private facilities
AUD$ 22,630pp
AUD$ 22,630pp

Shackleton Suite

12 Aug 2018 - 24 Aug 2018
Double cabin with private facilities
AUD$ 24,786pp
AUD$ 24,786pp

One Ocean Suite

12 Aug 2018 - 24 Aug 2018
Suite with double bed, private facilities and a host of luxuries
AUD$ 26,326pp
AUD$ 26,326pp