ultramarine northwest passage cruise

Northwest Passage: Epic High Arctic

  • Overview

    EARLY BIRD OFFER: Save 10% OFF + 10% When paid in full by 31 MAR 2021.

    The fabled sea route connecting the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, the Northwest Passage continues to grip our collective imagination. On this captivating 17-day voyage, we invite you aboard our game-changing new vessel, Ultramarine, to explore this fascinating waterway with an incredible range of on-board comforts and off-ship adventures no other vessel can offer. Passing through the Canadian Arctic archipelago, guests will journey back in time to the height of Arctic exploration, navigating the waters explored by sailors from different lands and visiting the sites that helped unlock the eventual discovery of this long-coveted route. 

    Aboard the technologically-advanced Ultramarine, you will explore this remarkable environment in unforgettable ways—taking advantage of two twin-engine helicopters, 20 quick-launching Zodiads, the most extensive portfolio of adventure options in the industry, more outdoor wildlife viewing spaces than any other expedition ship its size—to create your quintessential Arctic experience. Marvel at highlights of the Canadian Arctic and Greenland’s stunning west coast, stopping at traditional Inuit and Greenlandic communities. Participate in included helicopter activities and take in the vast, pristine Arctic wilderness from the air. Visit the UNESCO World Heritage site Ilulissat Icefjord, whose Jakobshavn glacier calves off icebergs up to a kilometer high. And keep your eyes peeled for the elusive and majestic creatures who make their home in this harsh, remote landscapes, such as whales, walrus, muskoxen and polar bears. Come aboard Ultramarine, venture to the fabled route that for centuries held explorers in its grip, and return home forever bonded to the spirit of Arctic adventure.

    IMPORTANT VOYAGE INFORMATION: This voyage has a mandatory charter flight component with an additional cost.

    Duration: 17 days
    Passengers: 199 passengers
    Embarkation Point: Toronto, Canada
    Disembarkation Point: Toronto, Canada
    Physical rating: Soft Adventure
    Fly/Cruise: Mandatory extra flight
    Single Supplement: 2.0x twin rate or share options
  • Itinerary
    • Day 1 - Arrive in Toronto, Canada

      Your Arctic expedition begins in Toronto. Explore this vibrant city on your own before spending the night at your well-appointed hotel.

    • Day 2 - Fly to Resolute and Embark

      This morning, board your charter flight to Resolute. Upon arrival, you’ll have a chance to walk around this small Arctic town before enjoying your first of many Zodiac cruises as you’re transferred to your ship.

    • Day 3/6 - Exploring Canada’s High Arctic

      Cruising around the remote regions of the Canadian Arctic aboard Ultramarine, the newest ship in our fleet, you’ll navigate the same icy inlets, channels and bays that fascinated legendary explorers of long ago. Designed to give polar adventurers unprecedented access to the hardest-to-reach places on the planet—and equipped with two onboard twin-engine helicopters for unparalleled access to areas only Quark Expeditions can bring you—this one-of-a-kind ship will take you beyond the familiar in polar exploration. Throughout your journey, your Expedition Team will keep an eye toward immersing you in the best the Arctic has to offer at the top of the world. Named after explorer Frederick William Beechey, of the Royal Navy, Beechey Island is a Canadian National Historic Site. It’s an important stop on our voyage, as this is the final resting place of three members of Sir John Franklin’s ill-fated 1845–46 expedition to find the Northwest Passage. The graves, on a remote windswept raised beach, were discovered in 1851 by the crew of British and American vessels searching for signs of Franklin’s lost expedition. Radstock Bay is a popular research location for observing polar bears, which are often seen here in summer. An impressive Thule archaeological site provides insight into how these pre-Inuit people lived in the Far North. For almost 5,000 years, the hamlet of Arctic Bay and its surrounding area has been occupied by Inuit people who were previously nomads migrating from the west. Surrounded by soaring cliffs teeming with seabirds, this is a great spot to go ashore and learn about the Inuit community’s traditional way of life. The eastern end of Lancaster Sound affords hiking and cruising opportunities on Devon Island. At Dundas Harbour, trek along a beach to a former Royal Canadian Mounted Police outpost. We’ll anchor at Croker Bay, where we’ll cruise near enough to appreciate the splendor of glacial textures and calving ice, while always keeping a safe distance. Walrus frequent the waters here, so be sure to have your camera handy. Canada’s most northern settlement, Grise Fiord will be your final shore visit in the Canadian High Arctic. Now home to about 150 residents, the mostly Inuit community was created in 1953, when the federal government forcefully relocated eight Inuit families from northern Quebec. Hunting and fishing are a significant part of their way of life. Visit the monument to the first Inuit settlers, as well as the remnants of the “old camp” where they lived.

    • Day 7/8 - Exploring Smith Sound

      Before saying goodbye to Canada, we’ll try to cruise as far north as possible, exploring both sides of Smith Sound, the uninhabited passage between Ellesmere Island and Greenland.

    • Day 9 - Qaanaaq, Greenland

      Your first stop in Greenland is Qaanaaq, formerly known as Thule, one of the northernmost towns in the world. Here, local Inuit share their culture and traditions, and the museum sheds more light on what it’s like living near the top of the world.

    • Day 10 - Cruising

      As we sail south along the west coast of Greenland, presentations by our on-board experts will prepare you for the adventures that lie ahead.

    • Day 11/15 - Exploring West Greenland

      With spectacular glaciers, soaring fjords and vibrant communities, the west coast of Greenland will leave you breathless. Nuussuaq (formerly known as Kraulshavn) is the only mainland community in the Upernavik Archipelago. Founded in 1923 as a trading station, it’s one of the most traditional hunting and fishing villages in Greenland. Each community visit in Greenland is a unique experience and Uummannaq might just steal your heart. It’s not surprising that the red-hued, heart-shaped mountain that rises up behind gave this traditional village its name (Uummannaq means “heart-like” in Greenlandic). As your ship approaches the shore, you’ll want to be on deck to take in the incredible view of the twin peaks towering over the vibrantly painted wooden houses dotting the rocky terrain below. The settlement was established as a Danish colony in 1758 on the mainland, but it relocated five years later because seal hunting was more plentiful here. In the nearby archaeological site of Qilaqitsoq (also written as Qilakitsoq), you’ll visit the ruins of an ancient settlement, where the remains of eight fully dressed mummies were discovered under a rock outcrop in 1972 by a pair of hunters. The famous Greenlandic mummies, which date back to 1475 A.D., are on view at the Greenland National Museum in Nuuk. Cruising farther south rewards with spectacular views of Eqip Sermia. The jagged, blue-tinged glacier soaring out of the icy waters is one of the most beautiful sights in Greenland, and we hope to Zodiac cruise along its massive front from a safe distance. We may also go ashore to explore nearby. Just south of Ilulissat, which means “iceberg” in Greenlandic, is the impressive Ilulissat Icefjord. The UNESCO World Heritage Site is home to Sermeq Kujalleq, the most productive glacier in the northern hemisphere. As we Zodiac cruise at the mouth of the fjord, you may be lucky to witness the wonders of calving ice (listen to the loud roars as the ice breaks off). Founded in 1741, the traditional town, which boasts more sled dogs than people, is famous in its own right: it was the birthplace of explorer and anthropologist Knud Rasmussen, the first to traverse the Northwest Passage by dogsled, in the early 1920s . Hikes here lead out to stunning views of the young icebergs as they float out the fjord to Disko Bay. In Sisimiut, you’ll be treated to a traditional kayaking demonstration. The kayak (an Inuit word that the English borrowed) has become a national symbol of Greenland and has been used by Inuit hunters for thousands of years. The town has several 18th-century colonial buildings, including the oldest surviving church in Greenland, so take time to wander through the historic area. Surrounded by sea and mountains, Itilleq is situated about a mile (2 km) above the Arctic Circle, in a scenic hollow on a small island. It is the southern limit of the Greenlandic sled dog. To keep the breed pure, the dogs are not permitted south of this community and all other dog breeds are prohibited this far north. It’s also known as a welcoming community, where you might experience “kaffemik,” a Greenlandic tradition of inviting visitors in for coffee, cakes and conversation. Explore the town’s charming wooden houses painted in a rainbow of colors, chat with the locals, whose main trade is fishing, and maybe challenge them to a game of football (soccer) —it won’t be long before you’re experiencing Itilleq’s famous friendly vibe.

    • Day 16 - Disembark in Kangerlussuaq and Fly to Toronto

      Enjoy one more Zodiac ride to shore, where you’ll board your charter flight back to Toronto, Canada. Upon arrival in Toronto, you will be transferred to your included hotel.

    • Day 17 - Depart Toronto, Canada

      Today, you can make your way home at your leisure or spend some time exploring this fascinating city.

    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

    Heli-Landing

    You will be transferred from Ultramarine’s heli-decks via our two twin-engine helicopters to a pre-selected Arctic destination. You’ll have time to explore the location, accompanied by team members, after which you’ll be picked up by the helicopters in the same location and returned to Ultramarine. Note: heli-landings are dependent on weather conditions and logistics.

    Included

    Flightseeing

    While polar landscapes are spectacular from the sea, they’re even more stunning from the air, a view you can enjoy while seated in one of the two twin-engine helicopters stationed on Ultramarine. Typically in groups of 7 to 9, you will experience an unforgettable aerial tour of the Arctic during a 10- to 15-minute flightseeing excursion that’s included in the cost of the voyage. Additional helicopter activities may also be available for purchase onboard. Please note: all helicopter operations are weather- and logistics-dependent.

    Included

    Hiking

    There are options on most excursions for shorter walks, often to take advantage of excellent lookouts, that don’t require hiking boots and other equipment. Hiking participation is optional and your Expedition Team will advise you of what you can expect prior to each excursion.

    Included

    Kayaking

    Kayaking is probably one of the most intimate and inspiring ways you can explore the rugged coastlines and calm bays of the Polar regions.

    Kayaking in the Polar Regions is highly weather-dependent, however we guarantee at least one outing throughout your voyage, but your kayak guides will take you out as many times as possible throughout your voyage.

    AUD$ 955 per person

    Transfer Package (Mandatory): NWP

    MANDATORY TRANSFER PACKAGE INCLUDES: NWP

    - One night’s pre-expedition airport hotel accommodation in Toronto
    - Group transfer from the Toronto hotel to the airport
    - Charter flight to or from Toronto to Resolute
    - Group transfer from the Resolute airport to the ship on embarkation day
    - Group transfer from the ship to the Kangerlussuaq airport on disembarkation day
    - Charter flight to or from Kangerlussuaq to Toronto
    - One night’s post-expedition airport hotel accommodation in Toronto

    AUD$ 4,100 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.

    Explore Greenland

    Vast swaths of beautiful, unfenced wilderness give you unique freedom to wander at will, whether on foot, by ski or by dogsled.

  • Inclusions
    Inclusions / Exclusions

    Included in your Expedition

    - One night’s post-expedition airport hotel accommodation in Toronto
    - Charter flight from Kangerlussuaq to Toronto
    - Group transfer from the ship to the Kangerlussuaq airport on disembarkation day
    - Group transfer from the Resolute airport to the ship on embarkation day
    - Greenland voyages cruise passenger tax
    - Leadership throughout your voyage by our experienced Expedition Leaders, including shore landings and other activities
    - Emergency Evacuation insurance for all passengers to a maximum benefit of USD $500,000 per person
    - All luggage handling aboard the ship
    - All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the program
    - Hair dryer and bathrobes in every cabin
    - An official Quark Expeditions® parka to keep
    - A pair of waterproof expedition boots on loan for landings and Zodiac cruising excursions
    - A photographic journal documenting the expedition
    - Formal and informal presentations by our Expedition Team and guest speakers as scheduled
    - Select beer and wine during dinner; and coffee, tea and cocoa available around the clock
    - All meals, snacks, soft drinks and juices on board throughout your voyage (Please inform us of any dietary requirements as far in advance as possible. Unfortunately, the ships’ galleys cannot prepare kosher meals.)
    - Shipboard accommodation with daily housekeeping
    - All shore landings as per the daily program
    - All Zodiac transfers and cruising as per the daily program
    - Group transfer from the Toronto hotel to the airport on Day 2
    - One night’s pre-expedition airport hotel accommodation in Toronto
    - Charter flight from Toronto to Resolute

    Not included in your Expedition

    - International airfare
    - Arrival and departure transfers in Toronto
    - Passport and visa expenses
    - Canadian eTA required for non-Canadian or U.S. visa-exempt passengers
    - Government arrival and departure taxes not mentioned above
    - Meals ashore unless otherwise specified
    - Baggage, cancellation, interruption and medical travel insurance—strongly recommended
    - Excess-baggage fees on international and domestic flights
    - Mandatory waterproof pants for Zodiac cruising, or any other gear not mentioned
    - Laundry, bar and other personal charges unless specified
    - Phone and Internet charges (connectivity may vary by location)
    - Voluntary gratuity at the end of the voyage for shipboard staff and crew
    - Additional overnight accommodation
    - Adventure Options not listed in Included Activities
  • Map
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  • Gallery
  • Vessel

    One of the newest ships in the polar fleet, Ultramarine, is designed to go beyond the familiar in polar exploration, to discover new places, and to immerse you in the best the region has to offer.

    Equipped with two twin-engine helicopters, Ultramarine offers the most robust portfolio of adventure activities in the industry, the most spacious suites in its category, breathtaking public spaces, and more outdoor wildlife viewing spaces than other expedition ships its size. It also features an innovative mix of sustainability features that exceed all industry standards.

    With all this and more, Ultramarine is set to deliver the ultimate polar expedition experience.

    Features & Facilities
    Key Facts
    Luxury star rating: 5
    Guests #: 199
    Crew #: 140
    Ice Class: PC6
    Speed: 16
    Refurbished:
    Technical Specs
    Year built: 2021
    Length: 128m
    Width: 22
    Draft: 5
    Tonnage: 13500
    Registry:
    Elec Outlets:
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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.
ultramarine antarctica explorer triple cabin

Explorer Triple

28 Aug 2023 - 13 Sep 2023
Located on Deck 3, and approximately 285 sq. ft. (26.5 m2). This suite is perfect for guests traveling solo who want to share their experience with other like-minded travelers of the same gender, or for groups of three traveling together. Featuring three separate single beds, and amenities for each of the three guests. Features: three single beds (two of which can be combined into a double bed), sitting area, picture window, desk, refrigerator, TV, private bathroom with shower and heated floors
AUD$ 28,600pp
AUD$ 27,385pp

Explorer Suite

28 Aug 2023 - 13 Sep 2023
View window, sitting area, twin/queen bed and private facilities
AUD$ 36,700pp
AUD$ 28,924pp
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Balcony Suite

28 Aug 2023 - 13 Sep 2023
Twin or double bed, private facilities, window and private balcony
AUD$ 39,600pp
AUD$ 31,128pp
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Deluxe Balcony Suite

28 Aug 2023 - 13 Sep 2023
Twin or double Suite with separate sitting area, private facilities and a private balcony
AUD$ 46,200pp
AUD$ 36,144pp
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ultramarine antarctica terrace suite cabin

Terrace Suite

28 Aug 2023 - 13 Sep 2023
Located on Deck 6, with approximately 350 sq. ft. (32.5 m2) of indoor living space, and a 100 sq. ft. (9.3 m2) balcony. This suite is perfect for guests wanting generous interiors with a wide layout and the largest balconies on the ship. Centrally located on Deck 6, guests will enjoy minimal movement and motion from the comfort of these suites. Features: one double or two single beds, sitting area with sofa bed, private extra-wide balcony, desk, refrigerator, TV, private bathroom with shower, bathtub and heated floors.
AUD$ 47,700pp
AUD$ 37,284pp

Penthouse Suite

28 Aug 2023 - 13 Sep 2023
Suites with private balcony and sitting area
AUD$ 49,900pp
AUD$ 38,956pp
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ultramarine antarctica solo panoroma cabin

Solo Panorama

28 Aug 2023 - 13 Sep 2023
Located on Deck 6, and approximately 132 sq. ft. (12.3 m2). This suite is perfect for solo guests who appreciate privacy and want to wake up to sweeping views from the comfort of their bed. These are the only solo suites with floor-to-ceiling windows available onboard any ship in its class. Features: single bed, floor-to-ceiling window, desk, refrigerator, TV, private bathroom with shower and heated floors
AUD$ 49,900pp
AUD$ 47,620pp
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polar pioneer captains suite

Owner's Suite

28 Aug 2023 - 13 Sep 2023
Suite cabin with double bed, separate sitting room and private facilities.
AUD$ 62,400pp
AUD$ 48,456pp
ultramarine antarctica ultra suite cabin

Ultra Suite

28 Aug 2023 - 13 Sep 2023
Located on Deck 6, with approximately 563 sq. ft. (52.3m2) of interior living space, and a 46 sq. ft. (4.3 m2) balcony. This suite is perfect for guests who want to travel without compromise. Our largest and most luxurious suite features the most sleeping, entertainment and storage space onboard the ship. It is perfect for families or travelers who want all the comforts of home onboard the ship. Features: one double or two single beds in a private bedroom with walk-in closet, sitting area with sofa bed and additional walk-in hallway closet, private balcony, desk, refrigerator, TV, private bathroom with shower, bathtub and heated floors and separate powder room.
AUD$ 69,000pp
AUD$ 53,472pp