ultramarine northwest passage cruise

Canada’s Remote Arctic: Northwest Passage to Ellesmere and Axel Heiberg Islands

  • Overview

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

    Here, at the top of the world, nature has created unique wonders in astonishing variety. Our game-changing new expedition vessel Ultramarine, equipped with two twin-engine helicopters and 20 quick-launching Zodiacs, enables you to explore this breathtaking environment from brand new perspectives. You’ll  experience the same sense of wonder felt by early explorers as they navigated the region’s formidable bays, inlets and channels.

    On this exciting itinerary, we follow the natural guides of sea and ice to showcase the region’s cultural, historic and geographic treasures, aiming to approach the farthest stretches of this rugged, rarely visited landscape. Ultramarine’s unprecedented range of adventure options, including activities such as helicopter flightseeing, gives you an unrivalled polar experience. You’ll be able to view the magnificent wildlife that make their home in this forbidding region: sea mammals, polar bears, muskox, and possibly even the elusive arctic wolf. From soaring cliffs to mummified forests, spectacular glacial formations to stunning alpine vistas, expansive waterways to sheltered shores, Canada’s Remote Arctic provides the definitive experience of a mysterious, magical region few ever get to see.

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

    Duration: 12 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 you spend the night enjoying the comforts and amenities of your designated hotel.

    • Day 2 - Fly to Resolute and Embark

      This morning, board your charter flight to Resolute, Nunavut. Upon arrival, you may have a chance to check out this small hamlet on foot before being transferred to your ship via Zodiac or helicopter (depending on ship location and weather conditions).

    • Day 3/10 - Exploring Canada’s High Arctic

      Cruising around the remote islands of the Canadian High 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, including reaching Canada’s most northerly islands: Axel Heiberg Island and the rarely visited Ellesmere Island, at the top of the world. Remember that no two polar voyages are alike, since each expedition presents new opportunities and different weather and ice conditions. While this voyage has no fixed itinerary, our objective is to visit as many of the incredible highlights the season has to offer, using our extensive expertise to give you the best experience. Each day, your highly skilled Expedition Team will read the conditions and choose the best course to set, but despite their knowledge of these areas, each visit brings something new to discover. That said, our expeditions will have some elements in common, including daily Zodiac cruising, land excursions, a robust education program, a community visit and wildlife viewing opportunities. And thanks to our onboard helicopters, you’ll also discover the ultimate polar expedition experience: While polar landscapes are spectacular from the sea and on land, the view from the air is uniquely stunning. Conditions permitting, you’ll enjoy ultra-immersive activities like flightseeing (short sightseeing flights around your ship and surrounding areas) and heli-landings (flying to places we could not otherwise access for shore excursions), two breathtaking options that are unique to Ultramarine and give you an awe-inspiring polar experience like no other. While this waterway is known to European cultures as the Northwest Passage, this area has nurtured and sustained the Inuit and their predecessors who have called these shores home for almost 5,000 years. Moving through these remote landscapes you will be traveling through the ancestral homelands of this ancient culture, illuminated in person by Inuit guides onboard and ashore. Nunavut is an Inuktitut word meaning “our land” and the Nunavummiut (the people of Nunavut) are renowned for their incredible resourcefulness, hospitality, good humor, and a deep knowledge of the land and animals that has allowed them to thrive in the far north for millennia. Ultimately, your Expedition Team will keep its eye northward, hoping to follow in the footsteps of the lucky few polar adventurers who have transited through the famous Hell Gate to reach the top of the world, the spectacular Ellesmere Island. If conditions are right, the soaring, ominous snow-capped peaks of this polar desert will come into focus as we approach. The northernmost island in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago, Ellesmere is one of the most remote places on the planet, a land of deep fjords, jagged mountains and massive ice shelves. If we’re fortunate enough to reach here, you will be among the few polar explorers to do so. One of this expedition’s objectives, weather and ice conditions allowing, is to visit the famous fossil forest on Axel Heiberg Island, Canada’s second most northerly island. Dating back more than 30 million years, the large mummified stumps were discovered in 1985 after erosion swept them clean. The original forest that was here flourished, with some trees reaching as high as 115 feet (35 meters) and growing for 500 to 1,000 years. Birders will want to have their binoculars and cameras at the ready, as the island also affords opportunities for sightings of snow buntings, ptarmigans, jaegers and arctic terns, among others. Wildlife sightings are almost guaranteed, as many of the areas we hope to explore are home to a surprising number of birds and mammals that thrive in this challenging environment. You may see polar bears, muskoxen and several bird species, such as gyrfalcons and dovekies (little auks). If you’re lucky, you may even spot the elusive narwhal or arctic wolf, though sightings of these iconic creatures in the wild are rare, even in these areas where we have the highest chances of encountering them. Coburg Island, for instance, is a wildlife reserve for such birds as snowy owls and peregrine falcons, while the impressive vertical cliffs of Prince Leopold Island are dotted with nesting seabirds like northern fulmars and black guillemots. The sheltered shores and steep cliffs of Arctic Bay, a hamlet located off of Admiralty Inlet, provide an ideal nesting habitat for various High Arctic birds such as snow geese, thick-billed murres (Brünnich’s guillemots) and kittiwakes. The region has been occupied by Inuit and Thule cultures for almost 5,000 years. This community is an ideal spot to go ashore and learn more about the Inuit culture, sampling the local cuisine and mingling with artists, perhaps picking up carvings or other handicrafts as a memento of your polar adventure. Devon Island is another possible locale for wildlife encounters, as walrus, polar bears and muskoxen inhabit the area, which is also the location of the remains of a Royal Canadian Mounted Police outpost, established at Dundas Harbour in 1924 to curb foreign whaling and other activities. Nearby is a small cemetery, one of Canada’s most northerly, still maintained by the RCMP to this day. Another exciting excursion your Expedition Team might offer, conditions permitting, is the opportunity to fly up to explore the Devon ice cap, one of the largest in the Canadian Arctic. History buffs will also be intrigued by the chance to visit an abandoned Hudson’s Bay Company trading post at Fort Ross, at the southern end of Somerset Island, and pay their respects to the ill-fated Franklin expedition of 1845–46 at the gravesite of three crew members on Beechey Island, one of Canada’s most significant Arctic exploration sites. You may have the opportunity to cruise in a Zodiac along the face of an active glacier near Croker Bay and possibly even witness the wonders of calving ice, at a safe distance. Listen closely for the steady crackle and deep roars as slabs of ice break off and crash into the water below. You’ll also want to be on the lookout for the walrus that are often seen in the area. There is no shortage of natural beauty, wildlife and history in Canada’s High Arctic. Each day, you’ll discover something new and inspiring, whether it is admiration of the tundra flora to survive the extremely rugged environment, a rare bird species soaring overhead, a polar bear on the hunt in its natural habitat, or the ancient remains of a Thule dwelling, predecessors of the Inuit who live here today.

    • Day 11 - Disembark in Resolute, Canada and Fly to Toronto

      After disembarking in Resolute, you’ll be transferred to your charter flight to Toronto, where you’ll spend the night at your included hotel.

    • Day 12 - Depart Toronto

      Today, make your way to the airport to catch your homeward flights, or spend the day 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

    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

    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

    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.

    USD$ 630 per person

    MANDATORY TRANSFER PACKAGE INCLUDES: Arctic Express

    MANDATORY TRANSFER PACKAGE INCLUDES: Arctic Express

    - One night’s pre-expedition hotel accommodation in Toronto
    - Group transfer from the Toronto hotel to the airport
    - Charter flights between Toronto and Resolute
    - Group transfers between the Resolute airport and the ship
    - Group transfer from Toronto airport to the hotel on disembarkation day
    - One night’s post-expedition hotel accommodation in Toronto

    USD$ 1,518 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

    - Leadership throughout your voyage by our experienced Expedition Leaders, including shore landings and other activities
    - All Zodiac transfers and cruising as per the daily program
    - All shore landings as per the daily program
    - Shipboard accommodation with daily housekeeping
    - 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.)
    - Select beer and wine during dinner; and coffee, tea and cocoa available around the clock
    - Formal and informal presentations by our Expedition Team and guest speakers as scheduled
    - A photographic journal documenting the expedition
    - A pair of waterproof expedition boots on loan for landings and Zodiac cruising excursions
    - An official Quark Expeditions® parka to keep
    - Hair dryer and bathrobes in every cabin
    - All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the program
    - All luggage handling aboard the ship
    - Emergency Evacuation insurance for all passengers to a maximum benefit of USD $500,000 per person
    - One night’s pre-expedition hotel accommodation in Toronto
    - Group transfer from the Toronto hotel to the airport on Day 2
    - Charter flights between Toronto and Resolute
    - Group transfers between the Resolute airport and the ship
    - Group transfer from Toronto airport to hotel on disembarkation day
    - One night’s post-expedition hotel accommodation in Toronto

    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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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 USD$ 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

19 Aug 2023 - 30 Aug 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
USD$ 13,101pp
USD$ 13,101pp

Explorer Suite

19 Aug 2023 - 30 Aug 2023
View window, sitting area, twin/queen bed and private facilities
USD$ 17,193pp
USD$ 14,907pp

Balcony Suite

19 Aug 2023 - 30 Aug 2023
Twin or double bed, private facilities, window and private balcony
USD$ 18,777pp
USD$ 16,253pp

Deluxe Balcony Suite

19 Aug 2023 - 30 Aug 2023
Twin or double Suite with separate sitting area, private facilities and a private balcony
USD$ 21,285pp
USD$ 18,385pp
ultramarine antarctica terrace suite cabin

Terrace Suite

19 Aug 2023 - 30 Aug 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.
USD$ 22,341pp
USD$ 19,282pp

Penthouse Suite

19 Aug 2023 - 30 Aug 2023
Suites with private balcony and sitting area
USD$ 22,803pp
USD$ 19,675pp
ultramarine antarctica solo panoroma cabin

Solo Panorama

19 Aug 2023 - 30 Aug 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
USD$ 22,803pp
USD$ 22,803pp
polar pioneer captains suite

Owner's Suite

19 Aug 2023 - 30 Aug 2023
Suite cabin with double bed, separate sitting room and private facilities.
USD$ 28,941pp
USD$ 24,892pp
ultramarine antarctica ultra suite cabin

Ultra Suite

19 Aug 2023 - 30 Aug 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.
USD$ 32,043pp
USD$ 27,529pp