ocean adventurer northwest passage cruise

Northwest Passage: Epic High Arctic

  • Overview
    For centuries, intrepid explorers were determined to find the Northwest Passage, the fabled and often fatal route of icy channels connecting Europe with Asia. None of their stories is as enduring as that of Sir John Franklin and his crew, who never returned from their fateful 1845–46 expedition. The tragic tale has captured the imagination of history lovers ever since. On this new, 17-day voyage, journey back in time to the height of arctic exploration. As a modern-day adventurer, navigate the same waters and visit the same sites that played an important role in the discovery of the sea route—all from the comfort of your small expedition vessel, of course! Though Franklin’s legend will be our focus, spectacular scenery and unique wildlife abound on this active expedition, which also has you exploring the deep fjords, ancient glaciers and innumerable icebergs of Greenland’s west coast. Zodiac cruises and hiking excursions bring you closer to the raw beauty of lands few have set foot on and waters few have sailed.
    Duration: 17 days
    Passengers: 132 passengers
    Embarkation Point: Ottawa, Canada
    Disembarkation Point: Ottawa, Canada
    Physical rating: Soft Adventure
    Fly/Cruise: Mandatory extra flight
    Single Supplement: 1.7x - 2.0x twin rate or share options
  • Itinerary
    • Day 1 - Arrive in Ottawa, Canada

      Your arctic expedition begins in Ottawa. Explore Canada’s capital city on your own before spending the night at your well-appointed hotel.

    • Day 2 - Fly to Resolute

      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

      Remote and rich in history, the Canadian High Arctic is as awe inspiring as it is informative.

      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 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 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 numerous hiking opportunities on Devon Island. We’ll anchor at Croker Bay, where we’ll Zodiac cruise along the face of an active glacier. We’ll try to keep a safe distance, but still hope to get close enough to appreciate the splendor of calving ice. Walrus frequent the waters here, so be sure to have your camera handy. A hike to a nearby archaeological site is another possible excursion. At Dundas Harbour, trek along a beach to a former Royal Canadian Mounted Police outpost. Encounters with muskoxen are possible here.

      Canada’s most northern settlement, Grise Fjord will be your final shore visit in the Canadian High Arctic. Now home to about 150 residents, the traditional, mostly Inuit community was created in 1953, when the federal government resettled 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 (there’s a reason ancient philosophers called it Ultima Thule, or “edge of known territory”). 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 - At Sea

      s 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 .

      It’s not surprising that the red-hued, heart-shaped mountain that rises up behind Uummannaq gave the traditional community 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 known 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 AD, 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 crystal-clear water 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 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 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) is Greenland’s national symbol and can be traced back to the country’s first immigrants, who used vessels that resemble the narrow one- or two-person boats. The town has several 18th-century colonial buildings, including the oldest surviving church in Greenland, so take time to wander through the historic area. You’ll also have a chance to hike amongst the area’s surrounding mountains.

      Situated in a scenic hollow on a small island with no freshwater, the colorful community of Itilleq, which has about 130 inhabitants, is surrounded by sea, mountains and fjords. The final excursion of your arctic adventure may be a hike around Itilleq Fjord.

    • Day 16 - Disembark in Kangerlussuaq

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

    • Day 17 - Depart Ottawa, Canada

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

    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

    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

    Transfer Package (Mandatory)

    Includes pre and post accommodation in Ottawa and charter flights

    AUD 3,400 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

    Expedition Gear

    Comfortable expedition boots and a high quality expedition parka, specifically designed for the polar regions.

    Inclusions / Exclusions

    Included in your Expedition

    - Comprehensive pre-departure information
    - All shipboard accommodation and meals
    - Greenland passenger tax
    - 000 per person
    - Emergency evacuation insurance up to USD$100
    - Service taxes and port charges
    - Photographic journal of your expedition
    - All shore excursions and lectures in the itinerary

    Not included in your Expedition

    - Additional overnight accommodation
    - Gratuities
    - Phone & Internet charges
    - Bar charges
    - Laundry charges
    - Mandatory waterproof gear not provided
    - Baggage / cancellation / interruption and medical travel insurance
    - Government arrival & departure taxes
    - Passport & Visa expenses
    - Arrival & Departure transfers
    - International airfare
    - Mandatory transfer package
  • Map
    Map coming soon
  • Gallery
  • Vessel

    OCEAN ADVENTURER

    The new and improved Ocean Adventurer is designed to carry 132 travelers in comfort to the most remote corners of the world. Originally built in Yugoslavia in 1976, this nimble, ice-strengthened ship has become a passenger favourite over the years and underwent refurbishments in 1999 and 2002 with the most significant being in 2017. With the latest rounds of refurbishments guests will enjoy: A refreshed, contemporary new look and feel throughout the ship. - The addition of six new twin cabins and three new suites. - All existing cabins will be furnished with all new soft furnishings and brand new bathrooms. - Main common areas such as the Lounge and Dining Room will be remodeled as well as the Bar. - Major technical enhancements – include two new Rolls Royce engines, which will significantly increase fuel efficiency and minimized carbon footprint.

    Features & Facilities
    • Recently refurbished
    • superior accommodation
    • Lounge/Dining Room
    • Bar
    • Gym
    • Internet/Wifi
    • Library
    Key Facts
    Luxury star rating: 4
    Guests #: 132
    Crew #: 87
    Ice Class: 1A
    Speed: 14
    Refurbished:
    Technical Specs
    Year built:
    Length: 100m
    Width: 16
    Draft:
    Tonnage: 4376
    Registry: Bahamas
    Elec Outlets: 220V / 2 Round Pin
Check Voyage Dates, Pricing and Availability
All available dates

Triple

09 Sep 2018 - 25 Sep 2018
Triple cabin with private facilities
AUD 12,800pp
AUD 12,800pp

Lower Deck Twin

09 Sep 2018 - 25 Sep 2018
Two lower berths with private facilities
AUD 16,700pp
AUD 16,700pp

Main Deck Porthole

09 Sep 2018 - 25 Sep 2018
Two lower berths with private facilities and porthole
AUD 18,400pp
AUD 18,400pp

Main Deck Window

09 Sep 2018 - 25 Sep 2018
Two lower berths with private facilities and window
AUD 20,200pp
AUD 20,200pp

Superior Twin

09 Sep 2018 - 25 Sep 2018
Two lower berths with private facilities and window
AUD 22,200pp
AUD 22,200pp

Deluxe

09 Sep 2018 - 25 Sep 2018
Two lower berths with private facilities and window
AUD 24,500pp
AUD 24,500pp

Suite

09 Sep 2018 - 25 Sep 2018
Two lower berths with private facilities and window
AUD 26,800pp
AUD 26,800pp

Owner's Suite

09 Sep 2018 - 25 Sep 2018
Two lower berths with private facilities and window
AUD 29,500pp
AUD 29,500pp