20 days

Northwest Passage - Westbound 2015

Northwest Passage - Westbound 2015

Greenland Sea

The kayaks of Sisimiut

Trip rating
  • For centuries, fortune-seekers risked their lives to find the Northwest Passage, the fabled sea route running between Europe and Asia. The greatest geographical problem of the last three centuries, according to the New York Times of November 25, 1852.

     

    During this 20 day active adventure, cruise through the heart of the Northwest Passage. You will experience first-hand those islands, waterways and wilds that still yield a gratifying sense of achievement for all those who make the voyage, including Beechey Island, made famous by explorers such as Roald Amundsen and Sir John Franklin. As recently as 2013, searchers from Parks Canada were still looking for the ships lost in the mid-19th century Franklin Expedition.

     

    KAYAKING
    Imagine gliding along the surface of a bay in the presence of icebergs and glaciers! Our kayaking adventures are the best way to feel at one with the sea. Taken in small groups of 10-16 people, multiple times per voyage, kayaking adventures are only done during calm weather conditions. We require you to have some prior kayaking experience, including the capability to do a wet exit.

     

    POSSIBLE LANDINGS AND WILDLIFE SIGHTINGS

    KANGERLUSSUAQ
    Just 60 km (37 miles) north of the Arctic Circle sits at the head of one of the longest fjords in Greenland. Musk ox, reindeer and Arctic foxes inhabit the tundra-covered.

    ITILLEQ
    Itilleq in Greenlandic means a hollow which is where this village is situated, on an island without any fresh water. The village has approximately 130 inhabitants and offers picturesque views of colorful Greenlandic houses along the tundra.

     

    SISIMIUT
    With a population of 5600, Sisimiut lies immediately north of the Arctic Circle and is the second-largest town in Greenland.

    ILULISSAT
    Ilulissat Kangerlua is Greenlandic for the Iceberg Fjord. UNESCO has designated the Ilulissat area a World Heritage Site.

    UUMMANNAQ
    Uummannaq was founded as a Danish colony in 1758 on the Nuussuaq mainland, but in 1763 it was moved to the nearby island, as seal hunting was more plentiful there.

    UPERNAVIK
    Upernavik is found at 72 degrees north and is the largest town in Greenland’s north at almost 1,100 residents.

     

    POND INLET
    Pond Inlet is a traditional Inuit community located on the northern tip of Baffin Island near the eastern entrance to the Northwest Passage. Situated near scenic fiords, glaciers and icebergs, The waters around Pond Inlet are famous as a great place to see narwhal.

    DUNDAS HARBOUR, DEVON ISLAND
    At Dundas Harbour, be alert for wildlife as walrus, polar bears and muskox inhabit the area. The abandoned settlement you visit was once a Royal Canadian Mounted Police depot.

    BEECHEY ISLAND
    Beechey Island is associated with one of the most tragic episodes of arctic exploration history. During the winter of 1845-46, Sir John Franklin and his men stayed on the island as part of their ill-fated quest to find the Northwest Passage.

     

    FORT ROSS
    Fort Ross lies on the coast of Somerset Island and was founded in 1937 as a Hudson’s Bay Company trading post.

    VICTORY POINT
    Located on King William Island; Victory Point is where the only written account of the ill-fated Franklin expedition was discovered.

    IQALUKTUUTTIAQ (CAMBRIDGE BAY)
    Iqaluktuuttiaq, also known as Cambridge Bay, is the largest community on Victoria Island. Passengers will have time to explore the community of 1,400, a commercial hub for the region.

     

    KUGLUKTUK (COPPERMINE)
    Kugluktuk, formerly known as Coppermine, is situated along the banks of the Coppermine River and on the shores of the Coronation Gulf.

     

    Itinerary

    Day 1 - Copenhagen, Denmark

    Enjoy an included night in Copenhagen and meet your fellow travellers.

    Day 2 - Embarkation Day in Kangerlussuaq

    Just 60 km (37 miles) north of the Arctic Circle, Kangerlussuaqsits at the head of one of the longest fjords in Greenland. Muskoxand Arctic foxes inhabit the tundra-covered plain that surrounds the town. We will arrive by way of our group charter flight and thentransfer to the Sea Adventurer. Tonight, enjoy views of the fjord as the evening turns to twilight.

    Dinner

    Day 3 - Itilleqand Sisimiut

    As we head north, the ship will reach the village of Itilleq, a typical Greenlandic village. Situated on a hollow,Itilleq is on an island without any fresh water. The village has approximately 130 inhabitants and offers charming views of colorful native houses along the tundra.

    In Sisimiut, we will be treated to a traditional kayaking demonstration. Kayak is an Inuit word the English borrowed to describe a small vessel propelled by paddles, seating one or two people. There will be time to explore the town where 18th century buildings from Greenland’s colonial period still stand. Take the time to wander through the historic area by passing under the arch formed by two giant bowhead whale bones.

    Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

    Day 4 - Ilulissat

    IlulissatKangerlua is Greenlandic for the Iceberg Fjord. The glacier at the head of the fjord is the most productive in the Northern Hemisphere. The icebergs it calves float down the fjord to enter Baffin Bay. As the ship approaches Ilulissat, have your cameras ready to take photos of young icebergs. The journey of these ‘bergs’ will end years later,somewhere off the coast of Newfoundland. So significant is Ilulissat Fjord that UNESCO has designated the area a World Heritage Site. Listen to the growling of the icebergs as we cruise the fjord in Zodiacs. We'll offer a hike along the lovely boardwalk down to a stunning viewpoint of the bay, or a helicopter ride to the foot of the glacier. If you have a little time left, enjoy a local microbrew at a pub, or shop for local handicrafts.

    Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

    Day 5 - Eqip Sermia

    You’ll visit one of the best-runsmall villages in Greenland, Saqqaq. Several anthropologists have published books on the village’s original inhabitants and their hunting methods. The town gave the ancient people their name Saqqaq. We then sail to the beautiful glacier EqipSermia, tracing the massive glacier front for some distance.

    Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

    Day 6 - Uummannaq

    You'll want to be out on deck as the ship approaches Uummannaq regardless of the time of day. The vista is simply breathtaking. The heart-shaped mountain that gave the town its name dominates the view.

    Uummannaq was founded as a Danish colony in 1758 on the Nuussuaq mainland, but in 1763 it was moved to the nearby island, as seal hunting was more plentiful there. On your walk through the town, you’ll visit the historic oil warehouse built in 1860. Look for the peat hut, behind the warehouse, which was still in use up until a few years ago.

    In the afternoon we’ll visit Qilaqitsoqwhere five Greenland mummies were discovered in 1972. Four women and a child are thought to have drowned and remain buried in a dry and cool cave for the last 600-700 years. The mummified remains are kept in Nuuk, the capital of Greenland.

    Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

    Day 7 - Baffin Bay

    Baffin Bay is technically a sea not a bay; it is an extension of the Arctic Ocean, the massive body of water that separates Canada from Greenland. As the ship sails westward, travelers should be on the lookout for icebergs and seabirds gliding on the wing, and whales in the water below.

     

    Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

    Day 8 - Pond Inlet, Nunavut, Canada

    Arriving in the Canadian Arctic, the people of Pond Inlet or Mittimatalik – as it has been called by the Inuit for thousands of years – will welcome us to their town and the Artist’s Co-operative. In addition to the internationally renowned art they produce, the people of “Pond” earn their living fishing for Arctic char. We will have time to take photos, explore the hamlet and hike the nearby tundra to a local Thule site before returning back to the Sea Adventurer.

    Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

    Day 9 - Devon Island

    In the Maxwell Bay region of Devon Island, you will go for hikes and cruise in Zodiacs as you visit a Thule site, where the ancestors of the Inuit lived. Watch for wildlife at Dundas Harbour aswalrus and muskox inhabit the area. The abandoned settlement you'll visit was once a Royal Canadian Mounted Police depot. This depot is still considered active, as every year a detail of Mounties arrives to tend the graves of their fallen comrades.

     

    Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

    Day 10 - Beechey Island

    Just offshore at the western end of Devon Island is Beechey Island. There, on a stony beach, stand three grave markers; solemn reminders of the lives lost during Sir John Franklin’s search for the Northwest Passage. Upon approach to Beechey Island, we will be treated to presentations about Franklin and his expedition. Radstock Bay has an impressive archaeological site and is beside Caswell Towers, used as a polar bear observation point.

    Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

    Day 11 - Somerset Island

    We'll call on Somerset Island, in Peel Sound, located above the 74th parallel directly on the Northwest Passage (close to 800 km north of the Arctic Circle). Here we may see Peary caribou and musk ox, as well as the hundreds of thousands of birds that nest on the sheer cliffs of Prince Leopold I, off the NE tip of Somerset. The island was named by Lt W.E. Parry who discovered it in 1819, after the county in England.

    Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

    Day 12 - Fort Ross and Bellot Strait

    Through the night we'll be sailing in a southerly direction, following the coast of Somerset Island, just as Amundsen did. We plan to go ashore at Fort Ross, an uninhabited Hudson’s Bay Company trading post. In May 1670, King Charles II granted the lands of the Hudson Bay watershed to “the Governor and Company of Adventurers of England trading into Hudson Bay.” For nearly two hundred years, the administration of Canada’s north was the responsibility of the merchants of the Hudson’s Bay Company. We sail westward through Bellot Strait, a narrow channel separating mainland North America from Somerset Island. About mid-point through the channel is the northernmost area of the continental land mass, Zenith Point.

    Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

    Day 13 - Victory Point

    In 1845, John Franklin led an expedition of 129 British naval officers and seamen to the Canadian Arctic, tasked with finding the Northwest Passage. By 1848, they were presumed missing. Rescue missions were conducted for 32 years. The first skeletal remains attributed to the crew were discovered in 1859 by Captain Francis McClintock on the western shore of King William Island. McClintock also discovered the only written remains under a cairn erected on Victory Point. Since 1859, many skeletal remains and artifacts from Franklin’s expedition have been found at various locations on King William Island. The most recent was in 2013 when Parks Canada gathered several bones for identification and analysis, as well as about 200 small artifacts, ranging from bits of canvas and leather to nails, rivets, cans, metal containers, cast iron and rope.

    Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

    Day 14 - King William Island

    • Here, we’ll return to the site of Sir John Franklin's saga. For two winters, Franklin’s ships Erebus and Terror were beset in ice near the island. In 1848, the ships were abandoned.
    • A decade passed before a cairn with a terse note of explanation was discovered on Victory Point. The questions raised by that discovery have inspired search expeditions into the 21st century.
    • In 2008, remnants of copper sheeting believed to be from the ships were discovered during a six-week expedition under the auspices of Parks Canada in the area of O’Reilly Island. Weather and ice conditions permitting, we may attempt to visit the community of Gjoa Haven.
    Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

    Day 15 - Coronation Gulf and Cambridge Bay

    In 1821, on an earlier voyage to the Arctic, Sir John Franklin named the gulf in honor of the coronation of King George IV. Your Expedition Team will use ice charts, weather forecasts and their years of Arctic expedition experience to make the most of time spent in Coronation Gulf. You will go ashore to hike or cruise in Zodiacs in search of wildlife. If weather conditions permit, visits will be made to historic sites. The people of Iqaluktuuttiaq, also known as Cambridge Bay and the largest community on Victoria Island, will welcome our ship and guests to their culture through dance and song. Travelers will have time to explore the community of 1,400, a commercial hub for the region.

    Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

    Day 16 - Bathurst Inlet

    In the area around Bathurst Inlet, we’ll enjoy a hike on the tundra among the spectacular fall colors. Here we will fully appreciate the lush flora that flourishes briefly during the short Arctic summer. This is also the area where the first polar bear and grizzly hybrid was discovered, and we’ll be on the lookout for all three species.

    Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

    Day 17-18 - Amundsen Gulf

    At the eastern end of the gulf is Dolphin and Union Strait, crossed in 1851 by Dr. John Rae, his two companions, two sledges and five dogs. At the completion of that expedition, Rae and his companions were only 80 km (50 miles) west of the beset ships of Sir John Franklin. Had Rae known, perhaps Franklin’s expedition would have had an entirely different ending. Our in-depth education program will provide the basis for on-going discussions over dinner or drinks in the bar.

    Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

    Day 19 - Kugluktuk (Coppermine)

    Our final destination is the town of Kugluktuk. We will have a chance to explore and bid the community farewell. We’ll later make our way to the airport where we board our charter flight back to Edmonton. Upon Arrival in Edmonton, we will be transferred to our nearby airport hotel.

    Breakfast

    Day 20 - Edmonton

    Today you can make you way home at your leisure or spend some more time in the Edmonton area.

  • What to Know

    What's Included

    • Shipboard accommodation with daily housekeeping
    • All breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and snacks on board throughout your voyage
    • All shore landings per the daily program
    • Leadership throughout the voyage by our experienced Expedition Leader
    • A daily program of lectures by noted naturalists
    • All Zodiac transfers and cruising per the daily program
    • Formal and informal presentations by our Expedition Team and Special Guests as scheduled
    • Photographic Journal on DVD documenting the voyage
    • A pair of waterproof expedition boots on loan for shore landings
    • A waterproof parka to keep
    • Coffee, tea and cocoa available around the clock
    • Hair dryer and bathrobe in every cabin
    • Comprehensive pre-departure materials, including a map and an informative Arctic Reader
    • All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the program
    • All luggage handling aboard the ship
    • On disembarkation day group transfer from the ship to airport for mandatory charter flight to Edmonton
    • Pre-expedition hotel night in Copenhagen and post expedition hotel night in Edmonton
    • Emergency Evacuation Insurance for all passengers to a maximum benefit of US$100,000 per person

    Not Included

    • Passport and any applicable visa expenses.
    • Government arrival and departure taxes.
    • Any meals ashore.
    • Baggage, cancellation, interruption, and medical travel insurance.
    • Excess baggage charges.
    • Laundry and other personal charges.
    • Telecommunications charges.
    • The voluntary gratuity at the end of the voyage for shipboard staff and crew.
    • Optional kayaking activities.

    Safety Information

    Safety is paramount on a Peregrine voyage. Due to new International Security Regulations, you will not be able to approach the ship on your own. You will have to arrive with the rest of the group, accompanied by a Peregrine representative. Full details of embarkation/disembarkation procedures will be supplied with your final documentation. On board you will be asked to participate in the obligatory lifeboat drill. We will also conduct important briefings on landing procedures, Zodiac operations, polar bear management and firearm safety (there is a good chance that we will see some of these magnificent animals during this trip, but extreme care must be taken if we ever encounter them whilst we are ashore!).

  • Map Itinerary

  • Our Ships

    Sea Adventurer (formerly the Clipper Adventurer)

    Sea Adventurer (formerly the Clipper Adventurer)

    This Polar Adventure Ship was built in 1975. Sea Adventurer (formerly know as the Clipper Adventurer) underwent a $13 million conversion in 1998. Her proud reputation is complimented by her well-appointed, elegance. Sea Adventurer is the perfect expedition ship for people who enjoy soft adventures and creature comforts. All cabins have outside views and facilities en suite.

    Sea Adventurer is equipped with Zodiacs for shore landings and ocean level cruising, yet offers fine dining, and cabins with exterior views and facilities en suite.

    Departure Dates for the Sea Adventurer (formerly the Clipper Adventurer)

    • 18 Aug 2015 - 06 Sep 2015
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Trip at a glance

Trip Code PPNW15
Start City: Copenhagen
End City: Edmonton
Style: Polar

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