Northwest Passage - The Legendary Arctic Sea Route

Kangerlussuaq, Greenland - Resolute, Canada

Northwest Passage, Canadian Arctic, Greenland
August & September
16 Nights

Choose Your Cruise Date

Kangerlussuaq, Greenland - Resolute, Canada
Aug 26 - Sep 11 2025
16 Nights

Price from per person

£11,590
Zodiac cruise in Northwest Passage
Kangerlussuaq, Greenland - Resolute, Canada
Aug 1 - Aug 17 2024
16 Nights

Price from per person

£11,540
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Cruise Overview

Setting sail through the icy waters of the legendary Northwest Passage, you will spend 17 unforgettable days on our groundbreaking new ship. You will have the unique opportunity to follow the route of the fearless Franklin Expedition, which left England in 1845, aiming to map the last unexplored sections of the Northwest Passage.

Thanks to our two helicopters, you can witness the stunning Arctic scenery from above, offering views like no other. We've packed the journey with adventure opportunities and more spots to take in the outdoors than you'll find on any similar ship, giving you every chance to see wildlife, admire ancient glaciers, and gaze at massive icebergs. Dive into the rich cultures of Greenland's communities, where you can learn about and even take part in traditional Inuit crafts. Wander the vast Arctic expanses, where the endless tundra and the chance to spot whales, walruses, muskoxen, and polar bears await.

For your ease and comfort this expedition includes an outbound flight from Toronto to Kangerlussuaq in Greenland and a return flight from Resolute to Calgary.

northwest passage cruise map

Cruise Highlights

Cruise Highlights

  • Experience highlights of the Northwest Passage and Greenland.
  • Explore colourful, remote Greenlandic villages and shop for traditional Inuit handicrafts.
  • Wildlife-watching opportunities include whales, walruses and muskoxen.
  • Enjoy exploring and hiking in the colourful Arctic tundra.
  • Explore by Zodiac and get up close to glaciers, fjords, and icebergs.
  • Enjoy flightseeing and heli-landings with Ultramarine's two onboard helicopters.

Itinerary

Itinerary

An immersive expedition cruise to discover Greenland and the highlights of the Canadian Arctic

Toronto city skyline at dusk in Canda
Day 1

Arrive in Toronto, Canada

Your Arctic adventure kicks off in Toronto. Explore the lively city at your leisure before spending a relaxing evening at your hotel, enjoying its comfort and amenities.

West Greenland Quark
Day 2

Fly to Kangerlussuaq, Greenland and Embark

After breakfast, board your charter flight to Kangerlussuaq, a small community nestled deep inside a 118 mile (190 km) long fjord. Enjoy your first Zodiac ride as you’re transferred from shore to ship. Out on deck, take in your new surroundings before you set sail on your Arctic adventure.

exploring west Greenland
Days 3 & 4

Exploring West Greenland

Set sail on Ultramarine, the latest addition to our fleet, for an unforgettable voyage through the secluded corners of Greenland and the Canadian Arctic. As you glide through the frosty channels, inlets, and bays that captivated explorers of yesteryear, Ultramarine offers an unparalleled polar adventure. This state-of-the-art vessel is designed for intrepid explorers, featuring two twin-engine helicopters to whisk you away to the most inaccessible spots on Earth. This unique ship promises to take you beyond the ordinary into the heart of polar mystery. Your Expedition Team will fully immerse you in the Arctic's wonders, from the "Venice of Greenland," Maniitsoq, with its natural canals and majestic, snowy peaks, to the playful humpback whales frolicking in the summer waters.

Experience the vibrant heart of Greenland in its capital, Nuuk, a treasure trove for those passionate about history and culture. Witness the blend of ancient traditions and contemporary life that makes Greenland so fascinating. Explore the waterfront, home to the Hans Egede Church and statue, commemorating the missionary who founded the city in 1728. Be astounded by the 500-year-old mummies at the Greenland National Museum, remarkably preserved and discovered by chance in 1972. Take advantage of the Nuuk Art Museum and the Katuaq Culture Centre for a deeper dive into Greenland's rich cultural landscape.

Northwest Passage onboard lecture
Day 5

Cruising

Say goodbye to Greenland’s shores as you traverse the Davis Strait in pursuit of the Canadian Arctic. Presentations by on-board experts will prepare you for the adventures that lie ahead.

Zodiac cruise in Northwest Passage
Days 6 - 15

Exploring Canada's High Arctic

Visit towering fjords, historical sites, and Inuit communities as you follow in the footsteps of famous explorers who lived in the Canadian High Arctic long ago.

The picturesque Inuit hamlet of Pangnirtung is nestled beneath the jagged peaks of Mount Duval. An artist’s hub, Pang is renowned for its traditional Inuit arts and crafts, especially lithographs and intricate tapestries. At the Uqqurmiut Centre for Arts & Crafts, watch craftspeople in the tapestry studio if they’re working and pick up a limited-edition print. A must for visitors, a colourful Pang hat will keep you warm during the remainder of your Arctic voyage. You might visit nearby Kekerten, an uninhabited island that was a major whaling destination in the 1800s.

At the southern tip of the Cumberland Sound, Cape Mercy was named by British explorer John Davis (yes, he of the Davis Strait), who sailed through it in 1585. This is the site of an old Distant Early Warning Line installation dating back to the Cold War. These and many other stations were set up to detect Soviet bombers. It’s an ideal spot to go ashore for a hike.

As icebergs travel down the Davis Strait, they’re naturally trapped at Qikiqtarjuaq (formerly known as Broughton Island). The icy waters here are also home to ring and harp seals. A hike up to the hilltop Inuksuk rewards with spectacular community views. Inuksuks are stone figures or cairns that traditionally call attention to the location for navigation, abundant harvesting or spiritual significance.

Cruising further north along the mountainous east shore of Baffin Island, we’ll approach Isabella Bay, an essential summer and fall feeding area for the largest concentration of bowhead whales in Canada. Bowheads are remarkable arctic leviathans that research has revealed may live more than 200 years of age—the oldest mammal.

At the northern tip of Baffin Island, near the eastern entrance to the Northwest Passage, is the Inuit hamlet of Pond Inlet, surrounded by scenic mountains, fjords, glaciers and icebergs. Many in the community still follow a nomadic lifestyle and hunt for their food.

Lancaster Sound is a true arctic oasis at the top of Baffin Island. Known by the Inuit and their predecessors for thousands of years, this channel and the surrounding lands are extremely rich in wildlife and history, both indigenous and European.

The area around Lancaster Sound affords several hiking opportunities. At Dundas Harbour, on Devon Island, you’ll visit an abandoned beachside outpost of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. At nearby Croker Bay, cruise in a Zodiac (at a safe distance) along the face of an actively calving glacier. Your Expedition Team will also keep its eyes peeled for walrus known to visit the bay. Farther west, some of the best ancient Thule remains in the Arctic are at Radstock Bay, beside the soaring Caswell Towers.

The windswept Beechey Island is steeped in history at the western end of Devon Island. Named after famed British explorer Frederick William Beechey, it’s a Canadian National Historic Site. You’ll visit the small marked graves of three crew members who died during Sir John Franklin’s tragic 1845–46 expedition. Over 150 years later, Roald Amundsen landed here in 1903 during the first successful voyage by ship through the Northwest Passage.

Sailing down the east coast of Somerset Island, you may be fortunate to spot beluga whales and, if you’re very fortunate, narwhals, as they feed at Creswell Bay. An Important Bird Area, the bay also attracts such species as black-bellied plovers, king eiders and white-rumped sandpipers. You’ll also have time to explore Fort Ross, where the Hudson’s Bay Company established a now-abandoned trading post in 1937. At the midpoint of the Bellot Strait, the narrow channel that separates Somerset Island from mainland North America, you’ll reach the northernmost area of the continental landmass, Zenith Point.

Exploring Baffin Island on An Expedition Cruise
Day 16

Disembark in Resolute, Canada and Fly to Calgary

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

Calgary skyline city in Canada
Day 17

Depart Calgary

Today, make your way to the airport to catch your homeward flights, or spend the day exploring this fascinating city.

Activities

Activities

Zodiac Cruising and Shore Landings

Zodiac Cruising through icebergs

Zodiac inflatable boats are integral to every expedition and perfect for exploring the polar wilderness. Zodiacs are used to ferry you to the shore and mini explorations amidst icebergs, whales, and seabirds. Throughout your expedition, they enable you to reach secluded spots only accessible by these sturdy watercraft.

Driven by our expert team of knowledgeable polar guides, we will explore the Zodiac daily as part of your expedition.

Flight Seeing

flight seeing on Ultra Marine

Soar above the polar regions and gain unique aerial perspectives over some of the best views on Earth. Ultramarine is equipped with two twin-engine helicopters ready to take you on an adventure like no other. With intimate groups of 7 to 9 explorers, you'll embark on a breathtaking 10- to 15-minute flightseeing journey that's part of your voyage, offering a bird's-eye view of the Arctic's wilderness. If you're craving even more aerial adventure, additional helicopter activities are available for purchase once onboard. Remember that all flights are weather-dependent, ensuring your safety and the best possible experience.

Heli-landings*

helicopter landing Ultramarine

You will be transferred from Ultramarine’s helidecks via our two twin-engine helicopters to a selected landing site in a remote location. You’ll have time to explore the location accompanied by expedition 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. 

*An extra cost is applicable. Please inquire about costs and availability at the time of reservation.

Sea Kayaking*

sea kayaking in the Arctic

Experience the beauty of the polar regions from the intimacy of a sea kayak. The onboard Sea Kayak Program gathers adventurers with a shared passion to explore the stunning landscapes of fjords, glacial fronts, or intricate sea ice formations together.

This program welcomes both novices and experienced kayakers to discover the polar regions from a distinctive vantage point. Depending on weather and operational conditions, the goal is to get kayaking as frequently as possible. Sea kayaking adventures typically begin with a Zodiac boat transferring participants from the ship to an optimal launch site. After exploring the waters, kayakers are brought back to the ship via Zodiac. 

For safety, a Zodiac operated by a dedicated driver remains close at hand to provide help if needed. These kayak trips usually last from one and a half to three hours, blending adventure with unparalleled natural beauty.

*An extra cost is applicable. Please enquire about costs and availability at the time of reservation. Please note places on sea kayaking do sell out in advance, so forward booking is essential.

Your Ship

Your Ship

Ultramarine

Ship Highlights

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Premium Expedition Experience

Ultramarine is conceived around the expedition experience and is an ideal choice for guests who put exploring above everything else but also seek high levels of comfort. This ship perfectly blends onboard comfort with a wide range of activities.
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Explore By Helicopter

An exclusive feature of Ultramarine is the two Airbus helicopters, which take guests on exciting additional adventure options such as flightseeing, heli-hiking, and heli-landings, allowing you to see and explore further.
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Large Fleet of Zodiacs

With a fleet of 20 Zodiacs, four embarkation points, and large ready rooms, joining a Zodiac excursion on Ultramarine is fast and efficient with no waiting. All guests can explore off the ship at the same time.
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Guide Team

One of the industry's most experienced polar guide teams with over 20 years of experience delivering expeditions, Ultramarine has an outstanding guide-to-guest ratio, ensuring your best experience when off the ship exploring.
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Modern Cabins

Ultramarine features spacious, light, and airy cabins, many with private balconies and large windows. There is an excellent variety of choices, from the stunning Ultra suite to options for solo travellers.
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Adventurous Activity Options

Ultramarine offers a variety of adventurous activities, from an extensive sea kayaking programme to adventures such as camping and mountain biking in incredibly remote areas utilizing ship helicopters in select destinations.
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Modern Sustainable Explorer Ship with Small Group Size

Ultramarine takes under 200 guests per voyage, ensuring an intimate experience with nature. The ship is built to the highest environmental standards and employs technological advancements to reduce its footprint, including a system that converts waste to energy.

Do you need help planning your expedition?

Our friendly and knowledgeable Travel Experience Team is ready to assist you.

North Pole Cruises – a brand by the Expedition Collective Limited

© 2024 The Expedition Collective

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