Polar bear in Canadian Arctic

Northwest Passage: Epic High Arctic

17 days
from
£7,700
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Leisurely
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Trip code: 
PMN
Way to Travel:
Guided Group
Activity:
Polar Holidays
Min age:
18
Max group size:
132

This in-depth adventure provides fantastic opportunities for seeing all of the Arctic’s iconic creatures, including Polar bears.

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.

Highlights

  • Experience highlights of the Canadian Arctic and Greenland
  • Visit traditional Inuit and Greenlandic communities
  • View arctic wildlife, such as whales, walrus and muskoxen
  • Explore the Ilulissat Icefjord, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Cruise in a Zodiac to get up close to the spectacular scener
  • Travel in a small expedition vessel
  • Accompanied by extremely qualified Expedition Staff

Key information

  • 14 nights in a choice of cabin types, all with en suite facilities, 2 nights hotel in Ottawa
  • Expedition cruising in comfortable conditions

What's included

  • All meals while on the ship
  • All accommodation
  • All transport and listed activities
  • Tour leader throughout and qualified Expedition Staff
  • Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Single accommodation (available on request)
  • Visas or vaccinations
  • Mandatory transfer package (including charter flights Toronto to Resolute & Kangerlussuaq to Montreal) £2000 (or equivalent in booking currency) paid on booking

Responsible Travel

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here… 

Itinerary

  • Day 1

    Start Toronto, Canada.

    This Arctic adventure begins with an overnight stay in Toronto. You may want to arrive early for some pre-expedition touring around the city.

  • Day 2

    Embarkation Day in Resolute.

    After a morning charter flight to Resolute, you’ll have a chance to walk around this small Arctic town before being transferred to the ship by Zodiac. Enjoy some time out on deck taking in your new surroundings before you set sail on your Arctic expedition.

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 3

    Beechey Island and Radstock Bay.

    At Beechey Island we’ll visit a small grave site with markers for men who died during Sir John Franklin’s expedition in 1845-46. Roald Amundsen also stopped here in 1903, on his successful voyage through the Northwest Passage. For a more ancient perspective, we’ll visit some very well-preserved subterranean homes in Radstock Bay, built by the Thule culture.

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 4

    Croker Bay and Dundas Harbour.

    At Croker Bay, there is a possibility you will see the glacier actively calving icebergs into the bay. Just east of here is Dundas Harbour, the now-abandoned settlement where the Royal Canadian Mounted Police manned an outpost from 1924 until 1951. They continue to maintain one of Canada’s most northerly graveyards out of respect to those who lost their lives during this time.

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 5

    Pond Inlet and Eclipse Sound.

    Today the community at Pond Inlet (or Mittimatalik, as it has been called by the Inuit for thousands of years) will welcome us to the Artist’s Co-operative. In addition to the internationally renowned art produced here, the people earn their living fishing for Arctic char. We have time to explore the hamlet and hike the nearby tundra.

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 6

    Sam Ford Fjord.

    The majestic, impossibly high cliffs of Sam Ford Fjord greet us as we sail past this impassive coast. See “Stump Spire,” first ascended by Conrad Anker and named in honour of a fallen mountaineering friend. Some intrepid folks have been known to trek here from nearby Clyde River and base jump from these rock walls into the frigid waters below!

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 7

    Isabella Bay.

    The Igaliqtuuq National Wildlife Area in Isabella Bay was created to protect the Bowhead or Greenland Right whales that summer there. Orca or Killer whales have been sighted in the vicinity hunting the Bowheads, some of which have scars from previous encounters with Orcas. A whale watch will be conducted while we are exploring the entrance to the Bay.

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 8

    Qikiqtarjuak (Broughton Island).

    Our last stop in Canada, Qikiqtarjuak is known as the iceberg capital of the world, naturally trapping many icebergs as they travel down the Davis Strait. An abundance of marine wildlife can be seen here as Beluga and Right whales, Narwhals and Ring and Harp seals pass by. Trek up the many walking trails to join the inukshuk and share its view overlooking the island and the community.

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 9

    At Sea.

    Traverse Baffin Bay as we leave behind Canadian shores in pursuit of Greenland.

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 10

    Ilulissat.

    Meaning “iceberg” in Greenlandic, Ilulissat is home to the fastest-moving glacier outside of Antarctica, Sermeq Kujalleq. This UNESCO World Heritage site is located north of the Arctic Circle, and moves at an average of 19 metres per day. We’ll cruise at a safe distance by zodiac, and if we’re lucky, witness the spectacle of calving ice.

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 11

    Sisimiut and Itilleq.

    We’ll explore the 18th-century colonial build¬ings still standing in Sisimiut and watch a traditional kayaking demonstration in this northernmost year-round ice-free port in western Greenland. Continu¬ing southward, the ship will reach the village of Itilleq, a typical Greenlandic community. It is delightfully situated in a hollow (which is the meaning of “Itilleq” in Greenlandic) on an island without any fresh water. The village has approximately 130 inhabitants.

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 12

    Disembark in Kangerlussuaq.

    Our final Zodiac ride will take us from the ship to shore. Our time here will be brief, as our flight to Montreal awaits, signalling an end to our time in the Arctic. Upon arrival in Montreal, we will transfer you to your included hotel.

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 13

    End Montreal.

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

Essential Info

Group Information

The Ocean Adventurer takes a maximum capacity of 132 passengers.The Exodus group forms part of the ship’s complement, enjoying the relaxed, intimate and informal atmosphere, which breaks into smaller groups to facilitate the frequent excursions. We offer these cruises in conjunction with our partner, Quark Expeditions, and Exodus participants will join an international group, not all of whom have booked through Exodus. Occasionally some of these may be younger than 18 years old, the Exodus' stated minimum age for this trip.

Visas

Greenland

No visa required for British passport holders.

Canada

The Government of Canada has an entry requirement, known as an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA), for some international travellers flying into Canada. Citizens from countries other than the US who do not require a visa to enter Canada are required to obtain an eTA before entering the country. Eligible travellers will need to go online to apply for their eTA.

To apply for your eTA you will need your passport, credit or debit card and an email address. At the time of publication there was a CAD$7 fee to process your eTA. Your eTA will be valid for a period of five years, or until your passport expires. We recommend you carry a print out of your eTA approval when you travel. Please visit www.canada.ca/eTA to apply.

If you have not applied for and received authorisation via an eTA prior to travel you may be denied boarding, experience a delayed processing or be denied admission at the Canadian point of entry. However, neither possession of a visa nor meeting the basic requirements for travelling visafree on the eTA, guarantees admission to Canada. As with most countries, the final determination of admissibility is made by immigration officials at the point of entry.

Arctic

No visa required for British passport holders.

Vaccinations

Greenland

There are no specific health risks.

Canada

There are no specific health risks.

Arctic

There are no specific health risks.

Eating and Drinking

All meals while on the ship included.

Typical Meals

The ships galley offers good quality service and cuisine throughout, with excellent chefs preparing international menus including vegetarian dishes, accompanied by a wide variety of drinks from around the world on sale.

Breakfast: Buffet style – unlimited tea and coffee, a selection of fruit juices, hot options including bacon and eggs or omelettes, a selection of bread and toast and jam/honey/marmalade, fruit and cereal.

Lunch: Three course set meal, or the occasional buffet or BBQ.

Dinner: Three courses with a starter of soup, salad or anti-pasto, a choice of three mains with at least one vegetarian and one seafood option and a dessert of sweet pudding or ice cream or fruit, tea and coffee.

Is this trip for you?

Travelling Conditions

The voyages are designed to be as flexible as possible, taking advantage of circumstances and events as they occur, as well as passengers' wishes and particular interests wherever possible. The atmosphere on board is relaxed and friendly with expedition staff, including naturalists and Polar experts, on hand and the opportunity to mingle with people from all over the world. The ship is kept warm, clean and comfortable with a wet/mud room in which to hang gear and store boots ready for the next adventure.

On the Zodiac cruises you are sitting still for most of the time with the potential for some sea spray and a cold headwind - if you are not dressed appropriately you will get cold. On the shore excursions, the majority of landings are wet which means that the Zodiacs beach and you are helped to slide into the ankle deep shore break before walking up onto dry land (wellington boots are issued to all passengers). There are, of course, no paths, so be prepared for slippery, rough terrain and sometimes fairly deep snow. Back on board the cosy ship after each adventure, you can have a sauna and/or a hot shower and then relax with a tea, coffee, hot chocolate or something stronger from the bar.

Accommodation

Ocean Adventurer

The Northwest Passage: Epic High Arctic is offered on the Ocean Adventurer which is a Polar Adventure Ship. Two nights in a standard hotel in Ottawa are included. Full board accommodation on the ship, generally on a twin share basis in a variety of cabin types, all with en suite facilities. Please visit the Polar Fleet page (www.exodus.co.uk/polar-holidays/polar-fleet) for Ship Information and Deck Plans.

Polar Adventure Ships

These are small ice rated vessels well qualified for Polar waters. Intimate adventures are always more enjoyable with like-minded passengers and staff, so these voyages are for people who like flexible itineraries and plenty to keep them busy. Activities include frequent Zodiac excursions, trekking, kayaking and many hours on deck in areas that other ships only dream about accessing. Food and staff are superb and every guest benefits from the technical advances of this superb fleet. Rest assured our Polar Adventure Ships enable any traveller to maximize their experience sensitively in the Poles.

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Dates & Prices

An overview of flight options

Exodus is committed to making joining our tours as easy as possible, wherever you live. We generally only block book seats from London, but this certainly does not mean that you need to fly from there. Depending on the route and airlines available, there will usually be various options available for those who want to fly from their local airport.

This page aims to provide a useful overview of the options available to our clients. However, the best flight arrangements should be tailored to your personal requirements, so please contact our Sales team for expert advice.

 

What kind of options do I have ?

1. We can book for you: Flights from anywhere in the world - not via London  

Depending on the route, this may be direct or via an overseas hub like Amsterdam, the Middle East or elsewhere. On short haul routes there may be direct flights with low cost airlines, charter flights or scheduled airlines. Exodus can book most, but not all, of these for you. The most appropriate airline may be different to that which we use for the group flight from London, but many people now travel on different airlines and meet up with their fellow passengers at the destination.

Pros Cons
  • May be the most direct route
  • Often the extra fare compared to the London flight is minimal.
  • As you will be in the hands a single airline for your entire journey, the airline will be responsible for your bags and your connections.
  • You may not be able to join the group transfers. However, we can usually arrange private transfers, or book your flights to try and coincide with the group transfers. See notes on transfer arrangements below.

 

2. We can book for you: Connecting flights from your local airport to London

Exodus can book connecting flights to London so you can join the group flight there. Connecting times will be followed according to airline advice, or as requested by clients. There are two types of fares we can use for this option: a 'through-fare' or a 'published fare'.
 
a) A 'through-fare' is where you will be in the main airline's care throughout. You change planes, but your bags are checked all the way through to your final destination. 

b) A 'published fare' ticket is completely seperate from your onward ticket from London. It is usually cheaper than a through-fare but will need to be paid for and issued as soon as it is booked. This can be a problem if your tour has not yet reached minimum numbers. On 'published fares' neither airline is aware that you have connecting flights, so Exodus is responsible for timing your connection, not the airlines involved. The tickets are also usually non changeable and non refundable.

Pros Cons
  • Depending on the fare type, Exodus or the airline is responsible for flight connections.
  • Through fare tickets can be expensive.
  • On a published fare, tickets must be issued immediately; tickets on published fares can be very difficult to change if onward flight times change; bags are not checked though to your final destination.
  • Published fares are non-refundable.

 

3. Booking some or all of the flights yourself

You can also book connecting air travel yourself, either to London, or all the way to the start point. There may be certain airlines or routes we don't have access to, so this is always an option. However, if you make your own travel arrangements you become liable for any delays, cancellations or missed connections, and Exodus is not required to offer refunds if you have trouble reaching the start of your trip.

Pros Cons
  • You might find cheaper fares, or routes not available to Exodus.
  • You are responsible for any delays or missed connections, and the cost of the tour is not protected should you miss your flight be cancelled.

 

 Notes on transfer arrangements

Sometimes it is possible to travel on a different airline to the group flight from London. Where this is the case, we need to think about ensuring you meet up with the group with minimum extra cost and hassle.

  • On certain trips, it is easy to arrive on a different flight and still meet the group at the hotel with time in hand. We can usually arrange private transfers (at extra cost) or offer advice on taking a taxi to the start hotel.
  • On other trips (especially in Europe), the transfer meets the group flight and then travels some distance to the first night's accommodation. Where this is the case, our Sales team will try to arrange flights that arrive before (and depart after) the group. However, we do have to make it clear in your final documentation that if your flights are delayed, the transfer cannot wait for you. While Exodus or our local operators will do what we can to help you reach the start point of the tour, any additional costs must be paid by the client. 

 

Next steps? 

Call our Sales team on: 0203 733 0698

Email your query: [email protected]

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