A narwhal seen with its head and giant tusk splashing out of the water with icebergs behind it and other whales in the water
A giant cliff dwarfs a zodiac full of Northwest Passage expedition travelers at Prince Leopold Island
More than 15 beluga whales seen in green-blue water at Cunningham Inlet where they gather to molt
A polar bear on a brown tundra shore faces the camera while standing
An ice-filled ocean as far as the eye can see in Nunavut
View Photos
Polar Regions Arctic Cruise

Northwest Passage Expedition

The icy, labyrinthine channels of the legendary Northwest Passage have enchanted explorers and adventurers for centuries. Get a glimpse into the world that captivated early explorers such as Franklin, Amundsen and Larsen by exploring the fabled Northwest Passage on one of two routes aboard 132-guest Sylvia Earle. Highlights include visiting Ilulissat Icefjord, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, where you can add on a helicopter flightsee, and the ease of trip-end charter flights to Calgary, Toronto or Anchorage.

The 17-day route covers the eastern portion of the Northwest Passage. The journey starts with a charter flight from Toronto to embark in Kangerlussuaq, Greenland, then ends in Cambridge Bay, Canada, with another charter flight to Calgary. Or reverse that route to start in Calgary and end in Toronto. Visit the final resting places of some of the heroic explorers to have ventured here and experience the archipelago of islands and channels that form Canada’s High Arctic region. Along the way, meet local indigenous people who call this remote wilderness home, and encounter enigmatic Arctic wildlife, including walrus, beluga whale, polar bear, musk ox and the elusive narwhal.

For the most comprehensive option, endeavor to sail the complete Northwest Passage over 30 days, ending your journey in Anchorage, Alaska. This epic voyage, inspired by Roald Amundsen’s historic expedition, attempts to sail the full length of the Northwest Passage, carving your way west through the maze of waterways that hug the fabled islands of Arctic Canada until you reach the Beaufort Sea.

On either route, highlights include: Standing in awe of Ilulissat Icefjord, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and taking a helicopter flight above it. Hiking on Devon Island, the world’s largest uninhabited island, which features stunning geology, fjords and glacial valleys to explore. On Beechey Island, visiting memorials and graves of explorers from John Franklin’s expedition. Keeping watch with the hope of spotting iconic Arctic wildlife including musk ox, polar bears, beluga whales, walrus and perhaps narwhal. And savoring every moment of adventure. Pack ice may halt the voyage through the passage, so brace yourself for a genuine expedition where unexpected adventure awaits at every turn.

Read on for details about this trip, or learn more about AdventureSmith’s other Arctic cruisesArctic trips, Canada small ship cruises and Alaska small ship cruises.



Itinerary

Westbound Northwest Passage Itinerary

Get a glimpse into the world that captivated early explorers such as Franklin, Amundsen and Larsen by exploring a portion of the fabled Northwest Passage over 17 days. This westbound route starts with a charter flight from Toronto to embark in Kangerlussuaq, Greenland, then ends in Cambridge Bay, Canada, with another charter flight to Calgary.

A white and blue colored map showing the path of the Northwest Passage expedition from Toronto to Calgary
Read More
Day 1
Arrive Toronto, Canada

Having made your way to Toronto Airport, check-in at Westin Toronto Airport Hotel for an overnight stay. At a welcome briefing this evening, enjoy a drink and meet fellow expeditioners. A ship representative will provide you with important information about biosecurity and the charter flight to Kangerlussuaq tomorrow. You will receive Aurora Expeditions cabin tags for your luggage. Please clearly label the tags with your name and ship cabin number.

Accommodations

Westin Toronto Airport Hotel (or similar)

Meals

n/a

Read More
Day 2
Embark Kangerlussuaq, Greenland

This morning, ensure any cabin luggage is fitted with cabin tags and take it down to hotel reception. Luggage will be collected from the hotel and transferred directly to port for clearance and delivered to your cabin ahead of embarkation. Keep any valuables or personal items with you throughout the day.

After breakfast at the hotel, board a charter flight to Kangerlussuaq, Greenland, where the ship awaits. Lunch is on the plane. After boarding the ship, there is time to settle into your cabin before our important safety briefings. The sailing out of Søndre Strømfjord, with its towering mountains on both sides, is magnificent. This evening, meet your expedition team and crew at the Captain’s Welcome Dinner.

Accommodations

Sylvia Earle

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 3
Sisimiut

Greenland’s second largest town, Sisimiut, is located approximately 33.5 miles north of the Arctic Circle, meaning that during summer, you can experience the midnight sun here. The town is famous for the old blue church with the gate made of whale bone. In the cozy museum next door to the church, you will find an excellent reconstruction of an Inuit turf house as well as exhibits of local history and early life in Greenland.

Sisimiut offers hiking trails with various degrees of difficulty. The easier trails take you through the town itself, its outskirts and into the mountains, where you will find spectacular vantage points.

Approximately 4,500 years ago, the Saqqaq culture arrived from Canada and settled in the area. They lived here for approximately 2,000 years, after which they mysteriously disappeared from the area. The Dorset culture arrived around 500 CE and stayed until the 1200s until they were replaced by the Thule culture, and today, the majority of the population of Sisimiut are descendants of the Thule culture.

Accommodations

Sylvia Earle

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 4
Iluissat & Optional Helicopter Flight

Known as the “birthplace of icebergs,” this region produces some of the most dazzling icebergs found anywhere on earth. Hike to the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Icefjord and stand in awe of its immensity. Sermeq Kujalleq, also known as Jakobshavn Glacier, is the most productive glacier – not only in Greenland but the entire Northern Hemisphere. It produces 20 million tonnes of ice each day, all floating into the Ilulissat Icefjord and Disko Bay. Conditions permitting, enjoy a Zodiac cruise at the mouth of the fjord and kayak through sea ice and icebergs.

An optional, added-cost 90-minute helicopter flight over the icefjord is a truly once-in-a-lifetime experience here. This excursion is the only way you can get close to the gigantic glacier. The 12-seater helicopter departs from Ilulissat Airport and sweeps over hills, lakes and ice fjords. Land on the mountain at Kangia, in the middle of the preserved area, where you can revel in the incredible surroundings. On the return flight to Ilulissat, fly above the edge of the glacier with breathtaking views of the massive icebergs drifting in the fjord. The views of some of the largest icebergs that become stranded on a moraine underneath the water, just outside the town, offers a wonderful finale to this excursion.

Accommodations

Sylvia Earle

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 5
Qeqertarsuaq (Disko Island)

The compelling Disko Island seems to have more in common with Iceland than Greenland. While most of the interior is mountainous and glaciated, its beautiful shorelines boast black sandy beaches, unusual basalt columns, hot springs and dramatic lava formations. On a guided hike, enjoy a diversity of arctic flora. Zodiac cruise in Disko Bay, a hotspot for marine life including humpback, fin, minke and bowhead whales.

Accommodations

Sylvia Earle

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 6
At Sea, Qikiqtarjuaq & Baffin Island, Canada

The ship’s team of experts entertain with informative talks about wildlife, geology and epic tales of early explorers such as Franklin and Amundsen. Reaching the coast of Baffin Island, you may encounter Greenland’s famous icebergs. Keep watch for humpback, sei, sperm and fin whales, as well as various species of seals such as ring and harp seal.

Accommodations

Sylvia Earle

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 7
Isabella Bay

Farther north along the east coast of Baffin Island, visit Isabella Bay, an important summer and autumn feeding ground for a large population of bowhead whales.

Accommodations

Sylvia Earle

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 8
Sillem Island

Sail around Sillem Island, with glacial features on all sides. A slow cruise offers the chance to see many glaciers as well as a variety of seals and other arctic wildlife.

Accommodations

Sylvia Earle

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 9
Pond Inlet (Mittimatalik) & Bylot Island

The picturesque hamlet of Pond Inlet, overlooking Eclipse Sound, is surrounded by scenic mountain ranges and numerous glaciers and fjords. Travelers come to marvel at the abundant wildlife hoping to see narwhals, beluga and orca whales, ringed and harp seals, caribou and the occasional polar bear. Explore churches and visit the Natinnak Center to see exhibits showcasing the culture and history of the local Inuit people.

In the afternoon, sail along coastline of nearby Bylot Island. Covered with mountains, icefields, steep cliffs, snowfields and glaciers, Bylot provides nesting habitat for large numbers of thick-billed murres and black-legged kittiwakes. A total of 74 unique species of arctic bird thrive on this island. Due to the richness of the wildlife and the beauty and diversity of the landscapes in the area, a large portion of the island was also included in the Sirmilik National Park, established in 2001.

Accommodations

Sylvia Earle

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 10
Devon Island, Lancaster Sound

At a latitude almost 75° degrees north, you are now truly in the High Arctic today. Here, nutrient-rich waters support an abundance of wildlife, giving the area the moniker “wildlife super highway” of the Arctic. Devon Island is the largest uninhabited island on earth and features stunning geology, with flat-topped mountains and glacial valleys giving Devon Island its unique character.

Today you may explore Croker Bay or Maxwell Bay, both offering great opportunities for Zodiac cruising. Dundas Harbour offers walks on undulating tundra and the area is great for birdwatching. A dilapidated Royal Canadian Mounted Police outpost and remnants of a Hudson’s Bay Company trading post can be found here. In the bay, walruses are often present.

Accommodations

Sylvia Earle

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 11
Beechey Island, Lancaster Sound

At the western end of Devon Island lies Beechey Island. Named after Frederick William Beechey, the island is one of Canada’s most important arctic sites and is a designated Canadian National Historic Site. During the Franklin expedition of 1845–46, Franklin attempted to sail through the Northwest Passage with HMS Erebus and HMS Terror, with perilous results – three of his men died here. Roald Amundsen landed at Beechey Island in 1903, during the first successful voyage by ship to fully transit the Northwest Passage from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean.

Accommodations

Sylvia Earle

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Days 12 - 15
Expedition Cruising

In true expeditionary style, the itinerary for the following days is heavily dependent on unpredictable sea ice. The following places are on the tentative agenda:

Prince Leopold Island 

On the southern side of Lancaster Sound from Beechey Island lie the towering bird cliffs of Prince Leopold Island, a historic site where in 1848, English explorer James Clark Ross overwintered during the search for the missing Franklin expedition. Prince Leopold Island is the most important bird sanctuary in the Canadian Arctic, with approximately 500,000 birds nesting here in summer. Ringed seals are often spotted on the sea ice around the island and polar bear often lurk nearby. The shallow gravel beds attract beluga whales, who come to molt in this part of the Arctic each summer.

Cunningham Inlet 

On the north coast of Somerset Island, when factors such as weather and whale behavior align, you might see the amazing spectacle of hundreds of beluga whales shedding their skin on shallow sandy banks. The local scenery makes for excellent guided walks, where waterway trails lead to waterfalls and higher ground.

Prince Regent Inlet, Fort Ross 

Sailing down the east coast of Somerset Island, you might spot beluga whales and narwhals as they feed on the large numbers of arctic char that enter Creswell Bay in late summer. An important bird area, the bay also attracts such species as black-bellied plovers, king eiders and white-rumped sandpipers. At Fort Ross, see an abandoned Hudson’s Bay Company trading outpost founded in 1937, which closed in 1949 because supply ships could not get through the thick sea ice. Enjoy guided walks on the tundra.

Bellot Strait 

A deep and windy waterway bordered by steep slopes, Bellot Strait is characterized by strong, swirling, tidal currents that require navigation to be undertaken close to times of slack water (four times a day). Point Zenith, the most northern continental point of the Americas is located in the strait.

Note: Due to swirling currents up to 10 knots, Bellot Strait is better transited during eastbound voyages because if it is blocked, there is the alternative to continue north through Peel Sound. On a westbound voyage like this one, it would be necessary to make a long detour back north through Prince Regent Inlet.

Coningham Bay 

Across from Victoria Strait, Coningham Bay lies on the shores of Prince of Wales Island. This is a polar bear hotspot where the majestic creatures come to feast on beluga whales often trapped in the rocky shallows at the entrance to the bay. It is not unusual to find the shoreline littered with whale skeletons – and very healthy-looking polar bears!

King William Island 

In 1859, a Franklin expedition tent camp was discovered at Cape Felix. Remains attributed to the Franklin expedition have been found at 35 locations on King William Island and on nearby Adelaide Peninsula. South of Cape Felix, in Victoria Strait, we hope to visit Victory Point and get close to where the HMS Erebus and HMS Terror were abandoned in 1848.

Accommodations

Sylvia Earle

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 16
Disembark Cambridge Bay

In Cambridge Bay, say farewell to the crew and expedition team before a Zodiac shuttle whisks you ashore. Transfer to the airport for a charter flight to Calgary, where you will stay overnight. A box lunch is provided upon disembarkation, and dinner is on the charter flight.

Accommodations

Delta Calgary Airport Hotel (or similar)

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 17
Depart Calgary, Canada

Check out of your room and continue your journey home or in Calgary.

Accommodations

n/a

Meals

breakfast

Read More
Details
Inclusions, Terms & Notes

Included

All transfers mentioned in itinerary; one night’s hotel accommodation in Toronto on Day 1 (including breakfast on Day 2); welcome reception/pre-embarkation briefing on Day 1; charter flight from Toronto to Kangerlussuaq on Day 2; group transfer from the pier to airport on Day 16; charter flight from Cambridge Bay to Calgary on Day 16; one night’s hotel accommodation in Calgary on Day 16 (including breakfast on Day 17); onboard accommodation during voyage including daily cabin service; all meals, snacks, tea and coffee during voyage; beer, house wine and soft drinks with dinner; Captain’s Welcome & Farewell reception including four-course dinner, house cocktails, house beer and wine, and non-alcoholic beverages; all shore excursions & Zodiac cruises; educational lectures and guiding services from expedition team; complimentary access to onboard expedition doctor and medical clinic (initial consult); a 3-in-1 waterproof polar expedition jacket; complimentary use of muck boots during the voyage; comprehensive pre-departure information; port surcharges, permits and landing fees; gratuities for ship’s crew.

Exclusions

International or domestic flights, unless specified in the itinerary; transfers not mentioned in the itinerary; airport arrival or departure taxes; passport, visa and vaccination charges; travel insurance, emergency evacuation charges or personal insurance (required); hotels and meals not included in itinerary; optional excursions not included in the itinerary; optional activity surcharges; all items of a personal nature including but not limited to: alcoholic beverages and soft drinks (outside of dinner service), laundry services, personal clothing, medical expenses, WiFi, email or phone charges, discretionary expedition team gratuities (USD cash only).

Payment & Cancellation

In order to confirm this trip, a nonrefundable deposit of $2,500 is required per person at time of booking (additional nonrefundable $250 deposit is required for optional activities). The balance of the trip price is due 90 days before the departure date. Special holiday payment and cancellation terms apply. Guests who must cancel their trip for any reason must do so in writing. Standard cancellations are subject to the following per-person penalties, based on number of days prior to departure:
91 days or more – 100% of deposit
90 to 0 days – 100% of total trip cost

Terms & Conditions

This trip is subject to AdventureSmith Explorations Terms and Conditions. Please read this information carefully and call us if you have any questions. A Traveler Information Form, which includes a release of liability, must be completed and signed by all travelers. Your Adventure Specialist will send you a unique link to complete this form along with a packing list and extensive pre-departure and travel insurance information upon booking confirmation.

Vaccination Requirement
To join this trip, all eligible guests must provide proof of being fully vaccinated (at least 14 days after your final COVID-19 vaccine shot), including a booster shot for those eligible. There may also be COVID-19 testing or other requirements to participate; your Adventure Specialist will provide details of current policies upon booking.

Arrival & Departure

The westbound Northwest Passage cruise begins in Toronto, Canada (YYZ), and ends in Calgary, Canada (YYC). Plan flights to arrive to Toronto any time on Day 1, but we highly recommend arriving one day prior to your trip start date in case of any flight delay, cancellation or lost luggage issues. An arrival by midday is ideal to have time to settle in and attend the welcome reception. An airport shuttle is provided by the hotel for your arrival. Plan flights to depart Calgary any time on Day 17. The hotel is at the airport, so no transfer needed. If you would like assistance with international flights, please visit our Booking Flights resource page.

Internal Flights

Two group charter flights are required on this trip’s itinerary and are included in the listed per-person cabin rates: 1) from Toronto to Kangerlussuaq 2) from Cambridge Bay to Calgary. All transfers between the airport and hotels for these charter flights are included. Luggage weight limits for the charter flights are 50lbs for a checked bag, carry-on bags must be under 10 inches by 18 inches by 22 inches (26 cm x 46 cm x 56 cm) with a max weight of 22lbs/10kg.

Activities

Birdwatching, walking, Zodiac cruising, photography tips, lectures, a polar plunge & all trips ashore are included in the rate. Add on kayaking ($1,190 in 2023) to join 20 like-minded paddlers (in small groups of 10 per guide) to fully experience nature at its wildest. The optional, added-cost, 90-minute helicopter ride in Ilulissiat requires a minimum of 8 people to operate. Please contact AdventureSmith for further details and to reserve space with your booking.

Room Configuration

Single travelers wishing to book a double-occupancy cabin may do so at a 50% supplement of the per-person listed rate in select cabins upon availability. Solo travelers willing to share may be matched with a person of the same gender, and if the other cabin berth goes unsold, will only pay the standard double-occupancy rate. 

Families & Children

Kids 8 years and older are welcomed aboard all departure dates. Children between 8-17 years of age must pay the adult price of the expedition.

Travel Insurance

A medical form for all travelers, signed by their doctor, is required for every departure. Comprehensive travel insurance is mandatory for this trip, with a minimum required coverage of $250,000 USD per person, covering medical, accident and repatriation/emergency evacuation, as well as baggage loss and cancellation or curtailment of holiday. In addition, we highly recommend our travelers protect their investment with travel insurance that includes trip cancellation and other benefits. Our partners at Travelex Insurance offer a variety of plans and policies to fit every trip and budget. Coverage for a pre-existing medical condition is also available if you purchase the Travel Select plan within 15 days of the initial trip payment; refer to plan details. Learn more about travel insurance or get a free quote.

Itinerary Notes

Read this itinerary as a guide only; the exact route and program varies according to ice, weather conditions, wildlife encountered and the captain’s discretion. Flexibility is the key to the success of any Arctic expedition.

Eastbound Northwest Passage Itinerary

Get a glimpse into the world that captivated early explorers such as Franklin, Amundsen and Larsen by exploring a portion of the fabled Northwest Passage over 17 days. This eastbound route starts with a charter flight from Toronto, Canada, to embark Kangerlussuaq, Greenland, then ends in Cambridge Bay, Canada, with another charter flight to Toronto.

A white and blue colored map showing the path of the eastbound Northwest Passage expedition from Calgary to Toronto
Read More
Day 1
Arrive Calgary, Canada

Having made your way to Calgary, check-in at Delta Calgary Airport Hotel for an overnight stay. At a welcome briefing this evening, enjoy a drink and meet fellow expeditioners. A ship representative will provide you with important information about biosecurity and the charter flight to Cambridge Bay tomorrow. You will receive Aurora Expeditions cabin tags for your luggage. Please clearly label the tags with your name and ship cabin number.

Accommodations

Delta Calgary Airport Hotel (or similar)

Meals

n/a

Read More
Day 2
Embark Cambridge Bay

This morning, ensure any cabin luggage is fitted with cabin tags and take it down to hotel reception. Luggage will be collected from the hotel and transferred directly to port for clearance and delivered to your cabin ahead of embarkation. Keep any valuables or personal items with you throughout the day.

After breakfast at the hotel, board a charter flight to Cambridge Bay, where the ship awaits. Lunch is on the plane. After boarding, there is time to settle into your cabin before our important safety briefings.  This evening, meet your expedition team and crew at the Captain’s Welcome Dinner.

Accommodations

Sylvia Earle

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Days 3 - 6
Expedition Cruising

In true expeditionary style, the itinerary for the following days is heavily dependent on unpredictable sea ice. The following places are on the tentative agenda:

Prince Leopold Island 

On the southern side of Lancaster Sound from Beechey Island lie the towering bird cliffs of Prince Leopold Island, a historic site where in 1848, English explorer James Clark Ross overwintered during the search for the missing Franklin expedition. Prince Leopold Island is the most important bird sanctuary in the Canadian Arctic, with approximately 500,000 birds nesting here in summer. Ringed seals are often spotted on the sea ice around the island and polar bear often lurk nearby. The shallow gravel beds attract beluga whales, who come to molt in this part of the Arctic each summer.

Cunningham Inlet 

On the north coast of Somerset Island, when factors such as weather and whale behavior align, you might see the amazing spectacle of hundreds of beluga whales shedding their skin on shallow sandy banks. The local scenery makes for excellent guided walks, where waterway trails lead to waterfalls and higher ground.

Prince Regent Inlet, Fort Ross 

Sailing down the east coast of Somerset Island, you might spot beluga whales and narwhals as they feed on the large numbers of arctic char that enter Creswell Bay in late summer. An important bird area, the bay also attracts such species as black-bellied plovers, king eiders and white-rumped sandpipers. At Fort Ross, see an abandoned Hudson’s Bay Company trading outpost founded in 1937, which closed in 1949 because supply ships could not get through the thick sea ice. Enjoy guided walks on the tundra.

Bellot Strait 

A deep and windy waterway bordered by steep slopes, Bellot Strait is characterized by strong, swirling, tidal currents that require navigation to be undertaken close to times of slack water (four times a day). Point Zenith, the most northern continental point of the Americas is located in the strait.

Note: Due to swirling currents up to 10 knots, Bellot Strait is better transited during eastbound voyages like this one because if it is blocked, there is the alternative to continue north through Peel Sound. On a westbound voyage, it would be necessary to make a long detour back north through Prince Regent Inlet.

Coningham Bay 

Across from Victoria Strait, Coningham Bay lies on the shores of Prince of Wales Island. This is a polar bear hotspot where the majestic creatures come to feast on beluga whales often trapped in the rocky shallows at the entrance to the bay. It is not unusual to find the shoreline littered with whale skeletons – and very healthy-looking polar bears!

King William Island 

In 1859, a Franklin expedition tent camp was discovered at Cape Felix. Remains attributed to the Franklin expedition have been found at 35 locations on King William Island and on nearby Adelaide Peninsula. South of Cape Felix, in Victoria Strait, we hope to visit Victory Point and get close to where the HMS Erebus and HMS Terror were abandoned in 1848.

Accommodations

Sylvia Earle

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 7
Lancaster Sound, Beechey Island

At a latitude almost 75° degrees north, you are now truly in the High Arctic. Here, nutrient-rich waters support an abundance of wildlife, giving the area the moniker “wildlife super highway” of the Arctic. At the western end of Devon Island lies Beechey Island. Named after Frederick William Beechey, the island is one of Canada’s most important arctic sites and is a designated Canadian National Historic Site. During the Franklin expedition of 1845–46, Franklin attempted to sail through the Northwest Passage with HMS Erebus and HMS Terror, with perilous results – three of his men died here. Roald Amundsen landed at Beechey Island in 1903, during the first successful voyage by ship to fully transit the Northwest Passage from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean

Accommodations

Sylvia Earle

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 8
Devon Island, Lancaster Sound

Devon Island is the largest uninhabited island on earth and features stunning geology, with flat-topped mountains and glacial valleys giving Devon Island its unique character. Today you may explore Croker Bay or Maxwell Bay, both offering great opportunities for Zodiac cruising. Dundas Harbour offers walks on undulating tundra and the area is great for birdwatching. A dilapidated Royal Canadian Mounted Police outpost and remnants of a Hudson’s Bay Company trading post can be found here. In the bay, walruses are often present.

Accommodations

Sylvia Earle

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 9
Pond Inlet (Mittimatalik) & Bylot Island

The picturesque hamlet of Pond Inlet, overlooking Eclipse Sound, is surrounded by scenic mountain ranges and numerous glaciers and fjords. Travelers come to marvel at the abundant wildlife hoping to see narwhals, beluga and orca whales, ringed and harp seals, caribou and the occasional polar bear. Explore churches and visit the Natinnak Center to see exhibits showcasing the culture and history of the local Inuit people.

In the afternoon, sail along coastline of nearby Bylot Island. Covered with mountains, icefields, steep cliffs, snowfields and glaciers, Bylot provides nesting habitat for large numbers of thick-billed murres and black-legged kittiwakes. A total of 74 unique species of arctic bird thrive on this island. Due to the richness of the wildlife and the beauty and diversity of the landscapes in the area, a large portion of the island was also included in the Sirmilik National Park, established in 2001.

Accommodations

Sylvia Earle

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 10
Sillem Island

Sail around Sillem Island, with glacial features on all sides. A slow cruise offers the chance to see many glaciers as well as a variety of seals and other arctic wildlife.

Accommodations

Sylvia Earle

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 11
Isabella Bay

Farther north along the east coast of Baffin Island, visit Isabella Bay, an important summer and autumn feeding ground for a large population of bowhead whales.

Accommodations

Sylvia Earle

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 12
Qikiqtarjuaq (Baffin Island) & At Sea

Explore the coast of Baffin Island farther south before crossing Baffin Bay to Greenland, where you may encounter Greenland’s famous icebergs. Keep watch for humpback, sei, sperm and fin whales, as well as various species of seals such as ring and harp seal. The ship’s team of experts entertain with informative talks about wildlife, geology and epic tales of early explorers such as Franklin and Amundsen.

Accommodations

Sylvia Earle

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 13
Qeqertarsuaq (Disko Island), Greenland

The compelling Disko Island seems to have more in common with Iceland than Greenland. While most of the interior is mountainous and glaciated, its beautiful shorelines boast black sandy beaches, unusual basalt columns, hot springs and dramatic lava formations. On a guided hike, enjoy a diversity of arctic flora. Zodiac cruise in Disko Bay, a hotspot for marine life including humpback, fin, minke and bowhead whales. The small friendly village has a fascinating historical museum.

Accommodations

Sylvia Earle

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 14
Iluissat & Optional Helicopter Flight

Known as the “birthplace of icebergs,” this region produces some of the most dazzling icebergs found anywhere on earth. Hike to the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Icefjord and stand in awe of its immensity. Sermeq Kujalleq, also known as Jakobshavn Glacier, is the most productive glacier – not only in Greenland but the entire Northern Hemisphere. It produces 20 million tonnes of ice each day, all floating into the Ilulissat Icefjord and Disko Bay. Conditions permitting, enjoy a Zodiac cruise at the mouth of the fjord and kayak through sea ice and icebergs.

An optional, added-cost 90-minute helicopter flight over the icefjord is a truly once-in-a-lifetime experience here. This excursion is the only way you can get close to the gigantic glacier. The 12-seater helicopter departs from Ilulissat Airport and sweeps over hills, lakes and ice fjords. Land on the mountain at Kangia, in the middle of the preserved area, where you can revel in the incredible surroundings. On the return flight to Ilulissat, fly above the edge of the glacier with breathtaking views of the massive icebergs drifting in the fjord. The views of some of the largest icebergs that become stranded on a moraine underneath the water, just outside the town, offers a wonderful finale to this excursion.

Accommodations

Sylvia Earle

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 15
Sisimiut

Greenland’s second largest town, Sisimiut, is located approximately 33.5 miles north of the Arctic Circle, meaning that during summer, you can experience the midnight sun here. The town is famous for the old blue church with the gate made of whale bone. In the cozy museum next door to the church, you will find an excellent reconstruction of an Inuit turf house as well as exhibits of local history and early life in Greenland.

Sisimiut offers hiking trails with various degrees of difficulty. The easier trails take you through the town itself, its outskirts and into the mountains, where you will find spectacular vantage points.

Approximately 4,500 years ago, the Saqqaq culture arrived from Canada and settled in the area. They lived here for approximately 2,000 years, after which they mysteriously disappeared from the area. The Dorset culture arrived around 500 CE and stayed until the 1200s until they were replaced by the Thule culture, and today, the majority of the population of Sisimiut are descendants of the Thule culture.

Accommodations

Sylvia Earle

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 16
Disembark Kangerlussuaq

After an overnight sailing along Søndre Strømfjord, arrive in Kangerlussuaq, where you disembark. Say farewell to the crew and expedition team before a Zodiac shuttle whisks you ashore. Transfer to the airport for a charter flight to Toronto, where you will stay overnight. A box lunch is provided upon disembarkation, and dinner is on the charter flight.

Accommodations

Westin Toronto Airport Hotel (or similar)

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 17
Depart Toronto, Canada

Check out of your room and continue your journey home or in Toronto.

Accommodations

n/a

Meals

breakfast

Read More
Details
Inclusions, Terms & Notes

Included

All transfers mentioned in itinerary; one night’s hotel accommodation in Calgary on Day 1 (including breakfast on Day 2); welcome reception/pre-embarkation briefing on Day 1; charter flight from Calgary to Cambridge Bay on Day 2; group transfer from the pier to airport on Day 16; charter flight from Kangerlussuaq to Toronto on Day 16; one night’s hotel accommodation in Toronto on Day 16 (including breakfast on Day 17); onboard accommodation during voyage including daily cabin service; all meals, snacks, tea and coffee during voyage; beer, house wine and soft drinks with dinner; Captain’s Welcome & Farewell reception including four-course dinner, house cocktails, house beer and wine, and non-alcoholic beverages; all shore excursions & Zodiac cruises; educational lectures and guiding services from expedition team; complimentary access to onboard expedition doctor and medical clinic (initial consult); a 3-in-1 waterproof polar expedition jacket; complimentary use of muck boots during the voyage; comprehensive pre-departure information; port surcharges, permits and landing fees; gratuities for ship’s crew.

Exclusions

International or domestic flights, unless specified in the itinerary; transfers not mentioned in the itinerary; airport arrival or departure taxes; passport, visa and vaccination charges; travel insurance, emergency evacuation charges or personal insurance (required); hotels and meals not included in itinerary; optional excursions not included in the itinerary; optional activity surcharges; all items of a personal nature including but not limited to: alcoholic beverages and soft drinks (outside of dinner service), laundry services, personal clothing, medical expenses, WiFi, email or phone charges, discretionary expedition team gratuities (USD cash only).

Payment & Cancellation

In order to confirm this trip, a nonrefundable deposit of $2,500 is required per person at time of booking (additional nonrefundable $250 deposit is required for optional activities). The balance of the trip price is due 90 days before the departure date. Special holiday payment and cancellation terms apply. Guests who must cancel their trip for any reason must do so in writing. Standard cancellations are subject to the following per-person penalties, based on number of days prior to departure:
91 days or more – 100% of deposit
90 to 0 days – 100% of total trip cost

Terms & Conditions

This trip is subject to AdventureSmith Explorations Terms and Conditions. Please read this information carefully and call us if you have any questions. A Traveler Information Form, which includes a release of liability, must be completed and signed by all travelers. Your Adventure Specialist will send you a unique link to complete this form along with a packing list and extensive pre-departure and travel insurance information upon booking confirmation.

Vaccination Requirement
To join this trip, all eligible guests must provide proof of being fully vaccinated (at least 14 days after your final COVID-19 vaccine shot), including a booster shot for those eligible. There may also be COVID-19 testing or other requirements to participate; your Adventure Specialist will provide details of current policies upon booking.

Arrival & Departure

The eastbound Northwest Passage cruise begins in Calgary, Canada (YYC), and ends in Toronto, Canada (YYZ). Plan flights to arrive to Calgary any time on Day 1, but we highly recommend arriving one day prior to your trip start date in case of any flight delay, cancellation or lost luggage issues. An arrival by midday is ideal to have time to settle in and attend the welcome reception. The hotel is at the airport so no transfer needed. Plan flights to depart Toronto any time on Day 17. An airport shuttle is available at the hotel. If you would like assistance with international flights, please visit our Booking Flights resource page.

Internal Flights

Two group charter flights are required on this trip’s itinerary and are included in the listed per-person cabin rates: 1) from Calgary to Cambridge Bay 2) from Kangerlussuaq to Toronto. All transfers between the airport and hotels for these charter flights are included. Luggage weight limits for the charter flights are 50lbs for a checked bag, carry-on bags must be under 10 inches by 18 inches by 22 inches (26 cm x 46 cm x 56 cm) with a max weight of 22lbs/10kg.

Activities

Birdwatching, walking, Zodiac cruising, photography tips, lectures, a polar plunge & all trips ashore are included in the rate. Add on kayaking ($1,190 in 2023) to join 20 like-minded paddlers (in small groups of 10 per guide) to fully experience nature at its wildest. The optional, added-cost, 90-minute helicopter ride in Ilulissiat requires a minimum of 8 people to operate. Please contact AdventureSmith for further details and to reserve space with your booking.

Room Configuration

Single travelers wishing to book a double-occupancy cabin may do so at a 50% supplement of the per-person listed rate in select cabins upon availability. Solo travelers willing to share may be matched with a person of the same gender, and if the other cabin berth goes unsold, will only pay the standard double-occupancy rate. 

Families & Children

Kids 8 years and older are welcomed aboard all departure dates. Children between 8-17 years of age must pay the adult price of the expedition.

Travel Insurance

A medical form for all travelers, signed by their doctor, is required for every departure. Comprehensive travel insurance is mandatory for this trip, with a minimum required coverage of $250,000 USD per person, covering medical, accident and repatriation/emergency evacuation, as well as baggage loss and cancellation or curtailment of holiday. In addition, we highly recommend our travelers protect their investment with travel insurance that includes trip cancellation and other benefits. Our partners at Travelex Insurance offer a variety of plans and policies to fit every trip and budget. Coverage for a pre-existing medical condition is also available if you purchase the Travel Select plan within 15 days of the initial trip payment; refer to plan details. Learn more about travel insurance or get a free quote.

Itinerary Notes

Read this itinerary as a guide only; the exact route and program varies according to ice, weather conditions, wildlife encountered and the captain’s discretion. Flexibility is the key to the success of any Arctic expedition.

Complete Northwest Passage Itinerary

Follow the path of Roald Amundsen’s historic expedition over 30 days on this epic expedition where adventure awaits at every turn. This westbound route starts with a charter flight from Toronto to embark in Kangerlussuaq, Greenland, then ends in Nome, Alaska, with another charter flight to Anchorage.

A white and blue colored map showing the path of the Complete Northwest Passage expedition from Toronto to Anchorage
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Day 1
Arrive Toronto, Canada

Having made your way to Toronto Airport, check-in at Westin Toronto Airport Hotel for an overnight stay. At a welcome briefing this evening, enjoy a drink and meet fellow expeditioners. A ship representative will provide you with important information about biosecurity and the charter flight to Kangerlussuaq tomorrow. You will receive Aurora Expeditions cabin tags for your luggage. Please clearly label the tags with your name and ship cabin number.

Accommodations

Westin Toronto Airport Hotel (or similar)

Meals

n/a

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Day 2
Embark Kangerlussuaq, Greenland

This morning, ensure any cabin luggage is fitted with cabin tags and take it down to hotel reception. Luggage will be collected from the hotel and transferred directly to port for clearance and delivered to your cabin ahead of embarkation. Keep any valuables or personal items with you throughout the day.

After breakfast at the hotel, board a charter flight to Kangerlussuaq, Greenland, where the ship awaits. Lunch is on the plane. After boarding, there is time to settle into your cabin before our important safety briefings. The sailing out of Søndre Strømfjord, with its towering mountains on both sides, is magnificent. This evening, meet your expedition team and crew at the Captain’s Welcome Dinner.

Accommodations

Sylvia Earle

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 3
Sisimiut

Greenland’s second largest town, Sisimiut, is located approximately 33.5 miles north of the Arctic Circle, meaning that during summer, you can experience the midnight sun here. The town is famous for the old blue church with the gate made of whale bone. In the cozy museum next door to the church, you will find an excellent reconstruction of an Inuit turf house as well as exhibits of local history and early life in Greenland.

Sisimiut offers hiking trails with various degrees of difficulty. The easier trails take you through the town itself, its outskirts and into the mountains, where you will find spectacular vantage points.

Approximately 4,500 years ago, the Saqqaq culture arrived from Canada and settled in the area. They lived here for approximately 2,000 years, after which they mysteriously disappeared from the area. The Dorset culture arrived around 500 CE and stayed until the 1200s until they were replaced by the Thule culture, and today, the majority of the population of Sisimiut are descendants of the Thule culture.

Accommodations

Sylvia Earle

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 4
Iluissat & Optional Helicopter Flight

Known as the “birthplace of icebergs,” this region produces some of the most dazzling icebergs found anywhere on earth. Hike to the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Icefjord and stand in awe of its immensity. Sermeq Kujalleq, also known as Jakobshavn Glacier, is the most productive glacier – not only in Greenland but the entire Northern Hemisphere. It produces 20 million tonnes of ice each day, all floating into the Ilulissat Icefjord and Disko Bay. Conditions permitting, enjoy a Zodiac cruise at the mouth of the fjord and kayak through sea ice and icebergs.

An optional, added-cost 90-minute helicopter flight over the icefjord is a truly once-in-a-lifetime experience here. This excursion is the only way you can get close to the gigantic glacier. The 12-seater helicopter departs from Ilulissat Airport and sweeps over hills, lakes and ice fjords. Land on the mountain at Kangia, in the middle of the preserved area, where you can revel in the incredible surroundings. On the return flight to Ilulissat, fly above the edge of the glacier with breathtaking views of the massive icebergs drifting in the fjord. The views of some of the largest icebergs that become stranded on a moraine underneath the water, just outside the town, offers a wonderful finale to this excursion.

Accommodations

Sylvia Earle

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 5
Qeqertarsuaq (Disko Island)

The compelling Disko Island seems to have more in common with Iceland than Greenland. While most of the interior is mountainous and glaciated, its beautiful shorelines boast black sandy beaches, unusual basalt columns, hot springs and dramatic lava formations. On a guided hike, enjoy a diversity of arctic flora. Zodiac cruise in Disko Bay, a hotspot for marine life including humpback, fin, minke and bowhead whales.

Accommodations

Sylvia Earle

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 6
At Sea, Qikiqtarjuaq & Baffin Island, Canada

The ship’s team of experts entertain with informative talks about wildlife, geology and epic tales of early explorers such as Franklin and Amundsen. Reaching the coast of Baffin Island, you may encounter Greenland’s famous icebergs. Keep watch for humpback, sei, sperm and fin whales, as well as various species of seals such as ring and harp seal.

Accommodations

Sylvia Earle

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 7
Isabella Bay

Farther north along the east coast of Baffin Island, visit Isabella Bay, an important summer and autumn feeding ground for a large population of bowhead whales.

Accommodations

Sylvia Earle

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 8
Sillem Island

Sail around Sillem Island, with glacial features on all sides. A slow cruise offers the chance to see many glaciers as well as a variety of seals and other arctic wildlife.

Accommodations

Sylvia Earle

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 9
Pond Inlet (Mittimatalik) & Tremblay Sound

The picturesque hamlet of Pond Inlet, overlooking Eclipse Sound, is surrounded by scenic mountain ranges and numerous glaciers and fjords. Travelers come to marvel at the abundant wildlife hoping to see narwhals, beluga and orca whales, ringed and harp seals, caribou and the occasional polar bear. Explore churches and visit the Natinnak Center to see exhibits showcasing the culture and history of the local Inuit people. Husky dog pens are near the landing beach.

In the afternoon, visit Tremblay Sound and enjoy a ship cruise. The area is well-known to attract narwhals that spend summer here. If you are extremely lucky, catch a glimpse of these notoriously shy creatures that are related to whales and dolphins.

Accommodations

Sylvia Earle

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 10
Bylot Island & Navy Board Inlet

This morning, sail along coastline of nearby Bylot Island. Covered with mountains, icefields, steep cliffs, snowfields and glaciers, Bylot provides nesting habitat for large numbers of thick-billed murres and black-legged kittiwakes. A total of 74 unique species of arctic bird thrive on this island. Due to the richness of the wildlife and the beauty and diversity of the landscapes in the area, a large portion of the island was also included in the Sirmilik National Park, established in 2001.

Also plan to visit nearby Navy Board Inlet, an arm of Lancaster Sound that is uninhabited. The inlet is part of Sirmilik National Park and provides stunning views of Bylot and Devon islands, with awe-inspiring scenery including mountains, picturesque fjords, inlets, glaciers and icebergs. Marine animals including polar bears, narwhal and whales, seals and seabirds frequent the area so keep your cameras and binoculars ready to hopefully spot some wildlife.

Accommodations

Sylvia Earle

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 11
Dundas Harbour & Croker Bay

Croker Bay features a number of active glaciers, and a Zodiac cruise, at a safe distance, is a thrilling adventure. In Dundas Harbour, plan to anchor and Zodiac ashore, keeping watch for walrus that are often seen in the bay, for a walk across tundra where it is possible to encounter musk ox, enjoy birdwatching, and visit ancient semi-subterranean Thule huts and a former Royal Canadian Mounted Police outpost.

Accommodations

Sylvia Earle

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 12
Beechey Island, Lancaster Sound

At the western end of Devon Island lies Beechey Island. Named after Frederick William Beechey, the island is one of Canada’s most important arctic sites and is a designated Canadian National Historic Site. During the Franklin expedition of 1845–46, Franklin attempted to sail through the Northwest Passage with HMS Erebus and HMS Terror, with perilous results – three of his men died here. Roald Amundsen landed at Beechey Island in 1903, during the first successful voyage by ship to fully transit the Northwest Passage from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean.

Accommodations

Sylvia Earle

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Days 13 - 17
Expedition Cruising

In true expeditionary style, the itinerary for the following days is heavily dependent on unpredictable sea ice. The following places are on the tentative agenda:

Prince Leopold Island 

On the southern side of Lancaster Sound from Beechey Island lie the towering bird cliffs of Prince Leopold Island, a historic site where in 1848, English explorer James Clark Ross overwintered during the search for the missing Franklin expedition. Prince Leopold Island is the most important bird sanctuary in the Canadian Arctic, with approximately 500,000 birds nesting here in summer. Ringed seals are often spotted on the sea ice around the island and polar bear often lurk nearby. The shallow gravel beds attract beluga whales, who come to molt in this part of the Arctic each summer.

Cunningham Inlet 

On the north coast of Somerset Island, when factors such as weather and whale behavior align, you might see the amazing spectacle of hundreds of beluga whales shedding their skin on shallow sandy banks. The local scenery makes for excellent guided walks, where waterway trails lead to waterfalls and higher ground.

Coningham Bay 

Across from Victoria Strait, Coningham Bay lies on the shores of Prince of Wales Island. This is a polar bear hotspot where the majestic creatures come to feast on beluga whales that are often trapped in the rocky shallows at the entrance to the bay. It is not unusual to find the shoreline littered with whale skeletons – and very healthy-looking polar bears!

King William Island 

In 1859, a Franklin expedition tent camp was discovered at Cape Felix. Remains attributed to the Franklin expedition have been found at 35 locations on King William Island and on nearby Adelaide Peninsula. South of Cape Felix, in Victoria Strait, we hope to visit Victory Point and get close to where the HMS Erebus and HMS Terror were abandoned in 1848.

Accommodations

Sylvia Earle

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 18
Cambridge Bay

A large town by local standards, Cambridge Bay is the administrative and transportation hub of the region. It is the largest stop for passenger and research vessels traversing the Northwest Passage and unofficially marks the midpoint for voyages of the Northwest Passage. Zodiac ashore for an exploration of this Inuit settlement located in the high arctic. Enjoy a walk through the village, where you can visit the local church, visitor center and support the local community by purchasing some locally made handicrafts.

In the old town, plan to visit the ancient archaeological sites of the Pre-Dorset, Dorset and Thule people.

Wildlife abounds in this area, and you might see caribou, musk ox and seals. The tundra is ablaze with wildflowers and birds including jaegers, ducks, geese and swans visit the area in large numbers.

 

Accommodations

Sylvia Earle

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 19
Johansen Bay, Edinburgh Island

Edinburgh Island is a small and uninhabited island in Canada’s Nunavut region. The scenery consists of colorful flowering shrubs, beaches tinged in stunning ochres, while the surrounding cliffs shaded in rich, deep tones. Today’s plan is for a Zodiac excursion within an estuary at the northeast end of Johansen Bay and up the river towards the lake. A possible walk to a lookout overlooking the lake offers spectacular views over lakes, sea and mountains. Wildlife including caribous, reindeer, arctic foxes, hares and peregrine falcons frequent the area.

Accommodations

Sylvia Earle

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 20
At Sea

Enjoy the many facilities aboard the ship as you continue along the shores of the Canadian High Arctic. Enjoy panoramic views from one of the observation lounges, attend informative talks from the onboard experts or sweat it out in the gym or the sauna.

Accommodations

Sylvia Earle

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 21
Jesse Harbour, Banks Island

Located in the north of Canada’s Northwest Territories, Banks Island, the fifth largest island in Canada, is home to approximately 60 percent of the world’s population of lesser snow geese. Arctic foxes, wolves, polar bears, caribous, musk ox and many birds are also found here. Grizzly bears are occasionally spotted, and bowhead whales are often seen offshore. The dramatic cliffs on the southeast coast feature colorful yellow, white and red quartzites, while the west coast is characterized by long, sandy offshore bars. Nelson Head cliffs features ancient Precambrian rock that is almost 2 billion years old.

Accommodations

Sylvia Earle

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 22
Smoking Hills, Franklin Bay

The smoking Hills in Canada’s Northwest Territories have been smoldering, sending plumes of gas across the landscape, for centuries. Technically sea cliffs, you would be forgiven for thinking that the multicolored fiery natural phenomenon is the set to an apocalyptic movie depicting the end of the world. The smoke is caused by layers of combustible, sulphur-rich lignite (brown coal) that ignites and emit sulphurous gas into the air, when exposed to erosion and landslides, which also creates a dazzling coloration of the rocks.

Accommodations

Sylvia Earle

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 23
At Sea

Continue the journey west, sailing through waters named after famous explorers such as Amundsen Beaufort. Keep a close watch for marine wildlife including beluga whales that are often seen here.

Accommodations

Sylvia Earle

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 24
Herschel

Lying 3.1 miles off the north coast of the Yukon in the Beaufort Sea, Herschel Island has a heritage of natural importance. Its dry polar climate is home to a unique number of arctic plants, animals and sea life. More than 100 other species of birds live or migrate here, and the western Arctic’s largest colony of black guillemots nest in Pauline Cove. The island is also a habitat for musk oxen, caribou, arctic and red foxes. Seals are often spotted on the sea ice, while bowhead and beluga whales frequent the waters. Apart from the dazzling wildlife and historic buildings found on the island, it is the stunning wildflowers, flourishing in the 24 hours of midnight sun daylight, that most visitors remember.

Accommodations

Sylvia Earle

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 25
Point Barrow, Alaska

Point Barrow, or Nuvuk in the local Inuit language, is a headland on the Arctic coast in the U.S. state of Alaska. It is the northernmost in the United States, and where we enter the country. The North Pole is only 1,122 nautical miles away. The area is home to the Inupiat, an Inuit tribe that have lived in the area for more than 1,500 years. Bowhead whales migrate through the region, so keep a close watch for a glimpse of them. A bowhead whale’s jawbone sits on the shore on the outskirts of Utqiagvik town (formerly known as Barrow), propped up in the form of an archway that faces the Chukchi Sea, symbolizing the important relationship between the Inupiat and the sea.

Accommodations

Sylvia Earle

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Days 26 - 28
At Sea

Continuing west along the northern coast of Alaska to where the U.S. and Russia are only 60 miles apart, separated by the Bering Sea, there is ample time to reflect on your adventures while scanning the water for marine life. Enjoy a massage in the wellness center, share, edit and submit pictures in the ship’s photo competition and attend final lectures from the team of onboard experts. Celebrate an unforgettable voyage at the Captain’s Farewell Dinner on board.

Accommodations

Sylvia Earle

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 29
Disembark Nome

In Nome, say farewell to the crew and expedition team after sharing a once-in-a-lifetime voyage together. Transfer to the airport for a charter flight to Anchorage, where you will stay overnight. A box lunch is provided upon disembarkation, and dinner is on the charter flight.

Accommodations

Hilton Hotel Anchorage (or similar)

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 30
Depart Anchorage, Alaska

Check out of your room and continue your journey home or in Anchorage.

Accommodations

n/a

Meals

breakfast

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Details
Inclusions, Terms & Notes

Included

All transfers mentioned in itinerary; one night’s hotel accommodation in Toronto on Day 1 (including breakfast on Day 2); welcome reception/pre-embarkation briefing on Day 1; charter flight from Toronto to Kangerlussuaq on Day 2; group transfer from the pier to airport on Day 29; charter flight from Nome to Anchorage on Day 29; one night’s hotel accommodation in Anchorage on Day 29; onboard accommodation during voyage including daily cabin service; all meals, snacks, tea and coffee during voyage; beer, house wine and soft drinks with dinner; Captain’s Welcome & Farewell reception including four-course dinner, house cocktails, house beer and wine, and non-alcoholic beverages; all shore excursions & Zodiac cruises; educational lectures and guiding services from expedition team; complimentary access to onboard expedition doctor and medical clinic (initial consult); a 3-in-1 waterproof polar expedition jacket; complimentary use of muck boots during the voyage; comprehensive pre-departure information; port surcharges, permits and landing fees; gratuities for ship’s crew.

Exclusions

International or domestic flights, unless specified in the itinerary; transfers not mentioned in the itinerary; airport arrival or departure taxes; passport, visa and vaccination charges; travel insurance, emergency evacuation charges or personal insurance (required); hotels and meals not included in itinerary; optional excursions not included in the itinerary; optional activity surcharges; all items of a personal nature including but not limited to: alcoholic beverages and soft drinks (outside of dinner service), laundry services, personal clothing, medical expenses, WiFi, email or phone charges, discretionary expedition team gratuities (USD cash only).

Payment & Cancellation

In order to confirm this trip, a nonrefundable deposit of $2,500 is required per person at time of booking (additional nonrefundable $250 deposit is required for optional activities). The balance of the trip price is due 90 days before the departure date. Special holiday payment and cancellation terms apply. Guests who must cancel their trip for any reason must do so in writing. Standard cancellations are subject to the following per-person penalties, based on number of days prior to departure:
91 days or more – 100% of deposit
90 to 0 days – 100% of total trip cost

Terms & Conditions

This trip is subject to AdventureSmith Explorations Terms and Conditions. Please read this information carefully and call us if you have any questions. A Traveler Information Form, which includes a release of liability, must be completed and signed by all travelers. Your Adventure Specialist will send you a unique link to complete this form along with a packing list and extensive pre-departure and travel insurance information upon booking confirmation.

Vaccination Requirement
To join this trip, all eligible guests must provide proof of being fully vaccinated (at least 14 days after your final COVID-19 vaccine shot), including a booster shot for those eligible. There may also be COVID-19 testing or other requirements to participate; your Adventure Specialist will provide details of current policies upon booking.

Arrival & Departure

The Complete Northwest Passage cruise begins in Toronto, Canada (YYZ), and ends in Anchorage, Alaska (ANC). Plan flights to arrive to Toronto any time on Day 1, but we highly recommend arriving one day prior to your trip start date in case of any flight delay, cancellation or lost luggage issues. An arrival by midday is ideal to have time to settle in and attend the welcome reception. Plan flights to depart Anchorage any time on Day 30. Airport shuttles are provided by the hotels for your arrival & departure. If you would like assistance with international flights, please visit our Booking Flights resource page.

Internal Flights

Two group charter flights are required on this trip’s itinerary and are included in the listed per-person cabin rates: 1) from Toronto to Kangerlussuaq 2) from Nome to Anchorage. All transfers between the airport and hotels for these charter flights are included. Luggage weight limits for the charter flights are 50lbs for a checked bag, carry-on bags must be under 10 inches by 18 inches by 22 inches (26 cm x 46 cm x 56 cm) with a max weight of 22lbs/10kg.

Activities

Birdwatching, walking, Zodiac cruising, photography tips, lectures, a polar plunge & all trips ashore are included in the rate. Add on kayaking ($1,590 in 2023) to join 20 like-minded paddlers (in small groups of 10 per guide) to fully experience nature at its wildest. The optional, added-cost, 90-minute helicopter ride in Ilulissiat requires a minimum of 8 people to operate. Please contact AdventureSmith for further details and to reserve space with your booking.

Room Configuration

Single travelers wishing to book a double-occupancy cabin may do so at a 50% supplement of the per-person listed rate in select cabins upon availability. Solo travelers willing to share may be matched with a person of the same gender, and if the other cabin berth goes unsold, will only pay the standard double-occupancy rate. 

Families & Children

Kids 8 years and older are welcomed aboard all departure dates. Children between 8-17 years of age must pay the adult price of the expedition.

Travel Insurance

A medical form for all travelers, signed by their doctor, is required for every departure. Comprehensive travel insurance is mandatory for this trip, with a minimum required coverage of $250,000 USD per person, covering medical, accident and repatriation/emergency evacuation, as well as baggage loss and cancellation or curtailment of holiday. In addition, we highly recommend our travelers protect their investment with travel insurance that includes trip cancellation and other benefits. Our partners at Travelex Insurance offer a variety of plans and policies to fit every trip and budget. Coverage for a pre-existing medical condition is also available if you purchase the Travel Select plan within 15 days of the initial trip payment; refer to plan details. Learn more about travel insurance or get a free quote.

Itinerary Notes

Read this itinerary as a guide only; the exact route and program varies according to ice, weather conditions, wildlife encountered and the captain’s discretion. Flexibility is the key to the success of any Arctic expedition.

Rates & Dates

Cruise Rates & Dates

Jul 27 - Aug 12, 2023
Sylvia Earle • 17 days
green western galapagos islands directional icon brown helicopter icon depicting flightseeing activity brown kayaking icon depicting offered kayaking activity
From $18895USD
Per Person
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Aug 10 - Aug 26, 2023
Sylvia Earle • 17 days
olive green eastern galapagos islands directional icon brown helicopter icon depicting flightseeing activity brown kayaking icon depicting offered kayaking activity
From $18895USD
Per Person
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Aug 24 - Sep 22, 2023
Sylvia Earle • 30 days
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From $35195USD
Per Person
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olive green eastern galapagos islands directional icon Eastbound
green western galapagos islands directional icon Westbound
small ship alternate itinerary icon with a grey background Alternative Itinerary
brown helicopter icon depicting flightseeing activity Helicopter Activity
brown kayaking icon depicting offered kayaking activity Kayaking
Accommodation

Learn All About the Small Ship on Your Itinerary

Expedition Ship
Sylvia Earle

Due to sail in December 2022, Sylvia Earle offers a robust menu of adventure activities from kayaking and polar diving to mountaineering and backcountry skiing and snowboarding. Cruise responsibly knowing this brand new icebreaker polar expedition ship was built with cutting edge nautical technology including one of the lowest polluting marine engines in the world.

Deal

Current Deals on This Trip

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Offer expires September 30th, 2022
Save Up to 20% Aboard Greg Mortimer & Sylvia Earle

For a limited time, save up to 20% on 2023 voyages in Europe and the Arctic aboard Greg Mortimer and Sylvia Earle.

Expert Review

Reviews From Our Experts So You Know What To Expect

Todd Smith • January 19th, 2021
Expert Aboard: Sylvia Earle & Greg Mortimer Ship Review

Read a detailed ship review about the identical polar sister ships Greg Mortimer & Sylvia Earle and what they offer travelers. Our expert has been aboard and writes this from his firsthand experience.

Book with the confidence that comes from experience.

100+ combined years of experience, 7 continents explored, decades of expedition cruising around the world & here to help you find & book your dream trip.

Extend Your Trip

Additional Travel Options Before or After Your Cruise

Book short, 3-day extension tours in conjunction with this expedition, with included hotels, tours and private transfers. Choose from: Taste of Calgary, to visit various sites of Calgary’s modern urban center including Stampede Park, Canada Olympic Park and Lougheed House. Taste of Anchorage, for a narrated sightseeing tour of the Port of Anchorage/Ship Creek area, Earthquake Park and Lake Hood (the busiest private seaplane base in the world) and a drive up into the Chugach Mountains.

Or, combine Canada’s most multicultural city and one of the great natural wonders of the world in the exciting 5-day Toronto & Niagara Falls Explorer. Discover Toronto’s urban diversity on a hop-on, hop-off city tour and traverse the wine-producing region of the Niagara Peninsula en route to the natural wonder of Niagara Falls. Explore the magnificent falls and many of Niagara Falls’ landmarks on a half-day sightseeing tour. Contact AdventureSmith for more details and to reserve space.

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8 - 9 Day Land Tour
Camp Denali Adventure

This premier Denali National Park base camp, in view of Denali, is located near Wonder Lake at the end of the 92-mile Denali Park Road and offers expert guided explorations and unique hikes.

From $5399USD
Jun Jul Aug Sep
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7 Day Land Tour
Within the Wild

The Within the Wild luxury Alaska adventure brings travelers into the Alaskan backcountry without sacrificing comfort. Enjoy remarkable helicopter- and floatplane-assisted adventures, hiking, sportfishing and a wellness program with massage and yoga.

From $15400USD
Jun Jul Aug Sep
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9 - 17 Day Cruise
The Northwest Passage

Explore a coveted route along the Canadian Arctic archipelago, on the 200-guest Ultramarine, with helicopter-assisted adventures on this 9- to 17-day voyage via Toronto.

Special Offer
From $7995USD
Aug Sep
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22 Day Cruise
Northwest Passage: Greenland to Alaska

Complete this epic 22-day voyage from Greenland, along Baffin Island and Canada's northern mainland coast, to Alaska. Board 126-guest National Geographic Endurance or Resolution, to follow in the footsteps of intrepid Arctic explorers.

Special Offer
From $34540USD
Jul Aug
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25 Day Cruise
Le Commandant Charcot Northwest Passage Cruises

Step aboard a luxury expedition ship to discover the most emblematic but also the most remote sites of the mythical Northwest Passage. Relive the polar adventures of previous generations of explorers at the heart of this vast labyrinth of icy channels, exploring the three main routes that allow the Northwest Passage to be crossed.

Special Offer
From $27310USD
Aug Sep Oct
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Northwest Passage Expedition

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