Out of the Northwest Passage: West to East

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Download Out of the Northwest Passage: West to East Detailed Itinerary

Day 0:

 

Day 1: Kugluktuk (Coppermine), Nunavut

Located at the mouth of the Coppermine River, Kugluktuk is the westernmost community in Nunavut. Known for many years as Coppermine, the community reverted to its original Inuinnaqtun name—meaning “place of moving waters”—on January 1st, 1996. Our charter flight will land in Kugluktuk and we will embark Ocean Endeavour by Zodiac.

Iqaluktuuttiaq (Cambridge Bay), NU is an alternate embarkation point, and may be used based on sea, ice and weather conditions.

 

Days 2 - 4: Kitikmeot Region

The Kitikmeot Region consists of parts of Victoria Island, the adjacent part of the mainland as far as the Boothia Peninsula, King William Island, and the southern portion of Prince of Wales Island. Recently, the Kitikmeot Region has been in the news since the finding of the lost ships of the Franklin Expedition in its waters. It is Nunavut’s least-populated region, though wildlife abounds here both in the sea and on land. We'll explore by Zodiac and on foot.

 

Day 5: Prince Regent Inlet

This passage marks an area rich in marine and avian life. Thick-billed Murres, Ivory Gulls, beluga, narwhal and bowhead whales reside in the ice-strewn waters. In addition to abundant wildlife, we’ll delve deeper into the exploration of the Northwest Passage and mercantile efforts of the Hudson's Bay Company.

 

Day 6: Beechey Island

In 1845, Sir John Franklin set out from England with HMS Erebus and HMS Terror, attempting to sail through the Northwest Passage. His crew overwintered at Beechey Island where three of his men died.

Numerous search parties later used Beechey as a depot and rendezvous. Amundsen,
Bernier, and Larsen visited Beechey. Thomas Morgan of HMS Investigator was buried there in 1854 alongside Franklin’s men. The graves and the ruins of Northumberland House are a haunting memorial.

 

Days 7 - 8: Tallurutiup Imanga (Lancaster Sound)

We will spend the day exploring Tallurutiup Imanga (Lancaster Sound), one of Canada's newest National Marine Conservation Areas.

Large populations of marine mammals, including narwhal, beluga, and bowhead whales transit and feed in this area. There is a great selection of landing sites available to choose from, depending on weather, wildlife, and sea conditions.

 

Day 9: Aujuittuq (Grise Fiord)

Aujuittuq means ‘place that never thaws. 1,150 kilometres above the Arctic Circle, Canada’s northernmost “civilian” community originated in the Cold War; in 1953, Inuit were relocated to Aujuittuq to boost Canadian sovereignty.

We’ll be welcomed into the hamlet, where we will have a chance to meet members of the community, learn about their way of life, and hear their poignant stories.

 

Days 10 - 11: Smith Sound

Smith Sound, an ancient Inuit travel route, divides Ellesmere Island from Greenland, and served as the main route for explorers and adventurers searching for the North Pole. Adolphus Greely, Sir George Nares and Elisha Kent Kane all travelled these waters with varying degrees of success.

 

Day 12: At Sea

On this exploration day, we’ll be making the most of what the wind, weather and wildlife have to offer. Our expedition staff will scan for polar bears, walrus, whales, seals, and seabirds as we go.

 

Days 13 - 14: Northwest Greenland

We will explore stunning fjords that line the coast. Glaciers and icebergs abound here. In true expedition style, we will seek opportunities to hike, explore, and view wildlife as conditions allow.

 

Day 15: Ilulissat

Ilulissat translates literally into “iceberg”, an apt name for this site at the mouth of the Ilulissat Icefjord—a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The icefjord is the outlet of the Sermeq Kujalleq Glacier, source of many of the icebergs in the North Atlantic.

Here, we will cruise in Zodiacs to appreciate the icebergs. And we’ll visit the bustling town of Ilulissat, with its museums, cafes, craft shops, and busy fishing harbour.

 

Day 16: Itilleq Fjord

The west Greenland coastline is a rich mixture of islands and complex coastal waterways. As we enter the Arctic autumn, the tundra foliage will be in gorgeous colour. We will be making an expedition stop here to explore the landscape of wild Greenland.

 

Day 17: Kangerlussuaq, Greenland

Sondre Stromfjord is one of the longest fjords in the world and boasts 168 kilometres of superb scenery. We end our adventure by sailing up this dramatic fjord.

Kangerlussuaq, the town at its eastern head, is a former US Air Force base and Greenland’s primary flight hub. Here we will disembark Ocean Endeavour for our return charter flight to Toronto, ON.

 
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