Classic Northwest Passage

Ioffe Cruise Ship
Ioffe
96 Passengers
Adventure Options

This iconic voyage explores Canada's remote Northwest Passage and the stunning fjords of the Baffin Island coastline. We enjoy excellent wildlife encounters, Inuit community visits, exciting navigation, hikes on shore and superb photographic opportunities along the way.

We follow in the footsteps of the early Arctic explorers such as Franklin, Amundsen and Larsen, exploring the archipelago of islands and channels that create Canada’s high Arctic region. This is the home of the polar bear, muskox, caribou and walrus and we journey through the wild Canadian north aboard our celebrated ice-rated expedition ship.

Wildlife is a major draw card of our expedition, but there is plenty of historical interest and the stories of that ill-fated expedition by Sir John Franklin nearly 170 years ago is central to our voyage. Franklin made his last heroic foray into the Arctic in 1845 with two ships and 129 men, never to be heard from again. The fate of the expedition remained a mystery – until September 2014 – when one of the vessels, HMS Erebus, was discovered in a remarkable state of preservation in the frigid waters of the Victoria Strait.

The find is undoubtedly one of the great archaeological discoveries of the last 100 years and has been likened to the discovery of Tutankhamen’s tomb. This is small ship expedition cruising at its best.

Brief Itinerary

Day 1 Edmonton (Alberta) to Cambridge Bay (Nunavut)
Day 2 Victory Point, King William Island
Day 3 Coningham Bay
Day 4 Bellot Strait and Fort Ross
Day 5 Beechey Island
Day 6 Lancaster Sound and Dundas Harbor
Day 7 Mittimatalik (Pond Inlet)
Day 8 Gibbs Fjord
Day 9 Isabella Fjord
Day 10 Sunshine Fjord
Day 11 Pangnirtung
Day 12 Monumental Island
Day 13 Iqaluit – Disembark – return flight to Ottawa

 

Day 1 — Edmonton (Alberta) to Cambridge Bay (Nunavut)

We depart Edmonton this morning on our special charter flight to Cambridge Bay. Today this is a center for hunting, trapping and fishing. Upon arrival, enjoy a walking tour of the town and board our expedition ship in the afternoon. After settling in to our cabins and exploring the ship, we meet our expedition team and fellow passengers. Excitement is in the air as we enjoy a welcome cocktail and cast off, bound for the fabled Northwest Passage.

Day 2 — Victory Point, King William Island

As we chart a course into the Northwest Passage, our onboard presentation series begins, and the legend of Sir John Franklin and his ‘lost expedition’ begins to unravel. The mystery of what happened to Franklin was partially solved in September 2014, when a joint Parks Canada and Royal Canadian Geographical Society expedition, found the long lost Franklin shipwreck, HMS Erebus in the Victoria Strait. Our Expeditions played a pivotal role in the search by carrying underwater search equipment on our ship as well as scientists, historians, researchers, dignitaries and sponsors of this history-defining mission. We aim to visit Victory Point, traveling very near the actual location of the wreck of HMS Erebus, all the while learning about the quest for exploration that eventually opened up the Arctic.

Just two years later, in 2016, the wreck of Franklin's second ship, HMS Terror was located less than fifty miles from HMS Erebus - so ending one of marine archaeology's most enduring mysteries. Yet the discovery of the two ships leaves us with many unanswered questions as to the fate of Franklin and his men. The story continues to unravel.

Day 3 — Coningham Bay

This morning we arrive at Coningham Bay on the shore of Prince of Wales Island. Here, in the heart of the Northwest Passage we hope to encounter one of the most remarkable wildlife sites in the Arctic. This is a known hotspot for polar bears who come here to feast on Beluga whales, often caught in the rocky shallows at the entrance to the bay during low tide. It is not unusual to find the shoreline littered with whale skeletons – and very healthy looking polar bears!

Day 4 — Bellot Strait and Fort Ross

Today we transit the narrow passage of Bellot Strait – a channel separating northerly Somerset Island from continental North America. The aim is to enter at slack tide if possible, in order to avoid a current that roars through the passage at more than seven knots during the peak flow. The mixing of waters in this strait provides an abundant food source for marine mammals and we keep our eyes peeled for harp seals, bearded seals and even polar bears. The skill of the captain, officers and capabilities of the ship becomes apparent during this exciting day of Arctic navigation. The historic site of Fort Ross, located at the southern end of Somerset Island, is a former Hudson’s Bay Company fur trading outpost. Fascinating archaeological sites nearby tell a story of more than a thousand years of habitation by the Inuit and their predecessors.

Day 5 — Beechey Island

Beechey Island holds great historic importance on our journey through the Northwest Passage. It is here that Sir John Franklin’s ill-fated expedition spent its last ‘comfortable’ winter in 1845 before disappearing into the icy vastness, sparking an incredible series of search expeditions that last almost three decades. A trip ashore at Beechey Island to visit the grave markers on a remote windswept beach, gives one pause to wonder on the bravery (or foolhardiness) of these pioneering explorers, as they sought a way through the barren, frozen landscape. This is a thrilling location for history buffs and for many it will be the defining moment of our expedition.

Day 6 — Lancaster Sound and Dundas Harbor

We are now at almost 75° degrees north of latitude. Cruising the coastline of Devon Island, we are now in the waters of Lancaster Sound – a rich, bio-diverse region often referred to as the wildlife ‘super highway’ of the Arctic. These massive volumes of water from Baffin Bay to the east, Beaufort Sea to the west, and from the archipelago of islands to the north, combine to make a rich cocktail of nutrients supporting an abundance of Arctic wildlife. We plan on visiting the old Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) outpost at Dundas Harbor, situated on the southern shores of Devon Island.

Day 7 — Mittimatalik (Pond Inlet)

Having navigated Lancaster Sound, we sight the spectacular north coast of Baffin Island and navigate through Navy Board Inlet. The epic landscapes of Sirmilik National Park surround us as we approach the remote Inuit community of Mittimatalik (Pond Inlet). We are welcomed ashore and a highlight will be a visit to the Natinnak Center, where a fascinating cultural exhibit showcases aspects of daily life, culture and history of the people of the North. Inuit carvings, jewelry and other traditional craft is on display and purchasing such items from the local artisans is a great way to support the local community.

Day 8 — Gibbs Fjord

This morning we enter the spectacular Gibbs Fjord with towering cliffs all around us. Our expedition ship will seem dwarfed by the giant peaks and snowy glaciers as we cruise slowly along the dark waters. One recent guest was heard to comment that Gibbs Fjord 'was like something out of Lord of the Rings' – and we think you’ll agree!

Day 9 — Isabella Fjord

Isabella Bay (Niginaniq) is an important summer habitat and feeding area for endangered bowhead whales. These remarkable marine mammals are able to break sea ice with the crown of their head. The area also includes a shallow shelf at the entrance to the bay that provides protection for bowheads from predatory orca whales. Polar bears, ringed seals, Canada geese, snow geese and narwhal are also found in and around the area.

Day 10 — Sunshine Fjord

Sunshine Fjord straddles the Arctic Circle. This location offers terrific hiking opportunities and we have a number of great routes in mind. You may wish to take the extended hike, gaining some real elevation and offering wonderful views of our surroundings. Or choose to take the less strenuous option along the shoreline. The sheltered waters of the fjord provide the kayakers with great conditions for paddling.

Day 11 — Pangnirtung

Nestled in the heart of Cumberland Sound and the gateway to Auyuittuq National Park, Pangnirtung is beautifully situated between the mountains and the sea. This remote town is known for its arts and crafts and a visit to the local art gallery is a highlight. In addition, the Angmarlik Visitor Center has a wonderful interpretive display featuring the lifestyle of the Thule and of the modern Inuit.

Day 12 — Monumental Island

Situated in the Davis Strait, the rocky dome of Monumental Island can be seen from a distance. We explore by Zodiac along the rocky shoreline and hope to encounter polar bears in this vicinity. In good weather a complete circumnavigation of the island in the Zodaics is possible. We often encounter large icebergs drifting southward towards Labrador and Newfoundland on the currents of the Davis Strait. As we near the end of our journey we enjoy an entertaining voyage recap from the expedition leader. This evening we celebrate with a special dinner attended by the captain of the ship and reflect on our voyage across the top of the remote Canadian Arctic.

Day 13 — Iqaluit – Disembark – return flight to Ottawa

By morning we are anchored off the beach from Iqaluit – the largest community on Baffin Island. We say goodbye to our crew and make our way ashore on our final Zodiac ride. We are transferred to the airport and board our scheduled flight to Ottawa. On arrival in Ottawa our journey comes to an end. A transfer is provided to a downtown location.

Note: Polar exploration can be unpredictable. Specific sites visited will depend on prevailing weather and ice conditions at the time of sailing. The above itinerary should be read as a ‘guide only’ and may change. The ship’s captain in conjunction with the expedition leader continually review the sailing plan throughout the voyage, making adjustments to the itinerary along the way to take advantage of optimal weather and ice conditions or to maximize our encounters with wildlife. Decades of experience spent exploring these waterways mean we have a large number of outstanding landing sites and Zodiac cruising locations to consider, even when the weather conditions may not be ideal. A flexible approach is something we encourage you to bring to the ship.

* Itinerary may be subject to change

Only show rates under
$ X
Please note that availability is updated about once a week.
Per Person USD
Rates Arctic 2018
Main Deck Triple
Twin Semi-Private
Twin Private
Superior
Shackleton Suite
One Ocean Suite
Charter
Air
Kayak
Kayaking Free on this Voyage
$3,395 $4,395Full$5,695Full$6,395Full$7,795Full$9,395Full 
Kayak
Kayaking Free on this Voyage
$3,395Full$4,395Limited$5,695Full$6,395Full$7,795Full$9,395  
Kayak
Charter Air: Iqaluit/Ottawa

Note: An additional 5% Canadian GST will be assessed on all associated trip costs.
$3,695 $4,695Limited$6,295Full$6,795Full$8,295Full$9,895Full$995 
Kayak
Charter Air: Ottawa/Iqaluit & Resolute/Edmonton

Note: An additional 5% Canadian GST will be assessed on all associated trip costs.
$7,295 $8,295Limited$9,895Full$10,395Limited$11,895Full$13,495Full$1,995 
Kayak
Charter Air: Edmonton/Resolute/Edmonton

Note: An additional 5% Canadian GST will be assessed on all associated trip costs.
$6,795 $7,795Limited$9,395Limited$10,095Full$11,395Full$12,995 $1,995 
Kayak
Charter Air: Edmonton/Resolute & Cambridge Bay/Edmonton

Note: An additional 5% Canadian GST will be assessed on all associated trip costs.
$6,795Full$7,795Full$9,395Full$10,095Full$11,395Full$12,995Full$1,995 
Kayak
Charter Air: Edmonton/Cambridge Bay & Iqaluit/Ottawa

Note: An additional 5% Canadian GST will be assessed on all associated trip costs.
$9,595Full$11,395Full$13,695Full$14,695Full$16,095Full$17,095Full$1,995 
No trips meet your criteria. Please increase the budget above to view more results.
Click on the tour dates in the left column to view a trip itinerary. Point MOUSE at Cabin Category to view DETAILED description.

A 5% GST tax applies to all travel on the domestic Canadian voyages and will be calculated on the full voyage cost including charter flights, hotel, and kayaking. 

Rates are per person, based on twin-share. Single Supplement for twin cabins is 1.5 times the twin rate & single supplement for suites is double the suite rate.

All cabins are smoke-free. Smoking is only permitted in designated areas.
Trip cost does not include Mandatory Charter Flights listed in pricing chart.
Airfare to/from destination is not included.

Kayaking option available for $695 per person. Kayaking is complimentary on 'Canada's East Coast' departures.
Adventure options must be pre-booked and paid for prior to start of the trip. Space is subject to availability. Some activities require experience.

All trips subject to possible fuel surcharge.
Mandatory Emergency Evacuation insurance is required on all trips.

Only show rates under
$ X
Please note that availability is updated about once a week.
Per Person USD
Rates Arctic 2019
Main Deck Triple
Twin Semi-Private
Twin Private
Superior
Shackleton Suite
One Ocean Suite
Charter
Air
Kayak
Special: $150 Shipboard Credit & Pre-Voyage Hotel Night.
$3,595 $4,595 $5,895 $6,695 $7,795 $9,295  
Kayak
Charter Air: Iqaluit/Ottawa

Special: $150 Shipboard Credit & Pre-Voyage Hotel Night.
$3,895 $4,895 $6,295 $7,095 $8,295 $10,095 $995 
Kayak
Charter Air: Ottawa/Iqaluit & Resolute/Edmonton

Save $1,000 (Prices in Red)
Expires Jun 30th 2018
$7,895$6,895$8,995$7,995$10,895$9,895$11,795$10,795$13,495$12,495$15,495$14,495$1,995 
Kayak
Charter Air: Edmonton/Resolute/Edmonton

Save $1,000 (Prices in Red)
Expires Jun 30th 2018
$7,095$6,095$8,095$7,095$9,595$8,595$10,695$9,695$12,195$11,195$13,895$12,895$1,995 
Kayak
Charter Air: Edmonton/Resolute & Cambridge Bay/Edmonton

Save $1,000 (Prices in Red)
Expires Jun 30th 2018
$7,095$6,095$8,095$7,095Limited$9,595$8,595Limited$10,695$9,695Limited$12,195$11,195$13,895$12,895$1,995 
Kayak
Charter Air: Edmonton/Cambridge Bay & Iqaluit/Ottawa

Save $1,000 (Prices in Red)
Expires Jun 30th 2018
$9,995$8,995$11,795$10,795$13,995$12,995$15,295$14,295$16,795$15,795$18,695$17,695$1,995 
No trips meet your criteria. Please increase the budget above to view more results.
Click on the tour dates in the left column to view a trip itinerary. Point MOUSE at Cabin Category to view DETAILED description.

A 5% GST tax applies to all travel on the domestic Canadian voyages and will be calculated on the full voyage cost including charter flights, hotel, and kayaking. 

Rates are per person, based on twin-share. Single Supplement for twin cabins is 1.5 times the twin rate & single supplement for suites is double the suite rate.

In the Canadian Arctic, charter flights are required to get to the start and finish points of the voyage. Ottawa is the gateway for Iqaluit (Baffin Island). Edmonton is the gateway for Cambridge Bay and Resolute (Nunavut).

All cabins are smoke-free. Smoking is only permitted in designated areas.
Trip cost does not include Mandatory Charter Flights listed in pricing chart.
Airfare to/from destination is not included.

Kayaking option available for $695 per person. Kayaking is complimentary on 'Canada’s East Coast – Fins and Fiddles' departures.
Adventure options must be pre-booked and paid for prior to start of the trip. Space is subject to availability. Some activities require experience.

All trips subject to possible fuel surcharge.
Mandatory Emergency Evacuation insurance is required on all trips.

DeckPlan_Ioffe_b

   One Ocean Suite
Located on deck 5 this cabin is separated into two very spacious rooms. A spacious lounge area is perfect for relaxation and features a sofa (convertible to bed), large table, writing desk, ample storage, plus large picture windows overlooking the bow (forward facing) that can be opened. The separate bedroom features a double bed with upgraded linen/ pillows, night light, and window over the port side of the ship. The bathroom has a bathtub and shower. There is also a region specific iPad, mini stereo, capsule coffee maker, fully stocked mini bar, iPod alarm clock with audio line and several arms chairs.
   Shackleton Suites
Located on decks 4 and 5 these cabins are separated into two spacious rooms, one that is ideal for relaxation with a sofa (convertible to bed), large table, writing desk, chair, ample storage and a large window that can be opened. A separate private bedroom has a double berth with upgraded linen/pillows, night light, private facilities, a region specific iPad, mini stereo, capsule coffee maker, fully stocked mini bar, iPod alarm clock with audio line.
   Superior Cabins
These very large cabins are located on deck 6, and feature two lower berths, a loveseat, writing desk and chair, ample storage and private washroom facilities. All cabins have a window that can be opened. These cabins provide great access to the outer observation decks and ship’s bridge.
   Twin Private Cabins
Located on decks 4 and 5 these spacious, well-appointed cabins feature two lower berths, with private washroom facilities (sink, shower, toilet and bathroom cabinet). There are tall wardrobes with internal shelving for storage, a writing desk, chair, bookshelf, and a window that can be opened.
   Twin Semi-Private Cabins
Located on deck 4 these cabins have two lower berths, one of which can be converted to a sofa during the day. These cabins have tall wardrobes with internal shelving for storage, a writing desk, chair, bookshelf, and a window that can be opened. Facilities are semi-private – meaning you share the washroom with the adjacent cabin.
   Main Deck Triple Cabins
Located on deck 3 these cabins feature two lower berths and one upper berth. One lower berth can be converted to a comfortable sofa during the day. Washroom facilities are shared. There is a washbasin in the cabin, a writing desk and chair and ample storage for all cabin occupants. These cabins are efficient and well-appointed with two portholes with the option to open one.

 

Cabin and Voyage Inclusions            
Outside View With Opening Porthole/Window
Complimentary use of Wet Weather Gear
Complimentary use of Wellington Boots
Complimentary use of Waterproof Backpack and Binoculars
Innovative Dream Sleep Package
100% Cotton Bathrobes
Custom Blend Natural Canadian Made Essential Oil Amenities
Custom Color Coordinated Canadian Made Linen Package
Black Out Curtains
Clock Radio with Media Connector
Desk with Chair
Complimentary Water Bottle
In-Room Coffee & Tea Station
In-Room Private Field Guide    
In-Room Private Reference Library      
In-Room Mini Bar        
In-Room iPad Preloaded With Reference And Fictional Content        
In-Room Single Brew Coffee System        
In-Room Mini Stereo        
Complimentary Welcome Package (Wine, Fruit Basket, Natural Snacks)        
Complimentary Field Guide to the High Arctic        
Early Morning Adventure Concierge Coffee Service