Arctic Express Canada: The Heart of the Northwest Passage

Ultramarine Premium Expedition Cruise Ship
Ultramarine
200 Passengers
Starting Summer 2021

The quest for trade routes to the Far East inspired much of the age of exploration of North America, with the promise of the Northwest Passage its elusive jewel. Discover the great sea route at the top of the world—that obsessed explorers for centuries. Immerse yourself in the full Arctic experience while getting back home a week and a half later.

Nature and wildlife are the guides on this voyage as you explore the region’s diverse treasures. The Arctic’s stark beauty offers an unforgettable backdrop, while the expeditions team provides the knowledge and insight to help you connect with the region’s unique history and geography. Ultramarine’s two twin-engine helicopters, 20-quick-launching Zodiacs and extensive mix of on-ship amenities and off-ship adventure options will deliver an unrivaled Arctic experience.

Highlights
• Follow the footsteps of polar explorers and experience highlights of the Canadian Arctic
• Search for iconic Arctic wildlife such as polar bears and muskox
• Enjoy flightseeing and heli landings with Ultramarine’s two onboard helicopters
• Cruise in a Zodiac to get up close to glaciers, fjords, icebergs and more
• Learn about the environment and wildlife from our onboard polar experts

Brief Itinerary

Day 1 Arrive in Toronto, Canada
Day 2 Fly to Resolute and Embark
Days 3 to 7 Exploring Canada’s High Arctic
Day 8 Disembark in Resolute, Canada & fly to Toronto
Day 9 Depart Toronto

Day 1 — Arrive in Toronto, Canada

Your Arctic expedition begins in Toronto. Explore this vibrant city on your own before spending the night at your well-appointed hotel.

Day 2 — Fly to Resolute and Embark

This morning, board your charter flight to Resolute. Upon arrival, you may have a chance to check out some of the town’s sites before being transferred to your ship via Zodiac or helicopter (depending on ship location and weather conditions).

Days 3 to 7 — Exploring Canada’s High Arctic

Winding your way around the remote islands of the Canadian High Arctic aboard Ultramarine, you’ll navigate the same icy inlets, channels and bays that fascinated legendary explorers of long ago as they searched for the fabled Northwest Passage, the great sea route at the top of the world. Designed to give polar adventurers unprecedented access to the hardest-to-reach places, Ultramarine's two helicopters will take you beyond the familiar in polar exploration. Throughout your journey, your expedition team will work hard to give you a taste of the best the Arctic has to offer, immersing you in the heart of the Northwest Passage in under a week.

Remember that no two polar voyages are alike, since each expedition presents new opportunities and different weather and ice conditions. While this voyage has no fixed itinerary, our objective is to visit as many of the incredible highlights this season has to offer. Each day, your highly skilled expedition team will read the conditions and choose the best course to set. While each visit brings something new to discover, our expeditions will have some elements in common, including daily Zodiac cruising, land excursions, a robust education program, a community visit and wildlife viewing opportunities. Conditions permitting, you’ll enjoy ultra-immersive activities like flightseeing (short sightseeing flights around your ship and surrounding areas) and heli-landings (flying to places we could not otherwise access for shore excursions).

While this waterway is known to European cultures as the Northwest Passage, this area has nurtured and sustained the Inuit and their predecessors who have called these shores home for almost 5,000 years. Moving through these remote landscapes you will be traveling through the ancestral homelands of this ancient culture, illuminated in person by Inuit guides onboard and ashore. Nunavut is an Inuktitut word meaning “our land” and the Nunavummiut (the people of Nunavut) are renowned for their incredible resourcefulness, hospitality, good humor, and a deep knowledge of the land and animals that has allowed them to thrive in the far north for millennia.

Remote and rich in history, the Canadian High Arctic is as awe inspiring as it is informative. Your days spent exploring this mysterious region will have you traveling back in time to the Age of Exploration. While following in the footsteps of famous explorers like Sir John Franklin and Roald Amundsen, you’ll navigate the waters and visit the historic sites in the area around Lancaster Sound that were key to the discovery of the Northwest Passage. You’ll also learn about the scientific, cultural, geopolitical and environmental aspects of the route from our world-class experts, guides and the local communities. Reaching remote lands that have lured adventurers for centuries and few have ever set foot on will be an experience you’ll never forget.

Wildlife sightings are almost guaranteed, as many of the areas we hope to explore are home to a surprising number of birds and mammals that thrive in this challenging environment. You’ll likely see polar bears, muskoxen and several bird species, such as gyrfalcons and dovekies (little auks). If you’re lucky, you may even spot the elusive narwhal or arctic wolf, though sightings of these iconic creatures in the wild are rare, even in places where we have the highest chances of encountering them.

Coburg Island, for instance, is a wildlife reserve for such birds as snowy owls and peregrine falcons, while the impressive vertical cliffs of Prince Leopold Island are dotted with nesting seabirds like northern fulmars and black guillemots. The sheltered shores and steep cliffs of Arctic Bay, a hamlet located off of Admiralty Inlet, provide an ideal nesting habitat for various High Arctic birds such as snow geese, thick-billed murres (Brünnich’s guillemots) and kittiwakes. Occupied by Inuit nomads for almost 5,000 years, this traditional community is also an ideal spot to go ashore and learn more about the Inuit culture, sampling the local cuisine and mingling with artists, perhaps picking up carvings or other handicrafts as a memento of your polar adventure.

Devon Island is another possible locale for wildlife encounters, as walrus, polar bears and muskoxen inhabit the area, which is also the location of the remains of a Royal Canadian Mounted Police outpost, established at Dundas Harbor in 1924 to curb foreign whaling and other activities. Nearby is a small cemetery, one of Canada’s most northerly, still maintained by the RCMP to this day. Another exciting excursion your expedition team might offer, conditions permitting, is the opportunity to fly up to explore the Devon ice cap, one of the largest in the Canadian Arctic.

At the western end of Devon Island, windswept Beechey Island might be small, but it’s steeped in history, as its flat beach and safe anchorage made a suitable stopover for Arctic expeditions. You’ll want to pay your respects to the ill-fated Franklin expedition of 1845–46 at the small marked graves of three crew members on the island, one of Canada’s most significant Arctic sites. This is also where Norwegian Roald Amundsen stopped to pay his own respects to his childhood hero, Franklin, during his 1903–06 voyage, which became the first successful transit of the Northwest Passage in history.

History buffs will be further intrigued by the chance to explore an abandoned Hudson’s Bay Company trading post at Fort Ross, at the southern end of Somerset Island.

Nearby is the Bellot Strait. One of the goals of this expedition is to transit this famous channel, one of the most narrow and challenging of the passage. If we’re successful, at the midpoint you’ll sail past Zenith Point, the northernmost point of continental North America. Named for Frenchman Joseph Bellot, one of several explorers who set out in the 1850s to search for Franklin’s doomed expedition, the strait separates Somerset Island from the Boothia Peninsula on mainland Canada. (On Beechey Island, you can visit the memorial to Bellot, who disappeared during his search for Franklin.)

Those looking for even more excitement may have the opportunity to cruise by Zodiac along the face of an active glacier near Croker Bay, Devon Island and possibly even witness the wonders of calving ice, at a safe distance. Listen closely for the steady crackle and loud roars as pieces of ice break off and crash into the water below. You’ll also want to be on the lookout for the walrus that are often seen in the area.

There is no shortage of natural beauty, wildlife and history in Canada’s High Arctic. Each day, you’ll discover something new and inspiring, whether it is admiration of the tundra flora to survive the rugged environment, a rare bird species soaring overhead, a polar bear on the hunt in its natural habitat, or the remains of a century-old hut.

Day 8 — Disembark in Resolute, Canada & fly to Toronto

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

Day 9 — Depart Toronto

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

Important reminder: Embracing the unexpected is part of the legacy—and excitement—of expedition travel. When traveling in extremely remote regions, your expedition staff must allow the sea, the ice and the weather to guide route and itinerary details. This itinerary is a tentative outline of what you’ll experience on this voyage; please be aware that no specific itinerary can be guaranteed.

* Itinerary may be subject to change

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Rates Arctic 2021
Solo Panorama
Explorer Triple
Explorer Suite
Balcony Suite
Deluxe Balcony Suite
Terrace Suite
Penthouse Suite
Owner's Suite
Ultra Suite
Charter
Air
Kayak
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Kayak
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Kayak
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Photography, Kayak
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Kayak
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Kayak
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Click on the tour dates in the left column to view a trip itinerary. Point MOUSE at Cabin Category to view DETAILED description.

Gratuities & wine/beer with dinner included onboard.

Cruise Price does not include international airfare.  Rates are per person based on double occupancy.

Single cabin prices are 1.7 times the cost in Explorer Categories and 2x the cost in all other Suite categories. If you are a solo traveler requesting to share a cabin, note that shared cabins are only available in the Explorer category.

Adventure Options: Kayaking - $695pp (for those who want to kayak during entire voyage & have previous experience) OR Paddling - $195 pp (for those w/o experience who want to kayak one time during the voyage). Kayaking spaces are limited and must be pre-booked & paid, subject to availability at the time requested.

Included adventure activities:
Paddling (7/10/21, 7/17/21 & 7/24/21)
Flightseeing (all departures 6/25/21 to 8/31/21)
Heli-Landing (6/25/21 + all departures 8/2/21 to 8/31/21)
Heli-Hiking (7/10/21, 7/17/21 & 7/24/21)
Ice Sheet Experience (7/10/21, 7/17/21 & 7/24/21)
Additional paid activities:
Alpine Kayaking $595: (7/10/21, 7/17/21 & 7/24/21)
Mountain Biking $595: (7/10/21, 7/17/21 & 7/24/21)
Greenland Camp Experience $795 (7/10/21, 7/17/21 & 7/24/21)

Snowshoeing & Hiking – Included and no pre-booking required.

All trips subject to possible fuel surcharge.

DeckPlan_Ultramarine

    Ultra Suite
Located on Deck 6, this suite is perfect for guests who want to travel without compromise. Our largest and most luxurious suite features the most sleeping, entertainment and storage space onboard the ship. It is perfect for families or travelers who want all the comforts of home onboard the ship.
Features: one double or two single beds in a private bedroom with walk-in closet, sitting area with sofa bed and additional walk-in hallway closet, private balcony, desk, refrigerator, TV, private bathroom with shower, bathtub and heated floors and separate powder room.

563 sq ft / 52.3 m² + 46 sq ft / 4.3 m² Balcony
    Owner's Suite
Located on Deck 6, this suite is perfect for guests who want it all. A large, luxurious suite featuring a private bedroom, full bathroom, powder room, and two separate living spaces. This suite is perfect for families or couples who want all the comforts of home onboard the ship.
Features: one double or two single beds in a private bedroom with walk-in closet, sitting area with sofa bed and additional closet, private balcony, desk, refrigerator, TV, private bathroom with shower, bathtub and heated floors and separate powder room.

446 sq ft / 41.4 m² + 46 sq ft / 4.3 m² Balcony
  Penthouse Suite
The only suite category to be located on Deck 7, these suites are perfect for guests wanting to wake up to unobstructed polar views from the warmth and comfort of their bed onboard the ship. These suites offer the best of everything—views, spacious interiors, full bathrooms and generous balcony sizes—as well as easy access to the wellness center.
Features: one double or two single beds, sitting area with sofa bed, private balcony, desk, refrigerator, TV, private bathroom with shower, bathtub and heated floors.

369 sq ft / 34.3 m² + 67 sq ft / 6.2 m² Balcony
  Terrace Suite
Located on Deck 6, these suites are perfect for guests wanting generous interiors with a wide layout and the largest balconies on the ship. Centrally located, guests will enjoy minimal movement and motion from the comfort of these suites.
Features: one double or two single beds, sitting area with sofa bed, private extra-wide balcony, desk, refrigerator, TV, private bathroom with shower, bathtub and heated floors.

350 sq ft / 32.5 m² + 100 sq ft / 9.3 m² Balcony
  Deluxe Balcony Suite
Located on Decks 4 and 6, these suites are perfect for guests wanting a larger living space, full bathroom, and a substantial balcony. Deluxe Balcony Suites are the first suite type to offer additional privacy in the bathroom with an enclosed toilet, a full bath and shower to make it easier for guests to get ready together in the morning.
Features: one double or two single beds, sitting area with sofa bed, private balcony, desk, refrigerator, TV, private bathroom with shower, bathtub and heated floors.

299 sq ft / 27.8 m² + 70 sq ft / 6.5 m² Balcony
  Balcony Suite
Located on Decks 4 and 6, these entry-level balcony suites are one of the largest available on a ship of this class. These suites are perfect for guests who are looking for both indoor and outdoor living spaces. There are four connecting suites in this category, making this an excellent option for families or groups wanting to stay connected to each other during their expedition.
Features: one double or two single beds, sitting area with sofa bed, private balcony, desk, refrigerator, TV, private bathroom with shower and heated floors.

226 sq ft / 21 m² + 52 sq ft / 4.8 m² Balcony
  Explorer Suite
Located on Deck 3, these suites are perfect for people traveling together or solo guests looking to share with like-minded individuals. These suites maximizes interior living space while still offering guests the opportunity to stay connected to the outdoors. Our entry-level twin suites are the largest available on a ship of this class.
Features: one double or two single beds, sitting area with sofa bed, picture window, desk, refrigerator, TV, private bathroom with shower and heated floors.

285 sq ft / 26.5 m²
  Explorer Triple
Located on Deck 3, these suite are perfect for guests traveling solo who want to share their experience with other like-minded travelers of the same gender, or for groups of three traveling together. Featuring three separate single beds, and amenities for each of the three guests.
Features: three single beds (two of which can be combined into a double bed), sitting area, picture window, desk, refrigerator, TV, private bathroom with shower and heated floors.

285 sq ft / 26.5 m²
  Solo Panorama
Located on Deck 6, these suites are perfect for solo guests who appreciate privacy and want to wake up to sweeping views from the comfort of their bed. These are the only solo suites with floor-to-ceiling windows available onboard any ship in its class.
Features: single bed, floor-to-ceiling window, desk, refrigerator, TV, private bathroom with shower and heated floors.

132 sq ft / 12.3 m²