The Northwest Passage remains one of the world’s last true frontiers, and this expedition takes you to its heart. In Canada’s vast northern wilderness, wildlife roams free and the great geological forces shaping our planet reveal themselves to the wondering eye. The recent finding of Franklin’s ships, HMS Erebus and HMS Terror reminds us that we sail into history, legend, and myth that continues today!
Nunavut’s communities offer a warm welcome, blending the traditional and the contemporary in unique and compelling ways. Making our way north to Smith Sound, we enter the realm still defined by ice: towering icebergs, vast glaciers, and the last redoubt of the great northern pack. Greenland offers geology, geography, and culture with a European flair.
Please note: your voyage rates do not include commercial and charter flight costs.
• Experience the northern lights in all their majesty
• Cruise the Ilulissat Icefjord, a unesco World Heritage Site—home to the world's fastest-moving glacier
• Visit the historic graves of the ill-fated Franklin Expedition
• Make the most of excellent opportunities to encounter whales and polar bears
• Enjoy visits to vibrant Inuit communities
• Travel the route that has enchanted explorers for centuries
This itinerary is also available in reverse. Click here for additional dates.
Located at the mouth of the Coppermine River, southwest of Victoria Island on the Coronation Gulf, Kugluktuk is the westernmost community in Nunavut. Coppermine reverted to its original Inuinnaqtun name—Kugluktuk, meaning “place of moving waters”—on January 1st, 1996. The Coppermine River itself is designated a Canadian Heritage River for the important role it played as an exploration and fur trade route. Copper deposits along the river attracted the first explorers to the area.
Upon arrival on our charter flight to Kugluktuk, we embark the Ocean Endeavour.
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. Its regional seat is Iqaluktuuttiaq (Cambridge Bay), though it also contains five other hamlets (including Uqsuqtuuq and Kugluktuk). 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.
As we head north up Peel Sound, we get into serious polar bear country and will be on the lookout for good spotting opportunities. Parry Channel is named after Arctic explorer William Edward Parry who got as far as Melville Island in 1819 before being blocked by ice at McClure Strait.
Depending on ice conditions, we may make expedition stops along the way among the spectacular landscapes, a perfect setting for hiking and exploring the geological diversity of the area. Our experts will interpret historical and archeological sites for us wherever we land!
In 1845 Sir John Franklin took his expedition of 129 men and two ships into the Wellington Channel. Not a soul returned from the fateful expedition. It was two years before search parties were launched. Aside from the bodies of three souls buried here, only relics were found as clues to the disappearance. The three graves found at Beechey Island left no indication as to the fate of the rest of the British party. A fourth grave, that of a sailor from a search party, completes a haunting historic site here. In the autumn of 2014, Canadian archaeologists discovered remnants of the HMS Erebus in the frozen waters of the Northwest Passage, and in 2015, her sister ship—the Terror—was similarly located.
We will spend two days exploring Lancaster Sound—a proposed Marine Protected Area, with large populations of marine mammals, including narwhal, beluga whales, and bowhead whales. There is a great selection of landing sites available. Weather, wildlife, and sea conditions will influence our choice of landing today.
Aujuittuq means ‘place that never thaws.’ It is an apt name for this peaceful hamlet, 1,150 kilometres above the Arctic Circle. Canada’s northernmost “civilian” community is a living reminder of the Cold War; residents were relocated to Aujuittuq in an effort to boost Canadian sovereignty . We’ll be welcomed by the population of about 165. Our activities will centre in the village where we will have a chance to meet members of the community, learn about their way of life, and hear their poignant stories.
We will spend a day exploring this fabled body of water that 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. The Sound was named by William Baffin after Sir Thomas Smythe, promoter of voyages to find a Northwest Passage.
Between forty-eight and seventy-two kilometres wide, and eighty-eight kilometres long—Smith Sound is often packed with ice and provides favourable conditions for wildlife viewing.
There are a number of charming fishing villages and majestic fjords along the west coast of Greenland. Depending on timing and sea conditions, we way call in at one of these communities to experience small town Greenlandic life, or explore the stunning fjords that line the coast. This is a day in the true spirit of expedition travel and we will avail ourselves of any and all opportunities that present themselves.
Ilulissat translates literally into “iceberg”, and there couldn’t be a more fitting name for this stunning coastal community, with its museums, cafes and craft studios. Our visit will include time in the colourful town and a chance to hike out along a boardwalk to an elevated viewpoint where we can observe the great fields of ice. We will also cruise in our fleet of Zodiacs through the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Ilulissat Icefjord. The Icefjord is home to the Sermeq Kujalleq Glacier, the most active and fastest moving glacier in the world at nineteen metres per day, calving more than thirty-five square kilometers of ice annually. The glacier has been the object of scientific attention for 250 years.
The west Greenland coastline is a rich mixture of fishing communities, many islands and complex coastal waterways. We will be making an expedition stop here to explore the Greenlandic landscape.
We will make our journey down spectacular Sondre Stromfjord, and early risers will have a chance to experience its beauty. Sondre Stromfjord is one of the longest fjords in the world and boasts 168 kilometres of superb scenery! Kangerlussuaq, the town at its eastern head, means ‘the big fjord.’
We will disembark the Ocean Endeavour and make our way to the airport to meet our charter flights home.
The itineraries/programs described are subject to change at the discretion of the ship’s master.
This itinerary is also available in reverse. Click here for additional dates.
Deck 4, Interior Cabin, four lower berths, private bathroom
Deck 4, Interior cabinm three lower berths, private bathroom
Category 3 - Interior Twin
Deck 5, Interior cabin, two lower berths, private bathroom.
Available for sole use
Category 4 - Exterior Twin
Deck 4, porthole window, 2 lower berths, private bathroom
Deck 5, Picture Window, two lower berths, private bathroom
Category 6 - Comfort Twin
Deck 7, Picture windows (partially obstructed) two lower berths, privvate bathroom, refrigerator
Deck 8, large picture windows (partially obstructed) double bedded only, private bathroom, refrigerator
Category 8 - Superior Twin
Deck 5 & 7, picture windows, twin or double bed, private bathroom, refrigerator
Category 9 - Junior Suite
Deck 5 & 7, picture windows, seperate sitting area, sofa, desk, refrigerator, double bed, private bathroom
Deck 7, picture window overlooking the bow, seperate sitting area, sofa, desk, refrigerator, double bed, private bathroom with bath
Discovery Fund Fee: 250 USD pp
Vessel Type: Expedition
Passenger Capacity: 199
Built: 1982 - refurbished 2010, 2014 & 2017
Ocean Endeavour is a comfortable, well-appointed small expedition ship expertly engineered to explore the Polar Regions. The ship has an ice-strengthened hull, Zodiacs for exploration and remote landings, and advanced navigation equipment. The newly-refurbished vessel offers a superb guest experience with an expansive choice of cabin categories, large cabins and common areas, a sundeck and observation area, plenty of deck space for polar landscape viewing, and lounges for learning and reflection. The ship’s interiors have a contemporary aesthetic that provides a bright and spacious feel throughout.
Endeavour is also the only polar adventure ship in Antarctica focused on health and wellness , and offers a contemporary approach to cuisine and newly-designed health and fitness features. Facilities include a spa serviced by organic spa provider VOYA, His & Hers saunas, a salt water pool, a gym, and a juice and smoothie bar. Complimentary activities include yoga and stretching classes, an exclusive Polar Photography program, the Scientists in Residence program, and more adventure activities than any other Quark vessel. The ship also has a polar library, and a Polar Boutique for gifts and any needed gear.
Features of the Ocean Endeavour
VOYA spa treatments and beauty products, Choice of 13 cabin categories, Bright, spacious cabins and common areas, Plenty of deck space for observation, Lounge with expansive views, Quiet zone for contemplation, Newly-refurbished restaurant, Contemporary dining with complimentary wine with dinner, Juice and smoothie bar, Lecture theater, Polar library, Polar boutique, Health and Wellness, Spa treatments and beauty products by spa provider VOYA - Organic Beauty From The Sea, Spa menu for face, body, hair and nails, including the exclusive Quark Explorer’s treatment, and signature VOYA hand and foot rituals, Yoga and stretching classes, His & Hers saunas, gym, and heated salt water pool
Full range of adventure activities including: kayaking, camping, mountaineering, cross-country skiing, stand-up paddleboarding, Zodiac cruising, shore landings and hiking/ walking.
Deck plan varies for the trips to Antarctica
Save 15% on Voyages aboard Ocean Endeavour
SAVE 15% Book now and take advantage of early bird savings for the 2020 Ocean Endeavour season. Bookings must be made by October 31, 2019. The early bird savings applies to 2020 Ocean Endeavour expeditions only. Prices online do not show the discounted rates. Terms and Conditions apply, special offer is subject to availability, please contact us for more details.