Canadian High Arctic Explorer

from £7608
excluding flights *
9 nights Aug

Overview

This exciting voyage combines the quest for wildlife with a lesson in the history of Canadian Arctic exploration. Visit a number of Royal Canadian Mounted Police outposts, scattered along the shoreline of High Arctic Bays. Trace parts of historic trade and discovery routes. Travel to one of the largest migratory bird sanctuaries in the world. Keep your eyes peeled for sightings of seals, belugas and narwhals and encounter the iconic hunters of the north, polar bears.

Highlights

  • Traverse famed iconic waterway
  • Visit historic trade and policing outposts
  • Witness wildlife including belugas, narwhals, musk ox and polar bears
  • Cruise past enormous icebergs and sweeping glaciers
  • Meet an Inuit community who thrive on the edge of the habitable world

What's Included

  • Return flights from Edmonton to Resolute
  • Shipboard accommodation
  • All breakfasts, lunches & dinners on board
  • Shore landings & Zodiac cruises
  • Experienced Expedition Team
  • Presentations on board
  • Expedition jacket, waterproof trousers & rubber boots on loan during voyage

Full description

Frequent shore landings in the company of expert guides allow you to explore on foot, observing wildlife, Arctic flora, and points of historical interest - including a number of former Hudson's Bay Company outposts. All of this is set against a backdrop of epic mountain scenery, sweeping glaciers and enormous icebergs. This is an ideal introduction to small ship expedition cruising in the remote Canadian Arctic.

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Authentic holidays for passionate travellers

Prices & Dates *

Airfares are quoted separately to the holiday price. When enquiring, our Travel Specialists will provide the best fare possible from your preferred airline / airport.

Prices are per person, based on a twin cabin

Departure Duration Vessel Activities Twin price from (pp)
14 Aug 2018 10 days Akademik Ioffe £7,608
02 Aug 2019 10 days Akademik Ioffe £8,150

Please contact us for details of triple, single and superior cabins.

Activity Key
Kayaking

What's Included

  • Return flights from Edmonton to Resolute
  • Shipboard accommodation
  • All breakfasts, lunches & dinners on board
  • Tea & coffee available around the clock
  • All Zodiac transfers, cruising & shore landings
  • Presentations by the Expedition Team and guest speakers
  • Expedition jacket, waterproof trousers & rubber boots on loan during voyage
  • All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges

What's Not Included

  • Flights
  • Personal expenses
  • Tips
  • Travel insurance
  • Visa application fees

Itinerary & Vessels

Itinerary & Vessels

Day 1: fly from Edmonton to Resolute for embarkation

Depart Edmonton in the morning and fly to Resolute, a remote outpost above the Arctic Circle. Located on the southern shores of Cornwallis Island, the town is named after the British ship HMS Resolute which became trapped in ice here in 1850 while searching for the lost Franklin Expedition. A weather station and airstrip made it a strategic outpost during the time of the Cold War. On arrival, transfer to the beach where your expedition team will meet and prepare you for the zodiac ride to the ship. When on board, meet the expedition team and get to know your fellow guests over a welcome cocktail. Depart Resolute in the early evening.

Day 2: Maxwell Bay, Devon Island

A large bay on the south coast of Devon Island, Maxwell Bay offers some wonderful hiking opportunities ashore and great wildlife watching from the water. Musk ox and caribou can be found here, as well as polar bears, harp seals, ringed seals, bearded seals and even walrus.

Day 3: Croker Bay and Dundas Harbour

The voyage continues east through Lancaster Sound along the southern coastline of Devon Island. Lancaster Sound, which separates Devon and Baffin Island, has been nicknamed the wildlife ‘super highway’ of the Arctic. Massive volumes of water from the Atlantic to the east and Arctic Ocean to the west, and from the archipelago of islands to the north all mix here, combining to make a rich source of nutrients and food for an abundance of animals, which live both above and below the water. Croker Bay is home to a healthy and sizable population of musk ox and you will look for these prehistoric looking creatures as you hike ashore. It features dramatic scenery with deep blue icebergs set against a backdrop of richly coloured peaks. The immense Croker Glacier descends into the steely waters and is a great location for a Zodiac cruise. This afternoon, visit the abandoned Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) outpost at Dundas Harbour. It was established in 1924 and operated for about a decade. It re-opened again in the 1940’s for another decade, when the RCMP established a regular patrol presence in the region. The old buildings make great photography subjects in this wild and remote location.

Day 4: Coburg Island National Wildlife Area

Nirjutiqavvik National Wildlife Area is home to almost 400,000 seabirds including 11% of Canada’s population of thick-billed murres and 16% of its Northern fulmars. Zodiac cruise along the bird cliffs and marvel at the sheer number of birds in the skies above. You may also encounter marine mammals when exploring these waters, including beluga whales.

Day 5: Grise Fiord and Craig Harbour

Grise Fiord is the northernmost community in Canada and one of the most isolated communities in the world. Settled in 1953 by the Canadian government as a sovereignty exercise during the cold war, the less than 100 people are mostly descended from the 8 Inuit families relocated there from Northern Quebec. The scenery is stunning, the wildlife is abundant and the welcome by the community is warm. Nearby Craig Harbour is the site of an abandoned RCMP outpost, established in 1922 as the RCMP sought to patrol the north and provide services to the Inuit. The harbour operated for approximately 10 years before closing. It was then reopened in the early 1950’s during the Cold War. Visit this historic site and learn about its important history as you hike and explore the bay and hillsides.

Day 6: Cape Hay, Bylot Island Migratory Bird Sanctuary

Located on the northern coast of Bylot Island and within the boundary of Sirmilik National Park, the bird cliffs of Cape Hay are home to thick-billed murres and black guillemots, along with black-legged kittiwakes. This superb location is a prime nesting spot for several hundred thousand birds. The scenery here will take your breath away as your eyes gaze beyond the tundra, towards the soaring mountain ranges in the distance.

Day 7: Elwin Inlet and Cape Charles Yorke

Head into nearby Elwin Inlet, a breathtaking fjord which is well protected and great for a Zodiac cruise or hike ashore. Cape Charles Yorke offers several great walking opportunities. Keep your eyes peeled for polar bears, which are plentiful along this coastline.

Day 8: Port Leopold and Prince Leopold Island

Having crossed Prince Regent Inlet overnight, approach the towering bird cliffs of Prince Leopold Island in the morning. This is an important migratory bird sanctuary, home to thick-billed murres, black guillemots, northern fulmars and black-legged kittiwakes. The sea ice around Prince Leopold Island is a great place for spotting ringed seals and polar bears. Nearby Port Leopold is a historic site where in 1848, English explorer James Clark Ross wintered during the search for the missing Franklin expedition. In addition to Port Leopold’s historical attraction, the shallow gravel beds along the shoreline are attractive to the beluga whales which come to moult in the Arctic summer.

Day 9: Beechey Island

Beechey Island holds great historic importance in the story of 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 lasted almost three decades. The mystery of what happened to Franklin was partially solved in September 2014, when a joint Parks Canada and Royal Canadian Geographic Society expedition, found the long lost Franklin shipwreck, HMS Erebus in the Victoria Strait. A trip ashore at Beechey Island to visit the grave markers on a remote windswept beach is a thrilling location for history buffs and for many, it will be the defining moment of the expedition. Return to the ship this evening and enjoy a special dinner attended by the Captain. It’s a great time to reflect on the wildlife, history and dramatic scenery of this pristine Arctic wilderness.

Day 10: disembarkation in Resolute and flight to Edmonton

By morning the ship will be at anchor in Resolute. Make your way ashore by Zodiac and bid farewell to the crew. A charter flight returns you to Edmonton where your journey comes to an end.

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