21408
Canada/Greenland
The Legendary Northwest Passage: An Arctic Expedition
Set sail for the storied Northwest Passage, the explorers’ Holy Grail that wasn’t discovered until 1906, and witness unbelievable arctic environments on this extraordinary expedition.
Rating (5)
Program No. 21408RJ
Length
19 days
Starts at
15,495
Special Offer
Flights start at
FREE
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19 days
18 nights
53 meals
18 B 17 L 18 D
Getting There
See travel details and required documents
DAY
1
Arrive, Check-in, Orientation, Welcome Dinner
Edmonton
D
Executive Royal Hotel Leduc-Nisku at Edmonton Airport

Activity note: Hotel check-in available from 4:00 p.m.

Afternoon: Orientation: The Group Leader will greet everyone and lead introductions. We will review the up-to-date program schedule and any changes, discuss roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer questions. While on board, rotating members of the ship's resource staff will offer educational presentations on a variety of topics. Many are active researchers with expertise in areas such as history, paleontology, geology, and biology. At each expedition port of call, you will have a choice of field trips that will vary by location such as nature activities (minimal walking), short walks (about .5 - 1.5 miles), longer walks (2-3 miles) and photography sessions led by resource staff. Program activities, schedules, personnel, and indicated distances or times may change due to local circumstances/conditions. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Expedition ships — more rugged than traditional sailing vessels — are designed to venture into remote landscapes, enabling us to seek opportunities for getting up close to nature and wildlife. These educational adventures have flexible schedules. The itinerary may change daily based on weather, sailing conditions, and potential wildlife sightings. There may also be serendipitous occasions to experience something unexpected. The schedule that follows is tentative and a representative outline. Changes in the schedule, including ports of call, can be expected due to weather and other local conditions. Updates will be provided aboard ship. Thank you for your understanding.

Dinner: At the hotel, enjoy a plated dinner with beverage options including coffee, tea, water, and a glass of beer or wine. Additional beverages are available for purchase.

Evening: At leisure. Continue getting to know your fellow participants, settle in, and get a good night’s rest for the day ahead.

DAY
2
Charter Flight to Kugluktuk, Embark Ocean Endeavour
Kugluktuk (Coppermine)
B,L,D
Ocean Endeavour

Activity note: Due to the remote location of the ports, each embarkation and disembarkation will be done via zodiac rafts. Staff will be available for assistance. Flight times are subject to the unpredictable Arctic weather and the vagaries of flight servicing in remote destinations. Delays can, and often do occur. Should you require medication during the day please ensure you keep this with you.

Breakfast: Aboard the charter flight to Kugluktuk.

Morning: Transfer to the airport via motorcoach for our charter flight to Kangerlussuaq on board a 737 aircraft.

Lunch: Aboard the charter flight.

Afternoon: Upon arrival on our charter flight to Kugluktuk, we'll board a bus and transfer to embark the Ocean Endeavour. 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.

Dinner: Aboard ship we’ll have a 3-course a la carte meal with meat, seafood, and vegetarian options, plus water, coffee, and tea. Additional beverages are available for purchase. The chefs try to incorporate local delicacies when possible. Each night, we’ll be joined by fellow participants and various members of the ship’s staff.

Evening: At leisure. Rotating members of the ship’s staff will offer fun educational activities and presentations on a variety of topics such as history, biology, storytelling, and folk music.

DAY
3
Coronation Gulf
Coronation Gulf
B,L,D
Ocean Endeavour

Activity note: Zodiac landing; possibility of rough seas; getting in/out of Zodiac with assistance from staff. Walking distances up to 2 miles on uneven and hilly terrain. Each expedition day's schedule is subject to change due to wind/sea conditions. This is done with your safety in mind and we hope you understand that schedule changes are part of travelling aboard an expedition ship in this beautiful but remote part of the world!

Breakfast: Aboard ship, choose from hot and cold buffet offerings.

Morning: Located between Victoria Island and the Arctic coast of mainland Canada, the Coronation Gulf is an extensive body of water that is linked to the Arctic Ocean via the Dolphin and Union Strait on the west and by the Dease Strait and Queen Maud Gulf on the east. We will be exploring the area today making an opportunistic expedition stop.

Lunch: Aboard ship, choose from hot and cold buffet offerings.

Afternoon: Continue to explore Coronation Gulf. The gulf was named in 1821 by John Franklin in honour of the coronation of King George IV. The environment and Inuit cultural history of the region was studied by Rudolph Anderson and Diamond Jenness in 1916 as part of the Canadian Arctic Expedition.

Dinner: Aboard ship.

Evening: At leisure. Enjoy evening activities aboard the Ocean Endeavour.

DAY
4
Queen Maud Gulf
Queen Maud Gulf
B,L,D
Ocean Endeavour

Activity note: Zodiac landing; possibility of rough seas; getting in/out of Zodiac with assistance from staff. Walking distances up to 2 miles on uneven and hilly terrain. A dry suit will be provided for those who wish to snorkel.

Breakfast: Aboard ship.

Morning: This morning we'll gather in the onboard meeting space for a lecture from one of the ship's knowledgeable resource staff.

Lunch: Aboard ship.

Afternoon: Sir John Franklin’s flagship, the HMS Erebus, was a Hecla-class bomb vessel, built in Wales in 1826. She was named after the dark region in Hades of Greek mythology and weighed 372 tons. The ship took part in the Ross Expedition from 1839 to 1843, and was abandoned during the legendary Franklin Expedition after becoming icebound during an attempt to locate the fabled Northwest Passage. Her sunken wreck had actually been designated a National Historic Site prior to being located in September of 2014 by a Parks Canada underwater archaeology team. Two years later, Franklin’s other ship, Terror, was located, spurring further interest in one of the great mysteries of polar exploration.

Dinner: Aboard ship.

Evening: At leisure. Enjoy evening activities aboard the Ocean Endeavour.

DAY
5
Usqsuqtuuq (Gjøa Haven)
Gjoa Haven
B,L,D
Ocean Endeavour

Activity note: Zodiac landing; possibility of rough seas; getting in/out of Zodiac with assistance from staff. Walking distances up to 2 miles on uneven and hilly terrain.

Breakfast: Aboard ship.

Morning: In 1903, explorer Roald Amundsen, while looking for the Northwest Passage, sailed through the James Ross Strait and stopped at a natural harbour on the island’s south coast. Unable to proceed due to sea ice, he spent the winters of 1903–04 and 1904–05 at Usqsuqtuuq. While there, he learned Arctic living skills from the local Netsilik Inuit, skills that would later prove invaluable in his Antarctic explorations. He used his ship, the Gjøa, as a base for explorations in the summer of 1904, sledding the Boothia Peninsula and travelling to the magnetic North Pole.

Lunch: Aboard ship.

Afternoon: Continue to explore Gjøa Haven, which Roald Amundsen called "the finest little harbour in the world." Usqsuqtuuq offers a lot to its visitors, including he Northwest Passage Territorial Historic Park, where visitors can learn about the voyages of explorers such as Frobisher, Ross, and Franklin. Also, there is a nine-hole golf course, known to be Canada’s most northerly. Although Usqsuqtuuq is becoming more modern, many traditional Inuit activities are still being enjoyed, including throat singing, drum dancing, and hunting.

Dinner: Aboard ship.

Evening: At leisure. Enjoy evening activities aboard the Ocean Endeavour.

DAY
6
Peel Sound
Peel Sound
B,L,D
Ocean Endeavour

Activity note: Zodiac landing; possibility of rough seas; getting in/out of Zodiac with assistance from staff. Walking distances up to 2 miles on uneven and hilly terrain.

Breakfast: Aboard ship.

Morning: As we head north up Peel Sound, we get into serious polar bear country and will be on the lookout for good spotting opportunities. Resource staff will be on deck searching for wildlife and contextualizing the mighty landscape through which we travel. After taking in the views on deck, gather in the onboard meeting space for a lecture from one of the ship's knowledgeable resource staff.

Lunch: Aboard ship.

Afternoon: This afternoon, enjoy a Road Scholar exclusive cocktail party onboard.

Dinner: Aboard ship.

Evening: At leisure. Enjoy evening activities aboard the Ocean Endeavour.

DAY
7
Parry Channel
Parry Channel
B,L,D
Ocean Endeavour

Activity note: Zodiac cruise/landing; possibility of rough seas; getting in/out of Zodiac with assistance from staff. Walking distances up to 2 miles on uneven and hilly terrain.

Breakfast: Aboard ship.

Morning: 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. Running east to west through the Arctic islands, the Parry Channel provides myraid options for expedition stops.

Lunch: Aboard ship.

Afternoon: Continue exploring Parry Channel via Zodiac.

Dinner: Aboard ship.

Evening: At leisure. Enjoy evening activities aboard the Ocean Endeavour.

DAY
8
Parry Channel
Parry Channel
B,L,D
Ocean Endeavour

Activity note: Zodiac landing; possibility of rough seas; getting in/out of Zodiac with assistance from staff. Walking distances up to 2 miles on uneven and hilly terrain.

Breakfast: Aboard ship.

Morning: Continue exploring Parry Channel. Depending on ice conditions, we'll 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!

Lunch: Aboard ship.

Afternoon: Gather in the onboard meeting space for a lecture from one of the ship's knowledgeable resource staff.

Dinner: Aboard ship.

Evening: At leisure. Enjoy evening activities aboard the Ocean Endeavour.

DAY
9
Beechey Island
Beechey Island
B,L,D
Ocean Endeavour

Activity note: Zodiac landing; possibility of rough seas; getting in/out of Zodiac with assistance from staff. Walking distances up to 2 miles on uneven and hilly terrain.

Breakfast: Aboard ship.

Morning: This morning we'll have a guided walk on Beechey Island. 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.

Lunch: Aboard ship.

Afternoon: Gather in the onboard meeting space for a lecture from one of the ship's knowledgeable resource staff.

Dinner: Aboard ship.

Evening: At leisure. Enjoy evening activities aboard the Ocean Endeavour.

DAY
10
Lancaster Sound
Lancaster Sound
B,L,D
Ocean Endeavour

Activity note: Zodiac cruise/landing; possibility of rough seas; getting in/out of Zodiac with assistance from staff. Walking distances up to 2 miles on uneven and hilly terrain.

Breakfast: Aboard ship.

Morning: Gather in the onboard meeting space for a lecture from one of the ship's knowledgeable resource staff.

Lunch: Aboard ship.

Afternoon: Today we will explore 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.

Dinner: Aboard ship.

Evening: At leisure. Enjoy evening activities aboard the Ocean Endeavour.

DAY
11
Aujuittuq (Grise Fiord), NU
Aujuittuq (Grise Fiord)
B,L,D
Ocean Endeavour

Activity note: Zodiac landing; possibility of rough seas; getting in/out of Zodiac with assistance from staff. Walking distances up to 2 miles on uneven and hilly terrain.

Breakfast: Aboard ship.

Morning: 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.

Lunch: Aboard ship.

Afternoon: Continue to explore Aujuittuq.

Dinner: Aboard ship.

Evening: At leisure. Enjoy evening activities aboard the Ocean Endeavour.

DAY
12
Smith Sound
At Sea
B,L,D
Ocean Endeavour

Breakfast: Aboard ship.

Morning: Gather in the onboard meeting space for a lecture from one of the ship's knowledgeable resource staff. Today we will explore 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.

Lunch: Aboard ship.

Afternoon: Gather in the onboard meeting space for a lecture from one of the ship's knowledgeable resource staff.

Dinner: Aboard ship.

Evening: At leisure. Enjoy evening activities aboard the Ocean Endeavour.

DAY
13
At Sea - Davis Strait
Davis Strait
B,L,D
Ocean Endeavour

Activity note: Possibility of rough seas.

Breakfast: Aboard ship.

Morning: While crossing Davis Strait towards Greenland, we'll relax and enjoy onboard lectures and opportunities to watch for wildlife from the ship's decks.

Lunch: Aboard ship.

Afternoon: Expect to participate in workshops, engage in discussions and hear expert reflection on the journey thus far.

Dinner: Aboard ship.

Evening: At leisure. Enjoy evening activities aboard the Ocean Endeavour.

DAY
14
Northwest Greenland
Northwest Greenland
B,L,D
Ocean Endeavour

Activity note: Zodiac landing; possibility of rough seas; getting in/out of Zodiac with assistance from staff. Walking distances up to 2 miles on uneven and hilly terrain.

Breakfast: Aboard ship.

Morning: Gather in the onboard meeting space for a lecture from one of the ship's knowledgeable resource staff.

Lunch: Aboard ship.

Afternoon: 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.

Dinner: Aboard ship.

Evening: At leisure. Enjoy evening activities aboard the Ocean Endeavour.

DAY
15
Northwest Greenland
Northwest Greenland
B,L,D
Ocean Endeavour

Activity note: Zodiac landing; possibility of rough seas; getting in/out of Zodiac with assistance from staff. Walking distances up to 2 miles on uneven and hilly terrain.

Breakfast: Aboard ship.

Morning: Continue to explore communities along the west coast of Greenland. This is a day in the true spirit of expedition travel and we will avail ourselves of any and all opportunities that present themselves.

Lunch: Aboard ship.

Afternoon: This afternoon, gather in the onboard meeting space for a lecture from one of the ship's knowledgeable resource staff.

Dinner: Aboard ship.

Evening: At leisure. Enjoy evening activities aboard the Ocean Endeavour.

DAY
16
Ilulissat Icefjord
Ilulissat
B,L,D
Ocean Endeavour

Activity note: Zodiac landing; possibility of rough seas; getting in/out of Zodiac with assistance from staff. Walking distances up to 2 miles on uneven and hilly terrain.

Breakfast: Aboard ship.

Morning: Venturing 250km north of the Arctic Circle, we find the stunning coastal community of Illulissat. 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.

Lunch: Aboard ship.

Afternoon: Continue to explore Illulissat. 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.

Dinner: Aboard ship.

Evening: At leisure. Enjoy evening activities aboard the Ocean Endeavour.

DAY
17
Itilleq Fjord
Itilleq Fjord
B,L,D
Ocean Endeavour

Activity note: Zodiac landing; possibility of rough seas; getting in/out of Zodiac with assistance from staff. Walking distances up to 2 miles on uneven and hilly terrain.

Breakfast: Aboard ship.

Morning: The west Greenland coastline is a rich mixture of fishing communities, myriad islands, and complex coastal waterways. We will be making an expedition stop here to explore the Greenlandic landscapes.

Lunch: Aboard ship.

Afternoon: This afternoon, gather in the onboard meeting space for a lecture from one of the ship's knowledgeable resource staff.

Dinner: Aboard the ship, join the ship's crew and our fellow participants for a lively farewell dinner that will include song and dance.

Evening: At leisure. Enjoy evening activities aboard the Ocean Endeavour.

DAY
18
Kangerlussuaq, Disembark, Charter Flight to Toronto
Toronto
B,L,D
Sheraton Gateway Hotel in Toronto Int'l Airport

Activity note: Zodiac landing; possibility of rough seas; getting in/out of Zodiac with assistance from staff. Walking distances up to 2 miles on uneven and hilly terrain. Flight times are subject to the unpredictable Arctic weather and the vagaries of flight servicing in remote destinations. Delays can, and often do occur. Should you require medication during the day please ensure you keep this with you.

Breakfast: Aboard ship.

Morning: 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.’ Today we will disembark the Ocean Endeavour and transfer to the airport for our return flights.

Lunch: Boxed lunches available prior to disembarkation.

Afternoon: In flight to Toronto.

Dinner: Served onboard en route to Toronto.

Evening: Evening arrival to Toronto. We'll gather our baggage, transfer to the hotel, and check-in. Relax for the rest of the evening after a full day of travel and prepare for your journey home tomorrow.

DAY
19
Program Concludes
Toronto
B

Activity note: Hotel check out by 12:00 p.m. See your program’s travel details regarding transfers.

Breakfast: At the hotel. This concludes our program. If you are returning home, safe travels. If you are staying on independently, have a wonderful time. If you are transferring to another Road Scholar program, detailed instructions are included in your Information Packet for that program. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Please join our Facebook page and share photos of your program. Visit us at www.facebook.com/rsadventures. Best wishes for all your journeys!






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