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Northwest Passage: Epic High Arctic

17 Days
On request

DELUXE | CRUISE: The fabled sea route connecting the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, the Northwest Passage continues to grip our collective imagination. On this captivating voyage, we invite you aboard our game-changing new vessel, Ultramarine, to explore this fascinating waterway.

This 17-day Arctic adventure takes you to one of the world’s least travelled regions and through a legendary waterway. Follow the Northwest Passage and see the unique wildlife of Canada’s High Arctic and Greenland’s West Coast.

Spend one night in Toronto, Canada’s largest city and air hub, before flying to Resolute, Nunavit to board the perfectly appointed new vessel Ultramarine, ready to sail in the wake of legendary explorers. Though always a place of wonder and fascination, the Northwest Passage was also highly treacherous in the 19th century, as evidenced on Beechey Island, the final resting place of Sir John Franklin’s lost expedition.

Yet, the Inuit people have thrived here for almost 5,000 years, and even they were not the first to do so, as you’ll see at the Thule archaeological site. This is also a great location for seeing polar bears in the summer. Sail on the Croker Bay, where a Zodiac expedition takes you to the face of an active glacier. Your final shore expedition in Canada’s High Arctic takes you to Guise Fjord, a traditional Inuit community.

Sail to Smith Sound, the beautiful divide between Canada’s Ellesmere Island and Greenland. It’s then time to visit Thule, affectionately known as “the edge of known territory.” Learn about local culture and traditions from the Inuit who call the top of the world home. Then sail down Greenland’s incredible West Coast, visiting traditional hunting and fishing villages, along with archaeological sites that preserve the ruins of ancient settlements in this harsh yet beautiful environment. See the spectacular glaciers of Eqip Sermia, and Semeq Kujalleq, and listen for the roar of calving ice from these awe-inspiring formations.

Disembark in Kangerlussuaq for your return flight to Toronto.


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17 Days
On request

Itinerary View Trip Map

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.

Duration1 Night
Day 2

Fly to Resolute and Embark

This morning, board your charter flight to Resolute. Upon arrival, you'll have a chance to walk around this small Arctic town before enjoying your first of many Zodiac cruises as you're transferred to your ship.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Duration14 Nights

Ultramarine Ship

More Info

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    Ultramarine Ship

    Ultramarine, is designed to go beyond the familiar in polar exploration, to discover new places, and to immerse you in the best the region has to offer. Equipped with two twin-engine helicopters, Ultramarine offers the most robust portfolio of adventure activities in the industry, the …

    Ultramarine, is designed to go beyond the familiar in polar exploration, to discover new places, and to immerse you in the best the region has to offer.
    Equipped with two twin-engine helicopters, Ultramarine offers the most robust portfolio of adventure activities in the industry, the most spacious suites in its category, breathtaking public spaces, and more outdoor wildlife viewing spaces than other expedition ships its size. It also features an innovative mix of sustainability features that exceed all industry standards.
    With all this and more, Ultramarine is set to deliver the ultimate polar expedition experience.


    • Bar(s)
    • Library
    • Sauna
    • Spa and Fitness

    More Details

Day 3

Exploring Canada's High Arctic

Cruising around the remote regions of Greenland and the Canadian Arctic aboard Ultramarine, the newest ship in our fleet, you'll navigate the same icy inlets, channels and bays that fascinated legendary explorers of long ago. Designed to give polar adventurers unprecedented access to the hardest-to-reach places on the planet and equipped with two on board twin-engine helicopters for unparalleled access to areas only Quark Expeditions can bring you this one of a kind ship, in its inaugural year, will take you beyond the familiar in polar exploration. Throughout your journey, your Expedition Team will keep an eye toward immersing you in the best the Arctic has to offer at the top of the world.

Named after explorer Frederick William Beechey, of the Royal Navy, Beechey Island is a Canadian National Historic Site. It's an important stop on our voyage, as this is the final resting place of three members of Sir John Franklin's ill-fated 1845-46 expedition to find the Northwest Passage. The graves, on a remote windswept beach, were discovered in 1851 by the crew of British and American vessels searching for signs of Franklin's lost expedition.

Radstock Bay is a popular research location for observing polar bears, which are often seen here in summer. An impressive Thule archaeological site provides insight into how these pre-Inuit people lived in the Far North.

For almost 5,000 years, the hamlet of Arctic Bay and its surrounding area has been occupied by Inuit nomads migrating from the west. Surrounded by soaring cliffs teeming with seabirds, this is a great spot to go ashore and learn about the Inuit community's traditional way of life.

The eastern end of Lancaster Sound affords numerous hiking opportunities on Devon Island. We'll anchor at Croker Bay, where we'll Zodiac cruise along the face of an active glacier. We'll try to keep a safe distance, but still hope to get close enough to appreciate the splendor of calving ice. Walrus frequent the waters here, so be sure to have your camera handy. A hike to a nearby archaeological site is another possible excursion. At Dundas Harbour, trek along a beach to a former Royal Canadian Mounted Police outpost. Encounters with muskoxen are possible here.

Canada's most northern settlement, Grise Fjord will be your final shore visit in the Canadian High Arctic. Now home to about 150 residents, the traditional, mostly Inuit community was created in 1953, when the federal government resettled eight Inuit families from northern Quebec. Hunting and fishing are a significant part of their way of life. Visit the monument to the first Inuit settlers, as well as the remnants of the "old camp" where they lived.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 4

Exploring Canada's High Arctic

Another day exploring Canada's High Arctic.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 5

Exploring Canada's High Arctic

Another day exploring Canada's High Arctic.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 6

Exploring Canada's High Arctic

Another day exploring Canada's High Arctic.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 7

Exploring Smith Sound

Before saying goodbye to Canada, we'll try to cruise as far north as possible, exploring both sides of Smith Sound, the uninhabited passage between Ellesmere Island and Greenland.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 8

Exploring Smith Sound

Another day exploring Smith Sound.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 9

Qaanaaq, Greenland

Your first stop in Greenland is Qaanaaq, formerly known as Thule, one of the northernmost towns in the world (there's a reason ancient philosophers called it Ultima Thule, or "edge of known territory"). Here, local Inuit share their culture and traditions, and the museum sheds more light on what it's like living near the top of the world.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 10

At Sea

As we sail south along the west coast of Greenland, presentations by our on-board experts will prepare you for the adventures that lie ahead.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 11

Exploring West Greenland

With spectacular glaciers, soaring fjords and vibrant communities, the west coast of Greenland will leave you breathless.

Nuussuaq (formerly known as Kraulshavn) is the only mainland community in the Upernavik Archipelago. Founded in 1923 as a trading station, it's one of the most traditional hunting and fishing villages in Greenland.

It's not surprising that the red-hued, heart-shaped mountain that rises up behind Uummannaq gave the traditional community its name (Uummannaq means "heart-like" in Greenlandic). As your ship approaches the shore, you'll want to be on deck to take in the incredible view of the twin peaks towering over the vibrantly painted wooden houses dotting the rocky terrain below. The settlement was established as a Danish colony in 1758 on the mainland, but it relocated five years later because seal hunting was more plentiful here.

In the nearby archaeological site of Qilaqitsoq (also known as Qilakitsoq), you'll visit the ruins of an ancient settlement, where the remains of eight fully dressed mummies were discovered under a rock outcrop in 1972 by a pair of hunters. The famous Greenlandic mummies, which date back to 1475 A.D., are on view at the Greenland National Museum in Nuuk.

Cruising farther south rewards with spectacular views of Eqip Sermia. The jagged, blue-tinged glacier soaring out of the crystal-clear water is one of the most beautiful sights in Greenland, and we hope to Zodiac cruise along its massive front from a safe distance. We may also go ashore to explore nearby.

Just south of Ilulissat, which means "iceberg" in Greenlandic, is the impressive Ilulissat Icefjord. The UNESCO World Heritage Site is home to Sermeq Kujalleq, the most productive glacier in the northern hemisphere. As we Zodiac cruise at the mouth of the fjord, you may be lucky to witness the wonders of calving ice (listen to the loud roars as the ice breaks off). Founded in 1741, the traditional town, which boasts more sled dogs than people, is famous in its own right: it was the birthplace of explorer Knud Rasmussen, the first to traverse the Northwest Passage by dogsled, in the early 1920s . Hikes here lead out to stunning views of the young icebergs as as they float out the fjord to Disko Bay.

In Sisimiut, you'll be treated to a traditional kayaking demonstration.

The kayak (an Inuit word that the English borrowed) is Greenland's national symbol and can be traced back to the country's first immigrants, who used vessels that resemble the narrow one or two person boats. The town has several 18th-century colonial buildings, including the oldest surviving church in Greenland, so take time to wander through the historic area. You'll also have a chance to hike among the area's surrounding mountains.

Situated in a scenic hollow on a small island with no freshwater, the colorful community of Itilleq, which has about 130 inhabitants, is surrounded by sea, mountains and fjords. The final excursion of your Arctic adventure may be a hike around Itilleq Fjord.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 12

Exploring West Greenland

Another day exploring West Greenland.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 13

Exploring West Greenland

Another day exploring West Greenland.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 14

Exploring West Greenland

Another day exploring West Greenland.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 15

Exploring West Greenland

Another day exploring West Greenland.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 16

Disembark in Kangerlussuaq and Fly to Toronto

Enjoy one more Zodiac ride to shore, where you'll board your charter flight back to Toronto, Canada. Upon arrival in Toronto, we will transfer you to your included hotel.

Duration1 Night
Day 17

Depart Toronto, Canada

Today, you can make your way home at your leisure or spend some time exploring this fascinating city.

Other Information


2023: August 28


  • Shipboard accommodation with daily housekeeping
  • All breakfasts, lunches, dinners and snacks on board throughout your voyage
  • All shore landings per the daily program
  • Leadership throughout the voyage by our experienced Expedition Leader
  • A daily program of lectures by noted naturalists
  • All Zodiac transfers and cruising per the daily program
  • Formal and informal presentations by our Expedition Team and Special Guests as scheduled
  • Photographic Journal on DVD, documenting the voyage
  • A pair of waterproof expedition boots on loan for shore landings
  • An official Expeditions parka to keep
  • Coffee, tea and cocoa available around the clock
  • A selection of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages
  • Hair dryer and bathrobe in every cabin
  • Comprehensive pre-departure materials, including a map and an informative Arctic Reader
  • All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the program
  • All luggage handling aboard ship
  • Arrival transfer from Longyearbyen airport to your hotel if you arrive one day prior to embarkation
  • On embarkation day transfer from your hotel or Longyearbyen airport to the ship
  • On disembarkation day group transfer from the ship to airport or local designated drop-off location
  • Emergency Evacuation Insurance for all passengers to a maximum benefit of US$100,000 per person


  • Travel insurance
  • International and domestic airfare & airfare taxes
  • Visa fees if applicable
  • Meals and beverages not mentioned
  • Gratuities
  • Items of a personal nature


Prices are "from" per person based on twin/double share accommodation and for travel in low season. Seasonal surcharges and blackout dates may apply. Limited seat/spaces and all pricing is subject to change and availability. Rates for single or triple travellers are available on request - please inquire.

30 Aug 2022
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