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Northwest Passage: In the Footsteps of Franklin

17 Days
Prices From:
US$ 28,890

DELUXE | CRUISE: Wind your way through icy channels along the legendary Northwest Passage on this compelling 17-day Arctic adventure. Journeying about the brand-new vessel, Ultramarine, you’ll retrace the steps of the Franklin Expedition and explore the northern waterways and communities of Canada’s High Arctic.

This 17-day Arctic vacation takes you from Greenland across the Northwest Passage in Canada’s High Arctic. It features deluxe accommodations about a sea vessel, shared tours, and is a great vacation for wildlife lovers. 

Your journey begins in Toronto, the largest city in Canada, where you’ll have a night to experience a bit of the city in late summer. Take in a baseball game, head to one of the world-class museums, or spend an afternoon in High Park or along the waterfront. From Toronto, fly to Kangerlussuaq, Greenland, where you’ll board your Arctic sea vessel, the Ultramarine. This 5-star polar explorer is a brand-new expedition vessel and is fully equipped for exploring Arctic waters with its ice-strengthened hull, twin-engine helicopters and zodiac fleet. 

You’ll begin your journey across the remote regions of West Greenland, spending two days travelling alongside icy inlets and across frozen channels and bays. Enjoy views of snowcapped mountains and spot humpback whales in the waters. At Maniitsoq, you’ll see the natural canals that give the town the moniker "The Venice of Greenland.” You’ll also visit Nuuk, the capital of Greenland, where you can learn about the island’s culture, see the landmark of Hans Egede Church, and visit the 500-year-old mummies that are preserved in the National Museum.

From Greenland, head into the Davis Strait and start your journey across the Northwest Passage. You’ll spend 10 days travelling through this northern region of Canada, visiting Inuit communities and stopping off at frozen fjords and bays. Gaze upon the jagged peaks of Mount Duval at the hamlet of Pangnirtung, and shop for Inuit arts and crafts at the Uqqurmiut Centre for Arts & Crafts. Visit the uninhabited island of Kekerten that used to be a major whaling site before reaching Cape Mercy, where you can go hiking along the old Distant Early Warning Line installation. 

Continue down the Davis Strait and reach Qikiqtarjuak, the iceberg capital of the world, where the flows of the Davis Strait shepherd icebergs into the waters. In addition to these floating blocks of ice, you might also spot narwhals, beluga whales, and right whales. Continue into Isabella Bay where bowhead whales navigate the waters. Reach Sam Ford Fjord, where you’ll enjoy the magnificent sight of sheer rock walls rising out of the icy ocean. Reach the northern tip of Baffin Island and visit the Pond Inlet community to learn about Inuit traditions. Continue to Lancaster Sound where you can go for a hike to the abandoned RCMP post or cruise a zodiac up to the face of a calving glacier. You may also spot some walruses and visit a Thule archaeological site. This is also a great place to spot polar bears in the wild. 

Reach Beechey Island and visit the three marked gravestones of crewmembers of the doomed Franklin Expedition, which tried to chart the Northwest Passage in the mid-19th century. Continue to Somerset Island to spot whales before reaching Creswell Bay, which is swelling with birdlife in the late summer, including black-bellied plovers, king eiders, and white-rumped sandpipers. At Ford Ross, you’ll see the abandoned Hudson’s Bay Company trading post before reaching Bellot Strait and the northernmost point of the continental landmass, Zenith Point. 

You’ll end your journey in Resolute, Nunavut, where you’ll disembark and fly back to Toronto, where you’ll spend one final night before returning home. 


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17 Days
Prices From:
US$ 28,890

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.

Overnight in a hotel in Toronto.

Day 2

Fly to Kangerlussuaq, Greenland and Embark

After breakfast, board your charter flight to Kangerlussuaq, a small seaside community that's your gateway to Greenland. Enjoy your first Zodiac ride as you're transferred from shore to ship. Out on deck, take in your new surroundings before you set sail on your Arctic adventure.

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 West Greenland

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 onboard 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. Locals call Maniitsoq the Venice of Greenland, as it's situated in an archipelago intersected by natural canals. Soaring, snow-capped mountains surround the small, rocky town, whose name means ''the uneven place''. Playful humpback whales spend summer in the waters around here.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 4

Exploring West Greenland

The Greenlandic capital of Nuuk is a haven for history and culture lovers. Stroll down to the waterfront to see the Hans Egede Church and Hans Egede statue, named for the missionary who established the settlement in 1728. Marvel at the famous remains of 500-year-old fully dressed mummies, discovered under a rock outcrop in 1972 by two brothers out hunting, at the Greenland National Museum. The Nuuk Art Museum and Katuaq Culture Centre are also worth visiting.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 5

At Sea

Say goodbye to Greenland's shores as you traverse the Davis Strait in pursuit of the Canadian Arctic. Presentations by on-board experts will prepare you for the adventures that lie ahead.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 6

Exploring Canada's High Arctic

Visit towering fjords, historical sites and traditional Inuit communities as you follow in the footsteps of famous explorers from long ago in the Canadian High Arctic.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 7

Exploring Canada's High Arctic

The picturesque Inuit hamlet of Pangnirtung, nicknamed the Switzerland of the Arctic, is nestled beneath the jagged peaks of Mount Duval. An artist's hub, Pang is renowned for its traditional Inuit arts and crafts, especially lithographs and intricate tapestries. At the Uqqurmiut Centre for Arts and Crafts, watch craftspeople in the tapestry studio and pick up a limited-edition print. A must for visitors, a colorful Pang hat will keep you warm during the remainder of your Arctic voyage. You'll also visit nearby Kekerten, an uninhabited island that was a major whaling destination in the 1800s.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 8

Exploring Canada's High Arctic

At the southern tip of the Cumberland Sound, Cape Mercy was named by British explorer John Davis (yes, he of the Davis Strait), who sailed through it in 1585. The site of an old Distant Early Warning Line installation, it's an ideal spot to go ashore for a hike.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 9

Exploring Canada's High Arctic

As icebergs travel down the Davis Strait, they're naturally trapped at Qikiqtarjuak (formerly known as Broughton Island), the iceberg capital of the world. The icy waters here are sometimes also home to narwhals, beluga and right whales, and ring and harp seals. A hike up to the hilltop inukshuk (a stone figure made by the Inuit) rewards with spectacular views of the community.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 10

Exploring Canada's High Arctic

Cruising farther north along the east coast of Baffin Island, you'll approach Isabella Bay, an important summer and fall feeding area for a large population of bowhead whales.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 11

Exploring Canada's High Arctic

Stacked side by side, the dozens of soaring cliffs of Sam Ford Fjord make for a majestic site as you sail by. One of the most isolated places on the planet, the big-wall playground attracts climbers eager to scale the sheer rock faces that shoot straight out of the sea.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 12

Exploring Canada's High Arctic

At the northern tip of Baffin Island, near the eastern entrance to the Northwest Passage, is the picturesque hamlet of Pond Inlet. Spend some time exploring this traditional Inuit community that's surrounded by scenic mountains, fjords, glaciers and icebergs.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 13

Exploring Canada's High Arctic

The area around Lancaster Sound affords several hiking opportunities. At Dundas Harbour, on Devon Island, you'll visit an abandoned beachside outpost of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. At nearby Croker Bay, cruise in a Zodiac (at a safe distance) along the face of an actively calving glacier. Your Expedition Team will also keep its eyes peeled for the muskoxen and walrus that are known to visit the bay. A hike to a nearby archaeological site is another possible excursion. Farther west, some of the best ancient Thule remains in the Arctic are at Radstock Bay, beside the soaring Caswell Towers, a polar bear observation site. Exploring the area, you'll gain insight into how these pre-Inuit people lived.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 14

Exploring Canada's High Arctic

At the western end of Devon Island, the windswept Beechey Island might be small, but it's steeped in history. Named after famed British explorer Frederick William Beechey, it's a Canadian National Historic Site. You'll visit the small marked graves of three crew members who died during Sir John Franklin's tragic 1845-- 46 expedition. Roald Amundsen landed here in 1903, during the first successful voyage by ship through the Northwest Passage.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 15

Exploring Canada's High Arctic

Sailing down the east coast of Somerset Island, you may be fortunate to spot beluga whales and narwhals, as they feed on the large numbers of Arctic char that enter Creswell Bay in late summer. An Important Bird Area, the bay also attracts such species as black-bellied plovers, king eiders and white-rumped sandpipers. You'll also have time to explore Fort Ross, where the Hudson's Bay Company established a now-abandoned trading post in 1937. At the midpoint of the Bellot Strait, a narrow channel that separates Somerset Island from mainland North America, you'll reach the northernmost area of the continental landmass, Zenith Point.

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 16

Disembark in Resolute, Canada and 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.

Meal Plan Breakfast
Day 17

Depart Toronto

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

Meal Plan Breakfast

Other Information



Ultramarine: July 30


Ultramarine: August 1


  • 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.

2 Aug 2021
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