Northwest Passage Epic High Arctic
Starting From:CA$16,570 CAD
The fabled sea route connecting the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, the Northwest Passage continues to grip our collective imagination. On this captivating 17-day voyage, we invite you aboard our game-changing new vessel, Ultramarine, to explore this fascinating waterway with an incredible range of on-board comforts and off-ship adventures no other vessel can offer. Passing through the Canadian Arctic archipelago, guests will journey back in time to the height of Arctic exploration, navigating the waters explored by sailors from different lands and visiting the sites that helped unlock the eventual discovery of this long-coveted route.
Aboard the technologically-advanced Ultramarine, you will explore this remarkable environment in unforgettable ways—taking advantage of two twin-engine helicopters, 20 quick-launching Zodiacs, the most extensive portfolio of adventure options in the industry, more outdoor wildlife viewing spaces than any other expedition ship its size—to create your quintessential Arctic experience. Marvel at highlights of the Canadian Arctic and Greenland’s stunning west coast, stopping at traditional Inuit and Greenlandic communities. Participate in included helicopter activities and take in the vast, pristine Arctic wilderness from the air. Visit the UNESCO World Heritage site Ilulissat Icefjord, whose Jakobshavn glacier calves off icebergs up to a kilometer high. And keep your eyes peeled for the elusive and majestic creatures who make their home in this harsh, remote landscapes, such as whales, walrus, muskoxen and polar bears. Come aboard Ultramarine, venture to the fabled route that for centuries held explorers in its grip, and return home forever bonded to the spirit of Arctic adventure.
Experience highlights of the Canadian Arctic and Greenland
Visit Inuit and Greenlandic communities
View Arctic wildlife, such as whales, walrus and muskoxen
Explore the Ilulissat Icefjord, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
Cruise in a Zodiac to explore icebergs, glaciers, fjords and more
Enjoy flightseeing and heli landings with Ultramarine’s two onboard helicopters
Our portfolio of immersive itineraries allows you to choose where—and how—you’d like to explore the Arctic with the best expedition team in the Polar Regions.
- Departing From:
- Calgary, Canada
- Starting From:
- CA$16,570 CAD* Per person(Incl. Transfer Package)
- 17 Days
Your Arctic expedition begins in Calgary. Explore this vibrant city on your own before spending the night at your well-appointed hotel.
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.
Cruising around the remote regions of 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 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 raised 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 people who were previously 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 hiking and cruising opportunities on Devon Island. At Dundas Harbour, trek along a beach to a former Royal Canadian Mounted Police outpost. We’ll anchor at Croker Bay, where we’ll cruise near enough to appreciate the splendor of glacial textures and calving ice, while always keeping a safe distance. Walrus frequent the waters here, so be sure to have your camera handy.
Canada’s most northern settlement, Grise Fiord will be your final shore visit in the Canadian High Arctic. Now home to about 150 residents, the mostly Inuit community was created in 1953, when the federal government forcefully relocated 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.
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.
Your first stop in Greenland is Qaanaaq, formerly known as Thule, one of the northernmost towns in the world. 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.
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.
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.
Each community visit in Greenland is a unique experience and Uummannaq might just steal your heart. It’s not surprising that the red-hued, heart-shaped mountain that rises up behind gave this traditional village 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 written 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 icy waters 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 and anthropologist 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 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) has become a national symbol of Greenland and has been used by Inuit hunters for thousands of years. The town has several 18th-century colonial buildings, including the oldest surviving church in Greenland, so take time to wander through the historic area.
Surrounded by sea and mountains, Itilleq is situated about a mile (2 km) above the Arctic Circle, in a scenic hollow on a small island. It is the southern limit of the Greenlandic sled dog. To keep the breed pure, the dogs are not permitted south of this community and all other dog breeds are prohibited this far north. It’s also known as a welcoming community, where you might experience “kaffemik,” a Greenlandic tradition of inviting visitors in for coffee, cakes and conversation. Explore the town’s charming wooden houses painted in a rainbow of colors, chat with the locals, whose main trade is fishing, and maybe challenge them to a game of football (soccer) —it won’t be long before you’re experiencing Itilleq’s famous friendly vibe.
Enjoy one more Zodiac ride to shore, where you’ll board your charter flight back to Toronto, Canada. Upon arrival in Toronto, you will be transferred to your included hotel.
Today, you can make your way home at your leisure or spend some time exploring this fascinating city.
- Leadership throughout your voyage by our experienced Expedition Leaders, including shore landings and other activities
- All Zodiac transfers and cruising as per the daily program
- All shore landings as per the daily program
- Shipboard accommodation with daily housekeeping
- All meals, snacks, soft drinks and juices on board throughout your voyage (Please inform us of any dietary requirements as far in advance as possible. Unfortunately, the ships’ galleys cannot prepare kosher meals.)
- Select beer and wine during dinner; and coffee, tea and cocoa available around the clock
- Formal and informal presentations by our Expedition Team and guest speakers as scheduled
- A photographic journal documenting the expedition
- A pair of waterproof expedition boots on loan for landings and Zodiac cruising excursions
- An official Quark Expeditions® parka to keep
- Hair dryer and bathrobes in every cabin
- All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the program
- All luggage handling aboard the ship
- Emergency Evacuation insurance for all passengers to a maximum benefit of USD $500,000 per person
- Greenland voyages cruise passenger tax
- International airfare
- Arrival and departure transfers in Toronto
- Passport and visa expenses
- Canadian eTA required for non-Canadian or U.S. visa-exempt passengers
- Government arrival and departure taxes not mentioned above
- Meals ashore unless otherwise specified
- Baggage, cancellation, interruption and medical travel insurance—strongly recommended
- Excess-baggage fees on international and domestic flights
- Mandatory waterproof pants for Zodiac cruising, or any other gear not mentioned
- Laundry, bar and other personal charges unless specified
- Phone and Internet charges (connectivity may vary by location)
- Voluntary gratuity at the end of the voyage for shipboard staff and crew
- Additional overnight accommodation
- Adventure Options not listed in Included Activities
All we need is a little bit of information about your travel preferences and one of our Polar Travel Advisors will be in touch.
in open water
Staff and Crew
Ultramarine's off-ship adventures start here on Deck 2. This is where you’ll find the efficiently-designed Ready Rooms A and B next to the Zodiac hangar, where you'll embark on your off-ship adventure options. Ultramarine’s two ready rooms include an individual locker for each guest to safely store and dry personal items and expedition gear between outings. They're also equipped with benches that are handy when changing attire before or after off-ship excursions. Zodiac embarkation is at water-level which makes for quick deployment.
Deck 3 is where you’ll find Reception, where a crew member is available (during posted hours) to assist you. It’s also where you’ll purchase internet or email access cards and phone cards, arrange for a wake-up call, or settle your accounts at the end of the voyage. Also on Deck 3 is the Polar Boutique, which is stocked with expedition gear and a selection of polar souvenirs. The Clinic is located on Deck 3, as are the Explorer Triples and the Explorer Suites (two of which offer modified layouts and bathrooms for wheelchair accessibility).
Deck 4 offers guests two categories of suites. The Balcony Suites feature one double or two single beds, and a 52 sq. ft. (4.8 sq. m) balcony, a refrigerator, safe, TV, and a bathroom with shower and heated floors. (Some Balcony Suites offer interconnecting rooms.) The larger Deluxe Balcony Suites feature one double or two single beds, a 70 sq. ft. (6.5 sq. m) balcony, refrigerator, safe, TV, and a bathroom with shower, bathtub and heated floors.
Deck 5 is home to Balena restaurant, featuring tables that accommodate 2 to 10 guests. Every seat in Ultramarine’s main restaurant offers views of the wraparound deck. At the opposite end of Deck 5 is the state-of-the-art Ambassador Theatre, where guests enjoy daily presentations and films on the high-definition LED wall screen. This space is large enough to accommodate all guests.
During your voyage you may be granted access to the Bridge to observe how the Captain and officers sail and navigate the ship. This is an excellent opportunity to learn how your vessel operates. Strict etiquette applies during Bridge visits which can be facilitated through the Expedition Leader. Also on Deck 6 is a selection of Deluxe Balcony Suites, Ultra Suite, Solo Panorama, Owner’s Suite and Terrace Suites.
Guests can go to Deck 7 to visit Bistro 487, an alternative dining option to the larger Balena restaurant. Here, they'll enjoy selections from the main menu, healthy eating options and light snacks, as well as an early riser’s breakfast, afternoon tea and late night snacks. Also on Deck 7 are the Sauna (with floor-to-ceiling windows), the Library, Tundra Spa, a gym with the latest fitness equipment, and studio space for informal yoga.
Ultramarine’s two twin-engine H145 helicopters enable guests to enjoy the largest selection of off-ship adventures, all of which start at the two helidecks. It’s here on Deck 8 that guests will safely board the two helicopters to experience more unique aerial perspectives and heli-supported activities than are possible on any other ship in the industry.
Departure Dates and Cabins
Sorry, there are no current departure dates for this expedition.
All we need is a little bit of information about your travel preferences and one of our Polar Travel Advisors will be in touch.