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Northwest Passage: In the Footsteps of Franklin

17 days

Cruising through the maze-like, icy channels of the legendary Northwest Passage is like sailing deep into the history of the High Arctic. On this immersive 17-day expedition through the fabled sea route, you’ll explore the same landscapes and waters that have enchanted adventurers for hundreds of years, tracing their footsteps. Pay your respects at the final resting place of three of Sir John Franklin’s lost crew. Visit traditional Inuit communities, and bone up on ancient cultures at remote historical sites. Learn about the whaling heyday of the 1800s and, if you’re lucky, spot present-day whales frolicking in their natural surroundings. On this active adventure, Zodiac, kayaking and hiking excursions make it easier than ever to encounter the unique wildlife that call this mysterious realm of dramatic fjords, glaciers and mountains home.

Day-by-Day Expedition in Brief

  • Experience highlights of Greenland and the Canadian Arctic
  • Explore colorful Greenlandic villages and shop for traditional Inuit handicrafts
  • View iconic arctic wildlife, such as whales, walrus and muskoxen
  • Hike the colorful tundra
  • Cruise in a Zodiac to get up close to glaciers, fjords, icebergs and more

Day 1 — Arrive in Ottawa, Canada

Your arctic adventure begins in Ottawa. Explore the Canadian capital on your own, before spending the night at your well-appointed hotel.

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.

Days 3 and 4 — Exploring West Greenland

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.

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.

Days 6 to 15 — Canada's High Arctic

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

Day 16 — Disembarkation in Resolute, Canada

After disembarking in Resolute, you’ll be transferred to your charter flight to Ottawa, where you’ll spend the night at your included hotel.

Day 17 — Depart Ottawa

Today, make your way to the airport to catch your homeward flights, or spend the day exploring Canada’s capital city.
View full 17-day itinerary »

Adventure Options Add an Extra Rush of Adrenaline to Your Expedition

Hiking is a great way to appreciate the immense windswept landscapes of the Arctic.

The tundra comes alive during the brief Arctic summer, with bursts of color from shrubs and plants that eke out a living in this Polar environment.

You’ll and each hike is different — exploring communities, shorelines or glaciated landscapes, often on the lookout for wildlife. Hiking participation is optional and your Expedition Team will advise you of what you can expect prior to each excursion.

Complimentary

  • Optional on most Arctic voyages
  • All guides and instructions are provided by Quark
  • No experience is required; optional lengths and levels of hiking offered