The Northwest Passage - In the Wake of Great Explorers (Itinerary 1)

The Northwest Passage - In the Wake of Great Explorers (Itinerary 1)

  • Attempt

The Northwest Passage - In the Wake of Great Explorers (Itinerary 1)

The Northwest Passage - In the Wake of Great Explorers (Itinerary 1)

  • Attempt
Travel information 19 days MS Fram
17 August 2022
Price from
£ 12825
Breakfast, lunch and dinner included

This expedition cruise takes you from Iceland to Greenland’s southern coast before attempting to sail to the heart of the Northwest Passage at Cambridge Bay. 

Southern Greenland 

We begin in Reykjavik, Iceland. From here, you’ll sail the Denmark Strait to Prince Christian Sound, a spectacular maze of channels made of granite rock, and filled with ice floes and glaciers. We spend four days exploring the remarkable fjords and settlements of southern Greenland, including the capital Nuuk and the stunning UNESCO-listed Ilulissat Icefjord.  

Into the Northwest Passage 

The next part of our adventure takes us across the Davis Strait and the start of our attempt to cross the Northwest Passage. Over seven days, we’ll explore the islands that dot this famously challenging sea route, only navigable a few weeks of the year. You’ll discover a range of possible sites amidst spectacular nature, abundant wildlife, Thule and Inuit settlements, and historic trading posts. 

Our route and landings will depend very much on the sea and weather conditions. We plan to take you for small boat cruises among ice floes and Arctic wildlife. The Captain and the Expedition Leader will pick spots for escorted landings with the Expedition Team, that may include Pond Inlet, Dundas Harbour, Radstock Bay, Fort Ross and Gjoa Haven.  

If successful, our great sea adventure ends in Cambridge Bay, where explorers once sought shelter from the harsh winters. You’ll take a flight to Edmonton before returning home. Should sea ice prevent us from completing our transit of the Northwest Passage, you’ll still have experienced the rugged beauty of the High Arctic and many an opportunity to spot rare wildlife such as polar bears. 

The Northwest Passage - In the Wake of Great Explorers (Itinerary 1) The Northwest Passage - In the Wake of Great Explorers (Itinerary 1)

Our Northwest Passage Attempts are expeditions where we, in true expedition style, challenge the elements and the ice-edge of the Arctic Ocean, to circumnavigate this remote and icy waterways – in a safe way. Several alternative routes combined with our deep knowledge of the area and flexibility are key factors to giving you the most amazing experience. And if we really manage to circumnavigate Baffin Island or sail through the entire Northwest Passage, it will be one for the books.

  • Day 1
    Reykjavik, Iceland - Embarkation

    World`s Northernmost Capital

    17 August 2022

    Reykjavik is the world’s northernmost capital city. Norwegian settlers named the place Reykjavik (meaning 'Smoky Bay') after the columns of steam that rose from the hot springs in the area and made a profound impression.

    The surroundings offer fantastic natural beauty with geysers, mountains, glaciers and geothermal baths that are well worth exploring before embarking on MS Fram.

    Day 1
    Reykjavik, Iceland - Embarkation

    World`s Northernmost Capital

  • Day 2-3
    At sea

    The Denmark Strait

    18 August 2022 - 19 August 2022

    We sail across the Denmark Strait, a crossing used by Vikings to migrate from Iceland to South Greenland some 1,000 years ago. We will spend the days on the crossing preparing you for the upcoming adventure.  Enjoy lectures by the Expedition Team and visit our Science Center or just relax with a book, visit the sauna and hot tub or get to know your fellow explorers.

    Day 2-3
    At sea

    The Denmark Strait

  • Day 4
    Prince Christian Sound Region, Greenland

    Mountains, Glaciers and Icebergs

    20 August 2022

    Prince Christian Sound separates Greenland from Sammisoq and the Cape Farewell Archipelago. If the conditions allow, we will sail through this narrow channel and enjoy the spectacular scenery. The sound itself is around 100 km long and very narrow, sometimes only 500 metres wide. If the channel is blocked with ice, we will sail around Nunap Isua (Cape Farewell).

    Day 4
    Prince Christian Sound Region, Greenland

    Mountains, Glaciers and Icebergs

  • Day 5


    21 August 2022

    Kvanefjord is a 48 km long fjord on the west coast of Greenland. We will spend the day exploring this amazing fjord.

    Day 5


  • Day 6

    The Capital of Greenland

    22 August 2022

    Nuuk is the oldest town in the nation, founded in 1728. The name Nuuk means peninsula, as it is located at the mouth of one of the most spectacular fjord systems in the world. Today Nuuk is a place where old and new traditions meet, from picturesque old buildings in ”Kolonihaven” to the modern structure of the Greenland Home Rule building.

    Day 6

    The Capital of Greenland

  • Day 7

    Modern Settlement with Ancient Traditions

    23 August 2022

    Sisimiut is situated 40 km north of the Arctic Circle and is a modern settlement that maintains ancient traditions. Come ashore to explore the colourful town; visit the small museum, hike in the hills and shop for local handicrafts.

    Day 7

    Modern Settlement with Ancient Traditions

  • Day 8

    Birth of Icebergs

    24 August 2022

    Ilulissat is set in the stunning scenery of the Ilulissat Icefjord, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Just outside the town you can often see enormous icebergs that originate from the Jakobshavn Glacier, one of the most productive glaciers in the Northern Hemisphere. The icebergs make their way down the 20 km fjord before entering Disko Bay.

    Day 8

    Birth of Icebergs

  • Day 9-10
    At sea - Labrador Sea

    Crossing the Davis Strait

    25 August 2022 - 26 August 2022

    Named for English explorer John Davis, who led expeditions here searching for a route through the Northwest Passage between 1585 and 1587. Davis was the first to draw attention to seal hunting and whaling possibilities in the area, and to show that the Newfoundland cod fisheries extended this far north.

    Day 9-10
    At sea - Labrador Sea

    Crossing the Davis Strait

  • Day 11-17
    The Northwest Passage

    Heart of the Northwest Passage

    27 August 2022 - 2 September 2022

    Next, we aim to head into the heart of the historic Northwest Passage. The first recorded voyage here was led by John Cabot in 1497. The most famous journey was James Cook’s failed attempt to sail the Passage in 1776, and of course the ill-fated Franklin expedition of 1845. The first to conquer the Passage by ship was Norwegian Roald Amundsen on an expedition that lasted from 1903 to 1906.

    The ice varies from year to year, so we hope to be able to show you some of the following places:

    Pond Inlet, called 'Mittimatalik' in Inuktitut, is a traditional Inuit community surrounded by mountains, glaciers, fjords, ice caves, geological hoodoos and drifting icebergs.

    Dundas Harbour is an abandoned settlement with an old Royal Canadian Mounted Police camp and several archaeological sites. Come shore to see the ruins of some of these buildings, along with an impressive Thule site.

    Radstock Bay is dominated by the striking outcropping of Caswell Tower. The shoreline here is ideal for walks to a pre-historic Inuit dwelling site. Caswell Tower itself features a challenging hike to the summit for great views.

    Beechey Island is known for the ill-fated Franklin expedition. Two ships sailed into the passage in 1845, but neither were ever seen again. It is known that the Franklin Expedition over-wintered on Beechey Island in 1845-1846.

    Fort Ross is a trading post established in 1937. There are two small huts ashore that are maintained by the Canadian Coast Guard.

    Gjøa Haven honours the Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen, who wintered here from 1903. He was in contact with the local Netsilik Inuit people, and learned a lot from them about survival and travel in polar regions.

    Throughout the journey, we will be sailing in amazing straits with unique nature and hopefully enough ice to be on the constant look out for wildlife.

    Day 11-17
    The Northwest Passage

    Heart of the Northwest Passage

  • Day 18
    Cambridge Bay - Disembarkation

    A Good Fishing Place

    3 September 2022

    In Inuinnaqtun, Cambridge Bay is called 'Iqaluktuuttiaq', meaning a 'good fishing place' for the giant char that is caught nearby. Local wildlife is abundant: seals, geese, muskoxen and caribou. This is where our expedition ends, and you will be transferred to the airport for your flight to Edmonton.

    Day 18
    Cambridge Bay - Disembarkation

    A Good Fishing Place

  • Day 19

    End of your expedition

    4 September 2022

    Something is happening in Edmonton, the final destination of your expedition. Alberta’s capital has always been a steady business and government centre, but recently Forbes magazine called it ‘one of Canada’s hottest destinations’. If you’re not rushing for your flight home, you might have time to find out why.  

    The city is lively and colourful, with all the trimmings of a modern metropolis: a thriving food scene, craft breweries and distilleries, independent shopping boutiques and a cutting-edge arts scene. It is also home to the fifth largest shopping centre in the world – the West Edmonton Mall. 

    Extending your stay, however, will allow you to sample the vast wilderness at Edmonton’s doorstep. Just 35 minutes away, it’s possible to see free-roaming bison grazing in a meadow in the national park or standing in the middle of the road. A visit to the Elk Island National Park is an optional Post-Programme you can participate in before you fly home.  

    Day 19

    End of your expedition



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What's included

Included in your voyage


  • Overnight in Edmonton after the Expedition cruise including breakfast 


  • Economy flight from Cambridge Bay to Edmonton 


  • Transfer from the ship to the airport in Cambridge Bay after the Expedition cruise
  • Transfer from the airport in Edmonton to the hotel after the Expedition cruise 

Expedition Cruise  

  • Expedition cruise in a cabin of your choice
  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner including beverages (house beer and wine, sodas, and mineral water) in restaurants Aune and Fredheim 
  • À la carte restaurant Lindstrøm included for suite guests 
  • Complimentary tea and coffee 
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi on board. Be aware that we sail in remote areas with limited connection. Streaming is not supported. 
  • Complimentary reusable water bottle to use at water refill stations on board 
  • English-speaking Expedition Team who organise and accompany activities on board and ashore 
  • Range of included excursions 

Onboard Activities 

  • Experts on the Expedition Team deliver in-depth lectures on a variety of topics 
  • Use of the ship’s Science Center which has an extensive library and advanced biological and geological microscopes 
  • Citizen Science programme allows guests to assist with live scientific research 
  • Professional onboard photographer gives top tips and tricks for the best landscape and wildlife photos 
  • Use of the ship’s hot tubs, infinity pool, panoramic sauna, outdoor and indoor gyms, and outdoor running track  
  • Informal gatherings with the crew such as daily recaps and preparation for the day to come 

Landing Activities 

  • Escorted landings with small expedition boats  
  • Loan of boots, trekking poles, and all equipment for activities 
  • Complimentary wind and water-resistant expedition jacket 
  • Expedition Photographers help with your camera settings before landings

Not included in your voyage

  • International flights  
  • Travel insurance 
  • Luggage handling 
  • Optional shore excursions with our local partners 
  • Optional small-group activities with our Expedition Team   
  • Optional treatments in the onboard wellness and spa area 


  • All planned activities are subject to weather and ice conditions 
  • Excursions and activities are subject to change  
  • Medical questionnaire is mandatory 
  • Please make sure you meet all entry and boarding requirements
  • No gratuities expected 
MS Fram in Greenland
Photo: Stian Klo
MS Fram in Antarctica
Photo: Sandra Walser
Your ship

MS Fram

Year built 2007
Year of refurbishment 2022
Ship yard Fincantieri, Italy
Passenger capacity 250 (200 in Antarctica)
Beds 276
Car capacity 0
Gross tonnage 11 647 T
Length 114 m
Beam 20.2 m
Speed 13 knots
MS Fram in Greenland
Photo: Stian Klo

The original Fram was the most famous explorer ship of its time, and the achievements of her expeditions are unparalleled. MS Fram brings on the heritage of the original Fram, using the most advanced technology to make her exceptionally well suited for expedition voyages in Polar Regions.

Read more about MS Fram

Icebergs – one of many favorite photo motives when on an expedition with MS Fram
Photo: Tomas Mauch
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