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

Be among the few to sail in the wake of great explorers on as we attempt a journey through the legendary Northwest Passage. Experience the raw and daunting beauty of wild terrain on a rarely-travelled voyage. Even today, few ships have the capability to navigate this isolated sea passage that cuts through stunning Arctic landscape.

  • Explore some of the most spectacular and unspoilt scenery on Earth
  • Great wildlife spotting opportunities - including polar bears and walrus
  • Trace history as we explore the region of famous expedition vessels of the past
  • Discover the Ilulissat Icefjord, an UNESCO World Heritage Site
Save £750 per person

On 03 December, we released our new expedition cruise program for 2020/21. If you book this voyage before 31 March 2019, you can save £750 per person.

The price you see online already includes the discount.


The itinerary

Hurtigruten offers unique expedition cruises to some of the most remote and pristine waters of the world. As with all expeditions; nature prevails. Weather, ice and sea conditions set the final framework for all Hurtigruten’s operations. Safety and unparalleled guest experiences are at all times our top priorities. All our indicative itineraries are continuously evaluated for adaptions, whether this is due to constraints the elements unexpectedly present – or exciting possibilities nature and wildlife offer. That is why we call it an expedition.

Departure 14 August 2020

Departs from Reykjavik, Iceland

In the Wake of Great Explorers

On this Northwest Passage expedition, we sail in the wake of the great explorers like Roald Amundsen, the first man to sail the Northwest Passage. Join us to rediscover these remote and beautiful waterways on board MS Fram.

Starting in easily-accessible Reykjavik, we set sail towards Greenland.  We aim to visit colourful Inuit settlements and the UNESCO World Heritage site Ilulissat Icefjord before crossing the Davis Strait and venturing into the Canadian Arctic Archipelago of Nunavut.

Heart of the Passage

We explore the heart and history of the Northwest Passage.  Subject to favourable conditions, we will attempt to make our way through the icy waters of Arctic Canada, or Nunavut as it is known in Inuit.

Throughout the journey, enjoy views of vast expanses of pristine wilderness from the deck.  We hope to visit several sites with traces of earlier expeditions, and some of the world’s northernmost communities. We will attempt to explore legendary inlets and channels and take you on exciting small boat cruising and landings. 

A True Expedition

Being at the top of the world means sailing through challenging ice conditions. On this voyage, like the voyages of the explorers before us, we will go where the ice allows. No matter where we sail or what we will see, we can promise a safe and thrilling expedition. 

Day 1: Reykjavik
The Blue Lagoon outside Reykjavik, Iceland
The Blue Lagoon outside Reykjavik Photo

World`s Northernmost Capital


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 2-3: At sea

The Denmark Strait

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 4: Prince Christian Sound Region

Mountains, Glaciers and Icebergs

Exploration Day

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 5: Kvanefjord


Half day

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

Day 6: Nuuk

The Capital of Greenland

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 7: Sisimiut

Modern Settlement with Ancient Traditions

Full day

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 8: Ilulissat

Birth of Icebergs

Full day

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 9: At sea - Labrador Sea

Crossing the Davis Strait

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 10: Sam Ford Fjord

East Coast of Baffin Island

Scenic navigation

Sam Ford Fjord is set on the east coast of Baffin Island. The fjord is known for its glaciers and granite cliffs rising steeply from the shores to heights up to 1500 metres above sea level.

Day 11-17: Northwest Passage

Heart of the Northwest Passage

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 18: Cambridge Bay

A Good Fishing Place

Disembarkation & flight

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 19: Edmonton

Explore Edmonton

Enjoy the city of Edmonton before your flight home or extend your stay with one of our Post-programmes.

Arrival 01 September 2020

Location Edmonton, Canada
What's included


  • Hurtigruten Expedition Cruise in cabin grade of your choice   
  • One night in Edmonton breakfast
  • Flight from Cambridge Bay to Edmonton in Economy Class
  • Transfer ship to airport in Cambridge Bay and airport to hotel in Edmonton


  • rich programme of included activities on all voyages designed to immerse you in the destinations you visit, including small boat cruising and onshore exploration with the Expedition Team  
  • Professional English-speaking Expedition Team - an international handpicked team of highly educated experts of various academic fields with profound knowledge of the region we sail in  
  • Complimentary wind- and water-resistant jacket   
  • Loan of boots, trekking poles, and equipment needed for optional and included activities  


  • In-depth lectures on science, history, biology, geography, geology or culture that provide context to your voyage and help you understand the destinations you will experience  
  • Explorer Science programme, with educational and Citizen Science activities that let you learn about the sights you’ll see while contributing to research
  •  Introduction photo lecture, camera adjustment and tips & tricks, photo and film footage from the voyage shared in an Expedition Logbook
  • Casual opportunities to engage with the Expedition Team and other guests, including a welcome event, daily gatheringsto recap the day and prepare for the day to come
  • Opportunities to dine and interact with the Expedition Team and officers  
  • Destination-focused onboard library  
  • Port presentations providing destination insight
  • A Farewell event  


  • All meals including beverages (ship beer and wine, sodas and mineral water in all restaurants)
  • Coffee and tea included throughout the day
  • Early riser and afternoon treat offered in addition to breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • A la carte restaurant (only for suite guests) 
  • Gym, hot tubs and panoramic sauna
  • Free Wi-fi on board for all guests. Be aware that we sail in remote areas with limited connection. Streaming is not supported.
  • No gratuities expected   


  • International flights
  • Optional shore excursions with our local partners 
  • Optional small-group adventures such as kayaking with our Expedition Team 
  • Travel insurance
  • Luggage handling 


  • Medical questionnaire mandatory - see Entry requirements for more information
  • The voyage is not suitable for wheelchair disembarkation (use of tender boats)
Life on board