Northwest Passage – In the Wake of the Great Explorers
Duration: 26 days
Ship: MS Roald Amundsen
15 August 2021
Price from : £ 14426 per personCheck prices and availability
- A voyage of legend that attempts to cross the Arctic through the famous Northwest Passage
- Meet local Inuits during visits to remote yet welcoming communities in Canada and Greenland
- Spot magnificent Arctic wildlife, with good chances to see polar bears, whales, and walrus
- Beautiful, pristine, and rarely-seen landscape made up of mountains, icebergs, and fjords
Your journey begins with an overnight stay in Vancouver, giving you the chance to get a taste of the Canadian city’s rich culture, great restaurants and undeniable natural beauty.
To experience more of the region before your voyage begins, join an optional Pre-Programme travelling on the scenic Rocky Mountaineer train.
We fly to Nome to board MS Roald Amundsen. Set at the tip of the Seward Peninsula, overlooking the Bering Sea, Nome is perhaps the most famous gold rush town in Alaskan history. There are artifacts of the gold rush era to be seen everywhere, including abandoned dredges, turn-of-the-century steam engines, and old railroad tracks.
Days at sea are spent at your leisure aboard the ship. Relax while gazing out at the view, learn more from the knowledgeable Expedition Team in our lecture series, or chat with your fellow explorers.
We sail through the Bering Strait, before heading into the Chukchi Sea. As we reach Point Barrow, the northernmost point of the USA, we enter the Beaufort Sea. We will keep a sharp eye open here for bowhead and grey whales and we might also start seeing sea ice.
We continue into the Amundsen Gulf, where we hope to observe the remarkable Smoking Hills - an amazing sight, with smoke billowing from the cliffs on the east coast of Cape Bathurst. Lignite – a combination of eroded shale and pyrite – spontaneously ignites when exposed to air, creating this photogenic phenomenon.
Almost 40 expeditions tried to navigate this seaway as far back as 1497. James Cook attempted it in 1776 and many are familiar with the ill-fated Franklin expedition of 1845.
The first to conquer the Northwest Passage by ship was Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen on an expedition that lasted from 1903 to 1906. Now in our modern era, we aim to follow the wake of their ships and sail through the centre of the Northwest Passage too.
During our journey, we will land at sites that are linked to early exploration history, visit Inuit communities, and hope to spot Arctic wildlife such as polar bears, whales, seals, and large colonies of seabirds. There will also be opportunities for small boat cruising between ice floes, and in true expedition style, we will go ashore and experience the pristine wilderness firsthand.
The ship captain and Expedition Leader will continuously assess the current weather and sea conditions, adapt activities accordingly, and adjust the itinerary to where the sea ice allows us to go. Like all good explorers, we respect and work with nature, not against it.
Here are some of the places in the region that we plan to explore together, subject to favourable conditions:
Many in the 500-strong community are involved in the local artists co-op, producing prints, tapestries, and other crafts. This is also the location of the the world's northernmost golf course which plays host a tournament each summer.
Located on Victoria Island, this is the largest stop for vessels traversing the Northwest Passage. It is also called ‘Iqaluktuuttiaq', or ‘A Good Fishing Place’ due to the Ekalluk River which attracts giant char, muskoxen, and caribou.
Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen wintered at this hamlet in 1903 on his Gjøa expedition. There is an informative walking tour, Heritage Centre, and Hamlet Centre dedicated to the history and culture of the area.
An abandoned Hudson’s Bay Trading post located at the southern end of Sommerset Island. The storehouse here is still used as a shelter by occasional travellers, with bunk beds and shelves of canned goods.
This is the final resting place for three members of the lost Franklin expedition which sailed into the Northwest Passage in 1845 but never returned. It is customary for explorers to stop and pay their respects, as did Roald Amundsen in 1903.
Welcome to the largest uninhabited island on Earth. The only signs of human life are at the long abandoned settlement of Dundas Harbour along with several archaeological sites from the Thule period.
Picturesque Pond Inlet, called 'Mittimatalik' in Inuktitut, is a traditional Inuit community on Baffin Island. It overlooks Eclipse Sound and the mountains of Bylot Island and is known as a great place to see large pods of narwhal.
This strait was named after English explorer John Davis who searched for a route through the Northwest Passage between 1585 and 1587. Wind down and watch the waves aboard the ship, or enjoy a lecture from the Expedition Team as we head north towards Greenland.
This small town is set in the stunning scenery of the Ilulissat Icefjord UNESCO World Heritage Site. At the mouth of the fjord you can see enormous icebergs that have run aground. These ice masses originate from the Jakobshavn Glacier, one of the fastest-moving glaciers in the world. Join one of our many optional excursions here.
IncludedIlulissat - Walk to the IcefjordsHear the ice cracking in the distance?
Boat trip to the Ice FjordIlulissat is renowned for its beautiful and breathtaking Ice Fjord - best experienced from a boat. Get close to nature and experience the ice that leaves visitors speechless in wonder.
Hike to Holms BakkeHike through spectacular surroundings as we take you to Holms Bakke – a traditional hiking trip for locals. Experience Inuit culture, see incredible icebergs and learn about local flora and fauna.
Sisimiut is the second largest town in Greenland, situated 40 km north of the Arctic Circle. It is a modern, growing settlement with a history that goes back 4,500 years. For example, its name means `The People Living in a Place of Fox Dens´. There are a variety of optional excursions to discover the area.
IncludedSisimiut - Kayak Demo and Museum visitSisimiut is Greenland's second largest town with approximately 5.500 inhabitants. That's almost 4 times smaller than the Capital, Nuuk.
City tour by busIf you want to comfortably experience all of Sisimiut in a short amount of time, this sightseeing tour by bus is the perfect excursion for you.
Sisimiut Town WalkSisimiut is Greenland's second largest town with approximately 5.500 inhabitants. That's almost 4 times smaller than the Capital, Nuuk.
Hike to Palasip QaqqaaJoin a challenging summit hike and be rewarded with an amazing panoramic view!
It is time to say goodbye to Greenland, and head out on another stretch of open sea. We will cross the southern part of the Labrador Sea, this time towards Newfoundland and Labrador in Canada.
Preserved in the ice-cold waters, the remains of several 17th century Basque whaling ships have led to the town being designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visit the local museum that documents this interesting history or take the trail up to Tracey Hill for scenic views, and where, legends say, pirate captain Kidd buried treasure.
IncludedRed Bay - Red Bay Highlights AccessWant to get a feel for Red Bay’s local culture and history?
Coastal Labrador and Point Amour Lighthouse tourDrive the coastal highway and visit the tallest lighthouse in Atlantic Canada.
Red Bay Then and Now Historical Walking tourStroll through the intriguing village of Red Bay with local guides to provide insight into the history and culture of this remarkable community with a history of whaling.
Located at the mouth of the Bay of Islands and Humber River, Corner Brook is the second largest city in the province and local to the core. Explore the city centre or enjoy its many walking trails along the Humber River, decorated at this time of year with vibrant autumn leaves.
Corner Brook - Gros Morne by MotorcoachExplore the mountains, fjords, and coastal wonders of Gros Morne National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site recognized for its unique geology.
Corner Brook - Marble Mountain Zip LineExperience zip lining like never before with an adventure that starts at the top of Steady Brook Falls, just outside of Corner Brook, western Newfoundland’s largest town.
Captain Cook's TrailThis excursion is a scenic exploration of the countryside with a local host who will share historic stories of the region’s rich land and sea.
Corner Brook Trails AdventureEmbrace the spectacular natural beauty of the Corner Brook woodlands during this picturesque hiking excursion.
The adventure is drawing to an end. Spend time with the other guests and the Expedition Team reviewing the many exciting experiences you shared during our voyage together.
Your journey exploring the Northwest Passage comes to an end in Halifax, capital of Nova Scotia. There are red-brick heritage buildings, parks, a landmark citadel, some world-class museums, and a 4km seafront boardwalk. If you can, we definitely recommend spending an extra day or two here on one of our Post-Programmes before you head home.
Included in your voyage
- Overnight in Vancouver before the Expedition cruise including breakfast
- Economy flight from Vancouver to Nome
- Transfer from the hotel in Vancouver to the airport before the Expedition cruise
- Transfer from the airport to the ship in Nome before the 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
- 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
- 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 ensure you meet all visa entry requirements
- No gratuities expected
MS Roald Amundsen
|Ship yard||Kleven Yards|
|Passenger capacity||530 (500 in Antarctica)|
|Gross tonnage||20 889 T|
In 2019, Hurtigruten added a brand new ship to its fleet: the MS Roald Amundsen. The state of the art vessel features new and environmentally sustainable hybrid technology that will reduce fuel consumption and show the world that hybrid propulsion on large ships is possible.
Some expedition cruises may include excursions that can be reserved for no additional charge. These included excursions can often be combined with other excursions available in port.
Please note excursions are subject to change and are not yet available for booking for departures after March 2021.
Ilulissat - Walk to the Icefjords
Boat trip to the Icefjord
Hike to Holms Bakke
Sisimiut - Kayak Demo and Museum visit
Sisimiut - City tour by bus
Sisimiut Town Walk
Sisimiut - Hike to Palasip Qaqqaa
Corner Brook - Gros Morne by Motorcoach
Corner Brook - Marble Mountain Zip Line
Corner Brook - Captain Cook's Trail
Corner Brook Trails Adventure
Red Bay - Red Bay Highlights Access
Red Bay - Coastal Labrador and Point Amour Lighthouse tour
Red Bay Then and Now Historical Walking tour
Extend your cruise
Get more out of your journey by adding a Pre- or Post-programme before or after your expedition cruise.
Halifax: Post-programme (20/21 and 21/22)
Before you travel with MS Roald Amundsen
- Discover the Northwest Passage
- What to pack for your cruise to the Northwest Passage
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Entry requirements for your travel