Northwest Passage – In the Wake of the Great Explorers
Duration: 29 days
Ship: MS Roald Amundsen
16 August 2020
Price from : £ 15663 per personCheck prices and availability
- Sail in the wake of the great explorers on this rarely-travelled expedition
- Learn about exploration history and incredible nature
- Spot magnificent wildlife, including a chance to see polar bears and walrus
- Visit traditional villages
Bustling Vancouver is surrounded by a picturesque range of mountains, making it a popular tourist destination all year round. Vancouver is a young city with cultural and natural attractions that appeal to every type of traveller.
After breakfast, you will fly to the gold rush town of Nome, where our epic voyage begins. The colourful local history of this frontier town is on display at the Carrie M. McLain Museum. Embarkation on MS Roald Amundsen.
We sail through the Bering Strait, before heading into the Chukchi Sea. Our Expedition Team will start their lecture program preparing you for the days ahead.
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. Local Lignite - a combination of shale and pyrite – spontaneously ignites when exposed to air, due to the erosion of the hills, causing this photogenic phenomenon.
We aim to sail into the heart of the Northwest Passage. Since the late 15th century, the search for this fabled seaway through the Canadian Arctic was a holy grail for hardy adventurers.
There are records of almost 40 expeditions that sailed these waters. The first recorded attempt was the voyage of John Cabot in 1497. The most famous journey here 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 Northwest Passage by ship was Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen on an expedition that lasted from 1903 to 1906.
Ice condition vary from year to year, and that is why this voyage still if one of a kind. Subject to favourable conditions, we hope to be able to show you some of the following places:
Ulukhaktok is a settlement on Victoria Island in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago. Due to the remote location, the 460 people of Ulukhaktokk have had little to do with the rest of the world and remain traditional in many aspects of their daily life.
Cambridge Bay is located on Victoria Island. In Inuinnaqtun it is called 'Iqaluktuuttiaq', meaning a 'good fishing place.' The hamlet is located close to the Ekalluk River, which is famous for giant char. It is rich in archaeological history and blessed with abundant fish, seals, geese, muskoxen and caribou.
Gjøa Haven honours the Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen, who wintered here from 1903 on the Gjøa expedition. He was in contact with the local Netsilik Inuit people and he learned a lot from them about survival and travel in polar regions.
Fort Ross is a trading post established in 1937. There are two small huts ashore that are maintained by the Canadian Coast Guard.
Beechey Island is closely linked to the history of exploration of the Northwest Passage. The most famous voyage is the British expedition led by Sir John Franklin. Two ships sailed into the passage in 1845, but neither the ships nor any of the 129 crewmembers were ever seen again. It is known that the Franklin Expedition over-wintered on Beechey Island in 1845-1846.
On the south coast of Devon Island lies Dundas Harbour, an abandoned settlement with an old Royal Canadian Mounted Police camp and several archaeological sites. Come ashore to see the ruins of some of these buildings, along with an impressive Thule site.
The picturesque hamlet of Pond Inlet, also called 'Mittimatalik' in Inuktitut, is a traditional Inuit community, located on the northern tip of Baffin Island, near the eastern entrance to the Northwest Passage. Pond Inlet is surrounded by mountain ranges, with several dozen glaciers, scenic fjords and inlets, ice caves, geological hoodoos and drifting icebergs.
In addition, we will be sailing in amazing straits with unique nature and hopefully enough ice to make it for excellent wildlife spotting.
We cross the Davis Strait, named for the English explorer John Davis, who led three expeditions in the area 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.
Ilulissat is set in the stunning scenery of the Ilulissat Icefjord, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Just outside the town, at the mouth of the fjord, you can often see enormous icebergs that have run aground. They 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.
Walk to the Icefjords (2 hrs)
Hear the ice cracking in the distance? Take a closer look at the beautiful icebergs of Ilulissat Icefjord. Getting a close-up view of these frozen giants will slow your world down and leave you humbled. Join us on a walk to enjoy this UNESCO World Heritage site.
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.
Kayak Demo and Museum visit (1 - 2 hrs)
Enjoy a traditional kayaking demonstration and the Sisimit museum. The Inuit invented the ‘qajaq’ in Greenland. Experience the Greenlander kayak roll first hand. Sisimut museum features local cultural history and exhibits different periods of the city’s history and its surroundings.
The capital of Greenland is the political and social centre of the nation, and the oldest town in Greenland, founded by the Danish-Norwegian missionary Hans Egede in 1728. The city’s location is lovely, set at the mouth of one of the largest and most spectacular fjord systems in the world.
Shuttle & Museum visit (1 - 2 hrs)
Visit the National Museum of Greenland. Discover exhibitions covering Greenland's history during the past 4,500 years - from the first Arctic Stone Age cultures to the Norse settlements, the arrival of the Thule culture and the gradual transition to modern day Greenland.
Ivittuut is a stronghold for musk oxen. The settlement was built on top of the so-called Norse Middle settlement where,Vikings settled 1,000 years ago. Archaeologists believe it was the last settlement established, and the first to be abandoned in the area.
It is time to say goodbye to Greenland, and head for another stretch of open sea. We will cross the southern part of the Labrador Sea, this time towards Newfoundland and Labrador in Canada.
Red Bay, on the coast of Labrador, is a classic outpost of Atlantic Canada, a coastal community with a population of less than 200. In 2013, Red Bay Basque Whaling Station was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Wander around the former whaling town and learn about its interesting history.
Red Bay Highlights Access (1 - 3 hrs)
Want to get a feel for Red Bay’s local culture and history? Visit both the Red Bay World Heritage Site Interpretation Center, and the Community Center Whaling Exhibit. Feel like stretching your legs? This complimentary pass includes a boat ride to Saddle Island where you can explore the remnants of whale blubber ovens used more four centuries ago.
Corner Brook is located on the west coast of the island of Newfoundland and has approx. 20,000 inhabitants. The area was first surveyed by Captain James Cook in 1767. Explore the charming town centre or enjoy its many walking trails amid vibrant autumn leaves.
Every great adventure must come to an end. Enjoy time with Expedition Team to look back at experiences shared and recapping our voyage.
The British established Halifax 1749. Enjoy the views from the Citadel-crowned hill overlooking the city. This colourful gateway town is both hip and historic and well worth an extra day or two before you head back home.
Included in your voyage
- Hurtigruten Expedition Cruise in cabin grade of your choice
- One hotel night in Vancouver before the voyage breakfast
- Transfer from hotel to airport in Vancouver
- Economy flight from Vancouver to Nome
- Transfer from airport to ship in Nome
EVERYTHING YOU NEED FOR AN ADVENTURE
- A rich programme of included activities on all voyages designed to immerse you in the destinations you visit, including small boat cruising and onshore explorationwith 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
ENGAGING ONBOARD ACTIVITIES AND EDUCATION
- 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 gatherings to 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
PREMIUM ONBOARD COMFORT
- 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
- Fredheim restaurant meals included
- A la carte restaurant (only for suite guests)
- Gym, hot tubs and panoramic sauna
- Rejuvenating wellness areas with separate treatment rooms, infinity pool, outdoor gym, running track
- 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
Not included in your voyage
- International flights
- Optional shore excursions with our local partners
- Optional small-group adventures with our Expedition Team such as kayaking (availability pending weather conditions and safety)
- Travel insurance
- Luggage handling
- Medical questionnaire mandatory
- Visa for USA (ESTA) and Canada (ETA)
For details please see the Entry requirements
- This cruise is not suitable for guests using wheelchairs due to the possibility of using tender boats during embarkation or disembarkation.
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.
Extend your cruise
Get more out of your journey by adding a Pre- or Post-programme before or after your expedition cruise.
Rocky Mountaineer and Vancouver: Pre-Programme A
Before you travel with MS Roald Amundsen
- Travel guide to the Northwest Passage
- What to pack for your cruise to the Northwest Passage
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Entry requirements for your travel