Into the Northwest Passage

From Greenland to Canada aboard the Ocean Endeavour


Sail from Sondre Stromfjord, one of the longest fjords in the world, across the Arctic Circle into jaw-dropping landscapes of looming glaciers, majestic icebergs, and grand vistas. Witness the wild beauty of these rugged lands aboard Zodiacs, from gorgeous hiking trails, and on birdwatching expeditions with experts. You’ll enjoy the warm welcome of Inuit communities, explore Devon Island, the largest uninhabited island on earth, and visit the famed Beechey Island where the ill-fated Franklin Expedition overwintered in 1845. As you cruise along the top of the world, keep an eye out for whales, seals, and even polar bears—every day is a new adventure!

Note: This cruise is not exclusive to, nor operated by, Wilderness Travel, who acts solely as agent in booking your reservation with the ship operator. The itinerary, lecturers, and all other arrangements are subject to change at the discretion of the cruise line.


Day 1, Aug 22, 2020
Kangerlussuaq, Greenland

Kangerlussuaq is a former US Air Force base and Greenland’s primary flight hub. After your charter flight from Toronto, you will be bused along Greenland’s longest road—less than twenty kilometres—to the port. Zodiacs will be waiting to transfer you to the Ocean Endeavour.

Sondre Stromfjord is one of the longest fjords in the world and boasts 168 kilometres of superb scenery. You begin your adventure by sailing down this dramatic fjord, crossing the Arctic Circle as you go.

Day 2, Aug 23, 2020
Sismiut Coast

People have lived in the Sisimiut area for 4,500 years. For the first 2,000 years, the people of the Saqqaq culture occupied the area. Approximately 2,500 years ago, new people brought the Dorset culture to the Sisimiut area. They lived here for 1,500 years and were followed by the people of the Thule culture—the ancestors of the current population. All these cultures came from Canada.

The people primarily lived on fish, birds and mammals such as whales and seals. The ice-free conditions in the sea around Sisimiut, including some of Greenland’s deepest fjords, allow the Ocean Endeavour to sail in waters that are home to many whales and seals.

Day 3, Aug 24, 2020

Ilulissat translates literally into “iceberg”, an apt name for this site at the mouth of the Ilulissat Icefjord—a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The icefjord is the outlet of the Sermeq Kujalleq glacier, source of many of the icebergs in the north Atlantic.

Here, you will cruise by Zodiac to appreciate the icebergs. You’ll also visit the bustling town of Ilulissat, with its museums, cafes, craft shops, and busy fishing harbor.

Days 4-6, Aug 25-27, 2020
Western Greenland

Your adventure builds as you explore by ship and Zodiac along the west coast of Greenland. Here, you'll find spectacular fjords, where you'll be watching for marine life in majestic and inspiring landscapes dotted with icebergs.

There are numerous options for expedition stops to make the most of weather and wildlife conditions. Departing Greenland, you'll cross Baffin Bay toward Nunavut. Enjoy onboard presentations as you go.

Day 7, Aug 28, 2020

Qikiqtarjuaq, a community located on Broughton Island in Nunavut, is known for wildlife, art, and Aujuittuq National Park. “Qik” was home to a NORAD military station that formed part of the Distant Early Warning (DEW) line in the 1950s.

Qikiqtarjuaq boasts a burgeoning craft industry, and local artisans are eager to share their wares. Talented local artists have a focus on intricate ivory work and jewelry. The community is famously warm and welcoming to visitors.

Days 8-9, Aug 29-30, 2020
East Baffin Island

These days will be expeditions in the truest sense as you navigate the fjords of eastern Baffin Island. The Ocean Endeavour is a perfect mobile observation platform, while the ship's fleet of Zodiacs allows for closer looks when opportunities arise.

As the ship moves through waters known to harbor polar bears, belugas, narwhals, and other marine mammals, you will be monitoring from the deck and bridge to maximize chances of seeing wildlife.

Day 10, Aug 31, 2020
Devon Island

Devon Island is the largest uninhabited island on Earth at over fifty thousand square kilometres. The island's geology is stunning, and very visible as you sail the coast. Flat-topped mountains, glacial valleys, and a substantial ice cap give Devon Island its unique character. The island has a rich human history, and boasts historical and archeological features. You’ll also be on the watch for wildlife!

Day 11, Sep 1, 2020
Beechey Island

In 1845, Sir John Franklin set out from England with HMS Erebus and Terror, attempting to sail through the Northwest Passage. Franklin’s party overwintered at Beechey Island—where three of his men died.

Numerous search parties later used Beechey as a depot and rendezvous. Amundsen, Bernier, and Larsen visited Beechey. Thomas Morgan of the HMS Investigator was buried there in 1854 alongside Franklin’s men. The graves and the ruins of Northumberland House are a haunting memorial.

Days 12-13, Sep 2- 3, 2020
Peel Sound & Parry Channel

Peel Sound was the Franklin expedition’s route south. It presents numerous wildlife and exploratory opportunities. The setting is optimal for hiking and exploring the geological diversity of the area.

The ‘obvious’ route through the Northwest Passage, Parry Channel seldom provides a full transit because of ice. It is named after Arctic explorer William Edward Parry, who got as far as Melville Island in 1819 before being blocked by ice at McClure Strait.

Days 14-16, Sep 4- 6, 2020
Kitikmeot Region

The Kitikmeot Region consists of parts of Victoria Island, the adjacent part of the mainland as far as the Boothia Peninsula, King William Island, and the southern portion of Prince of Wales Island. Its regional seat is Iqaluktuuttiaq (Cambridge Bay), though it also contains five other hamlets.

Recently, the Kitikmeot Region has been in the news since the finding of the lost ships of the Franklin Expedition in its waters. It is Nunavut’s least-populated region, though wildlife abounds here both in the sea and on land.

Day 17, Sep 7, 2020

Located at the mouth of the Coppermine River, Kugluktuk is the westernmost community in Nunavut. Known for many years as Coppermine, the community reverted to its original Inuinnaqtun name—meaning “place of moving waters”—on January 1, 1996.

The Coppermine River is designated a Canadian Heritage River for the important role it played as an exploration and fur trade route. Today you will disembark the Ocean Endeavour and transfer to the airport to meet your charter flight to Calgary.



Enjoy an Inuit cultural welcome in a Nunavut community as drum dancers and cultural ambassadors share their stories
Cruise among icebergs at Ilulissat Icefjord, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
Visit Tallurutiup Imanga National Marine Protected Area
Explore Beechey Island National Historic Site where the Franklin Expedition spent the winter of 1845
Enjoy the expertise of an expedition team, naturalists, and guides


Length: 17 days
Cost From: $10,995  
Arrive: Toronto, Canada
Depart: Calgary, Canada
Lodging: 16 nights aboard a 198-passenger vessel
Meals: All meals aboard ship included (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
Activity: Cultural Adventures, Wildlife & Natural History, Photography, Whale Watching, Small Ship Cruising
Trip Level:

17-day cruise, wildlife and cultural explorations, walking tours