Iceland, Greenland and Northwest Passage – Great Explorer Trail

Iceland, Greenland and Northwest Passage – Great Explorer Trail

Iceland, Greenland and Northwest Passage – Great Explorer Trail

Iceland, Greenland and Northwest Passage – Great Explorer Trail

Travel information 31 Days MS Fram
Departure
2 August 2023
Price from
20797 €
Breakfast, lunch and dinner included

An expedition cruise sailing from Iceland to the wild fjords of Greenland before penetrating to the heart of Canada’s Northwest Passage. 

Majestic and wild East Greenland  

From Reykjavik, we sail across the Denmark Strait to the spectacular east coast of Greenland. Our destination is Scoresbysund, the world’s largest fjord system. In total, this vast pristine region fans out over 14,000 square miles. Under the expert guidance of our Expedition Team, you’ll get an intimate look at this precious ecosystem on landings, nature walks, and kayaking tours.  

Wildlife abounds in this peaceful haven. As we glide through dark, placid waters beneath soaring mountains, you’ll be watching out for whales and other marine wildlife. Birding enthusiasts will be on the lookout for species including Brünnich's Guillemots, Snowy Owls and Greenlandic Gyrfalcons. 

Southern Greenland and onto the Northwest Passage 

From here, you’ll sail south to Prince Christian Sound, a remarkable maze of granite rock channels filled with ice floes and glaciers. We’ll spend four days exploring the fjords and settlements, including the capital Nuuk and the stunning UNESCO-listed Ilulissat Icefjord.  

The next part of your voyage takes us across the Davis Strait to cruise into Canada’s Northwest Passage.  Only passable a few weeks of the year, navigating this icy waterway safely involves challenging the elements, some flexibility and a sense of adventure. All routes include breathtaking scenery and abundant wildlife, with Thule and Inuit settlements. Your adventure ends in cosmopolitan Montréal. 

Iceland, Greenland and Northwest Passage – Great Explorer Trail Iceland, Greenland and Northwest Passage – Great Explorer Trail
  • Day 1
    Reykjavik, Iceland

    The start of the adventure

    2 August 2023

    Start your expedition cruise in Iceland’s capital city, a centre for art, culture, history and pleasure 

    Your expedition cruise begins at Reykjavík, where MS Fram awaits you at the harbour. Reykjavík means ‘Smoky Inlet’ and was so named because of the steam rising from its hot springs. Today, the hot water from geothermal energy supplies numerous pools and hot tubs.  

    The world’s northernmost capital city is simultaneously traditional and cosmopolitan, with plenty to do and see. Explore busy Laugarvegur with its delightful boutiques, outdoor shops and pubs, and drink in knowledge to your heart’s content in the wonderful museums of art, culture and history. After that, it’s time to go aboard, meet your Expedition Team and start the adventure! 

    Pre-Programme 

    Arriving a few days earlier will allow you to explore this beautiful country in more depth. Why not book a two- or four-day Pre-Programme with us to Iceland’s famous Golden Circle? Highlights such as visiting Gullfoss waterfall and Thingvellir National Park, taking a dip in Iceland´s oldest swimming pool as well as hiking in unique, beautiful surroundings await you! 

    Day 1
    Reykjavik, Iceland

    The start of the adventure

  • Day 2
    At sea

    Crossing the Denmark Strait

    3 August 2023

    Relax and learn all about the Arctic as we follow in the wake of Viking explorers 

    Voyaging westward, MS Fram enters the Denmark Strait, waters once sailed by Erik the Red and other Viking explorers on their way to Greenland. As we sail, the ship has plenty of onboard facilities that you can use. In the Science Center, you can learn all about the Arctic, its wildlife and its inhabitants.  

    Get to know your Expedition Team. They’ll be giving lectures about upcoming destinations and will also inform you how you can help protect wildlife habitats, and the best ways to keep a safe distance from animals. Later, chat with other guests as you enjoy a drink in the Explorer Lounge & Bar. 

    Day 2
    At sea

    Crossing the Denmark Strait

  • Day 3-11
    Scoresbysund fjord system

    Largest fjord system on Earth

    4 August 2023 - 12 August 2023

    Spend over a week exploring the most immense fjord system on the planet 

    This enormous fjord system is renowned for its spectacular scenery. Amid mountains towering to 6,500 feet, glistening white and blue icebergs float on the mirror-like waters, and the serenity is broken only by the cries of sea birds, such as little auks, puffins, fulmars and gulls.   

    The waters are also home to various species of whales and seals. Your Captain and Expedition Team will seek out opportunities to go ashore for nature walks or to explore the fjords by kayak. On land, you may well spot musk oxen, Arctic foxes, Greenlandic Gyrfalcons and mountain hares, so keep your eyes open! 

    Day 3-11
    Scoresbysund fjord system

    Largest fjord system on Earth

  • Day 4
    Denmark Strait

    Heading back to Iceland

    5 August 2023

    Heading back to Iceland – time to relax at sea 

    After exploring the remote beauty of east Greenland, we set our course back for Iceland. Spend your time at sea recapping your experiences with new friends, studying nature in the Science Center, or just relaxing on deck. Look out for the seabirds which follow the ship, or maybe see if you can spot some whales.  As you reflect on your expedition cruise so far, you may now appreciate what a precious place Greenland is. From the delicate ecology of the fjord systems, and the ethereal elegance of the floating ice and glaciers, we hope that the beauty you encountered has made its mark on you – there's plenty more to come! 

    Day 4
    Denmark Strait

    Heading back to Iceland

  • Day 13
    Reykjavik

    The start of your next adventure

    14 August 2023

    Take a trip to the Blue Lagoon for an unforgettable outdoor spa experience 

    Returning to Reykjavík, you now have another opportunity to explore the delights you may have missed on your first visit. Don’t forget, this is a city of art, culture, galleries and museums. Or if you simply wish to relax, why not take a trip to the famous Blue Lagoon.  

    Here you can relax in geothermally heated water of a bright blue colour that’s derived from silica and many other minerals carried down from the volcanic landscape. As you soak, you can also enjoy a drink and chat with locals and fellow guests as you look forward to the next step on your adventure – the wondrous west coast of Greenland and the Northwest Passage!

    Day 13
    Reykjavik

    The start of your next adventure

  • Day 14-15
    At sea

    The Denmark Strait revisited

    15 August 2023 - 16 August 2023

    Onwards we go, heading towards Greenland and the Northwest Passage 

    Continuing the adventure, we’ll spend today at sea. The Denmark Strait is actually the site of the world’s largest waterfall ... underwater! The mixture of warm and cold currents, plus strong winds means that the waters are sometimes a bit choppy. 

    If you feel like getting active, you can hit the gym and get your pulse up. You’ll also have access to a sauna, an infinity pool, and two outdoor hot tubs. Enjoy a drink in the panoramic Explorer Lounge & Bar while settling into a sofa and watching the rhythmic ocean waves roll by outside.  

    Day 14-15
    At sea

    The Denmark Strait revisited

  • Day 16
    Prins Christian Sund Region

    A river of melted ice

    17 August 2023

    Follow in the footsteps of explorer John Cabot among jagged mountain peaks  

    Expect to see some of the most incredible panoramas on the planet as we cruise into Prince Christian Sound. The explorer John Cabot compared the view, with its bergs and floes, to a ‘river of melted ice’. Jagged mountain peaks rise to 7,200 ft, their muted grey and green hues contrasting sharply with the brilliant white glaciers.  

    The only signs of human presence here are the weather station, installed by the US in WW II, and the small hunting and fishing village Aappilattoq. If our passage is blocked by sea ice, we have an alternative trip planned to Cape Farewell, the southernmost point of Greenland. 

    Day 16
    Prins Christian Sund Region

    A river of melted ice

  • Day 17
    Kvanefjord

    Expedition day in an icy place

    18 August 2023

    Enjoy an expedition day in one of Greenland’s most picturesque fjords 

    Unspoilt Kvanefjord is a 30-mile-long inlet in Sermersooq, the ‘Place of Much Ice’. As we sail along the fjord, past icebergs and floes in pristine white with shades of blue, you can be among the few visitors to admire the majestic scenery of this almost unexplored place.  

    Depending on the weather and the ice conditions, your Captain and the Expedition Team will look for opportunities to set out in the ship’s expedition boats, and perhaps even go ashore to stretch your legs and view the local wildlife. Make sure to have your camera ready to record this true adventure!

    Day 17
    Kvanefjord

    Expedition day in an icy place

  • Day 18
    Nuuk, Greenland

    The capital of Greenland

    19 August 2023

    Explore Greenland’s capital and take a scenic hike in Paradise Valley 

    Located at the mouth of a fjord system, Greenland’s capital offers a cheery and fascinating prospect with its colourful houses and mix of old and ultra-modern architecture. Founded in 1728, Nuuk is Greenland’s oldest modern-day settlement, but still has fewer than 18,000 citizens.  

    This picturesque city has a cathedral, museums, and several restaurants and cafés to suit all tastes. Make sure to visit Hans Egede’s house; once the home of Nuuk’s founder, it dates to 1721 and is the oldest building in Greenland. You could also take a long nature walk through Paradise Valley, with its splendid views and small lake. 

    Day 18
    Nuuk, Greenland

    The capital of Greenland

  • Day 19
    Sisimiut, Greenland

    Fur, fox holes and outdoor fun

    20 August 2023

    Musk oxen, Arctic foxes, and a popular venue for adventurous activities 

    Situated in a spectacular location 25 miles north of the Arctic Circle, Sisimiut is a modern town. However, human settlement dates back 4,500 years, and the small museum houses many local artefacts. The people are proud of their traditions and still maintain these today.  

    The name Sisimiut translates as ‘The People at the Fox Holes’, a reference to the burrows of the Arctic foxes which live here. Another local animal is the musk ox, whose thick fur provides the material for qiviut fabric. The town is a regional hub and is a popular venue for back-country activities such as skiing and dog sledding. 

    Day 19
    Sisimiut, Greenland

    Fur, fox holes and outdoor fun

  • Day 20
    Ilulissat, Greenland

    Icefjord - UNESCO World Heritage Site

    21 August 2023

    Enjoy a beautiful hike to an Inuit settlement from this colourful World Heritage Site 

    Our journey now comes to Disko Bay, one of Greenland’s major attractions. The nutrient-rich waters of Ilulissat’s bay once supported huge populations of whales, walruses and seals. Erik the Red is credited as the first European to enter the bay, in 985 CE.  

    Today, the area is a World Heritage Site and a vibrant hub for those seeking adventure on Greenland’s icecap. From the colourful houses by the water, you can take a short but beautiful hike to the old Inuit settlement of Sermermiut, or simply relax and watch the icebergs change hue as they slowly drift by. 

    Day 20
    Ilulissat, Greenland

    Icefjord - UNESCO World Heritage Site

  • Day 21-22
    Labrador Sea

    Crossing the Davis Strait

    22 August 2023 - 23 August 2023

    Sailing away from Greenland and heading towards Canada 

    Leaving Greenland and setting course for Canada, we cross the Davis Strait and enter the Labrador Sea. The strait is named after the English explorer John Davis, who led expeditions in search of the Northwest Passage from 1585 to 1587.  

    As the ship carries us further, you can enjoy onboard presentations from your Expedition Team. Topics could include wildlife of northern Labrador, Inuit culture, expedition photography, and explorers of the Canadian Arctic. Via the Citizen Science and Globe Observer projects, you can also make your own contribution to science and our knowledge of this region. 

    Day 21-22
    Labrador Sea

    Crossing the Davis Strait

  • Day 23-29
    Northwest Passage

    The heart of the Northwest Passage

    24 August 2023 - 30 August 2023

    Sailing into the heart of the fabled Northwest Passage in the wake of some famed explorers 

    Now, as we sail into the heart of the Northwest Passage, we follow the trail of historic explorers. Many tried and failed to discover the Northwest Passage between the Atlantic and the Pacific, but the route was finally established by Roald Amundsen from 1903 to 1906.  

    The sea ice varies from year to year, but we’ll try to show you some of the Inuit and European settlements which mark the history of exploration in this territory, such as Pond Inlet (Mittimatalik) traditional Inuit community and the abandoned settlement of Dundas Harbour, which has several archaeological sites. Furthermore, the scenery is stunning, and there are ample opportunities to observe local wildlife. 

    Day 23-29
    Northwest Passage

    The heart of the Northwest Passage

  • Day 30
    Cambridge Bay, Victoria Island

    A fitting place to end the expedition

    31 August 2023

    The end of your expedition cruise is a place famed for its legendary explorers 

    It’s only fitting that your expedition cruise draws to a close here, where Arctic explorers of old seeking the Northwest Passage often sheltered. You can add your name to an illustrious list which includes the legendary Roald Amundsen. 

    Cambridge Bay is a hamlet with fewer than 2,000 residents. The biggest clue of the region’s hunting and fishing heritage is in its name. In Inuinnaqtun, Cambridge Bay is called ‘Iqaluktuuttiaq’, meaning a ‘good fishing place’.  

    The abundant wildlife, including musk oxen and caribou, is an obvious pull for explorers to these parts. From here, you’ll be transferred to the airport for your flight to Montréal. 

    Day 30
    Cambridge Bay, Victoria Island

    A fitting place to end the expedition

  • Day 31
    Montréal, Canada

    Say au revoir in Quebec’s premier city

    1 September 2023

    The perfect city to cap off your expedition cruise 

    Your adventure concludes in Montréal, the largest city in the beautiful province of Quebec, and second most populous city in Canada. The city is a hub for Canadian history and culture with a modern cosmopolitan feel, brought about by both French and British influences.  

    Montréal is famed for its year-round festive atmosphere, with a variety of events and festivals. Unwind after a day’s exploration at one of the pubs and bars along Downtown’s Crescent Street, renowned for their welcoming social atmosphere. Enjoy a cocktail on the terraces and perhaps share memories of your epic month-long expedition cruise with some of your new-found friends!  

    Post-Programme 

    Why not add a bit of extra time and join our optional half-day Montréal Sightseeing & Savoir-Vivre Tour. You’ll see how culturally diverse Montréal is and visit landmarks that make it such a unique and wonderful city! Strolling through a maze of narrow lanes and old buildings you’ll discover Montréal’s architecture, rich heritage and charm. We’ll also stop to pick up some of Montréal’s famous bagels and visit Little Italy to enjoy a tasting of local produce at the popular Jean-Talon market. 

    Day 31
    Montréal, Canada

    Say au revoir in Quebec’s premier city

Departures

2023

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August:
2.

What's included

Included in your voyage

Hotels 

  • Overnight in Montréal after the Expedition cruise including breakfast 

Flights 

  • Economy flight from Cambridge Bay to Montréal 

Transfers 

  • Transfer from the ship to the airport in Cambridge Bay after the Expedition cruise Transfer from the airport in Montréal 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 restaurant Aune 
  • 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, panoramic sauna, indoor gym 
  • 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  

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 

Notes

  • All planned activities are subject to weather and ice conditions 
  • Excursions and activities are subject to change  
  • 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
Shipyard 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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