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

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

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

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

Travel information 19 days MS Fram
Departure
14 August 2023
Price from
14979 €
Breakfast, lunch and dinner included

This expedition cruise takes you from Iceland to Greenland’s southern coast before attempting to sail to the heart of the Northwest Passage at Cambridge Bay. 

Southern Greenland 

We begin in Reykjavik, Iceland. From here, you’ll sail the Denmark Strait to Prince Christian Sound, a spectacular maze of channels made of granite rock, and filled with ice floes and glaciers. We spend four days exploring the remarkable fjords and settlements of southern Greenland, including the capital Nuuk and the stunning UNESCO-listed Ilulissat Icefjord.  

Into the Northwest Passage 

The next part of our adventure takes us across the Davis Strait and the start of our attempt to cross the Northwest Passage. Over seven days, we’ll explore the islands that dot this famously challenging sea route, only navigable a few weeks of the year. You’ll discover a range of possible sites amidst spectacular nature, abundant wildlife, Thule and Inuit settlements, and historic trading posts. 

Our route and landings will depend very much on the sea and weather conditions. We plan to take you for small boat cruises among ice floes and Arctic wildlife. The Captain and the Expedition Leader will pick spots for escorted landings with the Expedition Team, that may include Pond Inlet, Dundas Harbour, Radstock Bay, Fort Ross and Gjoa Haven.  

If successful, our great sea adventure ends in Cambridge Bay, where explorers once sought shelter from the harsh winters. You’ll take a flight to Edmonton before returning home. Should sea ice prevent us from completing our transit of the Northwest Passage, you’ll still have experienced the rugged beauty of the High Arctic and many an opportunity to spot rare wildlife such as polar bears. 

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

    Cosmopolitan Reykjavík

    14 August 2023

    Explore the world’s northernmost capital, Reykjavík  

    Situated amid amazing nature, delightful Reykjavík is well worth spending time discovering before you begin your expedition cruise to the Northwest Passage.  

    Perhaps soak in the famed Blue Lagoon hot springs, located close to the city centre, or seek out a view of Reykjavík from above at the striking Hallgrímskirkja church. You’ll be awed by the islands, mountains, seas and parks that surround this surprisingly cosmopolitan city.  

    MS Fram awaits you in Reykjavík Harbour. After collecting your complimentary expedition jacket and meeting your Expedition Team, it's time to settle into your cabin. Your exciting adventure is just beginning. 

    If you’d like to get to know the area better, why not book one of our Pre-Programmes to experience even more of the beautiful Icelandic nature. 

     

    Day 1
    Reykjavik

    Cosmopolitan Reykjavík

  • Day 2-3
    At sea: Denmark Strait

    Crossing the Denmark Strait

    15 August 2023 - 16 August 2023

    In the wake of Vikings 

    We sail to Greenland across the Denmark Strait, the route taken by Erik the Red, supposedly the first European to have settled there. Take this time to relax and explore the stylish onboard facilities of our hybrid electric–powered ship.  

    Your Expedition Team will explain the protocols of respectfully visiting wildlife habitats and indigenous Arctic communities. In the Science Center, you can learn more about Greenland's geology, or join one of our Citizen Science projects. Then hit the gym, soak in one of our on-deck hot tubs or enjoy a delicious meal in one of our three onboard restaurants. 

    Day 2-3
    At sea: Denmark Strait

    Crossing the Denmark Strait

  • Day 4
    Prince Christian Sound

    Prince Christian Sound

    17 August 2023

    Breathtaking panoramas and abundant wildlife 

    We aim to explore the incredible waters of the 60-mile-long Prince Christian Sound today. Sharp-peaked granite mountains provide a stunning contrast to the bright white glaciers. Look out for calving icebergs and colourful houses in the village of Aappilattoq. 

    Nature is abundant here. Keep an eye out for ringed and bearded seals resting on the ice, and Glaucous Gulls and Black Guillemots soaring above. You may even spot minke and humpback whales.  

    If sea ice prevents us entering the sound, we'll head to craggy Cape Farewell, the southernmost point of Greenland. 

    • Included Prins Christian Sund Exploration Day
    Day 4
    Prince Christian Sound

    Prince Christian Sound

  • Day 5
    Kvanefjord

    Exploring Kvanefjord

    18 August 2023

    Discover the glacial beauty of the west coast fjords  

    Experience your first sight of Greenland’s sublime west coast fjords as we reach Kvanefjord in Sermersooq, meaning 'Place of Much Ice'.  

    Have your camera ready for glistening icebergs and semi-submerged glacial ice – pure white with undertones of crystalline blue. These sculpted ice blocks are some of Arctic nature’s finest creations.  

    Few people venture into this remote fjord, making it even more special to spend the day exploring here. The Expedition Team will select places to venture ashore and enjoy the beautiful scenery on a nature walk, or head out in boats to scout for wildlife. 

    • Included Kvanefjord Exploration Day
    Day 5
    Kvanefjord

    Exploring Kvanefjord

  • Day 6
    Nuuk

    Nuuk, Greenland's Capital

    19 August 2023

    Experience Greenlandic culture, old and new, in Nuuk 

    After several days exploring remote, idyllic icescapes, you'll cruise into Nuuk, Greenland’s colourful capital. With a population of 18,000, it has a striking mix of old and new buildings. 

    Compare the old buildings – such as Hans Egede House and Nuuk Cathedral – with the ultra-modern architecture of the Parliament of Greenland building. 

    Visit the national museum to gain fascinating insight into life here 500 years ago and see the six Qilakitsoq mummies. Or join a long nature walk through Paradise Valley and around Mt. Lille Malene. 

     

    • Included Nuuk Grand Experience
    Day 6
    Nuuk

    Nuuk, Greenland's Capital

  • Day 7
    Sisimiut

    Spectacular Sisimiut

    20 August 2023

    Explore ancient traditions in Arctic Greenland 

    We reach Sisimiut, Greenland’s second city. It sits in a spectacular location just 25 miles north of the Arctic Circle. This area has history spanning more than 4,500 years.  

    Old traditions are alive and well here, and you can learn more about the ancient Saqqaq artifacts in the local museum.  

    If you're looking for a special souvenir, pick up a scarf, hat or mittens made of qiviut, the inner wool of a musk ox, said to be 10 times warmer than sheep wool. Or why not explore the area by foot and stretch your legs on a hike. 

    • Included Sisimiut Community Visit
    Day 7
    Sisimiut

    Spectacular Sisimiut

  • Day 8
    Ilulissat

    UNESCO-listed Ilulissat

    21 August 2023

    The town where you can see and hear the ice flow 

    Our expedition cruise reaches Disko Bay – a haven for whales and seals. You’re in for a unique experience. Nestled in magnificent Ilulissat Icefjord, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is Ilulissat. Against a backdrop of colourful houses is an ever-changing gallery of passing icebergs.  

    Marvel at giant icebergs floating past in the deep blue waters as they take on different hues of white, grey and blue. With the help of the ship’s photographer, enthusiasts will be able to capture the nuances of these sculptures of nature. 

    • Included Walk to the Icefjords
    Day 8
    Ilulissat

    UNESCO-listed Ilulissat

  • Day 9-10
    Labrador Sea

    Crossing the Labrador Sea

    22 August 2023 - 23 August 2023

    Watch for wildlife and get involved in Citizen Science  

    Leaving Greenland behind, our expedition cruise continues to Canada across the Labrador Sea. We'll enter the Davis Strait, named after English explorer John Davis, who led expeditions here in the 16th century. The Expedition Team will continue their onboard lectures on topics such as the wildlife of Northern Labrador, Inuit culture and the history of Arctic exploration.  

    The strait is known for its abundance of seals, whales and cod. Why not take part in one of our Citizen Science programme projects, helping photograph and track whales, or observe the clouds to help scientists study our climate by contributing to the GLOBE Program. 

    Day 9-10
    Labrador Sea

    Crossing the Labrador Sea

  • Day 11-17
    The Northwest Passage

    The Northwest Passage

    24 August 2023 - 30 August 2023

    Crossing a historical sea corridor through Canada's Arctic archipelago 

     

    Like the pioneering explorers who've come before you, we won't have an exact itinerary as we attempt to sail our state-of-the-art ice-class ship from the Atlantic to the Pacific via this famed sea route. Stops might include Pond Inlet, Dundas Harbour, Fort Ross, Gjoa Haven, Cambridge Bay and Smoking Hills. 

    As we explore, we'll land at sites linked to early exploration history, visit Inuit communities, and look out for Arctic wildlife such as polar bears, whales, narwhals, seals and seabirds.  

    You'll go small expedition boat cruising between ice floes, and go ashore to experience the pristine wilderness first hand. Your Expedition Team will adapt activities to ice and weather conditions, giving you the best experience possible.  

    We’ll try to reach Pond Inlet and the Inuit community of Mittimatalik on Baffin Island. On Devon Island – the largest uninhabited island on Earth – we'll visit Dundas Harbour and learn about its Thule heritage. We may even pay our respects at the graves of three Franklin expedition team members on Beechey Island.  

    We'll continue west to Fort Ross, a former Hudson Bay Trading post, before sailing to Gjoa Haven, where Roald Amundsen learned polar survival tips from the Netsilik Inuit people. If we are able to land here, we'll take a walking tour to learn more.  

    Day 11-17
    The Northwest Passage

    The Northwest Passage

  • Day 18
    Cambridge Bay

    Wildlife of Cambridge Bay

    31 August 2023

    Wildlife and conservation in this fish-rich bay 

    Our expedition cruise continues into wildlife-rich Cambridge Bay, where you'll disembark. Here, you might see Arctic char, musk oxen and caribou. You'll also find the Canadian High Arctic Research Station, an important centre for climate change research. 

    Home to only 2,000 residents, Cambridge Bay is popular with fly-fishers, keen to net giant Arctic char or lake trout. Its local name 'Iqaluktuuttiaq' even means ‘a good fishing place’. 

    Walk around and explore before we take our evening flight to Montréal.  

    Day 18
    Cambridge Bay

    Wildlife of Cambridge Bay

  • Day 19
    Montréal

    Explore vibrant Montréal

    1 September 2023

    A blend of Canadian cultures in Québec's premier city 

    Your adventure concludes in Montréal, the largest city in the beautiful province of Québec. It’s a hub of Canadian history and culture, with a cosmopolitan feel and a year-round calendar of events.  

    There’s plenty to see and do, from shopping, cuisine and culture, to the Basilica of Notre Dame, found among the historic streets of Old Montréal. You’ll find a kaleidoscope of colour in the city’s Plateau district, and a lively atmosphere in the downtown social hub of Crescent Street.  

    If you'd like to explore more, why not join our optional Post-Programme, Montréal Sightseeing & Savoir-Vivre Tour, to get a real taste of this unique city in all its glorious colour. 

    Day 19
    Montréal

    Explore vibrant Montréal

Departures

2023

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August:
14.

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 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 

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, 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 

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   
  • Optional treatments in the onboard wellness and spa area 

 

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.

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Icebergs – one of many favorite photo motives when on an expedition with MS Fram
Photo: Tomas Mauch
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