High Arctic Explorer Expedition Cruise

High Arctic Explorer Expedition Cruise



starting fromUS $11,821per person

Star Rating 5

5 of 5 stars (1 review)

  • Get this trip plan customized to cover everything you want to see.
  • Learn which places to go and which areas are best during certain times of the year.

Small Ship Cruise To Canada’s North

This spectacular Arctic cruise is a perfect introduction to the wildlife, history, and scenery of the Canadian north. 24 hour daylight means plenty of time to observe wildlife including migratory birds, whales, polar bears, as well as haunting historic sites like the Franklin Graves on Beechey Island. A class 2 Icebreaker built for Arctic waters, the capable Akademik Ioffe vessel can venture where many can’t, under the guidance of expert crew. Onboard, a small number of guests and large expedition team ensures each day of your trip is seamless and exhilarating.

Trip at a glance

12 Days / 11 Nights

Arrive Edmonton Fly Edmonton to Resolute Bay Maxwell Bay Lancaster Sound and Croker Bay Dundas Harbour Grise Fjord and Craig Harbour Nirjutiqavvik National Wildlife Area Cape Hay and Elwin Inlet Prince Leopold Island Beechey Island Resolute to Edmonton Depart Edmonton *Itinerary may vary to accommodate wildlife sightings and weather

  • View Details Of Each Day

    Sample Itinerary

    Think of this itinerary as just a starting point. Our experienced Canadian Insiders will create a personalized experience for you that matches your schedule, travel style and budget.

    Day 1 – Arrive in Edmonton
    Fly to the northern Alberta city of Edmonton today. A night at the Fairmont Hotel MacDonald is included. Meet your group and team leader this evening to discuss tomorrow’s upcoming adventure!

    Day 2 – Edmonton to Resolute Bay – Arctic Cruise Begins
    On a charter flight, your group flies to Resolute, a remote outpost above the Arctic Circle named after the abandoned ship HMS Resolute. Enjoy a welcome cocktail with your crew of passionate and experienced Arctic experts before the ship weighs anchor and departs Resolute in the early evening.

    A class 2 Icebreaker, the Akademik Ioffe vessel gives her captain superior capability in following wildlife sightings and exploring the hidden gems of the Arctic. Accommodations onboard are simple and comfortable.

    Insider tip: Due to the Akademik Ioffe’s strength and stability, most guests do not experience motion sickness onboard the ship.

    Day 3 – Maxwell Bay, Devon Island
    The first full day of your adventure begins as you explore Arctic wildlife. The South Coast of Devon Island is home to muskox, caribou, as well as polar bears. Harp seals, ringed seals, bearded seals and even walrus have been spotted in the coves and inlets of the bay. Hiking onshore or viewing wildlife from the ship are both excellent experiences today.

    Insider tip: Onshore walks and hikes are great for all fitness levels. Your guides will customize your experience based on your abilities.

    Day 4 – Lancaster Sound and Croker Bay
    Today you’ll continue east through Lancaster Sound, which separates Devon and Baffin Island. This is the wildlife ‘super highway’ of the Arctic, as waters from the Atlantic Ocean, Arctic Ocean, and the northern archipelago of islands combine to create abundant food resources. Hiking ashore along Croker Bay, your guide will point out the herds of prehistoric-looking muskox.

    Deep blue icebergs set against a backdrop of richly colored peaks make for stunning zodiac rides, and an abandoned 1924 Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) outpost makes for unique photography opportunities in such a wild and remote location.

    Day 5 – Nirjutiqavvik National Wildlife Area
    Today you’ll be stunned by the sight of hundreds of thousands of seabirds, at the Nirjutiqavvik National Wildlife Area. See thick-billed murres and northern fulmars as your zodiac cruises along, and keep your eyes open for beluga whales.

    Insider tip: Taking part in the optional, multi-day kayak program will increase your chances of seeing an elusive narwhal!

    Day 6 – Grise Fjord and Craig Harbour
    Grise Fiord is Canada’s most northerly and remote community. Re-settled in 1953 by the Canadian government, the tiny population are descended from eight Inuit families. The scenery is stunning, the wildlife is abundant and your group will be warmly welcomed by the people here.

    Day 7 – Cape Hay, Bylot Island Bird Sanctuary
    The scenery of Cape Hay will take your breath away today, as your eyes gaze beyond the tundra towards the soaring mountain ranges in the distance. This is another great day for bird watching.

    Day 8 – Elwin Inlet
    Today the captain expertly navigates the ship into Elwin Inlet, a breathtaking fjord which is well protected and great for a zodiac cruise or hike onshore. Keep your eyes peeled for polar bears, which are plentiful along this coastline.

    Day 9 – Prince Leopold Island
    Having crossed Prince Regent Inlet overnight, your vessel will approach the towering bird cliffs of Prince Leopold Island in the morning. This is an important migratory bird sanctuary, and the sea ice around Prince Leopold Island is a great place for spotting ringed seals and polar bears normally appear when there are seals. A unique historical attraction the James Clark Ross historical site – sits where he and his crew wintered over in 1848, as they searched for the missing Franklin Expedition. Keep your eyes trained on the shoreline, as the shallow gravel beds attract to molting beluga whales.

    Day 10 – Beechey Island
    Beechey Island holds great historic importance in the story of the Northwest Passage. Sir John Franklin’s ill-fated expedition spent its final winter here in 1845 before vanishing. As you visit onshore, you’ll see their haunting grave markers on a remote windswept beach – a sure topic of conversation for tonight’s farewell dinner with the Captain.

    Insider tip: The Akademik Sergey Vavilov vessel and One Ocean team participated in the expedition to locate the lost Franklin ships. The wreck of the HMS Erebus was discovered on the sea bed of the Victoria Strait. If you are history buff, make sure to ask lots of questions and take advantage of the on-board presentations.

    Day 11 – Resolute to Edmonton
    By morning, you’ll arrive in Resolute, where a charter flight returns you to Edmonton. A post-night in Edmonton is included at the Fairmont Hotel MacDonald.

    Day 12 – Depart Edmonton
    Today your Arctic adventure comes to an end, as you check out of your hotel and make your way independently to the Edmonton Airport for your flight home.
High Arctic Explorer Expedition Cruise – Map



Places Visited

EdmontonResolute BayMaxwell BayLancaster SoundCroker BayDundas HarbourGrise FjordCraig HarbourNirjutiqavvik National Wildlife AreaCape HayElwin InletPrince Leopold IslandBeechey Island

Accommodation Style


Activity Level


What you'll love about this trip

  • Pristine and stunning Arctic wilderness

  • Onshore hikes and wildlife spottting

  • Wildlife such as polar bears, beluga whales, muskox

  • High crew to guest ratio

  • Expert guides with insider area knowledge

  • Class 2 Icebreaker research vessel

  • Team of resource specialists

  • Unique optional kayak program

Common Questions

  • Where am I staying on this trip?

    You'll be staying at various local three to five star hotels or lodges along your route, some of which are very iconic properties with great locations, views and history. All our accommodations are carefully selected by our Canadian Insiders. We'll make sure that wherever you stay, you get the best value and comfort based on the seasonal availability.

  • What is included in the price?

    Typically we include and pre-book all your main trip components so you don't have to worry about your connections, places to stay, or activities on your trip. You'll receive a complete travel package with detailed documentation and our Canadian Insiders remain at your disposal before and during your trip to answer your questions.

  • Can I customize this trip?

    Your trip can be as rich as you'd like, and completely arranged around your interests and needs. The greatest benefit of working with us is our local knowledge. You can request your personalized trip plan to decide what you'd like to see and do.

    If your trip is a special occasion, we'll make sure it is unforgettable. Or if you're traveling with a group, we'll take care of the logistics so you can share time together stress-free.

  • What are the best ways to travel around Canada?

    Canada has a network of spectacular roadways, train routes, ferry crossings, and float planes. We can arrange for you to travel by car or to sit back and relax.

  • When is the best time to see wildlife?

    That depends on the destination and type. As a rule, the main feeding and migration seasons are best for wildlife experiences. Tell us which animals interest you and we'll make your trip coincide with the best viewing season.

  • Is this an escorted tour?

    With the exception of our guided wildlife trips, our vacations are not typically 'escorted.' We combine the best of both worlds – the reassurance of seamless connections, customer service support, and scheduled activities, plus the freedom of 'independent' travel. You are not tied into a specific group, or a rigid daily itinerary. This allows us to personalize your trip to suit your occasion, interests, and timeframe.

  • Will it be cold when I visit Canada in summer?

    The temperature varies from mild to hot, depending on location. Northern Canada will range between 50°F to 64°F (10°C – 18°C) in summer. The interior of BC, prairies, Ontario and Quebec can reach temperatures around 95°F (35°C). Canada's west coast, mountain regions, and Maritimes enjoy milder summer temperatures. They range on average from 59°F to 77°F (15°C – 25°C).

  • How much does my trip cost?

    All our trips can be customized to fit your schedule and budget. The price depends on travel season, train service, hotel level, and the sightseeing tours you choose. Request your personalized trip plan and quote which will provide you with a detailed cost estimate.

  • What's Included

    What's Included in the Price

    These are the places and experiences to look forward to on this trip.

    • 2 nights hotel accommodation at the Fairmont Hotel MacDonald (Pre-cruise and post-cruise)
    • 9 nights onboard the Akademik Ioffe Vessel in a cabin

    Arctic Cruise Experience:
    • Onboard welcome reception and onboard welcome dinner
    • Service of experienced team of naturalists, biologists, historians and adventure guides
    • Assistance from resident photographer
    • Daily off-ship zodiac excursions
    • Access to special programs expert talks onboard or on shore
    • Guided hikes and walks for guests of all abilities
    • Visits to wildlife colonies, historic sites, and community visits
    • Farewell Dinner (hosted by your Captain)

    Meal Inclusions:
    • All meals during the voyage
    • Afternoon tea with fresh snacks each afternoon, plus coffee, tea, and hot chocolate throughout the day

    Transportation Inclusions:
    • Transfer from Fairmont Hotel MacDonald in Edmonton to the airport for charter flight
    • Charter flights between Edmonton and Resolute Bay
    • Ground transfers to and from the ship

    Other Inclusions:
    • Itinerary/pre-departure information, including extensive program of relevant educational presentations
    • Port fees and permits to access areas visited
    • Onboard medical officer
    • Use of multimedia station
    • Onboard sauna, plunge pool, jacuzzi and fitness centre
    • Full arctic weather gear set including boots and binoculars (so you don’t have to buy them!)

    Important Schedule and Trip Notes:
    Please note that all guests are required to fill out a medical questionnaire upon booking and may be required to provide a doctor’s consent form.
    Not Included
    • Kayaking program at an extra cost at US$695 per person (if you wish to participate please let us know at time of booking as there is limited space).
    • Airfare between your home and Edmonton
    • Transportation between Edmonton airport and hotel for arrival and departure in Canada.
    • Personal onboard expenses – laundry charges, postage, telephone calls, alcoholic and soft drinks, medical expenses
    • Onboard massage and spa treatments
    • Trip interruption / cancellation insurance, or travel medical insurance including medical evacuation (mandatory)
    • Gratuities to staff and crew ($US12–15 per day, per passenger is recommended)
    • 5% GST

    Ideas to customize this trip

    Think of this trip as just a starting point. These are some of the experiences you can add-on to personalize your trip.

    Include a Rocky Mountaineer train journey before or after your cruise
    Visit an amazing wilderness lodge such as Knight Inlet
    Combine this cruise with an Inside Passage expedition
  • Prices & Dates

    Trip Start Dates

    2019 Start Date
    August 1

    Pricing For This Trip

    Prices listed may vary by departure date, hotel class and degree of personalization. Please speak with one of our travel advisors to get a personalized quote.

    Twin Private Cabin
    from US $11,821 to US $12,767 per person

    Twin Private Cabins are spacious, well appointed cabins featuring two lower berths, one of which can be converted to a sofa during the day, with private washroom facilities, sink, shower, toilet and bathroom cabinet. There are tall wardrobes with internal shelving for storage, a writing desk, chair, bookshelf, and a window that can be opened.

    Superior Cabin
    from US $12,921 to US $13,954 per person

    Superior Cabins feature two lower berths, a comfortable sofa, a writing desk and chair and plenty of storage space, private washroom facilities and several portholes which open. These cabins provide great access to the outer decks, ship reception and dining room and the expedition mudroom where you prepare for your off-ship excursions.

    Shakleton Suite
    from US $14,421 to US $15,574 per person

    Shackleton Suite type cabins are separated into two spacious rooms, one that is ideal for relaxation with a sofa convertible to bed, large table, writing desk, chair, ample storage and a large window that can be opened. The separate private bedroom features one large lower bed.

    One Ocean Suite
    from US $16,121 to US $17,410 per person

    One Ocean Suite is the most spacious cabin of the ship. It is separated into two rooms and a private bathroom with bathtub and shower. The well appointed lounge area features a sofa and large windows overlooking the bow (forward facing) that can be opened. The separate bedroom features a double bed.

  • Accommodations

    Accommodation Options

    These are examples of this trip's accommodation choices. Please call us for the full list or advice on how to customize your experience.

    Akademik Ioffe Expedition Ship - Deck of the vessel

    Akademik Ioffe Expedition Ship

    An example of our expedition cruise accommodations

    The Akademik Ioffe is simple, comfortable, and agile Arctic expedition vessel. Rated a class 2 ice breaker, her captain is able to quickly change course to follow wildlife - where other expedition ships may get left behind. From small group sessions to briefings for all passengers, public spaces onboard the ship ideally suited for each and every need. A separate lounge and bar with panoramic views, as well as a library provide ideal places to sit and relax or catch up on some reading. Other facilities include a lounge, theater style presentation room, gift-shop, fitness room, massage room, hot water spa, sauna and plunge pool.

  • Customer Reviews  (1)

    Our off-ship excursions were seamless and exhilarating

    Star Rating 5
    August 23, 2016

    Read full review...

    The small guest count and amazing on-board staff meant our off-ship excursions were seamless and exhilarating. I highly recommend the kayaking program…imagine paddling around ice bergs!

  • Ways to Save on Your Trip

This Trip in Pictures

The high arctic explorer expedition cruise vessel
The high arctic explorer expedition cruise vessel
The powerful and agile expedition ship is a class 2 Icebreaker
Adventurers explore arctic landscape by zodiac
Adventurers explore arctic landscape by zodiac
Frequent zodiac excursions get you up close to wildlife
Abandoned buildings of the arctic ghost towns
Abandoned buildings of the arctic ghost towns
Travel back in time through 400 years of exploration, as you visit historic sites
Paddle a sea kayak between giant icebergs
Paddle a sea kayak between giant icebergs
The optional, multi-day kayak program is unique and exhilarating
Arctic explores on shore excursions
Arctic explores on shore excursions
Hiking onshore gives you a chance to learn about plant life on the Arctic tundra
Wild muscox roaming the arctic landscape looking for pastures
Wild muscox roaming the arctic landscape looking for pastures
You will see all kinds of Arctic wildlife, including muskox
Polar bear sighting in the Canadian Arctic
Polar bear sighting in the Canadian Arctic
Polar bears can be seen in several locations – an iconic Arctic experience
A huge walrus floats on an iceberg
A huge walrus floats on an iceberg
You'll see a variety of marine life, including massive walruses

Get your personalized trip plan organized and arranged for you

Get your personalized itinerary
  • Get a trip that covers everything you want to see.
  • Know which places to go and which areas are best during certain times of the year.
  • Have someone local who knows the area to suggest trains, hotels, dining, sightseeing, etc.
or call us directly toll-free
call1 877 395 5771

Customized Trips

All our trips can be personalized to match your dates, travel style, and budget.

Canadian Insiders

Advice From Canadians

Make the most of your time in Canada with advice from our local Insiders.


Everything Arranged

Feel in control with all the details of your trip organized and booked for you.