“ 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! ”
High Arctic Explorer Expedition Cruise
starting fromUS $11,589per person
5 of 5 stars (1 review)
- Choose your own activities and experiences to enjoy between scenic train tours
- Tailor your stay to perfectly suit your timeline and budget
What we love about this trip
Pristine and stunning Arctic wilderness
Onshore hikes and wildlife spottting
Wildlife such as polar bears, beluga whales, muscox
High crew to guest ratio
Expert guides with insider area knowledge
Class 2 Icebreaker research vessel
Team of resource specialists
Unique optional kayak program
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.
Depart Edmonton for 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
Sample ItineraryThink 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 - your 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 her strength and stability, most guests do not experience motion sickness onboard the ship.
Day 3 - Maxwell Bay
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; and 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 whale!
Day 6 - Grise Fiord 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
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 wrecks 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
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.
Below you'll find 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
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.
Prices & Dates2018 Start Date
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 Cabinfrom US $11,589to US $12,516per 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 Cabinfrom US $12,291to US $13,275per 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 Suitefrom US $13,591to US $14,678per 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 Suitefrom US $15,190to US $16,405per 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.
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).
What are the best ways to travel around Canada on my vacation
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.
Is it safe to drive in the mountains?
New visitors will drive with ease because of the wide and well maintained roadways. We'll ensure your trip includes the most spectacular and safest routes throughout your trip.
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.
Are your tours escorted?
No, but you'll feel like it is with all your connections and experiences prearranged. Our clients love the freedom and flexibility it gives them. Some of our wildlife experiences are small group tours led by specialist guides.
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- Choose your activities and experiences to enjoy between scenic train tours.
- Tailor your stay to perfectly suit your timeline and budget.