Almost 40 expeditions tried to navigate this seaway as far back as 1497. James Cook attempted it in 1776 and many are familiar with the ill-fated Franklin expedition of 1845.
The first to conquer the Northwest Passage by ship was Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen on an expedition that lasted from 1903 to 1906. Now in our modern era, we aim to follow the wake of their ships and sail through the centre of the Northwest Passage too.
During our journey, we will land at sites that are linked to early exploration history, visit Inuit communities, and hope to spot Arctic wildlife such as polar bears, whales, seals, and large colonies of seabirds. There will also be opportunities for small boat cruising between ice floes, and in true expedition style, we will go ashore and experience the pristine wilderness firsthand.
The ship captain and Expedition Leader will continuously assess the current weather and sea conditions, adapt activities accordingly, and adjust the itinerary to where the sea ice allows us to go. Like all good explorers, we respect and work with nature, not against it.
Here are some of the places in the region that we plan to explore together, subject to favourable conditions:
Many in the 500-strong community are involved in the local artists co-op, producing prints, tapestries, and other crafts. This is also the location of the the world's northernmost golf course which plays host a tournament each summer.
Located on Victoria Island, this is the largest stop for vessels traversing the Northwest Passage. It is also called ‘Iqaluktuuttiaq', or ‘A Good Fishing Place’ due to the Ekalluk River which attracts giant char, muskoxen, and caribou.
Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen wintered at this hamlet in 1903 on his Gjøa expedition. There is an informative walking tour, Heritage Centre, and Hamlet Centre dedicated to the history and culture of the area.
An abandoned Hudson’s Bay Trading post located at the southern end of Sommerset Island. The storehouse here is still used as a shelter by occasional travellers, with bunk beds and shelves of canned goods.
This is the final resting place for three members of the lost Franklin expedition which sailed into the Northwest Passage in 1845 but never returned. It is customary for explorers to stop and pay their respects, as did Roald Amundsen in 1903.
Welcome to the largest uninhabited island on Earth. The only signs of human life are at the long abandoned settlement of Dundas Harbour along with several archaeological sites from the Thule period.
Picturesque Pond Inlet, called 'Mittimatalik' in Inuktitut, is a traditional Inuit community on Baffin Island. It overlooks Eclipse Sound and the mountains of Bylot Island and is known as a great place to see large pods of narwhal.