The Northwest Passage- Wake of the Great Explorers

From Vancouver, Canada to Halifax, Nova Scotia
  • All Arctic Cruises
  • Iceland and Greenland
  • Canadian Arctic & Alaska
  • Expedition
  • Small Ship Cruising
  • Wildlife and Nature
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Tour Description

Be among a select few to attempt a journey through the rarely-traveled and legendary Northwest Passage on this26-day Northwest Passage expedition cruise attempting the fabled journey from the Pacific to the Atlantic, enjoying breathtaking scenery along the way.

We will be following in the wake of historical explorers like Norwegian Roald Amundsen, sailing aboard an advanced expedition ship bearing his name.

You will experience the raw beauty of the remote Arctic on this route and visit close-knit communities in Canada and Greenland. Discover Inuit settlements and Arctic wildlife, including polar bears, whales and caribou. Visit the famous Gold Rush town of Nome in Alaska; the modern settlement of Sisimiut; and UNESCO-listed Ilulissat, with its colourful houses set against a backdrop of ever-changing icebergs; and the charming Canadian city of Corner Brook.

Please note there are other versions of this itinerary, on different dates, please ask us for more info

Viva's Best Bits...

Discover the natural habitats of spectacular wildlife such as the polar bear, whales and walrus.

Meet local Inuits during visits to remote yet welcoming communities in Canada and Greenland

Explore the legendary northwest passage in the wake of great explorers.

Tour Itinerary

Day 1
Arrive Vancouver, Canada

Your journey begins with an overnight stay in Vancouver, giving you the chance to get a taste of the Canadian city’s rich culture, great restaurants and undeniable natural beauty.

To experience more of the region before your voyage begins, join an optional Pre-Programme travelling on the scenic Rocky Mountaineer train.

Please ask your travel advisor for more details

Day 2
Fly to Nome

We fly to Nome to board MS Roald Amundsen. Set at the tip of the Seward Peninsula, overlooking the Bering Sea, Nome is perhaps the most famous gold rush town in Alaskan history. There are artifacts of the gold rush era to be seen everywhere, including abandoned dredges, turn-of-the-century steam engines, and old railroad tracks.

Day 3-8
At Sea

Days at sea are spent at your leisure aboard the ship. Relax while gazing out at the view, learn more from the knowledgeable Expedition Team in our lecture series, or chat with your fellow explorers.

We sail through the Bering Strait, before heading into the Chukchi Sea. As we reach Point Barrow, the northernmost point of the USA, we enter the Beaufort Sea. We will keep a sharp eye open here for bowhead and grey whales and we might also start seeing sea ice.

We continue into the Amundsen Gulf, where we hope to observe the remarkable Smoking Hills - an amazing sight, with smoke billowing from the cliffs on the east coast of Cape Bathurst. Lignite – a combination of eroded shale and pyrite – spontaneously ignites when exposed to air, creating this photogenic phenomenon.

Day 9-17
Northwest Passage

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.

Cambridge Bay
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.

Gjøa Haven
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.

Fort Ross
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.

Beechey Island
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.

Devon Island
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.

Pond Inlet
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.

Day 18
Labrador Sea - At Sea

This strait was named after English explorer John Davis who searched for a route through the Northwest Passage between 1585 and 1587. Wind down and watch the waves aboard the ship, or enjoy a lecture from the Expedition Team as we head north towards Greenland.

Day 19

Ilulissat is set in the stunning scenery of the Ilulissat Icefjord World Heritage Site. At the mouth of the fjord, you can see enormous icebergs that have run aground. These ice masses originate from the Jakobshavn Glacier, one of the fastest glaciers in the world. Join one of our many excursions here.

Ilulissat - Excursions to choose from (additional costs may apply):
- Walk to the Icefjords
- Boat trip to the Ice Fjord
- Hike to Holms Bakke

Day 20

Sisimiut is situated 40 km north of the Arctic Circle. The name means `The People Living in a Place of Fox Dens´. This is the second largest town in Greenland, a modern, picturesque settlement that maintains ancient traditions. We offer a variety of exciting excursions to discover the many things to do in Sisimiut.

Sisimuit Excursions to choose from (additional costs may apply):
- Kayak Demo and Museum visit
- City tour by bus
- Sisimiut Town Walk
- Hike to Palasip Qaqqaa

Day 21-22
Labrador Sea - At Sea

It is time to say goodbye to Greenland, and head out on another stretch of open sea. We will cross the southern part of the Labrador Sea, this time towards Newfoundland and Labrador in Canada.

Day 23
Red Bay

Preserved in the ice-cold waters, the remains of several 17th century Basque whaling ships have led to the town being designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visit the local museum that documents this interesting history or take the trail up to Tracey Hill for scenic views, and where, legends say, pirate captain Kidd buried treasure.

Red Bay Excursions to choose from (additional costs may apply):
- Red Bay Highlights Access
- Coastal Labrador and Point Amour Lighthouse tour
- Red Bay Then and Now Historical Walking tour

Day 24
Corner Brook

Located at the mouth of the Bay of Islands and Humber River, Corner Brook is the second largest city in the province and local to the core. Explore the city centre or enjoy its many walking trails along the Humber River, decorated at this time of year with vibrant autumn leaves.

Corner Brook Excursions to choose from (additional costs may apply):
- Gros Morne by Motorcoach
- Marble Mountain Zip Line
- Captain Cook's Trail
- Corner Brook Trails Adventure

Day 25
At Sea

The adventure is drawing to an end. Spend time with the other guests and the Expedition Team reviewing the many exciting experiences you shared during our voyage together.

Day 26
Disembark Halifax, Nova Scotia

Your journey exploring the Northwest Passage comes to an end in Halifax, capital of Nova Scotia. There are red-brick heritage buildings, parks, a landmark citadel, some world-class museums, and a 4km seafront boardwalk. If you can, we definitely recommend spending an extra day or two here on one of our Post-Programmes before you head home.

All planned activities are subject to weather and ice conditions
Excursions and activities are subject to change
Medical questionnaire is mandatory

What’s Included

  • Included Copy 20 24 nights onboard MS Roald Amundsen. in Polar Outside Cabin
  • Included Copy 20 1 night in Vancouver before the Expedition cruise including breakfast
  • Included Copy 31 Cabin upgrades available
  • Included Copy 20 Breakfast, lunch & dinner incl. house beer, wine, sodas & still water - in Aune/Fredheim restaurant
  • Included Copy 20 Complimentary tea and coffee
  • Included Copy 20 Complimentary reusable water bottle to use at water refill stations on board
  • Included Copy 31 À la carte restaurant Lindstrøm included for suite guests
Fees & Services
  • Included Copy 20 Flight from Cambridge Bay to Edmonton in Economy Class
  • Included Copy 20 Economy flight from Vancouver to Nome
  • Included Copy 20 Group transfers in Vancouver & Nome on Day 2
  • Included Copy 20 Range of included excursions
  • Included Copy 20 Boots, trekking poles, and equipment needed for optional and included activities
  • Included Copy 20 Wind- and water-resistant jacket
  • Included Copy 20 Free Wi-Fi on board. Be aware that we sail in remote areas with limited connection. No Streming
  • Included Copy 20 Use of the ship’s Science Center, which has an extensive library & advanced biological microscopes
  • Included Copy 20 Professional onboard photographer gives top tips & tricks for the best landscape and wildlife photo
  • Included Copy 20 Use of the ship’s hot tubs, infinity pool, panoramic sauna, outdoor/indoor gyms, & running track
  • Included Copy 31 Gratuities not expected
  • Included Copy 31 Optional shore excursions, small-group activities & treatments in the wellness and spa area
  • Included Copy 7 International flights, Travel Insurance, additional pre/post cruise arrangements not included
MS Roald Amundsen

530 (500 in Antarctica) Passengers


  • Included Wildlife observation - including polar bears, whales and caribou.
  • Included Shore excursions and hiking
  • Included Citizen Science Programme where you can assist with ongoing scientific research
  • Included In-depth lectures and discussions hosted by experts on the Expedition Team
  • Included Kayaking (additional charges apply)
  • Included Optional treatments in the onboard wellness and spa area
  • Included Photography tips and techniques from onboard photographer
Click here for dates & prices

26 days

Price from

$21,609 USD

Per person, sharing

Based On Lowest Cabin

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