High Arctic Explorer Expedition Cruise
starting from US $11,589per person
Choose your own activities and experiences to enjoy.
Tailor your stay to perfectly suit your timeline and budget.
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
Depart Edmonton for Resolute Bay
Lancaster Sound and Croker Bay
Grise Fjord and Craig Harbour
Nirjutiqavvik National Wildlife Area
Cape Hay and Elwin Inlet
Prince Leopold Island
Resolute to Edmonton
*Itinerary may vary to accommodate wildlife sightings and weather
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.
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
Below you'll find examples of this trip's accommodation options. 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 & Dates2017 Start Date
2018 Start Date
• Cabin prices are per person, based on two people sharing a cabin
• Singles can be paired up with fellow guests to avoid single supplement surcharges, in twin and superior cabin types. Just ask us!
• Ask your Fresh Tracks Canada vacation advisor for advice on which cabin types are best for you.
Twin Private Cabin
from 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.
from 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.
from 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 Suite
from 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.
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