Canadian Remote Arctic: Northwest Passage to Ellesmere & Axel Heiberg Islands
from $18980
Duration: 12 Days
The smattering of islands contained in Canada’s Arctic north are a world away from the more accessible parts of North America. Here, the iceberg-strewn waters are home to walruses and whales and tiny Inuit communities built on permafrost. This 12-day expedition takes you into Nanavut and the Canadian High Arctic Archipelago to explore these incredible lands and waters, following the legendary Northwest Passage with an eye to encountering wildlife, historical sites and resilient people. Unlike the hardy explorers who attempted to map this landscape in days of old, you’ll be travelling in style with an onboard fitness centre, sauna and a wide range of cabin options.
  • With two helicopters on board, you’ll get the chance to take included flights to soar above the Arctic landscape and make landings at otherwise inaccessible spots.
  • Explore parts of the Nanavut region with Inuit guides and learn about the people who have lived in the world’s most difficult environments for thousands of years.
  • Spot incredible wildlife on land and on Zodiac excursions. Canada’s High Arctic is home to fantastic beasts like polar bears, musk oxen, narwhals and caribou.
  • Traverse the waterways of the famed Northwest Passage, which foiled European explorers for hundreds of years, and attempt to reach the otherworldly Ellesmere and Axel Heiberg islands.
  • Discover the immense beauty of ancient glaciers, house-sized icebergs, granite mountains and epic tundra that extends as far as the eye can see.
Day 1 Location: Toronto
Welcome to Toronto, the gateway to your expedition in the Canadian High Arctic. Make your own way to the accommodation outlined in the Essential Trip Information, where there will be a welcome letter waiting for you that outlines the details of your flight tomorrow. There will also be an optional briefing this evening to discuss details with a tour representative in person – ask at reception for information on when you can do this. Aside from that, you are free to use your time in Toronto however you’d like.
Day 2 Location: Resolute – Embarkation Day
This morning, take an included transfer to the airport and board your charter flight to Resolute. Upon arrival, there might be time to check out some of this tiny hamlet before you transfer to your expedition ship via Zodiac or helicopter (depending on weather conditions and where the ship has been able to dock). Once onboard, settle into your cabin and get to know your expedition crew.
Day 3-10 Location: Canada’s High Arctic
Spend the next week exploring the remote islands of the Canadian High Arctic. Navigate through the Nanavut region and attempt to traverse Hell Gate to reach Axel Heiberg Island and Ellesmere Island. While many European explorers met their doom in the iceberg-strewn waters, Inuit peoples and their ancestors have lived here for almost 5000 years. You’ll discover the ancestral homelands of ancient cultures with Inuit guides (on shore and on board the vessel) who will explain how deep knowledge of the land and animals of the region has allowed people to live in the far north for millennia. While it’s impossible to confirm in advance the exact landing sites and itinerary for the next seven days, you can expect daily Zodiac cruising, land excursions, a comprehensive education program, visits to tiny settlements and unrivalled wildlife-viewing opportunities. Each day will bring something different – a rare bird species soaring overhead, a polar bear on the hunt in its natural habitat or the remains of a century-old expedition hut. With two helicopters on board, you also have the chance to enjoy included scenic helicopter flight and helicopter excursions to get a unique view on the Arctic and access to areas otherwise out of reach (weather dependent).
Day 11 Location: Resolute – Disembarkation – Toronto
Say goodbye to your crew and take an included transfer to the airport for your included flight to Toronto. On arrival in Toronto, you are free to explore at your leisure or simply relax in your post-expedition accommodation for the evening.
Day 12 Location: Toronto
Your tour comes to an end today and there are no activities or further accommodation booked.
Dates
Prices
Availability
Departure Date:
22AUG2021
Return Date:
02SEP2021
26125NZD
available
Departure Date:
22AUG2021
Return Date:
02SEP2021
29960NZD
available
Departure Date:
22AUG2021
Return Date:
02SEP2021
23670NZD
available
Departure Date:
22AUG2021
Return Date:
02SEP2021
40200NZD
available
Departure Date:
22AUG2021
Return Date:
02SEP2021
33160NZD
available
Departure Date:
22AUG2021
Return Date:
02SEP2021
25270NZD
available
Departure Date:
22AUG2021
Return Date:
02SEP2021
30815NZD
available
Departure Date:
22AUG2021
Return Date:
02SEP2021
44145NZD
available
Departure Date:
22AUG2021
Return Date:
02SEP2021
18980NZD
available
Last modified (date)

27 Mar 2020

Trip title

Canadian Remote Arctic: Northwest Passage to Ellesmere & Axel Heiberg Islands

Trip code

BQMRP

Validity

Validity: 22 Aug 2021 to 02 Sep 2021

Introduction

The smattering of islands contained in Canada’s Arctic north are a world away from the more accessible parts of North America. Here, the iceberg-strewn waters are home to walruses and whales and tiny Inuit communities built on permafrost. This 12-day expedition takes you into Nanavut and the Canadian High Arctic Archipelago to explore these incredible lands and waters, following the legendary Northwest Passage with an eye to encountering wildlife, historical sites and resilient people. Unlike the hardy explorers who attempted to map this landscape in days of old, you’ll be travelling in style with an onboard fitness centre, sauna and a wide range of cabin options.

Style

Comfort

Themes

Polar,Wildlife

Transport

Ship,Zodiac,Plane

Physical Rating

1

Physical preparation

Although you don't need to be particularly fit to take part in an Arctic expedition, you do need to have a good level of mobility. You must be able to complete the on board safety drills and emergency evacuation procedures unaided. Rolling seas and windy conditions require you to be stable on your feet while negotiating the ship over potentially slippery decks and gangways. The zodiacs are accessed via a gangway or stairs which may be steep on some ships. Some of our ships have lifts, but these may not access all decks so some stair climbing on board will be necessary.

Joining point

Your Toronto Hotel

Toronto

Toronto

Ontario

CANADA

Finish point

Your Toronto Hotel

Toronto

Toronto

Ontario

CANADA

Group leader

Your voyage will be led by an experienced Expedition Leader. In addition, a number of experts will be on board to add knowledge of their field to your experience. This will include a Marine Biologist, Ornithologist, Glaciologist or Geologist, Polar Historian, Kayaking guide and Naturalist guides. Voyages offering other adventure activities will have additional specialist guides on board.

Safety

Safety is paramount on a your voyage. Due to new International Security Regulations, you will not be able to approach the ship on your own. You will have to arrive with the rest of the group, accompanied by a Quark representative. Full details of embarkation/disembarkation procedures will be supplied with your final documentation. On board you will be asked to participate in the obligatory lifeboat drill. We will also conduct important briefings on landing procedures and Zodiac operations. Travelling in the Arctic, encounters with Polar Bears are not uncommon in some areas (and one of the best reasons to go there). You will be given a briefing on Polar Bear safety on board the ship before your first shore landing. Your guides will carry fire arms and bear deterrents on all excursions. Always follow the instructions of your guide while on shore. All ships operating in Polar waters must comply with a variety of regulations, codes and industry standards. All our ships adhere to regulations set by IMO (International Maritime Organisation) including ISM Code (Safety Management System), ISPS Code (for ship and port security), SOLAS (Safety of Life at Sea) and MARPOL (Maritime Pollution Prevention). In addition, Quark Expeditions is a full member of IAATO (International Association of Antarctic Tour Operators) and a full member of AECO (Association of Arctic Expedition Cruise Operators). Quark Expeditions have also been externally audited for its' health and safety programme and have been awarded the British Standard BS8848, the only expedition cruise company to have this accreditation.

Communications

All of our ships have facilities to communicate with the outside world. Satellite phone communications are available on all ships but be aware that on some ships, this connection is only available in certain locations and may not be possible from your cabin. Satellite communications can be intermittent and may not be available at all times or in all locations. Phone calls are charged per minute of usage. Internet access is possible via wifi on your personal laptop or device in certain areas of each ship and is charged via a pre-paid card which can be purchased through the hotel manager. Each ship also has a computer for passengers to use for internet access and emails and the hotel manager can set you up with a temporary webmail address. Please be aware, accessing some websites from the ship will be very expensive as downloading picture heavy content will use up a large amount of data. Text only emails use up much less data and is a very affordable way to communicate with friends and family at home. All communications from the ship are a bit intermittent as when travelling through mountainous areas or through narrow channels, signals can be disrupted and may not be transmitted until clearing this terrain or until satellites next pass overhead. Please make sure your loved ones have realistic expectations of your ability to communicate with them so they don’t worry about you.

Visas

As a general rule most countries expect that your passport has a minimum of 6 months validity remaining. Please ensure the name on your passport matches the name on your booking and airline tickets. Your passport details are required to complete your booking. Your consultant will contact you when this is required. Take a copy of the main passport pages and other important documents with you, and leave another copy at home with family or friends. Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. Entry requirements can change at any time, so it's important that you check for the latest information. Please visit the relevant consular website of the country or countries you’re visiting for detailed and up-to-date visa information specific to your nationality. Your consultant will also be happy to point you in the right direction with acquiring visas. Visas can take several weeks to process, so familiarise yourself with any requirements as soon as you have booked your trip to allow for processing time. Your passport details are required to complete your booking. Please ensure the name on your passport matches the name on your booking CANADA Most nationalities except South Africans do not need a visa for Canada, but will need to apply online for an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA). See http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/visit/eta.asp for details and to apply. There is a fee of CA$7 for this service. Travellers will need an eTA before they can board a flight to Canada. If you are crossing the border by road, then you do not need to apply for an eTA. Please note there are many third-party sites offering visa services and charging a fee however The Government of Canada website is the only official place to apply for an eTA visa. Please note, if you hold dual Canadian citizenship, then from 30 September 2016 you won't be able to apply for an eTA and will instead need to enter Canada using your Canadian passport. If you do not have a Canadian passport, you'll need to apply for one in advance of travel. As always, please check your individual requirements with your local embassy/consulate or a visa service.

Why we love it

With two helicopters on board, you’ll get the chance to take included flights to soar above the Arctic landscape and make landings at otherwise inaccessible spots.

Explore parts of the Nanavut region with Inuit guides and learn about the people who have lived in the world’s most difficult environments for thousands of years.

Spot incredible wildlife on land and on Zodiac excursions. Canada’s High Arctic is home to fantastic beasts like polar bears, musk oxen, narwhals and caribou.

Traverse the waterways of the famed Northwest Passage, which foiled European explorers for hundreds of years, and attempt to reach the otherworldly Ellesmere and Axel Heiberg islands.

Discover the immense beauty of ancient glaciers, house-sized icebergs, granite mountains and epic tundra that extends as far as the eye can see.

Is this trip right for you

You will be supplied with an expedition parka and waterproof boots that are sturdy and warm. Please see the ‘Packing’ section of the Essential Trip Information for a detailed guide on what to bring with you. The plan is to hop into Zodiac boats quite regularly to explore and search for wildlife. It can get very cold and wet on the Zodiac. Sturdy sea legs are needed for wet and dry landings by Zodiac, and you will hike on steep terrain, snow and other uneven surfaces. The weather plays a pivotal part in this adventure and, although there’s an itinerary in place, there are no guarantees that you’ll be able to do everything that is planned for. A level of flexibility and openness to embracing the unexpected are important in expedition travel, especially in such a remote area.

Health

Vaccination requirements do change, but generally you do not need vaccinations for this voyage but some may be required or recommended for countries you are visiting enroute to the Arctic. It is your responsibility to ensure that you obtain any vaccinations or preventative medicines for the countries you are visiting – or any which may be required by your home country upon your return. To find out which, if any, vaccinations are mandatory or recommended for your destination contact your local doctor, immunisation centre or medical centre for up-to-date information. You should be issued with an International Certificate of Vaccination booklet that records each vaccination. Always carry this with you on your travels; it could provide essential information for doctors in the event that you fall ill whilst travelling. MOTION SICKNESS Although our vessels are among the most stable ships in their class, we will still inevitably encounter motion. Unless you are certain you are impervious to the problem, you should take precautions against seasickness. Your doctor can advise you as to the best methods for avoiding this uncomfortable condition. There will be a licensed English-speaking physician on board. Your vessel will have a medical clinic with a limited supply of prescription medicines and basic first aid equipment. The clinic will not be stocked with every drug or piece of equipment required for every medical problem. If you are under regular treatment for any ailment, you must bring a sufficient supply of medicines for yourself. We cannot accept responsibility for not having a specific brand or type of drug on board. It is wise to carry an extra week’s supply of prescription medications just in case of flight delays or other unforeseen circumstances. If you have particular health needs, please bring with you a signed and dated letter from your physician explaining your health problems and/or the dosage required for the prescribed medication. The letter will assist our doctor on board, and any emergency medical personnel to care for you should you become ill. Please hand the letter to the expedition doctor once you are on board.

Food and dietary requirements

Breakfast, lunch and dinner are served in the dining room. Hours of operation will be posted and are subject to change to accommodate the expedition. Coffee, tea and cocoa are available around the clock. The tap water on board is safe to drink. We're able to meet most special dietary requests, as long as you have clearly indicated your requirements far in advance of your voyage. Kosher food cannot be prepared.

Money matters

When it comes to money matters on the trip, every traveller is a little different. You know your spending habits better than we do, so please budget a sensible amount for things like meals not included, drinks, shopping, optional activities, tipping and laundry. It's always better to bring a little more than you think you'll need. Also make sure you've read your trip details thoroughly so you know what's included in the trip price and what isn't. this shoud make budgeting a little easier. You'll find this info in the Inclusions section of your Essential Trip Information (that's this document). MEALS NOT INCLUDED We recommend you allow US$150 for meals not included in the itinerary All services onboard your ship such as communication charges, laundry, and bar charges will be added to your onboard account and are charged in US dollars. Your account can be paid with US dollars cash, traveller’s cheques or by Visa or MasterCard. Outside of the start or end point of your expedition, cash will be of most use in the Arctic. In Svalbard, Greenland and the Canadian Arctic, credit cards are not readily accepted and ATM’s are virtually non-existent. On voyages that visit local towns and villages, there is the opportunity to buy souvenirs and some villages have thriving art scenes with local artisans selling their wares. In addition, some museums and sites charge entry fees and in some locations, you may wish to buy food and drink (although the meals on the ship are very good and plentiful). TIPPING The voyage fare does not include the customary, optional gratuity which is divided between the ships' crew, and hospitality staff. We suggest US$13 - US$15 per day as a guide. Any tip for the Expedition Team is extra to this and is at your discretion. Gratuities can be added to your onboard account at the end of the voyage or paid in cash on board. Full details will be provided before you settle your onboard account. CANADA The unit of currency is the Canadian dollar (C$ or CAD), made up of 100 cents. Bank notes are found in the following denominations: $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100. Coins come in 5c, 10c, 25c, 50c, $1 and $2 denomination. In major cities credit cards are readily accepted just about everywhere and ATMs are common. Travellers cheques are also easily exchanged. Tipping is expected in restaurants and in all areas of the services, hospitality and tourism industry. In remote communities, credit cards may be accepted by some galleries or artisan shops, but it is best to have some cash for smaller purchases or for shops with no credit card facilities. You are unlikely to find ATM's other than in the larger towns of the Canadian Arctic. EMERGENCY FUNDS: We try to plan for every eventuality, but there are still some things beyond our control. Please make sure you bring an extra USD500 for emergencies (e.g. natural disasters or civil unrest). Sometimes these things necessitate last minute changes to our itineraries, and we can’t guarantee there won’t be some extra costs involved.

What to take

The Arctic usually has - relatively - mild weather conditions in high summer. Temperatures below -5ºC are not common (although wind-chill factor can significantly add to the effect.) As a result, you should not need to make many expensive specialist gear purchases, although you do need good wet weather pants and you do need warm clothing. Wet weather jacket and boots are supplied on board the ship. On shore we do aim to provide hiking and walking opportunities whenever possible, so a reasonable pair of walking shoes or boots is suggested. The dress code on board is relaxed and casual; you will not need to dress formally for meals. The inside of the ship is well heated, so you will not require special clothing on board. Indeed, you could spend most of your time in light trousers and a t-shirt! However, it is not unusual for you to want to go out on deck suddenly - a whale sighting, or seals on a nearby ice-floe or hopefully a polar bear - nearly always produce a major exodus, so you need to keep warm clothing handy at all times, even when a shore excursion is not imminent. When you do go ashore you will require warm clothing - a few layers of light and medium-weight items which can be easily adjusted rather than one or two large and bulky items - and wet weather gear to protect you from the spray which can sometimes be encountered on the Zodiacs. Below is a list of equipment and documentation that we suggest you take with you. Please use this checklist as a guide when packing for your holiday. Laundry facilities are available on board the ship. Travel documents: passport, visa (if required), travel insurance, air tickets or e-ticket receipts, Trip Notes Photocopy of main passport pages, visa (if required), travel insurance and air tickets Spare passport photos Money: cash/credit card/EFTPOS card Money belt (for travelling en route) Small first-aid kit Ecologically friendly laundry soap Daypack (lightweight and waterproof) Watch/alarm clock and torch/flashlight (and spare batteries) Electrical adapter plug Toiletries/travel wipes Sunscreen, lip balm, moisturising cream, sunhat and sunglasses (with UV protection) Swimsuit (in case you wish to take the Polar Plunge) Earplugs and eye mask (for light sleepers) Extra pair of prescription glasses (if required) 2 strong plastic garbage bags (for laundry and in case of rain) Refillable water bottle Phrase book (if travelling en route to ship) Gloves (2 pairs minimum) Hat that covers ears Scarf or other face protection Wind and waterproof pants (a few sizes larger) Warm pants Comfortable shoes Long wool or cotton socks (for expeditions) Silk or polypropylene socks (for inside the ship) Jumpers/sweaters/fleeces Cotton turtlenecks and t-shirts Camera and spare film (or recharge for digital cameras) Plastic bags with zippers for carrying film, etc Binoculars Your prescritpion medication, seasickness medication and painkillers

LUGGAGE ALLOWANCES: Please note luggage allowances on the flights in conjunction with this voyage are restricted to 20 kilos checked baggage and 5 kilos hand luggage. This will be strictly enforced.

Feedback

After your travels, we want to hear from you! We realise that our partner company may ask you to complete paper or online feedback following your trip, however we would also like to know what you thought and encourage you to submit your feedback to us too. We rely on your feedback. We read it carefully. Feedback helps us understand what we and our partners are doing well and what could be done better. It allows us to suggest improvements for future travellers. https://bookings.intrepidtravel.com/bookings/en_AU/feedback/

Emergency contact

For general enquiries or questions about your booking, please contact your agent or adventure specialist, or visit us at http://www.peregrineadventures.com/en-gb/contact-us In the case of a genuine crisis or emergency please contact our local ground representative on the number below. +1 647 449 5303

Responsible travel

As a member of the Association of Arctic Expedition Cruise Operators (AECO), Quark Expeditions are supporters of responsible tourism that mitigates the impact of our shore landings on the landscape or wildlife. Quark was the first operator to offer inclusive Carbon Neutral voyages on the Ocean Diamond. By doing so we have enhanced our commitment to ecological sensitivity and to minimising our impact on the areas we visit including: • Having our vessels burn Marine Gas Oil (MGO) a clean burning fuel with a low emission factor. • Conforming to all international regulations/policies governing disposal of waste at sea. • Serving only sustainable seafood. • Using only eco-friendly laundry chemicals and room amenities. • Removing disposable water bottles from the ships. • Making all our voyages virtually paperless by 2014 and having any paper used be 100% recyclable. AECO members also operate according to established rules of conduct, which, while you travel with us, we ask you to respect. A copy of the AECO guidelines will be provided prior to travel and staff will brief all passengers prior to the first landing.

The Intrepid Foundation

Help us change thousands of lives by creating meaningful work and supporting skills training in communities around the world. The Intrepid Foundation is the not-for-profit for Peregrine Adventures, a brand of the Intrepid Group, and works with local organisations around the world to improve the livelihoods of vulnerable individuals and communities through sustainable travel experiences. With our travellers’ help, we’ve contributed more than AU $6 million to over 100 community organisations since 2002. Did you know that tourism is one of the biggest contributors to the global economy, making up 1 out of every 10 jobs? That’s why we support local projects that create meaningful jobs and give people the skills they need to work in the destinations we take you to. And it’s why we exist – to make it easy for travellers to give back to the communities and places they’ve been in an effective and meaningful way. Intrepid Group covers all administration costs, every cent goes directly to the projects. Donating is simple and secure. Please ask your leader for information about the projects we support through The Intrepid Foundation or visit our website: http://www.theintrepidfoundation.org/

Travel insurance

Your voyage fare includes Emergency Evacuation Insurance to a maximum benefit of US$100,000 per person. However, it is essential that you have comprehensive personal travel insurance in addition to this to cover all other eventualities. For itineraries including flights, it is essential that you have insurance that covers for delays caused by weather. Quark Expeditions will make every effort to ensure the expedition takes place, but due to weather conditions, flying in this region can be difficult and is beyond the control of Quark Expeditions and Peregrine Adventures. We strongly recommend that all expedition guests purchase a travel insurance policy including trip delay, cancellation and interruption insurance. See Itinerary disclaimer for details of the contingency plan should weather delay flight operations.

Your fellow travellers

On your voyage, you will be travelling with up to 137 other people (depending on which ship you are on). The ships are spacious with ample deck space and public areas so it is always possible to find a spot to yourself to enjoy the scenery and some solitude. On excursions, you will travel in a zodiac with up to 10 guests on each boat. Polar travel attracts travellers of all nationalities and meeting people from other countries is one of the pleasures of life on board. The voyages will be conducted in English and clients who do not speak English will need to travel with someone able to translate for safety reasons. Some voyages may have large non English speaking groups travelling with translators so you may find that announcements are translated for their benefit and presentations may be given separately in their own language or translated. Single occupancy is available in most cabin categories for 1.7 or 2 times the twin berth price (dependent on which cabin category). Single travellers wishing to share will be matched with another solo traveller of the same sex. Please note that it is not possible to share with a stranger in all cabin types. Please speak to a consultant for full details.

Itinerary disclaimer

Polar travel requires an amount of flexibility as weather, ice conditions and wildlife can all affect where your ship is able to access, and where your Expedition Team think you will get the best experience possible from your trip. On board, daily updates are given to advise what the specific itinerary will be for the next day based on local conditions. Published itineraries are subject to change when local conditions dictate.

Accommodation

Expedition Voyage,comfortable hotel

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