Join A&K Founder Geoffrey Kent on an extraordinary expedition through the rarely transited Northwest Passage, voyaging from western Greenland through the Canadian Arctic to Nome, Alaska. Follow in the footsteps of legendary polar explorers alongside A&K’s famed Expedition Team‚ including an Inuit cultural expert, while experiencing iceberg-laden shores, remote Inuit villages, historic islands and spectacular geological wonders.
Day 1 - Arrive Montreal, Quebec
Arrive in Montreal and transfer to your hotel. Later, gather
for a welcome dinner, where you meet your fellow guests
and Expedition Team.
Day 2 - Montreal
Today, explore this modern Canadian city with a choice
of engaging tours, including a panoramic city tour that
begins with a guided visit of Notre-Dame Basilica, reveals
the scenic summit of Mount Royal and includes a tasting
of the city’s fabled bagels. You may opt instead to explore
Old Montreal and Little Italy with its open-air Jean Talon
Market. As an alternative, explore Old Montreal on
foot, learning about its French and English heritage; see
Jacques-Cartier Square, Place d’Armes and Saint Jacques
Street with its notable Victorian architecture. As another
option, you may take a guided walking tour through the
city’s downtown, traversing its “Underground City,” Sainte
Catherine Street and Quartier des Spectacles, the city’s
Day 3 - Kangerlussuaq
Transfer to the airport for an early morning charter flight
to Western Greenland, arriving at Kangerlussuaq at the
edge of the Greenland Ice Sheet. Later, board your luxury
expedition cruiser and enjoy the thrill of setting off for sea.
This evening, join fellow guests and your Expedition Team
for a welcome reception.
Day 8 - Western Greenland
In 1906, Roald Amundsen became the first polar explorer to
successfully cross the entire Northwest Passage. Begin as he
did, venturing along Greenland’s stunning West Coast and
north into Baffin Bay for the next five days. Your Captain
and Expedition Team determine the day’s best excursions,
which may include the following areas:
Sisimiut: North of the Arctic Circle, Sisimiut is the
northernmost city in Greenland able to maintain a
year-round, ice-free port as well as sufficient snow for
dogsledding in winter and spring. Visit the local museum
and enjoy an Inuit sea kayak demonstration.
Disko Bay & Ilulissat: Cruise into the wide inlet of Disko
Bay, first explored by Erik the Red in 985. Discover the
Ilulissat Icefjord, a UNESCO World Heritage Site at the
mouth of one of the fastest and most active glaciers in the
world, Sermeq Kujalleq. Take a walking tour of Ilulissat, visit
its history museum, and meet with villagers to learn about
local life. Conditions permitting, board a local vessel for an
iceberg cruise of Disko Bay.
Uummannaq Fjords: North of Ilulissat, this geological
wonder teems with marine life. Visit Karrat Fjord to see the iceberg-clad bay and the remains of ancient huts, built by
Thule hunters (Inuit ancestors) more than 500 years ago.
Kullorsuaq: Translated as “Big Thumb,” Kullorsuaq remains
one of the most traditional hunting, fishing and trading
villages in Greenland.
Day 16 - Nunavut
Cruise into the Canadian Arctic Archipelago of Nunavut
and enter the heart of the Northwest Passage. As your
luxury expedition cruiser winds through legendary
channels and inlets, A&K’s enrichment specialists continue
to spark captivating discussions that enhance your
discovery. Your crew and Expedition Team determine
your itinerary, which is dependent on weather, sea, ice and
wildlife conditions. Exciting excursions may include:
Pond Inlet: “Place of Mittima’s Grave,” Pond Inlet is the
gateway to the Northwest Passage and a rich archaeological
site. After clearing customs formalities, embark on a shore
excursion to an area once inhabited by the ancient Thule.
Visit the Nattinnak Visitor’s Center or Toonoonik Sahoonik
Co-op, where you may shop for handcrafted goods.
Lancaster Sound: Situated between Devon Island and
Baffin Island, this body of water is home to an abundance of
Arctic cod and seasonal populations of Beluga and bowhead
whales, black guillemots, Arctic terns and other wildlife.
Beechey Island: Historic moments in Arctic exploration
define this island. Beechey is best known for providing a
safe haven to British explorer Sir John Franklin in 1845,
who took shelter for two years before his ill-fated attempt to conquer the Northwest Passage. See the grave markers for
three of his men and visit the Franklin’s cenotaph.
Fort Ross: Abandoned in 1948, this former trading post
was founded in 1937 as a place for trappers to barter Arctic
fox pelts in exchange for necessities. Explore its remaining
structures and perhaps take a Zodiac excursion to CoBay,
as your naturalists share stories about its residents.
Gjoa Haven: During his attempt on to cross the passage on
‘Gjoa’, Roald Amundsen took respite in this natural harbor
as he waited for ice conditions to improve. For two years, he
lived with the Netsilik Inuits and learned survival skills that
later proved invaluable on his South Pole expedition.
Victoria Island: Cruise the south coast of Victoria and
through Queen Maud Gulf, Dease Strait and Coronation
Gulf. Expedition stops may include bird sanctuary Jenny
Lind Island and Johansen Bay.
Day 19 - Northwest Territories
Enter Canada’s Northwest Territories and continue
through the heart of the Northwest Passage, where you may
experience exciting excursion opportunities that include:
Ulukhaktok: Visit with the local Inuit of Holman Village,
experiencing drum dances, and tastings of fresh char
and bannock rings (fried dough) prepared over an open
fire. Tour the town art center and discover Ulukhaktok’s
beautiful printmaking tradition, carvings and hats made of
coveted musk ox wool.
Banks Island: The fourth largest island in the Canadian
Archipelago, Banks is home to deep Inuit history and a
population of about 60,000 muskoxen.
Franklin Bay: Discover the “Smoking Hills,” cliffs of
bituminous shale that endlessly combust and burn. This
geological phenomenon has likely been occurring for
millennia and is a rare sight to see.
Day 20 - Herschel Island
On expedition in 1826, Captain Franklin was the
first European to lay eyes on this unique island at the
northernmost point of the Yukon Territory. Herschel
supports numerous wildlife and is one of the only places on
earth where you may see a grizzly bear, black bear and polar
bear. Evidence of the island’s whaling culture and Thule
ancestors remains along its coastline, now greatly affected
by sea erosion and climate change.
Day 22 - Beaufort Sea
Typically dense with ice floes and fog, the Beaufort Sea
opens up a 60-mile-wide coastal pass from August to
September. As your expedition ship cruises into the
U.S. and clears at Point Barrow, Alaska (U.S. Customs
clearance only), continue participating in lectures led by
your Expedition Team. Relax on your private balcony or
join fellow guests on deck where, with some luck, you may
spy beluga whales, which travel in numbers here, and the
northern lights in autumn.
Day 23 - Little Diomede
Continue cruising to Little Diomede, an island between
Alaska and Russia at the edge of the International Dateline.
Enjoy a Zodiac cruise of the island, where the Ingalikmiut
maintain a traditional lifestyle.
Day 24 - Nome, Alaska
Arrive and disembark in Nome, Alaska, among the wildest
reaches of mainland America. Try your hand at gold
panning, experience a dogsled demonstration and see the
Bering Sea Land Bridge National Monument. Later, transfer
to the airport for your chartered flight to Anchorage, and
then continue on with your homebound flight.