Canada's Remote Arctic: Northwest Passage to Ellesmere and Axel Heiberg Islands

Canada's Remote Arctic: Northwest Passage to Ellesmere and Axel Heiberg Islands
Canada's Remote Arctic: Northwest Passage to Ellesmere and Axel Heiberg Islands
Canada's Remote Arctic: Northwest Passage to Ellesmere and Axel Heiberg Islands
Canada's Remote Arctic: Northwest Passage to Ellesmere and Axel Heiberg Islands
Canada's Remote Arctic: Northwest Passage to Ellesmere and Axel Heiberg Islands
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  • Overview
  • Itinerary
  • What's Included
  • Dates
  • Exodus

Discover the cultural, historic and geographic treasures of Canada's remote High Arctic region aboard Ultramarine.

Here, at the top of the world, nature has created unique wonders in astonishing variety. Our new expedition vessel Ultramarine, equipped with two twin-engine helicopters and 20 quick-launching Zodiacs, enables you to explore this breathtaking environment from brand new perspectives. You’ll experience the same sense of wonder felt by early explorers as they navigated the region’s formidable bays, inlets and channels. On this exciting itinerary, we follow the natural guides of sea and ice to showcase the region’s cultural, historic and geographic treasures, aiming to approach the farthest stretches of this rugged, rarely visited landscape. Ultramarine’s unprecedented range of adventure options, including activities such as helicopter flightseeing, gives you an unrivalled Polar experience. You’ll be able to view the magnificent wildlife that make their home in this forbidding region, including Polar bears, whales, seals, walrus, Musk ox and possibly the elusive Arctic wolf. From soaring cli­ffs to mummified forests, spectacular glacial formations to stunning alpine vistas, expansive waterways to sheltered shores, Canada’s Remote Arctic provides the definitive experience of a mysterious, magical region few ever get to see. .

Highlights
* Search for iconic Arctic wildlife, such as Polar bears and Musk ox * Zodiac cruise along the face of an active glacier * Learn about indigenous culture from Inuit guides onboard and ashore * Channel your inner explorer as we set out to reach Canada’s most northerly islands: Axel Heiberg and Ellesmere Island * Travel in a small expedition vessel * Enjoy flightseeing and heli landings with Ultramarine’s two onboard helicopters * Accompanied by extremely qualified Expedition Staff
Food

All meals while on the ship included. *Typical Meals* The ships galley offers good quality service and cuisine throughout, with excellent chefs preparing international menus including vegetarian dishes, accompanied by a wide variety of drinks from around the world on sale. *Breakfast:* Buffet style – unlimited tea and coffee, a selection of fruit juices, hot options including bacon and eggs or omelettes, a selection of bread and toast and jam/honey/marmalade, fruit and cereal. *Lunch:* Three course set meal or buffet, or the occasional BBQ. *Dinner:* Three or four courses with a starter of soup and/or salad, a choice of mains with at least one vegetarian option and a dessert, with tea and coffee.

Destinations
  • Arctic
  • Canada
  • North America
  • Polar
Tour Types
  • Adventure
  • Polar
  • Arctic
  • New Polar Holidays
  • Polar Marine and Wildlife
Day 1

Your Arctic expedition begins in Toronto. Explore this vibrant city on your own before spending the night at your well-appointed hotel.



Day 2

This morning, board your charter flight to Resolute, Nuvanut. Upon arrival, you may have a chance to check out some of the town’s sites before being transferred to your ship via Zodiac or helicopter (depending on ship location and weather conditions).



Day 3-10

Cruising around the remote islands of the Canadian High Arctic aboard Ultramarine, the newest ship in our fleet, you’ll navigate the same icy inlets, channels and bays that fascinated legendary explorers of long ago. Designed to give Polar adventurers unprecedented access to the hardest- to-reach places on the planet—and equipped with two onboard twin- engine helicopters for unparalleled access to areas only Quark Expeditions can bring you—this one-of-a-kind ship, in its inaugural year, will take you beyond the familiar in Polar exploration. Throughout your journey, your Expedition Team will keep an eye toward immersing you in the best the Arctic has to offer, including reaching Canada’s most northerly islands: Axel Heiberg Island and the rarely visited Ellesmere Island, at the top of the world. Remember that no two Polar voyages are alike, since each expedition presents new opportunities and different weather and ice conditions. While this voyage has no fixed itinerary, our objective is to visit as many of the incredible highlights this season has to offer, using the opportunities provided by the weather and ice to give you the best experience. Each day, your highly skilled Expedition Team will read the conditions and choose the best course to set, but despite their extensive expertise in these areas, each visit brings something new to discover. That said, our expeditions will have some elements in common, including daily Zodiac cruising, land excursions, a robust education program, a community visit and wildlife viewing opportunities. And thanks to our onboard helicopters, you’ll also discover the ultimate Polar expedition experience: As stunning as Polar landscapes are from your ship, they’re even more striking from the air! Conditions permitting, you’ll enjoy ultra-immersive activities like flightseeing (short sightseeing flights around your ship and surrounding areas) and heli-landings (flying to places we could not otherwise access for shore excursions), two breath-taking options that are unique to Ultramarine and give you an awe-inspiring Polar experience like no other. While this waterway is known to European cultures as the Northwest Passage, this area has nurtured and sustained the Inuit and their predecessors who have called these shores home for almost 5,000 years. Moving through these remote landscapes you will be travelling through the ancestral homelands of this ancient culture, illuminated in person by Inuit guides onboard and ashore. Nunavut is an Inuktitut word meaning “our land” and the Nunavummiut (the people of Nunavut) are renowned for their incredible resourcefulness, hospitality, good humour, and a deep knowledge of the land and animals that has allowed them to thrive in the far north for millennia. Ultimately, your Expedition Team will keep its eye northward, hoping to follow in the footsteps of the lucky few Polar adventurers who have transited through the famous Hell Gate to reach the top of the world, the spectacular Ellesmere Island. If conditions are right, the soaring, ominous snow-capped peaks of this polar desert will come into focus as we approach. The northernmost island in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago, Ellesmere is one of the most remote places on the planet, a land of deep fjords, jagged mountains and massive ice shelves. If we’re fortunate enough to reach here, you will be among the rarest of Polar explorers. One of this expedition’s objectives, weather and ice conditions allowing, is to visit the famous fossil forest on Axel Heiberg Island, Canada’s second most northerly island. Dating back more than 30 million years, the large mummified stumps were discovered in 1985 after erosion swept them clean. The original forest that was here flourished, with some trees reaching as high as 115 feet (35 metres) and growing for 500 to 1,000 years. Birders will want to have their binoculars and cameras at the ready, as the island also affords opportunities for sightings of Snow buntings, ptarmigans, jaegers and Arctic terns, among others. Wildlife sightings are almost guaranteed, as many of the areas we hope to explore are home to a surprising number of birds and mammals that thrive in this challenging environment. It’s likely that you’ll see Polar bears, muskoxen and several bird species, such as gyrfalcons and dovekies (Little auks). If you’re lucky, you may even spot the elusive narwhal or Arctic wolf, though sightings of these iconic creatures in the wild are rare, even in these areas where we have the highest chances of encountering them. Coburg Island, for instance, is a wildlife reserve for such birds as Snowy owls and Peregrine falcons, while the impressive vertical cliffs of Prince Leopold Island are dotted with nesting seabirds like Northern fulmars and Black guillemots. The sheltered shores and steep cliffs of Arctic Bay, a hamlet located off of Admiralty Inlet, provide an ideal nesting habitat for various High Arctic birds such as Snow geese, Thick-billed murres (Brunnich’s guillemots) and kittiwakes. Occupied by Inuit and Thule cultures for almost 5,000 years, this traditional community is also an ideal spot to go ashore and learn more about the Inuit culture, sampling the local cuisine and mingling with artists, perhaps picking up carvings or other handicrafts as a memento of your Polar adventure. Devon Island is another possible locale for wildlife encounters, as walrus, Polar bears and Musk ox inhabit the area, which is also the location of the remains of a Royal Canadian Mounted Police outpost, established at Dundas Harbour in 1924 to curb foreign whaling and other activities. Nearby is a small cemetery, one of Canada’s most northerly, still maintained by the RCMP to this day. Another exciting excursion your Expedition Team might offer, conditions permitting, is the opportunity to fly up to explore the Devon ice cap, one of the largest in the Canadian Arctic. History buffs will also be intrigued by the chance to visit an abandoned Hudson’s Bay Company trading post at Fort Ross, at the southern end of Somerset Island, and pay their respects to the ill-fated Franklin expedition of 1845–46 at the gravesite of three crew members on Beechey Island, one of Canada’s most significant Arctic sites. You may have the opportunity to cruise in a Zodiac along the face of an active glacier near Croker Bay and possibly even witness the wonders of calving ice, at a safe distance. Listen closely for the steady crackle and loud roars as pieces of ice break off and crash into the water below. You’ll also want to be on the lookout for the walrus that are often seen in the area. There is no shortage of natural beauty, wildlife and history in Canada’s High Arctic. Each day, you’ll discover something new and inspiring, whether it is admiration of the tundra flora to survive the rugged environment, a rare bird species soaring overhead, a Polar bear on the hunt in its natural habitat, or the remains of a century-old hut.



Day 11

After disembarking in Resolute, you’ll be transferred to your charter flight to Toronto, where you’ll spend the night at your included hotel.



Day 12

Today, make your way to the airport to catch your homeward flights, or spend the day exploring this fascinating city.



* All meals while on the ship * Beer and house wine during dinner * All accommodation * All transport and listed activities * Full complement of qualified Expedition Staff * We can include flights from the UK.  Please contact us for a quote.

You will have the option to book your own flights independently with the operator.

Dates Price Single Availability
22-Aug-2021 for 11 Nights Land only View live deal View live deal
21-Aug-2022 for 11 Nights Land only View live deal View live deal

Touring with Exodus

With over 45 years’ experience of taking people on amazing adventure holidays, Exodus can help you reach some of the most incredible destinations on 500 itineraries across more than 90 countries around the world. All staff at Exodus have a passion for travel and adventure, and some team members have been professional archaeologists, wildlife guides, overland drivers, mountain leaders, diving and ski specialists and mountain bike gurus. But that’s not all. This reputable company is a Which? recommended escorted tour provider and has won many prestigious awards, including Best Activity and Sports Holiday Company at the 2018 British Travel Awards.

Exodus is all about adventure and helping others to achieve their travel dreams by offering a fantastic range of guided group holidays, self-guided trips, tailor-made getaways and escorted tours. So, if you’re looking to discover different countries, cultures, environments, cities, mountain ranges, deserts, coasts or even jungles, the expert team at Exodus can help you plan an unforgettable solo, group or family adventure.

Each tour and adventure has been created to give you maximum value for money, often including authentic activities, as well as flights, accommodation and a tour guide. And as the team has developed one of the very best and most exciting collections of guided-group tours and self-guided holidays, you’re guaranteed the adventure holiday of a lifetime, no matter which one you pick. Trips include everything from family adventure holidays and walking and cycling tours to mixed-activity tours and seasonal getaways. You can also ask Exodus to plan a tailored itinerary from scratch or tweak an existing one, which means you can book a bespoke holiday that is designed just for you.

Need some inspiration? You can enjoy varied walks in the stunning Spanish mountains, experience the magic of Italy in Tuscany or explore the rich Sri Lankan history and culture by bike. Try a host of different activities in glorious Turkish surroundings, ski through the magnificent Norwegian wilderness or embark on a journey through India’s tropical south. Visit Iceland and East Greenland, see the spectacular marine wildlife in the Maldives or cruise along the mighty Amazon River in Peru – the options are endless!

When it comes to travelling together as a family with Exodus, all family holidays are specifically designed to offer a mix of education and exploration, with plenty of downtime. Each adventure and tour has been created with one of three age ranges in mind, but children outside of the 5-8, 9-12 and 13-16 age bracket are welcome to travel too. Plus, the price for children up to the age of 16 is 25% lower than the adult cost for Exodus guided holidays to help make your trip more affordable. From canoeing and cycling in the Dordogne to safari tours in Africa and dolphin watching in Costa Rica, Exodus offer family adventures all over the world.

Something that makes this adventure holiday and escorted tour operator unique is the loyalty scheme, the Exodus Collective. When you book your second trip, you’ll join the Collective and be given access to exclusive discounts, sales previews and special travel benefits. The more you travel with Exodus the more you’ll be entitled to, and your membership also grants you special access to exclusive travel content.

At Exodus, they make sure that everyone travels respectfully and courteously in a small group to minimise their impact and to ensure each holiday is a beneficial experience for all those involved. Where possible, they believe in putting money directly into the communities they visit by eating locally produced food and using locally owned and run accommodation. They also strive to provide as much flexibility and choice as possible to make it simple for you to experience a memorable holiday, your way.

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tour details

This tour is operated by Exodus

11 nights from pp exc.flights; per Night
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Group Size:0 - 199
Suitable For: 18 to 99
Difficulty:Leisurely
Meals:4 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 3 dinners.
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