Cruise the Northwest Passage

Here’s your chance to cruise the Northwest Passage, discovering rich wildlife, scenic beauty and the fascinating history of life at the “roof of the world.” Explore islands, icebergs and Arctic communities from the comfort of a working, ice strengthened expedition ship, experiencing one of the planet’s most stark, beautiful and remote regions. Following the footsteps of Franklin, daily Zodiac excursions seek out whales, polar bears and abundant sea-birds, allowing you to hike the tundra and explore historical outposts.


Length of Trip : 12 nights, 13 days. Budget at least two weeks for this itinerary

Cost : Prices start at US$8300 per person for a triple share cabin, all the way to $15,000 for the One Ocean Suite. For the latest prices, visit One Ocean Expeditions.

Best time to go : The trip typically runs in August.

Wheelchair friendly : Call ahead to make arrangements if possible.

Family friendly : Yes, although suited for older kids.

Where to eat : Delicious meals are served onboard the Vavilov (or sister ship, the Ioffe). These include multiple main options, buffet breakfasts, lots of salads, tea, coffee and water. Alcoholic beverages are not included.

Official Site : For information about the Northwest Passage and other amazing itineraries, visit One Ocean Expeditions.

Where to Stay : Accommodation is basic but comfortable on-board the working Russian polar expedition ship, the Akademik Sergey Vavilov or One Ocean's sister ship, the Ioffe. Bathrooms are shared.

Getting There : You'll likely depart from Ottawa, and return from Edmonton. A return charter flight is included from Greenland or Cambridge Bay. Being the Arctic, the trip might conclude in Resolute if sea-ice prevents a successful passage.

Note from Robin : Oh, this one is a pearl on the Bucket List! Wet gear (including boots) are provided, so you don't need to pack heavy, although definitely bring layers as it does get chilly. I didn't find sea sickness a problem at all, although the two-day sailing across Baffin Bay might be rough, so bring some patches just in case. I found them way preferable to Gravol, which tends to zonk you out. The people on the trip make it that much more fascinating, so don't miss the nightly fireside chats to hear some amazing stories. The hot tub and sauna are particularly fantastic on the Vavilov, so take full advantage. You'll also find the best Scotch prices I've seen anywhere! Like all cruises, you'll get out of it what you put in.



The Akademik Sergey Vavilov. Photo by Jeff Topham


Iceberg. Photo by Jeff Topham


Into the Ice. Photo by Jeff Topham


Ice on the Beach


Dundas Harbour on Devon Island


Esrock has a moment


A wing of kayaks


Into the passage


Kayaking the sea ice. Photo by Jeff Topham


Mushroom bergs.


Zodiac boarding


Prince Leopold Island Bird Sanctuary


Cultural exchange in Pond Inlet. Photo by Jeff Topham


Zodiac to the Glacier. Photo by Jeff Topham


Franklin's Men in Beechey Island. Photo by Jeff Topham


Hot tub with a view. Photo by Jeff Topham


Polar bear feasts on beluga. Photo by Jeff Topham


Hiking the tundra. Photo by Jeff Topham


Further Reading


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