Northwest Passage 2020 - Itinerary
30 day escorted tour from £17,995pp
This voyage offers the opportunity to be among the few to sail in the wake of great explorers as we attempt a journey through the legendary Northwest Passage. As with all expeditions, nature will prevail. Ice, weather and sea conditions vary from year to year and that is why this voyage will be one of a kind. Safety is, of course, Hurtigruten’s top priority, and the final itinerary will be decided by the ship's captain and expedition leader. The following itinerary is therefore intended only as a provisional guide.
15 August 2020 - Depart UK
Join our daytime flight from London Heathrow to Vancouver for a 2-night stay. Flights and connections from other UK airports may be available. Dinner included at our hotel this evening.
16 August 2020 - Vancouver
Breakfast included before an escorted walking tour of Downtown Vancouver. A free afternoon to follow, and dinner this evening is also included.
17 August 2020 - Vancouver to Nome
After breakfast we leave our Vancouver hotel and transfer to the airport for Hurtigruten's charter flight to Nome in Alaska. Nome was the settlement where explorer Roald Amundsen completed his crossing of the Northwest Passage in 1906, so there's a strong connection. We embark our expedition ship, MS Roald Amundsen, and settle in for the adventure ahead.
18 August 2020 - Crossing the Arctic Circle
We sail the Bering Strait and cross the Arctic Circle at 66° 33′ North, before heading into the Chukchi Sea, which is bounded on the west by the Long Strait off Wrangel Island, and in the east by Point Barrow, Alaska. The ship's Expedition Team begin their lecture programme to prepare us for the days ahead.
19 August 2020 - Point Barrow
We pass Point Barrow, the northernmost part of the United States, and we enter the Beaufort Sea. Keep a sharp eye open here for Bowhead and Grey whales and we might also start seeing sea ice!
20 August 2020 - Beaufort Sea
Home to about 80 species of zooplankton, and major fish species including polar cod and Arctic Char, we are on the look out for seabirds, Bearded seals, Beluga whales and Narwhals.
21 August 2020 - Smoking Hills
Smoke billows from the cliffs on the east coast of Cape Bathurst, due to Lignite, a combination of shale and pyrite, which spontaneously ignites when exposed to air.
22 August 2020 - Ulukhaktok
Subject to favourable conditions, we hope to visit Ulukhaktok, a settlement on Victoria Island, in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago. Due to the remote location, the 460 people of Ulkhaktok have had little to do with the rest of the world and remain traditional in many aspects of their daily life. They are internationally famed for traditional Inuit art and print making, and Ulukhaktok is also famous for having the world’s most northerly golf course!
23 August 2020 - Amundsen Gulf
We sail through our ship’s namesake, the Amundsen Gulf, and should keep a look out for polar bears on route to Cambridge Bay.
24 August 2020 - Cambridge Bay
Cambridge Bay is known as a “good fishing place”, and is close to the Ekalluk River, which is famous for Giant Char. Wildlife abounds in this area with caribou, musk ox and seals. In August, the tundra is often covered in wildflowers, and teeming with birds.
25 August 2020 - Victoria Strait
This southern arm of the Arctic Ocean lies between Victoria Island and King William Island. In 1845, Sir John Franklin’s expedition aboard HMS Erebus and HMS Terror became icebound in Victoria Strait and all 129 crew lives were lost.
26, 27, 28 August 2020 - James Ross Strait
Depending on weather and tide conditions we’ll attempt to transit the James Ross Strait, a 110-mile long channel situated between King William Island and the Boothia Peninsula in the Canadian territory of Nunavut. The strait is named after British polar explorer James Clark Ross. We plan some expedition landings in the area and a visit to the settlement of Gjøa. The town name honours Roald Amundsen, who wintered here on the Gjøa Expedition. The local tribe, the Netsilik Inuit, are direct descendants of the ancient Thule people and have lived in the area for over a thousand years. Gjøa boasts an excellent Heritage Centre.
29, 30 August 2020 - Prince Wales Island / Fort Ross
We explore Coningham Bay, a hotspot for polar bears and belugas. We also plan to attempt a transit through the narrows of Bellot Strait. This is where the waters of the Pacific and the Atlantic Oceans meet. Historic Fort Ross, a trading post established by the Hudson's Bay Company in 1937, is nearby.
31 August 2020 - Beechey Island
We hope to land at Beechey Island, where the Franklin Expedition over-wintered in 1845/46. Another historic site, Caswell Tower at Radstock Bay, is nearby.
01 September 2020 - Dundas Harbor / Croker Bay
Devon Island is the largest uninhabited island on Earth. On its southern coast lies Dundas Harbour, an abandoned settlement with an old Royal Canadian Mounted Police camp and several archeological sites. Further west is Croker Bay, a large fjord with two tidewater glaciers. The area is rich in wildlife and we hope to see walrus, belugas or even narwhal. Polar bears are frequently sighted in the area and the tundra around the shore supports small populations of Arctic hare and musk ox. The perfect place for small boat excursions to get close to the rich marine life and beautiful glaciers!
02, 03 September 2020 - Pond Inlet / Sam Ford Fjord
Pond Inlet is a traditional Inuit community, located on the northern tip of Baffin Island. It is surrounded by mountain ranges, with several glaciers, scenic fjords and inlets, ice caves, geological hoodoos and drifting icebergs nearby. The area is also a great place to see large pods of narwhal.
04 September 2020 - Davis Strait
The Davis Strait was named for the English explorer John Davis, who led three expeditions in the area between 1585 and 1587. He was looking for a route through the Northwest Passage, and discovered the Hudson Strait in the process.
05 September 2020 - Ilulissat, Greenland
Ilulissat is set in the stunning scenery of the Ilulissat Icefjord, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Just outside the town, at the mouth of the fjord, you can often see enormous icebergs from the Jakobshavn Glacier, one of the most productive glaciers in the Northern Hemisphere.
06 September 2020 - Sisimiut, Greenland
Sisimiut is situated 40 km north of the Arctic Circle, and is a modern settlement that maintains ancient traditions. We plan to explore the town, and you can visit the small museum and shop for local handicrafts. Just across the bay is Disko Island and the settlement of Qeqertarsuaq. This is where the Gjøa Expedition and the second Fram expedition stopped to get supplies on their way to the Northwest Passage.
07 September 2020 - Nuuk, Greenland
Nuuk is Greenland's capital. Brightly coloured houses along the waterfront contrast with the backdrop of Sermitsiaq mountain. The adjacent fjord is known for waterfalls, humpback and fin whales, and icebergs.
08 September 2020 - Labrador Sea
We sail from Greenland to the Canadian Province of Newfoundland and Labrador, passing from the Arctic Ocean to the Labrador Sea in the North Atlantic.
09 September 2020 - Saglek Fjord
We plan to visit Saglek Fjord, the southern limit of Torngat Mountains National Park, which is Atlantic Canada’s largest protected area. The park contains caribou, black bears, wolf packs, two species of fox, polar bears, peregrine falcon, and golden eagle.
10 September 2020 - Atlantic Canada
Sailing south from the east coast of Newfoundland and Labrador, we enter the Gulf of Saint Lawrence.
11 September 2020 - Red Bay, Labrador
Now a sleepy fishing village, Red Bay was originally home to a vast whaling fleet from the Basque regions of Spain and France. Several whaling ships sunk here, and their discovery led to the designation of the Red Bay National Historic Site.
12 September 2020 - Gulf of Saint Lawrence
We set sail south, passing the southern tip of Newfoundland, and alongside beautiful Cape Breton Island towards our final destination.
13 September 2020 - Depart Halifax
Our epic voyage comes to an end. We disembark MS Roald Amundsen in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and transfer to Halifax Airport for our flight home.
14 September 2020 - Arrive UK
We land back in the UK this morning, no doubt taking home a lifetime of memories.