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High Arctic Explorer

The great appeal of this voyage is the immediate immersion into the Arctic wilderness from the very first day. We achieve this by commencing in Resolute, one of the most northern outposts in the Canadian Arctic.This stunning 10-day journey is the perfect blend of wildlife, history, culture and scenery. The long hours of daylight give us maximum time to explore known wildlife hot spots including one of the largest migratory bird sanctuaries in the world, at Prince Leopold Island.Famous Explorers and Polar BearsHistory is a key focus and we plan visiting numerous Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) outposts such as Grise Fjord, Craig Harbour and Dundas Harbour. A highlight for many will be a visit to remote Beechey Island, the final resting place of several men from Sir John Franklin's illfated expedition in the 1840's. Along the ice fl edge we encounter beluga and bowhead whales and hope to encounter the mythical narwhal. Sightings of polar bear can be expected at numerous locations throughout the voyage.Remote heart of the ArcticThis exceptional journey takes us to the highest latitudes all season at Ellsemere Island - just 500 nautical miles from the North Pole. If you are looking for the ultimate in remote expedition cruising, this is the voyage.Everything included!
We include the use of an expedition gear package free of charge. Containing around $US900 worth of essential equipment, this kit includes a quality waterproof/windproof jacket and bib-pants plus insulated rubber boots designed for extended walking. We also include a set of binoculars and a trekking pole for use when on shore. A waterproof backpack completes your package. This kit saves you buying expensive clothing and equipment you may only ever use once, and means more weight allowance for your main luggage.

Inclusions

We include the use of an expedition gear package free of charge. Containing around $US900 worth of essential equipment, this kit includes a quality waterproof/windproof jacket and bib-pants plus insulated rubber boots designed for extended walking. We also include a set of binoculars and a trekking pole for use when on shore. A waterproof backpack completes your package. This kit saves you buying expensive clothing and equipment you may only ever use once, and means more weight allowance for your main luggage.

Travel

  • All cruising onboard the Akademik Ioffe

Accommodation & Meals

  • 9 nights on board the Akademik Ioffe
  • Cost based on twin-semi private cabin (one bathroom shared between 2 cabins)
  • 9 breakfasts, 8 lunches and 9 dinners

Inclusions

  • Arctic gear hire package including waterproof/windproof jacket, bib-pants, insulated comfortable rubber boots, binoculars, trekking pole and waterproof backpack for use on shore
  • Comprehensive pre-voyage information package including details to help you prepare for your trip in the Canadian Arctic
  • Transfers from the airport to your hotel upon arrival.
  • Transfers to the ship on embarkation day and from the ship to the airport or local hotel on disembarkation
  • Shipboard accommodation in your selected cabin category with daily housekeeping. Cabins feature outside views with windows or portholes that open on each deck
  • High quality, eco friendly, Canadian made natural amenities in every cabin
  • All breakfasts, lunches and dinners on board throughout your voyage with daily afternoon tea
  • 24 hour tea, coffee, hot chocolate in bar lounge plus in cabin tea, coffee, hot chocolate replenished daily
  • Experienced Expedition Leader and professional expedition team of marine biologists, naturalists, historians, adventure guides and photographers
  • Daily off-ship excursions by Zodiac boat breaking into small groups for shore landings
  • Guided hikes and walks on shore of various durations for guests of all abilities
  • Visits to wildlife colonies, historic sites, places of outstanding natural beauty and community visits
  • Educational presentations and talks by polar experts in their field (ie. marine biologists, naturalists, historians etc). On board or on shore
  • Resident photography guide available to assist all guests
  • Access to computers in the multimedia lab for image downloads, file back up and management
  • An emergency trained Physician on board every voyage
  • Dedicated hospitality team including Hotel Manager, four chefs, professional bar staff and Adventure Concierge staff
  • On board sauna, plunge pool, Jacuzzi and fitness centre including personal trainer and massage options (charge applies for massage and spa treatments)
  • Access to well stocked library full of polar reference books
  • End of voyage video, photos and take home USB
  • Port fees and all permits to access visited areas

Not Included

  • Any international or local airfares unless otherwise specified in the voyage itinerary. Note: Charter flights are not included and will be added to your booking at US$1995.00pp
  • Canadian GST of 5% is not included, and will be added to this itinerary (cruise cabin, charter flights, optional sea kayaking, pre and / or post tour accommodation) at time of confirmation.
  • Visa and passport expenses. Note: Most nationalities will be required to have an Electronic Travel Authorization (known as an eTA) to enter Canada (except US citizens). This is easily obtained online prior to travel and a fee of $CAD7.00 is payable at the time you lodge your application. The eTA is valid for a period of five years from date of issue. Speak to your travel consultant for more information or contact your local Canadian consular authorities for further details.
  • Pre or post-cruise hotel accommodation unless otherwise specified in the itinerary (or pre-arranged)
  • Pre or post-cruise transfers unless otherwise specified in the itinerary (or pre-arranged)
  • Personal expenses on board such as alcoholic beverages, bar charges or laundry expenses
  • Telecommunication charges (ie. email, satellite phone)
  • Baggage, cancellation or medical travel insurance related expenses (travel insurance is mandatory on all voyages)
  • Tipping payable locally, suggested amounts are approx. $12-$15pp US per day
Tour Provider Bunnik Tours
Number of Days
10
Price From
AUD $7,095
Start Location
Canada
End Location
Canada
Age Range
Avg. 50+
Group Size
20
Tour Style
Comfort
Tour Themes
Cycling/Trekking, Polar, Private, Small Marine/Cruise, Walking
Physical Rating
Moderate
Tour departure dates
StartEndAvailabilityPrice
02 Aug 201911 Aug 2019Fully BookedAUD $7,095 
ItineraryExpand
High Arctic Explorer

We recommend extra nights pre/post tour

This trip commences in Edmonton - Alberta's provincial capital city. We recommend you arrive in Edmonton at least one day prior to the scheduled voyage departure date. This gives you a buffer in the event of any unexpected travel delays between home and trip departure time. From Edmonton we fly to Resolute via a charter flight. We transfer to the ship for embarkation via zodiac. At the conclusion of the trip, we fly from Resolute back to Edmonton via a charter flight. Upon arrival in Edmonton, a transfer is provided from the airport to a central downtown location. This flight arrives in the early evening and we advise staying the night in Edmonton and making your onward travel plans for the following day. Full joining instructions are provided in your final travel documentation. If you have questions before this time, please ask us.

Abbreviation: [B,L,D] Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 1. Edmonton, Alberta to Resolute (Nunavut) - Embark Cruise

We depart Edmonton this morning on our special charter flight to Resolute, a remote outpost above the Arctic Circle. Located on the southern shores of Cornwallis Island, the town is named after the British ship HMS Resolute which became trapped in ice and abandoned here in 1850 while searching for the lost Franklin Expedition. A weather station and airstrip here made it a strategic outpost during the time of the Cold War. On arrival, we are transferred to the beach where our expedition team will meet us and prepare us for our zodiac ride to the ship. Onboard, we meet the expedition team and get to know our fellow guests over a welcome cocktail. We weigh anchor and depart Resolute in the early evening. [D]

DAY 2. Maxwell Bay, Devon Island

A large bay on the south coast of Devon Island, Maxwell Bay offers some wonderful hiking opportunities ashore and great wildlife watching from the water. Muskox and caribou can be found here as well as polar bears. Harp seals, ringed seals, bearded seals and even walrus have been spotted in the various coves and inlets of the bay. [B,L,D]

DAY 3. Croker Bay & Dundas Harbour

Our voyage continues east through Lancaster Sound along the southern coastline of Devon Island. Lancaster Sound, which separates Devon and Baffin Island, has been likened to the wildlife 'super highway' of the Arctic. Massive volumes of water from the Atlantic to the east and Arctic Ocean to the west, and from the archipelago of islands to the north all mix here, combining to make a rich source of nutrients and food for an abundance of Arctic wildlife, which live both above and below the water. Croker Bay is home to healthy and sizable population of Muskox and we will look for these prehistoric looking creatures as we hike ashore. This location features dramatic scenery with deep blue icebergs set against a backdrop of richly coloured peaks. The immense Croker Glacier descends into the steely waters and is a great location for a zodiac cruise. This afternoon, we plan on visiting the abandoned Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) outpost at Dundas Harbour. It was established in 1924 and operated for about a decade. It re-opened again in the 1940's for about 10 years, when the RCMP established a regular patrol presence in the region. The old buildings make great photography subjects in this wild and remote location. [B,L,D]

DAY 4. Coburg Island National Wildlife Area

Nirjutiqavvik National Wildlife Area is home to almost 400,000 seabirds including 11% of Canada's population of thick-billed murres and 16% of Northern fulmars. We zodiac cruise along the bird cliffs and will be awestruck by the sheer number of birds in the skies above. We often encounter marine mammals when exploring these waters, including beluga whales. [B,L,D]

DAY 5. Grise Fjord & Craig Harbour

Grise Fjord is the northernmost community in Canada and one of the most isolated communities in the world. Settled in 1953 by the Canadian government as a sovereignty exercise during the cold war, the less than 100 people living in Grise Fiord are mostly descended from the 8 Inuit families relocated there from Northern Quebec. The scenery is stunning, the wildlife is abundant and we are warmly welcomed by the community. Nearby Craig Harbour is the site of an abandoned RCMP outpost, established in 1922 as the RCMP sought to patrol the North and provide services to the Inuit. Staff with RCMP officers and a few special constables and their families, Craig Harbour operated for approximately 10 years before closing. It was reopened in the early 1950's during the Cold War. We will visit this historic site and learn about its important history as we hike and explore the bay and hillsides of Craig Harbour. [B,L,D]

DAY 6. Cape Hay, Bylot Island Bird Sanctuary

Located on the northern coast of Bylot Island and within the boundary of Sirmilik National Park, the bird cliffs of Cape Hay are home to thick-billed murres and black guillemots, along with black-legged kittiwakes. This superb location is a prime nesting spot for several hundred thousand birds. The scenery here will take your breath away as your eyes gaze beyond the tundra, towards the soaring mountain ranges in the distance. [B,L,D]

DAY 7. Elwin Inlet & Cape Charles Yorke

We navigate the ship into nearby Elwin Inlet, a breathtaking fjord which is well protected and great for a zodiac cruise or hike onshore. Cape Charles Yorke offers several great walking opportunities. We will keep our eyes peeled for polar bears, which are plentiful along this coastline. [B,L,D]

DAY 8. Port Leopold & Prince Leopold Island

Having crossed Prince Regent Inlet overnight, we approach the towering bird cliffs of Prince Leopold Island in the morning. This is an important Migratory Bird Sanctuary, home to thickbilled murres, black guillemots, northern fulmars and blacklegged kittiwakes. The sea ice around Prince Leopold Island is a great place for spotting ringed seals and wherever we find ringed seals - we usually find polar bears. Nearby Port Leopold is a historic site where in 1848, English explorer James Clark Ross wintered here during the search for the missing Franklin expedition. In addition to Port Leopold's historical attraction, the shallow gravel beds along the shoreline are attractive to the beluga whales who come here to moult in each Arctic summer. [B,L,D]

DAY 9. Beechey Island

Beechey Island holds great historic importance in the story of the Northwest Passage. It is here that Sir John Franklin's ill-fated expedition spent its last 'comfortable' winter in 1845 before disappearing into the icy vastness, sparking an incredible series of search expeditions that lasted almost three decades. The mystery of what happened to Franklin was partially solved in September 2014, when a joint Parks Canada and Royal Canadian Geographic Society expedition, found the long lost Franklin shipwreck, HMS Erebus in the Victoria Strait. One Ocean Expeditions played a vital role in the search by carrying underwater search equipment on our ship as well as scientists, historians, researchers, dignitaries and sponsors of this history defining mission. A trip ashore at Beechey Island to visit the grave markers on a remote windswept beach is a thrilling location for history buffs and for many, it will be the defining moment of our expedition. We return to the ship and this evening enjoy a special dinner attended by the Captain. It's a great time to reflect on the wildlife, history and dramatic scenery of this pristine Arctic wilderness. [B,L,D]

DAY 10. Disembark - Resolute (Nunavut) to Edmonton, Alberta

By morning, we are at anchor in Resolute from where we commenced our expedition a week ago. We make our way ashore by zodiac and bid farewell to our crew. A charter flight returns us to Edmonton where our journey comes to an end. [B]

Please Note: Polar exploration can be unpredictable, which regularly causes variations to our itineraries. Specific sites visited will depend on prevailing weather and ice conditions at the time of sailing. The above itinerary should be read as a 'guide only' and may change. The ship's Captain in conjunction with the Expedition Leader continually review the sailing plan throughout the voyage, making adjustments to the itinerary along the way to take advantage of optimal weather and ice conditions or to maximize our encounters with wildlife. Decades of experience spent exploring these waterways mean we have a large number of outstanding landing sites and zodiac cruising locations to consider, even when the weather conditions may not be ideal or when heavy ice may block out a planned route. A flexible approach is something we encourage you to bring to the ship. Please ask us if you have any questions about this program.