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A Summer Cruise Inside the Arctic Circle

Transiting the Northwest Passage

NORTHWEST PASSAGE ARCTIC CRUISE Highlights

  • Search for bears, whales, and walrus in their Arctic feeding grounds
  • View the magnificent fjords of Greenland’s coast
  • Photograph exquisite Arctic flowers at the height of summer bloom
  • Visit the Fateful Franklin Expedition gravesites at Beechey Island
  • Cross the Arctic Circle by sea—twice!
  • Zodiac cruise the Disko Bay at the mouth of the Ilulissat Icefjord — a unesco World Heritage Site and home to the world’s fastest-moving glacier
  • Meet the Tununiq Arsarniit Theatre Group of Mittimatalik during a cultural exchange
  • Seek belugas and narwhals in Lancaster Sound, a proposed National Marine Conservation Area 

Go now, as recent climatic variation is irrevocably changing the Northwest Passage

  • Greenland
  • Arctic Scenery
  • Arctic Safari
  • Arctic Settlement
  • Iceberg, Karrat Fjord
  • Category 4- Exterior Twin
  • Category 6 - Double

Your travel itinerary

Friday 03 August

Auckland- Vancouver

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Depart on Air New Zealand, on arrival we overnight at an airport hotel.
Welcome dinner tonight

Saturday 04 August

Vancouver- Ottawa

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Return to the airport for our onward flight to Canada’s Capital city. On arrival transfer to our accommodation. Note, there is a four-hour time change.

Sunday 05 August

Ottawa

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A sightseeing excursion of the City and surrounds which features an impressive array of public monuments, galleries and other attractions. Highlights include Parliament Hill, the residences of the Prime Minister and Governor General, the National Arts Centre and Byward Market.

Monday 06 August

Ottawa- Qausuittug (Resolute Island-Nunavut)

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(The following is the daily cruise description as supplied by the ship’s operator)

“Our early morning charter flight will bring us to Qausuittuq, where we will embark the ‘Ocean Endeavour’

Qausuittuq, or “place with no dawn” is truly the land of the midnight sun—daylight persists constantly from about April 29 to August 13 each year. The community’s English name, Resolute Bay, honours the hms Resolute, one of the ships in the Franklin search expedition commanded by Captain H.T. Austin.
Since 1953, Inuit from Inukjuak, Québec, and Mittimatalik have survived after being relocated to this region by the Canadian government. 

Tuesday 07 August

Beechey Island

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In 1845, Sir John Franklin set out from England on an attempt to sail through the Northwest Passage for the first time. Not a soul returned from the fateful expedition. The three graves found at Beechey Island left no indication as to the fate of the rest of the British party. With the discovery of Franklin’s flagship, HMS Erebus in 2014, and Terror in 2016, the graves at Beechey Island and nearby ruins of Northumberland House are bound to be a haunting highlight.

Wednesday 08 August

Devon Island

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Devon Island is the largest uninhabited island on Earth, comprising over fifty thousand square kilometres. The island's geology consists of reddish Precambrian gneiss and Paeleozoic siltstones and shales; these, combined with its harsh climate, have led NASA to test its Mars rovers on Devon Island! Devon’s finest features include massive landforms, shining glaciers and long-abandoned ruins—and undisturbed habitats for Arctic wildlife.

Thursday 09 August

Lancaster Sound

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We spend the day exploring the ocean wilderness of Lancaster Sound, which is a proposed Marine Protected Area. Large populations of marine mammals, including narwhal, beluga and bowhead whales transit and feed in this area. There is a great selection of landing sites available, depending on weather, wildlife, and sea conditions.

Friday 10 August

North Baffin Island

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Today will be an expedition day in the truest sense as we navigate the waterways surrounding Northern Baffin Island. Wildlife will be on our minds—the region is habitat for thick-billed murres and kittiwakes, among other seabirds. Baffin’s mountains are striking, affording stunning perspectives on geological processes. Weather, ice, and opportunity will determine our route and our team will be on deck for the duration, searching for wildlife and contextualising the mighty landscape through which we travel.

Saturday 11 August

Mittimatilik (Pond Inlet)

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Mittimatalik is a bustling Arctic community surrounded by one of the most beautiful landscapes in the eastern Arctic. We will have a chance to explore the town, including its excellent library and other facilities, and meet many local citizens who will gladly share their culture. A cultural presentation at the Community Hall is not to be missed—arts and crafts may be available here, too. The Northern and Co-op stores offer unique perspective on daily life in the Arctic and sometimes have carvings as well.

Sunday 12 August

At Sea

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Our presentation series will continue as we steam across the Davis Strait towards Greenland. While out on deck, keep your eyes peeled for minke and humpback whales amid potential pack ice, as well as the seabirds that are sure to mark our passage. 

Monday 13 August

Karrat Fjord (Greenland)

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Today we will cruise one of Greenland’s most spectacular fjords, known for plentiful marine life and awe-inspiring landscapes. The rocky peaks of Karrat Fjord tower over a seascape littered with icebergs produced by the glaciers that extend from Greenland’s vast ice cap. Time spent on deck today should result in some good wildlife sightings, not to mention unbeatable photographic opportunities of icebergs against the majestic rock faces.

Tuesday 14 August

Uummannag Fjord

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Uummannaq Fjord in northwest Greenland is the country’s second-largest system of fjords, characterised by its developed coastline and various bays, islands, and peninsulas. It is considered to be the sunniest spot in Greenland, and favourable weather—coupled with proximity to coastal travel routes has made the fjord system a popular destination for Greenlandic Inuit. It has been settled and re-settled continually for the last 4,500 years. Expect another day of extraordinary photographic opportunities!

Wednesday 15 August

Ilulissat

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Ilulissat translates literally into ‘iceberg’, and there couldn’t be a more fitting name for this remarkable place. Here, we will cruise in our fleet of Zodiacs at the mouth the Ilulissat Icefjord—a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The icefjord is the outlet of the Sermeq Kujalleq Glacier, one of the most active and fastest-moving in the world at 19m per day and calving more than 35 square kilometres of ice annually, and creating the majority of the icebergs in the North Atlantic in the process. The bustling town of Ilulissat, with its museums, cafes, craft shops, and busy fishing harbour, offers items of interest for every visitor.

Thursday 16 August

Sisimiut Coast

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Warmed by the West Greenland current, the waters around Sisimiut are free of sea ice, making the area an important fishing and shipping centre as well as a habitat for marine mammals. The fish market and folk museum in Sisimuit offer an opportunity to experience modern, and historic Greenland side by side.

Friday 17 August

Kangerlussuaq – Reykjavik (Iceland)

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Sondre Stromfjord is one of the longest fjords in the world and boasts 168 kilometres of superb scenery. We end our adventure by sailing up this dramatic fjord as the sun rises to greet us.  Kangerlussuaq, the town at its eastern head, is a former US Air Force base and Greenland’s only international flight hub.

Here we will disembark the ‘Ocean Endeavour’ and transfer to the airport for our flight to Reykjavik, the fascinating Capital of Iceland, for a two night stay. 

Saturday 18 August

Reykjavik sightseeing

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This morning visit some of Reykjavik's sites! Explore the presidential residence, the old fishing harbour, the unique Perlan restaurant, the geothermal pool at Laugardalur, Afternoon free.

Sunday 19 August

Reykjavik sightseeing

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An out-of-the-city tour. Highlights include Thingvellir National Park, a historical and geological site, which is located by the largest lake in Iceland. The beautiful canyon running through the park is actually the meeting point of two of the earth's tectonic plates.
In this area the oldest form of parliament had met since 930AD
Tonight we have our farewell dinner.                                                

Monday 20 August

Reykjavik – London – Auckland

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A morning transfer to the airport for the flight to London where you connect to an onward Air New Zealand flight, or extend your stay.

Tuesday 21 August

Cross International dateline

Wednesday 22 August

Early morning arrival in Auckland

Inclusions

  • Economy air flights as outlined
  • All transfers and coach travel pre and post-cruise
  • Two nights in Ottawa pre-cruise
  • Ottawa City Tour
  • Meals as specified
  • Eleven nights on board ‘Ocean Endeavour’
  • Two nights post-cruise in Reykjavik 
  • Half day tour around Reykjavik
  • Charter flight Ottawa to Resolute Island
  • Port charges
  • All meals on board

Cost

Cost Per Person *
Auckland - Auckland
Twin ShareSingle Supplement
 Category 3    (interior cabin)    $22,386                      +$850
 Category 4     (port hole cabin)        $24,600              NA
 Category 5     (picture window)  $26,460  

 Category 6     Deck 4 (two port windows)

                        Deck 7 (picture window - partically obstructed)

 $28,315  

Upgrades Auckland – Vancouver (Air New Zealand only)

Business Class Upgrade +$9,294
Premium Economy Class Upgrade +$$2,842
Early Booking Discount ( 1st December 2017 ) $150
Previous International Pukekohe Travel Tour Discount $200

*This is a cash or cheque price. Credit cards will incur a 2% fee
*Itinerary and costs subject to change, airline and fuel charges and currency fluctuations prior to final payment

Exclusions

  • Travel Insurance is compulsory – please ask us for a quote
  • Cruise Discovery fee (approx. NZD350)
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Gratuities 
  • Items not specified
  • Airport and airline taxes (approx. NZD405)

Booking Conditions

  • A non-refundable deposit of $2,000 per person will secure a place on this trip
  • Full payment is due no later than 29 March 2018

Cancellations

  • From the date of booking until 29 March 2018 – loss of deposit
  • After 29 March 2018 - no refund

Travel Insurance

Travel Insurance is essential. Please feel free to contact us for a quote.

General Information

This is the proposed cruise itinerary. It is highly probable that weather, sea and ice conditions will not allow us to travel this exact route. The Expedition Leader and the Ocean Endeavors Captain will determine our exact route on a day-by-day basis

 

Health and Fitness

A good standard of health is required, with the ability to walk on uneven surfaces, negotiate ship’s stairs and get in and out of zodiacs.

Ship Information

Category 3- Interior Twin- Deck five Interior cabin, two lower berths, private bath-approx 125 sq ft (twin) / 110 sq ft (single)

Category 4- Exterior Twin- Deck four Porthole window, unobstructed view; two berths, private bath-approx 100 sq ft (twin) / 90 sq ft (single)

Category 5- Main Twin- Deck five Picture window, unobstructed view; two berths, private bath-approx 115 sq ft 

Category 6- Comfort Twin-Deck four (two porthole windows, unobstructed view; two lower berths or matrimonial bed-approx 175 sq ft) Deck seven (picture window, partial obstruction; two lower berths-approx 135 sq ft) Deck eight (picture window, obstructed window; matrimonial bed-approx 160 sq ft)

Expedition Team

An expedition team will be on board ‘Ocean Endeavour.’ There will be an expedition leader along with the team whose mix of expertise will enhance the overall experience of the region. Their knowledge will cover ice and snow; photography; geology; zoology; marine biology and more

The Ocean Endeavour is the perfect vessel for expedition cruising. Outfitted with twenty Zodiacs, advanced navigation equipment, multiple lounges and a top deck observation room, she is purpose-built for passenger experiences in remote environments. The Ocean Endeavour boasts a 1B ice class, enabling her to freely explore throughout the Arctic summer. 

Launched in 1982, she has had numerous upgrades, most recently in 2016.
The ship’s shallow draft and manoeuvrability allow her to access isolated fjords, bays, and secluded communities, venturing to some of the world’s last great frontiers.
At 137 metres in length, the Ocean Endeavour has plenty of interior and exterior space. Ample deck space offers comfortable lounge chairs, a swimming pool, two saunas, and even a hot tub.

Clothing for Zodiac Excursions

Closer to departure date, extensive information will be provided – a brief summary is as follows:

• Waterproof parka

• Rubber boots for Zodiac landings will be provided for the duration of the cruise 

• The Golden Rules are: Layers, layers, layers – base, mid, outer

• Wear breathable fabric – not cottons

• Waterproof – not water repellent

• Protect your extremities

• Remember the SPF

• NB: “There is no bad weather, only inappropriate clothing” – Ranulph Finnes

Climate

The sun never completely sets beneath the horizon for up to four months of the year – mid-April to mid-August

Weather

 

Max

Min
Ottawa 20 ˚c   14 ˚c
Reykjavik    14 ˚c   08 ˚c
Resolute Island 07 ˚c   02 °C

Documentation

  • A current passport is required, valid six months beyond date of travel
  • No visa is required for New Zealand passport holders
  • All other passport holders please ask


Note: Pukekohe Travel reserves the right to correct errors and omissions on our website without recourse.
* Itinerary subject to change

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