The Northwest Passage: From Greenland to the Bering Sea (2023)

Embark on an extraordinary expedition through the rarely transited Northwest Passage, voyaging from western Greenland through the Canadian Arctic to Nome, Alaska.

Journey Overview

Embark on an extraordinary expedition through the rarely transited Northwest Passage, voyaging from western Greenland through the Canadian Arctic to Nome, Alaska. Follow in the footsteps of the most legendary polar explorers and under the wing of A&K’s famed Expedition Team‚ including an Inuit cultural expert, while experiencing iceberg-laden shores, remote Inuit villages, historic islands and spectacular geological wonders.

Journey Highlights

  • Cruise for 23 nights on a luxury expedition small ship, exclusively chartered by A&K to feature all balcony accommodations and a guest capacity limited to just 199
  • Explore the west coast of Greenland, where you may cruise iceberg-strewn fjords and visit with local Inuit in their villages
  • Marvel at wonders from the Ilulissat Icefjord, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, to Franklin Bay’s “Smoking Hills” Delve into the remote Yukon Territory at Herschel Island, where the Arctic whaling industry once thrived
  • Sail with A&K’s award-winning Expedition Team, including an Inuit culture expert, Arctic historian, geologist, botanist and marine biologist, as well as a team of field naturalists and Zodiac driver-guides
  • Experience expert photography programming, including lectures and workshops led by a dedicated A&K photo coach
  • Take advantage of A&K internal flights to Kangerlussuaq and Anchorage, conveniently starting and ending your journey in North America

Featured Experts

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Leslie Qammaniq, Inuit Culture Expert

Born in Nunavut’s Pond Inlet, Leslie was raised experiencing a traditional lifestyle. She proudly carries this forward today as a passionate ambassador and teacher of Inuit culture and tradition.

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Russel Potter, Arctic History Lecturer

Author, lecturer and fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society, Russell is known for his expertise on Franklin’s lost expedition of 1845. In 2017, he retraced Franklin’s route with Erebus author Sir Michael Palin.

Take 10 with an A&K Expert to Hear More About This Journey

Itinerary

Journey Itinerary

Aug 25: Arrive New York City, New York

Arrive in New York City and transfer to your hotel. Later, gather for a welcome dinner, where you meet your fellow guests and members of your Expedition Team.

A Luxury New York City Hotel | Meals: D

Aug 26: Kangerlussuaq | Edge of Indlandsis

Transfer to the airport for an early morning charter flight to Western Greenland, arriving at Kangerlussuaq at the edge of the Greenland Ice Sheet. Later, board your luxury expedition cruiser and enjoy the thrill of setting off for sea. This evening, join fellow guests and your Expedition Team for a welcome reception.

‘L’Austral’ | Meals: BLD

Aug 27–Sep 2: Western Greenland | Amundsen’s Beginning

In 1906, Roald Amundsen became the first polar explorer to successfully cross the entire Northwest Passage. Begin as he did, venturing along Greenland’s stunning West Coast and north into Baffin Bay for the next five days. Your Captain and Expedition Team determine the day’s best excursions, which may include the following areas:

Sisimiut: North of the Arctic Circle, Sisimiut is the northernmost city in Greenland able to maintain a year-round, ice-free port as well as sufficient snow for dogsledding in winter and spring. Visit the local museum and enjoy an Inuit sea kayak demonstration.

Disko Bay & Ilulissat: Cruise into the wide inlet of Disko Bay, first explored by Erik the Red in 985. Discover the Ilulissat Icefjord, a UNESCO World Heritage Site at the mouth of one of the fastest and most active glaciers in the world, Sermeq Kujalleq. Take a walking tour of Ilulissat, visit its history museum, and meet with villagers to learn about local life. Conditions permitting, board a local vessel for an iceberg cruise of Disko Bay.

Uummannaq Fjords: North of Ilulissat, this geological wonder teems with marine life. Visit Karrat Fjord to see the iceberg-clad bay and the remains of ancient huts, built by Thule hunters (Inuit ancestors) more than 500 years ago.

Kullorsuaq: Translated as “Big Thumb,” Kullorsuaq remains one of the most traditional hunting, fishing and trading villages in Greenland.

'L'Austral' | Meals: BLD

Sep 3–10: Nunavut | Vast Canadian Arctic Archipelago

Cruise into the Canadian Arctic Archipelago of Nunavut and enter the heart of the Northwest Passage. As your luxury expedition cruiser winds through legendary channels and inlets, A&K’s enrichment specialists continue to spark captivating discussions that enhance your discovery. Your crew and Expedition Team determine your itinerary, which is dependent on weather, sea, ice and wildlife conditions. Exciting excursions may include:

Pond Inlet: “Place of Mittima’s Grave,” Pond Inlet is the gateway to the Northwest Passage and a rich archaeological site. After clearing customs formalities, embark on a shore excursion to an area once inhabited by the ancient Thule. Visit the Nattinnak Visitor’s Centre or Toonoonik Sahoonik Co-op, where you may shop for handcrafted goods.

Lancaster Sound: Situated between Devon Island and Baffin Island, this body of water is home to an abundance of Arctic cod and seasonal populations of Beluga and bowhead whales, black guillemots, Arctic terns and other wildlife.

Beechey Island: Historic moments in Arctic exploration define this island. Beechey is best known for providing a safe haven to British explorer Sir John Franklin in 1845, who took shelter for two years before his ill-fated attempt to conquer the Northwest Passage. See the grave markers for three of his men and visit Franklin’s cenotaph.

Fort Ross: Abandoned in 1948, this former trading post at the tip of Somerset Island was used by trappers to barter Arctic fox pelts in exchange for necessities. Explore its remaining structures and perhaps take a Zodiac excursion as your naturalists share stories about its residents.

Gjoa Haven: During his attempt on to cross the passage on ‘Gjoa’, Roald Amundsen took respite in this natural harbor as he waited for ice conditions to improve. For two years, he lived with the Netsilik Inuits and learned survival skills that later proved invaluable on his South Pole expedition.

Victoria Island: Cruise the south coast of Victoria and through Queen Maud Gulf, Dease Strait and Coronation Gulf. Expedition stops may include bird sanctuary Jenny Lind Island and Johansen Bay.

‘L’Austral’ | Meals: BLD

Sep 11–13: Northwest Territories | Remote Frontier

Enter Canada’s Northwest Territories and continue through the heart of the Northwest Passage, where you may experience exciting excursion opportunities that include:

Ulukhaktok: Visit with the local Inuit of Holman Village, experiencing drum dance, and tastings of fresh char and bannock rings (fried dough) prepared over an open fire. Tour the town art centre and discover Ulukhaktok’s beautiful printmaking tradition, carvings and hats made of coveted musk oxen wool.

Banks Island: The fourth largest island in the Canadian Archipelago, Banks is home to deep Inuit history and a population of about 60,000 musk oxen.

Franklin Bay: Discover the “Smoking Hills,” cliffs of bituminous shale that endlessly combust and burn. This geological phenomenon has likely been occurring for millennia and is a rare sight to see.

‘L’Austral’ | Meals: BLD

Sep 14: Herschel Island | The Yukon Territory

On expedition in 1826, Captain Franklin was the first European to lay eyes on this unique island at the northernmost point of the Yukon Territory. Herschel supports numerous wildlife and is one of the only places on earth where you may see a grizzly bear, black bear and polar bear. Evidence of the island’s whaling culture and Thule ancestors remains along its coastline, now greatly affected by sea erosion and climate change.

‘L’Austral’ | Meals: BLD

Sep 15–17: Beaufort & Bering Seas | Waters of the White Whale

Typically dense with ice floes and fog, the Beaufort Sea opens up a 60-mile-wide coastal pass from August to September. As your expedition ship cruises into the U.S. and clears at Point Barrow, Alaska (U.S. Customs clearance only), continue participating in lectures led by your Expedition Team. Relax on your private balcony or join fellow guests on deck where, with some luck, you may spy beluga whales, which travel in numbers here, and the northern lights in autumn. Your luxury expedition ship also enters the Bering Sea. While cruising its waters and conditions permitting, experience close views of Fairway Rock, known for its breeding colonies of auks and puffin, and remote King Island. The island was once home to a community of 200 Inupiat; today, all that remains is an abandoned stilt-house community.

‘L’Austral’ | Meals: BLD

Sep 18: Nome, Alaska | Gold Rush Fever

Arrive and disembark in Nome, Alaska, among the wildest reaches of America. Try your hand at gold panning, experience a dogsled demonstration and see the Bering Sea Land Bridge National Monument. Later, transfer to the airport for your chartered flight to Anchorage, and then continue on with your homebound flight.

Meals: BL

Journey Details:

This journey contains some active elements, including Zodiac boat excursions, walks over uneven terrain and optional, challenging hikes.

Note: Itinerary is for guidance purposes only and may be adjusted due to unforeseen circumstances including weather, wildlife, ice, medical emergencies and other conditions beyond A&K’s control at the sole discretion of the Captain.

New York City/Kangerlussuaq; Nome/Anchorage Economy Class flights included.

Minimum age is 7 years.

Categories 5–8 include room upgrade at the hotel and butler service aboard the ship.

First group event: welcome reception at 6:30 p.m. on Aug 25.

Last group event: disembarkation at 9:00 am on Sep 18.

Note: Proof of full vaccination for COVID-19 is required for this journey, including a booster shot if vaccination was received more than four months prior to departure (two months for the Johnson & Johnson vaccine).


Included with this Luxury Expedition Cruise

  • An Exclusively Chartered, All-Inclusive Voyage Led by A&K’s Expedition Team
  • Airport Meet and Greet and Transfers
  • Private Balcony with Every Onboard Accommodation and Butler Service with Every Suite
  • Maximum Personnel-to-Guest Ratio of 1 to 1.3
  • Culinary Program Featuring French-Inspired Cuisine, Including House Drinks, Afternoon Tea and Pastries
  • 24-Hour Room Service and Breakfast in Bed
  • Complimentary Expedition Parka, Backpack and Water Bottle, and Use of Waterproof Pants, Boots and Trekking Poles
  • Zodiac Excursions Led by A&K Expert Naturalist Driver-Guides
  • Enrichment program, lectures and presentations
  • Traveller’s Valet Laundry Service on board
  • All Gratuities, Port Charges and Taxes
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi on Board and in Hotels
  • Onboard Service from an English-Speaking Staff, Including an Accredited Physician
  • 24/7 A&K On-Call Support
Show Full Itinerary
Preferred Accommodation

Preferred Accommodation

This journey features the following Preferred Accommodations:

L'Austral

The Northwest Passage: From Greenland to the Bering Sea (2023)

Innovative design, sleek shape and profile, refined interior decoration, friendly, intimate atmosphere: French designers and decorators h... Read more

Dates & Prices

Journey Dates & Prices

Prices are per person, based on double occupancy

Aug 25, 2023 - Sep 18, 2023 Special Special Special Special Special Special Special Special
Cabin Class L’ Austral: Category 1 - Classic Stateroom Price AU$54,565pp was AU$60,200 Single Supplement AU$41,725 Internal Air (From) Included Availability Available Enquire
Cabin Class L’ Austral: Category 2 - Deluxe Stateroom Price AU$60,905pp was AU$66,540 Single Supplement AU$46,470 Internal Air (From) Included Availability Available Enquire
Cabin Class L’ Austral: Category 3 - Premier Stateroom Price AU$65,130pp was AU$70,765 Single Supplement AU$49,640 Internal Air (From) Included Availability Available Enquire
Cabin Class L’ Austral: Category 4 - Superior Stateroom Price AU$67,945pp was AU$73,580 Single Supplement AU$51,755 Internal Air (From) Included Availability Limited Availability Enquire
Cabin Class L’ Austral: Category 5 - Prestige Suite Price AU$82,735pp was AU$88,370 Single Supplement AU$74,260 Internal Air (From) Included Availability Call for Availability Enquire
Cabin Class L’ Austral: Category 6 - Premier Two-Room Suite Price AU$96,820pp was AU$102,455 Single Supplement AU$87,640 Internal Air (From) Included Availability Available Enquire
Cabin Class L’ Austral: Category 7 - Prestige 2-Room Suite Price AU$100,340pp was AU$105,975 Single Supplement AU$90,980 Internal Air (From) Included Availability Limited Availability Enquire
Cabin Class L’ Austral: Category 8 - Owners Suite Price AU$121,470pp was AU$127,105 Single Supplement AU$111,050 Internal Air (From) Included Availability Call for Availability Enquire
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