Arctic Express Canada

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Arctic Express Canada: The Heart of the Northwest Passage

August 16 – 24, 2021

The quest for trade routes to the Far East inspired much of the age of exploration of North America, with the promise of the Northwest Passage its elusive jewel. On Arctic Express Canada, discover the great sea route at the top of the world—that obsessed explorers for centuries—on our game-changing new expedition ship Ultramarine, which allows you a journey no traditional vessel could offer: immersing yourself in the full Arctic experience while getting back home a week and a half later.

Nature and wildlife are the guides on this voyage as you explore the region’s diverse treasures. The Arctic’s stark beauty offers an unforgettable backdrop, while Quark Expeditions’ world-class team provides the knowledge and insight to help you connect with the region’s unique history and geography. Ultramarine’s two twin-engine helicopters, 20-quick-launching Zodiacs and unprecedented mix of on-ship amenities and off-ship adventure options will deliver an unrivalled Arctic experience no one else can.

Inclusions & Highlights

  • 2 Nights first class accommodations
  • 6 Nights shipboard accommodations
  • Walking, Wining & Dining Fellowship Leader
  • All meals, snacks, soft drinks and juices on board throughout your voyage (Please inform us of any dietary requirements as far in advance as possible. Unfortunately, the ships’ galleys cannot prepare kosher meals.)
  • Beer and wine during dinner; coffee, tea and cocoa available around the clock
  • All shore landings as per the daily program
  • Leadership throughout the voyage by an experienced Expedition Leader
  • All Zodiac transfers and cruising per the daily program
  • Formal and informal presentations by the Expedition Team and guest speakers as scheduled
  • A photographic journal documenting the expedition
  • A pair of waterproof expedition boots on loan for landings and Zodiac cruising excursions
  • An official Quark Expeditions® parka to keep
  • Hair dryer and bathrobes in every cabin
  • All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the program
  • All luggage handling aboard the ship
  • Emergency Evacuation insurance for all passengers to a maximum benefit of USD $500,000 per person

Itinerary

Day 1 – Arrive in Toronto, Canada

Your Arctic expedition begins in Toronto. Explore this vibrant city on your own before spending the night at your well-appointed hotel.

Accommodations – One night’s post-expedition hotel accommodation in Toronto

Day 2 – Fly to Resolute and Embark

This morning, board your charter flight to Resolute. Upon arrival, you may have a chance to check out some of the town’s sites before being transferred to your ship via Zodiac or helicopter (depending on ship location and weather conditions).

  • Group transfer from the Toronto hotel to the airport on Day Œ
  • Charter flights between Toronto and Resolute
  • Group transfers between the Resolute airport and the ship
  • Group transfer from Toronto airport to the hotel on disembarkation day

Accommodations – Ultramarine

Days 3 to 7 – Exploring Canada’s High Arctic

Winding your way around the remote islands of the Canadian High Arctic aboard Ultramarine, the newest ship in our fleet, you’ll navigate the same icy inlets, channels and bays that fascinated legendary explorers of long ago as they searched for the fabled Northwest Passage, the great sea route at the top of the world. Designed to give polar adventurers unprecedented access to the hardest-to-reach places on the planet—and equipped with two onboard twin-engine helicopters for unparalleled access to areas only Quark Expeditions can bring you—this one-of-a-kind ship, in its inaugural year, will take you beyond the familiar in polar exploration. Throughout your journey, your Expedition Team will work hard to give you a taste of the best the Arctic has to offer, immersing you in the heart of the Northwest Passage in under a week.

Remember that no two polar voyages are alike, since each expedition presents new opportunities and different weather and ice conditions. While this voyage has no fixed itinerary, our objective is to visit as many of the incredible highlights this season has to offer, using the opportunities provided by the weather and ice to give you the best experience. Each day, your highly skilled Expedition Team will read the conditions and choose the best course to set, but despite their extensive expertise in these areas, each visit brings something new to discover. That said, our expeditions will have some elements in common, including daily Zodiac cruising, land excursions, a robust education program, a community visit and wildlife viewing opportunities. And thanks to our onboard helicopters, you’ll also discover the ultimate polar expedition experience: as stunning as polar landscapes are from your ship, they’re even more striking from the air! Conditions permitting, you’ll enjoy ultra-immersive activities like flightseeing (short sightseeing flights around your ship and surrounding areas) and heli-landings (flying to places we could not otherwise access for shore excursions), two breathtaking options that are unique to Ultramarine and give you an exhilarating polar experience like no other.

While this waterway is known to European cultures as the Northwest Passage, this area has nurtured and sustained the Inuit and their predecessors who have called these shores home for almost 5,000 years. Moving through these remote landscapes you will be traveling through the ancestral homelands of this ancient culture, illuminated in person by Inuit guides onboard and ashore. Nunavut is an Inuktitut word meaning “our land” and the Nunavummiut (the people of Nunavut) are renowned for their incredible resourcefulness, hospitality, good humor, and a deep knowledge of the land and animals that has allowed them to thrive in the far north for millennia.

Remote and rich in history, the Canadian High Arctic is as awe inspiring as it is informative. Your days spent exploring this mysterious region will have you traveling back in time to the Age of Exploration. While following in the footsteps of famous explorers like Sir John Franklin and Roald Amundsen, you’ll navigate the waters and visit the historic sites in the area around Lancaster Sound that were key to the discovery of the Northwest Passage. You’ll also learn about the scientific, cultural, geopolitical and environmental aspects of the route from our world-class experts, guides and the local communities. Reaching remote lands that have lured adventurers for centuries and few have ever set foot on will be an experience you’ll never forget.

Wildlife sightings are almost guaranteed, as many of the areas we hope to explore are home to a surprising number of birds and mammals that thrive in this challenging environment. You’ll likely see polar bears, muskoxen and several bird species, such as gyrfalcons and dovekies (little auks). If you’re lucky, you may even spot the elusive narwhal or arctic wolf, though sightings of these iconic creatures in the wild are rare, even in places where we have the highest chances of encountering them.

Coburg Island, for instance, is a wildlife reserve for such birds as snowy owls and peregrine falcons, while the impressive vertical cliffs of Prince Leopold Island are dotted with nesting seabirds like northern fulmars and black guillemots. The sheltered shores and steep cliffs of Arctic Bay, a hamlet located off of Admiralty Inlet, provide an ideal nesting habitat for various High Arctic birds such as snow geese, thick-billed murres (Brünnich’s guillemots) and kittiwakes. Occupied by Inuit nomads for almost 5,000 years, this traditional community is also an ideal spot to go ashore and learn more about the Inuit culture, sampling the local cuisine and mingling with artists, perhaps picking up carvings or other handicrafts as a memento of your polar adventure.

Devon Island is another possible locale for wildlife encounters, as walrus, polar bears and muskoxen inhabit the area, which is also the location of the remains of a Royal Canadian Mounted Police outpost, established at Dundas Harbour in 1924 to curb foreign whaling and other activities. Nearby is a small cemetery, one of Canada’s most northerly, still maintained by the RCMP to this day. Another exciting excursion your Expedition Team might offer, conditions permitting, is the opportunity to fly up to explore the Devon ice cap, one of the largest in the Canadian Arctic.

At the western end of Devon Island, windswept Beechey Island might be small, but it’s steeped in history, as its flat beach and safe anchorage made a suitable stopover for Arctic expeditions. You’ll want to pay your respects to the ill-fated Franklin expedition of 1845–46 at the small marked graves of three crew members on the island, one of Canada’s most significant Arctic sites. This is also where Norwegian Roald Amundsen stopped to pay his own respects to his childhood hero, Franklin, during his 1903–06 voyage, which became the first successful transit of the Northwest Passage in history.

History buffs will be further intrigued by the chance to explore an abandoned Hudson’s Bay Company trading post at Fort Ross, at the southern end of Somerset Island.

Nearby is the Bellot Strait. One of the goals of this expedition is to transit this famous channel, one of the most narrow and challenging of the passage. If we’re successful, at the midpoint you’ll sail past Zenith Point, the northernmost point of continental North America. Named for Frenchman Joseph Bellot, one of several explorers who set out in the 1850s to search for Franklin’s doomed expedition, the strait separates Somerset Island from the Boothia Peninsula on mainland Canada. (On Beechey Island, you can visit the memorial to Bellot, who disappeared during his search for Franklin.)

Those looking for even more excitement may have the opportunity to cruise by Zodiac along the face of an active glacier near Croker Bay, Devon Island and possibly even witness the wonders of calving ice, at a safe distance. Listen closely for the steady crackle and loud roars as pieces of ice break off and crash into the water below. You’ll also want to be on the lookout for the walrus that are often seen in the area.

There is no shortage of natural beauty, wildlife and history in Canada’s High Arctic. Each day, you’ll discover something new and inspiring, whether it is admiration of the tundra flora to survive the rugged environment, a rare bird species soaring overhead, a polar bear on the hunt in its natural habitat, or the remains of a century-old hut.

Days 8 – Disembark in Resolute, Canada & fly to Toronto

After disembarking in Resolute, you’ll be transferred to your charter flight to Toronto, where you’ll spend the night at your included hotel.

Accommodations – Ultramarine

IMPORTANT REMINDER: Embracing the unexpected is part of the legacy—and excitement—of expedition travel. When traveling in extremely remote regions, your Expedition Team must consider the sea, ice and weather to guide the route and itinerary details. This itinerary is a tentative outline of what you may experience on this voyage; please be aware that no specific itinerary can be guaranteed. By the same token, wildlife encounters as described are expected, but not guaranteed. Your Expedition Team will use their considerable experience to seek out wildlife in known habitats, but the presence of any particular species of bird or marine wildlife is not guaranteed.

** Prices are subject to change and availability. Space is limited and activities and specific hotels are subject to change. Travel insurance is strongly recommended.

Details and Pricing

Rates

Explorer Suite: Located on Deck 3

  • Double Occupancy – $10990 USD per person
  • Single Occupancy – $11990 USD per person

Balcony Suite: Located on Decks 4 & 6

  • Double Occupancy – $13990 USD per person

Additional upper category cabins available by request. This ship holds 199 passengers and as such there will be mixed company on the ship.

Deposit is based on a percentage of the rate:

Explorer Suite:

  • Double Occupancy – $1099 USD per person
  • Single Occupancy – $1199 USD per person

Balcony Suite:

  • Double Occupancy – $1399 USD per person

Final Payment due – April 15, 2021

*All payments are non-refundable. Please see full terms and conditions.

Activity Level

  • High – Moderate Activity
  • The included acitivity in this tour is fairly moderate but there are more acitive activities available. You should be able to walk for extended periods of time on uneven and possibly slippery terrain and get in and out of a zodiac easily. There are excellent hiking excursions available of various lengths of time

Group Size

  • Minimum – 10
  • Maximum – 16

Exclusions

  • International Airfare (can be arranged by 7 Seas 2 See Travel)
  • Travel Insurance (can be arranged by 7 Seas 2 See Travel)
  • Visa/passport handling fees
  • Meals not listed in itinerary
  • Alcoholic Beverages
  • Gratuity for crew on Ocean Endeavour
  • Optional Activities/Tours
  • Expenses of a Personal Nature
  • Mandatory waterproof pants for Zodiac cruising, or any other gear not mentioned
  • Laundry, bar and other personal charges unless specified
  • Phone and Internet charges
  • Adventure Options not listed in Included Activities

** Prices are subject to change and availability. Space is limited and activities and specific hotels are subject to change.

Tour Leader

Diane Cook

Diane is a World Traveler, Owner & Professional Travel Advisor of 7Seas2See Travel. She created the Walking, Wining & Dining Series so as to combine these 3 favourite things in natural settings to refresh and heal us as we stretch ourselves to experience our incredible world.

Flight Information

We will notify you once this tour is a guaranteed departure. Please do not book your flights until you have been notified.

7 Seas 2 See Travel will assist with making your flight arrangements please email diane@7seas2see.com to request flight options and quotes for a service fee of CAD $113 which will be charged at the time of quotation. If you prefer to arrange your own flights please forward a copy of your itinerary to diane@7seas2see.com.

** NOTE: Please do not book any flights until tour is confirmed.

Arrive: Toronto

Depart: Toronto

Travel Insurance

Out of country medical insurance is required. We strongly recommend that you obtain cancellation and interruption insurance to protect your investment.

Request an Insurance Quote

Accommodations

Ultramarine

The newest ship in our fleet, Ultramarine, is designed to go beyond the familiar in polar exploration, to discover new places, and to immerse you in the best the region has to offer.

Equipped with two twin-engine helicopters, Ultramarine offers the most robust portfolio of adventure activities in the industry, the most spacious suites in its category, breathtaking public spaces, and more outdoor wildlife viewing spaces than other expedition ships its size. It also features an innovative mix of sustainability features that exceed all industry standards.

With all this and more, Ultramarine is set to deliver the ultimate polar expedition experience.

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    We strongly recommend that you protect your investment with travel insurance. Cancellation and interruption insurance covers in case of cancellation due to a medical reason. Our of country medical insurance is for unseen medical emergencies while traveling. The All Inclusive Plan includes both out of country medical and cancellation/interruption insurance. If you would like more information on the policies offered please let us know. The rate for travel insurance is determined by the cost of the tour, the length of the tour and your age.
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    Terms and Conditions

    It is the responsibility of the passengers to verify documentation requirements directly with the embassy or consulate of the country of travel. Customs and/or immigration officials can deny a person entry into their country at their own discretion. We strongly recommend traveling with a passport that is valid for at least 6 months beyond your return date. Please be aware that different living standards and practices exist outside of Canada including but not limite to provisions of utilities, accommodations and services of all kinds. Deposits are nonrefundable. Final payments are nonrefundable after the final payment date. It is extremely important that all clients purchase out of country medical insurance. This contract permits price increases except if the customer has paid in full. If the total price of the travel services are increased and the cumulative increase, except any increase resulting from an increase in retail sales tax or federal goods and services tax, is more than 7%, the customer has the right to cancel and obtain a full refund. If a trip is cancelled by the 7 Seas 2 See Travel than the customer is entitled to a full refund. 7 Seas 2 See Travel is only responsible for refund the cost of the tour booked with 7 Seas 2 See Travel and no other expenses or fees. 7 Seas 2 See Travel and Travel Professionals International cannot be held responsible for any errors, omissions or mistakes on this form. Your reservation is subject to the rules and conditions of the tour operator.
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