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Pathways of Franklin

10 Days FROM AUD 10,135

Overview

Special Offer

Receive US$1000 travel credit and complimentary pre-voyage hotel stay at our preferred group hotels for 2020 season. 

*Book before 30 June 201

This voyage will appeal to both lovers of wildlife and the dramatic history of early polar exploration. We will trace the routes of the early explorers who sailed – and perished – in these waters as they sought a way through the fabled Northwest Passage. Our itinerary includes a visit to one of the largest migratory bird sanctuaries in the world, and we enjoy frequent sightings of seals as well as beluga whale. The mythical narwhal inhabits these waters, and we also hope to encounter polar bears at special locations that we have discovered over the years.

Optional Activities :

Trip Code: ACTSPOF

Location: Arctic

Ship: Akademik Ioffe

CRUISE ITINERARY

We depart Edmonton on our 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 was trapped in ice and abandoned here in 1850 while searching for the lost Franklin Expedition. A weather station and airstrip made it a strategic outpost during the Cold War. On arrival, we meet our expedition team and prepare for our zodiac ride to the ship. After a welcome cocktail, we weigh anchor and depart Resolute in the early evening.

Edmonton

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. 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 HMS Erebus in the Victoria Strait. One Ocean Expeditions played a vital role in the discovery by carrying underwater search equipment on our ship as well as scientists, historians, researchers, dignitaries and sponsors. A trip ashore at Beechey Island to visit the grave markers on a remote windswept beach is a thrilling location for history buffs.

Beechey Island

We cross the broad expanse of Lancaster Sound, spending time on the ship’s bridge, or outer decks looking for wildlife. The sound has been likened to the wildlife ‘super highway’ of the Arctic. Approaching northern Baffin Island we are in awe of the spectacular Arctic landscape that seemingly stretches on forever. Cape Charles Yorke offers several great walking opportunities and we may enjoy some sightings of polar bears along this coast. We navigate the ship into nearby Elwin Inlet, a breathtaking fjord which is well protected and great for a zodiac cruise or hike onshore.

Elwin Inlet

Having crossed Prince Regent Inlet overnight, we approach the towering bird cliffs of Prince Leopold Island in the morning. The island is home to thick-billed murres, black guillemots, northern fulmars and black-legged kittiwakes. Numbering in the order of several hundred thousand birds, Prince Leopold Island is one of the most significant Migratory Bird Sanctuaries in the whole of the Canadian Arctic and makes for fantastic zodiac cruising.

Prince Leopold Island

Continuing to navigate the ship south into Prince Regent Inlet, we approach the eastern end of the Bellot Strait. The historic site of Fort Ross, located at the southern end of Somerset Island, is a former Hudson’s Bay Company fur trading outpost. The mixing of waters in this strait provides an abundant food source for marine mammals and we keep our eyes peeled for harp seals, bearded seals and even polar bears.

Bellot Strait

Having emerged from Bellot Strait, we cross Franklin Strait and arrive at Coningham Bay on the shore of Prince Of Wales Island. Here, in the heart of the Northwest Passage we hope to encounter one of the most remarkable wildlife sites in the Arctic.

Coningham Bay

On Victory Point a lifeboat left abandoned, bits and pieces of copper and iron, cutlery and buttons and a skeleton here and there - all tell a story of a desperate race south in search of rescue that never came. We hope to visit Victory Point as we transit Victoria Strait, travelling very near the actual location of the wreck of HMS Erebus, all the while, learning about the quest for exploration that eventually opened up the Arctic.

Victory Point

We explore The Royal Canadian Geographical Society Island and follow the footsteps of Sir Franklin and his crew.

The Royal Geographical Society Island

We are in a very historic part of the Northwest Passage as we explore the waters of southern Victoria Strait and into the top of Queen Maud Gulf. Our itinerary today will be driven by the weather and ice conditions as we surround ourselves in history and search for wildlife. This evening, we enjoy a special dinner attended by the Captain of the ship and the chance to reflect on a what has been a superb 10-days of exploration in this pristine Arctic wilderness.

Exploration of Victoria Island or King William Isl

Our journey through the Arctic is all but complete as we disembark the ship in Cambridge Bay and make our way to the airport and a charter flight returns us to Edmonton. A transfer is provided from the airport to a central location downtown.

Edmonton
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Pricing & date

Pathways of Franklin from AUD 10,135
Departing Ending Duration
11 Aug 2019 20 Aug 2019 10
17 Aug 2020 26 Aug 2020 10
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Important Information

  • Arrival/Departure Transfers

    Shipboard accommodation 
    All meals onboard 

    All scheduled landings/excursions

    Guiding and lectures by expedition leader and team 

    English-speaking expedition team 

    Services of English speaking medical officer

    Windproof / waterproof jacket and bib pants

    Comfortable insulated rubber boots

    Water resistant binoculars

    Waterproof backpack

    Trekking poles available on shore

    All port fees

     

     

    Exclusions;

    Charter Flights - Additional USD$1,995 per person

    Edmonton to Resolute and Nunavut to Edmonton

     

    Ottawa to Iqaluit and Resolute to Edmonton

     

    Airfares to/from embarkation and disembarkation city 

    Visa and passport fees (if applicable)

    Travel insurance
    Beverages (other than coffee and tea) 

    Laundry and personal expenses incurred on board 
    Gratuities 

     

     

  • 2 (light adventure)
  • Available upon request

  • Exclusions;

    Charter Flights - Additional USD$1,995 per person

    Edmonton to Resolute and Nunavut to Edmonton

     

    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.

    Contact us for more details

     

  • Season and availability

SPEAK TO A SPECIALIST

Talk to one of our Destination Specialists to plan your South American adventure and turn your dream into a reality. With exceptional knowledge and first hand experience, our consultants will assist in every way possible to make your journey the most memorable it can be, matching not only the itinerary, but the accommodation and activities to suit your style of travel and budget.

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