The mesmerising and otherworldly spectacle of the aurora borealis, also known as the Northern Lights, has captivated humanity for centuries.
Northwest Passage Cruises
Embark on one of Aurora Expeditions’ Canadian Arctic Cruises and experience the legendary Northwest Passage with a world-class expedition team. Our Northwest Passage cruises through the polar regions of the Northern Atlantic follow in the footsteps of the early explorers and aim to immerse you the fascinating history of the fabled route, Inuit culture and otherworldly Canadian High Arctic landscapes.
Each expedition is accompanied by an Expedition Team we believe is among the world’s best. Your expert team will help you get the most out of your time exploring the Canadian High Arctic. As you cruise the Canadian Artic’s wild coastline, you will will pass massive glaciers, ice-capped mountains, UNESCO World Heritage Sites, icy channels, remote communities and diverse wildlife if you’re lucky!
Why Join a Northwest Passage Cruise with Aurora Expeditions?
The Northwest Passage represents centuries of effort to find a route from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean through the Canadian Arctic Archipelago, which lies to the north of the Canadian mainland.
The fabled Northwest Passage in Canada’s High Arctic offers a fascinating escape through ancient landscapes and a labyrinth of waterways leading into the Beaufort Sea. Millions travel to Canada to experience its natural beauty, but few journey through the Northwest Passage, where life is anything but ordinary.
Travel in the footsteps of daring explorers, get acquainted with the region’s wildlife and connect with the Indigenous locals whose ancestors have hunted and fished the region for thousands of years.
Explore northwards of the Arctic Circle, which runs across from West Greenland to the top of the Canadian continent, with most of the Canadian Archipelago of islands found above it. The magnificent waterways between these islands and deep fjords make it a one-of-a-kind place to cruise amongst steep cliffs and mountains stretching to the horizon, with green lowlands and scenic bays adding some variety. The exact route taken depends on a number of factors including the weather conditions, which vary constantly and can make cruises to the Northwest Passage true expeditions.
Northwest Passage Wildlife Encounters
The Canadian Arctic region has unique wildlife scattered throughout its majestic landscapes. Being a place of extremes, the Northwest Passage is an environment that only few can survive in, which means the rare wildlife found here often is only seen in the High Arctic. Although wildlife can be hard to spot here, Bowhead whales, Beluga whales, Arctic fox and musk ox are some of the Arctic wildlife that call this part of the world home.
Our Canadian Arctic cruises include naturalists as part of the Expedition Team, who are there to answer your questions and educate you about how Arctic wildlife has influenced the Inuit culture over thousands of years. Whether you have a question about Beluga whales or want to maximise your chances of spotting Arctic fox, the Expedition Team is your first point of contact.
The Northwest Passage is also a bird watchers’ paradise, with numerous Canadian Arctic species nesting there every summer. If you’re lucky you will get to see them during this period, before they migrate south as September approaches.
Unique Northwest Passage Experiences
Northwest Passage cruises with Aurora Expeditions include several activities unique to the High Arctic that will ensure you have the trip of a lifetime. Cruise through the Canadian High Arctic in an Aurora Expedition cabin that’s made for comfort – most have a private balcony. For those willing to explore the Northwest Passage, the adventures and memories will last a lifetime.
On the expedition, you will learn about the history of the legendary route of the Northwest Passage, Inuit art, iconic wildlife and the changeable weather conditions in the Arctic Ocean.
Zodiac cruise trips ashore and walking tours are also led by your Expedition Leader as included activities and offer great photography opportunities. Visits to places like Baffin Island, Somerset Island, Beechey Island, Hudson Bay, Ellesmere Island and Cambridge Bay will give you a chance to stretch your legs, while others may choose to explore the area from water level in a sea kayak.
Northwest Passage Expedition Regions
The northernmost inhabited place in the world, Nunavut is the “True North”. Experience the Inuit way of life with arts and crafts, music and performance art, hunting, fishing and dog sledding with rare Canadian Inuit dogs. If you have a spirit of adventure, Nunavut welcomes you. Home to Baffin Island and Isabella Bay, a Canadian National Wildlife Area, it’s also a great spot to see some of the local wildlife. Baffin Island is the largest island in Canada and the fifth largest in the world, so there’s lots of exploring to do.
The Northwest Territories of the Northwest Passage include three main geographic regions: the Arctic Archipelago to the north, the Arctic mainland and the Mackenzie Valley area. Unforgettable adventures await here. Witness the magic of the Northern Lights, navigate rapids, explore vast national parks and hook the catch of a lifetime in the beating heart of the north.
Yukon in northwestern Canada boasts rugged mountains and high plateaus that border the Northwest Passage. Surrounded by the Northwest Territories to the east, British Columbia to the south and Alaska to the west, it extends northward above the Arctic Circle to the Beaufort Sea.
Northwest Passage Expedition Cruise Activities
Visit The Northwest Passage with Aurora Expeditions and our Expedition Team will take you on excursions unique to the High Arctic, fully included in the cost of your expedition. For those interested in a little extra excitement, there are optional activities designed to get you closer to the action. Our Northwest Passage expeditions provide a mix of comfort and adventure; for those willing to explore this Arctic archipelago the memories will last a lifetime.
Whale and mammal spotting
Lecture on wildlife, our environment, history and destinations
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*Optional add-on activities are available on select voyages. They are listed on each itinerary page and additional fees apply.
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