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.
Day Place Highlights 1 Toronto, Canada Explore this vibrant city 2 Fly to Resolute Take your charter flight from Toronto to Resolute, board the Ultramarine 3 - 7 Canadian High Arctic Glaciers, iceburgs, an abundance of wildlife and exploring some of the most remote places on earth 8 Fly to Toronto Disembark the Ultramarine and take your return charter flight to Toronto 9 Toronto, Canada Check out of your hotel for your onward journey
The newest ship in the Quark fleet, Ultramarine is designed to go beyond the familiar in polar exploration, to discover new places, and immerse you in the best the region has to offer. Ultramarine accommodates 199 guests and is equipped with two twin-engine helicopters to offer 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.
With two dining areas, four bars, a panoramic lounge, theatre, library, spa and fitness centre, Polar boutique and an ocean view sauna your days at sea can be as busy or relaxing as you decide.
Your arctic expedition begins in Toronto. Arrive anytime and after checking into your included hotel, spend the day exploring this vibrant city.
In the morning, the group will transfer to the airport and 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).
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 travelling 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.
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.
While this voyage has no fixed itinerary, places you are likely to visit include Coburg Island, Devon Island, Hudson’s Bay, Bellot Strait, Beechey Island and Port Leopold. 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.
After disembarking in Resolute, you’ll be transferred to your charter flight to Toronto, where you’ll spend the night at your included hotel.
Today, make your way to the airport to catch your homeward flights, or spend the day exploring this fascinating city.