High Arctic Explorer - Small-Ship Expedition

    High Arctic Explorer - Small-Ship Expedition (Cover Photo: Asgeir Pall Juliusson on Unsplash)

    Your personal voyage of discovery Explore and learn about new lands and peoples as you experience the rich cultures and fascinating landscapes we sail to. Take the road less travelled and enrich your perspective during visits to communities, natural habitats, and historic sites that can be otherwise difficult to reach. Our expeditions are designed to be flexible and allow us to make the best of Mother Nature’s conditions. We often make landfall at new places and are able to share new discoveries and local knowledge with you. Your voyage will be marked with thoughtful discussions, expert interpretation, and the spirit of discovery.

    Get off the ship, get into a Zodiac

    Cruise among icebergs; search for marine mammals; visit an outport community; wander remote coastlines… simply enjoy the freedom of being out on the water daily! Our goal is to get you off the ship as often as possible. Zodiacs free us from the dependency on ports, piers, and other built infrastructure. These safe, stable, versatile boats take you where the action is.

    Learn from passionate experts

    Why would an esteemed Canada Research Chair, for example, travel with us on a working vacation? It’s simple: they can’t resist the opportunity to engage, excite, educate, and enlighten you! Make the most of every learning opportunity, aboard and ashore, in geology, botany, marine biology, archaeology, photography, cultural history, and more! Our hand-picked experts are as excited as you are to be on board. Join them on deck searching for wildlife, share daily meals for personal indepth conversations, participate in workshops, attend presentations, and learn on the land. The Adventure Canada team has a deep love for discovery, learning, exploration, and growth, and is at your service.

    Experience local culture and traditions

    From Arctic communities to the fishing villages of former New France, to the outports of Newfoundland and Labrador, we embrace local music, dance, food, language, and traditions, everywhere we go! Expedition travel isn’t just about what you see, or where you go. It’s who you meet and get to know.

    Wildlife encounters

    Daily excursions with expert guides put you where you are most likely to see wildlife: whales and seabirds in Atlantic Canada; muskox, seals, and polar bears in the High Arctic. Whether viewing on deck, in the Zodiac, or learning during our presentation series, you’ll come away with an appreciation for the fine creatures that inhabit our world. Our best practices ensure the safety and integrity of the wildlife we have the privilege to view.


    • Visit the Franklin Expedition graves at Beechey Island

    • Watch for marine mammals and wildlife in Tallurutiup Imanga (Lancaster Sound) National Marine Conservation Area

    • Hike on Devon Island, the largest uninhabited island on Earth • Enjoy an Inuit cultural welcome at Mittimatalik (Pond Inlet)

    • Take advantage of prime viewing opportunities for the rare ivory gull, considered a species at risk

    • Cruise among icebergs at Ilulissat Icefjord, a UNESCO World Heritage Site


    Kangerlussuaq is a former U.S. Air Force base and Greenland’s primary flight hub. Here we will be transferred by Zodiac to the Ocean Endeavour. With 190 kilometres of superb scenery, Kangerlussuaq Fjord (Søndre Strømfjord) is one of the longest fjords in the world. We begin our adventure by sailing down this dramatic fjord, crossing the Arctic Circle as we go.


    West Greenland’s complex coastal waterways include glaciers, islands, and fjords against a towering mountain backdrop. The waters are relatively warm here, due to the West Greenland Current and the subarctic location. People have lived in the Sisimiut area for 4,500 years. For the first 2,000 years, the people of the Saqqaq culture occupied the area. 2,500 years ago, new people brought the Dorset culture to the Sisimiut area. They lived here for 1,500 years and were followed by the people of the Thule culture—the ancestors of the moderday Inuit population.


    Ilulissat translates literally to “iceberg”— an apt name for this site at the mouth of the Ilulissat Icefjord, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The icefjord is the outlet of the Sermeq Kujalleq glacier, a source of many of the icebergs in the North Atlantic. Here, we will cruise in our fleet of Zodiacs to appreciate the icebergs. We will also visit the town of Ilulissat, with its museums, cafes, craft shops, and busy fishing harbour.


    Greenland’s west coast is simply stunning. From mighty mountains to the tiniest tundra flowers, our stop in this area will offer many outstanding features of interest. Hikers, walkers, photographers, and contemplators will all be equally delighted.


    Our onboard presentation series will continue as we steam across Davis Strait towards Canada. This is an excellent time to enjoy workshops, watch a documentary, and get out on deck looking for whales, seabirds, and marine wildlife.


    Mittimatalik is a busy Arctic community in a beautiful setting. The views of nearby Bylot Island are stunning. We will have a chance to explore the town. The cultural presentation at the Community Hall is not to be missed— handcrafted goods may be available here, too.


    We will spend four days exploring Tallurutiup Imanga (Lancaster Sound), one of Canada's newest National Marine Conservation Areas. Narwhal, beluga, and bowhead whales transit and feed in this area. We’ll cruise by ship and Zodiac in search of wildlife. On the northern border of Tallurutiup Imanga lies Devon Island, the largest uninhabited island on Earth at over 50,000 square kilometres. The island’s geology is stunning. Flat-topped mountains, glacial valleys, and a substantial ice cap give Devon Island its unique character. We’ll visit a number of the bays—hiking the tundra, discovering the botany, cruising a glacier face, and wildlife-spotting from ship and from shore. Once home to Inuit and their ancestors, we will visit archaeological sites with expert interpretation to learn about the human history of this now-abandoned island. We’ll also catch a glimpse of recent human history as we visit the remains of a Royal Canadian Mounted Police and Hudson's Bay Company site at Dundas Harbour.


    In 1845, Sir John Franklin set out from England with HMS Erebus and HMS Terror, attempting to sail through the Northwest Passage. Franklin’s crew overwintered at Beechey Island, where three of his men died. Numerous search parties later used Beechey as a depot and rendezvous. Amundsen, Bernier, and Larsen all visited Beechey. Thomas Morgan of the HMS Investigator was buried here in 1854 alongside Franklin’s men. The graves and the ruins of nearby Northumberland House are a haunting memorial.


    Qausuittuq, or “place with no dawn”, is named for its dark winters. During our time in the summer months we will experience the midnight sun, a time of no darkness. The ending of our journey is characterized by shoreline gravel flats, rocky coastal bluffs, and deposits of glacial moraine. More significant is the origin of the hamlet. In 1953, Inuit from Inukjuak, Québec, and Mittimatalik were relocated, under false pretenses, by the Canadian government with the aim of asserting Canadian sovereignty. Today the community is home to just under 250 people and is an important staging point for High Arctic research, tourism, and military activities. Here we will disembark the Ocean Endeavour, and take the charter flight to Ottawa, ON.