Map of Canadian Remote Arctic: Northwest Passage to Ellesmere & Axel Heiberg Islands including Canada

Go north to Nunavut in search of polar bears and Inuit culture

The smattering of islands contained in Canada’s Arctic north are a world away from the more accessible parts of North America. Here, the iceberg-strewn waters are home to walruses and whales and tiny Inuit communities built on permafrost. This 12-day expedition takes you into Nunavut and the Canadian High Arctic Archipelago to explore these incredible lands and waters, following the legendary Northwest Passage with an eye to encountering wildlife, historical sites and resilient people. Unlike the hardy explorers who attempted to map this landscape in days of old, you’ll be travelling in style with an onboard fitness centre, sauna and a wide range of cabin options.

Calgary, Canada
Calgary, Canada
Polar, Wildlife
Physical rating
Min 8
Group size
Min 1, Max 200

Why you'll love this trip

  • With two helicopters on board, you’ll get the chance to take included flights to soar above the Arctic landscape and make landings at otherwise inaccessible spots.

  • Explore parts of the Nunavut region with Inuit guides and learn about the people who have lived in the world’s most difficult environments for thousands of years.

  • Spot incredible wildlife on land and on Zodiac excursions. Canada’s High Arctic is home to fantastic beasts like polar bears, musk oxen, narwhals and caribou.

  • Traverse the waterways of the famed Northwest Passage, which foiled European explorers for hundreds of years, and attempt to reach the otherworldly Ellesmere and Axel Heiberg islands.

  • Discover the immense beauty of ancient glaciers, house-sized icebergs, granite mountains and epic tundra that extends as far as the eye can see.

Is this trip right for you?

  • You will be supplied with an expedition parka and waterproof boots that are sturdy and warm. Please see the ‘Packing’ section of the Essential Trip Information for a detailed guide on what to bring with you.

  • The plan is to hop into Zodiac boats quite regularly to explore and search for wildlife. It can get very cold and wet on the Zodiac.

  • Sturdy sea legs are needed for wet and dry landings by Zodiac, and you will hike on steep terrain, snow and other uneven surfaces.

  • The weather plays a pivotal part in this adventure and, although there’s an itinerary in place, there are no guarantees that you’ll be able to do everything that is planned for. A level of flexibility and openness to embracing the unexpected are important in expedition travel, especially in such a remote area.


Ultramarine boat on a tour


If you’re looking to take your polar adventure to the next level, Ultramarine is designed to help you discover amazing new places.


This itinerary is valid for departures from 19 Aug 2023 to 30 Aug 2023.
View the 2024 itinerary
Welcome to Calgary, the gateway to your expedition in the Canadian High Arctic. Make your own way to the accommodation outlined in the Essential Trip Information, where there will be a welcome letter waiting for you that outlines the details of your flight tomorrow. There will also be an optional briefing this evening to discuss details with a tour representative in person – ask at reception for information on when you can do this. Aside from that, you are free to use your time in Calgary however you’d like.
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
This morning, take an included transfer to the airport and board your charter flight to Resolute. Upon arrival, there might be time to check out some of this tiny hamlet before you transfer to your expedition ship via Zodiac or helicopter (depending on weather conditions and where the ship has been able to dock). Once onboard, settle into your cabin and get to know your expedition crew.
  • Expedition Cruise Ship (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Spend the next week exploring the remote islands of the Canadian High Arctic. Navigate through the Nanavut region and attempt to traverse Hell Gate to reach Axel Heiberg Island and Ellesmere Island. While many European explorers met their doom in the iceberg-strewn waters, Inuit peoples and their ancestors have lived here for almost 5000 years. You’ll discover the ancestral homelands of ancient cultures with Inuit guides (on shore and on board the vessel) who will explain how deep knowledge of the land and animals of the region has allowed people to live in the far north for millennia. While it’s impossible to confirm in advance the exact landing sites and itinerary for the next seven days, you can expect daily Zodiac cruising, land excursions, a comprehensive education program, visits to tiny settlements and unrivalled wildlife-viewing opportunities. Each day will bring something different – a rare bird species soaring overhead, a polar bear on the hunt in its natural habitat or the remains of a century-old expedition hut. With two helicopters on board, you also have the chance to enjoy included scenic helicopter flight and helicopter excursions to get a unique view on the Arctic and access to areas otherwise out of reach (weather dependent).
  • Expedition Cruise Ship (8 nights)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast (8)
  • Lunch (8)
  • Dinner (8)
Special Information
Please speak to a booking agent when you confirm your expedition for more information on helicopter excursions.

Potential excursions and landing sites are determined by weather, ice conditions and animal-spotting opportunities and cannot be guaranteed in advance. Destinations mentioned here should be used as a guide only.
Say goodbye to your crew and take an included transfer to the airport for your included flight to Calgary. On arrival in Calgary, you are free to explore at your leisure or simply relax in your post-expedition accommodation for the evening.
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Your tour comes to an end today and there are no activities or further accommodation booked.
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.


10 breakfasts, 9 lunches, 9 dinners


Ship, Zodiac, Plane


Expedition Cruise Ship (9 nights), comfortable hotel (2 nights)

Dates & availability

Trip departures are unavailable.

There are currently no scheduled departures on our Canadian Remote Arctic: Northwest Passage to Ellesmere & Axel Heiberg Islands trip. If you are interested in other trips in the region visit one of the links below.

Prices may go up, so secure your trip today!
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Important notes

This trip now starts and finishes in Calgary, Canada

Your voyage is operated by our sister company, Quark Expeditions. All accommodation and transfer arrangements as listed in the itinerary are also operated by Quark Expeditions or their local representatives.

To confirm your reservation, a deposit of 25% (unless indicated otherwise at time of booking) of the total invoice amount is required at time of booking. Balances are due 120 days prior to departure.
Please refer to our "Booking terms and conditions" page on our website for all Quark Expedition terms and conditions.

All customers must be vaccinated against covid 19 to join this voyage. You must present a copy of your Covid 19 proof of vaccination record from your government’s health authority prior to embarkation.

Essential trip information

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what's included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.

View Essential Trip Information