Travel to the living heart of the Arctic from Greenland to Nunavut and on to Northern Quebec; a journey timed just after the summer solstice, when the midnight sun reaches its zenith and the chances of seeing wildlife, including polar bears, walrus and musk oxen, are at their best.
If that sounds inspirational, no wonder. It’s also achievable, on a once-in-a-lifetime, 23-night cruise tour arranged by Cruise Traveller, the boutique voyage and cruise specialists.
The tour is named ‘Across Canada, into the Arctic and Beyond’ and the ship is Ocean Endeavour, purpose-built for remote environments. Ocean Endeavour, carrying 198 guests at maximum, is equipped with 20 Zodiacs, multiple lounges and top-deck observation room.
While the 12-night expedition-style cruise aboard Ocean Endeavour is central, this big, 23-night holiday includes a lot more. It takes you across Canada from Vancouver in the west to Toronto in the east and all the way up to the Arctic Circle. There’s even a day exploring mighty Niagara Falls.
‘Across Canada, into the Arctic and Beyond’ costs from A$22,889, per person twin share, which includes flights from Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane to Vancouver, return from Ottawa, and an interior cabin on Ocean Endeavour. For $2100 extra you can enjoy an ocean view cabin. For singles, prices for the holiday start from A$20,799, giving sole-use occupancy in hotels, tour and train and quad-share with other intrepid travellers on the cruise in an interior cabin. Sole use of the cabin is available at an additional cost. Those prices are valid for booking until 31 January 2016 unless sold out beforehand.
‘Across Canada, into the Arctic and Beyond’ begins on 1 July 2016 with a flight to Vancouver, where you’ll stay at the Sheraton Wall Center Hotel in the heart of the city.
The next day, you’re off on a seven-night trans-Canada rail and coach tour that heads from Vancouver to Toronto. The itinerary includes coach from Vancouver to the alpine ski village of Sun Peaks, then Banff and Jasper, boarding Via Rail to travel from Jasper to Toronto in a Sleeper Touring Class cabin. Seven nights’ accommodation are included: a night at Sun Peaks Resort, two nights at the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel, a night at Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge and then three nights aboard the Via Rail train.
On the way you’ll see some of Canada’s greatest scenery, ride on the Hell’s Gate Airtram as the Fraser River thunders below, explore Banff and Jasper and take a scenic trip on the Banff aerial gondola up Sulphur Mountain to experience a bird’s-eye view of six mountain ranges. Weather permitting, you’ll set out on an Ice Explorer ride on the Athabasca Glacier and experience the award-winning Glacier Skywalk with its transparent floor.
Native wildlife in these parts includes caribou, mountain goats and grizzly bears. National Park fees are included, plus a Lonely Planet Canada Guide, a map of Canada, three breakfasts, five lunches and three dinners.
At the end of the tour, you’ll spend two nights in a four-star hotel in cosmopolitan Toronto and take a full-day tour to Niagara Falls, one of the great wonders of the world. Highlights here include Hornblower Cruises, a meal overlooking Niagara Falls, free time in Niagara on the Lake – and a winery tour and tasting.
Fly now to Kangerlussuaq, Greenland – which you may even learn to pronounce. Here, board Ocean Endeavour, your home for the next 12 nights.
Sailing into glittering Sondre Stromfjord, one of the longest fjords in the world, lets you know is really is a cruise like no other. Marvel at the Arctic in summer bloom and hear the mysterious and beautiful welcome song of talented throat-singers. Visit renowned Inuit carvers in Kinngait; spot polar bears, walrus, marine mammals and bird colonies during a Zodiac cruise of the Hudson Strait; visit Akpatok Island where the world’s largest population of thick-billed murres nests above the island’s polar bears. Murres are engaging black-and-white birds, a little like penguins – except they can fly!
You’ll cross the Arctic circle and get to know the second-longest fjord in Greenland.
Throughout, the expertise of the Adventure Canada expedition staff, a crew who really enjoy their work, makes the going great. There are onboard educational presentations, interactive workshops and evening entertainment.
All shipboard meals, including on-deck barbeques and afternoon tea, 24-hour coffee, tea and snacks, hors-d’oeuvres and evening snacks, are included.
The cruise ends in Kuujjuaq, Canada, from where you’ll fly to Ottawa, Canada’s gracious capital, for a night at the Fairmont Château Laurier Hotel. This opulent, historic landmark property next to Parliament Hill enchants guests with its turrets reminiscent of a grand French château.
Time now to look through your photos. Steeped in a culture that is all its own, the Arctic will stay with you long after you return home to Australia.
For more information, contact:
Cruise Traveller, Boutique Voyage and Cruise Specialists
Freecall 1800 507 777 or (07) 5575 8094.