The Northwest Passage – From Reykjavík to Cambridge Bay

The Northwest Passage – From Reykjavík to Cambridge Bay

The Northwest Passage – From Reykjavík to Cambridge Bay

The Northwest Passage – From Reykjavík to Cambridge Bay

Travel information 19 days MS Fram
August 23, 2024
Breakfast, lunch and dinner included

Epic 19-day expedition cruise from Reykjavík, Iceland, along Greenland’s south coast and through the Northwest Passage to Cambridge Bay

Following a legendary route

From Reykjavík, we cruise to Greenland, taking in the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Ilulissat Icefjord. We’ll then attempt to navigate the icy channels of the Northwest Passage to Cambridge Bay, like the great explorers before us. We’ll explore the famous waterways of Prince Christian Sound, Baffin Bay, and the Davis Strait all the way to Cambridge Bay, before finishing off in Edmonton.

Extraordinary scenery and wildlife

One highlight of this cruise is the extraordinary beauty of the landscapes we pass and the wildlife they support. Spot Arctic animals and birdlife in their natural habitat, such as polar bears, musk oxen, caribou, ringed seals, and maybe even minke and humpback whales in the seas. Don’t forget to scan the skies above for birds, such as glaucous gulls and black guillemots.

The Northwest Passage – From Reykjavík to Cambridge Bay  The Northwest Passage – From Reykjavík to Cambridge Bay

Our attempts to transit the Northwest Passage are expeditions in the truest sense of the word. We challenge the elements and the ice edge of the Arctic Ocean to circumnavigate these remote and icy waterways—safely, of course. Our deep knowledge of the area, our flexibility, and the multiple alternative routes available are key factors to giving you the most amazing experience possible. If we manage to circumnavigate Baffin Island or sail through the entire Northwest Passage, it will be one for the books.

  • Day 1

    Cosmopolitan Reykjavík

    Explore the world’s northernmost capital, Reykjavík

    Reykjavík is delightful, well worth exploring, and situated amid amazing nature. Spend time discovering it before you begin your expedition cruise to the Northwest Passage.

    Soak in the famed Blue Lagoon hot springs, located close to the city center, or seek out a view of Reykjavík from above at the striking Hallgrímskirkja church. You’ll be awed by the islands, mountains, seas, and parks that surround this surprisingly cosmopolitan city.

    MS Fram awaits you at Reykjavík Harbor. After collecting your complimentary expedition jacket and meeting your Expedition Team, take time to settle into your cabin. Your exciting adventure is just beginning.

    If you’d like to get to know the area better, consider booking one of our Pre-Programs to immerse yourself in Icelandic nature.

    Day 1

    Cosmopolitan Reykjavík

  • Day 2-3
    At sea: Denmark Strait

    Crossing the Denmark Strait

    In the wake of the Vikings

    We sail to West Greenland across the Denmark Strait, the route taken by Erik the Red, supposedly the first European to have settled there. Take this time to relax and explore our ship’s stylish onboard facilities.

    Get ready to explore the west coast of Greenland. Most Greenlanders live on the west side of their country, and you’ll be exploring some of the towns and settlements scattered along this coast – as well as its awe-inspiring fjords, glaciers and mountains.

    Day 2-3
    At sea: Denmark Strait

    Crossing the Denmark Strait

  • Day 4
    Prince Christian Sund

    Prince Christian Sund

    Breathtaking panoramas and abundant wildlife

    We aim to explore the incredible waters of Prince Christian Sound, stretching 60 miles long. Sharp-peaked granite mountains provide a stunning contrast to the bright white glaciers. Look out for calving icebergs and colorful houses in the village of Aappilattoq.

    Nature is abundant here. Keep an eye out for ringed and bearded seals resting on the ice and glaucous gulls and black guillemots soaring above. You may even spot minke and humpback whales.

    If sea ice prevents us from entering the sound, we'll head to the jagged Cape Farewell, the southernmost point of Greenland.

    • Included Prins Christian Sund Exploration Day
    Day 4
    Prince Christian Sund

    Prince Christian Sund

  • Day 5

    Explore Kvanefjord

    Discover the glacial beauty of the west coast fjords

    Experience the sublime fjords of Greenland’s west coast as we reach Kvanefjord in Sermersooq, meaning 'Place of Much Ice'.

    Have your camera ready for glistening icebergs and semi-submerged glacial ice, which is pure white with undertones of crystalline blue. These sculpted ice blocks are some of Arctic nature’s finest creations.

    Few people venture into this remote fjord, making it even more special to spend the day exploring here. The Expedition Team will select places to venture ashore, where you will enjoy beautiful scenery on a nature walk. You could also head out in boats to scout for wildlife.

    • Included Kvanefjord Exploration Day
    Day 5

    Explore Kvanefjord

  • Day 6

    Nuuk, Greenland’s Capital

    Experience Greenlandic culture, old and new, in Nuuk

    After several days exploring remote, idyllic icescapes, you’ll cruise into Nuuk, Greenland’s colorful capital. It has a population of 18,000 people and a striking mix of old and new buildings.

    Compare the old buildings like the Hans Egede House and Nuuk Cathedral with the ultra-modern architecture of Greenland’s parliament building.

    Visit the National Museum to gain fascinating insight into life here 500 years ago and see the six Qilakitsoq mummies. Or join a long nature walk through Paradise Valley and around Mt. Lille Malene.

    • Included Nuuk Grand Experience
    Day 6

    Nuuk, Greenland’s Capital

  • Day 7

    Spectacular Sisimiut

    Explore ancient traditions in Arctic Greenland

    We reach Sisimiut, Greenland’s second city. It sits in a spectacular location just 25 miles north of the Arctic Circle. This area has a history spanning more than 4,500 years.

    Old traditions are alive and well here, and you can learn more about the ancient Saqqaq artifacts in the local museum.

    If you're looking for a special souvenir, pick up a scarf, hat or mittens made of qiviut, the inner wool of a musk ox, said to be 10 times warmer than sheep wool. Why not explore the area by foot and stretch your legs on a hike?

    • Included Sisimiut Community Visit
    Day 7

    Spectacular Sisimiut

  • Day 8

    UNESCO-listed Ilulissat

    The town where you can see and hear the ice flow

    Our expedition cruise reaches Disko Bay, a haven for whales and seals. You’re in for a unique experience. Nestled in magnificent Ilulissat Icefjord, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is Ilulissat. An ever-changing gallery of passing icebergs slides by against a backdrop of colorful houses.

    Marvel at giant icebergs floating past in the deep blue waters, as they take on different hues of white, gray, and blue. With the help of the ship’s photographer, enthusiasts can capture the nuances of these sculptures of nature.

    • Included Walk to the Icefjords
    Day 8

    UNESCO-listed Ilulissat

  • Day 9-10
    Labrador Sea

    Crossing the Labrador Sea

    Watch for wildlife and get involved in Citizen Science.

    Leaving Greenland behind, our expedition cruise continues to Canada across the Labrador Sea. We’ll enter the Davis Strait, named after English explorer John Davis, who led expeditions here in the 16th century. The Expedition Team will continue their onboard lectures on topics such as the wildlife of Northern Labrador, Inuit culture, and the history of Arctic exploration.

    The strait is known for its abundance of seals, whales, and cod. Consider joining one of our Citizen Science projects by helping to photograph and track whales. Or contribute to the GLOBE Program by observing the clouds and helping scientists study our climate.

    Day 9-10
    Labrador Sea

    Crossing the Labrador Sea

  • Day 11-17
    The Northwest Passage.

    The Northwest Passage.

    Cross a historical sea corridor through Canada’s Arctic archipelago.

    Like the pioneering explorers before you, we won’t have an exact itinerary as we attempt to sail our state-of-the-art ice-class ship from the Atlantic to the Pacific via this famed sea route. Stops might include Pond Inlet, Dundas Harbour, Fort Ross, Gjoa Haven and Cambridge Bay.

    As we explore, we’ll land at sites linked to early exploration history, visit Inuit communities, and watch out for Arctic wildlife such as polar bears, whales, narwhals, seals, and seabirds.

    You’ll go cruising on small boats (RIBs) between ice floes and go ashore to experience the pristine wilderness firsthand. Your Expedition Team will adapt activities to ice and weather conditions, giving you the best experience possible.

    We’ll try to reach Pond Inlet and the Inuit community of Mittimatalik on Baffin Island. On Devon Island, the largest uninhabited island on Earth, we hope to visit Dundas Harbour and learn about its Thule heritage. We may stop at Beechey Island and pay our respects at the graves of three Franklin expedition team members.

    We will continue west to Fort Ross, a former Hudson’s Bay Trading post, before sailing to Gjoa Haven, where Roald Amundsen learned polar survival tips from the Netsilik Inuit people. If we are able to land here, we’ll take a walking tour to learn more.

    Day 11-17
    The Northwest Passage.

    The Northwest Passage.

  • Day 18
    Cambridge Bay

    Wildlife of Cambridge Bay

    Wildlife and conservation in this fish-rich bay

    Our expedition cruise continues into wildlife-rich Cambridge Bay, where you will disembark. Here, you might see Arctic char, musk oxen, and caribou. You’ll also find the Canadian High Arctic Research Station, an important center for climate change research.

    Home to only 2,000 residents, Cambridge Bay is popular with fly-fishers who want to net giant Arctic char or lake trout. Even its name, ‘Iqaluktuuttiaq’, means ‘a good fishing place’.

    Walk around and explore before we take our flight to Edmonton.

    Day 18
    Cambridge Bay

    Wildlife of Cambridge Bay

  • Day 19

    Explore Edmonton

    Enjoy the city of Edmonton before your flight home or extend your stay with our optional Post-programs to learn more about this city and the surrounding area.

    Day 19

    Explore Edmonton



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What’s included


  • Economy class flight from Cambridge Bay to Edmonton


  • Transfer from the ship to the airport in Cambridge Bay after the expedition cruise
  • Transfer from the airport to the hotel in Edmonton after the expedition cruise 


  • Overnight in Edmonton after the expedition cruise, including breakfast 

Expedition Cruise

  • Stay in a cabin of your choice
  • Breakfast, lunch, and dinner, including beverages* in the Aune restaurant
  • Fine-dining À la carte restaurant Lindstrøm is included for suite guests
  • Complimentary tea and coffee
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi on board†
  • Complimentary reusable water bottle
  • English-speaking Expedition Team who organize and guide activities, both on board and ashore
  • Range of included activities

*House beer and wine, sodas, and mineral water

†Please note that Wi-Fi and phone reception are very limited in the remote areas where we travel and streaming is not supported.

Onboard Activities

  • In-depth lectures and discussions hosted by experts on the Expedition Team.
  • Full use of our Science Center, library and advanced biological and geological equipment.
  • The Citizen Science Program allows guests to contribute to ongoing scientific research projects.
  • Our professional onboard photographer will give photography tips and teach techniques for capturing landscape and wildlife photos.
  • The ship has hot tubs, a sauna with a view and a gym.
  • Join informal gatherings with the crew for daily briefings.

Landing Activities

  • Escorted landings with small boats (RIBs)
  • Loan of boots, trekking poles, and all the equipment needed for the activities
  • Complimentary wind- and water-resistant expedition jacket
  • Expedition photographers will be on hand to assist you


  • All planned activities are subject to weather and ice conditions.
  • Excursions and activities are subject to change.
  • Please ensure you meet all entry and boarding requirements
  • No gratuities are expected

Not included in your voyage

  • International flights
  • Travel protection
  • Baggage handling
  • Optional shore excursions with our local partners
  • Optional small-group activities with our Expedition Team

  • All planned activities are subject to weather and ice conditions
  • Excursions and activities are subject to change
  • Please ensure you can meet all entry and boarding requirements
  • No gratuities are expected
MS Fram in Greenland
Photo: Stian Klo
MS Fram in Antarctica
Photo: Sandra Walser
Your Ship

MS Fram

Year built 2007
Year of refurbishment 2022
Shipyard Fincantieri, Italy
Passenger capacity 318 (200 in Antarctica)
Beds 276
Car capacity 0
Gross tonnage 11,647 T
Length 374 ft
Beam 66.3 ft
Speed 13 knots
MS Fram in Greenland
Photo: Stian Klo

The original Fram was the most famous explorer ship of her time, and the achievements of her Arctic and Antarctic expeditions are the stuff of legend. In this spirit, the comfortable surroundings and advanced technology on today’s MS Fram – which was fully upgraded in summer 2022 – make her exceptionally well suited for modern expedition cruising.

Read more about MS Fram

Icebergs – one of many favorite photo motives when on an expedition with MS Fram
Photo: Tomas Mauch
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