Greenland & the Canadian Arctic
Designed and built in Finland as a scientific research vessel, the Akademik Ioffe
is very stable, quiet and comfortable. External stabilizers and a built-in trimming system provide exceptional stability while still permitting excellent maneuverability. The Ioffe
has an ice-strengthened hull and a maximum cruising speed in open water of 14.5 knots. She accommodates 96 guests and has been refitted and refurbished in recent years to enhance guests' comfort and the caliber of on-board facilities.
2016 Itineraries, Dates, & Fees
Please click on the dates below to see the specific dates, fees, map, itinerary, inclusions, and exclusions.
Baffin Island: Jewel of the Arctic
Baffin Island is one of the last great wilderness regions on the planet and the focus of this outstanding expedition. From Iqaluit, on Frobisher Bay, we explore up the wild east coast of Baffin Island discovering the deep fjords, soaring mountains and immense glacial systems. We are constantly on the lookout for variety of birdlife and marine wildlife- including polar bear- the icon of the north. Visits to remote Inuit provide a fascinating glimpse into the daily life of the people who call this wilderness their home. The history of early exploration is ever present as we visit outposts and important historical sites. This is remote, small ship expedition cruising at its best.
Canadian Maritimes: Fins & Fiddles
The islands of Canada’s Atlantic Maritime Provinces feature a rich and diverse culture, found in small fishing communities and remote out ports. The area is well known for its Celtic traditions and the music and cuisine of the region is celebrated the world over. Historically, this is one of the most fascinating places in North America. Our exploration of the Maritimes starts and ends in the historical town of Louisburg, on Cape Breton Island. The region also offers a staggering abundance of wildlife, including prolific birdlife, numerous seal and whale species and we even encounter the fabled ponies of Sable Island. Beaches and lagoons provide viewing opportunities for numerous shorebirds and as we cruise towards the mouth of the St Lawrence River we hope to see the great baleen whales such as the humpback, minke and blue whale - as well as grey and harp seals. These rich feeding grounds act as a magnet for wildlife. A ship-based exploration allows us to visit places that are otherwise inaccessible or difficult to get to for land-based visitors and we achieve this all in a manageable time frame.
Classic Northwest Passage (Eastbound)
This iconic voyage explores the remote Northwest Passage and stunning fjords of the Baffin Island coastline. We follow in the footsteps of the early Arctic explorers such as Franklin, Amundsen and Larsen, exploring the archipelago of islands and channels that create Canada’s high Arctic region. This is the home of the polar bear, the barren ground grizzly bear, musk ox, caribou and walrus and we journey through the wild Canadian north aboard the celebrated expedition ship, Akademik Ioffe. Wildlife is a major draw card of the expedition but there is plenty of historical interest and the stories of that ill-fated expedition by Sir John Franklin nearly 170 years ago is central to our voyage. Franklin made his last heroic foray into the Arctic in 1845 with two ships and 129 men, never to be heard from again. The fate of the expedition remained a mystery – until September 2014 – when one of the vessels, HMS Erebus, was discovered in a remarkable state of preservation in the frigid waters of Victoria Strait. The find is undoubtedly one of the great archeological discoveries of the last 100 years and has been likened to the discovery of Tutankhamen’s tomb. This is small ship expedition cruising at its best.
Northwest Passage: Wildlife Encounter
This new expedition brings the wildlife of the Arctic into sharp focus. We cross and re-cross the nutrient-rich waters of Lancaster Sound and the abundance of food makes this region of the Arctic a wildlife hotspot. A visit to the one of the largest migratory bird sanctuaries in the world, frequent sightings of seals, beluga whale and narwhal provide great interest for wildlife lovers. A highlight will be sightings of polar bear and we hope to encounter these iconic hunters of the north at a number of special locations we have discovered over the years. Frequent shore landings in the company of expert guides allow us to explore on foot, observing wildlife, Arctic flora, and points of historical interest - including a number of former Hudson's Bay Company outposts. All of this is set against a backdrop of epic mountain scenery, sweeping glaciers and skies that go on forever. This is an ideal introduction to small ship expedition cruising in the remote Canadian Arctic.
Northwest Passage: Finding Franklin
This outstanding new expedition showcases the breathtaking wilderness of Canada's High Arctic. Wildlife is another major draw card and throughout the voyage we visit one of the largest migratory bird sanctuaries in Canada and a number of locations where encounters with polar bears are frequent. Sightings of seals, whales and narwhal are also common. However, the principal focus of our expedition is the history of Arctic exploration and early quest for the Northwest Passage. The story of Sir John Franklin's expedition from the mid-18th century and the enduring mystery of their fate has gripped the imagination and intrigue of Canadian's - and history lovers - for more than 150 years. A new chapter in this tale was written when in September 2014, a joint government/ private expedition located the final resting place of one of two of Franklin's 'lost ships' - HMS Erebus, in the frigid waters of the Victoria Strait. We navigate our modern expedition vessel through these very same waters and wonder about the fate of these early Arctic explorers. Throughout the journey, we enjoy on-board presentations by polar experts and fascinating shore excursions to many key historic sites.