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Classic Northwest Passage and Baffin Island (Akademik Ioffe)

This iconic voyage explores Canada's remote Northwest Passage and the stunning fjords of the Baffin Island coastline. We enjoy excellent wildlife encounters, Inuit community visits, exciting navigation, hikes on shore and superb photographic opportunities along the way.

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, Muskox, caribou and walrus and we journey through the wild Canadian north aboard our celebrated ice-rated expedition ship

Wildlife is a major draw card of our expedition, but there is plenty of historical interest and the stories of that ill-fated expedition by Sir John Franklin more than 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 archaeological 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.

Please note: this voyage starts from Edmonton on a special charter flight. The voyage ends with a charter flight to Ottawa. Flights are not included in your rate.

20 August, 2019 to 01 September, 2019 Make a booking request for Classic Northwest Passage and Baffin Island (Akademik Ioffe), departing on 20 August, 2019

Prices quoted here are often dependent on currency fluctuations. Please check with (01432 507450 or info@small-cruise-ships.com) for the very latest price, which may well be cheaper than the one advertised here.

Triple Share £ 7896 GBP pp (+ Charter Flights. From 1995 USD pp)
Located on deck 3 these cabins feature two lower berths and one upper berth. One lower berth can be converted to a comfortable sofa during the day. Washroom facilities are shared. There is a washbasin in the cabin, a writing desk and chair and ample storage for all cabin occupants. These cabins are efficient and well-appointed with two portholes with the option to open one. One triple cabin is reserved for female guests, the other is for male guests. Triple cabins can also be booked by groups of three travelling together.
view cabin photo
Twin Semi Private £ 9318 GBP pp (+ Charter Flights. From 1995 USD pp)
Located on deck 4 these cabins have two lower berths, one of which can be converted to a sofa during the day. These cabins have tall wardrobes with internal shelving for storage, a writing desk, chair, bookshelf, and a window that can be opened. Facilities are semi-private – meaning you share the washroom with the adjacent cabin.
view cabin photo
Twin Private £ 11056 GBP pp (+ Charter Flights. From 1995 USD pp)
Located on decks 4 and 5 these spacious. Well-appointed cabins feature two lower berths (one which can be converted to a sofa during the day), with private washroom facilities (sink, shower, toilet and bathroom cabinet). There are tall wardrobes with internal shelving for storage, a writing desk, chair, bookshelf, and a window that can be opened.
view cabin photo
Superior £ 12083 GBP pp (+ Charter Flights. From 1995 USD pp)
Onboard Akademik Ioffe these very large cabins are located on deck 6, and feature two lower berths, a sofa, writing desk and chair, ample storage and private washroom facilities. All cabins have a window that can be opened. These cabins provide great access to the outer observation decks and ship’s bridge.
view cabin photo
Shakleton Suite £ 13268 GBP pp (+ Charter Flights. From 1995 USD pp)
Located on decks 4 and 5 these cabins are separated into two spacious rooms, one that is ideal for relaxation with a sofa (convertible to bed), large table, writing desk, chair, ample storage and a large window that can be opened. A separate private bedroom has a double berth with upgraded linen/pillows, night light, private facilities, iPad loaded with region specific material, mini stereo, capsule coffee maker, fully stocked mini bar, iPod alarm clock with audio line.
view cabin photo
One Ocean Suite £ 14769 GBP pp (+ Charter Flights. From 1995 USD pp)
Located on deck 5 this cabin is separated into two very spacious rooms. A spacious lounge areas is perfect for relaxation and features a sofa (convertible to bed), large table, writing desk, ample storage, plus large pictures windows overlooking the bow (forward facing) that can be opened. The separate bedroom features a double bed with upgraded linen/ pillows, night light, and windows over the port side of the ship. The bathroom has a bathtub and shower. There is also a region specific iPad, mini stereo, capsule coffee maker, fully stocked mini bar, iPod alarm clock with audio line and several arms chairs.
view cabin photo

Classic Northwest Passage and Baffin Island (Akademik Ioffe) itinerary:

show reverse itinerary
DAY 1 / EDMONTON (ALBERTA) TO CAMBRIDGE BAY (NUNAVUT)
We depart Edmonton this morning on our special charter flight to Cambridge Bay. Located on the southern shores of Victoria Island, today it is a centre for hunting, trapping and fishing. Upon arrival, enjoy a walking tour of the town and board our expedition ship in the afternoon. After settling in to our cabins and exploring the ship, we meet our expedition team and fellow passengers. Excitement is in the air as we enjoy a welcome cocktail and cast off, bound for the fabled Northwest Passage.
DAY 2 / VICTORY POINT, KING WILLIAM ISLAND
As we chart a course into the Northwest Passage, our onboard presentation series begins, and the legend of Sir John Franklin and his ‘lost expedition’ starts to unravel. We aim to visit Victory Point, travelling very near the actual location of the wreck of HMS Erebus & the HMS Terror.
DAY 3 / CONNINGHAM BAY
This morning we arrive at Conningham Bay on the shore of Prince of Wales Island. Here, in the heart of the Northwest Passage we hope to encounter one of the most remarkable wildlife sites in the Arctic. This is a known hotspot for polar bears who come here to feast on Beluga whales, often caught in the rocky shallows at the entrance to the bay during low tide. It is not unusual to find the shoreline littered with whale skeletons – and very healthy looking polar bears!
DAY 4 /BELLOT STRAIT AND FORT ROSS
Today we transit the narrow passage of Bellot Strait – a channel separating northerly Somerset Island from continental North America. The aim is to enter at slack tide if possible, in order to avoid a current that roars through the passage at more than seven knots during the peak flow. The mixing of waters in this strait provides an abundant food source for marine mammals and we keep our eyes peeled for harp seals, bearded seals and even polar bears. The skill of the Captain, Officers and capabilities of the ship becomes apparent during this exciting day of Arctic navigation. The historic site of Fort Ross, located at the southern end of Somerset Island, is a former Hudson’s Bay Company fur trading outpost. Fascinating archaeological sites nearby tell a story of more than a thousand years of habitation by the Inuit and their predecessors.
DAY 5 / BEECHEY ISLAND
Beechey Island holds great historic importance on our journey through the Northwest Passage. It is here that Sir John Franklin’s ill-fated expedition spent its last ‘comfortable’ winter in 1845 before disappearing into the icy vastness, sparking an incredible series of search expeditions that last almost three decades. A trip ashore at Beechey Island to visit the grave markers on a remote windswept beach, gives one pause to wonder on the bravery (or foolhardiness) of these pioneering explorers, as they sought a way through the barren, frozen landscape. This is a thrilling location for history buffs and for many it will be the defining moment of our expedition.
DAY 6 / DEVON ISLAND
Cruising the coastline of Devon Island, we are now in the waters of Lancaster Sound – a rich, bio-diverse region often referred to as the wildlife ‘super highway’ of the Arctic. We plan to visit the old Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) outpost at Dundas Harbour, on Devon Island. Musk ox and Arctic hare are sometimes sighted in the vicinity and there are some great hiking options in the area.
DAY 7 / MITTIMATALIK (POND INLET)
We sight the wild north coast of Baffin Island and navigate through Navy Board Inlet. The vast landscapes of Sirmilik National Park tower surround us as we approach the remote Inuit community of Mittimatalik (Pond Inlet). We are welcomed ashore and visit the Natinnak Centre, where a fascinating cultural exhibit showcases aspects of daily life, culture and history of the people of the north. Inuit carvings, jewellery and other traditional craft is on display and purchasing such items from the local artisans is a great way to support the community.
DAY 8 / GIBBS FJORD
This morning we enter the spectacular Gibbs Fjord with towering cliffs all around us. Our expedition ship will seem dwarfed by the giant peaks and snowy glaciers as we cruise slowly along the dark waters. One past guest was known to liken Gibbs Fjord to a 'scene from a Lord of the Rings' - it's hard to disagree!
DAY 9 / ISABELLA FJORD
Isabella Bay (Niginaniq) is an important summer habitat and feeding area for endangered bowhead whales. These remarkable marine mammals are able to break sea ice with the crown of their head. The area also includes a shallow shelf at the entrance to the bay that provides protection for bowheads from predatory orca whales. Polar bears, ringed seals, Canada geese, snow geese and narwhal are also found in and around the area.
DAY 10 / SUNSHINE FJORD
Sunshine Fjord straddles the Arctic Circle. This location offers terrific hiking opportunities and we have a number of great routes in mind. You may wish to take the extended hike, gaining some real elevation and offering wonderful views of our surroundings. Or choose to take the less strenuous option along the shoreline. The sheltered waters of the fjord provide the kayakers with great conditions for paddling.
DAY 11 / PANGNIRTUNG
Nestled in the heart of Cumberland Sound and the gateway to Auyuittuq National Park, Pangnirtung is beautifully situated between the mountains and the sea. This remote town is known for its arts and crafts and a visit to the local art gallery is a highlight. In addition, the Angmarlik Visitor Centre has a wonderful interpretive display featuring the lifestyle of the Thule and of the modern Inuit.
DAY 12 / MONUMENTAL ISLAND
Monumental Island is a final highlight and a known location for walrus. We explore by Zodiac along the shoreline looking for these fascinating creatures. Watchful eyes may locate smaller pups within the masses. We sometimes encounter polar bears in this vicinity. This evening we celebrate with a special dinner and reflect on one our voyage across the top of the remote Canadian Arctic.
DAY 13 / IQALUIT DISEMBARKATION – RETURN FLIGHT TO OTTAWA
By morning we are anchored off the beach from Iqaluit – the largest community on Baffin Island. We are transferred to the airport and board our flight to Ottawa where our journey comes to an end. A transfer to a downtown location is provided.
Please Note:
Polar exploration can be unpredictable. Specific sites visited will depend on prevailing weather and ice conditions at the time of sailing. The above itinerary should be read as a ‘guide only’ and may change. The ship’s Captain in conjunction with the Expedition Leader continually review the sailing plan throughout the voyage, making adjustments to the itinerary along the way to take advantage of optimal weather and ice conditions or to maximize our encounters with wildlife. Decades of experience spent exploring these waterways mean we have a large number of outstanding landing sites and zodiac cruising locations to consider, even when the weather conditions may not be ideal. A flexible approach is something we encourage you to bring to the ship.

Classic Northwest Passage and Baffin Island (Akademik Ioffe) reverse itinerary:

show main itinerary
Polar exploration can be unpredictable. Specific sites visited will depend on prevailing weather and ice conditions at the time of sailing. The above itinerary should be read as a ‘guide only’ and may change. The ship’s Captain in conjunction with the Expedition Leader continually review the sailing plan throughout the voyage, making adjustments to the itinerary along the way to take advantage of optimal weather and ice conditions or to maximize our encounters with wildlife. Decades of experience spent exploring these waterways mean we have a large number of outstanding landing sites and zodiac cruising locations to consider, even when the weather conditions may not be ideal. A flexible approach is something we encourage you to bring to the ship.
By morning we are anchored off the beach from Iqaluit – the largest community on Baffin Island. We are transferred to the airport and board our flight to Ottawa where our journey comes to an end. A transfer to a downtown location is provided.
Monumental Island is a final highlight and a known location for walrus. We explore by Zodiac along the shoreline looking for these fascinating creatures. Watchful eyes may locate smaller pups within the masses. We sometimes encounter polar bears in this vicinity. This evening we celebrate with a special dinner and reflect on one our voyage across the top of the remote Canadian Arctic.
Nestled in the heart of Cumberland Sound and the gateway to Auyuittuq National Park, Pangnirtung is beautifully situated between the mountains and the sea. This remote town is known for its arts and crafts and a visit to the local art gallery is a highlight. In addition, the Angmarlik Visitor Centre has a wonderful interpretive display featuring the lifestyle of the Thule and of the modern Inuit.
Sunshine Fjord straddles the Arctic Circle. This location offers terrific hiking opportunities and we have a number of great routes in mind. You may wish to take the extended hike, gaining some real elevation and offering wonderful views of our surroundings. Or choose to take the less strenuous option along the shoreline. The sheltered waters of the fjord provide the kayakers with great conditions for paddling.
Isabella Bay (Niginaniq) is an important summer habitat and feeding area for endangered bowhead whales. These remarkable marine mammals are able to break sea ice with the crown of their head. The area also includes a shallow shelf at the entrance to the bay that provides protection for bowheads from predatory orca whales. Polar bears, ringed seals, Canada geese, snow geese and narwhal are also found in and around the area.
This morning we enter the spectacular Gibbs Fjord with towering cliffs all around us. Our expedition ship will seem dwarfed by the giant peaks and snowy glaciers as we cruise slowly along the dark waters. One past guest was known to liken Gibbs Fjord to a 'scene from a Lord of the Rings' - it's hard to disagree!
We sight the wild north coast of Baffin Island and navigate through Navy Board Inlet. The vast landscapes of Sirmilik National Park tower surround us as we approach the remote Inuit community of Mittimatalik (Pond Inlet). We are welcomed ashore and visit the Natinnak Centre, where a fascinating cultural exhibit showcases aspects of daily life, culture and history of the people of the north. Inuit carvings, jewellery and other traditional craft is on display and purchasing such items from the local artisans is a great way to support the community.
Cruising the coastline of Devon Island, we are now in the waters of Lancaster Sound – a rich, bio-diverse region often referred to as the wildlife ‘super highway’ of the Arctic. We plan to visit the old Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) outpost at Dundas Harbour, on Devon Island. Musk ox and Arctic hare are sometimes sighted in the vicinity and there are some great hiking options in the area.
Beechey Island holds great historic importance on our journey through the Northwest Passage. It is here that Sir John Franklin’s ill-fated expedition spent its last ‘comfortable’ winter in 1845 before disappearing into the icy vastness, sparking an incredible series of search expeditions that last almost three decades. A trip ashore at Beechey Island to visit the grave markers on a remote windswept beach, gives one pause to wonder on the bravery (or foolhardiness) of these pioneering explorers, as they sought a way through the barren, frozen landscape. This is a thrilling location for history buffs and for many it will be the defining moment of our expedition.
Today we transit the narrow passage of Bellot Strait – a channel separating northerly Somerset Island from continental North America. The aim is to enter at slack tide if possible, in order to avoid a current that roars through the passage at more than seven knots during the peak flow. The mixing of waters in this strait provides an abundant food source for marine mammals and we keep our eyes peeled for harp seals, bearded seals and even polar bears. The skill of the Captain, Officers and capabilities of the ship becomes apparent during this exciting day of Arctic navigation. The historic site of Fort Ross, located at the southern end of Somerset Island, is a former Hudson’s Bay Company fur trading outpost. Fascinating archaeological sites nearby tell a story of more than a thousand years of habitation by the Inuit and their predecessors.
This morning we arrive at Conningham Bay on the shore of Prince of Wales Island. Here, in the heart of the Northwest Passage we hope to encounter one of the most remarkable wildlife sites in the Arctic. This is a known hotspot for polar bears who come here to feast on Beluga whales, often caught in the rocky shallows at the entrance to the bay during low tide. It is not unusual to find the shoreline littered with whale skeletons – and very healthy looking polar bears!
As we chart a course into the Northwest Passage, our onboard presentation series begins, and the legend of Sir John Franklin and his ‘lost expedition’ starts to unravel. We aim to visit Victory Point, travelling very near the actual location of the wreck of HMS Erebus & the HMS Terror.
We depart Edmonton this morning on our special charter flight to Cambridge Bay. Located on the southern shores of Victoria Island, today it is a centre for hunting, trapping and fishing. Upon arrival, enjoy a walking tour of the town and board our expedition ship in the afternoon. After settling in to our cabins and exploring the ship, we meet our expedition team and fellow passengers. Excitement is in the air as we enjoy a welcome cocktail and cast off, bound for the fabled Northwest Passage.
* = Indicative
Map for Classic Northwest Passage and Baffin Island (Akademik Ioffe)
Akademik Ioffe, the ship servicing Classic Northwest Passage and Baffin Island (Akademik Ioffe)

Akademik Ioffe

Vessel Type: Expedition

Length: 117 metres

Passenger Capacity: 96

Built: 1989

 

Designed for polar research, this ship is modern, comfortable, safe and ice-strengthened. From small group sessions to briefings for all passengers, we have public spaces onboard the ship ideally suited for each and every need. A separate bar and lounge, as well as a library provide ideal places to sit and relax or catch up on some reading. A selection of movies and documentaries can also be watched in the lounge. 

Enjoy the sumptuous meals prepared for you by our culinary team in our dining room, which can host all clients in a single seating with ample room. 

Other facilities include the theatre style presentation room, gift-shop, fitness room, massage room, sauna and plunge pool. 

Comfort and Stability

Designed and built as a scientific research vessel in Finland, the One Ocean Navigator is very stable, quiet and comfortable. Refitting and refurbishment over the last five years oriented towards her role as an expedition cruise vessel has greatly improved the comfort and calibre of the facilities aboard the ship. 

There is little if any ambient noise from engines or machinery and with most of the public spaces on a separate deck from the majority of the cabins there is little issue with passenger-generated noise. 

Vessel stabilization is gained through a combination of internal stabilizers and a built-in ballast trimming system. The rapid transfer of ballast between special trimming tanks reduces vessel motion and coupled with a modern hull design gives us a stable platform for science and exploration. 

Bar

Having undergone an extensive renovation in 2011 to expand the size and comfort of the bar, we have found the bar to be one of the best gathering places onboard.   Located aft of the lobby on the main deck the bar is easily accessible to all passengers.  With outside views through portholes and a door out onto the main deck, the bar is a comfortable place to enjoy a fresh fruit smoothie before breakfast, grab a bottle of water before an excursion or enjoy a cocktail before dinner. A stereo with MP3 player dock and a monitor showing live video footage of the view forward from the bridge at all times can be found in the bar.  

Bridge

The ship’s bridge is located on Deck 6 and is open to passengers virtually 24-hours a day. The officer on watch and a helmsman can always be found on duty on the bridge and it is also the best place to meet the master of the vessel. The chart room is a fascinating place to visit and expedition staff or ship’s crew are often available to answer questions about the equipment and instruments found on the bridge. 

In addition, the bridge is an excellent place to sightsee and view wildlife from. Binoculars and wildlife identification guidebooks can be found on the bridge and during much of the day, an expedition guide will be watching for wildlife from the bridge.

Communications

The ship carries all required communications and navigation facilities and equipment. An Iridium satellite communication system is in place for both voice and personal email use. Equipped with Inmarsat telephone and fax equipment as well as a variety of shortwave, SSB, and VHF radio systems, she also carries fully current GMDSS (Global Marine Distress and Safety System) equipment.   

Dining Room

With buffet breakfasts, buffet and/or plated lunches and plated dinners, the dining room can seat all passengers in one sitting. Attractively lit and comfortably furnished, it is served by our ship’s stewards and hosted by our Adventure Concierges. Our culinary team includes four chefs who are creative and outstanding in their commitment to quality, outstanding taste, and healthy preparation. 

To keep up to date with the view from the bridge, live streaming video can be viewed on a television screen in the dining room during meals. A small lounge can be found in the forward part of the dining room along with a small bar used during meal service.

Elevator

A lift (or elevator) services Deck 1 through 5, allowing access to and from the presentation room on Deck 1. The bridge and cabins on Deck 6 are not accessible by lift. Access to the zodiacs is by way of gangway stairs from the main deck (Deck 3).

Gift Shop

The gift shop carries a supply of souvenirs and sundries and is open most days of the voyage and can be opened at anytime for your convenience. From warm hats and gloves to polar books and t-shirts, the gift shop has something for everyone.  In addition a small selection of toiletries and sundries can be purchased from the gift shop.

Fitness & Fitness Room

Our onboard fitness program allows even the most dedicated enthusiast or those interested in starting a new regime, the opportunity to keep up or start their individual or group fitness. The fitness room onboard the vessel has a set of free weights, exercise bike and rowing machine. Exercise mats and balls are also available in the fitness room, as is a stereo with an MP3 player dock. 

Wellness Centre

With our registered massage therapist, fitness trainer, yoga instructor (on select departures) sauna and hot water spa,  your mind and body will be rejuvenated and ready for either the next round of activities or a chance to curl up in a cozy spot in front of our fireplace. Having the option to start and end each day with healthy and whole food options, provide the base for your system to be running optimally. 

Infirmary

Located on Deck 5, the infirmary can cater to basic medical needs. Although containing an impressive quantity of medical supplies, passengers with pre-existing medical conditions requiring medication or supplies should come self-reliant. We will carry an English speaking emergency physician on every voyage.  If there is a need to consult the ship’s doctor and receive medications from the infirmary, passengers will be invoiced for the cost of any items supplied.

Library

The library is located on Deck 5 and has wonderful forward viewing windows. A quiet part of the ship containing a large conference table, seating for about 18 and numerous polar reference books, the library is a great place to relax and learn about the region being visited. Just outside the library, there is additional seating in wingback chairs, another great place to sit and read. 

The library has a slide screen and whiteboard and is often used for small group focus sessions and discussions. 

Lounge

Adjacent to the bar on the main deck, the lounge has a piano, television, board games and puzzles and is connected to our popular bar. Outside where a covered viewing and seating area is located you can enjoy the beautiful vistas of Antarctica. Be sure to take a cozy blanket with you from the lounge while you go out to sit and enjoy the view from the starboard side of the ship. 

A 24-hour coffee and tea station can be found in the lounge, which also serves as an overflow area for the bar during Happy Hour and for after dinner card games. Of course, what lounge would be complete without a fireplace?

Mud Room

An expedition requires expedition gear and a place to keep it. Our passenger mudroom is the ideal spot to prepare for excursions and keep your gumboots and foul weather gear separate from your cabin. Shelves on the aft wall of the mudroom help in the storage of gumboots and a pegboard is in place for drying gloves.

The mudroom is on the main deck, between the reception area and the bar and we use this direct access to outside for boarding the zodiacs via the gangway.

Presentation Room

Our presentation room can be found on Deck 1, the lowest and most stable deck on our vessel. With seating for all passengers and elevator access, the presentation room is equipped with theatre style seating and modern multi-media presentation system. 

Sauna, Hot Water Spa and Polar Salt Water Plunge Pool

Following a day of excursions, a sauna with complimentary aromatic oils can be a wonderful way to unwind. Located on Deck 5, the sauna and adjacent plunge pool is open each afternoon and evening. The sauna seats approximately six people and the plunge pool can be filled with polar water on demand or for special events. There is a change room with towels and a shower room between the sauna and the plunge pool.

Top Deck and Observatory

The top deck enjoys 360 degree views around the ship. A great place to enjoy calm sea days and spectacular Antarctic scenery, the top deck also has a small observatory where a spotting scope is stored as well as warm blankets and a comfortable bench. 

Bring your travel mug with you to the top deck on pleasant afternoons and our Adventure Concierges will bring carafes of steaming hot chocolate or other hot beverages to you. Refill your travel mug as often as you like.

Multimedia Room

Our multimedia room contains Apple Macintosh computers with the latest software for photo management and manipulation. External hard drives, a battery recharging station (110 V and 220 V powerbars for plugging in your charger), multi-card readers and a selection of cables for connecting various cameras to the computer can be found here. Manage your rapidly expanding polar image library, burn DVD’s or prepare slide shows to entertain fellow passengers or family at home. In addition we have available a portable 4”x6” photo printer to print out copies of some of your favourite photos.  

We do recommend that you bring your own recharger cables and download cables, as well as spare memory cards for your camera. 

 

Cabin layout for Akademik Ioffe
• Outstanding wildlife observation on shore, zodiac cruising and from the ship

• Historic locations of early Arctic exploration

• Cultural interaction and understanding through visits to remote Inuit communities

• Best possibility to observe the majestic Aurora Borealis - Northern Lights!

• On this trip: Zodiac excursions, Onshore hiking options, Wildlife observation, Photographer in Residence, Sea kayaking available, Whale watching, Inuit community visits, Educational presentations, Active Cruising & Wellness
Enquire now about Classic Northwest Passage and Baffin Island (Akademik Ioffe)

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