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Highlights
  • Visit some of Canada's largest and most remote national parks in celebration of Canada's sesquicentennial.
  • Enjoy a once in a lifetime opportunity as the first expedition voyagers to snorkel the wreck of the HMS Erebus.
  • Cruise the Ilulissat Icefjord via zodiac, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and home to the world's fastest-moving glacier.

As long ago as the Age of Discovery, European explorers dreamed of a northern sea route to the Pacific. This “Northwest Passage” would not be successfully transited, though, until the legendary adventurer Roald Amundsen did it between 1903 and 1906 — spending nearly two of those years immobilized by ice. Soon, the long-hoped-for possibility of using the passage as a shipping shortcut may become reality due to climate change. Now is the time to sail this storied route and experience the otherworldly Arctic environment on an expedition aboard an ice-rated small ship.

Countries
Cities & Attractions
Flights & Transport
  • Internal airfare and ground transport
Ship Name
  • Ocean Endeavour

30
Road Scholar Travel Reviews & Ratings
87% Recommend

4.5 out of 5
Excellent 23 Great 3 Average 1 Disappointing 1 Terrible 2
Value
4.5 Guide
4.6 Activities
4.5 Lodging
4.3 Transportation
4.4 Meals
4.3
The Legendary Northwest Passage: An Arctic Expedition

No reviews yet for this trip. Browse other reviews below for Road Scholar .

K

Does Not Recommend

Road Scholar Owes My Mom A Huge Apology and Refund. Highly advise AGAINST using them. May 2018

1.0
  • Value 1.0
  • Guide 1.0
  • Activities 1.0
  • Lodging 1.0
  • Transportation 1.0
  • Meals 1.0
Let me preface this story with some background about myself: I backpacked through most of Europe by myself when I was studying abroad in Ireland. I suffered through horrendous bus rides, getting kicked out of seats on trains, sleeping in questionable hostels, and going weeks without being able to really do laundry. I know how crappy it can be to actually get from one place to another, and how worth it is to suffer through all of that just to lay eyes on something magnificent.

And yet, Road Scholar has, without a doubt, managed to give me the single worst travel experience I've ever had in my entire life, and we didn't even make it off the ground. I would never, ever, EVER recommend them to anyone looking to go anywhere, and as far as I'm concerned, Road Scholar needs to seriously reconsider their travel-making procedures and give my mother a huge apology and refund. (Also, I'm only in my twenties, so I have a lot of years ahead of me to make referrals.)

It all started with Road Scholar not getting us flights. We claimed our spot on a trip to the Lake region in Northern Italy, but no one ever called us back about any travel arrangements. It appeared we were on the trip IN Italy, but no one had bothered to make any arrangements to get us there. My mother called and left messages, emailed people, and the only response we got was that our flight should be booked at some point in early May (when our trip was set to start on May 22). Road Scholar urges people to book their flights through their preferred travel agency, which is who didn't call us back. Road Scholar, to market themselves as educational tourism rather than shallow "I just want to see things" tourism, partners up with different educational institutions, and ours was through Trinity College. The director of the Italian programs called us asking for our travel information, since she didn't have it yet. Interesting news to us. We were then told that we could make travel arrangements of our own (even though we were paying Road Scholar to do it for us) and then inform the program of our travel plans and how we were getting to our hotel. So we started to investigate making our own plans, when someone finally called us back saying that they were taking care of our travel arrangements, and they "didn't know why we hadn't had them made for us already." The director of the program was happy to hear this, because the Lake region of Italy is not as easily accessible as other areas.

We asked for upgraded seats because my mom has had both of her knees replaced, and while that doesn't inhibit her in the slightest from being active, it limits where she can sit on planes. In a cramped regular economy seat with no leg room on an international flight that was going to last 8-10 hours, she wouldn't have been able to walk off the plane because of how her knees would cramp up. But they said they could make the arrangements (which is also advertised on their website) so that was that. We got our itinerary, accommodations, and were all set. We were booked through United and Lufthansa (neither of which either of us will EVER book through again), so I downloaded the United app onto my iPhone so I could check us in and make sure we had mobile copies of our boarding passes in addition to the paper ones my mom printed out. We were all set to fly from Cincinnati to Washington D.C., from D.C. to Frankfurt, and from Frankfurt down to Verona where we would be meeting up with the group -- which, by the way, we never received any information regarding where the group was meeting, the transportation to the lake resort, etc. Nothing. Just "after you get there" stuff.

Then this morning, I woke up to a notification from United Airlines (and a text message alert that I had set up) saying that our flight to D.C. had been cancelled due to weather. Obviously I'm not blaming Road Scholar for that. What I am holding Road Scholar accountable for is what happened next: my mom called the Emergency Hotline (which is a recording -- and I HIGHLY recommend that they change this, because when I studied abroad, we had two emergency hotlines, both of which were always answered by real human beings, one for anything happening in the United States, and the other for the program, which was a different number for each location and a direct line to one of the program directors on the ground in the country you were actually in). We left a voicemail, someone named Mike called us back, and he was an absolute asshole. When you book your flight through a travel agency/group travel organization, if anything happens to your flight, it is the THEIR responsibility to take care of it. We were told by Road Scholar, and it's available on their website: "When you book your airfare through Road Scholar, we're there to help you in case of any emergencies." When Mike called us back and we told him that our flight to D.C. had been cancelled, he told us that he couldn't look up any other flights (on both United and any other airlines) for us to potentially get on to get to D.C for our transatlantic flight. Instead, he told us to call United ourselves and to go to the airport and talk to the desk agent. I then ended up on the phone (and on hold) the entire drive to the airport, which resulted in nothing because tons of flights had been cancelled due to airline politics and weather. We finally got to the desk agent at the airport, had a hell of a time getting rebooked on another flight, and weren't able to get the upgraded seats that we paid extra money for. When we called Road Scholar and Mike back to ask if during the course of our day when we would be traveling (and unable to make phone calls) he would call Lufthansa to at least make the airline aware of our need for better seating due to my mother's knee replacements, he was unhelpful and rude, at first attempting to refuse calling on our behalf and finally agreeing to, but only after repeatedly telling us "there's no guarantee of those seats" (something we definitely understood because we're not stupid).

Our rebooked flight wasn't set to leave until 7:45 PM tonight, putting us in Verona at 4:05 PM the next day (4 hours after the group transfer to the hotel), so we returned home instead of waiting around the airport for 12 hours. We got on both United and Lufthansa's websites and discovered that not only had our original itineraries not been removed, we had been double booked, one for a flight out of North Carolina to Munich through Delta, and another out of D.C. (the 7:45 PM flight) which had a 23 hour layover in Munich. A call to Road Scholar resulted in us being told that we had to contact the airlines. My mother was on the phone, talking to either United representatives or Lufthansa representatives, from about 9:30 AM to 2:00 PM. We were told we had reservations but no tickets, told we had tickets but couldn't see the numbers, told there were seats available for us to get upgraded to but we would have to try to get the desk agent in D.C. to arrange that for us, told that there was no guarantee we could get those seats, and more. It was incredible the amount of bureaucratic bullshit we had to put up with, especially since each airline wouldn't take any responsibility for us getting the seats we paid for and on a new flight, telling us "we'd have to talk to the other company about that." We finally called Road Scholar to see if there was anything more they could do, who encountered the same mess we already had, and all they did was eventually advise us to go back to the airport (a 45 minute drive) and talk to the desk agent to see IF they could put us in the upgraded seats -- ones we had already paid for and my mom couldn't make the trip without!

Then when asked how they would be getting us to our destination in the Lake region (which is not an easy place to get to, as I looked up the train and bus schedules myself, because - remember - I have tons of experience at this point traveling on the ground across Europe), they wouldn't outright say what our plans would be, which could've been anything from picking us up in the airport in a car, giving us a damn rental to drive ourselves, or simply paying for tickets and expecting us to haul all our luggage from the airport to the shuttle to the train station in Verona, take the 2+ hour train to a town an hour away from our destination, have to catch a bus to the actual town we were supposed to be in, and then walk the rest of the way there. Seeing what all happened, I would bet it would've been the latter, which isn't a problem for someone like me, but is an issue for someone like my mom.

The moral of the story here is that my mom and I shouldn't have had to be on the phone with anyone other than Road Scholar, PERIOD. Seeing as we paid well over $10,000 for this trip, the minute the flight was cancelled, Road Scholar should've called us to let us know that they would be making other arrangements for us to get to our trip in the Lake region of Italy. THEY should've been the ones on the phone, dealing with the airline bureaucrats, working their hardest to get us any combination of flights to get us to Italy in the seats that we paid for. Or, if it really came down to it, they should've made arrangements for us to be on this trip at another point in time, offered us another excursion in its place, or simply given us a refund. Instead, they didn't want to do the jobs that we paid them to do, and we were the ones that had to take time out of our day, which was already scheduled to be a hectic and stressful time because traveling is simply just that, to do Road Scholar's job. They didn't look out for us one single bit and completely and utterly RUINED what was supposed to have been a wonderful trip for me and my mom.

My mother has an adventurous and curious soul and hasn't gotten to go to Europe the way she always wanted to. Since I graduated college, my mother suggested taking a mother-daughter trip. This was supposed to be incredibly special for the both of us, getting to go somewhere new together (I hadn't explored Northern Italy much and that's where we decided to go), learning about the food and the culture, and bonding over all the amazing things we were going to be able to do. I think my mom was even more excited about this trip than I was, voraciously reading all the required/recommended reading, practicing Italian in her room so she could order correctly at restaurants, not giving up when we hit little bumps in the road along the way. Instead, we have been nothing but doubtful at best in the entire planning of this trip, and deeply disappointed and angered at worst. I will never again recommend Road Scholars to anyone looking to go on group trips. Instead, I will steer people away and recommend that they either find a better travel agency, book the trip themselves, or go through Rick Steve's program.

Road Scholar should issue my mother a refund and an apology or risk being sued.
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Operator Road Scholar

S

Does Not Recommend

They take advantage of the elderly May 2018

1.0
  • Value 1.0
  • Guide 4.0
  • Activities 1.0
  • Lodging 1.0
  • Transportation 1.0
  • Meals 1.0
I had high hopes for Road scholar. However, when I was diagnosed with cancer I got no sympathy from Road Scholar. The agents and management kept saying you should have purchased insurance. But the insurance was extremely expensive and would not have covered the cancellation fee either. I ended up attending anyways because I didn't want to lose my money. I felt sick the entire time and could barely complete the activities. The group leader was wonderful. But the program was very strict and I felt that they over charged for everything. They demonstrated shocking behavior for a non profit that is supposed to be all about education and supporting the elderly. Yet they constantly are sending catalogs and pushing expensive programs. I highly recommend taking your money elsewhere. They do not respect their customers and only care about money. They took advantage of a cancer patient and according to the others on my trip this is common.
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Operator Road Scholar

S

Does Not Recommend

A BIG DISAPPOINTMENT August 2017

3.0
  • Value 3.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 3.0
  • Lodging 4.0
  • Transportation 2.0
  • Meals 3.0
I would have enjoyed this trip much more if I felt I was being treated as an adult, the educated, enthusiastic traveler that I am.
Unfortunately, I took a fall and broke my arm near the end of the trip. I was shocked at the very insolent, uncaring attitude of Road Scholar. I received two calls from the insurance program my husband was encouraged to pay for for the trip (we usually use Travel Guard who is great). Both calls were very negative. Neither expressed concern about my condition and both apparently had called to state that ROAD SCHOLAR
WOULD NOT PAY FOR ANYTHING! WOW! A WAKEUP CALL FROM HELL. I WILL BE SHOUTING THIS FROM THE ROOFTOPS SO NO ONE ELSE
HAS THIS EXPERIENCE. DO NOT PURCHASE ROAD SCHOLAR INSURANCE -- IT IS A BOONDOGGLE!
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Operator Road Scholar

LG

Does Not Recommend

Don't go! March 2017

2.0
  • Guide 1.0
  • Activities 4.0
  • Lodging 1.0
  • Meals 1.0
  • Value 2.0
  • Transportation 2.0
I took a four day bridge class at Jekyll Island Club Hotel. The class was mediocre. And I came home with over 50 BED BUG BITES! Please beware.

Operator Road Scholar

TCtssvawmc

Recommends

Excellent coverage of major cities and Guizhou Province January 2017

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
Road Scholar (also known as Elderhostel) offers hundreds of tours worldwide, using local tour companies, sometimes universities. I have taken RS tours to Africa, China, and France and look forward to more. This was my first "tour" of China, but my 20th visit, with the rest on business. Our guide, Mei Mei, was one of the finest I've seen on tours. We started with Beijing and continued to Xian and then to Guizhou Province for a week in this fascinating area, which was new to me. We were able to meet the people in the villages, thanks to our guide, and enjoyed the chance to see and photograph such a variety of places in China. Hotels were excellent and appropriate to this type of tour (usually centrally located and very fine). Meals were family style and always good. Road Scholar makes its tours educational and doesn't push shopping as so many commercial ones do. Touring in China is very safe. You do have a lot of walking and RS tells you this in the tour, but it seems that a great deal of the walking is in those huge airports! I recommend Road Scholar and always turn to their catalogs to choose my next trip.
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Operator Road Scholar

Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive, Check-in, Orientation, Edmonton

Meals: Dinner

Accommodation: Executive Royal Hotel Leduc-Nisku at Edmonton Airport

Activity note: Hotel check-in available from 4:00 p.m.

Afternoon: Orientation: The Group Leader will greet everyone and lead introductions. We will review the up-to-date program schedule and any changes, discuss roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer questions. Members of the ship’s staff will join us for dinner each night, reflect on the day’s events, and discuss what’s to come the next day. Many are active researchers with expertise in areas such as history, paleontology, geology, and biology. In the evenings, rotating members of the staff will offer educational activities and presentations on a variety of topics. At each expedition port of call, you will have a choice of field trips that will vary by location such as nature activities (minimal walking), short walks (about .5 - 1.5 miles), longer walks (2-3 miles) and photography sessions led by ship’s staff experts. Program activities, schedules, personnel, and indicated distances or times may change due to local circumstances/conditions. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding. Expedition ships — more rugged than traditional sailing vessels — are designed to venture into remote landscapes, enabling us to seek opportunities for getting up close to nature and wildlife. These educational adventures have flexible schedules. The itinerary may change daily based on weather, sailing conditions, and potential wildlife sightings. There may also be serendipitous occasions to experience something unexpected. The ship’s educational staff includes experts with knowledge related to the program theme who will lead field trips and give presentations. The schedule that follows is tentative and a representative outline. Changes in the schedule, including ports of call, can be expected due to weather and other local conditions. Updates will be provided aboard ship.

Dinner: At the hotel, enjoy a plated dinner with beverage options including coffee, tea, water, and a glass of beer or wine. Additional beverages are available for purchase.

Evening: At leisure. Continue getting to know your fellow participants, settle in, and get a good night’s rest for the day ahead.

Day 2: Charter Flight to Kugluktuk, Embark Ocean Endeavour

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: Ocean Endeavour

Activity note: Due to the remote location of the ports, each embarkation and disembarkation will be done via zodiac rafts. Staff will be available for assistance. Flight times are subject to the unpredictable Arctic weather and the vagaries of flight servicing in remote destinations. Delays can, and often do occur. Should you require medication during the day please ensure you keep this with you.

Breakfast: Aboard the charter flight to Kugluktuk.

Morning: Transfer to the airport via motorcoach for our charter flight to Kangerlussuaq on board a 737 aircraft.

Lunch: Aboard the charter flight.

Afternoon: Arrive in Kugluktuk. We'll board a bus and transfer to the Ocean Endeavour for embarkation. Located at the mouth of the Coppermine River, southwest of Victoria Island on the Coronation Gulf, Kugluktuk is the westernmost community in Nunavut. Coppermine reverted to its original Inuinnaqtun name—Kugluktuk, meaning “place of moving waters”—on January 1st, 1996. The Coppermine River itself is designated a Canadian Heritage River for the important role it played as an exploration and fur trade route. Because the tundra is close to the tree line, a variety of wildlife can be viewed in the area, including grizzly bears, wolverines and moose, as well as tundra wildlife, such as musk ox, caribou, foxes, and wolves.

Dinner: Aboard ship we’ll have a 3-course a la carte meal with meat, seafood, and vegetarian options, plus water, coffee, and tea. Additional beverages are available for purchase. The chefs try to incorporate local delicacies when possible. Each night, we’ll be joined by fellow participants and various members of the ship’s staff.

Evening: At leisure. Rotating members of the ship’s staff will offer fun educational activities and presentations on a variety of topics such as history, biology, storytelling, and folk music.

Day 3: Coronation Gulf

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: Ocean Endeavour

Activity note: Zodiac landing; possibility of rough seas; getting in/out of Zodiac with assistance from staff. Walking distances up to 2 miles on uneven and hilly terrain. Each expedition day's schedule is subject to change due to wind/sea conditions. This is done with your safety in mind and we hope you understand that schedule changes are part of travelling aboard an expedition ship in this beautiful but remote part of the world!

Breakfast: Aboard ship, choose from hot and cold buffet offerings.

Morning: Located between Victoria Island and the Arctic coast of mainland Canada, the Coronation Gulf is an extensive body of water that is linked to the Arctic Ocean via the Dolphin and Union Strait on the west and by the Dease Strait and Queen Maud Gulf on the east. We will be exploring the area today making an opportunistic expedition stop.

Lunch: Aboard ship, choose from hot and cold buffet offerings.

Afternoon: Continue to explore Coronation Gulf. The gulf was named in 1821 by John Franklin in honour of the coronation of King George IV. The environment and Inuit cultural history of the region was studied by Rudolph Anderson and Diamond Jenness in 1916 as part of the Canadian Arctic Expedition.

Dinner: Aboard ship.

Evening: At leisure. Enjoy evening activities aboard the Ocean Endeavour.

Day 4: Wreck of the HMS Erebus, Gjoa Haven

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: Ocean Endeavour

Activity note: Zodiac landing; possibility of rough seas; getting in/out of Zodiac with assistance from staff. Walking distances up to 2 miles on uneven and hilly terrain. A dry suit will be provided for those who wish to snorkel.

Breakfast: Aboard ship.

Morning: This morning we'll gather in the onboard meeting space for a lecture from one of the ship's knowledgeable resource staff.

Lunch: Aboard ship.

Afternoon: The HMS Erebus was a Hecla-class bomb vessel, built in Wales in 1826. She was named after the dark region in Hades of Greek mythology and weighed 372 tons. The ship took part in the Ross Expedition from 1839 to 1843, and was abandoned during the legendary Franklin Expedition after becoming icebound during an attempt to locate the fabled Northwest Passage. Her sunken wreck had actually been designated a National Historic Site prior to being located in September of 2014 by a Parks Canada underwater archaeology team. Here we will be the first expedition voyagers allowed to snorkel the wreck, or for those not keen to get in the water, observe the wreck from the newly-constructed observation platform and via an underwater remote operated vehicle (ROV).

Dinner: Aboard ship.

Evening: At leisure. Enjoy evening activities aboard the Ocean Endeavour.

Day 5: Usqsuqtuuq (Gjøa Haven)

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: Ocean Endeavour

Activity note: Zodiac landing; possibility of rough seas; getting in/out of Zodiac with assistance from staff. Walking distances up to 2 miles on uneven and hilly terrain.

Breakfast: Aboard ship.

Morning: In 1903, explorer Roald Amundsen, while looking for the Northwest Passage, sailed through the James Ross Strait and stopped at a natural harbour on the island’s south coast. Unable to proceed due to sea ice, he spent the winters of 1903–04 and 1904–05 at Usqsuqtuuq. While there, he learned Arctic living skills from the local Netsilik Inuit, skills that would later prove invaluable in his Antarctic explorations. He used his ship, Gjøa, as a base for explorations in the summer of 1904, sledding the Boothia Peninsula and travelling to the magnetic North Pole.

Lunch: Aboard ship.

Afternoon: Continue to explore Gjøa Haven, which Roald Amundsen called "the finest little harbour in the world." Although Usqsuqtuuq is becoming more modern, many traditional Inuit activities are still being enjoyed, including throat singing, drum dancing, and hunting.

Dinner: Aboard ship.

Evening: At leisure. Enjoy evening activities aboard the Ocean Endeavour.

Day 6: Peel Sound

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: Ocean Endeavour

Breakfast: Aboard ship.

Morning: As we head north up Peel Sound, we get into serious polar bear country and will be on the lookout for good spotting opportunities. Resource staff will be on deck searching for wildlife and contextualizing the mighty landscape through which we travel. After taking in the views on deck, gather in the onboard meeting space for a lecture from one of the ship's knowledgeable resource staff.

Lunch: Aboard ship.

Afternoon: This afternoon, enjoy a Road Scholar exclusive cocktail party onboard.

Dinner: Aboard ship.

Evening: At leisure. Enjoy evening activities aboard the Ocean Endeavour.

Day 7: Parry Channel

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: Ocean Endeavour

Activity note: Zodiac cruise/landing; possibility of rough seas; getting in/out of Zodiac with assistance from staff. Walking distances up to 2 miles on uneven and hilly terrain.

Breakfast: Aboard ship.

Morning: Parry Channel is named after Arctic explorer William Edward Parry who got as far as Melville Island in 1819 before being blocked by ice at McClure Strait. Running east to west through the Arctic islands, the Parry Channel provides myraid options for expedition stops.

Lunch: Aboard ship.

Afternoon: Continue exploring Parry Channel. Spectacular landscapes create a perfect setting for hiking and exploring the geological diversity of the area.

Dinner: Aboard ship.

Evening: At leisure. Enjoy evening activities aboard the Ocean Endeavour.

Day 8: Qausuittuq National Park

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: Ocean Endeavour

Activity note: Zodiac landing; possibility of rough seas; getting in/out of Zodiac with assistance from staff. Walking distances up to 2 miles on uneven and hilly terrain.

Breakfast: Aboard ship.

Morning: Parks Canada and the Qikiqtani Inuit Association (QIA) worked together with the community of Resolute Bay to create this new national park on Bathurst Island. After a local contest, the name of the park was selected: Qausuittuq means “place where the sun doesn’t rise”. During the winter months, the sun stays below the horizon for several months at a time. It is a traditional Inuit hunting ground, a vast habitat for the endangered Peary caribou, and a pristine example of Arctic wilderness. Ocean Endeavour passengers will be the first expedition vessel to visit the park since its opening in 2015, setting a precedent for travel to this region by exploring the untouched areas and helping to establish new criteria to govern future sustainable land use.

Lunch: Aboard ship.

Afternoon: Continue to explore Qausuittuq National Park. Today represents an unparalleled opportunity to experience the true spirit of expedition, and become a part of Qausuittuq’s future.

Dinner: Aboard ship.

Evening: At leisure. Enjoy evening activities aboard the Ocean Endeavour.

Day 9: Beechey Island

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: Ocean Endeavour

Activity note: Zodiac landing; possibility of rough seas; getting in/out of Zodiac with assistance from staff. Walking distances up to 2 miles on uneven and hilly terrain.

Breakfast: Aboard ship.

Morning: This morning we'll have a guided walk on Beechey Island. In 1845 Sir John Franklin took his expedition of 129 men and two ships into the Wellington Channel. Not a soul returned from the fateful expedition, and it was two years before search parties were launched. Aside from the bodies of the three souls buried here, only relics were found as clues to the disappearance. The three graves found at Beechey Island left no indication as to the fate of the rest of the British party—until recently. In the autumn of 2014, Canadian archaeologists discovered remnants of the HMS Erebus in the frozen waters of the Northwest Passage. And in the fall of 2016, further searching led to the discovery of Franklin’s second ship: the Terror.

Lunch: Aboard ship.

Afternoon: Gather in the onboard meeting space for a lecture from one of the ship's knowledgeable resource staff.

Dinner: Aboard ship.

Evening: At leisure. Enjoy evening activities aboard the Ocean Endeavour.

Day 10: Sirmilik National Park

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: Ocean Endeavour

Activity note: Zodiac cruise/landing; possibility of rough seas; getting in/out of Zodiac with assistance from staff. Walking distances up to 2 miles on uneven and hilly terrain.

Breakfast: Aboard ship.

Morning: Sirmilik National Park, located in the Qikiqtaaluk region of Nunavut, is known as “the place of glaciers” in Inuktitut. It is composed of three areas: most of Bylot Island, Oliver Sound, and Baffin Island’s Borden Peninsula. Beluga whales, seals, walruses, Peary caribou, Arctic foxes, Arctic hares, and wolves all call the area home—and the park is a migratory area for narwhals. A major seabird colony is found in Baillarge Bay and Bylot Island, the latter of which contains a rare colony of greater snow geese. This morning we'll cruise in our fleet of Zodiacs for a close-up look at glaciers, icebergs, and marine life residing off the floe edge.

Lunch: Aboard ship.

Afternoon: Continue to take in the sights at Sirmilik National Park. Time spent on deck today should result in some good wildlife sightings, not to mention unbeatable photographic opportunities. The local glacial activity is of particular note, as are the sedimentary remains they deposits in the sea, leading to stunningly opaque, azure waters. Though the area became a national park in 2001, it continues to be inhabited by the Inuit who continue to hunt and fish the area as their ancestors did.

Dinner: Aboard ship.

Evening: At leisure. Enjoy evening activities aboard the Ocean Endeavour.

Day 11: Mittimatalik (Pond Inlet)

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: Ocean Endeavour

Activity note: Zodiac landing; possibility of rough seas; getting in/out of Zodiac with assistance from staff. Walking distances up to 2 miles on uneven and hilly terrain.

Breakfast: Aboard ship.

Morning: Gather in the onboard meeting space for a lecture from one of the ship's knowledgeable resource staff.

Lunch: Aboard ship.

Afternoon: Arrive to Mittimatalik. This bustling Arctic community is surrounded by one of the most beautiful landscapes in the eastern Arctic. We will have a chance to explore the town, including its excellent library and other facilities. After some free time to explore the town, we will be treated to a cultural presentation from local citizens sharing their culture through demonstrating throat singing and arctic games.

Dinner: Aboard ship.

Evening: At leisure. Enjoy evening activities aboard the Ocean Endeavour.

Day 12: Northeast Baffin Fjords

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: Ocean Endeavour

Activity note: Possibility of rough seas.

Breakfast: Aboard ship.

Morning: Today will be an expedition day in the truest sense as we navigate the fjords of northeast Baffin Island. Baffin’s fjords are striking, affording stunning perspectives on geological processes. The Ocean Endeavour is the perfect vessel for exploring these hidden treasures of the north, as her manoeuvrability and shallow draft allows her to access regions that would be impassable to larger vessels. Staff will be on alert for changing weather and ice conditions and use their judgement as to which route along the coast will be the most spectacular. After taking in the views on deck, gather in the onboard meeting space for a lecture from one of the ship's knowledgeable resource staff.

Lunch: Aboard ship.

Afternoon: Continue to explore North Baffin Island. Our time here will be exploratory in every sense, and we look forward to seeing what the island has to offer us. Gather in the onboard meeting space for a lecture from one of the ship's knowledgeable resource staff.

Dinner: Aboard ship.

Evening: At leisure. Enjoy evening activities aboard the Ocean Endeavour.

Day 13: Auyuittuq National Park

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: Ocean Endeavour

Activity note: Zodiac cruise/landing; possibility of rough seas; getting in/out of Zodiac with assistance from staff. Walking distances up to 2 miles on uneven and hilly terrain.

Breakfast: Aboard ship.

Morning: Located on the Cumberland Peninsula, Auyuittuq National Park (“the land that never melts”) transitioned from a national park reserve to a full national park in 2000. It is home to little vegetation, although plants like mountain avens and saxifrage eke out lives on the barren terrain. Only twelve species of mammal call this remarkable area home due to the exceptionally low vegetation supply.

Lunch: Aboard ship.

Afternoon: Continue exploring Auyuittuq National Park. Auyuittuq is noted for spectacular fjords, glaciers, and ice fields—it is these features that will be the subject of our visit as we take in the area over the course of a expedition day.

Dinner: Aboard ship.

Evening: At leisure. Enjoy evening activities aboard the Ocean Endeavour.

Day 14: East Baffin

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: Ocean Endeavour

Activity note: Zodiac landing; possibility of rough seas; getting in/out of Zodiac with assistance from staff. Walking distances up to 2 miles on uneven and hilly terrain.

Breakfast: Aboard ship.

Morning: Today we will explore the eastern coast of Baffin Island or Qikiqtaaluk, the largest island in Canada and the fifth largest island in the world, with a population of over 11,000.The coastline of Baffin Island is highly indented, particularly on the east and north. Large bays such as those of Frobisher Bay and Cumberland Sound are the largest and cut deeply into the southeast coast. The island's immensity and bewildering coastline confused early explorers and concealed its geography until recent times. Here we'll enjoy a guided walk to explore the rugged coastline.

Lunch: Aboard ship.

Afternoon: It was likely here that one of the great ice sheets that covered most of Canada originated some 18,000 years ago, and ice lingered on the island until almost 1500 years ago; vast areas are still sheathed in ice year-round. Today, the Penny Ice Cap and the Barnes Ice Cap are the largest ice caps on the island they are both remnants of the Laurentide ice sheet that once covered much of the North American continent. Both are currently in a state of retreat. Weather, wildlife, and sea conditions will influence our choice of landings during the days of exploration.

Dinner: Aboard ship.

Evening: At leisure. Enjoy evening activities aboard the Ocean Endeavour.

Day 15: At Sea - Davis Strait

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: Ocean Endeavour

Activity note: Possibility of rough seas.

Breakfast: Aboard ship.

Morning: While crossing Davis Strait towards Greenland, we'll relax and enjoy onboard lectures and opportunities to watch for wildlife from the ship's decks.

Lunch: Aboard ship.

Afternoon: Expect to participate in workshops, engage in discussions and hear expert reflection on the journey thus far, and a look forward to the exciting trip finale that awaits.

Dinner: Aboard ship.

Evening: At leisure. Enjoy evening activities aboard the Ocean Endeavour.

Day 16: Ilulissat Icefjord

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: Ocean Endeavour

Activity note: Zodiac landing; possibility of rough seas; getting in/out of Zodiac with assistance from staff. Walking distances up to 2 miles on uneven and hilly terrain.

Breakfast: Aboard ship.

Morning: Venturing 250km north of the Arctic Circle, we find the stunning coastal community of Illulissat. Illulissat translates literally into "iceberg," and there couldn't be a more fitting name. Our visit will include time in the colorful town and a chance to hike out to an elevated viewpoint where we can observe the great fields of ice.

Lunch: Aboard ship.

Afternoon: Continue to explore Illulissat. We will cruise in our fleets of zodiacs in the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Illulissat Icefjord. The Icefjord is where we find the Sermeq Kujalleq Glacier, one of the most active and fastest moving in the world at 19m per day and calving more than 35 square kilometers of ice annually. The glacier has been the object of scientific attention for 250 years, and, because of its relative ease of accessibility, has significantly added to the understanding of ice-cap glaciology, climate change, and related geomorphic processes.

Dinner: Aboard ship.

Evening: At leisure. Enjoy evening activities aboard the Ocean Endeavour.

Day 17: Itilleq Fjord

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: Ocean Endeavour

Activity note: Zodiac landing; possibility of rough seas; getting in/out of Zodiac with assistance from staff. Walking distances up to 2 miles on uneven and hilly terrain.

Breakfast: Aboard ship.

Morning: The west Greenland coastline is a rich mixture of fishing communities, myriad islands, and complex coastal waterways. We will be making an expedition stop here to explore the Greenlandic landscapes.

Lunch: Aboard ship.

Afternoon: This afternoon, gather in the onboard meeting space for a lecture from one of the ship's knowledgeable resource staff.

Dinner: Aboard ship.

Evening: At leisure. Enjoy evening activities aboard the Ocean Endeavour.

Day 18: Kangerlussuaq, Disembark, Charter Flight to Toronto

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: Sheraton Gateway Hotel in Toronto Int'l Airport

Activity note: Zodiac landing; possibility of rough seas; getting in/out of Zodiac with assistance from staff. Walking distances up to 2 miles on uneven and hilly terrain. Flight times are subject to the unpredictable Arctic weather and the vagaries of flight servicing in remote destinations. Delays can, and often do occur. Should you require medication during the day please ensure you keep this with you.

Breakfast: Aboard ship.

Morning: We will make our journey down spectacular Sondre Stromfjord, and early risers will have a chance to experience its beauty. Sondre Stromfjord is one of the longest fjords in the world and boasts 168 kilometres of superb scenery! Kangerlussuaq, the town at its eastern head, means ‘the big fjord.’ Today we will disembark the Ocean Endeavour and transfer to the airport for our return flights.

Lunch: Boxed lunches available prior to disembarkation.

Afternoon: In flight to Toronto.

Dinner: Served onboard en route to Toronto.

Evening: Evening arrival to Toronto. We'll gather our baggage, transfer to the hotel, and check-in. Relax for the rest of the evening after a full day of travel and prepare for your journey home tomorrow.

Day 19: Program Concludes, Toronto

Meals: Breakfast

Activity note: Hotel check out by 12:00 p.m. See your program’s travel details regarding transfers. If you are an independent traveler (POP status), see “Ground Transportation to Last Location.”

Breakfast: At the hotel. This concludes our program. If you are returning home, safe travels. If you are staying on independently, have a wonderful time. If you are transferring to another Road Scholar program, detailed instructions are included in your Information Packet for that program. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Please join our Facebook page and share photos of your program. Visit us at www.facebook.com/rsadventures. Best wishes for all your journeys!

Dates & Pricing

Price From

$ 14,995

Price Per Day:

$ 789 per day
 
  • Select Custom Arrangements to get to and from Road Scholar-provided airfare for your program
Prices may vary due to local taxes and trip seasonality. Click "Request Info" to inquire directly with the tour operator for the final trip price.
Details
Ship Name

Ocean Endeavour

Ship Stats
  • Capacity: 198
  • Registry: Marshall Islands
  • Length: 137 meters (450ft)
Ship Description

Sailing with a maximum of 198-passengers, Ocean Endeavour is the perfect vessel for expedition cruising. Outfitted with twenty Zodiacs, advanced navigation equipment, multiple lounges and a top deck observation room, she is purpose-built for passenger experiences in remote environments. The Ocean Endeavour boasts a 1B ice class, enabling her to freely explore throughout the Arctic summer.

Launched in 1982, she has had numerous upgrades, most recently in 2010 and 2014. At 137 meters (450ft) in length, Ocean Endeavour has plenty of interior and exterior space. Enjoy multiple decks offering comfortable lounge chairs, outdoor dining, a swimming pool, sauna and even a hot tub! The spacious interiors allow for multiple workshops and presentations to occur simultaneously. Community is at the heart of Adventure Canada’s expedition experience. We gather together to learn, enjoy a drink, sing a song or share a yarn – connecting with one and other. The three lounges aboard Ocean Endeavour are fantastic public spaces for seminars, events and dialogue.

The Ocean Endeavour’s private spaces are stylish and comfortable. All cabins have private washroom facilities, a phone for internal calls, radio, TV and air-conditioning. There are a variety of cabin categories available ranging from 9-30 m2 (100-320 sq ft).

Ocean Endeavour’s crew is experienced, and friendly. Her shallow draft and maneuverability allow her to access isolated fiords, bays and secluded communities. The stylish vessel is at home among the glorious settings we seek. Enjoy the class and comfort of a boutique hotel, while venturing to some of the world’s last great frontiers aboard the Ocean Endeavour!

Trip Includes
  • 18 nights of accommodations
  • 8 expert-led lectures
  • 18 expert-led field trips
  • 2 flights during the program
  • 1 performance
  • An experienced Group Leader
  • Customary gratuities throughout the program
  • The Road Scholar Travel Protection Plan, 24-hour-a-day emergency assistance coverage
  • Taxes
Meals Included:

18 Breakfasts, 17 Lunches and 18 Dinners

Flights & Transport
Internal airfare and ground transport
Group Size:
Small Group - 24 max
Maximum Number of People in Group: 24
Accomodations

Executive Royal Hotel Leduc-Nisku at Edmonton Airport: 1 night  Leduc

Sheraton Gateway Hotel in Toronto Int'l Airport: 1 night  Toronto

Start City
Edmonton
End City
Toronto

Trip ID#: LegNorRoa

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