Discover the Northwest Passage on an Encore Expedition Cruise with Abercrombie & Kent
Explore the fabled route – 4600 nautical miles in 24 days – visiting remote villages, discovering geological wonders and viewing the Aurora Borealis
March 07, 2016Following a sold-out expedition through the Northwest Passage in 2015, Abercrombie & Kent is offering travellers another chance to experience the epic journey that has challenged history's greatest explorers. Join an intimate group of no more than 199 privileged guests on this extraordinary voyage from western Greenland to Nome, Alaska, led by A&K's world-class Expedition Team aboard the exclusively-chartered luxury expedition ship, 'Le Boreal.'
The Northwest Passage: From Greenland to the Bering Sea (August 21 – September 13, 2017) will cruise from Kangerlussuaq, Greenland, to Anadyr in the Russian Far East, past cathedrals of ice, the graveyards of early explorers and sparsely-settled lands where they were forced to over winter when their ships were trapped by fast-moving ice. On daily shore excursions, guests experience the variety of indigenous cultures (centuries old) that survive in the vast wilderness that extends from West Greenland's majestic fjords, bays and glaciers to Inuit villages in Nunavut and the Northwest Territories of Arctic Canada, as well as the isolated Bering Sea village of Little Diomede. Yet unlike the voyagers who blazed a trail before them, enduring hardship and privation along the way, guests explore in utmost comfort aboard the all-balcony ship, 'Le Boreal,' one of the most stable and luxurious vessels plying polar waters today.
"Building on the success of last year's inaugural cruise through the entire Northwest Passage, our Expedition Team has planned an unforgettable adventure with daily shore excursions and Zodiac cruises to view glaciers and hike along the shoreline to scenic overlooks," explains Abercrombie & Kent Vice President, Expedition Cruising, Bob Simpson. "We have forged connections with the indigenous communities along the route for a rare glimpse into their distinctive cultures, which they express through arts, crafts, music and dance."
Wildlife in an Untouched Expanse
This intimate cruise offers time to take in the flora, fauna and geology of these islands and picturesque shorelines. Musk oxen are a possibility, as are walrus, bowhead and beluga whales. There will be harp and ringed seals on the ice and possibly walrus, bearded and harbor seals along the coast. Birding enthusiasts are drawn to the Arctic by the chance to see snowy owls, peregrine falcons, fulmars, kittiwakes and guillemots.
But what promises to make the trip truly memorable are sightings of the world's greatest land predator, the polar bear, the first animal to be added to the endangered species list because of climate change. "I'm still in awe at the number of polar bear sightings we had on our last journey through the Northwest Passage — a total of 39 bears in all," says Simpson. "Even if we were to see just half that number this time around, it would still be a rewarding experience."
Canadian Arctic Community Support
To benefit the remote communities along the route, Abercrombie & Kent Philanthropy will again work with the Canadian Arctic Producers Coop to make sculptures and prints from indigenous artists available for sale on board through a silent auction.
"We acquire pieces from the places that we are visiting and also seek out work from more remote villages," explains Bob Simpson."Each individual artist receives the full proceeds from the sale of their work. Additional funds are support Arctic community projects including ArtsCan Circle established by resident musician Mike Stevens, which teaches children in remote villages how to play musical instruments and express themselves through songwriting, visual and performance arts."
Hands-On Exploration with the Finest Guides
Onboard Abercrombie & Kent's team of research and field scientists, naturalists, historians and cultural experts offer enriching lectures and personal insights into how the many species that are part of the delicate Arctic ecosystem are interconnected and currently in a state of flux. The boreal forests are drifting northward, the tundra is changing dramatically as the permafrost melts, and bird and mammal populations are moving in response.
Some of the oldest rocks on earth are found in the Arctic. Amazingly, despite the cold, there are fossils of dinosaurs and trees that tell the story of a once warmer climate. With no vegetation today, the rocks are clearly visible when snow and ice recede, revealing a geological wonderland that few travellers have ever witnessed.
With a guide-to-guest ratio of 1:12, there is plenty of time to talk to the expert geologists, ornithologists and marine biologists about the changes they have seen.
The Perfect Blend of Luxury and Adventure
A&K delivers its trademark blend of luxury, adventure and personalized service aboard 'Le Boreal', including a butler for cabin categories 6-8. By exclusively chartering 'Le Boreal', A&K limits the number of guests to no more than 199, guaranteeing each stateroom and suite has a private balcony.
MV 'Le Boreal' is environmentally-friendly, equipped with cutting-edge technology that includes the most up-to-date waste water system, recycling facilities, and other measures designed to ensure that the ship operates with minimal impact on the environment. Zodiac boats are equipped with fuel efficient 4-stroke engines that meet the strictest environmental standards. The ship has been "Cleanship" certified by the Bureau Veritas. This label is given to ships whose design and equipment limit emissions and go beyond the MARPOL convention for waste treatment, antifouling and propulsion systems.
Abercrombie & Kent has orchestrated more than 200 unrivaled expeditions to the Polar Regions – including this same route through the Northwest Passage – with 25 years of safe and successful polar exploration. Guests will enjoy A&K's signature blend of luxury and adventure, while taking their place in the historic cavalcade of explorers and dreamers who braved the elements to explore the Northwest Passage.
The Northwest Passage: From Greenland to the Bering Sea (August 21 –September 13, 2017) is a total of 24 days; from $29,995 per person, double occupancy. Save $3,000 per person, double occupancy, when booking cabin categories 1-3 before October 31, 2016. For more details on this once-in-a-lifetime adventure, contact your travel professional or go to www.abercrombiekent.com or call 800 554 7094 to speak to a travel consultant.
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Download images at: http://portfolio.abercrombiekent.com/res/sites/pr-northwest-passage
Video of polar bear sightings: https://youtu.be/XUkGWmpnHkI