Northwest or Northeast Passage?

Experiences from the world’s most unique Arctic cruises

Across the top of the world, where the frozen Arctic Ocean sweeps down North America and Russia, the Northwest and Northeast passages are two rewarding sea routes.

Experiences encountered along the Northeast & Northwest Passage:

1. Powerful encounters with the polar bear

Wrangell Island on the Northeast Passage has the highest density of polar bear dens in the world. Across the Arctic, spot them hunting seals, walrus and beluga whales from the pack ice and witness as they migrate to areas we visit, often with cubs in tow.

Polar Bear. Franz Josef Land

2. Wildlife wonderland assured

Witness walruses, the Arctic fox and beluga whales, plus thousands of seabirds including puffins, guillemots, kittiwakes and dozens of other species along major migratory pathways. And discover exquisite tundra flowers blooming with delicious summer berries to taste.

3. Northwest Passage:


Explore UNESCO World Heritage-listed Disko Bay, where massive icebergs calved from Sermeq Kujalleq, the world’s fastest and most active glacier, fill Illulissat Icefjord with grinding ice castles. Sail to Pond Inlet on Baffin Island, where sheer granite walls rise from the sea and Innuits share their life and culture.

Historic sites of tragedy and triumph

Beechey Island is the site of the ill-fated 1845 Franklin Expedition and where a number of its crew were laid to rest. In Gjoa Haven, an Innuit hamlet named by early 20th-century polar explorer Roald Amundsen after his ship Gjøa, you’ll find the wrecks of Franklin’s HMS Erebus and HMS Terror.

Mega bird cliffs

Cruise below the spectacular 265m high limestone cliffs of Prince Leopold Island Migratory Bird Sanctuary. Focus your in-suite binoculars on the home of half a million nesting birds, including thick-billed murres, northern fulmars and black-legged kittiwakes.

Can it be real?

You’ll delight in witnessing beluga whales shedding their skin on the sand banks of Cunningham Inlet, as narwhals chase Arctic char and polar bears feast on whales trapped in the rocky shallows of Coningham Bay, off Prince of Wales Island.

Arctic Fox

“Unscoured by glaciers during the last Ice Age, its tundra boasts incredible plant diversity, and mammoth tusks. Home to the largest population of Pacific walrus...”

Walrus, Wrangell Island

4. Northeast Passage:

The jewel in the crown

Wrangell Island enjoys Russia’s highest degree of environmental protection. Unscoured by glaciers during the last Ice Age, its tundra boasts incredible plant diversity and mammoth tusks. The largest population of Pacific walrus accounts for Wrangell having the highest concentration of polar bear dens.

Where few have gone before

One of the last undiscovered wilderness areas, meet Chukchi reindeer herders and walrus hunters on Ayon Island. Kayak near long-tailed ducks and seals on Medvejie Lake, walk the rock spires of Chetyryokhstolbovy Island and take a Zodiac cruise below sea cliffs where kittiwakes nest.

Exploring the ‘Zemlyas’

Explore the Severnaya Zemlya, or Northern Lands, archipelago, the last territorial discovery on Earth. Hike glaciers and cruise the fjords by Zodiac, looking out for brant geese, snow buntings and Arctic skuas. The Novaya Zemlya, or New Lands, archipelago promises ice caps, vast walrus haulouts and bristling cliffs. Cruise by Zodiac, calving glacier fronts frequented by bearded seals and polar bears.

The top of the world

Explore Franz Josef Land, the world’s northernmost archipelago. Home to five million seabirds, polar bears and walrus, it’s also been the staging post for polar explorations by Nansen, Amundsen, Tegetthoff and others striving to reach the North Pole and Northeast Passage.


Why not experience this for yourself and take advantage of our exclusive offers:

  • SUPER EARLYBIRD OFFER Save up to 20%
  • Free Private Door-to-Door Chauffeur Transfers
  • Includes an exclusive £200pp Double Loyalty Discount

Book by 31 July 2021

24-Day Unlocking the Northwest Passage

Copenhagen > Anchorage Departs: 15 August 2022

Was from £25,550 per person

Now from £21,040 per person

27-Day Cross the Legendary Northeast Passage

Anchorage > Tromsø Departs: 5 August 2023

Was from £27,805 per person

Now from £22,775 per person

Price shown includes double loyalty discount. Super Earlybird Offer: Strictly limited suites available on set departures, subject to availability and until sold out. Full payment is due 12 months prior to departure, and offers cannot be combined with any other offer. Offers are valid for new bookings only. Book by 31 July 2022. Quote WONDER200 at the time of booking to receive these offers.

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