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Northwest Passage | Le Boreal

23 Days
From USD 30,580


DIFFICULTY RATING: 2 (light adventure)

Start: Paris, France

Finish: Seattle, United States

SHIP: Le Boreal


Canadian Arctic, Greenland

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Take an amazing journey following in the footsteps of the renowned explorer Roald Amundsen and explore the frontiers of the Far North. Explore the fabled North-west Passage, a well-known and historic shipping route that meanders through the tangled waterways of the world's northernmost region. Take 23 days to appreciate the splendour of these isolated areas where Inuit settlements pop up among the Arctic scenery.

Greenland, with its customary vibrant homes, is where your lengthy journey will begin. You will sail along this massive island's west coast, which offers breathtaking views of mineral landscapes and spotless stretches where the contrasts seem to interact endlessly. Glamorous icebergs slice through the Labrador Sea as you head near Baffin Bay. Set sail for the opening to the North-west Passage in Northern Canada. For a long time, scientists and navigators could only speculate about the existence of this northern passage connecting the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans; Amundsen was the first to break ground on it. Explore the wintering location of the expedition he led from 1903 to 1906 in Gjoa Haven. Learn about the Inuit people, who continue their ancestors' customs in the midst of breathtaking scenery, much like he did. Follow the route taken by the Franklin expedition on Beechey Island, and then stop by Fury Beach to admire the breathtaking canyon. In the hopes of catching a glimpse of the polar bear, the ruler of the far north, you will navigate through spectacular fjords and along the edge of ice floes on your journey. The constricting passage of Coningham Bay, which follows Bellot Strait, will offer the ideal location for an amazing encounter with beluga whales. See if you can find any bowhead whales in the Beaufort Sea; grey whales inhabit the waters of the Bering Strait prior to their migration southward across the continent. A remarkable voyage experiencing the Far North's iconic wildlife, surreal scenery, and life-changing interactions with the locals.

With featured guest Nick Rains, Australian photo ambassador. Nick Rains began his career as a professional photographer nearly forty years ago, covering sports and sailing before focusing on travel and documentary. He teaches enthusiastic photographers how to take better pictures by leading small groups of people to remote places

Please note: The navigation will be determined by weather and ice conditions. The sailing schedule and any landings, activities and wildlife encounters are subject to weather and ice conditions. These experiences are unique and vary with each departure. The Captain and the Expedition Leader will make every effort to ensure that your experience is as rich as possible, while respecting safety instructions and regulations imposed by the associated governing bodies.



*Single Supplement waived on selected departures & cabins. Offer is correct at the time of publishing and only available until sold out on selected voyages and strictly limited availability. Not available on Superior Staterooms and Owners Suite. Prices are subject to change until the time of booking and terms and conditions apply. Please contact us for more information and enquire for details of offers and availability.

Prices are correct at time of publishing (13 May 24) but are subject to change at any time until the time of booking and terms and conditions apply. Please contact us for more information and enquire for details and availability.



From 1941 to 1992, the town of Kangerlussuaq in Greenland was home to an American military base. Nowadays, thanks to its international airport, it has become a transit point for travellers seeking adventure in the Far North. Located to the north of the Arctic Circle, this town is the starting point of magnificent discoveries surrounded by unspoiled nature. Indeed, just a few dozen kilometres from there it is possible to get close to the Greenland ice sheet, the largest body of ice in the Northern Hemisphere. From Kangerlussuaq, admire also the superb landscapes of tundra in autumnal colours, where Arctic hares, musk oxen, Arctic foxes, reindeer, falcons and eagles live.


During your cruise, we invite you to discover Sisimiut, founded in 1756 and the second largest town in Greenland. This small town is typical of Greenland, boasting bewitching panoramas: here and there, colourful stilt houses dot the undulating landscape, and the small fishing port stands as the gateway to an icy realm. As for the town centre, it is home to a number of historic buildings, a small church and a museum which retraces the history of the Inuit people, as well as many craft shops. When your ship drops anchor here, you will set out to meet the locals in a typically arctic atmosphere.

Disko Bay

To the east of Baffin Bay, discover Disko Bay, scattered with countless icebergs produced by the Ilulissat Icefjord, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. From your ship, admire the majestic ballet of these ice giants as they slowly drift across the dark waters. This site is a natural marvel of Greenland, and is also renowned as an observation point for the region’s many humpback whales. The encounters with wild fauna and stunning landscapes in the heart of this spectacular and fragile nature will be pure moments of wonder for you.

Paul-Émile Victor Base Camp, Eqi Glacier

'The most beautiful place in the Arctic' is how Paul-Émile Victor described Greenland, a land of great icebergs and of towering ice formations calved by the giant glaciers of the polar ice cap. The Eqi Glacier is one of the region’s most impressive sights. Here, the silence is broken only by the roaring and cracking of the ice. It is impossible to know if one is shivering from cold or from the sheer thrill of being here. Imagine the vast outline of a glacier, its translucent crystals glowing with an ice-blue fire in the sunlight. Paul-Émile Victor’s shelter cannot be overlooked; it was from here that the French Polar Expeditions’ anthropological and geographic explorations set off in the 1950s.


In the curve of Uummannaq Bay, opposite a narrow passage between two islands, you will discover the moonscape of the small desert island of Akulleq. The ochre yellow and orange of this mineral site look ablaze under the sunshine of the polar summer. From the island’s summit you will be able to contemplate a panoramic view of the bay’s magical landscape and its huge icebergs with surprising shapes.


Well beyond the Arctic Circle, in the majestic landscapes of Greenland’s Northwest, you will find the village of Kullorsuaq, the last bastion of Greenland’s traditional hunters. Here is where you will find Greenland’s true character. Vast mineral expanses, sumptuous mountains, impressive glaciers and, above all, the local population which still lives off fishing and seal or bear hunting. Hospitality and respect for nature are essential elements in the daily lives of these men, who live an austere life. When we drop anchor in this remote part of the world, set off to discover these friendly people who are also talented craftsmen, deftly sewing the furs and skins of marine mammals. This will be a unique and authentic experience.


Some places in this world are so magical that their beauty cannot be described in words. Savissivik, a small Inuit village with less than a hundred inhabitants, is one such place. Rightly considered to be the biggest iceberg graveyard in Greenland, it is a stunning sight to behold. During your zodiac outing, you will sail between these icy giants. Once on land, you can hike to a viewpoint from which to enjoy breathtaking views over these icebergs, which come in an incredibly diverse range of shapes and colours. Photographers will love it. Savissivik Bay attracts many bears and is also known for having been the home of one of the world’s biggest meteorites, but the latter has now been moved to a museum in New York.

Pond Inlet, Nunavut

On Baffin Island, located in northern Canada at the mouth of the famous NorthWest Passage, there is a small Inuit settlement at the very bounds of infinity. To get there, cross the Arctic Circle, the imaginary line that separates man from lands of mystery and wonder. It’s not so much the way of life that sets Pond Inlet’s inhabitants apart, so much as the setting. Snow-capped mountains, fjords and glaciers combine in a dazzling natural environment that fills space and expands time. Some discoveries change you forever: this is one of them.

Beechey Island, Nunavut

Beechey Island, at the eastern end of Resolute Bay, will call to mind some of the most important moments of Franklin’s expedition. Sir John set off in 1845 in search of the mythical Northwest Passage and was forced to take shelter in Erebus Harbour for two long years, while he waited for the ice floes to recede and allow him a way through. It is a spectacular location; seeing the three wooden grave markers, bleached by the sun (indicating the burial places of at least three of Captain Franklin’s men) and visiting the memorial that has been erected in memory of Franklin and his men can only reinforce the hushed sense of reverence. If the surrounding wilderness impresses us, the ochre and yellows of the rocky desert soften the landscape.

Fury Beach, Nunavut

The ice floe gradually appears as you approach Somerset Island, in the heart of the North West Passage. In a zodiac dinghy, you will land on Fury Beach, a place with a rich history where the English explorer William Edward Parry ran aground in 1825. He left materials and supplies here in order to help the next expeditions that would pass by this site. During your hike around the majestic canyon of Fury Beach, you’ll be dazzled by the surprising landscape: the turquoise green water and sheer cliffs are reminiscent of the Grand Canyon or the High Atlas in Morocco. If fortune smiles on you, you will perhaps come across a family of polar bears roaming the enormous ice floes. A sublime hike; a sense of wonder is guaranteed.

Fort Ross, Bellot Strait and Coningham Bay

Explore Fort Ross, the final trading post established by the Hudson's Bay Company in 1937. This dual-purpose outpost for fur and whaling, situated on a small island at the Bellot Strait entrance, still houses the manager's residence and staff quarters, though both have suffered damage from time and polar bear presence. A short island summit walk reveals a stunning panoramic view of the Bellot Strait. This strait, a crucial part of the North West Passage, offers an unforgettable sailing experience with strong currents. Marked by the Ross Cairn, it was discovered in 1852 during an expedition led by Captain William Kennedy and Joseph-René Bellot. The 2-km-wide strait, separating Somerset Island from the Boothia Peninsula, presents a breathtaking snow-covered landscape, occasionally accompanied by polar bears. Coningham Bay on Prince of Wales Island, nestled in the heart of the Northwest Passage, offers exceptional sailing. Rich in nutrients, its waters host cetaceans like beluga whales, while the Arctic's ruler, the polar bear, roams freely in this abundant hunting ground. In these isolated lands, favorable conditions may lead to extraordinary wildlife encounters.

Gjoa Haven, Nunavut

Discovered by the Scottish explorer John Ross in 1830, King William Island was named in honour of the reigning British King. In September 1903, Captain Roald Amundsen was the first to drop anchor at Gjoa Haven, the only inhabited part of the island, where a few Inuit were the only sign of human life. The Norwegian sailor decided to overwinter here for two years, to attempt to find the location of the mysterious Magnetic North Pole. Roald Amundsen interacted with the local Inuit to learn how to survive in these extreme conditions and freezing temperatures. We invite you to discover this small hamlet in the Nunavut region, located just above the Arctic Circle.

At Sea

During your journey at sea, make the most of the many services and activities on board. Treat yourself to a moment of relaxation in the spa or stay in shape in the fitness centre. Depending on the season, let yourself be tempted by the swimming pool or a spot of sunbathing. This journey without a port of call will also be an opportunity to enjoy the conferences or shows proposed on board. As for lovers of the open sea, they will be able to visit the ship’s upper deck to admire the spectacle of the waves and perhaps be lucky enough to observe marine species. A truly enchanted interlude, combining comfort, rest and entertainment.

Edinburgh Island, Nunavut

Fall under the charm of small and uninhabited Edinburgh Island, in Nunavut. Blueberries, crowberries, arctic willow, cranberries: vegetation rules the roost here, with no fewer than 19 types of dwarf shrubs, berries and flowers identified. In autumn, these species are adorned with shimmering colours that produce a magnificent picture. The tundra, dotted with red and yellow touches, competes in its beauty with the superb ochres of the sandy beaches and the dark tones of the surrounding cliffs. At the end of a walk towards the heights of the island, enjoy a superb panorama with a view over lakes, sea and basalt mountains. An enchanting place, frequented by caribous, peregrine falcons, reindeer, Arctic foxes and hares.

Holman (Ulukhaktok)

Set off to meet the inhabitants of Holman for an unforgettable moment in the midst of a welcoming community. With some 500 inhabitants, this hamlet located on the west of Victoria Island has learned how best to adapt to an at-times harsh environment and a difficult climate. As you visit this village in the Canadian Far North, admire the prints and other objects created by the very rich local craftsmanship. Traditional singing and dancing are also part of the daily life of this commune, to the great delight of fans of Inuit culture. The village of Holman, also called Ulukhaktok, is one of those places in which you can share an authentic experience in a remote land.

Jesse Harbour

In the glacial waters of the Beaufort Sea, on the eastern shores of Banks Island, Jesse Harbour is thought of as the end of the world, beyond the 72nd parallel north. The island is known for its large population of musk oxen, these behemoths covered in thick fur, perfectly adapted to the harsh Arctic climate. In these distant polar lands, the changing weather imposes its will. Conditions permitting, an outing and various hikes will provide an opportunity to get as close as possible to the abundant fauna that inhabits the ice floe and this far-flung world.

Smoking Hills

In the far north of the Northwest Territories, nestling at the junction of the Amundsen Gulf, the Smoking Hill astonish, intrigue and captivate. Considered one of the most fascinating and mysterious phenomena on the planet, this geological paradise, where dozens of kilometres of smoke columns emanate from impressive cliffs coloured in ochre and crimson, will take you on a timeless journey. Spotted for the first time by the British navigator John Franklin during an exploration of the region in 1926, these smoking strata of hydrocarbons result from the chemical reaction between the oil shales and the lignite deposits, a mix of clay shale and pyrite that spontaneously ignites on contact with air, causing this unique natural phenomenon.

Beaufort Sea

Delimited by the entrance to the Northwest Passage and the Amundsen Gulf to the east and by Canada’s Yukon and Northwest Territories to the west, the Beaufort Sea makes up part of the – almost – inaccessible Arctic Ocean. Due to its extreme weather conditions, it was not explored until 1914, by the Canadian explorer Vilhjalmur Stefansson. However, it was named after Francis Beaufort, a British admiral and hydrographer. You will sail on these remote waters strewn with a mosaic of ice resulting from sea-ice breakup. Surrounded by this stunning scenery, you may spot a few belugas and bowhead whales, established in colonies in the region.

King Point, Yukon

On the edge of the Beaufort Sea, on the northeastern side of the Yukon, one of the three territories in the far north of Canada, you will sail near King Point. It was off its rocky coast edged with tundra that Roald Amundsen anchored with other whalers after crossing the legendary Northwest Passage aboard the Gjöa, and wintered from August 1905 to March 1906. One of his crewmen, Gustav Juel Wiik, a young engineer who died of respiratory problems, is buried inside the King Point magnetic observatory. If conditions are favourable, you might even catch a glimpse of the abundant wildlife in the area, including the polar bear.

Beaufort Sea - Days 20 & 21

Today we will continue our journey in the Beaufort Sea. This maritime expanse is a vital habitat for diverse marine life, with unique ecosystems thriving beneath its surface. The Beaufort Sea is not merely a geographical entity but a dynamic environment, hosting an array of species adapted to its extreme conditions.

King Island, Alaska

Situated in the Bering Sea, King Island was discovered in 1778. It is named after James King, a crew member of the expedition led by James Cook. King Island was inhabited by a group of Inupiat until the mid-20th century; their now-abandoned village was called Ukivok. You will enjoy sailing around this island with its sheer cliffs that shelter many bird species, such as tufted and horned puffins, black-legged kittiwakes, and thick-billed murres.

Nome, Alaska

Located along the Bering Strait at the westernmost point of Alaska, Nome offers the rustic charm of a former gold-mining town, set in the middle of magnificent wilderness. As you weave in and out of the brightly coloured houses, you will discover the pioneering legacy that still marks local traditions. Fishing, reindeer rearing and sledge-racing. People here live from their manual labour. The surrounding plains provide stunning vantage points for observing Arctic fauna.



  • Following in the footsteps of the renowned explorer Roald Amundsen, the voyage across the North-west Passage, a treacherous shipping route at the edge of the Far North

  • The potential to connect with Greenlandic and Canadian Inuit people and experience a singular moment together in Holman and Gjoa Haven

  • Discover of Greenland's western shore, which is bordered by tundra, luxurious mountains, icebergs, and glaciers, and is bathed by Baffin Bay.

Le Boreal

Le Boreal

Sailing under the French flag, Le Boréal is a superb mega-yacht that was built in Italy with a sophisticated French design. With its tasteful décor and discreet elegance, the ship blends luxury and intimacy with well-being in a unique atmosphere. The 132 cabins comprise staterooms and suites and can accommodate up to 264 passengers. Features include king or twin beds, en-suite facilities, Wi-Fi access, flat screen satellite TV, I-pod player and individually controlled air-conditioning. Room service is offered 24 hours a day and there are elevators connecting all decks. On board you will find lounges, a theatre, library, restaurants and internet corner as well as open-air pool, sundeck, spa, fitness centre and beauty centre where you can relax and be pampered with beauty treatments, a hairdresser and Turkish bath.

Ice Class: Length: 142m (466ft)
Breadth: 18 m (59ft)Max
Draft: Cruising
Electricity: 2 x 2300 KW Passenger

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We believe that appropriate accommodation should add to the authentic travel experience, as well as providing utmost enjoyment. For that reason our accommodation is scrutinised by our staff on the ground frequently, ensuring the properties adhere to our high standards. This key will help you understand the levels of accommodation available on this tour.


Comfortable properties with dependable facilities and service.


Comfortable properties with dependable facilities and service.


Luxurious properties with impeccable facilities and service.

Pricing per person & date

Northwest Passage | Le Boreal from USD 30,580
Departing Ending Duration
28 Aug 2024 19 Sep 2024 23

Important Information


    All accommodation on board Le Boreal
    Charter flight in Economy class from Paris, France to Kangerlussuaq, Greenland on Day 1
    Charter flight in Economy class from Nome to Seattle on Day 25 (approx 5 hour flight time)
    Meet & greet at the airport by our local English-speaking representative.
    Group transfer from pier for disembarkation
    All meals whilst on board including snacks
    All scheduled landings and excursions
    Guiding and lectures by English-speaking expedition leader and team
    Expedition jacket provided (yours to keep) 
    A pair of expedition boots for use during your voyage 
    Open Bar (excluding premium brands)
    Room Service & Mini Bar (excluding Champagne) 
    All port taxes



    Airfares not mentioned above
    Visa fees (if applicable)
    Travel Insurance
    Personal expenses such as laundry, on-board communication (telephone calls, faxes)
    Gratuities for the crew (recommend US$15 per person per day)
    Optional Activities whilst on-board

  • 2 (light adventure)
  • Available upon request, contact us for more details. Subject to availability

  • Please note flight from Paris to Kangerlussuaq on embarkation day & Nome to Seattle on disembarkation day is included in your cruise price.


    Prices are based on per person, twin share* (unless otherwise stated for triple/quad cabins) 

    Prices are correct at time of publishing but are subject to change at any time. 

    Itinerary is subject to change depending on weather and ice conditions

  • Departure date,  fuel surcharges, cabin category, currency fluctuations, seasonality and availability.