18 AUG - 10 SEP
About This Tour
Join a convivial Toto Tours group aboard an exclusive Abercrombie & Kent charter of the luxury Ponant ship ‘Le Boreal’ for an extraordinary, once-in-a-lifetime voyage through the Arctic Northwest Passage from western Greenland to Nome, Alaska. Our journey begins in Montreal, Canada, and concludes in Anchorage, Alaska (using charter flights). We are holding ten staterooms for this departure. Toto Tours together with A&K’s world-class Expedition Team welcomes you to the wonders of the Arctic.
Published price is $30,995. Save $3,000 per person on Cabin Categories 1, 2, and 3 if you book before October 31, 2017.
- Cruise the full extent of the Northwest Passage for 21 nights, voyaging from Greenland to the Canadian Arctic to the Bering Sea and ending in Alaska
- Experience the luxury, all-balcony expedition ship ‘Le Boreal’ on an exclusive A&K charter
- Travel in the company of A&K’s world-class Expedition Team for a deeply enriching and captivating journey
- Embark on every Zodiac excursion, all of which are included
- Discover the most historic and remote islands, fjords and harbors of this elusive passage – just as the world’s greatest polar explorers once did – with stops that may include Beechey Island, Franklin Camp, Fort Ross and Gjoa Haven
- Explore the West Coast of Greenland, where you may meet with local Inuits and their dogsled teams, visit a hunting village and learn the art of leather tanning
- Marvel at geological wonders from the “Smoking Hills” of Franklin Bay to the dramatic Ilulissat Icefjord, a UNESCO World Heritage Site teeming with icebergs
- Delve into the remote Yukon Territory, where whaling once thrived and an abundance of wildlife still reigns supreme
- See the spectacular Northern Lights
- Take advantage of convenient A&K charter flights from Montreal to Kangerlussuaq and from Nome to Anchorage, beginning and ending your journey in North America
Itinerary at a Glance
Day 1: Arrive Montreal, Quebec
Day 2: Montreal | Dynamic French-English City
Day 3: Kangerlussuaq | Edge of Indlandsis
Days 4-8: Western Greenland | Where Amundsen Began
Days 9-18: Nunavut & the Canadian Arctic Archipelago | Heart of the Northwest Passage
Day 20: Hershel Island & the Yukon Territory | Safe Haven in the Farthest Reaches
Days 21-22: Beaufort & Chukchi Seas | Waters of the White One
Day 23: Little Diomede | Along the Alaskan Coast
Day 24: Nome, Alaska | Gold Rush Fever
Full ItineraryTUESDAY, APRIL 17, 2018
Arrive in Montreal and transfer to your hotel. The balance of your day is free to relax or explore the city independently, with our staff available at the A&K hospitality desk to assist with arrangements or reservations. | No Meals IncludedSunday, August 19, 2018
Montreal | Dynamic French-English City
After breakfast this morning, enjoy the opportunity to explore this modern and culturally rich Canadian city with a choice of engaging tours, each arranged to fit a variety of activity levels. Tonight, gather with your A&K Expedition Team for a welcome cocktail reception and dinner to celebrate the start of your adventure. | Meals: B D
Kangerlussuaq | Edge of Indlandsis
Arrive by charter flight this afternoon in Western Greenland at Kangerlussuaq (Søndre Strømfjord in Danish), located on the tip of its namesake fjord and once a strategic allied stronghold during World War II. Weather and time permitting, visit the edge of the Greenland ice sheet (indlandsis), a vast body of inland ice covering 80 percent of the continent. En route, be on the lookout for native wildlife, such as musk oxen, reindeer, Arctic foxes, falcons and eagles. Later, arrive at the pier to board your luxurious expedition cruiser, ‘Le Boreal.’ Tonight, join your award-winning Expedition Team and crew for a welcome cocktail reception. | Meals: B L D
Western Greenland | Where Amundsen Began
In 1906, polar explorer Roald Amundsen became the first person to successfully cross the entire Northwest Passage. Start your voyage exactly where he did along the stunning West Coast of Greenland and north into Baffin Bay, which you explore for six days. Your enrichment and lecture program also begins, offering the first of many opportunities to delve deeper into the story of this dramatic and remote region.
Based on ice, weather and sea conditions, your captain and expedition crew determine the day’s best sightseeing opportunities, which may include:
Sisimiut: North of the Arctic Circle, Sisimiut is both the northernmost city in Greenland able to maintain a year-round, ice-free port, as well as the southernmost town with sufficient snow for dogsledding in winter and spring. Visit the local museum with its exhibits on Inuit culture and Greenlandic colonial history, and meet a dog musher and his dogsled team.
Disko Bay & Ilulissat: Cruise into Disko Bay, a wide inlet off of Baffin Bay first explored by Erik the Red in 985, when he established the first Norse settlements in Western Greenland. Discover the Ilulissat Icefjord, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, at the sea mouth of one of the fastest and most active glaciers in the world, Sermeq Kujalleq. The scene is spectacular with giant icebergs, floating growlers and bergy bits (large chunks of glacial ice), and the sounds of the calving ice-stream. Take a walking tour of Ilulissat, including a visit to the local history museum, and meet with villagers to learn about life in this often-harsh Arctic region. Enjoy a huskie dogsled demonstration and learn about the centuries-old methods of leather tanning still in practice today.
Uummannaq Fjords: Located north of Ilulissat, the Uummannaq Fjord System is an awe-inspiring geological wonder teeming with marine life. Visit Karrat ø to enjoy the stunning view of the iceberg-studded bay and also discover the remains of ancient huts, made of whale bones and sod by traditional Thule hunters (ancestors of the Inuit) some 500 to 1,000 years ago.
Upernavik: Founded in 1772, this summer camp for nomadic Greenland Inuit was an ideal hunting ground for whales, seals and fish. Witness this for yourself when you spend time with local villagers who still maintain a traditional way of life, living off the fish and seal populations common to the region. Visit the shops, church and local museum, the last of which offers an excellent display of Greenlandic life. | Meals: B L D
Nunavut & the Canadian Arctic Archipelago | Heart of the Northwest Passage
Cruise west across Baffin Bay and into the Canadian Arctic Archipelago of Nunavut, where you begin your journey to the heart and history of the Northwest Passage. The A&K Expedition Team continues to share captivating lectures to enhance your own discovery.
As ‘Le Boreal’ winds its way through legendary channels and inlets, your crew and Expedition Team determines the best route based on ice, weather and sea conditions. Exciting excursions await and are likely to include:
Pond Inlet: Located on the Northern end of Baffin Island, Pond Inlet, which translates to “Place of Mittima’s Grave,” is the noted gateway to the fabled Northwest Passage and a rich archaeological site.
After clearing customs formalities for Nunavut, set off for a shore excursion to an area originally inhabited by the ancient Thule. Visit the Nattinnak Visitor’s Center or Toonoonik Sahoonik Co-op, where you can shop for artisan carvings made from local red and green soapstone, beautiful wall hangings and other handcrafted goods.
Lancaster Sound: Situated between Devon Island and Baffin Island, this body of water forms the eastern entrance to the Parry Channel and the Northwest Passage. It’s also home to a rich abundance of Arctic cod, which in turn draws copious populations of sea birds and marine mammals. Beluga and endangered bowhead whales, the narwhal with its spiraling tusk, ringed and bearded seals, the enchanting polar bear, and mustached walrus, as well as northern fulmars, black guillemots and Arctic terns — all are among the fantastic wildlife that inhabit the area. Some may even come into view on thrilling Zodiac excursions and landings.
Beechey Island: Historic moments in Arctic exploration define this island, best known for providing a safe haven to British explorer Sir John Franklin in 1845. Look east toward Resolute Bay at the huge silhouette of Cape Riley and imagine what Captain Franklin saw here in Erebus Harbour, were he took shelter for two years before his ill-fated attempt to conquer the Northwest Passage. See the wooden grave markers for three of Franklin’s men, now bleached by the sun, and visit the cenotaph memorial erected in memory of the lost explorer. It is an unforgettable experience.
Fort Ross: An abandoned trading post on the tip of Somerset Island, Fort Ross was founded in 1937 as a place for trappers to barter Arctic fox pelts in exchange for food and necessities. Explore the remaining wooden buildings of the post, which closed in 1948, and imagine life in such a barren landscape. Keep an eye out for bowhead whales or, perhaps, take a Zodiac excursion to CoBay, where polar bears have been known to feed.
Gjoa Haven: During his first attempt to transit the Northwest Passage on ‘Gjøa,’ Roald Amundsen used this natural harbor as a respite while waiting for ice conditions to improve. For two years, he lived with the Netsilik Inuits, learning their skills for survival and more efficient travel, which would later prove invaluable in his successful South Pole expedition. Today, Gjoa Haven has a population of 1,200 and still bears the historic significance of playing a key role in polar exploration.
Victoria Island: Cruise along the south coast of Victoria Island, which straddles both Nunavut and the Northwest Territories, voyaging through Queen Maud Gulf, Dease Strait and Coronation Gulf. Expedition stops may include bird sanctuary Jenny Lind Island, where you may also spy its populations of musk ox, and Johansen Bay, home to the remains of a nomadic trapper basecamp. Your Expedition Team may also lead you to Ulukhaktok (Holman village) in Queen’s Bay for an unforgettable visit with its local Inuit people. Only in contact with the rest of the world since the middle of the 19th century, the people of Holman continue to practice a traditional lifestyle and represent surprising cultural diversity; experience both with a warm welcome at the shore, drum dances, fresh char and bannock rings (fried dough) prepared over an open fire, and tours of the town art center. Ulukhaktok is famous for its printmaking and you bear witness to the beautiful tradition here; also find carvings, hats made of coveted qiviut (musk ox wool) and ulus — traditional, half-moon-shaped knives used by women to prepare food and skins. | Meals: B L D
Franklin Bay & the ‘Smoking Hills’ | Endless Fire
In the Northwest Territories at Franklin Bay, see the spectacular and enormous “Smoking Hills,” cliffs of bituminous shale that endlessly combust and burn. This rare geological phenomenon has likely been occurring for millennia, with layers of the relatively unstable mineral jarosite covering these hills. When the mineral comes into contact with cold air, it becomes red-hot and produces a thick, black smoke a fantastic sight not unlike the smoky fumaroles produced by volcanoes, though far rarer to see. | Meals: B L D
Hershel Island & the Yukon Territory | Safe Haven in the Farthest Reaches
During a long mapping expedition in 1826, Captain Franklin was the first European to lay eyes on this unique island at the northernmost point of the Yukon Territory. Named by Franklin, Herschel Island is a landmark in the West Arctic and has since served alternately as a whaling station, relay station and refuge for travellers. The island teems with wildlife that includes the migrating bowhead whale, walrus, moose, musk ox, Arctic fox and 94 species of birds. It is also one of the only places on earth where you may see a grizzly bear, black bear and polar bear, the last of which live along the ice edge in summer. Evidence of the island’s whaling culture and Thule Inuit predecessors remains near the shoreline, though it may not for much longer; the island is subject to extreme coastal erosion and scientists predict the shoreline will disappear under the waves within 50 years. | Meals: B L D
Beaufort & Chukchi Seas | Waters of the White One
Typically dense with ice floes and fog, the Beaufort Sea opens up a 60-mile-wide coastal pass from August to September. From here, ‘Le Boreal’ cruises into the U.S. and clears at Point Barrow, Alaska. Sailing in the comfort of your luxury expedition cruiser, continue participating in eye-opening lectures led by the Expedition Team. Be on the lookout across the sea for bowhead and beluga whales, the latter of which sustain one of the largest populations in the world here. Still hunted on a sustenance quota basis by local Inuits, the sociable creatures often travel in numbers and are said to be quite “chatty,” with their trills, clicks and squeals audible above the surface. In the late evening, relax on your private balcony or join fellow guests out on deck to witness the northern lights, known for delivering a stunning display in autumn. Your voyage continues through this narrow passage between North America and the ever-changing Arctic ice cap. | Meals: B L D
Little Diomede | Along the Alaskan Coast
Continue cruising through the Bering Sea to Little Diomede, an island that sits between Alaska and Russia at the edge of the International Dateline. Disembark for a Zodiac cruise of the island, where the Ingalikmiut still maintain a traditional lifestyle of hunting, fishing and egg gathering. In line with customs and necessity, the Ingalikmiut also use seal, walrus and polar bear hides to make clothing, parkas, hats and mukluks, as well as trade currency for bartering. | Meals: B L D
Nome, Alaska | Gold Rush Fever
Arrive and disembark in Nome, Alaska, among the wildest reaches of mainland America and the final destination for the Iditarod dogsled competition. Gold can still be mined here and you enjoy the opportunity to try gold panning; also experience a dogsled demonstration and a stop at the Bering Sea Land Bridge National Monument visitor’s center. Following lunch at Old St. Joe’s Church, take advantage of time to explore the downtown area of Nome. Transfer to the airport for your A&K charter flight to Anchorage. Continue on your home-bound flight or extend your stay in Anchorage. | Meals: B L
A three-night / four-day tour extension will be offered for Anchorage, with pricing to be announced in the near future. A brief sketch of the itinerary is as follows:
Day 1: Visit the bustling seaplane base of Lake Hood, take in expansive vistas at Point Woranzoff and witness a salmon run in Ship Creek. | Meals: L
Day 2: Ride the rails north to Talkeetna to enjoy a jet boat ride or a hike along Talkeetna Lake. | Meals: B
Day 3: Encounter natural icons at the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center, ride a cable car to the top of Mount Alyeska and celebrate with a farewell dinner. | Meals: B D
Day 4: Transfer to the airport for your flight home. | Meals: B
Entry Requirements - There are no visas required of US Citizens for entry to Canada or Greenland. All you need is a passport valid for at least six months beyond your length of stay in the country.
Immunizations and Health - No immunizations are currently required for travel to the Arctic, but it is wise to have your inoculations up-to-date. Is your tetanus booster current?
Exit Requirements - Departure taxes are now included in the cost of your airline ticket.
Making Travel Arrangements to Montreal, returning from Anchorage
On this tour, international airfare is NOT included. You will need to get your international round-trip air from your home city to Montreal, Canada, and then back to your home from Anchorage, Alaska. We encourage you to work with Steven Goldberg at Frosch Travel in Chicago, who knows the best flights to get you to and from this destination according to our tour schedule2 internal flights, from Montreal to Greenland and from Nome to Anchorage, are chartered flights and payable directly to A&K.
You will need to arrive in Montreal, Canada, at any time on Saturday, August 18, 2018. Hotel accommodations are provided that night, but no other activities. Your charter flight from Nome to Anchorage, Alaska, at the end of the cruise arrives in the afternoon on Monday, September 10, 2018. Do not book a return flight from Anchorage departing any earlier than 7pm on September 10, 2018. Please call Steven Goldberg for assistance with your travel plans.
Steven Goldberg / Frosch TravelToll-Free in USA: 1-800-323-1276
International guests, please call +1-312-371-9686
When calling, please identify yourself as a Toto Tours participant. If you leave a message on Steven’s voice mail, he will return your call promptly. He will be happy to discuss your travel plans and help you decide when to purchase your ticket for the best rate.
NOTE: The recent trend in travel is for travelers to finalize their plans much closer to departure time than was customary in the past. While we try to be as flexible as possible we often must turn away last minute registrants because we relinquish hotel space and air reservations 8 – 12 weeks prior to departure! Please keep this in mind when making your travel plans.
What to BringMontreal temperatures can reach the mid-80s in August and humidity is high.
During the month of September in Nome and Anchorage, daily highs range from 53°F to 42°F over the course of the month, while lows can fall in the 30s.
In the Arctic Polar regions, rough weather conditions are common in any season in this region and it is difficult to predict the weather as it is quite unstable. Summer lasts from mid-July to the end of August. The sun comes up for approximately 14 hours per day; however, it is not high in the sky and does not provide much warmth. Cloudy skies and fog are common on some of the areas visited on this itinerary especially on and around Little Diomede. Most of the regions visited on this itinerary have a polar climate, with no month having an average temperature higher than 50°F due to the surrounding cold waters. Average lows range in the 30s. Wind chills can make it feel quite a bit colder. Arctic cyclones can come very fast, lasting for several days or disappearing in couple hours. In general at this time of year, the snow has almost disappeared in coastal areas and it can be quite pleasant.
Use a website such as weather.com to find average temperatures and rainfall during your travel times.
CLICK HERE to see full destination information and a packing list.
In Greenland, the unit of currency is the Danish Krone.
Canada’s unit of currency is the Canadian Dollar.
The U.S. Dollar is the currency in the United States.
In Canada, U.S. cash is accepted at established exchange rates at many hotels, restaurants and shops. Automatic Teller Machines (ATMs) are very common and many U.S. issued bankcards are compatible with them.
In Canada, U.S. cash is accepted at established exchange rates at many hotels, restaurants and shops. Automatic Teller Machines (ATMs) are very common and many U.S. issued bankcards are compatible with them.
During your voyage, you are likely to visit a number of Inuit villages in Nunavut and Northwest Territories of Arctic Canada. On these excursions you have the opportunity to engage with members of the local communities which are known for creating craft items and artwork. Items will be available for purchase (cash only) and and it is recommended that you have Canadian dollars as international funds cannot be exchanged and credit cards are not accepted. Artwork and carvings will cost in the range of CAD$100-$400 (although some carvings may cost more). Other smaller handmade souvenir items are less expensive. You can exchange Canadian dollars prior to departure or upon your arrival in Montreal.
We suggest travelling with some U.S. dollars to be exchanged for local currency and at least two major credit cards. If you have a “Chip and PIN” card, be careful to shield your number from view while entering it on a keypad; never disclose your PIN verbally. Notify your credit card company of your travel plans prior to your departure to avoid any fraud concerns.
Foreign currency can be exchanged only at authorized agencies such as banks and bureaus de change. Exchange currency only at authorized outlets such as exchange kiosks, banks and hotels and exchange only what you think you will need during your trip. Save all receipts from any currency transaction. You may be asked to produce them when you exit the country, and they are required if you intend to reconvert local currency.
We do not recommend traveller’s checks as they are not as widely accepted as in previous years.
Automatic Teller Machines (ATMs) are very common and many U.S. issued bankcards are compatible with them.
The Toto SpiritToto Tours provides Adventure Travel Experiences as differentiated from tours in the traditional sense. Adventure Travel allows (even encourages) you to be an active participant. Adventurers can be identified by certain traits. They are:
- fun-loving optimists who have a sense of humor and accentuate the positive
- good natured realists who are willing to accept situations as they exist
- undaunted by the unexpected, like occasional delays or bad weather
- willing to forego some of the amenities we normally take for granted
- eager to try new things & test limits
- not whiners!
Travel InsuranceWe recommend you purchase travel insurance with Travel Guard to cover for unforeseen events prior to and during your trip. Please follow the link below or call us for more information.
Tour prices per person
|Cabin Class||Price||Single Supplement||Internal Air (From)||Availability|
|CLASSIC BALCONY STATEROOM-CATEGORY 1||$27,995 (WAS $30,995)||$15,495||$2,750||CALL FOR AVAILABILITY|
|DELUXE BALCONY STATEROOM-CATEGORY 2||$30,495 (WAS $33,495)||$16,745||$2,750||AVAILABLE|
|PREMIER BALCONY STATEROOM-CATEGORY 3||$32,995 (WAS $35,995)||$21,595||$2,750||AVAILABLE|
|SUPERIOR BALCONY STATEROOM-CATEGORY 4||$36,995||$22,195||$2,750||CALL FOR AVAILABILITY|
|PREMIER TWO-ROOM BALCONY SUITE-CATEGORY 5||$41,995||$39,895||$2,750||CALL FOR AVAILABILITY|
|PRESTIGE BALCONY SUITE-CATEGORY 6||$43,995||$41,795||$2,750||CALL FOR AVAILABILITY|
|PRESTIGE TWO-ROOM BALCONY SUITE-CATEGORY 7||$46,995||$44,645||$2,750||CALL FOR AVAILABILITY|
|OWNER’S BALCONY SUITE-CATEGORY 8||$55,495||$52,725||$2,750||CALL FOR AVAILABILITY|
Expedition Cruises in the Arctic Include:
Complimentary standard bar drinks, beer, house wine, soft drinks, coffee drinks, juices and bottled water (excluding premium wines, spirits and Champagnes) while on board; all shore excursions and full lecture program while on board; services of A&K Expedition Staff and local guides; gratuities for the ship’s crew and A&K Expedition Staff; a post-cruise expedition logbook; and a complimentary expedition parka and backpack provided on board Arctic cruises.
A&K’s Guest Protection Program; international and internal airfares, unless otherwise noted; costs associated with obtaining passports or entry visas; reciprocity and other border fees; airport departure taxes, unless otherwise noted; excess baggage charges; meals other than those specified in the itinerary; beverages other than those noted in inclusions above; sightseeing not included in the published itinerary; and personal expenses such as laundry, communication charges, Internet access; and optional activities (which are subject to availability).
Special Requirement for Arctic Cruises:
Due to the remote locations, A&K requires proof of a minimum of $50,000 per person in emergency evacuation/repatriation insurance for all Antarctica and Arctic cruises. A&K offers a Guest Protection Program, or you can purchase an alternative policy, requiring that you provide proof of purchase.
Internal Air: Montreal to Kangerlussuaq and Nome to Anchorage (from: $2,750)
Due to the nature of expedition cruising, the final itinerary is subject to change.
This journey contains some active elements.
Minimum age is 10 years.
First group event: walking tour in Montreal, Canada approx 2:00 p.m. on Day 2.
Last group event: disembarkation in Nome, Alaska at approx 9:00 a.m. on Day 24.
Credit Card Payments: All payments will be processed through Abercrombie & Kent. There are no added bank fees for paying by credit card. Click here to see ‘Le Boreal’ Deck Plans