Founded in 1987 and based near Toronto, the family line of ownership continues with the second generation expanding the firm’s reaches in Arctic Canada, its more temperate regions and eastward to Greenland, Iceland, Ireland and Scotland. In winter, there are a few warm weather options in Costa Rica and Panama, Ecuador and Galapagos.
Here’s an expedition outfit, based in Canada, that concentrates on what it knows best — the country’s vast landscape and seascape explored and ideally, explored by expedition ship.
Ship, Year Delivered & Passengers
Ocean Endeavour is the firm’s primary ship for expeditions in the Northern Hemisphere. (Built 1982; last refitted 2016; 198 passengers).
Six decks and one elevator serves the lowest three decks.
Mostly Canadians and Americans.
A sampling of itineraries has the Ocean Endeavour begin the season in early June:
➢Circumnavigating Ireland (11 days) for Irish history and culture, archeology, rugged coastline and sea birds.
➢Cruising Scotland (11 days) for Neolithic ruins, St. Kilda for the largest sea bird colony in the UK, and Scotch Whiskey and Harris Tweeds.
➢Circumnavigating Iceland (9 days), the land of sea and fire best seen from a ship, active volcanoes, lava fields, emerging islands, geysers, glaciers, fishing villages and birding.
➢Iceland and Greenland (11 days) see previous entry for Iceland, while Greenland for its Viking ruins, fjords, glaciers and massive ice cap, whales, sea birds and hiking.
➢Into the Northwest Passage (17 days) for polar bears and sea birds, crossing Davis Strait to Baffin Island, Zodiacs to the graves of the Inuit doomed Franklin Expedition; colorful Inuit villages.
➢Greenland and Labrador-Newfoundland (15 days) for Greenland as described above and the rugged Labrador Coast, fjords, port villages and across the Strait of Belle Isle to Newfoundland.
➢Circumnavigating Newfoundland and St. Pierre et Miquelon (10 days) for a former whaling station and an UNESCO World Heritage Site, First Nation settlement and culture, Viking history and on St. Pierre, a true French island outpost.
➢The Mighty St. Lawrence (10 days) for the Red sandstone cliffs off the Magdalen Islands, First Nation settlements, Scottish culture, birds galore- gannets, puffins, razorbills, common murres, Percé Rock, Saguenay fjord, and whales.
All sightseeing and shore trips; 24-hour coffee, tea, snacks; rubber boots.
From Scotland to the Northwest Passage, see nature at its most dramatic — fjords, glaciers, rugged topography, archeology, Viking history, remote Inuit villages and ways of life, sea animals and birds galore — while traveling with a smallish group of people many of whom will share your interests and enthusiasm.
When to Go?
The departures begin in late spring and last until the autumn.
One of the vessel’s attractions are cabins for three and four that can be booked singly on a share basis (same sex). This feature considerably reduces travel costs for the less well-heeled. Other cabins are both inside (also lower in price) and outside (portholes or windows) with two lower berths or matrimonial bed, and private facilities. A few cabins offer a fridge.
Shared amenities are three lounges; swimming pool, two saunas and a hot tub.
Restaurant with buffet and menu items at breakfast and lunch and served dinner.
Activities & Entertainment
On board: talks and presentations; workshops; photography tips; concerts; singalongs, dancing.
Off the ship: excursions in Zodiacs to see wildlife, explore inlets, fjords, sail up to glaciers, cruise to small islands, go ashore to meet the locals and see their lifestyle and culture, remains of Viking settlements, geysers, volcanoes, landscapes.
In addition, briefly noted, Adventure Canada offers one-off (sometimes two) itineraries as follows:
➢Island Solitude, 12-passenger motor sailor, built in 2017, offers a couple of cruises in Haida Gawii, British Columbia, and known as Queen Charlotte Islands for its native culture, including totems, vast temperature rain forest, provincial park.
➢La Pinta, reconstructed and refitted in 2007, a 46-passenger motor ship for 9 days in the Galapagos, plus Ecuador
➢Variety Voyager, built 2012, a 72-passenger motor ship for 11 days in Costa Rica and Panama (including canal transit)
➢Hebridean Sky, built in 1991, refitted in 2016, a 108-passenger motor ship for 11 days to the Antarctic Peninsula.
Along the Same Lines
Adventure Canada, 14 Front Street, South Mississauga, Ontario L5H 2C4 Canada; 800-363756, adventurecanada.com.
Don’t miss a post, subscribe to QuirkyCruise.com for monthly updates!
© This article is protected by copyright, no part may be reproduced by any process without written permission from the author. All Rights Reserved. QuirkyCruise.com.