An Adventure Canada expedition is an experience unlike any other. Aboard an ice-strengthened expedition vessel, passengers have the opportunity to set sail for the most remote reaches of Canada, Greenland, Antarctica, Iceland, Scotland, the Faroe Islands and beyond. Travelling in comfort in style, travellers soon find themselves aboard what could only be described as a floating university.
Each trip is staffed with an expert expedition team consisting of regional specialists – biologists, historians, geologists, culturalists, musicians, artists, archaeologists, and most jurisdictions in between. Every day, these luminary minds lend their skills and knowledge to our onboard lecture series that enlivens, enriches, and enhances the expedition.
Of course, at the core of each expedition are the landings themselves. These are rough-and-tumble affairs – a common refrain aboard the Ocean Endeavour is that ‘every landing is a wet landing’. Working with the ship’s captain, Adventure Canada’s Expedition Leader plans and executes a daily series of stops that take passengers to shore via Zodiac landing craft.
Once ashore, passengers are true explorers; on one day this may mean investigating grave sites and ancient sod houses with a team of archeologists; on another they may be cruising ice fjords for marine wildlife, or taking part in extended hikes. Expedition landings are never the same, and always invigorating; there’s something truly magical about setting foot where few have before.
At the heart of Adventure Canada’s model is community involvement. We hire extensively from the Inuit communities to which we travel, and endeavour to facilitate cultural exchanges between passengers and the locals throughout Nunavut, Greenland, and beyond. Visits to centres of Inuit art are always trip highlights, and giving back to these communities is of vital importance to the company.
Through the Discovery Fund, Adventure Canada diverts a percentage of each tour sold to strengthening social, cultural, and environmental initiatives in the regions through which we travel to ensure that our model of tourism is a sustainable one. We encourage our partners to do the same, and work with organisations such as the Inuit Heritage Trust, Project North, Students on Ice, Tradition and Transition, and the Walrus Foundation to ensure that our example is taken up by likeminded organisations – and inspires others to do the same.
In 2017, Adventure Canada embraced Canada’s 150th birthday with a number of exciting partnerships that underscored its place at the forefront of the Canadian narrative. Parks Canada joined our Out of the Northwest Passage expedition as an official partner on a voyage to the final resting place of the HMS Erebus, flagship of the lost Franklin Expedition. Along this itinerary, and others like it throughout the season, AC and Parks Canada teamed up to visit a vast array of Canada’s most inaccessible and incredible national parks, including Qausuittuq, Auyuittuq, and the Torngat Mountains National Parks.
Adventure Canada has partnered with the New York-based Explorers Club to establish the Young Explorers program in an effort to help establish the next generation of polar stewards. The program aims to encourage and facilitate the spirit of exploration through the pursuit of science, art, and conservation. Adventure Canada seeks to encourage personal growth for young people who will benefit from direct experience, academic study, cultural exchange and connecting with the Adventure Canada community.
Fun and casual, rugged yet comfortable, Adventure Canada’s expeditions are true voyages of discovery, and leave one irrevocably changed. From the heart of the St. Lawrence River to the most far-flung reaches of the mythic Northwest Passage, our ground-breaking approach to expedition travel – by emphasising the beating, human heart of it all – has earned us numerous awards and accolades, including the Canadian Museum of Nature’s Nature Inspiration Award, multiple Cruise Vision Award, multiple Nunavut Tourism Business of the Year awards, and a nomination for the 2017 National Geographic World Legacy Awards.
Our Mighty Saint Lawrence expedition was named one of National Geographic Traveler’s 50 Tours of a Lifetime, and both the flagship Northwest Passage voyages have been named Canadian Signature Experiences. Our founder Matthew Swan received the Travel Industry Association of Canada’s auspicious Lifetime Achievement Award for his decades of tireless work in the field. National Geographic has named us one of the best adventure travel companies on Earth. In 2017, Adventure Canada was voted the Best Adventure Travel Company by USA Today.
The true sense through which Adventure Canada transcends our status as a tour operator, however, is hard to describe. There is something transformative and ineffable about experiencing the Arctic and other culturally and environmentally significant regions, and few who have visited can claim that they did not feel the pull to return.
Today, as climate change threatens the changing face of our planet and a turbulent political climate becomes a barometer of problems faced by marginalised and indigenous groups, it is organisations such as ours that are doing the important work of turning global attention northward. It is our aspiration that each past traveller becomes an ambassador for northern people and the issues they face; for the vastness and fragility of the landscape; for the centrality of these issues to national identity.