The Polar Regions
    Northwest Passage

    Sought for so long, at the cost of so many - are you ready to explore these icy channels?

    The legendary ice-clogged waterways of the Canadian High Arctic have enthralled explorers ever since John Cabot first attempted the transit in 1497. It was not until 1903-06 that Roald Amundsen, the same man who would go on to beat Scott to the South Pole in 1911, became the first to complete a full transit from east to west. However, it was undoubtedly Sir John Franklin’s doomed 1845 expedition that captured the collective imagination. 

    Any trip to the Northwest Passage must be undertaken with the acceptance that the ice is in charge. As Franklin, and many others found to their ultimate cost, even at the height of summer the ever-shifting ice can create an impenetrable maze. For this reason, an expedition that enters Lancaster Sound is exactly that – an expedition. The combination of ice-capped scenery, wildlife – polar bears, guillemots, beluga, walrus, musk ox and more – history and culture all combine to build an Arctic experience like no other. There is also a unique modern community living here, descendants of the nomadic Inuit of the Canadian Arctic, who, despite being settled in small towns, have kept many of their traditions alive.

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    Start planning
    Caroline Maber
    Speak to an expert
    +44 (0)207 384 2332

    Polar Photo Journal
    In Print


    Let this photo journal inspire your journey to the ice

    Created by our experts as an introduction to specialist travel to the polar regions with cazenove+loyd

    Read More

    Area in Focus

    Beechey Island

    One of the most significant and tantalising pieces of evidence from Franklin’s expedition was discovered here in 1850: the graves of sailors Torrington, Braine and Hartnell.

    Northwest Passage Key Features

    Follow in Franklin's Footsteps

    Franklin’s ships - HMS Erebus and HMS Terror - were found near King William Island in 2016, some 170 years after they went missing. It’s likely that the 129 men suffered from lead poisoning, and all were lost in the Arctic wilderness.

    The Journey

    Most expeditions focus on the eastern half of the passage. With a high concentration of wildlife and historical landing sites, plus the opportunity to discover Western Greenland, it’s a superb region to explore.

    Arctic Big Five

    This is one of the few regions where you can see the Arctic 'Big Five' (polar bears, narwhal, walrus, musk ox and beluga) on the same trip – although nothing can be guaranteed.

    Stories from the Northwest Passage

    Our Destination Experts

    We would love to hear from you

    Each of our dedicated experts has extensive knowledge of the destinations they specialise in. They are continuously re-visiting, trying and testing so that they can offer you up to date and little-known insights into the regions they are so passionate about. 

    Our Service

    Getting It Right Every Time

    • Your Destination Expert will build a relationship with you and a nuanced understanding of what you want from your holiday.
    • Once we know you, we can match our years of specialist knowledge to you and begin designing your extraordinary trip.
    • We will continue refining your itinerary adding in those special touches and leaving no stone unturned to make sure that every day is spectacular.
    • 24/7 SERVICE
    • From the moment you leave home, we will be on hand to ensure a totally seamless experience.

    We work in some of the most ecologically and culturally sensitive parts of the world, so have always been conscious of operating in a way that has a positive impact on both the environment and the people.

    When you travel with us, we will make a contribution on your behalf to one of the following charities: All About the Light Foundation in Africa, ABOUTAsia Travel & Schools in Cambodia, the Alalay Foundation in Bolivia and Scott Polar Research Institute in the Polar Regions.

    If clients are interested, we are always keen to get them involved in local projects and conservation efforts. Whether it be whale counting in Antarctica or rhino relocation in Kenya, you will leave knowing your actions have made a difference.

    Our service includes booking and managing all your international and domestic flights. However, you can also book your own international flights if you would prefer. We can also organise private charters and private jet travel for both international and domestic flights.

    We have a fantastic VIP service in place to help you navigate the airport and make your journey as smooth and easy as possible. We can collect you from your home, take you to the airport and escort you through check-in and immigration to avoid any queues, straight through to the airport lounge before boarding your flight. The same service can be put in place on your return journey.

    We understand that one of the most important factors to our clients is flexibility to give you as much assurance as possible when booking your next trip. We are extremely flexible and are on hand to discuss with you the latest updates on flexibility in any one of our destinations.

    We have excellent relationships with a handful of insurance companies who provide various forms of cover. Each one offers a different policy with varying terms and conditions, so we strongly recommend getting a series of quotes and discussing your personal requirements in detail with them in order to find the best one for you.

    Booking and travelling with an accredited tour operator is more important than ever. cazenove+loyd is a bonded tour operator and is ATOL protected by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). Our ATOL number is 3208. This means that the UK government guarantees all funds paid out to a bonded operator and is bound to pay in full if the bond holder is unable to deliver as contracted. This gives our clients peace of mind and full financial protection. Please see our booking conditions for further information.

    We have put the relevant measures in place so that our destinations are ready to welcome you safely. In all of our destinations, sanitation and hygiene in our vehicles and the properties we work with are extensive, with cleaning protocols rigidly followed as well as other necessary safety requirements. We always arrange private vehicles and guides for our clients when travelling in a destination.

    The price of our service is dependent on the intricacies of the itinerary. No two trips are the same. Our philosophy is to make every detail tailored just to you. 

    For the latest details on deposit and balance payments and schedules, please get in touch to speak to an expert.


    Accompanied by Experts

    Begin Your Journey
    Caroline Maber
    UK +44 (0)207 384 2332
    US 1-800-409-4233