Is this trip right for me?
An Adventure Canada expedition is ideal for anyone with an inquiring mind and easygoing attitude who is reasonably fit and in good health. On shore, when possible, we break into guided groups depending on interest and physical ability, so you will never be left behind. You will be walking on uneven terrain, and must be able to descend a flight of stairs from the ship into a Zodiac.
Our expeditions are best suited for people with an adventurous spirit, who still want comfortable accommodations and good food. If itineraries make deviations from the expected route, it’s all part of the adventure! We do not have an age limit. Our passengers have ranged in age from 3 weeks to 95 years old. Due to the nature of the expedition, we cannot always accommodate disabilities. Please discuss your particular needs with our agents.
Do we get off the ship?
Of course! Weather permitting, we do get off the ship at least once and sometimes twice a day. We may visit communities, go exploring in our Zodiacs to look for wildlife, or hike where possibly no one has been before.
What is a Zodiac?
Zodiacs are inflatable, rigid-hulled watercraft, powered by outboard motors. They can hold up to ten passengers, not including the driver. Zodiacs are the favoured means of transportation for all our expeditions and, indeed, wherever shallow waters and beaches ring the shoreline. They are stable, versatile craft, which cruise at an approximate speed of four knots; in windy weather, they can make for rather splashy rides. Life preservers and wet gear are absolutely compulsory for Zodiac travel. Zodiac landings will generally entail disembarking onto rocky or gravelly beaches.
Am I fit enough to take an expedition?
Our trips do require a certain level of fitness and mobility. Some destinations can present lengthy hikes over variable terrain, without any rest facilities onshore. Other times our visit may be in a town, where you are free to explore at your own pace. When cruising in Zodiacs, you may be out for an hour or longer in chilly waters while looking for wildlife. While there is limited elevator access aboard the ship, not all decks are serviced by the elevator and you must be able to climb stairs between decks.
You must also be able to climb the external gangway stairs to transfer between the ship and the Zodiacs. Our guides and ship crew are available to assist you in and out of the Zodiacs, both on shore and at the gangway. Generally speaking, once a few people are ready to return to the ship from shore, the Zodiacs are available to take you back at the time of your choosing.
More simply: if you can negotiate a flight of stairs, you can participate in our trips.
What temperatures should I expect?
In July and August, the temperatures in the regions we visit are usually quite comfortable. It is common to have beautiful sunny days with temperatures reaching a high of 18°C. In the Arctic, we can also experience temperatures close to 0°C. When you are on land and walking around it usually gets quite warm and people tend to take off layers.
European and Canadian maritime destinations tend to be warmer than the Arctic in the summer months, and sunshine makes a big difference. A good rule of thumb is to dress for “shoulder seasons”—spring and fall—with the option to add layers as necessary.
No matter the climate, Zodiac rides can be quite chilly—and waterproof layers are absolutely necessary. Dressing in layers of warm clothes will ensure you are always comfortable. For example, a turtleneck, sweater and waterproof jacket, gloves, hat, scarf, and a small backpack are a good idea, as you may wish to leave a layer of clothing on the beach with your rubber boots once you have gotten out of the Zodiac.
Do I need to bring rubber boots?
No! We supply lightweight rubber boots for moving between Zodiac and shore as you often step into shallow water. We suggest carrying your hiking boots in a plastic bag and changing into them once you are on shore. We will leave the rubber boots on the beach near the Zodiacs.
Do families take these cruises?
Yes—and more do every year. Adventure Canada offers a 30 Under 30 Program with a 30% discount for younger travellers, whether travelling alone or with someone else. We offer additional incentives for children under the age of five. Please enquire directly with our Adventure Specialists for details.
What kind of food will be served?
Aboard the Ocean Endeavour, breakfast and lunch are both served with an a la carte and buffet component, while dinner is served a la carte. There will always be meat, seafood, and vegetarian options. When possible, we do try to incorporate local delicacies such as caribou and Arctic char, cod cheeks, and so on. For children’s meals and those with food allergies and restrictions, please advise us in writing well in advance of departure so we can best accommodate your needs.
Can I buy local art?
Yes! Carvings and handicrafts from local artists are available for purchase in most of the communities we visit. Canadian currency is best for these purchases. Many countries impose restrictions on importing certain items. Please check with your customs department before you depart your home country to avoid disappointment.
Some of the communities we visit are not equipped to handle credit/debit purchasing; for this reason, we recommend bringing a supply of cash to purchase art, crafts, and souvenirs. Please consult with our Client Services team for further details.
Will we encounter rough seas?
The seas in summer are usually calm, though rough weather can be experienced at any time. There are remedies to control the case of seasickness. Please ask your physician for advice.
Is there a doctor on board?
Our ship is equipped with a small infirmary, basic emergency supplies, and an emergency doctor. Travel medical and evacuation insurance is mandatory. Please refer to your Pre-Departure Information for more details.
Will there be any mosquitos?
Mosquitos and black flies are common in the regions through which we travel, and are more numerous in July than August. However, it takes only a slight wind to keep them clear and fortunately, the great majority of our time will be spent along the coast—exposed to breezes, and away from the marshy breeding grounds. Bug spray and/or nets are recommended.
Why are your cruises priced in US Dollars?
As a marine operator, all our operating costs are in US Dollars—this includes our port fees, fuel charges, and numerous other expenses associated with maritime operation. As a result, Adventure Canada prices our expeditions in US dollars in order to offer a more stable price across the board.
Can I extend my stay?
Most charter flights to our Arctic destinations leave from either Toronto, Calgary, or Ottawa. Flights usually depart for the Arctic early in the morning and return late in the afternoon or evening. Depending on where your home city is, you are probably best to plan at least one night before and after the trip in the departure or return city. We sometimes have extended preferred rates at the hotels we use, so please speak to your Adventure Specialist about prices and availability.