Adventure Canada ShipsSea Adventurer
- Offers close encounters with Arctic wildlife
- Unique exposure to Inuit culture and Canada's maritime communities
- Itineraries to remote destinations not frequented by other cruise lines
- Knowledgeable, local guides and naturalists who double as musicians
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OnboardAdventure Canada expedition sailings to the Canadian Arctic are very much focused on wildlife, nature and local lore. Life onboard is casual, friendly and relaxed. You won't find anything remotely fancy or formal -- and forget about production shows. You're more likely to be invited to a singalong or hilarious word game. The emphasis is on learning, with lectures on topics that range from the ecology of the poles to life in a Newfoundland outpost, along with traditional Inuit games. Expect one or two shore trips by Zodiac each day, and accept that itineraries will be altered based on wildlife sightings, the changing weather and ice conditions.
About Adventure CanadaOwned and operated by the Swan family since its start in 1988, Adventure Canada operates trips in northern Canada on land, as well as by sea. Having launched its first Arctic cruise in 1991, the family is now welcoming its second generation into the business. In 2011, Adventure Canada took over management of Cruise North Expeditions, an Inuit-owned cruise operator, which was founded in 2005 to charter a ship for Canadian Arctic exploration. Cruise North is currently a division of Adventure Canada and maintains a separate website. However, whether marketed as Adventure Canada or Cruise North, the Arctic cruises aboard Sea Adventurer are one and the same, and a number of Cruise North staffers popular with past passengers have joined the Adventure Canada team.
These cruises provide a refreshing alternative within the expedition cruise industry by featuring staff who are local residents of the cruising area and hired for a single voyage. The company combines no-frills expeditions to some rarely visited Canadian Arctic regions with a strong emphasis on local culture, history, nature, wildlife and music (provided by multi-talented naturalists, geologists and historians). There is no formality onboard. The friendly, often folksy atmosphere trickles down from the top, and the company is about as non-corporate as you'll find in today's cruise industry. The chartered Sea Adventurer is decidedly on the older side, but that helps to ensure passengers are self-selecting and don't need luxuries to appreciate the experience.
A part of Adventure Canada's mission is to support local projects in the areas where they cruise. To help fund these efforts, each passenger is billed a separate Discovery Fee. The company goes out of its way to employ residents of local communities, be they Inuit or Newfoundlanders, to make presentations about their culture and arrange visits to local communities.
Adventure Canada FleetAdventure Canada charters expedition ships on a seasonal basis. Sea Adventurer (formerly Clipper Adventurer) has been the favored vessel for summer Arctic expeditions since 2009, and it's also marketed by sister company Cruise North Expeditions. The 118-passenger, 4,376-ton ship was built in 1975 with an A-1 ice-rated hull specifically for polar exploration. The ship was extensively upgraded in 1998, and all cabins have updated private bathrooms and views through windows or portholes.
Adventure Canada (but not Cruise North) occasionally charters other ships for a single sailing. Their charters include National Geographic Islander, Spirit of Enderby, Island Odyssey and Island Roamer.
Fellow PassengersAbout 70 percent of passengers come from Canada, with the rest split between the U.S., Australia and Britain. The average passenger tends to be in his or her 60s, with many repeaters and a surprising number cruising solo. There are generally several family groups onboard, some including small children or teens. Passengers are fit, well-traveled and keen to learn about the region they are visiting.
Photo courtesy of Michelle Valberg