Our original plan had been to tour the Kamchatka Peninsula in the summer but one notorious asshole, Valdimer Putin, ruined that trip with his murderous war against Ukraine. As you can imagine it wouldn’t be wise sending Americans, Aussies and Brits into Russian waters in 2022. So we were offered an alternative when that was canceled, and we chose the Northwest Passage tour on the MV Greg Mortimer polar expedition vessel. This is another trip run by Aurora Expeditions. An excellent operator out of Sydney.

This trip involved commercial flights to Calgary and returning from Toronto with long charter flights at each end as well. The first up to Cambridge Bay, Victoria Island, Canada to start the voyage and the second from Kangerlussuaq, Greenland. The charter flights were on Canadian North very ancient 737-200C’s last made in the 1980’s and not renown as great aircraft. But we made it! All part of the adventure.

The other wrinkle in the trip was the Canadian COVID protocols at the time. This was September 2022 before they relaxed them all so if you came down with COVID you had to quarantine for 10 days where you were. So, when we arrived there were 30 passengers from the previous trip isolated in their cabins, unable to go home, who had to continue with us till they came out of quarantine and then Aurora would get them home at a future port, which as you can imagine are very few and far between up there. Some opted to try and leave on their own after quarantine and before Aurora’s arrangements. By all accounts this was a pricey adventure. We made the whole trip, with 130 passengers testing every other day and remaining COVID free till the final days and infected a few people but no isolation on the boat as we were then in Greenland. Strange disease COVID, we still don’t understand it fully.

We met a collection of very interesting people. Our tablemates were great! The speakers on board were exceptionally deep in their subjects – a historian Fellow from Cambridge, a multi-Emmy winning naturalist who worked on Blue Planet, etc.

The trip took us up through the Northwest Passage of Canada over the Greenland seeing amazing sites and some animal life.

Enjoy the photos here.