Gjoa Haven is located on the southeast coast of King William Island at the heart of the Northwest Passage. It is also called Uqsuqtuuk which means ‘place of plenty blubber’ in Inuktitut. The name Gjoa is named after Norwegian explorer, Roald Amundsen’s ship during his expedition through the Northwest Passage. While docked there over the winter, he noted that it was ‘the finest little harbour in the world’.
In 2015, after years of fruitless searching researchers acted on the oral traditions of the Inuit of Gjoa Haven and found the remains of Sir John Franklin’s ill-fated 1845 expedition. They found the remains of his two boats, the HMS Erebus and the HMS Terror preserved in the arctic waters off Gjoa Haven. You too can take part in this epic search that shaped much of modern day Nunavut. In Gjoa Haven you can speak with the holders of Inuit oral tradition and add your name to the centuries old list of arctic explorers.
Essential experiences in Gjoa Haven include:
- Exploring the Northwest Passage Territorial Trail and see how this community is central to the ongoing saga of the passage
- Seek out a true arctic wildlife experience, looking for caribou, muskox, and migratory birds
- Experiencing a vibrant, welcoming Inuit community