This article examines the interactions between sea ice change and patterns of cruise ship tourism through the Northwest Passage of Arctic Canada and how local communities are responding to this change. During the period 2006–2010, the Passage has emerged as the most popular expedition cruise area in the Canadian Arctic with an increase in planned cruises by 70%. This dramatic increase in cruise traffic has been, in part, facilitated by improved access as a result of decreases in sea ice. Since 1968, total sea ice area in northern route of the Northwest Passage has decreased by 11% per decade and total sea ice area in the southern of the Northwest Passage has decreased by 16% per decade. Integrating research from both social and geophysical science, this article presents an analysis of changing cruise tourism patterns through the Northwest Passage and analyses resident responses from Passage communities including Ulukhaktok, Gjoa Haven, and Pond Inlet. Discussion is focused on issues associated with infrastructure, security, protection of the marine environment, human safety, and search and rescue. This research is important to help prepare communities, policy makers, as well as the cruise sector itself, to be responsive to change in these remote locations.