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Greenland & Canadian Arctic

Arctic Cruise Information

Summary : Follow in the footsteps of the early Norse exploration of Greenland and Canada and go beyond your boundaries in a region that is unparalleled in bucolic loveliness. Look for walrus, polar bears, humpbacks, Minke whales, and orcas as you cruise by Zodiac. Throughout the voyage, you'll learn about the history, geology, wildlife, and botany of this spectacular area from lecture presentations offered by your knowledgeable onboard Expedition Team. From the outstanding pieces of Inuit art in Qaqortoq, Nuuk and Iqaluit to small fishing communities of Aappilattoq to relaxing hot springs and shimmering icebergs—this is a journey of warm welcomes and pristine scenery.

Activities : Birding, Culture, Hiking, Triple/Quad Cabins

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Itinerary
Day 1
Reykjavík, Iceland

Embark your vessel in the late afternoon, settle into your cabin, and meet your Expedition Team.

Day 2
At Sea

While you're at sea, enjoy wine tastings, designer boutiques, language and dance classes. Take in a matinee movie, check the market or your e-mail in the Internet Point, slip away with a novel from the library to a sunny chaise or with a movie to your suite. Or just take in the sun pool side. The choice is yours.

Day 3
Skjoldungen, Greenland

Located on Greenland’s infrequently visited rugged east coast, Skoldungen Fjord has enchanting scenery with towering mountains tipped with snow, ice-sculpted valley sides and shimmering icebergs in shades of white and blue. At the top of the fjord one can easily see the retreating state of the Thrym Glacier. The U-shaped fjord offers spectacular scenery and as an extra perk, it is not uncommon to see whales in the fjord.

Day 4
Prince Christian Sound / Aapilattoq

Connecting the Denmark Strait with Davis Strait, Prins Christian Sund offers a protected course from southeastern to southwestern Greenland, and is one of South Greenland’s most dramatic natural features. The water is generally placid and the crisp scent of ice fills the air. On either side of the Sund, waterfalls stream down sharp, wrinkled mountainsides. Depending on weather conditions, icebergs that glitter in the sun may be constant companions during the passage. Born of compacted ancient snows that formed glaciers and now calve into the sound at the glacier’s edge.

Aapilattoq is a small settlement near the western end of Prins Christian Sund in southwestern Greenland. In the local Greenlandic language the name means, "sea anemone". This small village of 130 inhabitants, hidden behind a prominent rock, offers a good insight into the life of Greenlandic Inuit. A stroll through the village will reveal a small school and a church, along with the likely possibility of seeing a polar bear skin drying in the wind behind a local dwelling. People have lived off the land in the area around Aapilattoq since the 19th century.

Day 5
Nanortalik / Uunartoq Island

Nanortalik lies in a scenic area surrounded by steep mountainsides and is Greenland’s tenth-largest and most southerly town with less than 1,500 inhabitants. The town’s name means the “place of polar bears”, which refers to the polar bears that used to be seen floating offshore on summer’s ice floes. Nanortalik has an excellent open-air museum that gives a broad picture of the region from Inuit times to today. Part of the exhibition is a summer hunting camp, where Inuit in traditional clothing describe aspects of their ancestor’s customs and lifestyle.

Uunartoq is a small island in South Greenland a short distance east of what once was considered the largest settlement in Greenland. The island has hot springs that were renowned as far back as the days of the Norse for their healing effects. Three naturally heated streams have been channeled to flow into a knee-deep and stone-lined pool. Unwind and soak in the steaming waters as you watch icebergs drift by.

Day 6
Qaqortoq / Hvalsey

The largest town in southern Greenland, Qaqortoq has been inhabited since prehistoric times. Upon arrival in this charming southern Greenland enclave, it's easy to see why. Qaqortoq rises quite steeply over the fjord system around the city, offering breathtaking panoramic vistas of the surrounding mountains and sea, Lake Tasersuag, icebergs in the bay, and pastoral backcountry. Although the earliest signs of ancient civilization in Qaqortoq date back 4,300 years, Qaqortoq is known to have been inhabited by Norse and Inuit settlers in the 10th and 12th centuries.

Northeast of Qaqortoq and at the end of a fjord, Hvalsey is one of the best examples of South Greenland’s many scattered ruins from the Norse period. Today the area is used for sheep-grazing, but until the 15th century the settlement at Hvalsey, and specifically Hvalsey’s church, played an important part. Christianity had spread its influence throughout Europe and eventually had reached remote Greenland, where it established itself in the country in 1000 AD. Hvalsey Church was built in the 14th century and is the best preserved of the churches in Greenland from that period.

Day 7
At Sea

While you're at sea, enjoy wine tastings, designer boutiques, language and dance classes. Take in a matinee movie, check the market or your e-mail in the Internet Point, slip away with a novel from the library to a sunny chaise or with a movie to your suite. Or just take in the sun pool side. The choice is yours.

Day 8
Nuuk, Greenland

Nuuk, meaning “the cape”, was Greenland’s first town (1728). Started as a fort and later mission and trading post south of the Arctic Circle, it is the current capital. Almost 30% of Greenland’s population lives in the town. Not only does Nuuk have great natural beauty in its vicinity, but there are Inuit ruins, Hans Egede’s home, the parliament, and the Church of Our Saviour as well. The Greenlandic National Museum has an outstanding collection of Greenlandic traditional dresses, as well as the famous Qilakitsoq mummies.

Day 9
At Sea

While you're at sea, enjoy wine tastings, designer boutiques, language and dance classes. Take in a matinee movie, check the market or your e-mail in the Internet Point, slip away with a novel from the library to a sunny chaise or with a movie to your suite. Or just take in the sun pool side. The choice is yours.

Day 10
Iqaluit, Greenland

Iqaluit is the capital of Canada’s newest territory, Nunavut, which is Inuktitut for “our land”. The community is located at the head of Frobisher Bay, an inlet of the North Atlantic extending into southeastern Baffin Island. The Bay is so long that it was first taken to be the possible entrance of a Northwest Passage. In Iqaluit, the Nunatta Sunakkutaangit Museum and the Nunavut Legislative Assembly Building both house incredible collections of Inuit artwork with interesting local prints for sale in the museum shop.

Day 11
Monumental Island / Lady Franklin Island

Monumental Island in Davis Strait was named by Arctic explorer Charles Francis Hall as a tribute to the memory of Sir John Franklin who died in his quest to find the Northwest Passage. The island is offshore of Baffin Island in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago of the territory of Nunavut. Around the shoreline scores of Black Guillemots dive and fish for little Arctic cods and capelins. Successful birds fly off with a minnow grasped tightly in their beaks. On a far larger scale, it is possible to find groups of walruses with their impressive tusks along the shores of the island.

Named in honor of Sir John Franklin’s widow, the lonely and uninhabited Lady Franklin Island lies off of Baffin Island’s Hall Peninsula at the entrance to Cumberland Sound. The island is named for the wife of Sir John Franklin, the Arctic explorer who died trying to discover the Northwest Passage. The geology of the island is striking with vertical cliffs of Archean rocks, likely to be some of the oldest stone in Canada. The waters around Lady Franklin Island offer an abundance seabirds, ducks, seals, and walrus. With a bit of luck it is possible to see Atlantic Puffins here.

Day 12 – 13
At Sea

While you're at sea, enjoy wine tastings, designer boutiques, language and dance classes. Take in a matinee movie, check the market or your e-mail in the Internet Point, slip away with a novel from the library to a sunny chaise or with a movie to your suite. Or just take in the sun pool side. The choice is yours.

Day 14
L'Anse Aux Meadows, Canada

Around the year 1000, Vikings from Greenland and Iceland founded the first European settlement in North America, near the northern tip of Newfoundland. They arrived in the New World 500 years before Columbus but stayed only a few years and were forgotten for centuries. Since the settlement's rediscovery in the last century, the archaeological site has brought tourism to the area. Viking themes abound but so do views, whales, icebergs, fun dining experiences, and outdoor activities. L'Anse Aux Meadows on the northern tip of the island of Newfoundland is a remote community of just 40 people.

Day 15
Twillengate, Canada

Twillingate is the self-proclaimed ‘Iceberg Capital of the World’, although icebergs will be a more likely occurrence in the winter months. The community is home to the “Prime Berth Museum”, which is best described as a commercial fishing heritage site highlighting the glory “salt fish days” before the cod fishery moratorium in the mid-1980s. Several historic buildings packed with artifacts are located near the shoreline, in addition to an impressive skeleton of a Sei whale and the two giant racks of its baleen on display.

Day 16
St. John's, Newfoundland

After breakfast, disembark the ship.

Notes

Read this itinerary as a guide only; the exact route and program varies according to ice and weather conditions – and the wildlife you encounter. Flexibility is the key to the success of this expedition. 

Travel Insurance
:
Although travel insurance is not mandatory to participate in this voyage, ExpeditionTrips strongly recommends Emergency Medical/Evacuation coverage which includes coverage for cancellation, trip disruption, baggage and personal property. ExpeditionTrips can assist you with this.

Included:
Onboard accommodations; onboard meals; butler service; complimentary beverages served throughout the ship (an assortment of complimentary wines, champagne and spirits); Haglofs parka; backpack; onboard gratuities (except spa); port charges and handling fees; Silver, Medallion, Grand and Owner's Suite guests receive laundry service and dinner at Officer's table; 1 hour of Internet access per guest/per day for passengers booked in Adventurer, Explorer, View, Vista, and Veranda Suites; unlimited Internet access for passengers booked in Medallion, Silver, Grand, and Owner’s Suites. Subject to change without notice.

Not Included:
Airfare; transfers and luggage handling; travel insurance; government fees and taxes; visa and passport expenses; gifts and items of a personal nature such as laundry and spa options, fuel surcharge may apply.

Photo Credit: © Creative Services at Silversea Cruises, © Daniela Plaza

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