Summary : Discover the best of the Canadian High Arctic and Greenland as you travel aboard a mighty icebreaker vessel. Access remote, ice-choked regions ordinary expedition ships dare not navigate. Since 1992, the Khlebnikov has taken adventurers to inaccessible corners of the globe, and was the first ship ever to circumnavigate Antarctica with passengers in 1997. In true pioneering spirit, board the indomitable Khlebnikov and sail to secluded areas few will ever have the privilege to set foot upon. From quiet coastal towns to authentic Inuit communities to awe-inspiring Ilulissat, this voyage is ideal for those seeking an in-depth, authentic expedition to the less discovered areas of the Arctic. Truly off the beaten path. In addition, enjoy aerial views from Khlebnikov’s two on-board helicopters.
Activities : Birding, Culture, Hiking, Triple/Quad Cabins
Please inquire about extra savings available for booking multiple consecutive journeys aboard the Kapitan Khlebnikov.
$999,999,999 to $0
Your arctic adventure begins a little further south, with an overnight stay in Ottawa, Canada’s capital city. Stroll along the charming Rideau Canal, discover the majestic Canadian Parliament buildings, and explore the markets, world-class museums and shops on offer. Plan to arrive and make your way to the hotel in time for your pre-departure briefing at about 6pm.
After a morning charter flight to Kangerlussuaq, transfer to the mighty Kapitan Khlebnikov by Zodiac. Kangerlussuaq is a former U.S. military base and serves as the international gateway for the majority of travel to and from Greenland. Enjoy time out on deck taking in your new surroundings before setting sail on your arctic expedition.
Kayak is an Inuit word the English language has borrowed to describe a small vessel propelled by paddles that seats one or two people. When ashore in Sisimiut, travelers will watch a demonstration of traditional kayaking. There will be time to explore the town, where 18th century buildings from Greenland’s colonial period still stand!
Ilulissat Kangerlua is Greenlandic for “The Iceberg Fjord.” The glacier at the head of the fjord is the most productive in the Northern Hemisphere. The icebergs it calves float down the fjord to enter Baffin Bay. As the ship approaches Ilulissat, have your cameras ready to take photos of young icebergs. Their journey will end years later somewhere off the coast of Newfoundland. So significant is Ilulissat Fjord that UNESCO has designated the area a World Heritage Site. We’ll take you on a Zodiac cruise near the mouth of the fjord and later visit the community and hike to a spot inside the fiord to watch the massive bergs lined up before entering Baffin Bay.
You’ll want to be out on deck regardless of the time of day as the ship approaches Uummannaq. The vista is simply breathtaking. The heart-shaped mountain that gave the town its name dominates the view. Uummannaq was founded as a Danish colony in 1758 on the Nuussuaq mainland, but in 1763 it was moved to the nearby island, as seal hunting was more plentiful there. On your walk through the town, you’ll visit the historic oil warehouse built in 1860. Look for the peat hut, behind the warehouse, which was still in use until a few years ago.
The region of Upernavik is almost the size of Great Britain. The town of the same name was founded in 1772, but the history of human habitation in the region is longer. In Upernavik you will visit the northernmost open-air museum with well-preserved buildings dating back to colonial days. Unique fauna is another compelling reason to visit the Upernavik area, where the world’s largest bird cliff, Apparsuit, is located.
Today you’ll hear stories of the famous Cape York Meteorite, and learn about the place other meteorites have had in Cape York’s history. If conditions permit, fly by helicopter to the Robert Peary monument at the top of Cape York and experience a very impressive view.
At Qaanaaq, founded in 1953, you will visit the northernmost municipality in the world, and learn about the culture of the people of Northern Greenland. One of the highlights of the museum is a massive chunk of meteorite.
Murres and fulmars will soar overhead as you cruise in Zodiacs along the base of high cliffs at Cobourg Island. Thousands of seabirds nest in Nirjutiqavvik National Wildlife Area, established to protect the wildlife of Lady Ann Strait along the island’s southern shore. Be sure to carry your camera and binoculars!
The only community on Ellesmere Island is Grise Fjord. The citizens of Aujuittuq – the place that never thaws – will educate you with cultural demonstrations are based on 4,000 years of tradition. The tiny hamlet, the most northerly community in Canada, has only 140 residents – slightly more than one resident per guest aboard our icebreaker.
From there, the ship navigates Hell Gate, a narrow passage transited successfully by only a handful of passenger vessels. Our next stop is Eureka Sound. Helicopter flights take you over an ancient petrified forest on Ellesmere Island’s western coast.
The epic beauty that is Tanquary Fjord encompasses sweeping mountain valleys under huge arctic skies. Luminous glaciers cascade down to clear blue waters. Twenty-four hours of daylight provide ample opportunity to take photos in Quttinirpaaq National Park on Ellesmere Island.
Eureka has been called the “Garden Spot of the Arctic” due to an abundance of flora and fauna found in the area, more so than anywhere else in the High Arctic. The Weather Station consists of “Fort Eureka” (for military personnel), the Environment Canada Weather Station, and the Polar Environment Atmospheric Research Laboratory (PEARL), formerly the Arctic Stratospheric Ozone Observatory (AStrO).
At Axel Heiberg, you’ll learn about its unusual fossil forests.
At the Norwegian Bay and Belcher Channel, there are many wonderful and exciting sights. However, the experience of watching the 24,000-horsepower Kapitan Khlebnikov battle its way through some of the toughest ice in the world may be one of the most memorable. Head south through Penny Strait to Queen’s Channel, with plans to explore McDougall Sound, on the alert for walrus and polar bears.
Traverse the natural waterways of Penny Strait, Queen’s Channel and the Crozier Strait. Expect to see copious birdlife above, and magnificent views ahead.
Just offshore the western end of Devon Island is Beechey Island. There, on a stony beach, stand three grave markers; solemn reminders of the lives lost during Sir John Franklin’s search for the Northwest Passage. Upon approach to Beechey Island, watch presentations about Franklin and his expedition.
Disembark and bid the land of the midnight sun farewell. You will return by afternoon charter flight to Ottawa, where you will be transferred to the hotel.
After breakfast, make your way home at your leisure.
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.
Celebrated astronaut Colonel Chris Hadfield is joining this expedition! As the first Canadian to walk in space, he’s flown two space shuttle missions and served as International Space Station commander. Now a New York Times bestselling author, he looks forward to bringing his famed Generator event to the Arctic and speaking to guests on leadership, science and technology.
Mandatory Travel Insurance:
All guests are required to have comprehensive travel insurance coverage. Due to the remoteness of the areas in this itinerary, travelers must have a minimum $50,000 of emergency medical coverage. Proof of coverage is required prior to embarkation. The shipping company will not be held responsible for delays due to force majeure. Any additional costs accrued will be the responsibility of the traveler. ExpeditionTrips strongly recommends that the travel insurance policy covers trip cancellation insurance, trip delay (interruption or after departure coverage), baggage and repatriation. ExpeditionTrips can assist you with this.
Shipboard accommodation with daily housekeeping; all meals on board the vessel; beverages on board, including a selection of house wines, beer and spirits; group scheduled helicopter flightseeing and excursions; downloadable photographic journal documenting the voyage; waterproof expedition boots on loan for shore landings; an expedition parka – yours to keep; coffee, tea, cocoa available around the clock; miscellaneous service taxes and port charges; luggage handling aboard ship; emergency evacuation insurance for all passengers to a maximum benefit of $100,000 per person*. Subject to change without notice.
Any airfare; mandatory charter airfare package; passport and visa expenses; government arrival and departure taxes; any beverages that are not in the complimentary selection; any meals ashore; baggage, cancellation and medical travel insurance; excess baggage charges; laundry and other personal charges; telecommunications, phone and internet charges; gratuity at the end of the voyage for ship’s crew and Expedition Team members; additional overnight accommodation; helicopter flying time in excess of that offered for the group; fuel surcharge may apply.
*Emergency Evacuation Insurance:
Emergency evacuation coverage to a maximum benefit per paying passenger of $100,000 is included in the cost of this expedition. Included coverage is applicable only to travel between the first and last day of the expedition purchased. Additional days of travel prior to the expedition and/or after the expedition are not covered by the included emergency evacuation insurance. We strongly advise all passengers to purchase medical, cancellation and baggage insurance, and additional emergency evacuation coverage.