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Canada to Greenland: Baffin Bay Explorer

Canadian Arctic Greenland Cruise

Summary : Explore some of the most isolated regions in the world by small ship and Zodiacs taking you to areas that are otherwise inaccessible including Ilulissat, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The unrivaled natural beauty of these remote lands is simply breathtaking – you can’t help but marvel at the red heart-shaped mountain of Uummannaq, the soaring rock faces of the Sam Ford Fjord, the freshly calved bergs in the Ilulissat Icefjord, and the sheer ruggedness of islands inhabited only by iconic arctic creatures such as walrus and polar bears. In one mystical expedition, you’ll experience the wonder of the wilderness of these two historic islands.

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

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Itinerary
Day 1
Ottawa, Canada

Your adventure begins with an overnight stay in Ottawa, Canada’s capital city. Explore the Canadian capital on your own, before spending the night at your well-appointed hotel.

Day 2
Ottawa / Iqaluit, Nunavut

After breakfast, board our charter flight to Iqaluit, where your first Zodiac ride will transfer you from shore to ship. You’ll experience the power of nature, as the tides here are the second highest in Canada, rising up to 39 feet (12 meters) twice a day. On board, you’ll meet your Expedition Team, the captain and his officers.

Day 3
Monumental Island

Off the southern coast of Baffin Island, this small, isolated island is completely uninhabited, except for the large population of impressive arctic animals that call the rugged terrain home. With your experienced expedition staff, you’ll get up close, exploring the rocky shoreline in a Zodiac, scouting for hauled-out walrus and polar bears prowling for food.

Day 4
Kekerten Island / Pangnirtung

Today, you cross north of the Arctic Circle. Wandering the historical remains of a whaling station on the uninhabited island of Kekerten, it’s easy to envision what life was like during the height of whaling in the Cumberland Sound area. This National Historic Site of Canada was charted by Scottish whaler Captain William Penny in 1840 and soon became a major whaling destination. The site was abandoned around 1926, after whaling declined and local Inuit families moved to the mainland community of Pangnirtung, where a trading post was established by the Hudson’s Bay Company.

As you cruise toward the picturesque Pangnirtung, you’ll see why this Inuit hamlet at the mouth of the Pangnirtung Fjord is called the Switzerland of the Arctic. Tucked beneath the snow- capped peaks of Mount Duval, Pang is also a renowned artists’ haven. Stop by the studio at the Uqqurmiut Centre for Arts & Crafts to view the traditional colorful tapestries that have attracted worldwide attention for decades. Here, you’ll also get a sense of local Inuit activities, such as sealing, fishing and hunting.

Day 5
At Sea

As the ship steams briefly south, enjoy the views of the southern coast of Baffin Island. While you spend this day at sea, join expedition staff as they look for whales and birdlife out on deck. This is your chance to relax with a glass of wine or hot tea and simply take in the wondrous beauty around you.

Day 6
Cumberland Peninsula

Continue sailing around the Cumberland Peninsula, letting the weather guide the team in choosing shore landings, as you explore this scenic region.

Day 7
Sam Ford Fjord, Baffin Bay

Situated about 380 miles (450 km) north of the Arctic Circle, in the land where the sun never sets, Sam Ford Fjord is truly one of the most isolated places on the planet. Yet this little-explored area of Baffin Island is one of the world’s best big-wall playgrounds, attracting intrepid climbers eager to scale the sheer rock faces that shoot straight out of the sea. Have your camera ready, as the number of huge formations here are awe inspiring.

Tonight, you’ll traverse Baffin Bay, saying goodbye to Canadian shores. Expedition staff will preview the excitement still to come in Greenland—glaciers and mummies!

Day 8
Uummannaq and Qilaqitsoq, Greenland

In the morning, you’ll visit the abandoned settlement of Qilaqitsoq (also known as Qilakitsoq), where a ghoulish discovery was made in 1972: the two graves of eight fully dressed mummies, thought to have drowned circa 1475. The remains of three women and a child are kept at the Greenland National Historic Museum in Nuuk, the Greenlandic capital.

You’ll want to be out on deck on the approach to the stunning sight of Uummannaq, its colorful peaked houses perched on the rocky foothills of the red heart-shaped mountain that gave the community its name. Founded as a Danish colony in 1758 on the Nuussuaq mainland, five years later the settlement moved here, where seal hunting was more plentiful. A hike up a gently sloping hill overlooking the seaside town will yield a panoramic view of icebergs, sea and mountains.

Day 9
Eqip Sermia

Today, sail to one of the most breathtaking places in Greenland: the beautiful Eqip Sermia. As you trace the front of the massive calving glacier from a safe distance, the sounds and sight of huge chunks of ice crashing into the sea are simply spectacular.

Day 10
Ilulissat

Have your camera out as you approach Ilulissat. The nearby Ilulissat Icefjord, a tidal fjord covered with massive ice, has fascinated scientists for over 250 years. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is the sea mouth of the Sermeq Kujalleq (Jakobshavn Glacier), the fastest-moving glacier in the world, which produces at least 10 percent of all of Greenland’s calf ice. In fact, the young icebergs you see here will eventually end up off the coast of Newfoundland years later. Exploring the beauty of this natural phenomenon, you’ll be rewarded with breathtaking vistas of glaciers and ice caps.

Day 11
Itilleq

Surrounded by sea, fjords and mountains, the picturesque village of Itilleq is situated on an island with no freshwater source (a facility desalinates seawater). The community, whose main trade is fishing and hunting, will welcome you and show you their way of life. Later, join locals in a friendly soccer match.

Day 12
Kangerslussuaq / Ottawa, Canada

After disembarking in Kangerslussuaq, a former U.S. military base, you’ll be transferred to your charter flight to Ottawa, where you’ll spend the night at your hotel.

Day 13
Ottawa, Canada

Make your way home at your leisure.

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.

Mandatory Travel Insurance:
Due to the remoteness of the areas in this itinerary, travelers are to carry a minimum of $50,000 of emergency medical coverage. Proof of coverage is required prior to embarkation. All guests are strongly recommended to have comprehensive travel insurance coverage. 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.

Charter Flight:
In the unlikely event that the plane is unable to depart on the planned date of the charter flight, you will be provided a full day of activities in Ottawa, meals included. If the weather is not suitable on Day 3, you will enjoy an additional day of activities and meals in Ottawa. On Day 4 should the charter flight not be able to take off by 14:00, the shipping company will officially cancel the voyage and provide letters for all clients to submit to their travel insurance providers under the trip delay/interruption and cancellation clause. The shipping company will make every effort to ensure your program takes place, but due to weather conditions, flying in this region can be difficult and is beyond our control. The shipping company will not offer passengers a refund in the event of a trip delay or cancellation due to the charter flight being unable to depart as planned. We strongly recommend that all expedition guests purchase a comprehensive travel insurance policy including trip delay, cancellation and interruption insurance, in addition to the required medical coverage. Please note that international airfare may not be covered by insurance in the event of a cancellation.

Kayaking Option:
Not included in cruise rate. This is a pre-booked option for kayakers with some experience. Places are strictly limited so please advise at time of booking. Please contact ExpeditionTrips for additional details.

Included:
Shipboard accommodation with daily housekeeping; meals on board throughout your voyage; shore landings per the daily program; Zodiac transfers and cruising per the daily program; photographic journal documenting the voyage; a pair of waterproof expedition boots on loan for shore landings; an expedition parka – yours to keep; coffee, tea, cocoa available around the clock; hair dryer and bathrobe in every cabin; miscellaneous service taxes and port charges; luggage handling aboard ship; emergency evacuation insurance to a maximum benefit of $500,000 per person*. Subject to change without notice.

Not Included:
Airfare; mandatory charter airfare package; passport and visa expenses; government arrival and departure taxes; meals ashore; baggage, cancellation and medical travel insurance; excess baggage charges; mandatory waterproof pants for Zodiac cruising; laundry, bar, beverage and other personal charges; phone and internet charges; the customary gratuity at the end of the voyage for ship’s crew and staff; additional overnight accommodation; optional kayaking; fuel surcharge may apply.

*Emergency Evacuation Insurance:
Emergency evacuation coverage to a maximum benefit per paying passenger of $500,000 is included in the cost of this expedition. Included coverage is applicable only while traveling with the shipping company between the first and last day of the expedition. Additional days of travel prior to the expedition and/or after the expedition, including pre- and post-packages/hotels/flights, purchased from the shipping company or from suppliers other than the shipping company, 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.

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