Summary : Whether it’s the Inuit culture of the Canadian North, the incredible wildlife along the fringe of the ice, or the riveting exploration history that captivates many a reader, the Arctic has an allure that grips many adventurers. At 66 degrees and 33 minutes North, the Arctic Circle marks the southernmost latitude where the sun stays above the horizon for 24-hours on the Summer Solstice. Over the course of this voyage, cross the Arctic Circle at least twice on the ship as you explore this region from the Eastern Canadian Arctic to Greenland.
Activities : Birding, Culture, Hiking, Kayaking, Photography
$999,999,999 to $0
Iqaluit, the capital and largest community of Nunavut, is located at the head of Frobisher Bay, on Baffin Island. With an average monthly temperature below zero degrees for eight months of the year, the permafrost inhibits the growth of large trees and shrubs. Following a walking tour of Iqaluit, your water-based adventure starts when you board the expedition vessel by Zodiac. Familiarize yourself with your ship as you raise anchor and depart Iqaluit. Spend some time on the outer decks enjoying the Arctic surroundings as you set sail into the remote Canadian Arctic.
Your first excursion is a visit to Monumental Island. Situated in Davis Strait, the location is well-known for spotting walrus. Watchful eyes may locate smaller pups within the masses. Explore by Zodiacs and search the shoreline for fascinating wildlife. Taking your time in the Zodiacs at this site allows for the wonders of nature to unfold around you. Polar bears are often found here and have been known to chase the walrus off their haul out and into the water.
Nestled in the heart of Cumberland Sound and the gateway to Auyuittuq National Park, Pangnirtung is beautifully situated between the mountains and the sea. This remote town is known for its arts and crafts, and a visit to the local art gallery is a highlight. In addition, the Angmarlik Visitor Center has a wonderful interpretive display featuring the lifestyle of the Thule and the modern Inuit.
Marking the northern headland of Cumberland Sound are the dramatic cliffs of Cape Mercy. As the Baffin Bay middle ice recedes throughout the summer, the stretch of Baffin coast from Cape Mercy to Cape Dyer is a great place to find polar bears coming ashore. Explore this region while hiking the shoreline ridges, paddling the bays, and Zodiac cruising the ice in search of Arctic wildlife.
Sunshine Fjord straddles the Arctic Circle. Depending on the weather, you may sail across the Circle aboard the ship, or perhaps cruise across it in the Zodiac boats, or the you may hike across this landmark on shore. Whichever way, it’s a thrill to be above the Arctic Circle! Sunshine Fjord offers some excellent hiking opportunities and your guides have a number of great routes in mind. Some may wish to take the extended hike, gaining some real elevation and offering wonderful views of the surroundings. Or you may choose to take the more relaxed option along the shoreline. The sheltered waters of the fjord provide kayakers with great conditions for paddling.
While one cannot be certain where the ice edge will be, sail for the ice in Davis Strait in order to experience this dramatic transit zone. This transit zone is plentiful in Arctic sea life and you will keep your eyes peeled for bearded, hooded and ringed seals, as well as polar bears and walrus, even bowhead whales that cruise the ice edge. Spotting scopes and binoculars will be in use as you scan the ice looking for wildlife. If conditions permit, launch the zodiacs to get into the ice and explore.
A large island in the mouth of Disko Bay, Qeqertarsuaq is a site of both geologic and historic interest. A possible summer fishing camp for the Viking colonists in Greenland, mineral deposits containing native iron, and hot springs are all part of the allure of this island. Visit the southern coast, cruising the spectacular rock arches before visiting the town of Qeqertarsuaq.
One of the wonders of the world, the Jacobshavn Icefjord spews massive tabular icebergs out into Disko Bay. Your approach to Ilulissat will depend on the amount of ice in and around the mouth of the icefjord. Ilulissat was the hometown of Knud Rasmussen, one of Greenland’s most famous explorers and anthropologists, born here in 1879.
Explore the fjord behind the town of Sisimiut before visiting the town in the afternoon. Hope to meet a few of the traditional Greenlandic kayakers and perhaps see a demonstration of “Eskimo Rolling” by one of the former champions of the Greenland Kayaking Championships.
One of the world's longest fjords, Sondre Stromfjord towers above the ship on either side as you sail. Explore some of the smaller adjacent fjords on foot or by kayak. Major geologic and geomorphologic features surround you and for those looking for living and breathing excitement, search for muskox that populate the shores of the fjord. Soaring high above are white-tailed sea eagles, majestic as always while riding the thermals off the ridges. Expect some fantastic hiking opportunities with hikes geared to all fitness levels.
Located at the head of Sondre Stromfjord, Kangerlussuaq is home to one of the world's longest runways. Disembark in the morning and transfer to the airport for your charter flight back to Ottawa, Canada.
Specific sites visited will depend on ice and weather conditions experienced and the itinerary will be updated throughout the voyage in order to take advantage of favorable conditions.
Medical Documentation: Once you have booked your voyage to the Polar Regions, you will be required to complete a Medical Information Form. This form must be completed, signed and returned no later than 90 days prior to departure.
Special Departure – Photography Symposium: (8/2/2015)
A further highlight of the journey is the shipboard photography symposium. In addition ot the regular program of presentations on history, ornithology, geology and the natural world, this unique voyage will have a major focus on photography, with four professional photographers on staff and a professional water colorist. Resident photographer Daisy Gilardini will be accompanied by a team of professional photographers, each with a special area of expertise including wildlife, landscape, and composition, as well as the technical aspects of photography from equipment to file management and procession. The varied and diverse itinerary, as well as flexibility will allow allow you to most the most of the light, even if outside conventional shore landing times. Also available is an onboard multimedia download studio with computers, cables, and hard-drives for back-up storage and for creating DVDs of your images.
Sea Kayaking Option: $695 per person
Pre-booked option. If you have experience sea kayaking and are interested in doing this activity during the expedition, you will need to book this option prior to departure from home. You cannot book this activity once onboard. There is a separate document for sea kayakers that you will need to review beforehand.
All guests are required to have comprehensive travel insurance which must cover accidents, injury, illness and death, medical expenses, including any related to pre-existing medical conditions, emergency repatriation (including helicopter) and personal liability. It must cover cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. You must carry proof of insurance with you and produce it if requested by expedition staff. The expedition team reserves the right to cancel or suspend your participation on a trip or in certain activities that comprise part of a trip, at any time, including after the commencement of your tour, with no right of refund, if you are unable to provide proof of insurance when requested.
Accommodations onboard; meals; complimentary tea and coffee 24 hours per day; shore excursions; services of guides and naturalist staff; access to multimedia room and download stations; use of onboard expedition rubber boots; use of wet weather gear; transfers as applicable.
International airfare; charter airfare where applicable; pre- and post-cruise hotel nights; passport and visa fees; excess baggage charges; airport taxes; travel insurance; all gratuities; extra meals; items of a personal nature such as laundry, drinks, e-mail access, etc.; medical expenses; optional activities and trips; kayaking supplement ($695 per person).