1 877 412-8527

Canada and Greenland: Best of the Western Arctic

Arctic Canada and Greenland Cruise Information

Summary : Venture far above the Arctic Circle, in a land where the sun never sets and polar bears roam. You’ll be exploring the northerly shores of Canada’s Baffin Island and the western coast of Greenland, searching for the wildlife and visiting the communities that call this mysterious realm home. Zodiac cruising gives you an awe-inspiring perspective of impressive icebergs, glaciers, and fjords, while visits to local communities immerse you in their traditional and modern way of life. The rugged beauty of these pristine places will cause you to marvel at the soaring cliffs of Sam Ford Fjord and the dazzling icebergs dotting the Ilulissat Icefjord. In this remote, wildlife-rich region you may spot whales in their natural surroundings or get a glimpse of one of the Arctic’s most iconic animals: the polar bear.

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

PRICING

Just-Released Offer
Complimentary transfer package
+ Save 10% if paid in full

View offer details

New itinerary for the 2020 season!

Prices from
$11,995 to $26,995

View All Rates

Itinerary
Day 1
Reykjavik, Iceland

Your arctic expedition begins in Reykjavik. Explore Iceland’s capital city on your own before spending the night at your included hotel.*

*See Additional Costs for mandatory transfer package information.

Day 2
Reykjavik, Iceland / Kangerlussuaq, Greenland / Embarkation

In the morning, your group will transfer to the airport and board a private charter flight* to Kangerlussuaq, a small town at the eastern head of Sondre Stromfjord, one of the longest fjords in the world. After embarking your ship in the afternoon, enjoy time out on deck, taking in your new surroundings as you set sail on your Arctic expedition.

*See Additional Costs for mandatory transfer package information.

Day 3
At Sea

As you cruise across the Davis Strait, your expedition team will prepare you for the adventures that await. Learn about the storied history and politics of the Arctic, its fascinating wildlife, geology, ecology and climate, and the incredible sights you will soon explore. Staff will also keep a lookout for seabirds soaring above the ship, as well as whales that frequent the waters here.

Day 4 – 6
Exploring Baffin Island, Canada

Baffin Island is the fifth-largest island in the world. It was named for English navigator William Baffin, who ventured to the area in the early 17th century in search of the fabled Northwest Passage. Your days sailing along the island's eastern coast will be guided by weather and ice conditions, with each day and each landing presenting new adventures. Some favorite destinations include Qikiqtarjuaq, Isabella Bay, and Sam Ford Fjord. Towering mountains, deep fjords, colorful tundra, and Inuit settlements await!

The Inuit community of Qikiqtarjuaq (which means “the big island” in Inuktitut) is located just north of the Arctic Circle on Broughton Island. Fondly called Qik by locals, the welcoming hamlet offers a superb vantage point of the Davis Strait. You’ll also have a chance to support local Inuit artisans here by purchasing unique artwork, crafts, and jewelry. The rarely explored Sam Ford Fjord is one of the most isolated places on the planet. It is a spectacular big-wall playground, attracting adventurous climbers eager to scale the dozens of towering vertical granite cliffs that erupt from the sea. Have your camera handy as you cruise along this impressive coastline carved by ancient glaciers—the towering formations, stacked side by side, are simply majestic.

Day 7
At Sea

As the ship sails further north, take in a presentation by your on-board experts, sip an icy cocktail in the bar, watch a movie or join your expedition team on the bridge as they scan for wildlife—there is no shortage of activities while at sea.

Day 8 – 11
Lancaster Sound

The gateway to the Northwest Passage, Lancaster Sound is one of the richest marine habitats in the Arctic. With open-water areas staying ice-free all year, it is an important summer feeding area for whales and other marine wildlife. Your days here will be spent exploring several of the sound’s beautiful bays and inlets, discovering historical sites, enjoying Zodiac cruises, and searching for such iconic wildlife as walrus, seals and, of course, whales. Polar bears are possible too, as Lancaster Sound is known for polar bear sightings. If you’re fortunate, you may even spot the elusive narwhal.

There may be a possibility for a shore visit at Radstock Bay, the location of one of the most impressive ancient Thule sites in the Arctic. Exploring the well-preserved remains of subterranean houses, including the whale bones used as supports for the dwellings, will give you an understanding of how these pre-Inuit people thrived in the Far North.

Attempt to land at Beechey Island, a Canadian National Historic Site. Named after explorer Frederick William Beechey, the island is the final resting place of members of Sir John Franklin’s 1845–46 expedition to find the Northwest Passage. The graves, on a desolate rocky beach, were discovered in 1850 by a team searching for signs of the ill-fated expedition. Predominantly covered in glaciers and ice fields, Coburg Island and its surrounding waters comprise the Nirjutiqavvik National Wildlife Area. The island’s steep coastal cliffs are an ideal habitat for hundreds of thousands of nesting seabirds like Brünnich’s guillemots (thick-billed murres), blacklegged kittiwakes, northern fulmars, and black guillemots.

Day 12
Smith Sound

Before saying goodbye to Canada, the ship will push as far north as possible, exploring both sides of Smith Sound, the uninhabited passage between Ellesmere Island and Greenland. Experience a true expedition as weather and ice will determine how far north you can explore.

Day 13 – 14
Exploring Northwest Greenland

Your return to Greenland will have you sailing along the remote northwest coast, a land of impressive icebergs and massive glaciers. Qaanaaq, formerly known as Thule, is one of the northernmost towns in the world. Here, local Inuits share their culture and traditions, while the museum sheds more light on life near the top of the world.

Hope to explore Melville Bay, a significant whaling site until the early 1900s. Opening up to Baffin Bay, the area is a major egress for the Greenland ice cap and is home to spectacular icebergs in all shapes and sizes, making it an ideal spot for Zodiac cruising.

Day 15
At Sea

As you continue sailing south along the west coast of Greenland, presentations by your on-board experts will prepare you for the adventures that lie ahead.

Day 16 – 18
Exploring West Greenland

Boasting spectacular glaciers, mountainous landscapes, dramatic fjords, and vibrant communities, the west coast of Greenland will leave you breathless. Some areas you can hope to explore here are Uummannaq, Itilleq, and the impressive Ilulissat Icefjord. Quite possibly the most picturesque place in Greenland, the traditional Inuit town of Uummannaq (which means “heart-like”) takes its name from the red, heart-shaped mountain that rises up a staggering 3,840 feet behind it. You’ll want to be positioned on deck as your ship approaches the shore, with your camera ready to capture the inspiring vistas of the twin peaks soaring high above the colorful houses dotting the rugged coastline.

Another beautiful locale is the Ilulissat Icefjord, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Home to Jakobshavn, one of the most active glaciers in the world, this is a great spot to enjoy a Zodiac excursion past towering icebergs. Venturing ashore in the town of Ilulissat (which means “iceberg”) will allow you to visit the icefjord on foot and gaze at this unforgettable river of ice from the rocky shore.

Surrounded by sea and mountains, Itilleq (meaning “crossing place”) is situated about a mile above the Arctic Circle, in a scenic hollow on a small island. It is the southern limit of the Greenlandic sled dog. To keep the breed pure, the dogs are not permitted south of this community and all other dog breeds are prohibited this far north. Explore the town’s traditional wooden houses painted in a rainbow of colors, chat with the locals whose main trade is fishing, and maybe challenge them to a game of football (soccer). It won’t be long before you’re experiencing Itilleq’s famous friendly vibe.

Day 19
Kangerlussuaq, Greenland / Disembarkation /
Reykjavik, Iceland

Enjoy one more Zodiac ride to shore, where you'll board your charter flight* back to Reykjavik, Iceland. Upon arrival in Reykjavik, transfer to your included hotel.*

*See Additional Costs for mandatory transfer package information.

Day 20
Reykjavik, Iceland

Today, you can make your way home at your leisure or spend time exploring this vibrant city.

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. ExpeditionTrips is not responsible for itinerary changes.

Bilingual Departure:
English/German

Mandatory Travel Insurance:
Due to the remoteness of the areas in this itinerary, travelers must carry a minimum $50,000 of emergency medical coverage. Proof of coverage is required prior to embarkation. The travel insurance policy should also cover trip cancellation insurance, trip delay, interruption or after departure coverage, baggage and repatriation. 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 you select a travel protection plan that includes trip cancellation and interruption coverage and at least $200,000 in medical evacuation coverage. ExpeditionTrips can assist U.S. residents with travel protection options. Other conditions may apply based on pre-existing conditions.

Kayaking:
Pre-booking required. A small group of sea kayakers will plan to go out multiple times per voyage instead of shore landings. The number of opportunities to kayak is weather dependent and will only be conducted during calm conditions. Prior kayaking experience is required and you must have the capability to do a wet exit to participate. Must be 16 years of age or older to participate. Beginners interested in kayaking should consider participating in the paddling excursions described below. Please contact ExpeditionTrips for details.

Paddling:
Pre-booking required. If you’re interested in kayaking but would like to try something less in-depth than the full kayaking program, you can still enjoy an on-water experience with a paddling excursion. Sign up for a one-time, one-hour paddle on a sit-on-top kayak, which is stable and unencumbered: perfect for anyone with little to no experience with kayaking. No experience necessary. Space is limited. Must be 16 years of age or older to participate. All sit-on-top kayaks are doubles. Please contact ExpeditionTrips for details.

Included:
Shipboard accommodations; all shore landings per the daily program; all Zodiac transfers and cruising per the daily program; experienced Expedition Leader; formal and informal presentations by Expedition Team and special guests as scheduled; photographic journal; expedition parka and reusable water bottle; gear on loan (waterproof expedition boots for shore landings, walking poles); comprehensive onboard materials, including a map and an informational Arctic Reader; all meals on board ship; snacks, soft drinks, and juices on board; beer and house wine during dinner; coffee, tea, cocoa available around the clock; hair dryer and bathrobe in every cabin; daily housekeeping; pre-departure materials; miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the program; luggage handling aboard ship; Greenland voyages cruise passenger tax; emergency evacuation insurance for all passengers to a maximum benefit of $500,000 per person*. Subject to change without notice.

Not Included:

Mandatory transfer package; international airfare; arrival and departure transfers, except where listed in Mandatory Transfer Package; passport and visa expenses; government arrival and departure taxes not mentioned above; meals ashore unless otherwise specified; baggage, cancellation, interruption and medical travel insurance (strongly recommended); excess baggage fees on international flights; mandatory waterproof pants for Zodiac cruising or any other gear not mentioned; laundry, bar, beverage, and other personal charges unless specified; phone and internet charges; voluntary gratuity at end of voyage for shipboard staff and crew; additional overnight accommodation; any Adventure Options such as kayaking or paddling; 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.

PHOTOS: © Acacia Johnson, © Nicky Souness © Quark Expeditions

Would you like to learn more about this trip or request availability?

YES!