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Canadian Arctic and Greenland – Baffin Island Adventure

Canadian Arctic Greenland Cruise

Summary : Circumnavigate Baffin Island and discover the fascinating lands of the Canadian High Arctic. Enjoy an unforgettable experience on this 15-day expedition cruise, during which you may get the chance to observe polar bears, whales, and seals. Visit Ilulissat—a stunning fjord on Greenland's west coast listed as World Heritage by UNESCO—and succumb to the magic of the spectacular icebergs that reign supreme here. L’Austral will then cross Davis Strait to reach Pond Inlet, in northern Baffin Island. Located at the entrance to the mythical Northwest Passage, this hamlet surrounded by mountains and glaciers sometimes has the privilege of witnessing narwhals passing through. Continue along the west coast of Baffin Island for opportunities to meet the local communities, including a Cape Dorset village that is highly reputed for its Inuit art.

Activities : Birding, Child-Friendly, Culture, Hiking, Triple/Quad Cabins

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Itinerary
Day 1
Paris, Fance / Kangerlussuaq, Greenland

Fly from Paris to Kangerlussuaq, transfer to the ship and embark the vessel. Settle in to life on board as your voyage begins.

Day 2 – 3
Ilulissat, Greenland

At the heart of Disko Bay - a UNESCO World Heritage Site - the Ilulissat Icefjord provides an extraordinary spectacle of almost surreal beauty, with the largest icebergs of the northern hemisphere. The sculptural icebergs continue their timeless journey, shimmering with their eternal light. Vast pieces of ice break off from the bergs and rejoin the inexorable movement of the sea. Close by lies the town of Ilulissat, the region’s principal destination. Encircled by icebergs, it has retained a unique mix of traditional Arctic life, with multicolored wooden houses, huskies, and the leather tanners who still work today using the ancient methods of their ancestors.

Day 4
At Sea

During your day at sea, make the most of the many services and activities on board. Treat yourself to a moment of relaxation in the spa or stay in shape in the fitness center. Depending on the season, let yourself be tempted by the swimming pool or a spot of sunbathing. This day without a port of call will also be an opportunity to enjoy the conferences or shows proposed on board, to do some shopping in the boutique or to meet the ship's photographers in their dedicated space. As for lovers of the open sea, they will be able to visit the ship’s upper deck to admire the spectacle of the waves and perhaps be lucky enough to observe marine species. A truly enchanted interlude, combining comfort, rest and entertainment.

Day 5
Pond Inlet, Nunavut, Canada

On Baffin Island, located in northern Canada at the mouth of the famous Northwest Passage, there is a small Inuit settlement at the very bounds of infinity. To get there, cross the Arctic Circle, the imaginary line that separates man from lands of mystery and wonder. It’s not so much the way of life that sets Pond Inlet’s inhabitants apart, so much as the setting. Snow-capped mountains, fjords and glaciers combine in a dazzling natural environment that fills space and expands time. Some discoveries change you forever—this is one of them.

Day 6
Sailing in the Bellot Strait

A key stage in the Northwest Passage, the Bellot Strait, crossed by strong currents, promises you an unforgettable sailing experience. The entrance to the strait is dominated by the Ross Cairn. The buildings of Fort Ross also stand not far from here. Separating Somerset Island from the Boothia Peninsula, the strait was discovered in 1852 by Captain William Kennedy of the Royal Navy, and the Frenchman Joseph-René Bellot, during an expedition in search of Sir John Franklin. Discover a magnificent landscape covered in snow, fragmented by large ice floes. As you sail between them, your ship will perhaps be accompanied by an icebreaker…and you may even spot a polar bear.

Day 7
Pouncet Island, Nunavut, Canada

A real paradise for ornithologists lies to the north of Baffin Bay, very close to Ellesmere Island. Indeed, the small Coburg Island is one of the most important sea bird nesting areas in the Canadian Arctic; Tridactyl gulls, thick-billed murres and northern fulmars have all made it their favorite spot. 60% of the island is covered with ice fields and glaciers, giving a very rugged mountainous relief. In addition to the birds, it is also home to polar bears, walruses, beluga whales, narwhals, ringed seals, and bearded seals. The Nirjutiqavvik National Wildlife Area, created in 1995 with the goal of preserving these species, entirely encompasses Coburg as well as its surrounding waters.

Located at the entrance to the Canadian High Arctic, completely to the east of Devon Island, this surprising peninsula will provide an opportunity to discover a specific ecosystem and observe the glaciers coming from the Devon ice cap. During your port of call in these parts, you will perhaps also have the chance to encounter the ice floes descending directly from the North Pole, as well as the wildlife often found here.

Day 8
Day 9
Day 10
Day 11
Day 12
Day 13
Iqaluit, Nunavut

Well beyond the Arctic Circle, in the majestic landscapes of Greenland’s Northwest, you will find the village of Kullorsuaq, the last bastion of Greenland’s traditional hunters. Here is where you will find Greenland’s true character—vast mineral expanses, sumptuous mountains, impressive glaciers and, above all, the local population which still lives off fishing and seal or bear hunting. Hospitality and respect for nature are essential elements in the daily lives of these men, who live an austere life. When we drop anchor in this remote part of the world, set off to discover these friendly people who are also talented craftsmen, deftly sewing the furs and skins of marine mammals. This will be a unique and authentic experience.

Day 14
At Sea

During your day at sea, make the most of the many services and activities on board. Treat yourself to a moment of relaxation in the spa or stay in shape in the fitness center. Depending on the season, let yourself be tempted by the swimming pool or a spot of sunbathing. This day without a port of call will also be an opportunity to enjoy the conferences or shows proposed on board, to do some shopping in the boutique or to meet the ship's photographers in their dedicated space. As for lovers of the open sea, they will be able to visit the ship’s upper deck to admire the spectacle of the waves and perhaps be lucky enough to observe marine species. A truly enchanted interlude, combining comfort, rest and entertainment.

Day 15
Kangerlussuaq, Greenland / Paris, France

Disembark the vessel and transfer to the airport for your flight to Paris.

Notes

Read this itinerary as a guide only; the exact route and program varies according to weather conditions - and the wildlife you encounter. Flexibility is the key to the success of this expedition. ExpeditionTrips.com is not responsible for itinerary changes.

Bilingual Departures: All departures are French/English.

Travel Insurance:
ExpeditionTrips strongly recommends Emergency Medical/Evacuation coverage for trips which includes coverage for cancellation, trip disruption, baggage and personal property. Other conditions may apply based on pre-existing conditions. ExpeditionTrips can assist U.S. residents with travel protection options.

Included:
Meals and accommodation on board the ship; round-trip flight betweeen Paris and Kangerlussuaq as per itinerary in economy class; transfers between Kangerlussuaq airport and ship; Captain’s welcome cocktail and gala dinner; coffee, juice, soft drinks and open bar (pouring wines, house champagne, alcohol except premium brands) onboard ship; port and safety taxes; crew gratuities; luggage transfer from pier to the ship and vice versa; 24-hour room service onboard ship;  parka; boot rental; butler service is included for guests staying in Deck 6 Suites. Subject to change without notice.

Not Included:
Airfare; any ground services before and/or after the cruise other than the ones included; visa and passport fees; travel insurance; personal expenses such as onboard medical consultations and drug prescriptions, spa, Wi-Fi, laundry and hair salon; other drinks not included in open bar; fuel surcharge may apply.


Photos: © Servane Roy-Berton, © Nathalie Michel

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