Summary : Embark on a 14-day luxury expedition through the Baffin Sea. Your first port of call will be Greenland's Northwest Coast, home to majestic icebergs and colorful villages encircled by mountains and basalt formations. Meet the community and learn about Greenland's Inuit culture. Marvel at the astounding glacier of Disko Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and visit Paul Emile Victor Base which holds artifacts and relics of French polar expeditions. North Greenland reveals remote villages of the Arctic tundra where the people live by following their ancestral traditions handed down from generation to generation. Observe remains of ancient Inuit civilizations and discover Savissivik, the largest “iceberg graveyard” in Greenland.
Activities : Birding, Child-Friendly, Culture, Hiking, Triple/Quad Cabins
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$17,340 to $48,260
Board your included flight in Paris taking you to Kangerlussuaq where the ship awaits your arrival. Embark your vessel for introductions to your crew and fellow travelers. Settle in to life on board as your cruise begins.
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.
"The most beautiful place in the Arctic" is how Paul-Émile Victor described Greenland, a land of great table icebergs and of towering ice formations calved by the giant glaciers of the polar ice cap. The Eqi Glacier is one of the region’s most impressive sights. Here, the silence is broken only by the roaring and cracking of the ice. It is impossible to know if one is shivering from cold or from the sheer thrill of being here... Imagine the vast outline of a glacier, its translucent crystals glowing with an ice-blue fire in the sunlight. Paul-Émile Victor’s shelter cannot be overlooked; it was from here that the French Polar Expeditions’ anthropological and geographic explorations set off in the 1950s.
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.
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 the ship drops 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.
Some places in this world are so magical that their beauty cannot be described in words… Savissivik, a small Inuit village with less than a hundred inhabitants, is one such place. Rightly considered to be the biggest iceberg graveyard in Greenland, it is a stunning sight to behold. During your Zodiac outing, you will sail between these icy giants that have become stranded in the shallows. Once on land, you can hike to a viewpoint from which to enjoy breathtaking views over these icebergs, which come in an incredibly diverse range of shapes and colors. Photographers will love it. Savissivik Bay attracts many bears and is also known for having been the home of one of the world’s biggest meteorites, but the latter has now been moved to a museum in New York.
Welcome to Greenland’s northernmost town. With some 600 inhabitants, Qaanaaq, which is also called “New Thule”, perfectly illustrates the quintessence of Inuit culture. Shrouded in darkness during the long winter months, this town, where most people get around by dog sled, was created in the 1950s. The Inuit, who at the time lived a few hundred miles further south, were forced to settle here after an American air base was created in their home village.
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.
All around you is a raw landscape of spectacular beauty. Nothing seems to want to disturb the silence. You are in the Sam Ford Fjord, on the east coast of Baffin Island. Located only a few miles away from the Inuit community of Clyde River, this fjord has the kind of world’s end appearance that only the Arctic lands can offer. From your ship, allow yourself to be dazzled by the series of vertiginous cliffs plunging into the waters of the fjord. These impressively high walls of rock, known worldwide to climbing enthusiasts, are reflected in the waters of the fjord, as though to completely shift perspectives and blur the lines between land and sea.
Welcome to the kingdom of the cetaceans! Here, those who love the giants of the Arctic won’t know where to look. Isabella Bay is in fact part of the Ninginganiq National Wildlife Area, one of the finest places to observe bowhead whales. From your ship, watch the sumptuous ballet performed by these impressive mammals. Isabella Bay, located on the north-east coast of Baffin Island, attracts cetaceans which come here to feed. In addition to the bowhead whales, the uncontested stars of these parts, the Ninginganiq Wildlife Area is also home to ringed seals, narwhals, polar bears, king eiders, little auks and northern fulmars.
Located on the east coast of Baffin Island, in Nunavut, Kivitoo is a simultaneously calm and unsettling place that you will explore with your naturalist-guides. This former Inuit camp lying in the heart of a heathland landscape was abandoned in 1923. Here you will pass before a broken-down cabin surrounded by metal tanks that stored whale oil at the time when cetacean hunting was in full swing. You will see walrus skulls and the graves of Inuits, revealing their past presence. Kivitoo had its days of technological glory in the 1950s, with the installation of an American radar station on top of the mountain overlooking the area.
During your cruise, discover Sisimiut, founded in 1756 and the second largest town in Greenland. This small town is typical of Greenland, boasting bewitching panoramas: here and there, colorful stilt houses dot the undulating landscape, and the small fishing port stands as the gateway to an icy realm. As for the town center, it is home to a number of historic buildings, a small church and a museum which retraces the history of the Inuit people, as well as many craft shops. When your ship drops anchor here, you will set out to meet the locals in a typically arctic atmosphere.
Disembark the ship and transfer to the airport for your flight to Paris.
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.com is not responsible for itinerary changes.
Bilingual Departures: All departures are French/English.
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.
Round-trip flight Paris/Kangerlussuaq in economy class; transfers between Kangerlussuaq airport and ship; shipboard accommodations; parka; gear on loan (boots); Wi-Fi onboard ship; all meals onboard ship; 24-hour room service onboard ship; most beverages onboard ship; gratuities onboard ship. Butler service is included for guests staying in Deck 6 Suites. Subject to change without notice.
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, laundry and hair salon; premium alcohol; fuel surcharge may apply.
Photos: © Servane Roy-Berton, © Nathalie Michel, © Ponant