Greenland and Wild Labrador 2014
For some, Southwest Greenland and the wild coast of Labrador are too remote. Our clients think they’re just remote enough! Consider Kangerlussuaq, the gateway to our journey. Located 168 km up a spectacular fjord from the Arctic Ocean, it has drawn adventurers for centuries, but remains gloriously unspoiled. Likewise, splendid Nuuk, Greenland’s capital and home to the 500-year-old Qilakitsoq mummies, surrounded by mountains, glaciers and icebergs.
Even more remote is the passage across Davis Strait to the community of Kangiqsualujjuaq in the Inuit territory of Nunavik, Northern Quebec. Then there’s Nunatsiavut, the homeland of the Labrador Inuit. Dominated by the awe-inspiring Torngat Mountains National Park, it’s home to some of the highest mountains in Canada east of the Rockies—and a favorite destination among the AC staff.
Beneath the mountains lies the abandoned settlement of Hebron, founded by the Moravian Church in1776, and the contemporary community of Nain. Our first stop in Newfoundland is the Viking outpost at L’Anse aux Meadows, the earliest known European settlement in the New World. Our adventure ends in St. John’s, North America’s oldest city, a perfect end point to an unforgettable trip.
Day 1: Kangerlussuaq (Sondre Stromfjord)
Day 2: Kangaamiut
Day 3: Nuuk
Day 4: At sea
Day 5: Kangiqsualujjuaq (George River)
Day 6-8: Torngat Mountains National Park
Day 9: Hebron
Day 10: Nain
Day 11: Mealy Mountains
Day 12: L’Anse aux Meadows & Conche
Day 13: Fogo Island
Day 14: St. John’s
Lying at the head of the longest fjord in western Greenland, Kangerlussuaq has one of the most stable climates in the region though temperatures can range from -50C in the winter to as high as 28C in summer. Kangerlussuaq, which means "The Big Fjord" in Greenlandic, is appropriately named, as it’s 168km long and is the start of our voyage.
Kangaamiut, is a small fishing community in the municipality of Qeqqata. During our visit to this colorful town, we’ll be hosted by a local family and enjoy a presentation in the church before and optional hike.
Welcome to Nuuk, the capital of Greenland! Nuuk, meaning "the headland" and is situated at the mouth of a gigantic fjord system. Established as the very first Greenlandic town in 1728, Nuuk has a history that dates back over 4,200 years. Here we have a chance to spot Humpback whales in the fjord, reindeer roaming the land and birds soaring in the sky. The town itself is home to Greenland’s University, a cathedral dating back to 1849 and Greenland’s National Museum. We will visit some of the city’s most important sites, before free time to explore on your own.
Our presentation series will kick into full swing. While out on deck keep your eyes peeled for Minke and Orcas whales and other marine mammals.
25km upstream from Ungava Bay, we find the welcoming town of Kangiqsualujjuaq. We will have the freedom to explore the community, meet with locals, gather for a community event and strike out of town for a hike on the tundra.
From the Inuktitut word Torngait , meaning "place of spirits", the Torngat Mountains have been home to Inuit and their predecessors for thousands of years, with archaeological evidence reaching back almost 7,000 years. The fjords here reach well back into the depths of the Torngats where we are overshadowed by cliffs rising straight up from the sea, peaking at 1,700 m, the highest point of land in Labrador. The Torngat Mountains claim some of the oldest rocks on the planet and provide some of the best exposure of geological history. The rocky landscape is a challenge to life, and the species that make their home here are a resilient bunch with fascinating survival adaptations. We hope to see a number of species during our time in Northern Labrador. Our intention is to make expeditionary stops in the northern reaches of Labrador, including Nackvak Fiord, Saglek Bay and Ramah Bay.
Long-abandoned Hebron was once one of the most northerly communities on the north Labrador coast. A Moravian Mission station was constructed here from 1829 to 1831 but the main buildings - the church, the mission house and the store - were not inhabited until 1837. The Moravian Mission has had a very strong influence on the history of northern Labrador. Originally known as the Unitas Fratrum, the Moravian Church traces its roots to 15th century central Europe, in what is now the Czech Republic. In 1751, a group of merchants attached to the Moravian congregation in London decided to outfit a trading and missionary voyage to the Labrador coast in order to convert the Inuit. In a highly controversial move, the station was abandoned in 1959, forcing the relocation of the Inuit who resided there. In 2005, Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Danny Williams apologized to people affected by the relocations. In August of 2009, the provincial government unveiled a monument at the site of Hebron with an inscribed apology for the site closure.
Explore this Inuit community especially the Moravian Church and the Nunatsiavut Building with its labradorite stone. Share in the history of the township, wander the roads or check out the new homes being constructed.
Our time in the Mealy Mountains will allow us to explore the changing landscape and vegetation as we venture south.
On our visit to the Great Northern Peninsula, we call in at one of the world’s most important archaeological sites, North America’s only authenticated Viking settlement, L’Anse aux Meadows. It is widely regarded as one of the most important archaeological sites globally.
Conche welcome us into their charming community for a supper of Newfoundland fare.
Located 15km off Newfoundland’s northeast coast, Fogo Island was originally named "fuego’" or "fire" by the Portuguese, after fires set by early fishermen were seen burning on the island. A lucrative crab fishery has since replaced the salmon and cod fisheries that once supported the outport communities of the island. Fogo Island supports 11 communities, and a landmark proclaimed by the Flat Earth Society as one of the four corners of the Earth. We spend time experiencing island life in Fogo Town before heading further north.
We finish in St. John’s, Newfoundland’s historic, vibrant capital. Picturesque and welcoming, it has been continuously fished since 1498, allowing it to boast the designation of North America’s oldest European settlement. We will leave the Sea Adventurer here.
* Itinerary may be subject to change