Arctic Circle in Focus - Photographic Symposium

Ioffe Cruise Ship
96 Passengers
Adventure Options

An exploration of the wildlife, culture and spectacular scenery in the Canadian Arctic and Greenland. From Iqaluit on the east coast of Baffin Island to the west coast of Greenland this 11-day adventure sails through a spectacular wilderness of glaciers, mountains, fjords and breathtaking icebergs. Along the way, the Inuit settlements of both Canada and Greenland will open eyes to the rich and unique cultures that have survived in this harsh landscape for many hundreds of years.

A further highlight of our journey will be the shipboard photography symposium. In addition to our 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.

In the words of our resident photographic leader Daisy Gilardini “Many times I tried to understand this irresistible attraction to the polar regions, which I would define almost as an addiction or obsession. These extreme adventures transport me out of my ordinary worldliness and lead me to discover the beauty and harmony of the remote corners of our planet. The isolation from the rest of the word, away from every day media and social network communications, inspires deep respect and awareness for the importance of these delicate wilderness areas.”

Daisy will be accompanied by a team of professional photographers all with their special area of expertise including wildlife, landscape, composition as well as the technical aspects of photography including gear and equipment and computer based file management, storage and processing. Our photographic goals on this departure will be formed and led by the light available both onshore and on the water. With a varied and diverse itinerary and flexible plans, we aim to make the most out of light, even if outside conventional shore landing times.

Day 1 — Iqaluit

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. Upon arrival into Iqaluit we enjoy a walking tour of the town and board our expedition ship, the Akademik Ioffe in the afternoon. As we become familiar with our new home, we raise the anchor and depart Iqaluit. Spend some time on the outer decks enjoying your new Arctic surroundings as we set sail into the remote Canadian Arctic.

Day 2 — Monumental Island

Our first excursion is to visit Monumental Island. Located in Davis Strait, it is a known location for spotting walrus. We explore by zodiacs and search the shoreline for these fascinating creatures. Watchful eyes may locate smaller pups within the masses. Taking our time in the zodiacs at this site allows for nature to take its course. Polar bears are often found here and have been known to chase the walrus off their haul out and into the water.

Day 3 — Pangnirtung

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 Centre has a wonderful interpretive display featuring the lifestyle of the Thule and of the modern Inuit.

Day 4 — Cape Mercy

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. We will explore this region with the goal of hiking the shoreline ridges, paddling the bays and zodiac cruising the ice in search of Arctic wildlife.

Day 5 — Sunshine Fjord

Sunshine Fjord straddles the Arctic Circle. Depending on the weather, we might cruise across the Circle on the ship, or perhaps cruise across it in the zodiac boats, or the more active may choose to 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 we 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 our surroundings. Or you may choose to take the less strenuous option along the shoreline. The sheltered waters of the fjord provide our kayakers with great conditions for paddling.

Day 6 — Davis Strait

While we cannot be certain where the ice edge will be, we will sail for the ice in Davis Strait in order to experience this dramatic transition zone.  Much of the Arctic sea life seems to be interested in this zone and we will keep our eyes peeled for bearded, hooded and ringed seals as well as polar bears and walrus.  Who knows, perhaps a bowhead whale will be cruising the ice edge.  Spotting scopes and binoculars will be in use as we all scan the ice looking for wildlife. If conditions permit, we will even launch the zodiacs so that we can get into the ice and explore. At some point we will leave the sea ice behind us and direct the binoculars and scopes towards the never-ending stream of icebergs sailing up the west coast of Greenland.

Day 7 — Qeqertarsuaq (Disko Island)

A very 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.  We will visit the southern coast, cruising the spectacular rock arches before visiting the town of Qeqertarsuaq.

Day 8 — Ilulissat and Jacobshavn Icefjord

One of the wonders of the world, the Jacobshavn Icefjord spews massive tabular icebergs out into Disko Bay. Our 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.

Day 9 — Sisimiut

We will explore the fjord behind the town of Sisimiut before visiting the town in the afternoon. We will 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.

Day 10 — Sondre Stromfjord

One of the worlds longest fjords, Sondre Stromfjord towers above the ship on either side as we sail up it. Our goal is not the end of the fjord, but rather some of the small side fjords along it that we can zodiac into and explore on foot or by kayak.  Major geologic and geomorphologic features will surround us and for those looking for living and breathing excitement, we will hope to find muskox along the shores of the fjord as well. Soaring high above us will be the white-tailed sea eagle, majestic as always while riding the thermals off the ridges. We expect some fantastic hiking opportunities with hikes geared to all fitness levels.

Day 11 — Kangerlussuaq (Sondre Stromfjord)

Located at the head of Sondre Stromfjord, Kangerlussuaq is home to one of the worlds longest runways. We will disembark in the morning and transfer to the airport for our charter flight back to Ottawa, Canada.

* Itinerary may be subject to change

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Per Person USD
Rates Arctic 2017
Main Deck Triple
Twin Semi-Private
Twin Private
Shackleton Suite
One Ocean Suite
Photography, Kayak
$1,500 Discount (Prices in Red)
Expires Feb 28th 2017
Photography, Kayak
Special Photography Symposium

$1,500 Discount (Prices in Red)
Expires Feb 28th 2017
Photography, Kayak
$1,500 Discount (Prices in Red)
Expires Feb 28th 2017
Photography, Kayak
$750 Discount (Prices in Red)
Expires Feb 28th 2017

Note: An additional 5% Canadian GST will be assessed on all associated trip costs.
Photography, Kayak
Charter Air: Edmonton/Cambridge Bay & Kangerlussuaq/Ottawa
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Special pricing available for families & young people traveling with parents:
Children under 18 receive a 25% discount, and young people ages 18-21 & in full-time education receive a 20% discount.

A 5% GST tax applies to all travel on the domestic Canadian voyages and will be calculated on the full voyage cost including charter flights, hotel, and kayaking.

Rates are per person, based on twin-share. Single Supplement for twin cabins is 1.5 times the twin rate & single supplement for suites is double the suite rate.

All cabins are smoke-free. Smoking is only permitted in designated areas.
Trip cost does not include Mandatory Charter Flights listed in pricing chart.
Airfare to/from destination is not included.

Kayaking option available for $695 per person.
Adventure options must be pre-booked and paid for prior to start of the trip. Space is subject to availability. Some activities require experience.

All trips subject to possible fuel surcharge.
Mandatory Emergency Evacuation insurance is required on all trips.