This adventure begins at the entrance to the Northwest Passage. After departing Quaasuittuq (Resolute), we’ll visit the final resting place of the ill-fated Franklin Expedition at Beechey Island and search for polar bears and walrus in far north Baffin Island. At Mittimatalik (Pond Inlet), our hosts will welcome us with throat-singing and Inuit games, before we explore Baffin’s mighty fjords. We’ll seek bowhead whales in Niqinganiq (Isabella Bay); the world’s first Inuit-initiated whale sanctuary. Crossing Davis Strait, we’ll be met by Greenland’s stirring icescape. There, we’ll zip among the freshly calved bergs off Ilulissat in our Zodiacs, marvel at Uummannaq’s heart-shaped mountain, and hike around Itilleq Fjord. Spectacular Sondre Stromfjord makes a glorious finale to our trip.
• Call at Niqinganiq (Isabella Bay); a bowhead whale sanctuary & the world’s first Inuit-managed reserve of its kind
• Marvel at the Ilulissat ice fjord, where 90% of the north Atlantic's icebergs are born
• Visit the site of the famous Greenlandic mummies’ discovery outside Uummannaq
• Hike gorgeous Arctic landscapes
• See the final resting place of the Franklin Expedition
|Day 1||Quaasuittuq (Resolute), Nunavut, Canada|
|Day 2||Beechey Island|
|Day 3||Ikpiarjuk (Arctic Bay)|
|Day 4||Devon Island|
|Day 5||Mittimatalik (Pond Inlet)|
|Day 6||Northeast Baffin Fjords|
|Day 7||Niqinganiq (Isabella Bay)|
|Day 8||Karrat Fjord|
|Day 9||Uummannaq Fjord|
|Day 11||Itilleq Fjord|
|Day 12||Kangerlussuaq, Greenland|
Resolute Bay is also known as Qausuittuq "place with no dawn". Resolute Bay is truly the land of the midnight sun as the sun shines twenty-four hours a day from about April 29 to August 13 each year. From archaeological excavations, it has been concluded that there have been at least three stages of occupation at Resolute Bay. The Dorset culture was the first, followed by an early phase of the Thule culture, in which the artifacts found show strong Alaskan affinities. These were probably both short periods of occupation, possibly by only a few families. A late or developed phase of the Thule culture was of longer duration, with a considerably larger population.
Resolute Bay was named after HMS Resolute, one of the ships in the Franklin search expedition commanded by Captain H.T. Austin. An airfield was established at Resolute Bay in 1947 during construction of a joint US-Canadian weather station. In 1953, Inuit from Inukjuak, Québec and Mittimatalik (Pond Inlet) were relocated to Resolute by the Canadian government.
In 1845 Sir John Franklin took his expedition of 129 men in two ships into the Wellington Channel. Not a soul returned from the fateful expedition. It was two years before search parties were launched. Aside from the bodies of three souls buried here, only relics were found as clues to the disappearance. The three graves found at Beechey island left no indication as to the fate of the rest of the British party, until recently. In the autumn of 2014, Canadian archaeologists discovered remnants of the HMS Erebus in the frozen waters of the Northwest Passage, a discovery that has re-galvanized interest in the fabled region.
Ikpiarjuk, on the northern part of the Borden Peninsula on Baffin Island, has been occupied in some capacity for over 5,000 years. The bay itself is surrounded by high hills on all sides; the Inuktitut name translates to “the pocket” and reflects this. To the southeast, the flat-topped King George V Mountain dominates the skyline. Arctic Bay is home to the annual Midnight Sun Marathon, one of the northernmost athletic contests in the world.
Devon Island is the largest uninhabited island on earth and comprises over fifty thousand square kilometres. It was first sighted by Europeans in 1616, though it was not settled for another three hundred years with the arrival of the Hudson’s Bay Company. Because of its high elevation and extreme climate, Devon Island supports only a meager population of musk ox as well as some small birds and mammals. Devon Island is also known for the presence of the Haughton impact crater, created some 39 million years ago by a two-kilometre wide meteorite.
Mittimatalik (Pond Inlet) is a bustling Arctic community surrounded by one of the most beautiful landscapes in the eastern Arctic. We will have a chance to explore the town, including its excellent library and other facilities, and meet many local citizens who will gladly share their culture. We will be treated to a cultural presentation at the Community Hall; arts and crafts may be available here. Mittimatalik is a famous region for viewing marine mammals, including the elusive narwhal.
Today will be an expedition day in the truest sense as we navigate the multitudinous fjords of northeast Baffin Island. Baffin’s fjords are striking, their extreme depth and narrow width affording stunning perspectives on geological processes. The Ocean Endeavour is the perfect vessel for exploring these hidden treasures of the north, as her maneuverability allows her to access regions that would be impassable to larger vessels. We will be on alert for changing weather and ice conditions and use our judgement as to which route along the coast will be the most spectacular. As ever, our elite team will be on deck for the duration, searching for wildlife and contextualizing the mighty landscape through which we travel.
Niqinganiq is a 336,000-hectare marine region on Baffin Island that is a crucial feeding area for threatened bowhead whale. This is also the world's first Inuit-initiated and maintained marine mammal sanctuary. The area includes two deep offshore troughs rich in copepods, a main food source for the bowhead whale.
Today we will cruise one of Greenland's most spectacular fjords, known for plentiful marine life and inspiring landscapes. Seals use the long leads created by high winds in this region to hunt the rich waters of the fjord. The cliffs within the fjord should give us good opportunities to see colonies of dovekies. Time spent on deck today should result in some good wildlife sightings, not to mention unbeatable photographic opportunities of the majestic rock faces.
Uummannaq Fjord in northwest Greenland is the country’s second-largest system of fjords. It empties into Baffin Bay and is characterized by its developed coastline and various bays, islands, and peninsulas. It is considered to be the sunniest spot in Greenland, and favorable weather—coupled with proximity to coastal travel routes—have made the fjord system a popular destination for Greenlandic Inuit. It has been settled and re-settled continually for the last 4,500 years.
Archaeological excavations at Qilakitsoq, due south of Uummannaq Island, revealed the existence of the ancient Saqqaq culture. Recent evidence indicates that these groups settled Greenland between 2500 BC and 800 BC, and further, that they migrated from Sibera to arrive in Uummaanaq. It is thought that this migration gave rise to both modern Native Americans and the Inuit.
Midway up the west coast of Greenland along the fiord of the same name is Uummannaq. Proud home of the world’s most northerly ferry terminal, Uummunnaq also boasts a canning factory and a marble quarry, and is an important hunting and fishing base for the region. The town is dominated by its namesake—Uummunnaq Mountain—1,170 metres in height and nearly 600 kilometres north of the Arctic Circle.
Venturing 150 mi. (250 km) north of the Arctic Circle we find the stunning coastal community of Ilulissat. Ilulissat translates literally into "iceberg", and there couldn't be a more fitting name. Our visit will include time in the colorful town and a chance to hike out to an elevated viewpoint where we can observe the great fields of ice.
We will also cruise in our fleet of Zodiacs in the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Ilulissat Ice fjord. The Ice fjord is where we find the Sermeq Kujalleq Glacier, one of the most active and fastest moving in the world at 62 ft. (19m) per day and calving more than 15 sq. mi. (35 sq km) of ice annually.
The west Greenland coastline is a rich mixture of fishing communities, tiny islands and complex coastal waterways. We will be making an expedition stop here to explore the Greenlandic landscape.
We will make our journey down spectacular Sondre Stromfjord, and early risers will have a chance to experience its beauty. Sondre Stromfjord is one of the longest fjords in the world and boasts 100 mi. (168 km) of superb scenery! Kangerlussuaq, the town at its eastern mouth, means 'the big fjord.' Although the fjord crosses the Arctic Circle, like the oceans here, it does not freeze. Locals can thank ocean currents for this, making this part of Greenland a center for whaling and fishing all year. The United States built an air base at Kangerlussuaq in WWII due to the relatively mild weather and strategic proximity to Europe. Although the military base closed in 1992, the strip is now Greenland's main international and domestic airport.
The area is distinguished by fantastic nature and rich biodiversity. There is nowhere else in Greenland where it is so easy to go so far into the interior and the world’s largest ice cap can be reached in less than an hour. The landscape features enormous glacier formations, which have plowed deep into the dramatic tundra. On the plain between the fjord and the inland ice you may find Greenland's biggest herds of musk ox, reindeer, arctic foxes as well as the highest concentration of peregrine falcons in Greenland and more than 250 species of plants.
* Itinerary may be subject to change
|Per Person USD|
Rates Arctic 2017
Top Deck Twin
Charter Air: Ottawa/Iqaluit & Kangerlussuaq/Toronto
Charter Air: Toronto/Kangerlussuaq & Resolute/Ottawa
Charter Air: Toronto/Kangerlussuaq & Kugluktuk (Coppermine)/Edmonton
Charter Air: Edmonton/Kugluktuk (Coppermine) & Kangerlussuaq/Toronto
Charter Air: Toronto/Kangerlussuaq
Category 1 (Quad) & 2 (Triple) Cabins have very limited availability. Please call for pricing and availability.
Limited Single cabins in Cat 3 through Cat 7 are availalbe for no single supplement. All other Single cabins are available at 1.5x the full cruise price.
Share Occupancy is available in Category 1-6 cabins.
Please note that there is a $250 Discovery Fee for all trips. Limited Mountain Bikes and Bikes are available for rental on optional excursions - sign up onboard the ship.
All passengers must carry a minimum of $75,000 USD per person emergency medical and evacuation coverage.
All trips subject to a possible fuel surcharge.
|Category 10 | Suite
Deck seven: Forward-facing picture windows, unobstructed view; matrimonial bed, private bath with full tub, refrigerator. Approximately 310 sq ft
|Category 9 | Junior Suite
Deck five: Picture windows, unobstructed view; matrimonial bed, sitting area, private bath, refrigerator. Approximately 270 sq ft
Deck seven forward: Forward-facing picture windows, unobstructed; matrimonial bed, private bath with full tub, sitting area, private bath, refrigerator.. Approximately 270 sq ft
|Category 8 | Superior Twin
Deck five: Two picture windows, unobstructed view; two lower berths, sitting area, private bath, refrigerator. Approximately 210 sq ft
Deck seven forward: Forward-facing picture windows, unobstructed; matrimonial bed, private bath with full tub, refrigerator. Approximately 180 sq ft
Deck seven midship: Picture windows, partial obstruction; matrimonial bed, private bath, refrigerator. Approximately 190 sq ft
|Category 7 | Select Twin
Deck five: Picture windows, unobstructed view, two lower berths OR matrimonial bed, private bath, refrigerator. Approximately 190 sq ft
Deck eight: Oversize windows, partial obstruction matrimonial bed, private bath, refrigerator. Approximately 145 sq ft
|Category 6 | Comfort Twin
Deck four: Two porthole windows, unobstructed view; two lower berths OR matrimonial bed, private bath, refrigerator. Approximately 175 sq ft
Deck seven: Picture window, partial obstruction; two lower berths, private bath, refrigerator. Approximately 135 sq ft
|Category 5 | Main Twin
Deck five: Picture window, unobstructed view; two lower berths, private bath. Approximately 115 sq ft
|Category 4 | Exterior Twin
Deck four: Porthole window, unobstructed view; two lower berths, private bath. Approximately 100 sq ft (Twin) / 90 sq ft (Single)
|Category 3 | Interior Twin
Deck five: Interior cabin, two lower berths, private bath. Approximately 125 sq ft (Twin) / 110 sq ft (Single)
|Category 2 | Triple
Deck four: Interior cabin, three lower berths, two private baths. Approximately 200 sq ft
|Category 1 | Quad
Deck four: Interior cabin, four lower berths, private bath (separate shower room and powder room). Approximately 240 sq ft