Exploring Greenland and the Canadian High Arctic (Kangerlussuaq to Iqaluit)

National Geographic Explorer
National Geographic Explorer
148 Passengers

Venture deep into the far northern reaches of the Arctic, on a quest for arctic wildlife and the magisterial scenery of the ice––occurring at an epic scale in Greenland. And to share the experience of explorers from ancient to modern, goaded by the desire to discover the Northwest Passage. Another facet of our multifaceted focus on the vital Arctic region, this itinerary provides unique opportunities to:
 - Navigate the eastern entrance of Canada’s fabled Northwest Passage
 - Explore Greenland’s fjords, and the Ilulissat Glacier, a UNESCO site and a tongue of the Greenland ice cap
 - Spend a week in the Canadian High Arctic observing polar bears and other denizens of the ice
 - Visit an historic Inuit fishing village and former whaling ports

See the roots of human history in the ice
It’s one thing to meet people who thrive in the extreme conditions of the Arctic, it’s another to see deeply into their culture, history, and traditions. This expedition reveals the deep connection of the Inuit people to these ice lands, as we visit Inuit villages sustained by fishing and artistic traditions. And, it also illuminates the dramatic exploration history of the region––and the changing conditions of the ice that is the topic of much scientific discussion today.

The drama of fjords, crystalline sounds & the ice creatures
We’ll look for polar bears hunting along the far reaches of the ice. And will have the opportunity to see the other beautiful creatures of the Arctic: walruses and ringed seals, which have played such a key role in the life of the Inuit. And arctic foxes, plus many of the 60 species of birds that breed in Greenland, including the white-tailed eagle. In the summer months, when we’ll be there, it’s likely we’ll see whales: beluga, bowhead, and perhaps even the elusive narwhal.

Every day is active and engaging
You’ll get out on adventures every day––to Zodiac cruise, hike and walk, or kayak in spectacular fjords and crystalline waters like Lancaster Sound, a vital Inuit hunting ground for centuries. You’ll have a choice of activities, plus your choice of naturalists to join––for a moveable feast of personalities, insights, and interests. Choice also includes opting to relax too. Enjoy the view from behind Explorer’s panoramic glass windows. Or visit the fitness center with its generous views of the ice vistas, or ease into the sauna or a massage in the wellness center.

Brief Itinerary

Day 1U.S./Ottawa, Canada
Day 2Ottawa/Fly To Kangerlussuaq, Greenland
Day 3Greenland’s West Coast & Sisimiut
Day 4Disko Bay & Ilulissat
Day 5At Sea in Baffin Bay
Days 6-8Exploring The Canadian High Arctic
Days 9-11Padloping & Hall Peninsula
Day 12Disembark Iqaluit, Nunavut/Fly to Ottawa, Canada
Day 13Ottawa/Home

Day 1 — U.S./Ottawa, Canada

Arrive in Ottawa and check into the Fairmont Chateau Laurier Hotel.

Day 2 — Ottawa/Fly To Kangerlussuaq, Greenland

Fly by chartered aircraft to Greenland. Embark National Geographic Explorer at the head of Kangerlussuaq Fjord, a picturesque waterway that stretches 100 miles.

Day 3 — Greenland’s West Coast & Sisimiut

Dozens of deep fjords carve into Greenland’s west coast, many with glaciers fed by the ice cap that covers 80% of the country. Trace this ragged coastline, and search for humpback and minke whales. At Sisimiut, a former whaling port, visit the museum and wander amid a jumble of wooden 18th-century buildings.

Day 4 — Disko Bay & Ilulissat

Sail into Disko Bay and set out to explore the Ilulissat Glacier, a tongue of the Greenland ice cap. Take an extraordinary cruise among towering icebergs. Explore the historic Inuit fishing village of Sermermiut, and view the Ilulissat Icefjord and its immense, calving glacier.

Days 6 to 8 — Exploring The Canadian High Arctic

Carved by Ice Age glaciers, Lancaster Sound is the eastern gateway to the Arctic Archipelago. European explorers like William Baffin first ventured here in the 15th century to search for the Northwest Passage. The sound has been a favorite Inuit hunting and fishing location for hundreds of years. Our days here will be spent searching for ringed seals, arctic foxes, walruses, and polar bears, as well as beluga, and bowhead whales. We may even see the elusive narwhal, an arctic whale known for the long, spiraling tooth that projects up to ten feet from its upper jaw.

Days 9 to 11 — Padloping & Hall Peninsula

We spend another day in true expedition style, exploring the Padloping region and the unspoiled Hall Peninsula of Baffin Island. Hike the tundra in search of caribou and arctic foxes, or follow our botanist to learn more about the hardy arctic plants. The exposed rocky cliffs of Monumental Island are used as haul-outs by walruses. We’ll cruise the coastline in search of these icons of the Canadian North.

Day 12 — Disembark Iqaluit, Nunavut/Fly to Ottawa, Canada

Disembark in Iqaluit and fly to Ottawa, Canada by chartered aircraft. Overnight in Ottawa at the Fairmont Chateau Laurier, or similar.

Day 13 — Ottawa/Home

Today we proceed to the airport for homeward-bound flights.

* Itinerary may be subject to change

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