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Best of the Western Arctic: Canada and Greenland

20 Days FROM £ 12,000

Overview

This 20-day expedition cruise takes us far above the Arctic Circle, land of the midnight sun and realm of the polar bear. The east coast of Canada’s Baffin Island is home to towering mountains, deep fjords, colourful tundra and fascinating Inuit settlements. We hope to visit isolated Sam Ford Fjord with its majestic vertical granite cliffs and make a landing at historic Beechey Island. Follow in the footsteps of the Arctic explorers as we sail into Lancaster Sound, gateway to the Northwest Passage and one of the richest marine habitats in the Arctic. We then explore the beautiful island of Greenland, cruising the northwest and western coasts, searching for polar bears and other iconic Arctic wildlife, taking in the breathtaking scenery and delving into the rich culture.

Optional Activities :

Trip Code: ACQEBWA

Location: Arctic

Ship: Ocean Adventurer

CRUISE ITINERARY

Your arctic expedition begins in Reykjavik. Explore Iceland’s capital city on your own before spending the night at your included hotel.

Arrive in Reykjavik, Iceland

In the morning, the group will transfer to the airport and board our private charter flight to Kangerlussuaq, a small town at the eastern head of Sondre Stromfjord, one of the longest fjords in the world. After embarking your ship in the afternoon, enjoy time out on deck, taking in your new surroundings as you set sail on your arctic expedition.

Embarkation day in Kangerlussuaq, Greenland

As we cruise across the Davis Strait, your Expedition Team will prepare you for the adventures that await. Learn about the storied history and politics of the Arctic, it’s fascinating wildlife, geology, ecology and climate, and the incredible sights you will soon explore. Staff will also keep a lookout for seabirds soaring above your ship, as well as whales that frequent the waters here.

At Sea

Baffin Island is the fifth-largest island in the world, it was named for English navigator William Baffin, who ventured to the area in the early 17th century in search of the fabled Northwest Passage. Your days sailing along the island’s eastern coast will be guided by weather and ice conditions, with each day and each landing presenting new adventures. Some of our favourite destinations include Qikiqtarjuaq, Isabella Bay and Sam Ford Fjord. Towering mountains, deep fjords, colourful tundra, and Inuit settlements await!
The Inuit community of Qikiqtarjuaq (which means “the big island” in Inuktitut) is located just north of the Arctic Circle, on Broughton Island. Fondly called Qik by locals, the welcoming hamlet offers a superb vantage point of the Davis Strait. You’ll also have a chance to support local Inuit artisans here by purchasing unique artwork, crafts and jewellery.
The rarely explored Sam Ford Fjord is one of the most isolated places on the planet. It is a spectacular big-wall playground, attracting adventurous climbers eager to scale the dozens of towering vertical granite cliffs that erupt from the sea. Have your camera handy as you cruise along this impressive coastline carved by ancient glaciers—the towering formations, stacked side by side, are simply majestic.

Exploring Baffin Island, Canada - Day 4 to 6

As our ship sails farther north, take in a presentation by our on-board experts, sip an icy cocktail in the bar, watch a movie or join your Expedition Team on the bridge as they scan for wildlife—there is no shortage of activities while at sea.

At Sea

The gateway to the Northwest Passage, Lancaster Sound is one of the richest marine habitats in the Arctic. With open-water areas staying ice-free all year, it is an important summer feeding area for whales and other marine wildlife. Our days here will be spent exploring several of the sound’s beautiful bays and inlets, discovering historical sites, enjoying Zodiac cruises and searching for such iconic wildlife as walrus, seals and, of course, whales. Polar bear sightings are possible too, as Lancaster Sound is known for polar bear sightings. If you’re fortunate, you may even spot the elusive narwhal.
There may be a possibility for a shore visit at Radstock Bay, the location of one of the most impressive ancient Thule sites in the Arctic. Exploring the well-preserved remains of the subterranean houses, including the whale bones used as supports for the dwellings, will give you an understanding of how these pre-Inuit people thrived in the Far North.
We will attempt to land at Beechey Island, a Canadian National Historic Site. Named after explorer Frederick William Beechey, the island is the final resting place of members of Sir John Franklin’s 1845–46 expedition to find the Northwest Passage. The graves, on a desolate rocky beach, were discovered in 1850 by a team searching for signs of the ill-fated expedition.
Predominantly covered in glaciers and ice fields, Coburg Island and its surrounding waters comprise the Nirjutiqavvik National Wildlife Area. The island’s steep coastal cliffs are an ideal habitat for hundreds of thousands of nesting seabirds like Brünnich’s guillemots (thick-billed murres), black-legged kittiwakes, northern fulmars and black guillemots.

Lancaster Sound - Day 8 to 11

Before saying goodbye to Canada, we’ll push as far north as possible, exploring both sides of Smith Sound, the uninhabited passage between Ellesmere Island and Greenland. Experience a true expedition as weather and ice determine how far north we explore.

Smith Sound

Your return to Greenland will have you sailing along the remote northwest coast, a land of impressive icebergs and massive glaciers. Qaanaaq, formerly known as Thule, is one of the northernmost towns in the world. Here, local Inuit share their culture and traditions, while the museum sheds more light on life near the top of the world We hope to explore Melville Bay, a significant whaling site until the early 1900s. Opening up to Baffin Bay, the area is a major egress for the Greenland ice cap and is home to spectacular icebergs in all shapes and sizes, making it an ideal spot for Zodiac cruising. If you’re feeling adventurous, perhaps you’ll treat yourself to a unique arctic experience by partaking in an optional paddling excursion (additional cost).

Exploring Northwest Greenland

As we continue sailing south along the west coast of Greenland, presentations by our on-board experts will prepare you for the adventures that lie ahead.

At Sea

Boasting spectacular glaciers, mountainous landscapes, dramatic fjords and vibrant communities, the west coast of Greenland will leave you breathless. Some areas we hope to explore here are Uummannaq, Itilleq and the impressive Ilulissat Icefjord.
Quite possibly the most picturesque place in Greenland, the traditional Inuit town of Uummannaq (which means “heart-like”) takes its name from the red heart-shaped mountain that rises a staggering 3,840 feet (1,170 meters) behind it. You’ll want to be positioned on deck as your ship approaches the shore, with your camera ready to capture the inspiring vistas of the twin peaks soaring high above the colourful houses dotting the rugged coastline.
Another beautiful locale is the Ilulissat Icefjord, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Home to Jakobshavn, one of the most active glaciers in the world, this is a great spot to enjoy a Zodiac excursion past towering icebergs. Venturing ashore in the town of Ilulissat (which means “iceberg”) will allow you to visit the icefjord on foot and gaze at this unforgettable river of ice from the rocky shore.
Surrounded by sea and mountains, Itilleq (meaning “crossing place”) is situated about a mile (2 km) above the Arctic Circle, in a scenic hollow on a small island. It is the southern limit of the Greenlandic sled dog. To keep the breed pure, the dogs are not permitted south of this community and all other dog breeds are prohibited this far north. Explore the town’s traditional wooden houses painted in a rainbow of colours, chat with the locals, whose main trade is fishing, and maybe challenge them to a game of football (soccer) —it won’t be long before you’re experiencing Itilleq’s famous friendly vibe.

Exploring West Greenland - Day 16 to 18

Enjoy one more Zodiac ride to shore, where you’ll board your charter flight back to Reykjavik, Iceland. Upon arrival in Reykjavik, we will transfer you to your included hotel.

Disembark in Kangerlussuaq and fly to Reykjavik

Today, you can make your way home at your leisure or spend time exploring this vibrant city.

Depart Reykjavik
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Pricing & date

Best of the Western Arctic: Canada and Greenland from £ 12,000
Departing Ending Duration
10 Sep 2020 29 Sep 2020 20
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Important Information

  • - Shipboard accommodation
    - All meals whilst on-board including snacks
    - Beer and wine during dinner
    - Coffee, tea and cocoa available around the clock
    - All shore excursions and zodiac cruising (*excluding forward facing zodiac)
    - Guiding and lectures by expedition team and team
    - English-speaking expedition team
    - Free use of rubber boots on land
    - Wind and water resistant expedition jacket
    - All Port taxes
    -  Greenland voyages cruise passenger tax

    Exclusions:
    - Airfares to/from embarkation and disembarkation city
    - Visa fees (if applicable)
    - Travel Insurance
    - Personal expenses such as laundry, on-board communication (telephone calls, faxes, email service)
    - Gratuities for the crew (recommended US$15.00 per person per day)
    - Optional Activities whilst on-board

    **Mandatory Transfer Package includes;
    • One night’s pre-expedition hotel accommodation in Reykjavik
    • Group transfer from the Reykjavik hotel to the ship on Day 2
    • Charter flight from Reykjavik to Kangerlussuaq
    • Group transfer from the ship to the Kangerlussuaq airport on disembarkation day
    • Charter flight from Kangerlussuaq to Reykjavik
    • Group transfer from Reykjavik airport to hotel on disembarkation day
    • One night’s post-expedition hotel accommodation in Reykjavik
    • Shuttle transfer to Keflavik airport on last day of itinerary
          Package Price: USD$1,695 pp

  • 2 (light adventure)
  • Available upon request

  • Contact us for more details

  • Season and availability

SPEAK TO A SPECIALIST

Talk to one of our Destination Specialists to plan your South American adventure and turn your dream into a reality. With exceptional knowledge and first hand experience, our consultants will assist in every way possible to make your journey the most memorable it can be, matching not only the itinerary, but the accommodation and activities to suit your style of travel and budget.

Sustainability

Chimu Adventures undertakes a number of sustainability measures within its operations including:

1) Only using local guides and office staff to both maximise local employment opportunities and minimise carbon footprints. Local guides also ensure you benefit from the intimate knowledge, passion and culture of the country you’re visiting.

2) Where possible, using locally owned and operated boutique hotels to maximise the return to the local community.

3) Chimu’s “Pass it on” programme has provided funding to hundreds of local community projects in Latin America. Our aim is to empower local communities, helping them to develop their own infrastructure for the future. Since 2006, we have been working with Kiva (a well-known Non-Governmental Organisation), providing hundreds of loans to local businesses all over South America.

4) In our pre tour information we provide a range of tips and advice on how to minimise your impact on both local environments and communities.

5) Chimu Adventures’ offices also take a number of sustainability measures including carbon offsets for company vehicles and most staff travel. Chimu Adventure’s internal processes are also structures to create a paperless office and to reduce waste. There are also internal programmes to help staff minimise their carbon footprint such as our staff bike purchase assistance plan which encourages office staff to commute to work via bicycle. Currently almost half of our office based staff commute to work via bicycle.