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Ultramarine | Best of Western Arctic: Canada and Greenland

20 Days FROM USD 18,995

Overview

Undertake an incredible expedition to the isolate and serene sites of the Arctic Circle. From the pristine shores of Canada's Baffin Island to the mysterious western coast of Greenland. This is a true expedition experience as you zodiac near massive icebergs, undertake landings on rugged tundra and spot unique wildlife like whales and even the elusive polar bear.

Optional Activities : Kayaking

Trip Code: ACQEUBW

Travel Style: Small Ship Expedition Cruise

Location: Canada and Greenland

Ship: Ultramarine

CRUISE ITINERARY

Your Arctic expedition begins in Toronto. Explore this vibrant city on your own before spending the night at your well-appointed hotel.

Arrival in Toronto

This morning, board your 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 in Kangerlussuaq

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, its 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. Sailing this remote region on board Ultramarine, the newest ship in our fleet, you’ll navigate the same icy inlets, channels and bays that fascinated legendary explorers of long ago. Designed to give polar adventurers unprecedented access to the hardest-to-reach places on the planet—and equipped with two twin-engine helicopters and 20 quick-launching Zodiacs—this technologically-advanced ship will take you beyond the predictable.

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 favorite destinations include Qikiqtarjuaq, Isabella Bay and Sam Ford Fjord. Towering mountains, deep fjords, colorful 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 jewelry.

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 - 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.

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 Brunnich’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 - Day 13 to 14

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 up 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 colorful houses dotting the rugged coastline.

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 colors, 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 Toronto, Canada. Upon arrival in Toronto, we will transfer you to your included hotel.

Kangerlussuaq and Fly Toronto

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

Depart Toronto
DOWNLOAD ITINERARY PDF

Pricing & date

Ultramarine | Best of Western Arctic: Canada and Greenland from USD 17,095
Departing Ending Duration
13 Sep 2022 02 Oct 2022 20
11 Aug 2023 30 Aug 2023 20

OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES

Kayaking

Kayaking

Important Information

  • Cabin accommodation on board ship
    All meals whilst on board
    All scheduled landings and excursions
    Guiding and leadership by expert exploration team and crew
    A pair of waterproof expedition boots on loan for landings and Zodiac cruising excursions
    An Expedition parka (yours to keep)
    Emergency Evacuation insurance for all passengers to a maximum benefit of USD $500,000 per person

    EXCLUSIONS

    International flights to Toronto
    Any other pre or post land arrangements not mentioned above
    Passport and visa expenses
    Canadian eTA required for non-Canadian or U.S. visa-exempt passengers
    Government arrival and departure taxes not mentioned above
    Baggage, cancellation, interruption and medical travel insurance—strongly recommended
    Mandatory waterproof pants for Zodiac cruising, or any other gear not mentioned
    Voluntary gratuity at the end of the voyage for shipboard staff and crew

    Mandatory Transfer Package Inclusions: 
    1. One Night pre-expedition accommodation in Toronto
    2. Group transfers In Toronto and Kangerlussuaq
    3. Charter flights between Toronto - Kangerlussuaq and reverse
    4. One night post-expedition accommodation in Toronto 

  • 2 (light adventure)
  • Available on request. Please contact us for more information.

  • Please note this itinerary may be subject to change depending on ice ,weather and sea conditions.

  • Departure date, seasonality and availability. Pricing is subject to change at the time of booking.

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