Venture far above the Arctic Circle, in a land where the sun never sets and polar bears roam. Exploring the northerly shores of Canada’s Baffin Island and the western coast of Greenland. Zodiac cruising gives you an awe-inspiring perspective of impressive icebergs, glaciers and fjords, while visits to communities immerse you in their traditional and modern way of life. Soaring cliffs and dazzling icebergs dot the Ilulissat Icefjord. You may spot whales in their natural surroundings or get a glimpse of one of the Arctic’s most iconic animals; the polar bear.
Day 1 — Arrive in Reykjavik, Iceland
Your Arctic expedition begins in Reykjavik. Explore Iceland’s capital
city on your own before spending the night at your included hotel.
Day 2 — Embarkation Day in Kangerlussuaq, Greenland
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
Day 3 — At Sea
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.
Days 4 to 6 — Exploring Baffin Island, Canada
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
Day 7 — At Sea
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.
Days 8 to 11 — Lancaster Sound
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.
Day 12 — Smith Sound
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.
Days 13 and 14 — Exploring Northwest Greenland
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
Day 15 — At Sea
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.
Days 16 to 18 — Exploring West Greenland
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. 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 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
Day 19 — Disembark in Kangerlussuaq & fly to Rekyjavik
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.
Day 20 — Depart Reykjavik, Iceland
Today, you can make your way home at your leisure or spend time
exploring this vibrant city.
Embracing the unexpected is part of the legacy—and excitement—of
expedition travel. When traveling in extremely remote regions, your
expedition staff must allow the sea, the ice and the weather to
guide route and itinerary details. This itinerary is a tentative
outline of what you’ll experience on this voyage; please be aware
that no specific itinerary can be guaranteed.