Few people ever make it as far north as Greenland and the outer limits of Canada in the province of Nunavut. Expect stunning scenery, rare wildlife encounters, and a chance to learn about historic adventurers including Sir John Franklin who explored this stark terrain with great difficulty. Also learn about the indigenous peoples who have lived in harmony with this harsh but beautiful Arctic environment for thousands of years and still call it home.
Spectacular Greenland & Nunavut Arctic Cruise
Tuesday, August 11 Qausuittuq (Resolute Bay)
Meet your fellow travellers in Ottawa, Ontario, where an early morning charter flight will take you to Qausuittuq, where you will embark your ship, the Ocean Endeavour. Qausuittuq, or “place with no dawn,” is named for its dark winters. But in summer, the sun persists constantly from about April 29 to August 13 each year. The community’s English name, Resolute Bay, honours the HMS Resolute. “Resolute” also describes local Inuit who were relocated, in 1953, from Inukjuak, Québec, and Mittimatalik by the Canadian government.
Wednesday, August 12 Beechey Island
In 1845, Sir John Franklin set out from England with HMS Erebus and Terror, attempting to sail through the Northwest Passage. Franklin’s party overwintered at Beechey Island where three of his men died. Numerous search parties later used Beechey as a depot and rendezvous. Amundsen, Bernier, and Larsen all visited Beechey. Thomas Morgan of HMS Investigator was buried there in 1854 alongside Franklin’s men. The graves and the ruins of Northumberland House are a haunting memorial.
Thursday, August 13 Devon Island
Devon Island is the largest uninhabited island on Earth at over fifty thousand square kilometres. The island’s geology is stunning, and very visible as you sail the coast. Flat topped mountains, glacial valleys, and a substantial ice cap give Devon Island its unique character. Devon Island has a rich human history, and boasts impressive historical and archeological features. Be on the watch for wildlife as well.
Friday, August 14 Tallurutiup Imanga (Lancaster Sound)
Spend the day exploring the ocean wilderness of Tallurutiup Imanga (Lancaster Sound). In August of 2017, this enormous body of water was declared a National Marine Conservation Area. Large populations of marine mammals, including narwhal, beluga, and bowhead whales transit and feed in this area. There is a great selection of landing sites available to choose from, depending on weather, wildlife, and sea conditions.
Saturday, August 15 North Baffin Island
Today will be an expedition day in the truest sense as you explore northern Baffin Island’s mountainous fjords. Weather, ice, and opportunity will determine the route among the spectacular geology. Expert spotters will be on deck, searching for seabirds, including thick-billed murres and kittiwakes. Watch for marine mammals as well, and scan the shores for muskoxen, caribou, and bears.
Sunday, August 16 Mittimatalik (Pond Inlet)
Mittimatalik is a bustling Arctic community in a beautiful setting. The views of nearby Bylot Island are stunning. You will have a chance to explore the town, including its excellent library and other facilities. A cultural presentation at the Community Hall is not to be missed—arts and crafts may be available here, too. The Northern and Co-op stores offer a unique perspective on life in the Arctic, and sometimes have carvings as well.
Monday, August 17 At Sea – Davis Strait
The onboard presentation series will continue as you steam across Davis Strait towards Greenland. The expedition team will deepen your understanding of the Arctic as you go! This is an excellent time to enjoy workshops and group learning, watch a documentary, or dive into the ship’s library. While out on deck, keep your binoculars ready for minke and humpback whales amid potential pack ice, as well as the seabirds that are sure to mark your passage.
Tuesday, August 18 Western Greenland
Greenland’s west coast is simply stunning. An expedition stop in this area will offer many outstanding features of interest. Hikers, walkers, photographers, and contemplators will all be equally delighted. From mighty mountains to the tiniest tundra flowers, you will have much to explore.
Wednesday, August 19 Uummannaq Fjord
Uummannaq Fjord in northwest Greenland is the country’s second-largest system of fjords. It is considered Greenland’s sunniest place. A favourable climate—coupled with proximity to coastal travel routes—has made the fjord system a popular destination for Greenlandic Inuit. The region has been settled for thousands of years. The famous ‘Greenland mummies’ dating to the 1400s were found in Qilakitsoq, near the town of Uummannaq, perched on the slopes of a heart-shaped mountain.
Thursday, August 20 Ilulissat
Ilulissat translates literally into “iceberg”, an apt name for this site at the mouth of the Ilulissat Icefjord—a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The icefjord is the outlet of the Sermeq Kujalleq Glacier, source of many of the icebergs in the North Atlantic. Here, cruise in a fleet of Zodiacs to appreciate the icebergs. You will also visit the bustling town of Ilulissat, with its museums, cafes, craft shops, and busy fishing harbour.
Friday, August 21 Sisimiut Coast
People have lived in the Sisimiut area for 4,500 years. For the first 2,000 years, the people of the Saqqaq culture occupied the area. Approximately 2,500 years ago, new people brought the Dorset culture to the Sisimiut area. They lived here for 1,500 years and were followed by the people of the Thule culture—the ancestors of the current population. All these cultures came from Canada. The people primarily lived on fish, birds, and mammals such as whales and seals. The ice-free conditions in the sea around Sisimiut, including some of Greenland’s deepest fjords, allow you to sail in waters that are home to many whales and seals.
Saturday, August 22 Kangerlussuaq
Sondre Stromfjord is one of the longest fjords in the world and boasts 168 kilometres of superb scenery. End your adventure by sailing up this dramatic fjord as the sun rises to greet you. Kangerlussuaq, the town at its eastern head, is a former US Air Force base and Greenland’s primary flight hub. Here, disembark the Ocean Endeavour and transfer to the airport for your return charter flight to Toronto, Ontario and say farewell to your companions on this incredible journey.
For further information, please contact us. We would be happy to be of assistance.