Across the Davis Strait in Nunavut, the Canadian Arctic experience begins in Qikiqtarjuaq (Broughton Island). As we head north, opportunities for polar bear, whales, and musk ox abound on Devon Island, while Prince Leopold Island remains one of Canada’s best birding areas. Abandoned rcmp and hbc posts offer a haunting glimpse into the region’s rich history of exploration and trade. At Beechey Island, we’ll pay our respects at the graves of three of Sir John Franklin’s men, along with a crewmember from the search ship Investigator. Our disembarkation point, Resolute Bay, memorializes the courage of the Inuit of Canada’s Arctic.
Day 1 – Kangerlussuaq, Greenland
Sondre Stromfjord is one of the longest fjords in the world and boasts 168 kilometres of superb scenery. Kangerlussuaq, the town at its eastern head, means ‘the big fjord. We begin our adventure by sailing down this dramatic fjord as the sun sets before us.
Day 2 – Sisimiut
People have lived in the Sisimiut area for 4,500 years. The first 2,000 years, the people of the Saqqaq culture occupied the area. Approx. 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. These ice-free conditions in the sea around Sisimiut, including some of Greenland’s deepest fjords, allow us to sail in waters that are home to many whales and seals.
Day 3 – Ilulissat
Venturing 250 kilometres north of the Arctic Circle we find the stunning coastal community of Ilulissat. Ilulissat translates literally into “iceberg”, and there couldn’t be a more fitting name. Our visit will include time in the colourful town and a chance to hike out to an elevated viewpoint where we can observe the great fields of ice. We will also cruise in our fleet of Zodiacs in the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Ilulissat Icefjord. The icefjord is home to the Sermeq Kujalleq Glacier, one of the most active and fastest moving in the world at nineteen metres per day and calving more than thirty-five square kilometres of ice annually. The glacier has been the object of scientific attention for 250 years and, because of its relative ease of accessibility, has significantly added to the understanding of ice-cap glaciology, climate change and related geomorphic processes.
Day 4 – Uummannaq Fjord
Uummannaq Fjord in northwest Greenland is the country’s second-largest system of fjords. It empties into Baffin Bay and is characterized by its developed coastline and various bays, islands, and peninsulas. It is considered to be the sunniest spot in Greenland, and favourable weather—coupled with proximity to coastal travel routes—have made the fjord system a popular destination for Greenlandic Inuit. It has been settled and re-settled continually for the last 4,500 years. Archaeological excavations at Qilakitsoq, due south of Uummannaq Island, revealed the existence of the ancient Saqqaq culture. Recent evidence indicates that these groups settled Greenland between 2500 BC and 800 BC, and further, that they migrated from Sibera to arrive in Uummaanaq. It is thought that this migration gave rise to both modern Native Americans and the Inuit. Our time in Uummannaq will be spent cruising and exploring; our expert resource staff will be on deck to help spot wildlife and contextualize the dramatic scenery surrounding the Ocean Endeavour.
Day 5 – Karrat Fjord
Today we will cruise one of Greenland’s most spectacular fjords, known for plentiful marine life and awe-inspiring landscapes. Seals use the long leads created by high winds in this region to hunt the rich waters of the fjord. The cliffs and talus slopes within the fjord should give us good opportunities to see colonies of dovekies. Time spent on deck today should result in some good wildlife sightings, not to mention unbeatable photographic opportunities of the majestic rock faces.
Day 6 – Qikiqtarjuaq (Broughton Island)
Qikiqtarjuaq, a community located on Broughton Island, is known for its wildlife, whale watching, and as an access point for Auyuittuq National Park. It is one of the Nunavut communities closest to Greenland. Qikiqtarjuaq (fondly called “Qik”, for short) is known as the iceberg capital of Nunavut and was home to a norad military station that formed part of the Distant Early Warning (DEW) in the 1950s. Qikiqtarjuaq also boasts a burgeoning traditional Inuit craft industry, and local craftspeople are eager to share their wares. Talented local artists produce Inuit carvings—with a particular focus on intricate ivory work and jewellery. The community is famously warm and welcoming of visitors.
Day 7&8 – Northeast Baffin Fjords
Today will be an expedition day in the truest sense as we navigate the fjords of northeast Baffin Island. Baffin’s fjords are striking, affording stunning perspectives on geological processes. The Ocean Endeavour is the perfect vessel for exploring these hidden treasures of the north, as her manoeuvrability and shallow draft allows her to access regions that would be impassable to larger vessels. We will be on alert for changing weather and ice conditions and use our judgement as to which route along the coast will be the most spectacular. As ever, our team will be on deck for the duration, searching for wildlife and contextualizing the mighty landscape through which we travel.
Day 9 – Mittimatalik (Pond Inlet)
Mittimatalik (Pond Inlet) is a bustling Arctic community surrounded by one of the most beautiful landscapes in the eastern Arctic. We will have a chance to explore the town and meet many local citizens who will gladly share their culture. We will be treated to a cultural presentation at the Community Hall. Mittimatalik is a famous region for viewing marine mammals, including the elusive narwhal.
Day 10 – Lancaster Sound
Today we will explore Lancaster Sound, famous for its marine mammals, including beluga whales. There is a great selection of landing sites available. Weather, wildlife, and sea conditions will influence our choice of landing today.
Day 11 – Prince Leopold / Beechey Islands
The tall cliffs of Prince Leopold Island are one of the top bird sites in the high Arctic both during the breeding and summering seasons. It is a breeding site for thick-billed murres, black-legged kittiwakes, northern fulmars, glaucous gulls, and black guillemots. In 1845 Sir John Franklin took his expedition of 129 men and two ships into the Wellington Channel. Not a soul returned from the fateful expedition, and it was two years before search parties were launched. Aside from the bodies of the three souls buried here, only relics were found as clues to the disappearance. The three graves found at Beechey Island left no indication as to the fate of the rest of the British party—until recently. In the autumn of 2014, Canadian archaeologists discovered remnants of the hms Erebus in the frozen waters of the Northwest Passage, a discovery that has re-galvanized interest in the fabled region.
Day 12 – Quaasuittuq (Resolute), NU
Qausuittuq, or “place with no dawn” is truly the land of the midnight sun—daylight persists constantly from about April 29 to August 13 each year. Located on the south coast of Cornwallis Island, Resolute Bay is the “jumping off place” for expeditions to the North Pole. From archaeological excavations, it has been concluded that there have been at least three stages of occupation at Resolute Bay. The Dorset culture was the first, followed by an early phase of the Thule culture, in which the artefacts found show strong Alaskan affinities. These were probably both short periods of occupation, possibly by only a few families. A late or developed phase of the Thule culture was of longer duration, with a considerably larger population. Resolute Bay was named after HMS Resolute, one of the ships in the Franklin search expedition commanded by Captain H.T. Austin. An airfield was established at Resolute Bay in 1947 during construction of a joint US-Canadian weather station. In 1953, Inuit from Inukjuak, Québec, and Mittimatalik (Pond Inlet) were relocated to Resolute by the Canadian government.
This itinerary features some French programming.
- Twelve day voyage in the cabin category of your choice
- All entry & park fees
- Team of resource specialists
- Educational program and pre-departure materials
- All shipboard meals
- All Zodiac excursions
- Service charges and port fees
- Commercial flights
- Mandatory medical / evacuation insurance
- Personal expenses
- Additional expenses in the event of delays or Itinerary changes
- Discretionary gratuities to ship’s crew (approximately $10 – 14 per passenger per day)
- Visas, or inoculations, if required
- Possible fuel surcharges
- $250 Discovery Fund Fee
2017 Early Bird Discounts: Book your 2017 expedition aboard the Ocean Endeavour before September 30, 2016 and receive 15% off your berth cost!
Singles: Free single supplement! Singles get their own cabin in categories 3-7 aboard the Ocean Endeavour at no additional cost–subject to availability.
Multiple expedition savings: Book multiple expeditions with Adventure Canada in a single calendar year aboard the Ocean Endeavour and receive 10% off the total berth cost of Arctic itineraries and 20% off the total berth cost of east coast itineraries!
30 Under 30: Save 30% on the berth cost of travellers under thirty aboard Ocean Endeavour expeditions!
Children & Infants: Children under two travel for free, and children between two and four pay for charter flights only!
To check availability for any of these special offers and applicable terms and condition, just give us a call!