Visit Baffin Island and West Greenland
This voyage combines two outstanding locations: Canada’s wild and remote Baffin Island and the glaciated western coast of Greenland. We will explore deep fjords, immense icebergs and small coastal villages while encountering the special wildlife of the Arctic, including birdlife, marine mammals and polar bears.
Duration: 11 days
Language: English speaking voyage
This voyage starts from Ottawa on a special charter flight. The voyage ends with a charter flight to Ottawa.
We depart Ottawa this morning on our scheduled flight to Iqaluit, Nunavut, on Baffin Island. Upon arrival into Iqaluit we take a walking tour of the town and board our expedition ship, in the afternoon. After settling into our cabins and exploring the ship, we enjoy a welcome cocktail and cast off, setting sail for the remote Canadian Arctic and West Greenland.
Located in Davis Strait, Monumental Island is a known location for walrus. We explore by zodiac along the shoreline looking for these fascinating creatures and keep an eye out for polar bears as well.
Nestled in the heart of Cumberland Sound, the village of Pangniqtuuq (Pangnirtung) is beautifully situated between the mountains and the sea. This remote community is a well-known centre for traditional and contemporary arts and crafts, including carvings, prints and colourful textiles. The Angmarlik Visitor Centre features a wonderful interpretive display sharing the lifestyle and history of the Thule and the modern Inuit.
Marking the northern headland of Cumberland Sound are the dramatic cliffs of Cape Mercy. As the Baffin Bay ice recedes throughout the summer, this stretch of the Baffin coast is a great place to find polar bears coming ashore. We explore this region, planning to hike the shoreline ridges, paddle the bays and zodiac cruise through the ice on the lookout for Arctic wildlife.
Sunshine Fjord straddles the Arctic Circle at 66 degrees, 33 minutes north of latitude. Depending on the weather we may cruise across the Circle on the ship, by zodiac, or maybe cross it on foot. Whichever way, it’s a thrill to be above the Arctic Circle. Sunshine Fjord offers terrific hiking opportunities, from long routes that offer wonderful views of our surroundings to less strenuous options along the shoreline. For the sea kayakers, the sheltered waters of the fjord provide great conditions for paddling.
Ice conditions along the Baffin coastline will dictate our navigation today. This is a fascinating transition zone to explore due to the rich and varied wildlife species we expect to encounter along the ice edge. We keep a lookout for bearded, hooded and ringed seals and walrus. Polar bears are often found in the vicinity – with such a rich abundance of food sources in close proximity, these are rich hunting grounds. It is also not uncommon to see bowhead whales cruising along the edges of the ice. If conditions allow, we launch the zodiacs and explore through the ice floes on the lookout for wildlife. Eventually, we push into the broad expanse of the Davis Strait charting an easterly course towards Greenland. From this point onwards, huge icebergs will be present, making for incredible photographic subjects in the soft Arctic twilight.
Qeqertarsuaq is situated at the head of Disko Bay. The Inuit name for this location translates literally as ‘large island’. After the main landmass of Greenland, this is the territory’s second largest island. It is a place of great historical and geological interest. Eric the Red, the 9th century Norse Viking, is believed to have used this island as a base for hunting, fishing and exploration. Mineral deposits containing native iron and hot springs are another feature of the area. We explore the southern coast and visit the island’s principal settlement of Qeqertarsuaq, home to a small, hardy community.
Jacobshavn Icefjord and Ilulissat
If one word could sum up today’s experience it would be 'ice'. Even our expedition team members, with years spent exploring the Arctic and Antarctica, will take a moment to reflect on the awesome ice sculptures that surround the ship in all directions. Truly one of the wonders of the world, the Jacobshavn Icefjord (a UNESCO World Heritage site) spews gigantic tabular icebergs out into Disko Bay. The glacier that creates these stunning monoliths advances at over 40 meters per day, around 50 cubic kilometres of ice annually! Our approach to Ilulissat is always dependent on the amount of ice in and around the mouth of the fjord. Our Captain and officers are skilled ice navigators and our ship has one of the highest ice ratings of any vessel exploring Arctic waters.
We will explore the fjord behind the town of Sisimiut before going ashore to explore. Characterised by colourful local houses, the town's backdrop is a towering granite peak. We hope to meet a few of the traditional Greenlandic kayakers and to see a demonstration of ‘Eskimo rolling’ by one of the former Greenland kayak champions. A small museum is another interesting diversion, as is walking around town with your camera capturing the picture-postcard setting.
Today we sail into one of the longest fjords on the planet. Overlooking the fjord sits the town of Kangerlussuaq, a key outpost on the west coast of Greenland. An exciting day lies ahead as expert guides take us to view and experience the vast expanse of the Greenland ice cap. Covering roughly 80% of the surface of Greenland, the ice sheet measures approximately 1.7 million square kilometres. It’s the second largest ice sheet on earth, second only to continental Antarctica. Our trip takes us through fabulous scenery and there’s a good chance of seeing muskox, reindeer and local birdlife. Our expert local guides will take us walking on the actual ice cap - a huge thrill for many of us. Later this afternoon, we return to the ship and tonight our chefs will have prepared a special farewell dinner attended by the ship’s Captain. It’s a wonderful time to celebrate and reflect on a remarkable journey through the heart of the Arctic.
Kangerlussuaq and Ottawa
Our journey through the Arctic is all but complete as we disembark the ship and make our way to the airport. A charter flight returns us to Ottawa. A transfer is provided from the airport to a central location downtown.
Complimentary use of wet weather gear
Complimentary use of wellington boots
Complimentary use of waterproof backpack and binoculars
Complimentary water bottle
In room coffee & tea station
An extensive pre-departure information package
Onboard Information Folder
Educational presentations from experienced guides such as ornithologists, glaciologists, historians, geologists, naturalists and marine mammals experts
Photography advises and instructions from the resident photographer. Extended photography workshops available on select departures
All zodiac and landing excursions
Zodiac cruising, hiking, guided walks, photography workshops, fitness & yoga.
Board and Lodging
All meals during the voyage prepared by One Ocean Expeditions chefs
Welcome reception & welcome dinner
One Ocean Expeditions Farewell dinner hosted by the Captain
Daily afternoon tea with fresh snacks
Coffee, tea & hot chocolate available anytime
Access to wellness area (Finnish Sauna, Plunge Pool filled with sea water, Hot Tub)
Natural essential oil amenities
Services of English speaking medical officer.
Use of multimedia room to download images. Lightroom, Adobe, Photoshop and card readers are available for use on MAC and PC computers
Expedition Gear Package for the duration of the voyage - valued at US$1,000
Windproof / waterproof jacket and bib pants
Comfortable insulated rubber boots
Water resistant binoculars
Trekking poles available on shore.
From/ to designated meeting points to/from the ship
Additional transfers in welcome/departure cities (only applicable on certain departures)
Luggage transfer from designated locations to/from your cabin
International and national airfares
Visa and passport fees, airport taxes
Pre- or post-cruise hotel accommodation in arrival/departure cities
Meals & transfers in arrival / departure cities
Soft drinks and alcoholic beverages
Massages from a registered therapist
Personal laundry charges
Postage, telephone calls & email set up
Medical expenses such as fees, prescriptions or medications
Travel medical insurance including medical evacuation (mandatory)
Trip interruption / cancellation insurance
Gratuities to staff and crew
* The prices are per person expressed in US Dollars.
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.
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