South Baffin Island, Art, Culture & Wildlife
This expedition offers a chance to explore the spectacular land and seascapes of the Canadian Arctic. Observe an outstanding variety of marine birdlife and sea mammals and take time to visit indigenous art galleries that showcase the talents of these remote peoples, whose rich output is a major focus of this highly unique and engaging expedition.
Duration: 11 days
Language: English speaking voyage
This voyage starts from Ottawa on a flight. The voyage ends with a flight to Ottawa.
We depart Ottawa this morning on our scheduled flight to Iqaluit, capital of Nunavut, situated on the south-eastern coast of Baffin Island.
We travel by zodiac to explore the rocky shoreline and hope to encounter polar bears in this vicinity. In good weather a complete circumnavigation of the island is possible, and we should see our first large icebergs as they drift south towards Labrador and Newfoundland on the currents of the Davis Strait. Walruses have also been encountered in this area, so we keep a close look out on the shoreline for this iconic species.
A particular focus of our visit is the local art scene and after cruising into a narrow channel we travel ashore by zodiac, where we enjoy a warm welcome from the locals. This community is well known for its arts and crafts including stone carvings, sealskin clothing, jewellery and fine beadwork among other items. Many of Kimmirut's residents are renowned carvers whose art is collected worldwide. There are some great sea kayaking opportunities in this area and our guides will be keen to head out for a paddle.
Days 4 - 5
The community of Cape Dorset is Baffin Island’s best-known art centre, referred to as the ‘Capital of Inuit Art’, with almost a quarter of the hamlet's residents actively engaged in the visual arts. Much of their artwork reflects the wilderness and environment of Baffin Island, with objects such as whales, narwhals, seals, walruses, bears, wolves, foxes and more providing a focus for artistic expression. Cape Dorset is also blessed with superb Arctic landscapes, home to migratory caribou, seabirds, whales, seals and walruses which can be found in the vicinity. There are some excellent hiking opportunities through rolling hills to secluded waterfalls and lakes, providing great views and chances to observe the local wildlife or watch ice floes drift slowly by.
Walrus Island and Coral Harbour
A zodiac cruise at the small outcrop of Walrus Island allows a close encounter with these fascinating animals. Coral Harbour has a fascinating history. Today the island is an important migratory bird flyway, visited by species including the common eider and lesser snow goose, ptarmigans, snowy owls, peregrine falcons and gyrfalcons are also spotted in this vicinity. On land, caribous are abundant and both the red fox and Arctic fox are sometimes spotted. The hamlet is also known for the production of intricate wall hangings, each telling a unique visual story.
Located at the north-western tip of the Ungava Peninsula, the Digges Islands mark the juncture of the Hudson Strait and north-eastern Hudson Bay, and their rocky cliffs are ideal for seabirds. There are also a number of walrus colonies in the area. Polar bears can be found throughout this region and we will hope to encounter them from a safe distance while cruising in the zodiacs. We continue sailing east, around the northern tip of Quebec, and enter the very remote Erik Cove for an afternoon excursion. The remnants of a Hudson's Bay Company store lie on the southern shore and we enjoy a walk with our guides along the waterfront.
Shaftesbury Inlet is a narrow and strikingly beautiful fjord and we’ll likely be on deck as the Captain navigates our ship into this narrow channel. This inlet is characterized by steep shorelines and high tides, with tide height changing as much as 10 - 12 metres daily. We will plan to visit ashore at the mouth of a small river and hike up the river valley, eventually reaching a lake.
Akpatok Island & Lower Savage Islands
Ringed by steep cliffs, Akpatok Island is home to a staggering abundance of birdlife. It's also a well-known location for walruses and polar bears, the latter often observed climbing the steep cliffs. Ice floes often surround parts of the island, and these attract both seals and walruses, making this a popular hunting ground for polar bears. The island has historically been a traditional hunting ground for Inuit people.
Lower Savage Islands
To the north of Akpatok, the extraordinary Lower Savage Islands are bisected by narrow channels that provide spectacular zodiac cruising opportunities. The islands are ideally situated between the dynamic flow of the Hudson Strait, and this mixing of nutrient-rich waters makes for a diversity of marine life.
This morning we find ourselves anchored off Iqaluit. We say goodbye to our crew, make our way ashore in zodiacs and are then transferred to the airport for our scheduled flight to Ottawa. On arrival in Ottawa, our journey comes to an end. A transfer is provided to a downtown location.
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
GST (Canada): All bookings on voyages that operate domestically within Canada, are subject to a compulsory 5% goods and services tax (GST). This will be itemized separately to the cruise price on the confirmation invoice.
* 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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