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Canada to Greenland: Baffin Bay Explorer

Day 1 — Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Your arctic adventure begins in Ottawa. Explore the Canadian capital on your own, before spending the night at your well-appointed hotel.

Day 2 — Embarkation Day in Iqaluit, Nunavut

After breakfast, board our charter flight to Iqaluit, where your first Zodiac ride will transfer you from shore to ship. You’ll experience the power of nature, as the tides here are the second highest in Canada, rising up to 39 feet (12 meters) twice a day. On board, you’ll meet your Expedition Team, the captain and his officers.

Day 3 — Monumental Island

Off the southern coast of Baffin Island, this small, isolated island is completely uninhabited, except for the large population of impressive arctic animals that call the rugged terrain home. With your experienced expedition staff, you’ll get up close, exploring the rocky shoreline in a Zodiac, scouting for hauled-out walrus and polar bears prowling for food.

Day 4 — Kekerten Island and Pangnirtung

Today, you cross north of the Arctic Circle. Wandering the historical remains of a whaling station on the uninhabited island of Kekerten, it’s easy to envision what life was like during the height of whaling in the Cumberland Sound area. This National Historic Site of Canada was charted by Scottish whaler Captain William Penny in 1840 and soon became a major whaling destination. The site was abandoned around 1926, after whaling declined and local Inuit families moved to the mainland community of Pangnirtung, where a trading post was established by the Hudson’s Bay Company.

As you cruise toward the picturesque Pangnirtung, you’ll see why this Inuit hamlet at the mouth of the Pangnirtung Fjord is called the Switzerland of the Arctic. Tucked beneath the snow- capped peaks of Mount Duval, Pang is also a renowned artists’ haven. Stop by the studio at the Uqqurmiut Centre for Arts & Crafts to view the traditional colorful tapestries that have attracted worldwide attention for decades. Here, you’ll also get a sense of local Inuit activities, such as sealing, fishing and hunting.

Day 5 — At Sea

As our ship steams briefly south, enjoy the views of the southern coast of Baffin Island. While you spend this day at sea, join expedition staff as they look for whales and birdlife out on deck. This is your chance to relax with a glass of wine or hot tea and simply take in the wondrous beauty around you.

Day 6 — Cumberland Peninsula

We continue sailing around the Cumberland Peninsula, letting the weather guide us in choosing our shore landings, as we explore this scenic region.

Day 7 — Sam Ford Fjord

Situated about 380 miles (450 km) north of the Arctic Circle, in the land where the sun never sets, Sam Ford Fjord is truly one of the most isolated places on the planet. Yet this little-explored area of Baffin Island is one of the world’s best big-wall playgrounds, attracting intrepid climbers eager to scale the sheer rock faces that shoot straight out of the sea. Have your camera ready, as the number of huge formations here are awe inspiring.

Tonight, you’ll traverse Baffin Bay, saying goodbye to Canadian shores. Expedition staff will preview the excitement still to come in Greenland—glaciers and mummies!

Day 8 — Uummannaq and Qilaqitsoq, Greenland

In the morning, you’ll visit the abandoned settlement of Qilaqitsoq (also known as Qilakitsoq), where a ghoulish discovery was made in 1972: the two graves of eight fully dressed mummies, thought to have drowned circa 1475. The remains of three women and a child are kept at the Greenland National Historic Museum in Nuuk, the Greenlandic capital.

You’ll want to be out on deck as we approach the stunning sight of Uummannaq, its colorful peaked houses perched on the rocky foothills of the red heart-shaped mountain that gave the community its name. Founded as a Danish colony in 1758 on the Nuussuaq mainland, five years later the settlement moved here, where seal hunting was more plentiful. A hike up a gently sloping hill overlooking the seaside town will yield a panoramic view of icebergs, sea and mountains.

Day 9 — Eqip Sermia

Today, sail to one of the most breathtaking places in Greenland: the beautiful Eqip Sermia. As you trace the front of the massive calving glacier from a safe distance, the sounds and sight of huge chunks of ice crashing into the sea are simply spectacular.

Day 10 — Ilulissat

Have your camera out as you approach Ilulissat. The nearby Ilulissat Icefjord, a tidal fjord covered with massive ice, has fascinated scientists for over 250 years. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is the sea mouth of the Sermeq Kujalleq (Jakobshavn Glacier), the fastest-moving glacier in the world, which produces at least 10 percent of all of Greenland’s calf ice. In fact, the young icebergs you see here will eventually end up off the coast of Newfoundland years later. Exploring the beauty of this natural phenomenon, you’ll be rewarded with breathtaking vistas of glaciers and ice caps.

Day 11 — Itilleq

Surrounded by sea, fjords and mountains, the picturesque village of Itilleq is situated on an island with no freshwater source (a facility desalinates seawater). The community, whose main trade is fishing and hunting, will welcome us and show us their way of life. Later, join locals in a friendly soccer match.

Day 12 — Kangerslussuaq

After disembarking in Kangerslussuaq, a former U.S. military base, you’ll be transferred to your charter flight to Ottawa, where you’ll spend the night at your included hotel.

Day 13 — Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Today, make your way to the airport or spend a relaxing day exploring in the city.

Important reminder: 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.