Depending on the weather and the particular expedition, your arctic cruise will include landings at a variety of diverse and fascinating landing sites. Some of these landings are best viewed and experienced as a short break from the ship, while others beg for you to stay and explore the region.
Your captain and crew evaluate the safety and conditions of each landing site prior to planning an excursion. In some cases, this might mean an evaluation of the weather and sea conditions using specialized equipment onboard. In other cases, on icebreaker expeditions, it could mean taking onboard helicopters high above the multi-year pack ice to ensure conditions are favorable for a shore landing.
Arctic expeditions always have an element of the unknown, even today when we have access to the most advanced equipment and technology polar travelers have ever enjoyed. While we aim to visit a variety of sites in each of the regions we visit, the landings we make on each voyage typically vary depending on what weather conditions allow.
Here are just some examples of the geographically, culturally and historically diverse landing sites you might experience on an arctic holiday:
You can expect nothing less than breathtaking scenery from Uummannaq -- in fact, we recommend you take to the deck as the ship approaches, to take it all in. Given the opportunity, we'll set out to explore the mysterious Thule mummies and gravesites around Uummannaq that have intrigued visitors for decades.
Located off the coast of northwest Greenland, this large bay is home to the largest of several nature reserves along the western coastline. If you're seeking a glimpse of arctic wildlife, Melville Bay is ideal, as the park was primarily established for the protection of breeding polar bears, beluga whales and narwhals, as well as ringed seals and the Sabine's gull. Melville Bay may be a landing on your In the Footsteps of Franklin: Greenland and Canada's High Arctic or Greenland's Far North: Ultimate Thule expedition.
A potential landing site on the Epic High Arctic: Baffin Island Explorer (with Greenland) expedition, Dundas Harbour on Devon Island is a great site for beach hiking and birding. Perhaps you'll visit the historic ruins of the some of the remaining buildings, including a Royal Canadian Mounted Police Building and Hudson Bay Trading post, as well as the cemeteries and small gravesites that are part of this ghostly settlement in Nunavut, Canada.
Johanssen Bay is a site affording access to Coronation Gulf. This potential landing site on the Arctic Icebreaker Expedition: Ultimate Northwest Passage arctic cruise provides a number of hiking and water activities. As you cruise to shore in a Zodiac or hike the incredible arctic tundra, you'll find this a prime location for spotting a variety of wildlife. Johanssen Bay is especially known for musk ox.
Cape Tegetthoff is one of two headlands making up glacierized Hall Island, in Franz Josef Land, Russia. It is also one of the only large areas in the region free of permanent ice. The cliffs at Cape Tegetthoff – a possible landing site on Ultimate Icebreaker Expedition: Epic Northeast Passage - are home to a vast assortment of seabirds, polar bears and walrus; keep your camera at hand as you explore the spectacular scenery. History buffs and explorers, especially, will enjoy learning about the Cape's role in the Walter Wellman expedition.
Of course, this is just a tiny selection of the many Arctic landing sites passengers have the opportunity to visit. Contact one of our experienced Polar Travel Advisers to learn more about which landing sites might help you meet your goals and dreams for your polar expedition.