16 Nights Arctic Northwest Passage 2019

$19,170.00Price

Embrace your inner Franklin and cross for the Northwest Passage. The RGS invites you for a journey of untouched scenery, majestic fjords and exceptional wildlife. Gaze amazed as rare Peregrine Falcons hunt for prey while you venture north in search of the elusive Polar Bear. The waters may be icy but the culture of the local Inuit population will warm your memories for a long time after you disembark.

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Day 1 Kangerlussuaq

Kangerlussuaq is a settlement in western Greenland in the Qeqqata municipality located at the head of the fjord of the same name (Danish: Søndre Strømfjord). It is Greenland's main air transport hub and the site of Greenland's largest commercial airport. The airport dates from American settlement during and after World War II, when the site was known as Bluie West-8 and Sondrestrom Air Base. The Kangerlussuaq area is also home to Greenland's most diverse terrestrial fauna, including muskoxen, caribou, and gyrfalcons.

 

Day 2 Sisimiut

Located just north of the Arctic Circle, Sisimiut is the northernmost town in Greenland where the port remains free of ice in the winter. Yet it is also the southernmost town where there is enough snow and ice to drive a dogsled in winter and spring. In Sisimiut, travelling by sled has been the primary means of winter transportation for centuries. In fact, the area has been inhabited for approximately 4,500 years. Modern Sisimiut is the largest business center in the north of Greenland, and is one of the fastest growing Greenlandic cities.

 

Day 3 Uummannaq

In the iceberg-laden waters surrounding the remote community of Uummannaq it is common to see whales. This area of Greenland is also known for its huge basalt mountains, and the small hunting and fishing village of Uummannaq rests at the foot of the heart-shaped Uummannaq Mountain, a name that translates to mean “in the shape of a seal’s heart”. The town of over 1200 people has a granite church and the country’s most northerly ferry terminal. The economy of Uummannaq revolves largely around the halibut/fish-processing factory.

 

Day 4 Day At Sea

Days at sea are the perfect opportunity to relax, unwind and catch up with what you’ve been meaning to do. So whether that is whale watching from the Observatory Lounge, writing home to your loved ones or simply topping up your tan by the pool, these blue sea days are the perfect balance to busy days spent exploring shore side.

 

Day 5 Pond Inlet

Located in northern Baffin Island, Pond Inlet is a small, predo¬minantly Inuit community, with a population of roughly 1,500 inhabitants. In 1818, the British explorer John Ross named a bay in the vicinity after the English astronomer John Pond. Today Pond Inlet is considered one of Canada's "jewels of the North" thanks to several picturesque glaciers and mountain ranges nearby. Many archaeological sites of ancient Dorset and Thule peoples can be found near Pond Inlet.

 

Day 6 Sam Ford Fjord

The starkly beautiful Sam Ford Fjord area of Baffin Island has one of the most impressive concentrations of vertical rock walls to be found anywhere in the world. It is a 110-kilometer (68-mile) waterway lined with sheer cliffs that have attracted some of the world’s best (and most extreme) rock climbers to the region. The steep stone walls were formed by ancient glaciers that carved the landscape through the ages. However, the feature that makes the shoreline truly special is the way that many of these walls rise straight up from the dark waters of the deep fjord.

 

Day 7 Gibbs Fjord

There are few places on earth where the simple grandeur of the landscape can dwarf a ship with giant peaks, steep cliffs, and glacial rivers of ice. In Gibbs Fjord it is possible to see only towering cliffs and the seemingly impenetrable fortress of 4,000-foot walls and buttresses that make up Sillem Island, eventually dividing the dark, deep waters of Gibbs and Clark Fjords. The geological formations here make for excellent photo opportunities and it is astounding to realize that very little of this spectacular terrain has ever been explored. 

 

Day 8 Cape Burney, Bylot Island

Bylot Island, off the northern end of Baffin Island has an area of 4,273 square miles, making it one of the largest uninhabited islands in the world. Cape Burney lies on the east coast of Bylot Island, and is used regularly by local Inuit during their hunting and fishing seasons. The island is named for the Arctic explorer Robert Bylot who was the first European to sight the island’s steep mountains, ice fields, sheer cliffs, snowfields and glaciers in 1616. A total of 74 species of Arctic birds thrive on this island.

 

Day 9 Devon Island

Devon Island is Canada’s sixth largest island and was first seen by Europeans in the early 17th century. The Thule culture had already settled there many centuries before, and left behind qarmat homes, made of rocks, whale bones, rock and sod walls, and skins for roofs that tell a story of over 800 years of human habitation. Other striking finds in this area are the many fossils of corals, crinoids and nautiloids that can be seen.

 

Day 9 Coburg Island

The beautiful uninhabited Coburg Island has a diverse landscape including cliffs, rocky shores, and lush tundra while bowhead whales, narwhals and beluga are known to frequent the surrounding waters. It is one of the Queen Elizabeth Islands and due to its unique ecology and wildlife, this island has been designated an International Biological Program site and a Key Migratory Bird Terrestrial Habitat site. Tens of thousands of seabirds, including Black-legged Kittiwakes, Thick-billed Murres, Glaucous Gulls and Northern Fulmars all nestle together on the rocky cliffs.

 

Day 10 Markison Fjord

Markison Fjord was cut into Ellesmere Island by glaciers during the last Ice Age. Today, the combination of calm blue-green waters, icebergs, snow-covered mountains, and glaciers makes for a stunning scenic cruise. Polar bears and beluga are frequently seen in this area.

 

Day 11 Alexandra Fjord

Alexandra Fjord is a naturally formed inlet on the Johan Peninsula of Ellesmere Island. Although no permanent residents live here, it has been used periodically for a variety of purposes over the years. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police had a station here for ten years, from 1953 to 1963, during the beginning of the Cold War. At the time, it was the northern-most police station in the world. Later, between 1987 and 1992, this location was used as a seasonal research base.

 

Day 11 Pim Island

Pim Island is a small island off the eastern coast of Ellesmere Island in the Smith Sound. It was named to honor the naval officer and barrister Bedford Clapperton Pim of the HMS Resolute, for his role in the rescue of the crew of the HMS Investigator. Pim Island is most noted as the site where members of the Greely Expedition of 1881-1884 were forced to take refuge for nine months before they were rescued. By then, 18 of the 25 expedition members had perished. The ruins of their escapade are still visible today.

 

Day 12 Thule

In AD 850, the Vikings established their parliament in Tórshavn, a name which translates as "Thor's harbor." It was named after Thor, the god of thunder and lightning in Norse mythology. The town became a center of trade for the island, and in fact was designated as the only legal place for the islanders to sell and buy products. This trade monopoly was abolished in 1856. Today it is the capital and largest city of the Faroe Islands, with fish-processing plants, a shipyard, and woolen products making up. It is considered to be one of the oldest capitals in Northern Europe.

 

Day 12 Bowdoin Fjord 

Bowdoin Fjord, just over 12 miles from Qaanaaq village, is in the central west section of Greenland. The rocks that make up the scenery inside the fjord are old marine seabed deposits that are more than 1,000 million years old, and with all the weathering, they have become a ‘painted landscape’ of ochres, olives, russets and mauves. At the far end of the fjord is the calving front of the Bowdoin Glacier, which produces many large beautiful icebergs. This area was first explored by American explorer Robert Peary in the early 1900’s.

 

Day 13 Cape York, Greenland

Visit the arctic seascape of Cape York, Greenland. Located on the northwestern coast of Greenland in Baffin Bay, Cape York is an important geographical feature delimiting the Melville Bay at its northwestern end and Kiatassuaq Island at its other end. There is a chain of coastal islands that stretches between the two capes, most notably Meteorite Island, named for the discovery one of the world’s largest iron meteorites in Savissivik, a settlement on the island. The iron from this meteorite attracted Inuit migrating from Arctic Canada who used the metal in making tools and harpoons.

 

Day 14 Day At Sea

Days at sea are the perfect opportunity to relax, unwind and catch up with what you’ve been meaning to do. So whether that is whale watching from the Observatory Lounge, writing home to your loved ones or simply topping up your tan by the pool, these blue sea days are the perfect balance to busy days spent exploring shore side.

 

Day 15 Ilulissat

Known as the birthplace of icebergs, the Ilulissat Icefjord produces nearly 20 million tons of ice each day. In fact, the word Ilulissat means “icebergs” in the Kalaallisut language. The town of Ilulissat is known for its long periods of calm and settled weather, but the climate tends to be cold due to its proximity to the fjord. Approximately 4,500 people live in Ilulissat, the third-largest town in Greenland after Nuuk and Sisimiut.

 

Day 16 Kangaamiut

Only 350 people live in the small Greenlandic community of Kangaamiut. Located on the south coast of Timerdlit Island and facing the Davis Strait, Kangaamiut is situated between the mouths of two long fjords: the Kangerlussuatsiaq Fjord (or Evighedsfjorden in Danish) to its south and to its north Kangaamiut Kangerluarsuat Fjord. Founded in 1755, it was called “Sugarloaf” (Sukkertoppen) because of the appearance of three nearby hills.

 

Day 17 Kangerlussuaq

Kangerlussuaq is a settlement in western Greenland in the Qeqqata municipality located at the head of the fjord of the same name (Danish: Søndre Strømfjord). It is Greenland's main air transport hub and the site of Greenland's largest commercial airport. The airport dates from American settlement during and after World War II, when the site was known as Bluie West-8 and Sondrestrom Air Base. The Kangerlussuaq area is also home to Greenland's most diverse terrestrial fauna, including muskoxen, caribou, and gyrfalcons.

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* All quotes in US Dollars unless otherwise indicated