16 Nights Greenland and Northwest Passage

16 Nights Greenland and Northwest Passage

$18,270.00Price

Not only do we take you to some of the most remote and remarkable countries – this Arctic and Greenland expedition being no exception – but our team of highly trained skilled leaders make the journey so very interesting! From taking a Zodiac ride through the impressive icebergs of Disco Bay to learning all about the fascinating Inuit heritage of Nuuk – thought to be 4,000 years old, our experts make sure that every moment matters on this trip.

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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. The settlement's economy and population of 512 is almost entirely reliant on the airport and tourist industry.

     

    Day 2 Sermilinnguaq, Greenland

    Some 60 kilometers southeast of the entrance to Kangerlussuaq Fjord and halfway between Maniitsoq and Kangaamiut is Sermilinnguaq, one of the smaller fjords leading to the Greenland Icecap’s westernmost valley glaciers in South Greenland. Northeast of Maniitsoq’s rugged scenery with peaks rising hundreds of meters into the sky, the narrow fjord with its steep mountainsides is one of the preferred halibut fishing areas for the local fishermen from Maniitsoq and Kangaamiut. In 2019, the Greenland Environment Fund granted resources to clean up and remove derelict fishing gear which had washed up along the Sermilinnguaq Fjord based on the fishermen’s request. Razorbills, Brünnich’s Guillemots (Thick-billed Murres), Common Guillemots, and Black Guillemots, Glaucous Gulls, and Black-legged Kittiwakes –all attracted by the rich fishing grounds- have formed eight bird colonies in Sermilinnguaq. As a result, 3,000 hectares of the fjord are considered an Important Bird Area.

     

    Day 2 Maniitsoq, Greenland

    Located in the central part of Greenland’s western coast, Maniitsoq is Greenland’s sixth-largest town, and home to less than 2700 inhabitants. The main attractions are the small museum and old cemetery at the northern end of town. At the community hall local artist and artisans usually exhibit some of their carvings and beadwork. The beadwork pieces are not created just as souvenirs for visitors — the national dress of the West-Greenlandic women uses an elaborately beaded collar. Fishing trips and even heli-skiing on nearby mountains are considered Maniitsoq’s other assets. Its local name (meaning ‘place of rugged terrain’) contrasts somewhat with the name given by the Danish in 1782 (‘New Sugarloaf’).

     

    Day 3 Nuuk (Godthab), Greenland

    In the bustling capital city of Greenland, you could be forgiven for forgetting you are in such a vast and isolated country. Nuuk is Greenland's economic and social hub, home to more than a third of Greenland's population, and although it feels like a world capital, scratch the surface, and a uniquely Greenlandic character can be found underneath. Nuuk Cathedral overlooks the gorgeous old Colonial Harbour district and the Greenland National Museum, resting place of the legendary Qilakitsoq mummies, the true highlight of the museum's archaeological collection. Above the Colonial Harbour sits downtown Nuuk, with lines of Scandistyle apartments, a bustling shopping district, the Greenlandic Parliament, Nuuk City Hall (which welcomes visitors to see its artwork) and even outdoor cafes selling locally produced food and beer.

     

    These nods to modernity compete for space with local artisan boutiques, the meat market selling the catch from Nuuk's vast fjord-lands, and the stunning Katuaq Cultural Centre, where blockbuster movies, as well as local and foreign performers entertain the people of Nuuk. Although Nuuk has long been a melting pot of Danish and Greenlandic ideas, this is a city where Greenland displays its sophistication, with the Country's only traffic lights, roundabouts and University. Most of all, expect to find a multitude of friendly people who are proud of who they are, and equally proud of the city they call home.

     

    Day 4 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 going to the gym, visiting the spa, whale watching, catching up on your reading or simply topping up your tan, these blue sea days are the perfect balance to busy days spent exploring shore side.

     

    Day 5 Iqaluit (Nunavut), Canada

    Iqaluit is the capital of Canada’s newest territory, Nunavut, which is Inuktitut for “our land”. The community is located at the head of Frobisher Bay, an inlet of the North Atlantic extending into southeastern Baffin Island. The Bay is so long that it was first taken to be the possible entrance of a Northwest Passage. In Iqaluit, the Nunatta Sunakkutaangit Museum and the Nunavut Legislative Assembly Building both house incredible collections of Inuit artwork with interesting local prints for sale in the museum shop.

     

    Day 6 Lower Savage Islands, Canada

    The Lower Savage Islands are a small group of islands off of the southeastern tip of Baffin Island, and a common location for polar bears to be found during the summer months. With plenty of land to roam while giving each other a wide berth, plus opportunities to feed, it seems perhaps bears can be found here as the ice vanishes with the summer season’s warming temperatures.

     

    Day 7 Monumental Island, Canada

    Monumental Island is a splinter of ancient metamorphic rock, hunching in the frigid waters of the Davis Strait, defying the ocean and ice around it. Named to honour the legendary Polar Explorer Sir John Franklin, the island displays at times displays everything Nunavut has to offer, in an ocean studded with vast icebergs drifting across from Greenland. Monumental Island is a well known den site for polar bears, the icon of the Arctic; there is a good chance to see mother bears with cubs on the island, as the bears become trapped by the lack of summer ice, using the island as a base to hunt until the ice returns in the Autumn. Seeing the white silhouette of a polar bear against the ancient black rock and autumn tundra colours is an experience that will remain long after returning on board.

     

    Groups of harp seals are a common sight in the waters around Monumental Island, and can be very curious, often swimming very close to investigate new objects such as boats. There are several sites on the island also used as haul out sites for the charismatic Atlantic Walrus. These vast animals are surprisingly gentle and skittish, and can often be observed caring for their calves on the rock bluffs while keeping a careful watch for polar bears. Almost nowhere else in Nunavut can the charismatic wildlife of the Arcticbe observed in such a stunning setting.

     

    Day 7 Lady Franklin Island

    Named in honour of Sir John Franklin’s widow, the lonely and uninhabited Lady Franklin Island lies off of Baffin Island’s Hall Peninsula at the entrance to Cumberland Sound. The island is named for the wife of Sir John Franklin, the Arctic explorer who died trying to discover the Northwest Passage. The geology of the island is striking with vertical cliffs of Archean rocks, likely to be some of the oldest stone in Canada. The waters around Lady Franklin Island offer an abundance seabirds, ducks, seals, and walrus. With a bit of luck it is possible to see Atlantic Puffins here and perhaps even a rare Sabine’s Gull.

     

    Day 8 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 going to the gym, visiting the spa, whale watching, catching up on your reading or simply topping up your tan, these blue sea days are the perfect balance to busy days spent exploring shore side.

     

    Day 9 Isabella Bay (Nunavut), Canada

    Isabella Bay is about 100 kilometers south-southeast of Clyde River, on the northeast coast of Baffin Island. Designated in 2010, the Ninginganiq National Wildlife Area not only covers Isabella Bay, but also its islands, shores and the adjacent open water of the Davis Strait out to 12 nautical miles from shore. In the 19th century Isabella Bay had been an important center for whaling and this National Wildlife Area is still an important marine habitat –today a sanctuary- used for feeding and resting by adult and large adolescent bowhead whales during late summer and fall. Bowhead whales gather here to feed on the abundant copepod zooplankton blooms that occur in two deep troughs in Isabella Bay. The single largest concentration of bowhead whales in Canada has been recorded here with up to 100 whales. The Ninginganiq National Wildlife Area is Canada’s largest with more than 336,390 hectares.

     

    Although this is a sanctuary, resident Inuit have according to the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement the right to harvest wildlife on lands and waters throughout the Nunavut settlement area and therefor are allowed to hunt the whales, polar bears, ringed seals and narwhals found in Isabella Bay. King Eiders, Long-tailed Ducks, Little Auks and Northern Fulmars also call Ninginganiq (“the place where fog sits”) their home.

     

    Day 10 Sam Ford Fjord (Nunavut), Canada

    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. Swimming these waters are marine mammals including narwhals and seals that once attracted Inuit hunters to this coast.

     

    Day 11 Gibbs Fjord (Nunavut), Canada

    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 12 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 going to the gym, visiting the spa, whale watching, catching up on your reading or simply topping up your tan, these blue sea days are the perfect balance to busy days spent exploring shore side.

     

    Day 13 Upernavik (Avannaata), Greenland

    Upernavik, home to around one thousand people, sits on a low island in an iceberg jewelled sea, surrounded by sea ice for much of the year. The hub for the many small villages in the area, Upernavik is surprisingly cosmopolitan, proudly the northernmost true town in Greenland. A runic inscription dated to around 1300 was found outside the town in the 1850s, marking the northern limit of Norse exploration in Greenland. But the Inuit history of the area goes back far longer, with waves of Palaeo-Inuit settlers from Canada inhabiting the prey-rich area for almost five thousand years, and inhabited by the modern Thule Inuit (ancestors of modern Greenlanders) continuously for the last nine hundred years. Upernavik is a city at peace with it's wealth of history. Founded in 1772, the town is one of the oldest in Greenland, and the excellent local museum proudly displays a stunning collection of artefacts and artwork from all over Northwestern Greenland in several period buildings, including the Old Church. Nearby is the larger New Church, a constant hub for the local community; weddings, christenings and confirmations are commonly an excuse for the whole town to celebrate and wear their intricate national costumes. With the only airport in the area, Upernavik is also a commercial centre for North Greenland, with fresh food and mail going North, while fish and furs are exported South, and the local artisans are among the best in Greenland, proudly displaying their work to visitors.

     

    Day 14 Qeqertarsuaq, Greenland

    During the morning Silver Cloud will ply the Disko Bay en route to our destination along Disko Island’s east coast. Our exploration of the Disko Bay area will head to an area north of the village of Qeqertarsuaq, which is named after Disko Island’s local name –meaning “large island”. With more than 3,300 sq. miles Disko Island is Greenland’s second-largest island.

     

    Day 15 Ilulissat, Greenland

    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. Some people here estimate that there are nearly as many sled dogs as human beings living in the town that also boasts a local history museum located in the former home of Greenlandic folk hero and famed polar explorer Knud Rasmussen.

     

    Day 16 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 going to the gym, visiting the spa, whale watching, catching up on your reading or simply topping up your tan, these blue sea days are the perfect balance to busy days spent exploring shore side.

     

    Day 17 Kangerlussuaq, Greenland

    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. The settlement's economy and population of 512 is almost entirely reliant on the airport and tourist industry.

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