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Discover the heart of the Canadian Arctic plus Western Greenland on this 12-day voyage with Adventure Canada onboard the Ocean Endeavour.
Visit the Franklin Expedition graves at Beechey Island. Meet the locals and enjoy a tradition Inuit welcome. Cruise among spectacular icebergs. Board a Zodiac to spot whales, birds, bears, and caribou. Journey through the Canadian Arctic onboard the Ocean Endeavour an ice-strengthened vessel with 20 Zodiacs, advanced navigation equipment and stabilisers. Plus spacious facilities offering a comfortable travel experience for all.
Day 1: Kangerlussuaq, Greenland
Day 2: Sisimiut Coast
Day 3: Ilulissat
Day 4: Western Greenland
Day 5: At sea
Day 6: Mittimatalik
Days 7 - 10: Tallurutiup Imanga (Lancaster Sound & Devon Island
Day 11: Beechey Island
Day 12: Qausuittuq (Resolute Bay)
Day 1 - Kangerlussuaq, Greenland
Kangerlussuaq is a former US Air Force base and Greenland’s primary flight hub. Here you will be transferred by Zodiac to the Ocean Endeavour.
With 168 kilometres of superb scenery, Sondre Stromfjord is one of the longest fjords in the world. You'll begin your adventure by sailing down this dramatic fjord, crossing the Arctic Circle, southbound.
West Greenland’s complex coastal waterways include glaciers, islands and fjords against a towering mountain backdrop. The waters are relatively warm here, due to the West Greenland Current and the sub-Arctic location.
People have lived in the Sisimiut area for 4,500 years. For the first 2,000 years, the people of the Saqqaq culture occupied the area. 2,500 years ago, new people brought the Dorset culture to the Sisimiut area. They lived here for 1,500 years and were followed by the people of the Thule culture—the ancestors of the current population. All these cultures came from Canada. The people primarily lived on fish, birds and mammals such as whales and seals.
Ilulissat translates literally into “iceberg”, an apt name for this site at the mouth of the Ilulissat Icefjord—a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The ice fjord is the outlet of the Sermeq Kujalleq Glacier, source of many of the icebergs in the North Atlantic. Here, you will cruise in Zodiacs to appreciate the icebergs. You will also visit the town of Ilulissat, with its museums, cafes, craft shops, and busy fishing harbour.
Greenland’s west coast is simply stunning. From mighty mountains to the tiniest tundra flowers, your stop in this area will offer many outstanding features of interest. Hikers, walkers, photographers, and contemplators will all be equally delighted.
The onboard presentation series will continue as your ship steams across the Davis Strait towards Canada. This is an excellent time to enjoy workshops, watch a documentary, and get out on deck looking for whales, seabirds and marine wildlife.
Mittimatalik is a busy Arctic community in a beautiful setting. The views of nearby Bylot Island are stunning. You will have a chance to explore the town. The cultural presentation at the Community Hall is not to be missed—arts and crafts may be available here, too.
You'll spend the next four days exploring Tallurutiup Imanga (Lancaster Sound), one of Canada's newest National Marine Conservation Areas. Narwhal, beluga, and bowhead whales transit and feed in this area. You'll cruise by ship and Zodiac in search of wildlife.
On the northern border of Tallurutiup Imanga lies Devon Island, the largest uninhabited island on Earth at over fifty thousand square kilometres. The island’s geology is stunning. Flat-topped mountains, glacial valleys, and a substantial ice cap give Devon Island its unique character.
You’ll visit a number of the bays – hiking the tundra, discovering the botany, cruising a glacier face, and wildlife spotting from ship and from shore. Once home to Inuit and their ancestors, you will visit archaeological sites with expert interpretation to learn about the human history of this now-abandoned island. You’ll also catch a glimpse of recent human history as you visit the remains of a Royal Canadian Mounted Police and Hudson's Bay Company site at Dundas Harbour.
You'll also pay a visit to uninhabited Akpatok Island, the biggest island in Ungava Bay, at over nine hundred square kilometres. It’s named for the akpat—the Thick-billed Murres—that nest on ledges of Aktpatok’s lofty cliffs.
In 1845, Sir John Franklin set out from England with HMS Erebus and HMS Terror, attempting to sail through the Northwest Passage. Franklin’s crew overwintered at Beechey Island where three of his men died.
Numerous search parties later used Beechey as a depot and rendezvous. Amundsen, Bernier, and Larsen all visited Beechey. Thomas Morgan of HMS Investigator was buried there in 1854 alongside Franklin’s men. The graves, and the ruins of nearby Northumberland House, are a haunting memorial.
The end of your journey is characterised by shoreline gravel flats, rocky coastal bluffs and deposits of glacial moraine. More significant is the origin of the hamlet. In 1953, Inuit from Inukjuak, Québec, and Mittimatalik were relocated, under false pretences, by the Canadian government with the aim of asserting Canadian sovereignty. Today the community is home to just under 250 people and is an important staging point for High Arctic research, tourism, and military activities.
Here you will disembark the Ocean Endeavour, and take the charter flight to Ottawa for your return flight home.
The Ocean Endeavour is a comfortable, well-appointed expedition ship expertly engineered to explore the polar regions. The ship has an ice-strengthened hull (Ice Class 1B), zodiacs for exploration and remote landings, generous deck space and advanced navigation equipment. It offers a superb experience for up to 199 guests with facilities that include a nautical lounge, two restaurants, a sundeck and plenty of deck space for observation of the polar landscapes.
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