Greenland and Baffin Island – Arctic Island Exploration
- Enjoy a unique adventure as you attempt to circumnavigate Canada’s High Arctic Baffin Island
- Explore Inuit communities and learn about their traditional and modern culture
- Experience Arctic Wildlife such as polar bears, seals, whales and large bird colonies
- See the UNESCO World Heritage Site Ilulissat Icefjord in Greenland
Onwards to the World’s Largest Island
Arrive late in the evening at the international airport in Kangerlussuaq after a flight from Copenhagen. After a transfer to the port and embarkation on your expedition ship MS Fridtjof Nansen, we will sail almost the entire length of the fjord (118 miles) before reaching the open sea.
`The People Living in a Place of Fox Dens.´
The second largest town in Greenland, Sisimiut is situated 25 miles north of the Arctic Circle. It is a growing settlement with a rich history dating back 4,500 years. The name ‘Sisimiut’ means `The People Living in a Place of Fox Dens.´ There are a variety of optional excursions to discover the area.
Enjoy the stunning scenery of the small town Ilulissat, set in the Ilulissat Icefjord World Heritage site. At the fjord’s mouth, you can see enormous icebergs that have run aground. These masses of ice originate from Jakobshavn Glacier, one of the fastest moving glaciers in the world. Join in on one of the optional excursions offered.
Crossing the Davis Strait – Heading to Baffin Bay
We cross the Davis Strait, named for the English explorer John Davis, who led three expeditions in the area between 1585 and 1587. Davis was the first to draw attention to the area’s seal hunting and whaling possibilities, and that Newfoundland cod fisheries extended this far north. We set our sights on Baffin Bay!
Days 5 – 16
Exploration and Baffin Island Circumnavigation Attempts
Canadian Eastern Arctic
Once the Davis Straight crossing has been completed, you arrive at the northern part of Baffin Island and the entrance to the legendary Northwest Passage. From here, you will begin your exploration of the Canadian High Arctic and attempt to complete a circumnavigation of Baffin Island, provided the elements work in your favor. Unpredictable ice conditions in this remote region mean that this attempt is a true expedition – Hurtigruten does not know if they will complete the full circumnavigation, but we do know the attempt will be a great adventure. It is important to keep an open mind regarding these types of expeditions.
The ship captain and Expedition Leader will continuously assess the current weather and sea conditions, adapt activities accordingly, and adjust the itinerary to where the sea ice allows us to go. Like all true explorers, we respect and work with nature, not against it.
Here are some of the places in the region that Hurtigruten plans to explore:
Picturesque Pond Inlet, called ‘Mittimatalik’ in Inuktitut, is a traditional Inuit community on Baffin Island. It overlooks Eclipse Sound and the mountains of Bylot Island and is known as a great place to see large pods of narwhal.
Welcome to the largest uninhabited island on Earth. The only signs of human life are at the long-abandoned settlement of Dundas Harbour along with several archaeological sites from the Thule period.
Prince Leopold Island
The sheer cliffs on this oval isle attract the largest number and greatest diversity of seabird species in the Canadian Arctic. Most commonly seen are thick-billed murres, northern fulmars, and black guillemots.
This is the final resting place for three members of the lost Franklin expedition that sailed into the Northwest Passage in 1845 but never returned. It is customary for explorers to stop and pay their respects, as Roald Amundsen did in 1903.
An abandoned Hudson’s Bay Trading post located at the southern end of Somerset Island, the storehouse here is still used as a shelter by occasional travellers, with bunk beds and shelves of canned goods.
Located on a small island, this hamlet is an active and vibrant community, and considered a cultural center for the Inuit. It is also home to Artcirq, the only Inuit circus troupe in the world, who host an arts festival here every summer.
This beautiful settlement, situated on a hill next to a bay, has earned international recognition for its many Inuit artists, inspired by the unique landscapes, wildlife, and cultural traditions here.
Named ‘the Heel’ for a distinctive rocky outcrop in nearby Glasgow Inlet, this is Baffin Island’s southernmost Inuit community. The 400 people here still maintain the traditions carried out by their ancestors 4,000 years ago.
The dramatic towering limestone sea cliffs here, with waterfalls cascading off the plateau above, are a key habitat for many migratory birds. Drifting ice floes also attract walrus, seals, foxes, polar bears, and whales.
Days 17 – 18
Across the Labrador Sea
Cross the Labrador Sea as you back toward Kangerlussuaq. Spend the day at your leisure. Relax while enjoying the view, learn more from the knowledgeable Expedition Team in our lecture series, or swap experiences of the expedition with your fellow explorers.
The Reinderr Glacier
After your return to Kangerlussuaq, you will take a trip to the Reindeer Glacier at the Greenland ice sheet. This glacier stretches 1,500 miles north and reaching heights of up to 10,500 feet above sea level. Enjoy a farewell barbecue meal aboard MS Fridtjof Nansen before disembarking and transferring to the airport for a late evening flight to Copenhagen.
Capital of Denmark
Your expedition ends in Copenhagen. you will head home, or alternatively, extend your trip to explore how this trendy and thriving capital mixes royal history and modern architecture with sustainable living and a world-class restaurant scene.
Included in Your Expedition
- Coach-class flights between Copenhagen and Kangerlussuaq
- All transfers in Kangerlussuaq including an excursion to the ice sheet and a BBQ dinner after the expedition cruise
- Expedition cruise in a cabin of your choice
- Breakfast, lunch, and dinner including beverages (house beer and wine, sodas, and mineral water) in restaurants Aune and Fredheim
- À la carte restaurant Lindstrøm included for suite guests
- Complimentary tea and coffee
- Complimentary Wi-Fi on board. Be aware that we sail in remote areas with limited connection. Streaming is not supported.
- Complimentary reusable water bottle to use at water refill stations on board
- English-speaking Expedition Team who organize and accompany activities on board and ashore
- Range of included excursions
- Experts on the Expedition Team deliver in-depth lectures on a variety of topics
- Use of the ship’s Science Center, which has an extensive library and advanced biological and geological microscopes
- Citizen Science program allows guests to assist with current scientific research
- Professional onboard photographer gives top tips and tricks for the best landscape and wildlife photos
- Use of the ship’s hot tubs, infinity pool, sauna with floor-to-ceiling window, outdoor and indoor gyms, and outdoor running track
- Informal gatherings with the crew such as daily recaps and preparation for the day to come
- Escorted landings with small explorer boats
- Loan of boots, trekking poles, and all equipment for activities
- Complimentary wind- and water-resistant expedition jacket
- Expedition Photographers help with your camera settings before landings