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At the top of many travel bucket lists is a journey to the Polar regions. Enjoy unique adventures around the most scenic natural wonders of the world including magnificent waterfalls, breathtaking sights of the fjords, enormous ice shelves and majestic mountains or to experience the most amazing moment of your lifetime under the sky watching the Northern lights or encounter with the world’s most endangered species on an active expedition tour.
Absorb the rich culture and cinematic landscape of a country in style.
Baffin Island – An Arctic Tour through a Jewel of the High Arctic. One of the last great wilderness regions on the planet.
Baffin Island – An Arctic Tour through a jewel of the high Arctic. One of the last great wilderness regions on the planet. We journey up the wild east coast of Baffin Island, discovering deep fjords, soaring mountains and immense glacial systems. A variety of birdlife and marine wildlife – sometimes even polar bears – are daily companions to our voyage. Visits to remote Inuit provide a fascinating glimpse into the daily life of the people who call this wilderness their home. The history of early exploration is ever present and we visit former Hudson’s Bay Company locations and Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) outposts. A highlight will be a visit to Beechey Island, the final resting place for some of the men of the ill-fated Franklin Expedition in 1845-46.
This voyage starts from Ottawa on a flight. The voyage ends with a flight to Edmonton.
Throughout the coming days and rest of the voyage, our onboard experts educate us with a series of presentations about the environment, wildlife and history of Baffin Island and the Canadian Arctic. As with all our expeditions, safety is our top priority. Weather, ice or other conditions may require us to change our itinerary and shore excursions as we go – but that is half the fun of polar exploring!
Note: Due to the unique nature and limited departures, alternative programs would be offered when not available.
10 nights sailing in a Semi Private cabin,
Meals on all-inclusive basis,
All zodiac and landing excursions including zodiac cruising, hiking, guided walks, photography
workshops, fitness, yoga
We depart Ottawa on our scheduled flight to Iqaluit, Baffin Island. Upon arrival into Iqaluit we enjoy a walking tour of the town and board our expedition ship, the Akademik Sergey Vavilov in the afternoon. Excitement is in the air as we enjoy a welcome cocktail and cast off to explore one of the most remote places on earth – Baffin Island.
Situated in the Davis Strait, Monumental Island is a well-known location for walrus. We explore by zodiac along the shoreline looking for these fascinating creatures. We sometimes encounter polar bears around here as well – they have been known to chase walrus off their haul into the water.
Nestled in the heart of Cumberland Sound and the western gateway to Auyuittuq National Park, the village of Pangniqtuuq (Pangnirtung) is beautifully situated between the mountains and the sea. This remote community is a well-known centre for traditional and contemporary arts and crafts – including carvings, prints and textiles. The Angmarlik Visitor Centre has a wonderful interpretive display sharing the lifestyle and history of the Thule and the modern Inuit.
Sunshine Fjord straddles the Arctic Circle at 66 degrees, 33 minutes north of latitude. Depending on the weather, we might cruise across the Circle on the ship, by zodiac boats, or maybe by foot. Whichever way, it’s a thrill to be above the Arctic Circle. Sunshine Fjord offers terrific hiking opportunities, from long routes that offer wonderful views of our surroundings to less strenuous options along the shoreline. For the sea kayakers, the sheltered waters of the fjord provide great conditions for paddling.
Auyuittuq National Park
On the eastern coast of Baffin Island lies one of Canada’s most spectacular National Parks: Auyuittuq. The landscape is dominated by steep and rugged mountain scenery, extensive glacial systems and powerful rivers. In partnership with Parks Canada, we venture into the park with skilled local guides who are able to interpret the flora, fauna, geological and glacial systems. It’s a fascinating place, experienced by only a few fortunate visitors every season. We also plan a visit to Qikiqtarjuaq, a small settlement which is home to several Inuit families. After an inspiring day of exploration we continue north along the coastline of Baffin Island, venturing deeper into the Arctic wilderness.
Niginganiq (Isabella Bay)
Isabella Bay (Niginganiq) is an important summer habitat and feeding area for endangered bowhead whales. These remarkable marine mammals are able to break sea ice with the crown of their head. Polar bears, ringed seals, Canada geese, snow geese and narwhal are also commonly sighted in this area.
This morning we enter the spectacular Gibbs Fjord with towering cliffs all around us. Our expedition ship will be dwarfed by the giant peaks and snowy glaciers as we cruise slowly along the dark waters.
Mittimatalik (Pond Inlet)
Nearing the far north of Baffin Island, we enter a broad channel which is home to the remote Inuit community of Mittimatalik (Pond Inlet). A highlight is a visit to the Natinnak Centre, where a fascinating cultural exhibit showcases the daily life, culture and history of the people of the North. Inuit carvings, jewellery and other traditional craft are on display. Mittimatalik is also the main access point to the pristine wilderness of Sirmilik National Park. This jewel in the crown of Canada’s Arctic Park system features the most spectacular scenery, with rugged mountains, ice fields, glaciers, coastal lowlands and large seabird colonies.
Leaving the wild landscapes of Baffin Island, we cross Lancaster Sound to Devon Island. Lancaster Sound, which separates Devon and Baffin Island, has been named the wildlife ‘super highway’ of the Arctic. Waters from the Atlantic Ocean, Arctic Ocean, and the northern archipelago of islands meet here, combining to create a rich source of nutrients and food for an abundance of Arctic wildlife. We plan on visiting the old Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) outpost at Dundas Harbour. In the afternoon we reposition the ship into Crocker Bay, home to a substantial glacial system.
Prince Leopold Island
Prince Leopold Island is an important migratory bird sanctuary, home to thick-billed murres, black guillemots, northern fulmars and black-legged kittiwakes. A population of several hundred thousand birds makes this one of the most significant bird sanctuaries in the entire Arctic ecosystem. Given the abundance of food found in the nutrient-rich waters here, we often sight beluga, narwhal and bowhead whales, several species of seal, as well as polar bear.
Our final shore landing – Beechey Island, is a place of great historic significance and a suitable finale to our voyage. It is here that Sir John Franklin’s ill-fated expedition spent its last ‘comfortable’ winter in 1845 before disappearing into the icy vastness, sparking an incredible series of search expeditions that last almost three decades. The mystery of what happened to Franklin was partially solved in September 2014, when a joint Parks Canada and Royal Canadian Geographic Society expedition found the HMS Erebus in the Victoria Strait. One Ocean Expeditions played a vital role in the discovery by carrying underwater search equipment on our ship as well as scientists, historians, researchers, dignitaries and sponsors. A trip ashore at Beechey Island to visit the grave markers on a remote windswept beach is a thrilling experience for history buffs. This evening we enjoy a special dinner attended by the Captain. It’s a great time to reflect on the wildlife, history and dramatic scenery of the High Arctic.
Our expedition comes to an end as we arrive into Resolute and then take our flight to Edmonton. A transfer is provided from the airport into a central downtown location.
Optional tours, excursions and activities.
All other services not mentioned under ‘Inclusions’
*Prices mentioned is starting from, per person based on 2 persons travelling together and sharing Semi Private cabin, subject to seasonal surcharges and availability.
Additional: Sea Kayaking in the Arctic: USD695
All bookings on voyages that operate domestically within Canada, are subject to a compulsory 5% goods and services tax (GST). This will be itemized separately to the cruise price on the confirmation invoice.
This voyage starts from Ottawa on a flight. The voyage ends with a flight to Edmonton.
ITL World reserve the right to amend the prices in case of currency fluctuations, changes in rates of exchange, and/or fuel costs, special or high season charges and hike in the airline/hotel/rail/land transportation charges before the date of departure.
For convenience of passengers and / or feasibility of operations, ITL World or their service providers may sometimes amend the itinerary.
International hotel check in time is between 2pm and 3pm and check out time is between 11am and 12pm. (Exceptions apply). Early check in and or late check-out is subject to availability of rooms and may be chargeable.
It is the responsibility of the passengers to ensure they hold valid passport, visa, travel and medical insurance, vaccination etc., as applicable for each destination.
City/tourist tax as applicable, must be paid directly at the hotel.
To assist with visa application process, ITL World would provide copies of air tickets, travel insurance and other ground service vouchers for bookings made and fully paid for. Approval and issuance of visa is at the discretion of respective Embassies or Consulates and ITL World cannot in anyway influence this process. Certain nationals however receive visa on arrival in select countries, subject to prior online approvals