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Polar bear

Baffin Island - Jewel of the High Arctic

Example 12 Day Cruise aboard Akademik Sergey Vavilov
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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 – including sometimes even polar bears – are daily companions to your 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 you visit former Hudson's Bay Company locations and Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) outposts. A highlight is a visit to Beechey Island, the final resting place for some of the men of the ill-fated Franklin Expedition in 1845-46.

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Ottawa to Iqaluit, Nunavut (Baffin Island) | Embark
Day 2 : Monumental Island
Day 3 : Pangniqtuuq
Day 4 : Sunshine Fjord
Day 5 : Auyittuq National Park
Day 6 : Isabella Fjord
Day 7 : Gibbs Fjord
Day 8 : Pond Inlet | Sirmilik National Park
Day 9 : Devon Island
Day 10 : Prince Leopold Island
Day 11 : Beechey Island
Day 12 : Resolute, Nunavut | Disembark | Edmonton, Alberta


  • Visit the remote village of Pangniqtuuq, renowned for its traditional art
  • Cross the Arctic circle by zodiac or on foot
  • Become part of a small group of visitors to Auyuittuq National Park
  • Experience wildlife such as walrus, birds, whales, and polar bears


Akademik Sergey Vavilov

Places Visited


Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level


Trip Snapshots

Ice Bridge near Baffin Island Polar bear Baffin Island - a sight to behold! Arctic bird in flight Beechey Island grave sites

Day 1 Ottawa to Iqaluit, Nunavut (Baffin Island) | Embark

Depart Ottawa on your scheduled flight to Iqaluit, Baffin Island. Upon arrival into Iqaluit enjoy a walking tour of the town and board your expedition ship, the Akademik Sergey Vavilov in the afternoon. Excitement is in the air as you enjoy a welcome cocktail and cast off to explore one of the most remote places on earth – Baffin Island.

Day 2 Monumental Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Situated in the Davis Strait, Monumental Island is a well-known location for walrus. Explore by zodiac along the shoreline looking for these fascinating creatures. You may sometimes encounter polar bears around here as well – they have been known to chase walrus off their haul into the water.

Day 3 Pangniqtuuq

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
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 center 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.

Day 4 Sunshine Fjord

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Sunshine Fjord straddles the Arctic Circle at 66⁰ degrees, 33 minutes north of latitude. Depending on the weather, cruise across the Circle on the ship, cross it in the zodiac boats, or the more active option may be to cross the circle on foot. Whichever way, it’s a thrill to be above the Arctic Circle at last!

Sunshine Fjord offers terrific hiking opportunities. Perhaps opt for the extended hike, gaining elevation and wonderful views of the surroundings. Or choose to take the less strenuous option along the shoreline. For the sea kayakers, the sheltered waters of the fjord provide great conditions for paddling.

Day 5 Auyittuq National Park

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
On the eastern coast of Baffin Island lies one of Canada’s most spectacular National Parks – Auyittuq. The landscape is dominated by steep and rugged mountain scenery, extensive glacial systems, and powerful rivers. In partnership with Parks Canada, venture into the park with skilled local guides who are able to interpret the flora, fauna, geological, and glacial systems that can be found here. It’s a fascinating place experienced by only a few fortunate visitors every season. Plan on hiking on shore and cruising the rocky shorelines looking for wildlife. Also plan to visit Qikiqtarjuaq, a small settlement which is home to several Inuit families. After an inspiring day of exploration continue north along the coastline of Baffin Island, venturing deeper into the Arctic wilderness.

Day 6 Isabella Fjord

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Isabella Bay (Niginaniq) 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 vicinity.

Day 7 Gibbs Fjord

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
This morning enter the spectacular Gibbs Fjord with towering cliffs all around. The expedition ship seems dwarfed by the giant peaks and snowy glaciers as you cruise slowly along the dark waters.

Day 8 Pond Inlet | Sirmilik National Park

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Nearing the far north of Baffin Island, 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, jewelery 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.

Day 9 Devon Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Leaving the wild landscapes of Baffin Island, 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. Plan on visiting the old Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) outpost at Dundas Harbour. In the afternoon the ship repositions into Crocker Bay, home to a substantial glacial system.

Day 10 Prince Leopold Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
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, you can sight beluga, narwhal and bowhead whales, several species of seal, as well as polar bear.

Day 11 Beechey Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Your final shore landing - Beechey Island, is a place of great historic significance and a suitable finale to your 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 its 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 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.

Day 12 Resolute, Nunavut | Disembark | Edmonton, Alberta

  • 1 Breakfast
Your expedition comes to an end as you arrive into Resolute and then take your flight to Edmonton. A transfer is provided from the airport into a central downtown location.

Akademik Sergey Vavilov

Per person starting at
The Triple Cabins.
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Triple Share
Bunk beds and a sofa bed. Facilities are shared and there is a washbasin in the cabin, writing desk, porthole.
Twin Private Cabins.
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Twin Semi-Private
1 lower berth, 1 sofa bed and semi-private (one bathroom between two cabins) facilities. Writing desk, window.
Twin Private Cabin.
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Twin Private
1 sofa bed, 1 lower berth and private facilities. Writing desk, window.
The Superior Cabins.
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2 lower berths, sofa and private facilities. Writing desk, window.
The Shackelton Suite.
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Shackleton Suite
1 double berth, 1 sofa bed, separate sleeping quarters and private facilities, up-graded bedding. Fridge, TV, VCR, writing desk, windows.
One Ocean Suite.
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One Ocean Suite
1 double berth, 1 sofa bed, separate sleeping quarters and private facilities, up-graded bedding. Fridge, TV, VCR, writing desk, windows.


- Single Supplement: 1.5x for twin and superior cabins and 2x for suites. Single supplement is not available in the triple cabin category.

- Child and Youth Prices: 25% discount for young people aged up to 17 years, and 20% off for those aged from 18-21 years who can prove they are in full-time education.

Please note: Specific sites visited will depend on ice and weather conditions experienced and the itinerary will be updated throughout the voyage in order to take advantage of favorable conditions.


  • 11 Breakfasts, 10 Lunches, 11 Dinners


  • Internal Flights
    • $1,995 Ottawa to Iqaluit, Resolute to Edmonton
    • Flight cost is subject to change
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Erin Correia
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The trip might have been the absolute best of our lifetime (thus far). We particularly want to commend our guide Peter in the Guilin area-he was so incredibly attentive, energetic, enthusiastic-and absolutely dedicated to ensuring that our meals were 100% vegetarian.
Jack Charney

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