Your Arctic adventure begins with an overnight stay in Copenhagen at the Hilton Copenhagen Airport Hotel.
Today’s charter flight will take you from Denmark to Greenland. When you land in Kangerlussuaq you’ll be landing at Greenland’s largest commercial airport, which was once a U.S. military base. You’ll be transferred to the port and then take your first Zodiac ride out to your ship, the Sea Explorer. Embark and set sail for your upcoming Arctic small ship cruise.
Icy fjords, colorful communities and a historical UNESCO World Heritage Site await you on your Greenland trip. The first planned stop is Sisimiut, the second largest settlement in Greenland. Even so, this town has a small fishing village-feel with a great harbor for walking around and taking photos of the old, colorful buildings. You’ll get to watch a demonstration of traditional kayaking before venturing further north to Ilulissat.
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Ilulissat is home to the Sermeq Kujalleq glacier one of the fastest and most active glaciers in the world. As well as some spectacular zodiac cruising, there is also a refreshing longer hike in Ilulissat.
Turning west, most of your day will be spent at sea. This will give you plenty of time to hang out on deck, searching for cetaceans or watching the seabirds glide along above the Arctic Ocean. This Arctic waterway, which separates Greenland and Baffin Island in Canada, is called the Davis Strait, named after the English explorer John Davis.
Before reaching Baffin Island, you’ll head to the small island with a big name – Monumental Island. This is a well-known island for potential close encounters with some of the Arctic’s most iconic creatures – walrus and polar bear. Settle in for a Zodiac ride around the island, in search of the world’s only tusked pinnipeds and largest land carnivores!
Your Arctic cruise continues along the eastern edge of Baffin Island in an area called Ungava Bay. Your next landing is all about birds and bears. The word Akpat is the Inuit name for the thick-billed murre, or Brünnich's guillemot. These birds nest on the tall limestone cliffs found around the island. This is one of the largest colonies in the world and a favored spot for polar bears.
Stepping foot on Baffin Island at the tiny community of Kimmirut, you’ll have a chance to see how people here still live a traditional Inuit lifestyle. This southern part of Baffin Island has an interesting mix of historical sites to visit or explore while hiking. This area was also once an important trading post, with the Hudson’s Bay Company setting up here in 1911.
Many of the fewer than 500 Inuit who live here sustain themselves by selling impressive indigenous artwork and sculptures. Enjoy time wandering around the settlement, or purchase some Inuit art if something catches your eye.
This little hamlet is dubbed the “Capital of Inuit Art.” Since the 1950’s art has been the primary source of income for this small, local economy. You’ll find plentiful Inuit carvings, lithographs, sculptures and drawings here. The settlement itself has an interesting history, dating back more than 3,000 years.
As your polar expedition heads into the second largest bay in the world, the focus turns back to wildlife watching. There are numerous landing site options in Hudson Bay, including Zodiac excursions around Walrus Island and shore excursions and hiking at Digges, Coats and Marble Islands.
The relatively shallow waters of Hudson Bay create a rich marine environment where you may spot a wide variety of animals. First the big cliffs at Digges Islands attract black guillemots and Iceland gulls. On the ground you may spot caribou and polar bears. Belvla whales are often seen around the ship. If time allows, lunch the zodiacs for a closer look. If you’re anxious for more walrus encounters then Coats Island, and the aptly named Walrus Island, should provide the best opportunities for good viewing in this part of Hudson Bay.
Over at Coral Harbour, a small settlement of Inuit people live on the shores of Southampton Island. This area was home to one of the last Thule Inuit settlements in the Arctic, with Sallirmuit people living here until the 20th Century.
Get ready to get active by hiking on Marble Island. You’ll gain a whole new perspective on life in the Arctic as this part of Hudson Bay has a lengthy list of expedition mysteries and tragic stories. Your Expedition Team will fill you in on why the island is nicknamed Deadman’s Island.
Your final day in the Arctic will include a Zodiac excursion in search of beluga whales, which are often seen around the coastal areas here at Churchill, Manitoba. Say goodbye to the ship and crew before your flight and a final overnight in Toronto.