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A humpback whale surfaces close to the zodiac

Arctic Circle in Focus- Photographic Symposium

Example 11 Day Cruise aboard Akademik Ioffe
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Join the Akademik Ioffe for an exploration of the wildlife, culture, and spectacular scenery in the Canadian Arctic and Greenland on this 11-day adventure. Sail through a spectacular wilderness of glaciers, mountains, fjords and breathtaking icebergs. Along the way, discover the Inuit settlements of both Canada and Greenland - both are rich and unique cultures that have survived in this harsh landscape for many hundreds of years. A further highlight of our journey is the shipboard photography symposium. In addition to regular program of presentations on history, ornithology, geology and the natural world, this unique voyage includes a major focus on photography, with four professional photographers and a professional water colorist on staff. With a varied and diverse itinerary and flexible plans, your crew aims to make the most out of light, even if outside conventional shore landing times.

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Embark in Iqaluit, Nunavut
Day 2 : Monumental Island
Day 3 : Pangnirtung
Day 4 : Cape Mercy
Day 5 : Sunshine Fjord
Day 6 : Davis Strait
Day 7 : Qeqertarsuaq (Disko Island)
Day 8 : Ilulissat and Jacobshavn Icefjord
Day 9 : Sisimiut
Day 10 : Sondre Stromfjord
Day 11 : Disembark in Kangerlussuaq, Greenland


Akademik Ioffe

Places Visited


Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level


Trip Snapshots

A humpback whale surfaces close to the zodiac A polar bear rolls around in the snow Walking through vast arctic landscapes. A remote Arctic Community Two humpback whales passing by the ship

Day 1 Embark in Iqaluit, Nunavut

Iqaluit, the capital and largest community of Nunavut, is located at the head of Frobisher Bay on Baffin Island. With an average monthly temperature below zero degrees for eight months of the year, the permafrost inhibits the growth of flora, which the many trees and shrubs growing low to the ground attest to. Upon arrival, enjoy a walking tour of Iqaluit and board your expedition ship, the Akademik Ioffe in the afternoon. As you become familiar with your new home, raise anchor and depart, spend some time on the outer decks enjoying your new surroundings as the ship sails into the remote Canadian Arctic.

Day 2 Monumental Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Your first excursion is to visit Monumental Island. Located in Davis Strait, it is a known spot for spotting walrus. Explore by zodiacs and search the shoreline for these fascinating creatures. Watchful eyes may locate smaller pups within the masses. Taking your time in the zodiacs at this site allows for nature to take its course. Polar bears are often found here and have been known to chase the walrus off their haul out and into the water.

Day 3 Pangnirtung

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Nestled in the heart of Cumberland Sound and the gateway to Auyuittuq National Park, Pangnirtung is beautifully situated between the mountains and the sea. This remote town is known for its arts and crafts and a visit to the local art gallery is a highlight. In addition, the Angmarlik Visitor Center has a wonderful interpretive display featuring the lifestyle of the Thule and of the modern Inuit.

Day 4 Cape Mercy

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Marking the northern headland of Cumberland Sound are the dramatic cliffs of Cape Mercy. As the Baffin Bay middle ice recedes throughout the summer, the stretch of Baffin coast from Cape Mercy to Cape Dyer is a great place to find polar bears coming ashore. Explore this region with the goal of hiking the shoreline ridges, paddling the bays and zodiac cruising the ice in search of Arctic wildlife.

Day 5 Sunshine Fjord

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Sunshine Fjord straddles the Arctic Circle. Depending on the weather, the ship might cruise across the Circle, perhaps you can cruise across it by zodiac, or the more active may choose to hike across this landmark on shore. Whichever way, it’s a thrill to be above the Arctic Circle! Sunshine Fjord offers some excellent hiking opportunities and your guides have a number of great routes in mind. Some may wish to take the extended hike, gaining some real elevation and offering wonderful views of your surroundings. Or you may choose to take the less strenuous option along the shoreline. The sheltered waters of the fjord provide kayakers with great conditions for paddling.

Day 6 Davis Strait

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
While it is uncertain where the ice edge is, the ship sails for the ice in Davis Strait in order to experience this dramatic transition zone. Much of the Arctic sea life seems to be interested in this zone, so be sure to keep our eyes peeled for bearded, hooded, and ringed seals, as well as polar bears and walrus. Who knows, perhaps a bowhead whale may be cruising the ice edge, too! Spotting scopes and binoculars are available to use as your fellow passengers all scan the ice looking for wildlife. If conditions permit, you can even launch the zodiacs to get into the ice and explore. At some point, leave the sea ice behind us and direct the binoculars and scopes towards the never-ending stream of icebergs sailing up the west coast of Greenland.

Day 7 Qeqertarsuaq (Disko Island)

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
A very large island in the mouth of Disko Bay, Qeqertarsuaq is a site of both geologic and historic interest. A possible summer fishing camp for the Viking colonists in Greenland, mineral deposits containing native iron and hot springs are all part of the allure of this island. Visit the southern coast, cruising the spectacular rock arches before visiting the town of Qeqertarsuaq.

Day 8 Ilulissat and Jacobshavn Icefjord

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
One of the wonders of the world, the Jacobshavn Icefjord spews massive tabular icebergs out into Disko Bay. The approach to Ilulissat depends on the amount of ice in and around the mouth of the icefjord. Ilulissat was the hometown of Knud Rasmussen, one of Greenland’s most famous explorers and anthropologists, born here in 1879.

Day 9 Sisimiut

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Explore the fjord behind the town of Sisimiut before visiting the town in the afternoon. You can hope to meet a few of the traditional Greenlandic kayakers and perhaps see a demonstration of “Eskimo Rolling” by one of the former champions of the Greenland Kayaking Championships.

Day 10 Sondre Stromfjord

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
One of the world's longest fjords, Sondre Stromfjord towers above the ship on either side as you sail up it. The goal is not the end of the fjord, but rather some of the small side fjords along it that you can zodiac into and explore on foot or by kayak. Major geologic and geomorphologic features surround you and for those looking for living and breathing excitement, you can hope to find muskox along the shores of the fjord as well. Soaring high above might be the white-tailed sea eagle, majestic as always while riding the thermals off the ridges. Expect some fantastic hiking opportunities, with hikes geared to all fitness levels.

Day 11 Disembark in Kangerlussuaq, Greenland

  • 1 Breakfast
Located at the head of Sondre Stromfjord, Kangerlussuaq is home to one of the worlds longest runways. Disembark in the morning and transfer to the airport for your charter flight back to Ottawa, Canada.

Akademik Ioffe

Per person starting at
The Triple Cabins.
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Main Deck Triple
Deck 3, bunk beds and a sofa bed. Shared facilities, in cabin washbasin, writing desk/chair, ample storage, bathrobes & porthole.
Twin Private Cabins.
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Twin Semi-Private
Deck 4, one lower berth and one sofa bed, a writing desk and ample storage. Semi-private facilities (one bathroom between two cabins). Opening window.
Twin Private Cabin.
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Twin Private
Deck 4 and 5. All cabins have two lower berths, a writing desk/chair and ample storage. Facilities are private and all cabins have a window.
Superior Cabins.
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Deck 6 these cabins have two lower berths, a sofa, a writing desk/chair and ample storage. Facilities are private and all cabins have a window.
The Shackelton Suite.
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Shackleton Suite
Deck 4 & 5, 1 double berth, 1 sofa bed, separate sleeping quarters, writing desk/chair, TV/DVD, IPod alarm clock. Private facilities, window & deluxe amenities.
One Ocean Suite.
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One Ocean Suite
Deck 5, 1 double berth, 1 sofa bed & separate sleeping quarters, up-graded bedding, a writing desk/chair, TV/DVD, IPod station. Private facilities with tub. Windows overlooking the bow. Deluxe amenities.


- Rates are quoted in U.S. dollars and represent costs per person, double or triple occupancy. Request the Twin or Triple Share Program where you are matched with a cabin mate of the same gender. Even if a cabin mate is not found for you, no single supplement will be charged.

- Twin and superior cabins are available for single occupancy at 1.5 times the shared price, suites for 2 times the shared price. Single supplement is not available in triple cabins.

- 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 depend on ice and weather conditions experienced and the itinerary may be updated throughout the voyage in order to take advantage of favorable conditions.

Charter Flights: One way: $995 USD, Roundtrip: $1,990 USD


  • 10 Breakfasts, 9 Lunches, 10 Dinners
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