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Qannaaq

Arctic Icebreaker Expedition: Best of the Canadian High Arctic

Example 18 Day Cruise aboard Kapitan Khlebnikov
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On this unique expedition, board the mighty 110-passenger Kapitan Khlebnikov icebreaker to access remote, ice-choked regions ordinary expedition ships dare not navigate. In true pioneering spirit, board the indomitable Khlebnikov and sail to secluded areas few will ever have the privilege to set foot upon.

From quiet coastal towns to authentic Inuit communities to awe-inspiring Ilulissat, this voyage is ideal for those seeking an in-depth, authentic expedition to the less discovered areas of the Arctic. Truly off the beaten path.

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Ottawa, Canada
Day 2 : Embark in Kangerlussuaq, Greenland
Day 3 : Sisimiut
Day 4 : Ilulisaat
Day 5 : Uummannaq
Day 6 : Upernavik
Day 7 : Cape York
Day 8 : Qannaaq
Day 9 : Cobourg Island and Grise Fjord, Nunavut, Canada
Day 10 : Hell Gate and Eureka Sound
Days 11-12 : Tanquary Fiord National Park and Chapman Glacier
Day 13 : Eureka Weather Station and Axel Heiberg Island
Day 14 : Axel Heiberg Island, Norwegian Bay and Belcher Channel
Day 15 : Penny Strait, Queen’s Channel and Crozier Strait
Day 16 : Beechy Island
Day 17 : Disembark in Resolute, Nunavut
Day 18 : Depart Ottawa

Highlights

  • Navigate through Illulisaat Fjord to the most productive northern glacier
  • View the historic oil warehouse in Uummannaq
  • Learn about the impact of the famous Cape York Meteorite
  • Explore the northernmost municipality in the world, Qannaaq

Ship

Kapitan Khlebnikov

Places Visited

  • Arctic
  • Canada
  • Greenland
  • North America
  • Northwest Passage
  • Axel Heiberg Island
  • Beechey Island
  • Coburg Island
  • Eureka Sound
  • Eureka Weather Station
  • Ilulissat
  • Kangerlussuaq
  • Kap York (Cape York)
  • Nunavut
  • Ontario
  • Ottawa
  • Penny Strait
  • Qaannaq
  • Resolute
  • Sisimiut
  • Tanquary Fjord National Park
  • Upernavik
  • Uummannaq

Activities

Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level

Relaxed

Trip Snapshots

Qannaaq Kangerlussuaq Cobourg Island Cape York Ilulissat Sisimiut Upnavik Uummannaq

Day 1 Ottawa, Canada

  • 1 Dinner
Your arctic adventure begins a little further south, with an overnight stay in Ottawa, Canada’s capital city. Stroll along the charming Rideau Canal, discover the majestic Canadian Parliament buildings, and explore the markets, world-class museums, and shops. Plan to arrive and make your way to the hotel in time for the pre-departure briefing at about 6pm.

Day 2 Embark in Kangerlussuaq, Greenland

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
After a morning charter flight to Kangerlussuaq, transfer to the ship by Zodiac. Kangerlussuaq is a former U.S. military base and serves as the international gateway for the majority of travel to and from Greenland. Enjoy time out on deck and take in your new surroundings before setting sail on your arctic expedition.

Day 3 Sisimiut

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Kayak is an Inuit word the English language has borrowed to describe a small vessel propelled by paddles that seats one or two people. When ashore in Sisimiut, travelers will watch a demonstration of traditional kayaking. There will be time to explore the town, where 18th century buildings from Greenland’s colonial period still stand!

Day 4 Ilulisaat

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Ilulissat Kangerlua is Greenlandic for “The Iceberg Fjord.” The glacier at the head of the fjord is the most productive in the Northern Hemisphere. The icebergs it calves float down the fjord to enter Baffin Bay. As the ship approaches Ilulissat, have your cameras ready to take photos of young icebergs. Their journey will end years later somewhere off the coast of Newfoundland. Ilulissat Fjord is so significant that UNESCO has designated the area a World Heritage Site. We’ll take you on a Zodiac cruise near the mouth of the fjord and later visit the community and hike to a spot inside the fiord to watch the massive bergs lined up before entering Baffin Bay.

Day 5 Uummannaq

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Make sure to spend time out on deck regardless of the time of day as the ship approaches Uummannaq. The vista is simply breathtaking. The heart-shaped mountain that gave the town its name dominates the view. Uummannaq was founded as a Danish colony in 1758 on the Nuussuaq mainland, but in 1763 it was moved to the nearby island, as seal hunting was more plentiful there. On your walk through the town, visit the historic oil warehouse built in 1860. Look for the peat hut, behind the warehouse, which was still in use until a few years ago.

Day 6 Upernavik

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The region of Upernavik is almost the size of Great Britain. The town of the same name was founded in 1772, but the history of human habitation in the region is longer. In Upernavik you will visit the northernmost open-air museum with well-preserved buildings dating back to colonial days. Unique fauna is another compelling reason to visit the Upernavik area, where the world’s largest bird cliff, Apparsuit, is located.

Day 7 Cape York

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Throughout today's adventures, listen to stories of the famous Cape York Meteorite and learn about the place other meteorites have had in Cape York’s history. If conditions permit, hop in a helicopter and fly to the Robert Peary monument at the top of Cape York and experience a very impressive view.

Day 8 Qannaaq

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
At Qaanaaq, founded in 1953, visit the northernmost municipality in the world, and learn about the culture of the people of Northern Greenland. One of the highlights of the museum is a massive chunk of meteorite.

Day 9 Cobourg Island and Grise Fjord, Nunavut, Canada

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Murres and fulmars will soar overhead as you cruise in Zodiacs along the base of high cliffs at Cobourg Island. Thousands of seabirds nest in Nirjutiqavvik National Wildlife Area, established to protect the wildlife of Lady Ann Strait along the island’s southern shore. Be sure to carry your binoculars and camera!

The only community on Ellesmere Island is Grise Fjord. The citizens of Aujuittuq – the place that never thaws – will entertain and educate you with cultural demonstrations are based on 4,000 years of tradition. The tiny hamlet, the most northerly community in Canada, has only 140 residents – slightly more than one resident per guest aboard our icebreaker.

Day 10 Hell Gate and Eureka Sound

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
From there, the ship navigates Hell Gate, a narrow passage transited successfully by only a handful of passenger vessels. Afterwards, the crew will stop in Eureka Sound. Here, take a helicopter flight over an ancient petrified forest on Ellesmere Island’s western coast.

Day 11-12 Tanquary Fiord National Park and Chapman Glacier

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The epic beauty that is Tanquary Fjord encompasses sweeping mountain valleys under huge arctic skies. Luminous glaciers cascade down to clear blue waters. Twenty-four hours of daylight provide ample opportunity to take photos in Quttinirpaaq National Park on Ellesmere Island.

Day 13 Eureka Weather Station and Axel Heiberg Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Eureka has been called the “Garden Spot of the Arctic” due to an abundance of flora and fauna found in the area, more so than anywhere else in the High Arctic. The Weather Station consists of “Fort Eureka” (for military personnel), the Environment Canada Weather Station, and the Polar Environment Atmospheric Research Laboratory (PEARL), formerly the Arctic Stratospheric Ozone Observatory (AStrO).

Day 14 Axel Heiberg Island, Norwegian Bay and Belcher Channel

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
At Axel Heiberg, take the opportunity to learn about the area's unusual fossil forests. At the Norwegian Bay and Belcher Channel, there are many wonderful and exciting sights. However, the experience of watching the 24,000-horsepower Kapitan Khlebnikov battle its way through some of the toughest ice in the world may be one of the most memorable. Then head south through Penny Strait to Queen’s Channel, with plans to explore McDougall Sound, on the alert for walrus and polar bears.

Day 15 Penny Strait, Queen’s Channel and Crozier Strait

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Today, traverse the natural waterways of Penny Strait, Queen’s Channel and the Crozier Strait. Expect to see copious birdlife above, and magnificent views ahead.

Day 16 Beechy Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Just offshore the western end of Devon Island is Beechey Island. There, on a stony beach, stand three grave markers; solemn reminders of the lives lost during Sir John Franklin’s search for the Northwest Passage. Upon approach to Beechey Island, we will be treated to presentations about Franklin and his expedition.

Day 17 Disembark in Resolute, Nunavut

  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Bid the land of the midnight sun adieu. Return by an afternoon charter flight to the world of night and day in Ottawa. Transfer to the hotel and sleep through your first full night of darkness in two weeks.

Day 18 Depart Ottawa

  • 1 Breakfast
After breakfast, you can make your way home at your leisure or spend time in Ottawa, Canada’s capital city.

Kapitan Khlebnikov

Per person starting at
Triple Cabin-Kapitan Khlebnikov
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Triple
135 sq. ft. Cabins include twin bunk beds and a convertible sofa, writing desk, chair, bookshelves, storage box, telephone, and porthole or window
Twin Cabin - Kapitan Khlebnikov
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Twin
135 sq. ft. Cabins include one twin bed and a convertible sofa, writing desk, chair, bookshelves, 2 wardrobes, storage box, telephone, and porthole or window
Suite-Kapitan Khlebnikov
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Suite
193 sq. ft. Cabin includes separate living area, TV/VCR, refrigerator, convertible sofa, double bed 2 desks, 2 chairs, bookshelves, storage box, telephone, 2 wardrobes, and picture window
Corner Suite - Kapitan Khlebnikov
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Corner Suite
285 sq. ft. Cabin includes separate living area, TV/VCR, refrigerator, convertible sofa, double bed 2 desks, 2 chairs, bookshelves, storage box, telephone, 2 wardrobes, and picture window

Notes

-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.
-Single supplement of 1.7 times the twin rate for travelers who want to guarantee single room.
-Emergency medical evacuation coverage for a minimum of US$100,000 per person is required. Contact us for details on arranging travel insurance.

IMPORTANT REMINDER: Embracing the unexpected is part of the legacy – and excitement – of expedition travel. Our actual icebreaker program will vary according to ice and weather conditions, unexpected opportunities and wildlife sightings. The captain and expedition leader will determine our exact route based on reconnaissance flights and ice reports. The ice conditions in the Arctic vary dramatically from season to season – and no specific itinerary can be guaranteed in advance. This itinerary is a tentative outline of what you’ll experience on this voyage. A measure of flexibility is something all of us must bring to a polar expedition.

Included

  • 16 Breakfasts, 15 Lunches, 16 Dinners
Payment & Cancellation Policies
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Kevin M

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The trip was terrific with great planning on your part. Most of the adventures were not mainstream and somewhat off the beaten path which made it especially enjoyable!! We felt taken care of and you all were readily available to respond to questions and issues. I would highly recommend your company and friends have already expressed interest based on our pictures and excitement.
Gale Cantor

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