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Kayak quiet waters as you sail to remote polar regions

Best of the Western Arctic: Canada and Greenland

Example 20 Day Cruise aboard Ocean Adventurer (Sea Adventurer)
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Venture far above the Arctic Circle, in a land where the sun never sets and polar bears roam, with Ocean Adventurer. On this 20-day cruise, explore the northerly shores of Canada’s Baffin Island and the western coast of Greenland, searching for the wildlife and visiting the communities that call this mysterious realm home. Zodiac cruising gives you an awe-inspiring perspective of impressive icebergs, glaciers and fjords, while visits to communities immerse you in their traditional and modern way of life. Marvel at the rugged beauty of these pristine places and soaring cliffs of Sam Ford Fjord and the dazzling icebergs dotting the Ilulissat Icefjord. In this remote, wildlife-rich region, you may spot whales in their natural surroundings or get a glimpse of one of the Arctic’s most iconic animals; the polar bear.

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Reykjavik, Iceland
Day 2 : Kangerlussuaq | Embark
Day 3 : At Sea
Days 4-6 : Baffin Island, Canada
Day 7 : At Sea
Days 8-11 : Lancaster Sound
Day 12 : Smith Sound
Days 13-14 : Northwest, Greenland
Day 15 : At Sea
Days 16-18 : West Greenland
Day 19 : Kangerlussuaq | Disembark | Fly to Reykjavik
Day 20 : Reykjavik

Highlights

  • Explore Canadian wildlife sanctuaries and the Ilulissat Icefjord
  • Visit traditional settlements and meet Inuit and Greenlandic locals
  • Search for iconic arctic wildlife, such as polar bears, muskoxen, walrus and whales
  • Cruise in a Zodiac to explore icebergs, glaciers, fjords and more

Ship

Ocean Adventurer (Sea Adventurer)

Places Visited

Activities

Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level

Relaxed

Trip Snapshots

Kayak quiet waters as you sail to remote polar regions Enjoy northern lights on an Arctic cruise Exploring Greenland A mother polar bear and her young relax on the Arctic landscape Sail past bird colonies on your Arctic cruise

Day 1 Reykjavik, Iceland

Arrive in Reykjavik and explore Iceland's capital city on your own before settling into your hotel. 

Day 2 Kangerlussuaq | Embark

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Dinner
In the morning, be transferred to the airport and board the private charter flight to Kangerlussuaq, a small town at the eastern head of Sondre Stromfjord, one of the longest fjords in the world. After embarking your ship in the afternoon, enjoy time out on deck, taking in your new surroundings as you set sail on your Arctic expedition.

Day 3 At Sea

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Cruise across the Davis Strait as the Expedition Team prepares you for the adventures that await. Learn about the storied history and politics of the Arctic, its fascinating wildlife, geology, ecology and climate, and the incredible sights to be explored. Always be in a lookout for seabirds soaring above your ship, as well as whales that frequent the waters here.

Day 4-6 Baffin Island, Canada

  • Ship
  • 3 Breakfasts, 3 Lunches, 3 Dinners
Baffin Island is the fifth-largest island in the world, it was named for English navigator William Baffin, who ventured to the area in the early 17th century in search of the fabled Northwest Passage. Your days sailing along the island’s eastern coast is guided by weather and ice conditions, with each day and each landing presenting new adventures. Some of the favorite destinations include Qikiqtarjuaq, Isabella Bay and Sam Ford Fjord. Towering mountains, deep fjords, colorful tundra, and Inuit settlements await!

The Inuit community of Qikiqtarjuaq (which means “the big island” in Inuktitut) is located just north of the Arctic Circle, on Broughton Island. Fondly called Qik by locals, the welcoming hamlet offers a superb vantage point of the Davis Strait. Have a chance to support local Inuit artisans here by purchasing unique artwork, crafts and jewelry.

The rarely explored Sam Ford Fjord is one of the most isolated places on the planet. It is a spectacular big-wall playground, attracting adventurous climbers eager to scale the dozens of towering vertical granite cliffs that erupt from the sea. Have your camera handy as you cruise along this impressive coastline carved by ancient glaciers—the towering formations, stacked side by side, are simply majestic.

Day 7 At Sea

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
As the ship sails farther north, take in the presentations by the onboard experts, sip an icy cocktail in the bar, watch a movie or join your Expedition Team on the bridge as they scan for wildlife— there is no shortage of activities while at sea.

Day 8-11 Lancaster Sound

  • Ship
  • 4 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, 4 Dinners
The gateway to the Northwest Passage, Lancaster Sound, is one of the richest marine habitats in the Arctic. With open water areas staying ice-free all year, it is an important summer feeding area for whales and other marine wildlife. The days are spent exploring several of the sound’s beautiful bays and inlets, discovering historical sites, enjoying Zodiac cruises and searching for such iconic wildlife as walrus, seals and, of course, whales. Polar bear sightings are possible too, as Lancaster Sound is known for polar bear sightings. If you’re fortunate, you may even spot the elusive narwhal.

There may be a possibility for a shore visit at Radstock Bay, the location of one of the most impressive ancient Thule sites in the Arctic. Exploring the well preserved remains of the subterranean houses, including the whale bones used as supports for the dwellings, shows how these pre-Inuit people thrived in the Far North.

If weather permits arrive at Beechey Island, a Canadian National Historic Site. Named after explorer Frederick William Beechey, the island is the final resting place of members of Sir John Franklin’s 1845–46 expedition to find the Northwest Passage. The graves, on a desolate rocky beach, were discovered in 1850 by a team searching for signs of the ill-fated expedition.

Predominantly covered in glaciers and ice fields, Coburg Island and its surrounding waters comprise the Nirjutiqavvik National Wildlife Area. The island’s steep coastal cliffs are an ideal habitat for hundreds of thousands of nesting seabirds like Brünnich’s guillemots (thick-billed murres), blacklegged kittiwakes, northern fulmars and black guillemots.

Day 12 Smith Sound

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Before saying goodbye to Canada, sail towards north exploring both sides of Smith Sound, the uninhabited passage between Ellesmere Island and Greenland. Experience a true expedition as weather and ice determine how far north it is possible to explore.

Day 13-14 Northwest, Greenland

  • Ship
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
Sail along the remote northwest coast, a land of impressive icebergs and massive glaciers. Qaanaaq, formerly known as Thule, is one of the northernmost towns in the world. Here, local Inuit share their culture and traditions, while the museum sheds more light on life near the top of the world, explore Melville Bay, a significant whaling site until the early 1900s. Opening up to Baffin Bay, the area is a major egress for the Greenland ice cap and is home to spectacular icebergs in all shapes and sizes, making it an ideal spot for Zodiac cruising.

Day 15 At Sea

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Continue sailing towards south along the west coast of Greenland, presentations by the on-board experts prepare you for the adventures that lie ahead.

Day 16-18 West Greenland

  • Ship
  • 3 Breakfasts, 3 Lunches, 3 Dinners
Boasting spectacular glaciers, mountainous landscapes, dramatic fjords and vibrant communities, the west coast of Greenland leaves you breathless. Some areas to explore here are Uummannaq, Itilleq and the impressive Ilulissat Icefjord.

Quite possibly the most picturesque place in Greenland, the traditional Inuit town of Uummannaq takes its name from the red heart-shaped mountain that rises up a staggering 3,840 feet (1,170 meters) behind it. Make sure to be on the deck as the ship approaches the shore, with your camera ready to capture the inspiring vistas of the twin peaks soaring high above the colorful houses dotting the rugged coastline.

Another beautiful locale is the Ilulissat Icefjord, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Home to Jakobshavn, one of the most active glaciers in the world, this is a great spot to enjoy a Zodiac excursion past towering icebergs. Venturing ashore in the town of Ilulissat allows you to visit the icefjord on foot and gaze at this unforgettable river of ice from the rocky shore.

Surrounded by sea and mountains, Itilleq is situated about a mile (2 km) above the Arctic Circle, in a scenic hollow on a small island. It is the southern limit of the Greenlandic sled dog. To keep the breed pure, the dogs are not permitted south of this community and all other dog breeds are prohibited this far north. Explore the town’s traditional wooden houses painted in a rainbow of colors, chat with the locals, whose main trade is fishing, and maybe challenge them to a game of football (soccer) —it won’t be long before you’re experiencing Itilleq’s famous friendly vibe.

Day 19 Kangerlussuaq | Disembark | Fly to Reykjavik

Enjoy one more Zodiac ride to shore and board your charter flight back to Reykjavik, Iceland. Upon arrival in Reykjavik, you will be transferred to your included hotel.

Day 20 Reykjavik

  • 1 Breakfast
Today, you can make your way home at your leisure or spend time exploring this vibrant city

Ocean Adventurer (Sea Adventurer)

Reykjavik - Hotels

Per person starting at
$11,995
Cabin, Ocean Adventurer
Select a Date
Triple
Averaging 128 sq. ft. (12 sq. m) and equipped with two lower berths and one upper berth. Located on the Main Deck, it has private facilities, and a porthole with exterior views.
Cabin, Ocean Adventurer
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Lower Deck Twin
Averaging 133 sq. ft. (12 sq. m) and equipped with two lower berths. Located on the Lower Deck, it has private facilities, and a porthole with exterior views.
Cabin, Ocean Adventurer
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Main Deck Twin with Porthole
Averaging 118 sq. ft. (11 sq. m) and equipped with two lower berths. Located on the Main Deck, it has private facilities, and a porthole with exterior views.
Cabin, Ocean Adventurer
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Main Deck Twin with Window
Averaging 139 sq. ft. (13 sq. m) and equipped with two lower berths. Located on the Main Deck, it has private facilities, and two windows with exterior views.
Cabin, Ocean Adventurer
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Superior
Averaging 142 sq. ft. (13 sq. m) and equipped with two lower berths. Located on the Upper Deck, it has private facilities, and windows with exterior views.
Cabin, Ocean Adventurer
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Deluxe
Averaging 160 sq. ft. (15 sq. m) and equipped with two lower berths. Located on the Upper and Captain’s Decks, it has private facilities, and windows with exterior views.
Cabin, Ocean Adventurer
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Suite
Averaging 215 sq. ft. (20 sq. m) and equipped with two lower berths. Located on the Captain’s Deck, it has windows with exterior views and private facilities. Cabin 403 has a bathtub; other Suites have shower stalls.
Cabin, Ocean Adventurer
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Owner's Suite
Averaging 290 sq. ft. (27 sq. m) and equipped with two lower berths. Located on the Bridge Deck, it has private facilities, and windows with exterior views.

Notes

- Rates are quoted in U.S. dollars and represent costs per person, double occupancy. Request the Twin 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.

- Standard Cabins are available for single occupancy at 1.7 times the double occupancy rate. The supplement for a Premium Cabin is 2 times the shared rate.

Insurance: Emergency medical evacuation coverage for a maximum benefit of US$500,000 per person is included. Travelers should have a minimum US$50,000 (or equivalent) of emergency medical coverage prior to embarkation. It is recommended that you and all members of your party have comprehensive travel insurance covering trip cancellation, trip delay (interruption or after departure coverage), baggage, and repatriation. Contact us for details.

*2020 MANDATORY TRANSFER PACKAGE INCLUDES
  • One night’s pre-expedition hotel accommodation in Reykjavik
  • Group transfer from the Reykjavik hotel to the ship on Day 2
  • Charter flight from Reykjavik to Kangerlussuaq
  • Group transfer from the ship to the Kangerlussuaq airport on disembarkation day
  • Charter flight from Kangerlussuaq to Reykjavik
  • Group transfer from Reykjavik airport to hotel on disembarkation day
  • One night’s post-expedition hotel accommodation in Reykjavik
  • Shuttle transfer to Keflavik airport on last day of the itinerary​

This fare includes:

• Shipboard accommodation with daily housekeeping
• All meals, snacks, soft drinks and juices on board
• Beer and house wine during dinner
• All shore landings per the daily program
• Leadership throughout the voyage by our experienced Expedition Leader
• All Zodiac transfers and cruising per the daily program
• Formal and informal presentations by our Expedition Team and special guests as scheduled
• Photographic journal documenting the expedition
• Waterproof expedition boots on loan for shore landings
• Official Quark Expeditions® parka to keep
• Coffee, tea and cocoa available around the clock
• Complimentary reusable water bottle
• Hair dryer and bathrobe in every cabin
• Comprehensive onboard materials, including a map and an informative Arctic Reader
• All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the program
• All luggage handling aboard the ship
• Emergency evacuation insurance to a maximum benefit of US$500,000 per person
• Greenland voyages cruise passenger tax

This fare does not include: 

• Mandatory Transfer Package*
• International airfare
• Arrival and departure transfers, except where listed in the Mandatory Transfer Package
• Passport and visa expenses
• Government arrival and departure taxes not mentioned above
• Meals ashore unless otherwise specified
• Baggage, cancellation, interruption and medical travel insurance—strongly recommended
• Excess-baggage fees on international flights
• Mandatory waterproof pants for Zodiac cruising, or any other gear not mentioned
• Laundry, bar, beverage and other personal charges unless specified
• Phone and Internet charges
• Voluntary gratuity at the end of the voyage for shipboard staff and crew
• Additional overnight accommodation
• Any Adventure Options
Payment & Cancellation Policies
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Everything was amazing! The planning with Adventure Life went smoothly. The actual trip was fantastic! One of the best trips I have experienced. The cruise staff members were knowledgeable and attentive. I will be writing more about this on the blog!
Justin Chappelle

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