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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 Ultramarine
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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.
Enjoy northern lights on an Arctic cruiseExploring GreenlandA mother polar bear and her young relax on the Arctic landscapeSail past bird colonies on your Arctic cruiseKayak quiet waters as you sail to remote polar regions
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
Places Visited
Activity Level: Relaxed
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Full Itinerary

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Day 1: Arrival | Toronto

Your Arctic expedition begins in Toronto. Explore this vibrant city on your own before spending the night at your well-appointed 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: Exploring 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 Toronto

Enjoy one more Zodiac ride to shore, where you’ll board your charter flight back to Toronto, Canada. Upon arrival in Toronto, transfer to your included hotel.

Day 20: Depart Toronto, Canada

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

Ship/Hotel

Ultramarine

Ultramarine Dining Room
Ultramarine
Ultramarine Cabin

Reykjavik - Hotels

Dates & Prices

My Preferred Start Date

Per person starting at
$18,995
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Solo Panorama
Located on Deck 6, approximately 132 sq. ft. Features a single bed, floor-to-ceiling window, desk, refrigerator, TV, a private bathroom with shower and heated floors.
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Explorer Triple
Located on Deck 3, approximately 285 sq. ft. Features three single beds (two of which can be combined into a double bed), sitting area, picture window, desk, refrigerator, TV, private bathroom with shower and heated floors.
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Explorer Suite
Located on Deck 3, approximately 285 sq. ft. Features one double or two single beds, sitting area with sofa bed, picture window, desk, refrigerator, TV, private bathroom with shower and heated floors.
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Balcony Suite
Located on Decks 4 and 6, with approximately 226 sq. ft. Features one double or two single beds, sitting area with sofa bed, private balcony, desk, refrigerator, TV, private bathroom with shower and heated floors.
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Deluxe Balcony Suite
Located on Decks 4 and 6, with approximately 299 sq. ft. Features one double or two single beds, sitting area with sofa bed, private balcony, desk, refrigerator, TV, private bathroom with shower, bathtub and heated floors.
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Terrace Suite
Located on Deck 6, with approximately 350 sq. ft. Features one double or two single beds, sitting area with sofa bed, private extra-wide balcony, desk, refrigerator, TV, private bathroom with shower, bathtub and heated floors.
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Penthouse Suite
Located on Deck 7, with approximately 369 sq. ft. Features one double or two single beds, sitting area with sofa bed, private balcony, desk, refrigerator, TV, private bathroom with shower, bathtub and heated floors.
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Owner's Suite
Located on Deck 6, with approximately 446 sq. ft. Features one double or two single beds in a private bedroom with walk-in closet, sitting area with sofa bed and additional closet, private balcony, desk, refrigerator, TV, private bathroom with shower, bathtub and heated floors and separate powder room.
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Ultra Suite
Located on Deck 6, with approximately 563 sq. ft. Features one double or two single beds in a private bedroom with walk-in closet, sitting area with sofa bed and additional walk-in hallway closet, private balcony, refrigerator, TV, private bathroom.
Included
  • 19 Breakfasts, 16 Lunches, 17 Dinners
  • 19 Nights Accommodations
  • Accommodations as listed
  • Ground transportation as listed
  • Excursions and activities as listed
  • Meals as listed
  • Coffee, Tea and Cocoa Available Around the Clock
  • Leadership throughout the expedition by our experienced Expedition Leader
  • Loan of Waterproof Boots for Landings
  • Official Expedition Parka to Keep
  • Select Beer and Wine During Dinner
  • Photographic Journal Documenting the Expedition
     
  • All Miscellaneous Service Taxes and Port Charges Throughout the Program
     
  • Comprehensive Predeparture Materials, Including a Map and an Informative Antarctic Reader
     
  • Luggage handling from the airport to the ship on the day of embarkation.
  • All Zodiac transfers and cruising per the daily program
  • Greenland voyages cruise passenger tax
Excluded
  • Gratuities
  • Travel Insurance
  • Personal Expenses
  • Flight costs (please request a quote)
  • Additional excursions during free time
  • Fuel and transportation surcharges (when applicable)
  • Passport and Applicable Visa Expenses
  • Government arrival and departure taxes
  • Internet & Phone Charges
  • Excess baggage charges
  • Mandatory Waterproof Pants for Zodiac Cruising & Any Other Gear Not Specifically Mentioned
     
  • Mandatory Transfer Package fees not included, prices vary by departure

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This was our first trip to South America and we were a little nervous. But Adventure Life made things so easy! All our questions were answered before we left, and our guide, Vidal, was amazing! He gave us enough space to explore without rushing us along. He also knew where the best picture taking opportunities were, which was great.
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