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Iceberg near floe edge

Expedition to the Thule Region

Example 17 Day Cruise aboard L'Austral
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From Kangerlussuaq, set off aboard L’Austral on a 17-day expedition cruise to the far reaches of the planet. North of the Baffin Sea, in the region of Thule, experience a tricky but spectacular sail between drifting icebergs and sheets of ice floe. From Greenland's west coast with its mountains softened by glaciers to the Arctic mountain range's steep slopes and Thule's high Arctic tundra, sail through the polar region's most spectacular landscapes. Polar bears, musk ox, and Arctic wolves: see this amazingly rich fauna.

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Flight from Paris | Kangerlussuaq | Embark
Day 2 : Sisimiut
Day 3 : Disko Bay
Day 4 : Paul-Emile Victor Base Camp, Eqi Glacier
Day 5 : Kuannit Coast
Day 6 : Akulleq | Karrat Fjord
Day 7 : Kullorsuaq
Day 8 : Savissivik
Days 9-10 : Thule Region
Day 11 : Pond Inlet, Nunavut
Day 12 : Icy Arm Fjord
Day 13 : Isabella Bay, Ninginganiq Wildlife Area
Day 14 : Sam Ford Fjord, Nunavut
Day 15 : At Sea
Day 16 : Evighedsfjorden
Day 17 : Kangerlussuaq | Disembark | Flight to Paris

Highlights

  • Sail between the ice floes and icebergs in the region of Thule
  • Discover traditional villages among the northernmost in the world
  • Explore the wildlife: polar bears, humpback whales, Arctic terns, belugas, bearded seals, orcas, narwhals
  • See the Northern Hemisphere’s largest icebergs

Ship

L'Austral

Places Visited

Activities

Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level

Relaxed

Trip Snapshots

Iceberg near floe edge Kayakers and zodiacs cruise the waters of Nunavut A mother polar bear and her young relax on the Arctic landscape Sled dogs on Baffin Island, Canada Franz Josef Land scenery

Day 1 Flight from Paris | Kangerlussuaq | Embark

Fly from Paris and embark on the L'Austral at Kangerlussuaq.

From 1941 to 1992, the town of Kangerlussuaq in Greenland was home to an American military base. Nowadays, thanks to its international airport, it has become a transit point for travelers seeking adventure in the Far North. Located to the north of the Arctic Circle, this town is the starting point of magnificent discoveries surrounded by unspoiled nature. Indeed, just a few dozen kilometers from there it is possible to get close to the Greenland ice sheet, the largest body of ice in the Northern Hemisphere. From Kangerlussuaq, admire also the superb landscapes of tundra in autumnal colors, where Arctic hares, musk oxen, Arctic foxes, reindeer, falcons and eagles live.

Day 2 Sisimiut

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
During your cruise, we invite you to discover Sisimiut, founded in 1756 and the second largest town in Greenland. This small town is typical of Greenland, boasting bewitching panoramas: here and there, colorful stilt houses dot the undulating landscape, and the small fishing port stands as the gateway to an icy realm. As for the town center, it is home to several historic buildings, a small church and a museum that retraces the history of the Inuit people, as well as many craft shops. When your ship drops anchor here, set out to meet the locals in a typically arctic atmosphere.

Day 3 Disko Bay

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
To the east of Baffin Bay, discover Disko Bay, scattered with countless icebergs produced by the Ilulissat Icefjord, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. From your ship, admire the majestic ballet of these ice giants as they slowly drift across the dark waters. This site is a natural marvel of Greenland and is also renowned as an observation point for the region’s many humpback whales. The encounters with wild fauna and stunning landscapes in the heart of this spectacular and fragile nature will be pure moments of wonder for you.
 

Day 4 Paul-Emile Victor Base Camp, Eqi Glacier

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The most beautiful place in the Arctic" is how Paul-Émile Victor described Greenland, a land of great icebergs and towering ice formations calved by the giant glaciers of the polar ice cap. The Eqi Glacier is one of the region’s most impressive sights. Here, the silence is broken only by the roaring and cracking of the ice. It is impossible to know if one is shivering from cold or from the sheer thrill of being here... Imagine the vast outline of a glacier, its translucent crystals glowing with an ice-blue fire in the sunlight. Paul-Émile Victor’s shelter cannot be overlooked; it was from here that the French Polar Expeditions’ anthropological and geographic explorations set off in the 1950s. 

Day 5 Kuannit Coast

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Opposite Ilulissat, sailing for a few hours between the majestic icebergs of Disko Bay will allow you to reach the southern coast of the large Disko Island and admire the fields of angelica and the spectacular sculptures formed by the huge volcanic cliffs of Kuannit, where numerous sea birds find refuge. Combining glaciers, snow-capped peaks, flowery valleys, lakes, beaches and volcanic formations, the island’s exceptionally lush environment has inspired local beliefs. The island is believed to have a legendary and distant origin: it is said to have been towed back from the country’s south by fishermen in kayaks, fastened to “the hair of a child”.

Day 6 Akulleq | Karrat Fjord

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
In the curve of Uummannaq Bay, opposite a narrow passage between two islands, discover the moonscape of the small desert island of Akulleq. The ochre yellow and orange of this mineral site look ablaze under the sunshine of the polar summer. From the island’s summit, be able to contemplate a panoramic view of the bay’s magical landscape and its huge icebergs with surprising shapes.

During your cruise along the Greenland coast, we invite you to discover the Karrat Fjord. Located in the north of the famous Uummannaq Bay, it stretches out towards the ice sheet. As you sail in this exceptional setting, take the time to admire the beautiful icebergs that surround you, as well as the sheer cliffs that tower along the fjord.

Day 7 Kullorsuaq

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Well beyond the Arctic Circle, in the majestic landscapes of Greenland’s Northwest, find the village of Kullorsuaq, the last bastion of Greenland’s traditional hunters. Here is where you find Greenland’s true character… Vast mineral expanses, sumptuous mountains, impressive glaciers and, above all, the local population which still lives off fishing and seal or bear hunting. Hospitality and respect for nature are essential elements in the daily lives of these men, who live an austere life. When we drop anchor in this remote part of the world, set off to discover these friendly people who are also talented craftsmen, deftly sewing the furs and skins of marine mammals. This will be a unique and authentic experience.

Day 8 Savissivik

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Some places in this world are so magical that their beauty cannot be described in words… Savissivik, a small Inuit village with less than a hundred inhabitants, is one such place. Rightly considered to be the biggest iceberg graveyard in Greenland, it is a stunning sight to behold. During your Zodiac® outing, sail between these icy giants. Once on land, you can hike to a viewpoint from which to enjoy breathtaking views over these icebergs, which come in an incredibly diverse range of shapes and colors. Photographers will love it. Savissivik Bay attracts many bears and is also known for having been the home of one of the world’s biggest meteorites, but the latter has now been moved to a museum in New York.

Day 9-10 Thule Region

  • Ship
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
Thule, the region located to the northwest of Greenland, is the mythical name used to designate the Far North. The presence of many drifting icebergs calved from the glaciers of Greenland and sheets of ice floe can make sailing tricky - but spectacular - in this region. Attempt to sail as far north as possible and if you are lucky enough you will perhaps observe one of the many polar bears that roam this favorable environment. You’ll perhaps visit traditional villages such as Dundas (“old Thule”) and Siorapaluk, Greenland’s northernmost native settlement, where you probably be greeted by a joyous group of children, who are always happy to welcome visitors.

Day 11 Pond Inlet, Nunavut

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
On Baffin Island, located in northern Canada at the mouth of the famous NorthWest Passage, there is a small Inuit settlement at the very bounds of infinity. To get there, cross the Arctic Circle, the imaginary line that separates man from lands of mystery and wonder. It’s not so much the way of life that sets Pond Inlet’s inhabitants apart, so much as the setting. Snow-capped mountains, fjords and glaciers combine in a dazzling natural environment that fills space and expands time. Some discoveries change you forever: this is one of them.

Day 12 Icy Arm Fjord

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The east coast of Baffin Island is a real lacework of fjords. Among them, in the north, is the spectacular Icy Arm fjord. As you sail these parts, you’ll be dazzled by the immense cliffs that are sometimes over 1,000 meters high. This is a paradise for base jumping (parachute jumping from the top of the cliffs). During your stop here, have the opportunity to hike at the feet of these mountains and within the glacial valleys. Keep your eyes open when you get back on your boat: you’ll probably get the chance to observe marine mammals, such as whales, orcas, and even narwhals.

Day 13 Isabella Bay, Ninginganiq Wildlife Area

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Welcome to the kingdom of the cetaceans! Here, those who love the giants of the Arctic won’t know where to look. Isabella Bay is, in fact, part of the Ninginganiq National Wildlife Area, one of the finest places to observe bowhead whales. From your ship, watch the sumptuous ballet performed by these impressive mammals. With undersea faults over 300 meters deep, Isabella Bay, located on the north-east coast of Baffin Island, attracts cetaceans that come here to feed. In addition to the bowhead whales, the uncontested stars of these parts, the Ninginganiq Wildlife Area is also home to ringed seals, narwhals, polar bears, king eiders, little auks, and northern fulmars.

Day 14 Sam Ford Fjord, Nunavut

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
All around you is a raw landscape of spectacular beauty. Nothing seems to want to disturb the silence. You are in the Sam Ford Fjord, on the east coast of Baffin Island. Located only a few kilometers away from the Inuit community of Clyde River, this fjord has the kind of world’s end appearance that only the Arctic lands can offer. From your ship, allow yourself to be dazzled by the series of vertiginous cliffs plunging into the waters of the fjord. These impressively high walls of rock, known worldwide to climbing enthusiasts, are reflected in the waters of the fjord, as though to completely shift perspectives and blur the lines between land and sea.

Day 15 At Sea

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
During your day at sea, make the most of the many services and activities on board. Treat yourself to a moment of relaxation in the spa or stay in shape in the fitness center. Depending on the season, let yourself be tempted by the swimming pool or a spot of sunbathing. This day without a port of call will also be an opportunity to enjoy the conferences or shows proposed on board, to do some shopping in the boutique or to meet the photographers in their dedicated space. As for lovers of the open sea, they will be able to visit the ship’s upper deck to admire the spectacle of the waves and perhaps be lucky enough to observe marine species. A truly enchanted interlude, combining comfort, rest and entertainment.

Day 16 Evighedsfjorden

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Your ship glides slowly along the water towards the west coast of Greenland, to enter Evighedsfjorden, just a few kilometers south of Kangerlussuaq. Evighedsfjorden means “the fjord of Eternity”, and for good reason: just when you think you’ve reached the end of this stretch of sea measuring over 100 kilometers in length, it seems to go on forever, as though to bring even more pleasure to those sailing in it. The spectacular scenery ranges from glaciers to tundra with an abundant flora and jagged cliffs where numerous bird species have taken up residence. Take the time to observe the white-tailed eagles and the colonies of seagulls and black-legged kittiwakes flying overhead in the area.

Day 17 Kangerlussuaq | Disembark | Flight to Paris

  • 1 Breakfast
From 1941 to 1992, the town of Kangerlussuaq in Greenland was home to an American military base. Nowadays, thanks to its international airport, it has become a transit point for travelers seeking adventure in the Far North. Located to the north of the Arctic Circle, this town is the starting point of magnificent discoveries surrounded by unspoiled nature. Indeed, just a few dozen kilometers from there it is possible to get close to the Greenland ice sheet, the largest body of ice in the Northern Hemisphere. From Kangerlussuaq, admire also the superb landscapes of tundra in autumnal colors, where Arctic hares, musk oxen, Arctic foxes, reindeer, falcons, and eagles live. 

L'Austral

Per person starting at
$17,150
Superior Stateroom
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Superior Stateroom
8 cabins, 226 sq ft, located on Le Champollion Deck. A/C, king or twin beds, seating area and private bath.
Deluxe Stateroom
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Deluxe Stateroom
28 cabins, 200 sq ft with private balcony. A/C, king or twin beds, seating area, private bath.
Prestige Stateroom
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Prestige Stateroom - Deck 4
200 sq ft with 43 sq ft private balcony. A/C, king or twin beds, seating area, private bath.
Prestige Stateroom
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Prestige Stateroom - Deck 5
200 sq ft with 43 sq ft private balcony. A/C, king or twin beds, seating area, private bath.
Prestige Stateroom
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Prestige Stateroom - Deck 6
200 sq ft with 43 sq ft private balcony. A/C, king or twin beds, seating area, private bath.
Deluxe Suite
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Deluxe Suite
3 suites, 290 sq ft with 54 sq ft private balcony, located on the Le France Deck. A/C, king or twin beds, seating area, desk, minibar, private bath.
Prestige Suite
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Prestige Suite - Deck 5
398 sq ft with 86 sq ft private balcony. A/C, king or twin beds, communicating cabins available. Separate living area, private bath.
Prestige Suite
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Prestige Suite - Deck 6
398 sq ft with 86 sq ft private balcony. A/C, king or twin beds, communicating cabins available. Separate living area, private bath.
Owner's Suite
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Owners Suite
484 sq ft with 97 sq ft private balcony. A/C, king or twin beds, communicating cabins available. Separate living, dining areas, private bath with large tub and shower, minibar, 2 flat screen TVs, DVD, CD, and IPOD, Video on demand, Satellite phone

Notes

Please note:
Fares are based on double occupancy and are capacity controlled. Rates may increase at any time as the ship sells out and subject to change without notice.

*Rates are capacity controlled and are subject to change without notice.

Cruise fares are per person and include the following:
  • All meals while on board the ship
  • Captain’s welcome cocktail and gala dinner
  • Gratuities to onboard crew, local guides, and drivers
  • Evening entertainment and events
  • 24h room service (special selection)
  • Highly experienced bilingual (French-English) Expedition team.
  • Water sports activities (except scuba diving) using the ship’s equipment, when permitted by local authorities and confirmed by ship Master according to safety and sea conditions onsite
  • Open Bar (pouring wines, house champagne, alcohol except premium brands...list available upon request)
  • Complimentary boot rental (except for guarantee deposit)
  • Complimentary polar parka for you to keep (no children sizes available)
  • Free and unlimited Wi-Fi (Internet access may be slower or in some situations interrupted, depending on certain geographic locations or other circumstances beyond our control).

Cruise, Flights & Transfers program rates are per person and also include:
  • Flights Paris/Kangerlussuaq/Paris in economy class
  • Meet and Greet by representatives at the destination airport
  • Transfers to and/or from the ship and other services before and after the cruise according to detailed programs available upon request 10 months prior departure
Flights are being studied and are subject to change until the flight plan is confirmed and this up to 3 months prior to each cruise
*Tourist infrastructures are very limited in Kangerlussuaq. Flexibility and understanding of the following will be appreciated:​
  • Due to limited local transportation resources, waiting might be generated.
  • Due to local transportation conditions, comfort is basic and carry on could be limited on board the buses used for the passengers transfer to the airport (if too large the carry on could be transferred with the main luggage). The use of a backpack is suggested.
  • Due to limited human resource, please note that drivers act as guides.
  • For passengers in transit in Paris, it is recommended to stay one night in Paris before and after your connecting flight.

Cruise fares do not include:
  • Any ground services before and/or after the cruise other than the ones mentioned in each “Cruise, Flights & Transfers” package and for which details are available upon request
  • Optional pre and post cruise programs, overlands and excursions
  • Visa expenses (which may include additional administrative charges imposed by the authorities of a country) and/or immigration reciprocity taxes, if applicable
  • Luggage handling
  • Optional Spa package to be booked prior to your departure; please ask for more information
  • Beverages other than the ones mentioned
  • Laundry services, hair salon, and à la carte Spa treatments
  • Personal expenses, on board medical consultations, and drug prescriptions
  • Cancellation/luggage/assistance/repatriation/medical insurance(s)
  • Dives when authorized by local authorities and feasible with ship equipment and Zodiacs®. Rates: €70 per standard dive; €80 per dive when local equipment or staff must be used, €80 for a “discover scuba dive” course, on some cruises a dive package might be on offer. In order to participate to diving sessions, guests must have with them a medical certificate less than 1-year-old and their up to date dive book.
Please note:

These voyages include activities such as Zodiac® landings (sometimes wet landings), Zodiac® outings, moderate walks, to more active hikes. All this accompanied by your expedition team of naturalist guides. Considering the nature of the programs, a reasonable level of mobility is required to enjoy these expeditions.

Ports of call, visited sites, outings and landings will depend on weather conditions, position of ice, winds and the state of the sea. These can force a change of plans at any time. The Captain and the Expedition Leader may at any time cancel or stop any activity, or even modify the itinerary. The final itinerary will be confirmed by the Captain, who will take into account the touristic quality of the sites and above all, the safety of the passengers. His decision will be based on advice from experts and authorities.
Payment & Cancellation Policies
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Kate was great to work with in the planning stage. She was prompt, helpful, and efficient. Our tour guide, Edwin, was knowledgeable and passionate. We were very happy to have traveled with Adventure Life, it made the trip easy and a true pleasure. We could concentrate on enjoying the experience rather than the details of travel.
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