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Kayaking through the icy waters.

West Greenland and Baffin Island Explorer

Example 11 Day Cruise aboard Akademik Sergey Vavilov
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This outstanding voyage explores the icy landscapes and colorful fishing villages of western Greenland before crossing the Davis Strait to witness the stunning fjords and soaring peaks of Baffin Island. Throughout your journey be constantly on the lookout for wildlife - including a variety of bird and marine life and, of course, the icon of the north - the elusive polar bear. Every day venture off the ship to explore in zodiac boats, enjoy guided hikes to places of outstanding natural beauty, and observe and photograph the wildlife, landscape, and the delicate Arctic flora. In Greenland, the highlights include cruising Sondre Stromfjord, one of the world’s longest fjords, and experiencing the ice-choked Jacobshavn Iceford at Illulisat – a natural wonder of the Arctic. Visit small towns and villages of Inuit communities that have survived in this harsh landscape for centuries.

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Ottawa to Kangerlussuaq | Embark
Day 2 : Sisimiut
Day 3 : Ilulissat and the Jacobshavn Icefjord
Day 4 : Qeqertarsuaq
Day 5 : Crossing the Davis Strait
Day 6 : Sunshine Fjord
Day 7 : Cape Mercy
Day 8 : Pangnirtung
Day 9 : Monumental Island
Day 10 : Lower Savage Islands
Day 11 : Iqaluit | Disembark | Return Flight To Ottawa


  • Admire spectacular glacial landscapes and colorful Greenlandic villages
  • Marvel at Ilulissat icefjord, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Enjoy incredible wildlife observation on shore and from the ship
  • Gain cultural understanding through visits to remote Inuit communities


Akademik Sergey Vavilov

Places Visited


Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level


Trip Snapshots

Kayaking through the icy waters. Flora of the arctic landscape. A humpback whale breaks the surface A remote Arctic Community A lone polar bear

Day 1 Ottawa to Kangerlussuaq | Embark

Depart Ottawa this morning on your charter flight to Kangerlussuaq, situated on the west coast of Greenland. Upon arrival into Kangerlussuaq, enjoy a short tour before boarding your ship in the afternoon. After settling in to your cabins and exploring the vessel, meet your expedition team and fellow passengers. Excitement is in the air as you cast off and enjoy a welcome cocktail while cruising along Sondre Stromfjord in the soft Arctic twilight.

Day 2 Sisimiut

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Explore the fjord behind the town of Sisimiut before going ashore for further exploration. Characterized by colorful local houses, the town features a towering granite peak as a backdrop. You may meet a few of the traditional Greenlandic kayakers and see a demonstration of ‘kayak rolling’ by one of the former Greenland kayak champions. The town's church and a small museum are other points of interest. The restored historic houses and old Greenlandic fishing boats make for great photography.

Day 3 Ilulissat and the Jacobshavn Icefjord

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
If one word could sum up today’s experience it would be 'ice'. Even your expedition team members, with years spent exploring both the Arctic and Antarctica, take a moment to reflect on the awesome ice formations found here. Truly one of the wonders of the world, the Jacobshavn Icefjord – a UNESCO World Heritage site - projects gigantic icebergs out into Disko Bay. The glacier that creates these stunning monoliths advances at over 40 meters per day, creating an estimated 50 cubic kilometers of ice annually! Your approach to Ilulissat is always dependent on the amount of ice in and around the mouth of the fjord. A cruise by zodiac along the face of the massed icebergs is a memorable experience. There's also a great hike through the town to a viewpoint, high above the ice field. This place takes your breath away. 

Day 4 Qeqertarsuaq

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Cruise across the bay overnight, approaching the small town of Qeqertarsuaq, situated at the head of Disko Bay. Keep a look out for humpback or fin whales which are often encountered here. A small harbor filled with local fishing boats greets you as you head ashore. The landing site is right next to the old Customs building - now a small museum. Qeqertarsuaq is a very historic location where Eric the Red, the 9th-century Norse Viking, is believed to have visited and used the location as a base for hunting, fishing, and exploration. The town is easily explored on foot and a hike up to a high point provides great views of the town, the harbor, and offshore where large icebergs drift by. Be sure to stop and chat with the locals. Return to the ship and weigh anchor - heading west for Baffin Island and Canada.

Day 5 Crossing the Davis Strait

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Wake this morning to find yourselves in the Davis Strait - a broad expanse of open water that separates Greenland from Canada. Whale sightings are possible and sometimes you can encounter fin, sperm, sei, and humpback whales, plus seals and seabirds. The onboard experts deliver fascinating presentations that focus on wildlife, history, geology and the culture of the Arctic as you navigate closer towards the coast of Baffin Island. At this time of the season and with the right atmospheric conditions, hope to catch a glimpse of the dancing lights in the night sky - the mystical Aurora Borealis.

Day 6 Sunshine Fjord

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The first landfall on Baffin Island is at Sunshine Fjord where you have the opportunity to cross the Arctic Circle however you wish – on foot, in a zodiac, or on board ship. This location offers terrific hiking opportunities and there are a number of great routes in mind. You may wish to take the extended hike, gaining some real elevation and offering wonderful views of thesurroundings. Or choose to take the less strenuous option along the shoreline. The sheltered waters of the fjord provide the kayakers with great conditions for paddling.

Day 7 Cape Mercy

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Protecting the northern entrance to Cumberland Sound, Cape Mercy is an exposed headland jutting out into the Davis Strait. As the Baffin middle ice recedes throughout the summer, this stretch of coastline is a great place to look for polar bears. All eyes are off the ship looking for these majestic animals in their natural environment.

Day 8 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 Centre has a wonderful interpretive display featuring the lifestyle of the Thule and of the modern Inuit.

Day 9 Monumental Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Situated in the Davis Strait, the rocky dome of Monumental Island can be seen from a distance. Explore by zodiac along the rocky shoreline and hope to encounter polar bears in this vicinity. Walrus are also known to haul out along the shore here. In good weather a complete circumnavigation of the island in the zodiacs is possible.

Day 10 Lower Savage Islands

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
At the mouth of Frobisher Bay on the southeastern tip of Baffin Island, the Lower Savage Islands are a geological wonder. A maze of channels crisscross the island and provide great zodiac cruising opportunities. It's possible to navigate from one side of the island to the other where the ship collects you. The islands are ideally situated between the dynamic flow of the Hudson Strait and this mixing of nutrient rich waters makes for a diversity of marine life. Tonight, near the end of your journey, enjoy an entertaining voyage recap from the Expedition Leader. Celebrate with a special dinner attended by the Captain of the ship and reflect on your journey through the landscapes of the Arctic.

Day 11 Iqaluit | Disembark | Return Flight To Ottawa

  • 1 Breakfast
By morning you are anchored off the beach from Iqaluit – the largest community on Baffin Island. Say goodbye to your crew and make your way ashore on your final zodiac ride. Be transferred to the airport and board a scheduled flight to Ottawa. On arrival in Ottawa your journey comes to an end. A transfer is provided to a downtown location.

Akademik Sergey Vavilov

Per person starting at
Main Deck Triple Cabins
Select a Date
Triple Share
Deck 3. Two lower berths (one which can be converted to a sofa during the day) and one upper berth. Shared facilities, in cabin washbasin, writing desk/chair, ample storage, and two portholes.
Twin Semi Private Cabins
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Twin Semi-Private
Deck 4. Two lower berths (one which can be converted to a sofa during the day), a writing desk/chair, bookshelf and tall wardrobes with internal shelving for storage. Facilities are semi-private (one bathroom between two cabins) and all cabins have a window that can be opened.
Twin Private Cabins
Select a Date
Twin Private
Deck 3, 4 and 5. Two lower berths (one which can be converted to a sofa during the day), a writing desk/chair, bookshelf and tall wardrobes with internal shelving storage. Facilities are private and all cabins have a window that can be opened.
The Superior Cabins.
Select a Date
Deck 3. Two lower berths, a sofa, a writing desk/chair and ample storage. Facilities are private and all cabins have portholes that can be opened.
Shackleton Suites
Select a Date
Shackleton Suite
Deck 4 & 5. One double bed, one sofa bed, separate sleeping quarters, up-graded bedding, a writing desk/chair, IPod alarm clock, mini stereo, capsule coffee maker, mini bar. Private facilities. Large window that can be opened.
One Ocean Suite
Select a Date
One Ocean Suite
Deck 5. One double bed, one sofa bed & separate sleeping quarters, up-graded bedding, a writing desk/chair, IPod alarm clock, mini stereo, capsule coffee maker, mini bar. Private facilities with tub. Windows overlooking the bow.


- Single Supplement: 1.5x for twin and superior cabins and 2x for suites. Single supplement is not available in the triple cabin category.

- 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.

Expedition Includes:
  • Transfers to Ottawa airport and to the ship on embarkation day. Transfers at the end of the voyage in Iqaluit and on arrival back in Ottawa at the end of the voyage to a central downtown location
  • Shipboard accommodation in your selected cabin category with daily housekeeping. Cabins feature outside views with windows or portholes that open on each deck
  • High quality, ecofriendly, Canadian-made natural amenities in every cabin
  • All breakfasts, lunches, and dinners on board throughout your voyage with daily afternoon tea
  • 24-hour tea, coffee, hot chocolate in bar lounge plus in cabin tea, coffee, hot chocolate replenished daily
  • Experienced Expedition Leader and professional expedition team of marine bioligists, naturalists, historians, adventure guides and photographers
  • Daily off-ship excursions by Zodiac boat breaking into small groups for shore landings
  • Guided hikes and walks on shore of various durations for guests of all abilities
  • Visits to wildlife colonies, historic sites, places of outstanding natural beauty and community visits
  • Educational presentations and talks by polar experts in their field (ie. marine biologists, naturalists, historians etc). Onboard or on shore
  • Resident photographer available to assist all guests
  • Access to computers in the multimedia lab for image downloads, file back up and management
  • An emergency trained Physician onboard every voyage
  • Dedicated hospitality team including Hotel Manager, four chefs, professional bar staff and Adventure Concierge staff
  • Onboard sauna, plunge pool, Jacuzzi and fitness centre including personal trainer and massage options (charge applies for massage and spa treatments)
  • Access to well stocked library full of polar reference books and holiday reading
  • End of voyage video, photos and take home USB
  • Port fees and all permits to access visited areas
Expedition Excludes:
  • Mandatory charter flights ($1995 will be added to your voyage price)
  • Any international or local airfare unless otherwise specified in the voyage itinerary
  • Visa and passport expenses
  • Pre or post-cruise hotel accommodation unless otherwise specified in the itinerary (or pre-arranged)
  • Pre or post-cruise transfers unless otherwise specified unless in the itinerary (or pre-arranged)
  • Personal expenses on board such as alcoholic beverages, bar charges or laundry expenses
  • Telecommunication charges (ie. email, satellite phone)
  • Baggage, cancellation or medical travel insurance related expenses (travel insurance is mandatory on all voyages)
  • A voluntary gratuity at the end of the voyage for expedition staff and ship crew (suggested amount – $US12-15 per day)


  • 10 Breakfasts, 9 Lunches, 10 Dinners


  • Internal Flights
    • $1,995 Ottawa to Kangerlussuaq | Iqaluit to Ottawa
    • Flight cost is subject to change
Payment & Cancellation Policies
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The trip might have been the absolute best of our lifetime (thus far). We particularly want to commend our guide Peter in the Guilin area-he was so incredibly attentive, energetic, enthusiastic-and absolutely dedicated to ensuring that our meals were 100% vegetarian.
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