Greenland and Canada's High Arctic Trip Notes

    • 13
    • BQMF
    • Total price tool tip
      USD $7,745
      CAD $8,205
      AUD $8,520
      EUR €5,745
      GBP £4,980
      NZD $10,100
      ZAR R77,550
      CHF FR7,305
      *
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    • Polar, Wildlife
    • Original
Book
Print Version
Last Modified: 13 Apr 2014
Greenland and Canada's High Arctic
Trip code: BQMF
Validity: 24 Aug 2014 to 05 Sep 2014
Table of Contents
StyleDeparture taxEmergency contact
ThemesImportant notesEmergency funds
MapGroup sizeVisas
ItineraryYour fellow travellersIssues on your trip
Itinerary disclaimerAccommodationWhat to take
Culture shock rating MealsHealth
Physical ratingTransportSafety
Included activitiesGroup leaderTravel insurance
Optional activitiesJoining point Responsible Travel
Spending moneyArrival complicationsA couple of rules
TippingFinish point The Intrepid Foundation
Style
Original
  • Original trips are classic Intrepid adventures. With a mix of included activities and free time, they offer plenty of opportunities to explore at your own pace and take part in activities that really get beneath the skin of a destination. While the occasional meal may be included, you'll have the freedom to seek out your own culinary adventures. Accommodation is generally budget or tourist class (2-3 star), but you're as likely to find yourself as a guest of a local family as staying in a hotel or camping. Transport will vary as well. Depending on the destination and the itinerary you could find yourself travelling on anything from a camel to a train or a private safari vehicle. It's all part of the adventure! Original travellers have a desire to make the most of their travel time and really get to know a place, its people and cultures.
Themes
Wildlife, Polar
Map
Greenland and Canada's High Arctic
Itinerary
Day 1 Arrival Day Copenhagen
Enjoy an included night in Copenhagen and meet your fellow travelers. Arriving a day or two early is strongly suggested as there are many sights to visit around the capital.
Accommodation
Hotel (1 nt)
Day 2 Embarkation in Kangerlussuaq
Off to Greenland! Upon landing in Kangerlussuaq, you’ll be transferred to the port and then take your first Zodiac ride out to the ship, which will be an¬chored off shore
Accommodation
Cruise ship (1 nt)
Days 3-7 West Greenland
Ancient archaeological sites, massive fjords and plenty of Zodiac excursions and tundra hikes await you in Greenland. Sisimiut has a small fishing village-feel to it with a great harbor for walking around and taking photos with a perfect moun¬tainous backdrop. The town has a number of interesting buildings to explore, includ¬ing some dating back to colonial times.
Get in touch with local customs here by enjoying a kayaking demonstration. Kayaks have traditionally been used for whale hunting and are still a crucial form of transport here after thousands of years. The only way between towns in Green¬land is by sea or air as most settlements are on small islands.
The third largest town in Greenland is Ilulissat, which happens to be a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You’ll undoubtedly be impressed by the massive Sermeq Ku¬jaaeq fjord here, one of the fastest moving in the world. Ilulissat is a big dog-sledding town in winter, and the 6,000 sled dogs here outnumber the people. In Ilulissat, you’ll experience spectacular zodiac cruising and hiking for all fitness levels.
Heading further north into the Uper¬navik Archipelago, keep your eyes out for whales and seals, which are numerous in these waters. A couple of places we like to take you here are Upernavik and Kullor¬suaq. At Upernavik there is an interesting museum (the oldest in Greenland) and a Viking rune stone was discovered nearby, making this the most northern discovery of any Viking artefacts in the world! Over at Kullorsuaq, you’ll find that things are very traditional. This small settlement sustains itself on fishing, whal¬ing and sealing.
From Kullorsuaq, your journey north will take a day or more. Enjoy a day at sea, spotting seabirds and cetaceans, or you can spend your time taking in lectures by the Expedition Team or chatting with fellow shipmates.
Dundas and Qaanaaq are your next landings along the north western edge of Greenland. A great glacier and archaeo¬logical site dating back to 1916 are found at Dundas. It is also a perfect place for you to head out on a hike, taking in the sights, sounds and colors of the Arctic summer. Qaanaaq is one of the world’s most northern settlements. You can enjoy the colorful buildings here, which pres¬ent a great contrast to the surrounding landscape. A visit to the local museum is a wonderful way for you to gain a deeper appreciation for what it takes to live this far north.
Accommodation
Cruise ship (5 nts)
Day 8 Cobourg Island
You’ll leave Greenland today as we sail over to Canada and visit Cobourg Island. This is an uninhabited island off the coast of Ellesmere Island and the waters here are home to bowhead, beluga and narwhal whales as well as seal and walrus. Polar bears may also been seen here!
Large cliffs present you with a thrilling Zodiac cruising excursion, as the island has been deemed an important bird area. Possible sightings include thick-billed murres, northern fulmars, black-legged kittiwakes, black guillemots and glaucous gulls.
Accommodation
Cruise ship (1 nt)
Days 9-11 Lancaster Sound
Exploring the Canadian High Arctic, you’ll have numerous hiking and birding opportunities. The first of which usually takes place at Dundas Harbour on Devon Island. Your beach hike here will be high-lighted by visiting the remains of a Royal Canadian Mounted Police post dating back to 1924. This area has been settled for thousands of years by the Palae-Eskimo, Thule and, now, Inuit. Don’t be surprised if your Canadian history walk is interrupted by walrus, which are some¬times hauled out on the beach nearby.
Croker Bay is another spot where you’ll be able to get out and stretch your legs. It is home to many archaeological sites and was a popular stopping off point during the quest to discover the Northwest Pas¬sage in the 1800’s. You may see a number of icebergs floating around in this area, after having calved off of a nearby glacier.
You’ll also visit Prince Leopold Island, ex¬ploring by Zodiac as the impressive cliffs are home to more than 500,000 birds. If you missed spotting any of the species at Cobourg Island, you’ll have a good chance of catching them here.
The Canadian National Historic Site of Beechey Island is the most significant place you’ll visit pertaining to exploration of the Canadian Arctic. A small grave site exists, with markers for men who died during Sir John Franklin’s expedition in 1845-46. Roald Amundsen also stopped here in 1903, on his successful voyage to the Northwest Passage.
Your final day of exploration in the Lan¬caster Sound will include a mix of history and wildlife. At Radstock Bay there is an ancient Thule site, including some very well-preserved subterranean homes. It’s an interesting place to visit and see how this pre-Inuit culture lived. This is also a good place for observing polar bears.
Accommodation
Cruise ship (3 nts)
Day 12 Disembarkation in Resolute
Named after the HMS Resolute, one of the ships sent to try to find Franklin’s ships the HMS Erebus and HMS Terror. This is where you’ll say goodbye to the Sea Explorer and be transferred to the airport for your flight to Toronto, where you’ll have one last night to reminisce with your new friends about your Arctic adventure.
Accommodation
Hotel (1 nt)
Day 13 Toronto
Your trip finishes in Toronto. Farewell your new friends and embark on your journey home.
      Itinerary disclaimer
      Polar travel requires an amount of flexibility as weather, ice conditions and wildlife can all affect where your ship is able to access, and where your Expedition Team think you will get the best experience possible from your trip. On board, daily updates are given to advise what the specific itinerary will be for the next day based on local conditions. Published itineraries are subject to change when local conditions dictate.
      Culture shock rating

      This is the least confronting of Intrepid's product range. English is the native language and the food, customs and access to services will be similar to home.
      Physical rating

      These trips are a relaxing break. You don't have to worry about doing anything physically demanding unless you want to.
      Included activities
      Please note that some of our included activities are contingent on weather conditions. We'll arrange an alternative if an included activity is deemed unsafe.
      Optional activities
      OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES - ARCTIC
      On some voyages we offer optional activities such as kayaking. Numbers on these activities are extremely limited so it is important that you book in advance. Your consultant can advise which activities are available on your voyage and the cost.
      On some voyages there is also the option of a photography program. This includes a series of photography-focused lectures and shore excursions. There is no cost for this activity and it does not need to be booked in advance.
      Some voyages also offer snowshoeing. There is no cost for this activity and it does not need to be booked in advance.
      Spending money
      Every traveller is different and therefore spending money requirements will vary. Some travellers may drink more than others while other travellers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping, participating in optional activities, and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip.
      The US Dollar is the standard currency on board. Visa, MasterCard, Diners Club, Discover Card and American Express are accepted on board for settling your shipboard account.
      At the time designated in the shipboard program, please give the Hotel Manager the credit card you would like to use for all your incidental expenses. An account will be opened for your cabin for purchases aboard ship. This will include bar services, laundry, postage, and communication charges. A ‘chit’ system will operate for on board payments. You will sign for any bar, wine, communication charges, laundry, etc. An account for payment will be presented to you on the final day of the voyage. Final payment can be made using cash, travellers’ checks or major credit cards. Personal cheques are not accepted on board. If you are sharing a cabin and would like separate accounts, you must advise the Hotel Manager.
      It is wise to travel with sufficient cash to pay for incidentals such as shipboard items on the last day of the voyage, airport taxes and taxicab transfers.
      Tipping
      The voyage price does not include the customary gratuity to the ship’s personnel, which is divided amongst the crew, Expedition Team and Hospitality Team. We suggest this guideline for your convenience: aboard ship US $13 to US $15 per traveller, per day. The amount you choose to give is at your discretion. It can be added to your shipboard account.
      Departure tax
      All departure taxes should be included in your international flight ticket.
      Important notes
      ARCTIC DEPOSIT:
      An increased non-refundable deposit of A$2000 is required at time of booking. Full payment is due 90 days prior to departure. If the tour is cancelled inside 90 days the full amount is forfeited.
      Group size
      Maximum of 111 travellers per group.
      Your fellow travellers
      As you travel on a group trip you will be exposed to all the pleasures and maybe some of the frustrations of travelling in a group. Your fellow travellers will probably come from all corners of the world and likely a range of age groups too. We ask you to be understanding of the various needs and preferences of your group - patience with your fellow travellers is sometimes required for the benefit of everyone's travel experience. Remember too that you have responsibilities to the group. If you are requested to be at a place at a certain time, ensure that you don't keep the rest of the group waiting. We have found time and time again that the very best trips we operate are those where the dynamics within the group work well - this takes just a little effort on your part.
      Due to privacy reasons we are unable to provide you with contact details and any personal information about your fellow travellers booked on your trip prior to departure. However you can download Intrepid's FREE Meet Up app to chat with your fellow travellers before your trip. Meet up, discuss your upcoming trip and share the excitement of planning for your adventure. For more information visit: www.intrepidtravel.com/meetup
      Accommodation
      Cruise ship (10 nts), Hotel (2 nts)
      All passenger cabins have exterior views, private facilities and climate control. Cabins are cleaned daily. Linen and towels are provided. There is a hair dryer and bathrobes in every cabin.
      The different types of cabins available and their prices can be accessed via the Dates & Availability link.

      Meals
      12 Breakfasts, 10 Lunches, 10 Dinners
      Breakfast, lunch and dinner are served in the dining room. Hours of operation will be posted and are subject to change to accommodate the expedition. Coffee, tea and cocoa are available around the clock. The tap water on board is safe to drink.
      We're able to meet most special dietary requests, as long as you have clearly indicated your requirements far in advance of your voyage. Kosher food cannot be prepared.
      Transport
      Ship
      During the expedition we visit remote and isolated sites that are accessible only by Zodiac landing craft. The flat bottom design permits the craft to land directly onto the cobble and ice-strewn beaches although you should expect to walk through shallow water to reach the shore.
      Group leader

      On the Sea Explorer we will have 1 Expedition Leader on board, plus at least 7 additional staff who will be a combination of specialists and Zodiac drivers. Final numbers will depend on the itinerary.
      Joining point
      Hilton Copenhagen Airport
      Ellehammersvej 20
      Copenhagen, 2770
      Copenhagen
      DENMARK
      Arrival complications
      We don't expect any problems (and nor should you) but if for any reason you are unable to commence your group trip as scheduled, please contact your starting point hotel, requesting that you speak to or leave a message for your group leader.
      Please also make sure have a copy of the local operators Emergency phone numbers from our Emergency Contact section of these trip notes.
      Finish point
      Your Toronto Hotel
      Toronto
      Toronto
      Ontario
      CANADA
      Emergency contact
      In the case of a genuine crisis or emergency, Quark Expeditions can be reached on tel: +1 416 504 5900 (business hours - US & Canada Eastern) or 001 647 449 5303 (after hours). For further contact details please use the following page:
      Emergency funds
      Please also make sure you have access to an additional US$400, to be used when unforeseen incidents or circumstances outside our control (eg. a natural disaster, civil unrest or an outbreak of bird flu) necessitate a change to our planned route.
      Visas
      Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. The visa requirements for your trip vary depending on where you are from and where you are going. As a general rule most countries expect that you will have at least 6 months' validity on your passport. On arrival visitors may be asked to present return tickets and evidence of means to cover your intended stay.
      We keep the following information up to date as much as possible, but rules do change - it's important that you check for yourself. Residents from other countries must consult the relevant embassies or your travel agent.
      Issues on your trip
      While we always endeavour to provide the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip, it is imperative that you discuss this with your group leader or our local representative straight away so that they can do their best to rectify the problem and save any potential negative impact on the rest of your trip.
      We recognise that there may be times when your group leader/local partner may not be able to resolve a situation to your satisfaction - if this is the case, please ask the leader to speak to their direct manager.
      You may also choose to provide details in your online feedback, which we ask you to complete within 30 days of the end of your trip. But we do ask you to be aware that it is very difficult for us to provide any practical help after the trip is complete.
      What to take
      Clothing on board ship is generally informal. For outdoor wear, please bring wind and waterproof outer layers. Tight clothing is not recommended as it does not allow insulating air to be trapped.Wool, silk and some of the new synthetic fibres, like fleece, retain heat. We do not recommend clothing made of cotton. Plan to dress in layers.
      Essential Gear:
      Boots - Rubber boots are provided on a loan basis for the duration of the voyage. You do not need to bring these with you.
      Parkas - A complimentary parka will be provided on the ship.
      Pants - Waterproof pants are essential for zodiac travel as well as activities on shore. These, over a pair of warm pants, will keep you warm and dry.
      Gloves - To keep your hands warm and dry, pack a minimum of two pairs of gloves: a pair of thin polypropylene gloves to be worn underneath warm outer gloves. We strongly recommend that you bring at least one other set of gloves in case on pair gets wet or lost.
      Hat and Scarf - Pack a warm, woollen hat or cap that covers your ears, as well as a scarf, neck gaiter or other face protection. A peaked or brimmed hat helps protect against the sun but needs some kind of retainer for windy conditions.
      Socks - For maximum warmth we suggest that you wear two pairs of socks inside the rubber boots that are loaned to you. In addition, pack warm, long wool or cotton socks to be worn over a thin pair of silk or polypropylene socks. Bring several pairs.
      Outer Clothing - Pack woollen or fleece sweaters and tops, plus several turtlenecks for layering.
      Underclothing - Pack silk or polypropylene underwear since it will keep you warm without adding bulk. Many polar travellers prefer a lightweight version but this depends on your own personal thermostat.
      Day Pack - To keep your hands free for shooting photographs bring a water resistant or waterproof daypack
      Shoes - Bring shoes with non-slip soles for walking around the vessel. Slip-on sandals are not suitable for use on board ship.
      Swimsuit - There may be an opportunity for a polar plunge during the voyage so we recommend that you pack a swimsuit.
      Children - Children will be required to bring their own life jacket and rubber boots as child sizes are not provided on board.
      LUGGAGE ALLOWANCES:
      Please note luggage allowances on this voyage are 20 kilos checked baggage and 5 kilos hand luggage due to flight baggage restrictions.
      Health
      All Intrepid travellers need to be in good physical health in order to participate fully on this trip. When selecting your trip please make sure you have read through the itinerary carefully and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please note that if, in the opinion of staff, any traveller is found to be unfit to complete the itinerary on the day of embarkation, they may be denied boarding and excluded from the trip without refund.
      If you are taking prescribed medication, carry an extra week’s supply just in case of flight delays or other unforeseen circumstances. If you have particular health needs, please bring with you a signed and dated letter from your physician explaining your health problems and/or the dosage required for the prescribed medication. The letter will assist our doctor on board, and any emergency medical personnel to care for you should you become ill. Please hand the letter to the expedition doctor once you are on board.
      There will be a licensed English-speaking physician on board. Your vessel will have a medical clinic with a limited supply of prescription medicines and basic first aid equipment. The clinic will not be stocked with every drug or piece of equipment required for every medical problem. If you are under regular treatment for any ailment, you must bring a sufficient supply of medicines for yourself. We cannot accept responsibility for not having a specific brand or type of drug on board.
      You should anticipate some rough seas. The motion-sickness medication that is available on board is for emergencies only. To avoid motion sickness, avoid alcohol, tobacco, excess liquids, and confined spaces. Most people feel better on deck looking at the horizon or lying still with their eyes shut. You will definitely feel better with some food in your stomach, such as dry toast or crackers.
      Safety
      As a ship registered for international voyages, the ship must comply with a variety of regulations, codes and industry standards. This regime of requirements ensures that internationally accepted standards for safety and environmental protection are developed, implemented and monitored within the company management system onshore and on board the ship. The ship adheres to regulations set by IMO (International Maritime Organisation) including ISM Code (Safety Management System), ISPS Code (for ship and port security), SOLAS (Safety of Life at Sea) and MARPOL (Maritime Pollution Prevention), the flag state and the classification society on an accredited system. In addition, as the ship spends considerable time in the Arctic waters, Quark Expeditions, Inc is a full member of IAATO (International Association of Antarctic Tour Operators) and a full member of AECO (Association of Arctic Expedition Cruise Operators).
      CHILDREN: The minimum age for travel is 8. If a child is travelling without their parent/legal guardian, their parent/legal guardian will need to fill out a waiver form. Children will also be required to bring their own life jacket and rubber boots as child sizes are not provided on board.
      Travel insurance
      Travel insurance is compulsory for all our trips. We require that, at a minimum, you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects.
      When travelling on a group trip, you won't be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance and the insurance company's 24 hour emergency contact number has been seen by your leader.
      If you have credit card insurance your group leader will require details of the participating insurer/underwriter, the level of coverage, policy number and emergency contact number rather than the bank's name and credit card details. Please contact your bank for these details prior to arriving in-country.
      Please go to our website for links to various travel insurance providers:
      Responsible Travel
      We believe strongly in low impact or rather positive impact tourism. Broadly speaking this means that we try to minimise the negative aspects of tourism on the local cultures and environments that we visit and highlight the positive aspects. Please visit our website for further details and suggestions on how you can be a responsible traveller:
      As a member of the International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators (IAATO) and the Association of Arctic Expedition Cruise Operatiors (AECO), Quark Expeditions are supporters of responsible tourism that mitigates the impact of our shore landings on the landscape or wildlife. Quark was the first operator to offer inclusive Carbon Neutral voyages on the Ocean Diamond. By doing so we have enhanced our commitment to ecological sensitivity and to minimising our impact on the areas we visit including:
      • Having our vessels burn Marine Gas Oil (MGO) a clean burning fuel with a low emission factor.
      • Conforming to all international regulations/policies governing disposal of waste at sea.
      • Serving only sustainable seafood.
      • Using only eco-friendly laundry chemicals and room amenities.
      • Removing disposable water bottles from the ships.
      • Making all our voyages virtually paperless by 2014 and having any paper used be 100% recyclable.
      IAATO and AECO members also operate according to established rules of conduct, which, while you travel with us, we ask you to respect. A copy of the IAATO or AECO guidelines will be provided prior to travel and staff will brief all passengers prior to the first landing.
      For more information on the responsible travel guidelines to Antarctica established by the IAATO please visit: http://www.intrepidtravel.com/ourtrips/rt/responsibletraveller.php
      A couple of rules
      Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on our trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land, but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for Intrepid travellers. Intrepid's philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter and in particular, the local people who make our destinations such special places. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our group leader has the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.
      The Intrepid Foundation
      Since Intrepid Travel commenced operating in 1989 we've been committed to giving something back to the communities we visit. One way has been through our support for local humanitarian, development and conservation projects. Many of our travellers want to contribute something too. Whilst it is often tempting to give hand-outs to those less fortunate, this has the potential to promote a culture of begging and dependency. Handouts are not a sustainable way for individuals or communities to live. That’s why we established The Intrepid Foundation – to make it easier for travellers wishing to give back to communities in an effective and meaningful way.
      The Intrepid Foundation is a not-for-profit fund offering a selection of excellent grassroots organisations which you can contribute to. All donations to The Intrepid Foundation will be matched by Intrepid Travel dollar for dollar (up to AU$5,000 per donor and a total of AU$400,000 for all donors in each financial year). And every cent gets there as Intrepid Travel pays for all the administration costs. Donating is simple and secure. Please ask your group leader for information on the projects we support through The Intrepid Foundation or go to our website: