Embark on an Arctic expedition to remote parts of Canada and Greenland – in search of local cultures and wildlife.

Experience some of the most uninhabited parts of the world on this Arctic exploration in Northern Canada and Greenland. From mesmerising ice fjords to colourful tundra there are endless unspoiled habitats to explore at the top end of the earth. Meet some of the local Inuit people and learn about their culture and traditions, as well as keeping watch for another kind of local – the illusive polar bear. There will be a number of opportunities to spot the king of the Arctic, so a keen eye and a well-charged camera is a must.

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Terms & Conditions

Start
Reykjavik, Iceland
Finish
Reykjavik, Iceland
Destinations
Canada, Greenland, Iceland
Style
Comfort
Theme
Polar
Code
BQMWA
Physical rating
Ages
Min 8
Group size
Min 1, Max 132

Why you'll love this trip

  • Explore the Sam Ford Fjord – one of the most isolated places on the planet.

  • Make your way up Smith Sound, exploring both sides of this uninhabited passage.

  • Search for iconic Arctic wildlife including walrus, seals and, whales and even polar bears in the abundant waters of Lancaster Sound.

  • Learn about the culture and traditions of the local Inuit people in Qaanaaq, formerly known as Thule.

Is this trip right for you?

  • As you’d expect, temperatures in the Arctic are very cold. A warm parka will be provided along with waterproof boots and unlimited hot drinks, but you should also bring base layers and lots of warm clothing. Please see the Essential Trip Information for further important details about what to bring.

  • Weather depending, you will be making regular excursions in a Zodiac boat to explore the local area and look for wildlife. It can get very cold and wet on the Zodiac, so make sure you are dressed appropriately and that you keep your camera safe and dry. Sturdy sea legs are needed as you make wet and dry landings from the boat, and on steep terrain, snow and other uneven surfaces. Some ships also have a lot of stairs.

  • The weather plays a pivotal part in this adventure and although there’s an itinerary in place, there are no guarantees that you’ll be able to do everything that is planned for. A level of flexibility and openness to embracing the unexpected are important in expedition travel, especially to such a remote area.

  • This trip takes places during the time of year that Spitsbergen enjoys 24-hour daylight. Just one of the benefits of this is that incredible wildlife can be seen at any time of the day – be prepared to be woken at any time so as to not miss out on exciting animal sightings.

  • Polar bears are one of the most incredible and appealing animals on the planet, but they are also powerful predators with little fear of humans. Therefore, it’s necessary to be aware of the guidelines surrounding any contact with Polar bears. Follow your leader’s instructions and do not stray from your group.

Boats

Ocean Adventurer

On this itinerary, you'll be travelling aboard the Ocean Adventurer.

Itinerary

Your arctic expedition begins in Reykjavik. Explore Iceland’s capital city
on your own before spending the night at your included hotel.
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
In the morning, the group will transfer to the airport and board our 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.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
As we cruise across the Davis Strait, your Expedition Team will prepare 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 you will soon explore. Staff will also keep a lookout for seabirds soaring above your ship, as well as whales that frequent the waters here.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
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 will be guided by weather and ice conditions, with each day and each landing presenting new adventures. Some of our 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. You’ll also 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.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast (3)
  • Lunch (3)
  • Dinner (3)
As our ship sails farther north, take in a presentation by our on-board 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.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
The gateway to the Northwest Passage, Lancaster Sound is one of the richest marine habitats in the Arctic. With openwater openwater areas staying ice-free all year, it is an important summer feeding area for whales and other marine wildlife. Our days here will be 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 wellpreserved remains of the subterranean houses, including the whale bones used as supports for the dwellings, will give you an understanding of how these pre- Inuit people thrived in the Far North.

We will attempt to land 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.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast (4)
  • Lunch (4)
  • Dinner (4)
Before saying goodbye to Canada, we’ll push as far north as possible,
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 we explore.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Your return to Greenland will have you sailing 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.

We hope to 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. If you’re feeling adventurous, perhaps you’ll treat yourself to a unique arctic experience
by partaking in an optional paddling excursion (additional cost).
Meals Included
  • Breakfast (2)
  • Lunch (2)
  • Dinner (2)
As we continue sailing south along the west coast of Greenland, presentations
by our on-board experts will prepare you for the adventures that lie ahead.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Boasting spectacular glaciers, mountainous landscapes, dramatic fjords and vibrant communities, the west coast of Greenland will leave you breathless.
Some areas we hope 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 (which means “heart-like”) takes its name from the
red heart-shaped mountain that rises up a staggering 3,840 feet (1,170 meters) behind it. You’ll want to be positioned on deck as your ship approaches the shore, with your camera ready to capture the inspiring vistas of the twin peaks soaring high above the colourful 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 (which means “iceberg”) will allow 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 (meaning “crossing place”) 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.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast (3)
  • Lunch (3)
  • Dinner (3)
Enjoy one more Zodiac ride to shore, where you’ll board your charter flight
back to Reykjavik, Iceland. Upon arrival in Reykjavik, we will transfer you to your
included hotel.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Today, you can make your way home at your leisure or spend time exploring this
vibrant city.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast

Meals

19 breakfasts, 16 lunches, 17 dinners

Transport

Ship, Zodiac, Plane

Accommodation

Expedition Voyage, comfortable hotel

Dates & availability

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There are currently no scheduled departures on our Best of the Western Arctic: Canada and Greenland trip. If you are interested in other trips in the region visit one of the links below.

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Important notes

BOOKING CONDITIONS
Arctic and Antarctic bookings have an increased deposit requirement of 20% of the full voyage cost (before any discount). The balance is due 120 days before departure.

If a booking is cancelled 120 days or more before departure - the cancellation fee is the full loss of the deposit paid.

If a booking is cancelled between 119 days and departure - the cancellation fee is 100% of the total price of the voyage.

Other fees may apply for air tickets and other arrangements booked in conjunction with a Polar voyage.

ADVENTURE OPTIONS
Kayaking is available to book on all Arctic voyages except on Icebreakers. Kayaking must be booked prior to departure and incurs an additional cost. Spaces are limited so please enquire at time of booking. Some previous, recent experience is essential. Snowshoeing and hiking is also offered on some itineraries. These activities are at no additional cost and do not need to be pre-booked. See the itinerary for Adventure options available on this voyage.

Your voyage is operated by our sister company, Quark Expeditions. All accommodation and transfer arrangements as listed in the itinerary are also operated by Quark Expeditions or their local representatives.

Essential trip information

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what's included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.

View Essential Trip Information

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