The Ultimate Arctic Island Exploration

Baffin Island is the largest island in Canada and at 507,451 km2, it’s the fifth largest island in the world. Rugged, yet littered with coastal islands all with differing views, and steep fjords, it’s like stepping in an adventure into the great wild.

Join us for the thrill of a lifetime, as we attempt to circumnavigate Baffin Island through the entrance of the legendary Northwest Passage. A series of waterways that connects the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans via the Arctic Ocean along the northern coast of North America, the Passage is often impassable for most times of the year.

Prepare for an Adventure

Only for the most adventurous explorers, travelling through the Northwest Passage is a unique experience. Yet it promises to be a truly remarkable journey. Known for its largely untouched landscape, it is teeming with wildlife both on land and below the water.

August is a peak time for this expedition – not only has the ice reduced enough to allow a crossing attempt, but it’s also a perfect time to spot wildlife. Polar bears are particularly active, hunting whales are abundant, and seals can be spotted enjoying the floating sea ice.

  • Circumnavigate Canada’s high Arctic Baffin Island from western Greenland
  • Visit local Inuit communities and learn about their culture, both modern and traditional
  • Take advantage of the chance to observe Arctic wildlife
  • Wonder at immense icebergs at UNESCO World Heritage site Ilulissat Icefjord in Greenland

Our itinerary will give you a few ideas about what you can expect to explore but bear in mind that this is just an indication of what you can experience.

Day 1: Kangerlussuaq, Greenland

The Adventure Begins

Flying from Copenhagen, you will arrive late in the evening at Kangerlussuaq international airport. From here you will pick up a transfer to the port, ready to board your ship, and home for the next 20 days, MS Fridtjof Nansen. The adventure begins as we sail almost the entire length of the fjord (190km) on our way to the open sea.

Day 2: Sisimiut, Greenland

Fox Dens

Just 40km north of the Arctic Circle, Sisimiut is the second largest town in Greenland. Founded in 1756, it has a rich history in trade, shipping and industry. Literally meaning “The People Living in a Place of Fox Dens” it is a picturesque settlement that maintains ancient traditions.

There are a variety of excursions to enjoy – included as part of your trip is a visit to the Kayak Demo and Museum.

Day 3: Ilulissat, Greenland

The Birthplace of Icebergs

Ilulissat is set in the stunning backdrop of the Ilulissat Icefjord UNESCO World Heritage Site. Enormous icebergs, originating from the Jakobshavn Glacier, one of the fastest-moving glaciers in the world have run aground and sit at the mouth of the fjord. Included as part of the trip is a walk to the Icefjords.

Day 4: Labrador Sea

Crossing the Davis Strait

The Davis Strait lies between mid-western Greenland and Baffin Island. Named after John Davis, the English navigator undertook three voyages (1585-87) in an attempt to find a northern sea route to the Pacific. Although a successful crossing didn’t occur until 1906, Davis’ voyages are attributed to contributing towards later expeditions. Why not take the time as we sail to enjoy a lecture from the Expedition Team as we head towards Baffin Island.

Day 5: Canadian Eastern Arctic: Days 5-16

Attempting to Circumnavigate Baffin Island

Sailing up through Baffin Bay, we arrive at the northern part of Baffin Island and the entrance to the legendary Northwest Passage. If the elements work in our favour, it is from here that we will start our exploration of the high Canadian Arctic and attempt to successfully complete a circumnavigation of Baffin Island.

Remote, desolate and with the only certainty being the unpredictability of the ice, this is where the true adventure begins. En route, we plan to land at sites linked to early exploration history, visit traditional Inuit communities and keep a lookout for Arctic wildlife such as polar bears, whales, seas and colonies of seabirds. For the more adventurous there will also be opportunities to take part in small expedition boat cruising and to go ashore and experience the wilderness first-hand.

If conditions allow, we plan to explore:

Pond Inlet:
A traditional Inuit community on Baffin Island, it overlooks Eclipse Sound and the mountain of Bylot Island. It’s also renowned as a great place to see large pods of narwhal.

Devon Island:
The largest uninhabited island on earth, the only signs of human life are at the long-abandoned settlement of Dundas Harbour.

Prince Leopold Island:
Attracted by the sheer cliffs, Prince Leopold Island is home to the greatest diversity of sea birds than any other site in the Canadian Arctic.

Beechey Island:
The final resting place for three members of the lost Franklin expedition which sailed into the Northwest Passage in 1845.

Fort Ross:
An abandoned Hudson’s Bay Trading post, the storehouse is still used as a shelter by occasional travellers.

Igloolik:
An active and vibrant hamlet, it is also home to Artcirq, the only Inuit circus troupe in the world.

Cape Dorset:
Perched on a hill next to a bay, this beautiful settlement has earned international recognition for its many Inuit artists.

Kimmirut:
Baffin Island’s southernmost Inuit community, Kimmirut, is home to 400 people who still maintain the tradition of their ancestors some 4000 years ago.

Akpatok Island:
Dramatic towering limestone sea cliffs, cascading waterfalls and drifting ice floats, Akpatok Island is a place that will last in your memory forever.

Day 6: Labrador Sea

Across the Labrador Sea

Let the wind out of your sails and take some time to relax as we cross the Labrador Sea on our way towards Kangerlussuaq. Our Expedition Team will also be on hand and will be continuing their lecture series.

Day 7: Kangerlussuaq, Greenland

The Reindeer Glacier

As we return to Kangerlussuaq, we stop for a visit at the Greenland Ice Cap. Gargantuan by any standards, the huge ice cap stretches 1500 miles north and reaches heights of up to 3200 metres above sea level. Once back on board, we mark the end of this remarkable adventure with a farewell BBQ.

Day 8: Copenhagen

Denmark’s Famed Capital

We arrive back at Copenhagen airport early in the morning in readiness for your return flight home. If you’ve not quite had enough adventure, why not extend your stay and enjoy the delights of this trendy city.

What’s included

Included in your voyage:

  • Return economy flights between Copenhagen and Kangerlussuaq
  • All transfers in Kangerlussuaq including an excursion towards Ice Cap and BBQ dinner after the expedition cruise
  • Expedition cruise in a cabin of your choice
  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner including beverages (house beer and wine, sodas and mineral water) in restaurants Aune and Fredheim
  • A la carte restaurant (for suite guests only)
  • Complimentary tea and coffee
  • Complimentary Wi-fi on board for all guests (be aware that we sail in remote areas with limited connection. Streaming is not supported)
  • Complimentary reusable water bottle to use at water refill stations on board
  • English-speaking Expedition Team who organise and accompany activities on board and ashore
  • Range of included excursions

Onboard activities and education:

  • Experts on the Expedition Team deliver in-depth lectures on a variety of topics
  • Use of the ship’s Science Centre, extensive library and advanced biological and geological microscopes
  • Citizen Science programme allows guests to assist with live scientific research
  • Professional onboard photographer gives top tips and tricks for the best landscape and wildlife photos
  • Informal gatherings with the crew (such as daily recaps) and preparation for the day to come
  • Use of the ship’s hot tubs, infinity pool, panoramic sauna, outdoor and indoor gyms and outdoor running track

Landing activities:

  • Escorted landings with small expedition boats
  • Loan of boots, trekking poles and all equipment for activities
  • Complimentary wind and water-resistant expedition jacket
  • Expedition photographers help with your camera settings before landings

What’s not included in your voyage:

  • International flights
  • Travel insurance
  • Luggage handling
  • Optional shore excursions with local partners
  • Optional small group activities with our Expedition Team
  • Optional treatments in the onboard wellness and spa area

Please Note:

  • All planned activities are subject to weather and ice conditions
  • Excursions and activities are subject to change
  • Medical questionnaire is mandatory
  • Please ensure that you meet all visa entry requirements

Life On-Board

The Hurtigruten line was originally launched to transport people and goods along the coast of Norway. It was particularly prevalent in winter when infrastructure was still in its infancy and land travel was generally more difficult.

They are though, not traditional cruise ships and life on board a Hurtigruten ship is vastly different to what you might expect onboard a traditional cruise liner and offers less in terms of entertainment. However, as a majority of their ships are much smaller than traditional cruise ships (150 – 500 passengers as opposed to 1000s) it means that they can enter the fjords in both winter and summer. And because they stop at so many ports, you will get to see more of the coastline as opposed to just the ‘highlights’.

They also don’t fall short when it comes to comfort and amenities. The cabins are all elegantly furnished with a choice of cabin to suit all budgets. The MS Fridtjof Nansen is the latest addition to Hurtigruten’s fleet of custom-built ships and is hailed as the next generation expedition ship.

The ship has three restaurants that offer a variety of dining options, with menus drawn from our rich Norwegian and Nordic tradition, as well as international cuisine and local inspiration.

 

Can’t see what you are looking for? Don’t worry, in all probability we can still do it.
Call us on 01582 349480.

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About Suitcase Travel

A family run boutique travel agency, we specialise in creating memorable travel experiences. Offering unique adventures, tailored to your specific requirements, we focus solely on you, helping you to understand the experience that your holiday will give you and equipping you with those all-important tips that will help to make your holiday that extra bit special. Oh, and the best part? Our service is free – it literally costs you no more than if you were to book direct. Come and talk to us and we’ll help you to create memories that really will last a lifetime.

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