13 days

Greenland and Canada's High Arctic 2014

Greenland and Canada's High Arctic 2014

Greenland Sea

Musk Ox

The kayaks of Sisimiut

Memories of the Arctic

Trip rating
  • If you crave some cultural learning alongside your wildlife encounters, then this journey to the northern communities of the Arctic is for you. When you’re not looking for polar bear, walrus, beluga whales or seabirds; you’ll be exploring Inuit communities in Canada and learning about traditions in Greenland.

     

    Sea Kayaking

    Imagine gliding along the surface of a bay in the presence of icebergs and glaciers! Our sea-kayaking adventures are the best way to feel at one with the sea.  Taken in small groups of 10-16 people, multiple times per voyage, sea-kayaking adventures are only done during calm weather conditions. We require you to have some prior sea-kayaking experience, including the capability to do a wet exit.

    More information about your Adventure Options, including physical requirements and cost of each option is available by contacting Peregrine.

     

    POSSIBLE LANDINGS AND WILDLIFE SIGHTINGS GREENLAND

     

    KANGERLUSSUAQ

    Kangerlussuaq and the Kangerlussuaq Fjord in Western Greenland present colorful buildings and potential for glimpses of Arctic wildlife such as musk oxen and caribou. Lush mountainous landscapes provide a great backdrop at this port of embarkation, while whales may be spotted at sea.

     

    ILULISSAT

    North of the Arctic Circle, this ice fjord is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Recognized as one of the fastest moving glaciers in the world, the Sermeq Kujalleq glacier located here moves at 19m per day. More glacial ice is calved into the ocean here than anywhere else, except for Antarctica.

     

    SISIMIUT

    A village town, the second largest in Greenland, Sisimiut is a place to stretch the legs. Inhabited for more than 4,000 years the history here is a mix of Saqqaq, Dorset and Thule cultures. The colorful wooden houses here are typical of Greenlandic communities today. Nasaasaaq, an impressive mountain provides a scenic backdrop to this settlement and the nearby Amerloq Fjord is another worthwhile landing site.

     

    UPERNAVIK

    In the Upernavik Archipelago the island and settlement of Upernavik provide one of the best opportunities for learning about Viking history in this part of Greenland. The museum here is well worth a visit.

     

    KULLORSUAQ

    Hunting and fishing remain the way of life in this small, traditional town. This part of the Upernavik Archipelago has fewer economic alternatives than further south. Whaling is an important part of the livelihood of many of the inhabitants here.

     

    DUNDAS

    Located in Northwest Greenland, Dundas is near a U.S. Air Base and area of some contention as the U.S. had a plutonium contamination here back in the 1960’s. All is well in Dundas itself though, with an impressive glacier for exploring.

     

    QAANAAQ

    The world’s most northern municipality and one of the world’s most northern settlements. Traditional means of living are strong here and the local museum helps shed some light on what it takes to live this close to the top of the world.

     

    POSSIBLE LANDINGS AND WILDLIFE SIGHTINGS CANADA

     

    COBOURG ISLAND

    An important bird area, this uninhabited Canadian island is home to large concentrations of seabirds including thick-billed murres, northern fulmars, black-legged kittiwakes, guillemots and glaucous gulls.

     

    DUNDAS HARBOUR

    Located on Devon Island, there are remains of a Royal Canadian Mounted Police post here, dating back to 1924. The post was built to monitor and illegal fishing and whaling activities by other nations coming into Canadian waters. Historically this area has been settled for more than 3,000 years by Inuit and pre-Inuit cultures.

     

    CROKER BAY

    A nearby glacier actively calves off chunks of ice, creating a birthing place for icebergs at Croker Bay. The bay was a popular stop during the 1800’s when a path to the Pacific (the Northwest Passage) was at the forefront of Arctic exploration.

     

    PRINCE LEOPOLD ISLAND

    Impressive, near perfectly vertical cliffs, ring part of this small island. This creates an ideal environment for nesting seabirds, and they nest here in numbers – more than 500,000 strong! Thick-billed murres, black guillemots and northern fulmars are most commonly seen here.

     

    BEECHEY ISLAND

    Named after Frederick William Beechey, an explorer of the Royal Navy, this is one of Canada’s most important Arctic sites and has been deemed a Canadian National Historic Site. During the Franklin Expedition of 1845-46, two of Franklin’s ships, the HMS Erebus and HMS Terror anchored here with perilous results. Three of his crew died and are buried at a marked grave site.

     

    RADSTOCK BAY

    The bay has been a popular research location for observing polar bears. Denning mothers favor this area and polar bears are frequently seen during summer months. A Thule site here provides insight into how the pre-Inuit people survived, and lived, in the Arctic.

     

    RESOLUTE

    One of Canada’s most northern settlements, Resolute has everything from a grocery store and cable TV to an RCMP station and handful of hotels. It also has an airport, which is your gateway back home.

     

    IMPORTANT REMINDER Embracing the unexpected is part of the legacy – and excitement – of expedition travel. When travelling in extremely remote regions, your expedition staff must allow the sea, the ice and the weather to guide route and itinerary details. The above is a tentative outline of what you’ll experience on this voyage; please be aware that no specific itinerary can be guaranteed.

    Itinerary

    Day 1 - Copenhagen, Denmark

    Enjoy an included night in Copenhagen, Denmark and meet your fellow travelers. Arriving a day or two early is strongly suggested as there are many sights to visit around the capital.

    Day 2 - Embarkation Day 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 anchored off shore.

    Breakfast | Dinner

    Day 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 mountainous backdrop. The town has a number of interesting buildings to explore, including 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 Greenland 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 Kujaaeq 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 Upernavik 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 Kullorsuaq. 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, whaling 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 archaeological 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 present 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.

    Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

    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.

    Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

    Day 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 sometimes 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 Passage 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, exploring 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 Lancaster 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.

    Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

    Day 12 - Disembarkation Day 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.

    Breakfast

    Day 13 - Toronto, Canada

  • What to Know

    What's Included

    • Shipboard accommodation with daily housekeeping
    • All breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and snacks on board throughout your voyage
    • All shore landings per the daily program
    • Leadership throughout the voyage by our experienced Expedition Leader
    • A daily program of lectures by noted naturalists
    • All Zodiac transfers and cruising per the daily program
    • Formal and informal presentations by our Expedition Team and Special Guests as scheduled
    • Photographic Journal on DVD documenting the voyage
    • A pair of waterproof expedition boots on loan for shore landings
    • A waterproof expeditions parka to keep
    • Coffee, tea and cocoa available around the clock
    • A selection of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages
    • Hair dryer and bathrobe in every cabin
    • Comprehensive pre-departure materials
    • All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the program
    • All luggage handling aboard the ship
    • On embarkation day transfer from your hotel to in Copenhagen to the airport for the mandatory charter flight to Kangerlussuaq, followed by transfer to the waiting ship
    • On disembarkation day group transfer from the ship to airport for mandatory charter flight to Toronto
    • Pre expedition hotel night in Copenhagen and post expedition hotel night in Toronto
    • Emergency Evacuation Insurance for all passengers to a maximum benefit of US$100,000 per person

    Not Included

    • •Passport and any applicable visa expenses. •Government arrival and departure taxes. •Any meals ashore when applicable. •Baggage, cancellation, interruption, and medical travel insurance. •Excess baggage charges. •Laundry and other personal charges. •Telecommunications charges. •The voluntary gratuity at the end of the voyage for shipboard staff and crew. •Optional kayaking activities.

    Safety Information

    Safety is paramount on a Peregrine voyage. Due to new International Security Regulations, you will not be able to approach the ship on your own. You will have to arrive with the rest of the group, accompanied by a Peregrine representative. Full details of embarkation/disembarkation procedures will be supplied with your final documentation. On board you will be asked to participate in the obligatory lifeboat drill. We will also conduct important briefings on landing procedures, Zodiac operations, polar bear management and firearm safety (there is a good chance that we will see some of these magnificent animals during this trip, but extreme care must be taken if we ever encounter them whilst we are ashore!).

  • Map Itinerary

  • Our Ships

    Sea Explorer

    Sea Explorer

    This Polar Adventure Ship was built in 1991 and was refurbished in 2004 in Norway.

    Her proud reputation is complimented by her well-appointed, elegance. Sea Explorer is the perfect expedition ship for people who enjoy soft adventures and creature comforts. All cabins have outside views and facilities en suite.

    Sea Explorer is equipped with Zodiacs for shore landings and ocean level cruising, yet offers fine dining, and cabins with exterior views and facilities en suite.

  • From our Blog

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    See the Arctic through a leader's eyes

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    The Greenland Hiking Experience

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Trip at a glance

Trip Code PPGC14
Start City: Copenhagen
End City: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Style: Polar

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