|Canada - Arctic, Greenland, Denmark|
|Toronto, Ontario, Canada||Copenhagen|
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.
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.
Hiking is a great way to appreciate the immense windswept landscapes of the Arctic. The tundra comes alive during the brief Arctic summer, with bursts of colour from shrubs and plants that eke out a living in this polar environment. You’ll find each hike is different - exploring communities, shorelines or glaciated landscapes, often on the lookout for wildlife. Hiking participation is optional and your Expedition Team will advise you of what you can expect prior to each excursion.
POSSIBLE LANDINGS AND WILDLIFE SIGHTINGS IN GREENLAND
The Red Fjord, or Rypefjord, is named for the colorful sandstone located on its western side. The stone has been ‘stained’ red by hematite, creating an oddity in this part of Greenland.
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.
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.
A village town, the second largest in Greenland, Sisimiut is a place the 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.
POSSIBLE LANDINGS AND WILDLIFE SIGHTINGS IN CANADA
Just off the coast of Baffin Island in the Davis Strait, this island belongs to the Canadian Territory of Nunavut. Monumental Island is a place where both polar bears and walruses can be seen. Zodiac cruising here presents great photographic opportunities.
South of Baffin Island and the Hudson Strait, the largest island in Ungava Bay is called Akpatok Island. This limestone island has tall sea cliffs reaching as high as 250m, creating a perfect habitat for nesting seabirds including the Akpat, or thick-billed murre.
Previously called Lake Harbour, Kimmirut is home to roughly 400 people. This small settlement has had a rich Canadian history, having been an outpost for both the RCMP and Hudson’s Bay Company.
A historic hamlet located on Dorset Island, Cape Dorset is where remains of an ancient Thule settlement were found, dating back to 1000BC. Nearby, Mallikjuaq Territorial Park provides great hiking and exploring options, while the Inuit inhabitants of today are known for producing great works of art.
West Digges and East Digges Islands are part of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago and are home to large colonies of thick-billed murres as well as Iceland gulls and black guillemots. Strong currents in this part of the Hudson Strait also attract abundant sea life, including cetaceans and the beautiful ringed seal.
Since 1920, Coats Island has been a protected area for caribou. There are also good chances of spotting walrus and thick-billed murres at Coats Island. At 5,500 square km in size (2,200 square miles) it is one of the largest uninhabited islands in the world.
This community on Southampton Island lies along the northern rim of Hudson Bay. Surprising to many people, the name comes from fossilized coral which can be found in the waters here. It is believed that the last people of the pre-Inuit Tuniit culture lived here, but were wiped out by western disease in the early 1900’s.
Sunken whaling ships and wrecked expedition ships from as far back as the 1700’s give the island a somewhat mysterious and treacherous history. The rocky landscapes of Marble Island have a high proportion of quartzite in them, creating a marble-like look on parts of the island. In addition to interesting geology, the island has plenty of great hiking trails to explore by foot. Travelers with a keen eye may spot lemmings, Arctic hare or Arctic fox here.
This uninhabited island is along the western shore of Hudson Bay, north of Whale Cove. Walrus are a big reason to visit here as they haul-out on shore and can be seen bobbing around in the water.
There are very good chances of spotting beluga whales in the water near Churchill and the town itself is a hive of activity compared to other Arctic communities.
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.
Your trip begins in Toronto, Canada where you will stay in a comfortable hotel.
Meals included: 1 breakfast, 1 dinner
Today’s charter flight will take you from Toronto to Churchill. You’ll be transferred to the port and then take your first Zodiac ride out to the ship, which will be anchored off shore.
Meals included: 5 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 5 dinners
As your expedition heads into the second largest bay in the world, the focus turns back to wildlife watching. There are numerous landing site options in the Bay, including Zodiac excursions around Walrus Island and shore excursions and hiking at Digges, Coats and Marble Islands. The relatively shallow waters of Hudson Bay create a rich marine environment where you may spot a wide variety of animals. The big cliffs at Digges Islands attract black guillemots and Iceland gulls. On the ground you may spot caribou and polar bears. Both bearded and ringed seals are known to frequent this area as well, as are beluga whales.
If you’re anxious for more walrus encounters then Coats Island, and the aptly named Walrus Island, should provide the best opportunities for good viewing in this part of Hudson Bay.
Hiking enthusiast and history buffs will enjoy time here as well. You’ll have the opportunity to hike around Eric’s Cove, Zodiac cruise the bird cliffs at Digges Islands and explore part of Coats Island, which has been a caribou reserve since 1920.
Over at Coral Harbour, a small settlement of Inuit people live on the shores of Southampton Island. This area was home to one of the last Thule Inuit settlements in the Arctic, with Sallirmuit people living here until the 20th Century.
Get ready to get active by hiking on Marble Island. You’ll gain a whole new perspective on life in the Arctic as this part of Hudson Bay has a lengthy list of expedition mysteries and tragic stories. A number of shipwrecks happened around here and even those who survived and sought help from the Inuit died from scurvy in the 1700’s and 1800’s. Failed expeditions to the Northwest Passage and a troubled whaling history helped give Marble Island its nickname of Deadman’s Island.
Meals included: 1 breakfast, 1 lunch, 1 dinner
This little hamlet is dubbed the “Capital of Inuit Art.” Since the 1950’s art has been the primary source of income for this small, local economy. You’ll find plentiful Inuit carvings, lithographs, sculptures and drawings here. The settlement itself has an interesting history, dating back more than 3,000 years.
That ancient Dorset culture gave way over the years to the Thule Culture, of which today’s inhabitants are related. As with most communities here in the north Anglican faith dominates, despite decades of efforts from the Catholic Church.
Meals included: 1 breakfast, 1 lunch, 1 dinner
Stepping foot on Baffin Island at the tiny community of Kimmirut, you’ll have a chance to see how people here still live a traditional Inuit lifestyle. This southern part of Baffin Island has an interesting mix of historical sites to visit or explore while hiking. While the traditional Inuit culture holds strong, you’ll also see an Anglican Church that dates back to 1909. This was also once an important trading post, with the Hudson’s Bay Company setting up here in 1911. Kimmirut will be your first good chance to have a chat with some Canadian Inuit, fewer than 500 people live here and many of them are artists who are happy to show you their impressive indigenous artwork and sculptures. Enjoy time wandering around the settlement, or purchase some Inuit art if something catches your eye.
Meals included: 1 breakfast, 1 lunch, 1 dinner
Continuing along the eastern edge of Baffin Island in an area called Ungava Bay, your next landing is all about birds and bears. The word Akpat is the Inuit name for the thick-billed murre, or Brünnich’s guillemot. These birds nest on the tall limestone cliffs found around the island. This is one of the largest colonies in the world and a favorite spot for polar bears.
Meals included: 1 breakfast, 1 lunch, 1 dinner
Before reaching Baffin Island, you’ll head to the small island with a big name – Monumental Island, which was named as a tribute to Sir John Franklin. This is a well-known island for potential close encounters with some of the Arctic’s most iconic creatures.
Settle in for a Zodiac ride around the island, in search of a walrus haul-out. These haul-outs are places where walrus congregate in great numbers and can provide you with some exceptional photographic opportunities of these tusked pinnipeds.
The walrus often aren’t alone here either, so be sure to keep your eyes on the horizon looking for spots of white roaming along the shorelines. Polar bears are often also seen around Monumental Island.
Meals included: 1 breakfast, 1 lunch, 1 dinner
Most of your day will be spent at sea. This will give you plenty of time to hang out on deck, searching for cetaceans or watching the seabirds glide along above the Arctic Ocean. This Arctic waterway, which separates Greenland and Baffin Island in Canada, is called the Davis Strait. Your Expeditions team will happily recount the story of John Davis, an English explorer who crossed this waterway many times in search of the Northwest Passage.
Meals included: 2 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 2 dinners
Icy fjords, colorful communities and a historical UNESCO World Heritage Site await you in Greenland. You’ll explore by land and sea, first at Sisimiut; which is the second largest settlement in Greenland. Even so, this town has the feel of a small fishing village with a great harbor for walking around and a number of original 18th Century colonial buildings.
Located 75km/46miles north of the Arctic Circle, Sisimiut is the most northern ice-free port in Greenland. You’ll get to watch a demonstration of traditional kayaking, the form of transportation first developed by the Inuit more than 4,000 years ago.
From Sisimiut, you’ll venture further north to Ilulissat, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This community is home to fewer than 5,000 people and more than 6,000 sled dogs. Ilulissat is home to the Sermeq Kujalleq glacier one of the fastest and most active glaciers in the world. As well as some spectacular zodiac cruising, there is also a refreshing longer hike in Ilulissat.
Meals included: 1 breakfast
Today’s charter flight will take you from Greenland to Iceland. The airport in Kangerlussuaq is Greenland’s largest commercial airport, which was once a U.S. military base. You will be transferred to your hotel in Reykjavik, Iceland.
Your Arctic adventure finishes with an overnight stay in Copenhagen.
Some meals are included on your trip (except for North America trips - please refer to your day-to-day itinerary). However, sometimes we think you'll benefit from getting out and discovering the local cuisine. So when a meal is not included, it's a great opportunity to try something new. For group trips, ask your leader for tips on where to get the best meal, or you might decide to dine out as a group and experience the fun together.
Vaccinations may be required for this trip. Talk to your doctor about the up-to-date information for this region.Visas and Permits
It is your responsibility to ensure you have all required visas for your trip. Rules and regulations governing the issuance of visas are constantly changing, and vary for different nationalities and you should check visa requirements with your travel agent or relevant consular authority well before travel.
Visa not required for stays up to 90 days, need onward flight ticket and sufficient funds during stay. This applies to Australians, New Zealanders, Brits, Canadians and Americans.
Visas are currently not required for Australian, New Zealand, US, Canadian or UK/EU passport holders wishing to visit Denmark. Some EU nationals may travel in Europe using only an identity card, however it is your responsibility to check with the relevant authorities if this applies to you.
You are required to have travel insurance before heading off on a Peregrine trip. Insurance can be organised by your Peregrine representative or your travel agent.Responsible Travel
Our Responsible Travel ethos is at the heart of everything we do, from getting the basics right like respecting local cultures and the environment, to initiating projects that make positive contributions to communities, to our staff’s fundraising efforts and offsetting our carbon emissions.
Please visit our Responsible Travel (http://www.peregrineadventures.com/rt) page for more information.
Our Pre Departure Information or Travel Dossier (provided upon booking a trip) provides tips on how you can show respect for the local customs and culture in the country you are travelling in.
The information listed above is a brief description of some things you may need to consider when booking a trip. Once a tour is booked you will be provided with a link to your Travel Dossier which will contain detailed Pre Departure information.
These Trip Notes should be read in conjunction with Peregrine’s Arctic pre-departure information that is provided to you shortly after booking. A second information manual dealing with Arctic history, geology, geography, marine and bird life will also be provided.
Please note that due to the exploratory nature of this expedition, weather, ice, wildlife or other conditions may require changes be made to the itinerary and/or cancellation of certain shore excursions. Every effort will be made to adhere to the itinerary, within the limits of safety and time constraints. We shall fit in as many stops as is practical along the way allowing you to experience as much as possible of this wonderful area. The locations mentioned in this itinerary are just some of the highlights of our fascinating expedition of discovery and exploration and we shall attempt further landings wherever and whenever time and local conditions permit.
In addition to funds for on-board expenses, it is possible to purchase souvenirs in some locations such as books, t-shirts, windcheaters, stamps, postcards, caps and some really good knitwear on many of the shore excursions that include visits to villages or towns. In addition some museums and sites charge entry fees and in some locations you may wish to buy some food and drink (although the meals on the ship are very good and plentiful!). Visa and MasterCard are accepted on board our ship, but elsewhere they are of limited use. Icelandic krónurs (ISK) cash are accepted in Iceland, although some businesses may accept credit cards. However, please note that there is almost nowhere in Greenland that will take credit cards and very, very few places are willing to accept foreign currency. Danish Kroner are a must for Greenland and they should be purchased before your trip starts. Credit cards again are of limited use. Please remember that all on board services are charged in US dollars and your on-board account (bar, gift shop, medical, gratuities) can be paid for by either US dollars cash, US dollars travellers cheques and the above-mentioned credit cards.
Please read our Arctic pre-departure information carefully. Although you don’t need to make expensive, specialist-clothing purchases for this trip, you will need clothes that adequately protect against cold and wet conditions. (Sea spray is common on board Zodiacs). It is recommended that you have warm, waterproof clothing available for use upon arrival to protect yourself against the inclement weather. A Zodiac transfer from the pier to the ship is likely to take place, so please be prepared with appropriate clothing.
4. Motion sickness:
Although our vessels are among the most stable ships in their class, we will still inevitably encounter motion. Unless you are certain you are impervious to the problem, you should take precautions against seasickness. Your doctor can advise you as to the best methods for avoiding this uncomfortable condition.
We suggest you allow the equivalent of US$11-13 a day for gratuities for the crew and expedition staff. This is usually collected just prior to the end of the cruise. If you wish, the amount can be paid by Visa or MasterCard.
6. Sea kayaking:
There are separate Trip Notes for the sea kayaking option. Some of the fjords of Svalbard and Greenland in particular are outstanding and unique locations for this activity. Please note that this option must be booked prior to your departure from home and it cannot be booked on the ship. Some prior experience is required.
Peregrine Voyage Documentation
Once you have booked your voyage to the Polar regions with Peregrine, you will be required to complete a series of online forms. You will be sent a link via email (my polar forms) which will take you to an enrollment form, cruise contract, medical form, arrival/departure information form and expedition parka size order form. These forms must be completed.
The information provided here is given in good faith and has been compiled with all reasonable care. However, things change and some of the information may become out of date. Please keep this in mind when you read it and check with us if you want to be sure about something. The document was correct at time of printing, but you can check online for the most up to date version. If you have any queries, please contact your travel agent or our staff in Australia. We are here to help you!
22 July 2013