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Greenland and Canada's High Arctic 2015

Introduction

This document contains essential information that you need to prepare for, as well as information you will need during your holiday with Peregrine.

We ask that you read it carefully and that you take the document with you on your holiday. It contains information on visas, vaccinations, spending money, etc, as well as a detailed, day by day itinerary of your trip.


Your Trip

What's Included

Transport

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.


Preparing to Travel

Safety

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!).

Visas and Permits

Greenland

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.

Denmark

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.

Government travel advice

Many governments publish up-to-date travel advice for countries around the world. Information is gleaned from both local and international sources as well as ‘friendly’ governments, and the notices are often on the cautious side. Sometimes there will be conflicting information. For example, the Australian, UK and Canadian governments may agree on the nature of the advice; however, frequently they do not. And sometimes the views expressed by a particular government can be coloured by political considerations. We will monitor these travel advisories closely and may alter itineraries or cancel trips as a result. However, it is also your responsibility to stay informed and form a balanced view. We recommend that you visit the websites or contact the departments listed below. Unless otherwise stated, it is not normally the intention of the relevant government travel advice to dissuade you from travelling. Rather, it is to inform you of where and when you should exercise caution to avoid problems. Please also note that, as a responsible tour operator, we maintain constant links with our ground operators and your safety - at all times - is our paramount concern. You can check your government's latest travel advice at one of the links below:

Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade 

UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office

Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade

U.S. Department of State

New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Passport

Please ensure that you have a current passport well before travelling. It also needs an accurate photo and should be valid for at least six months after you are scheduled to return home. Also check that your airline tickets are in exactly the same name as your passport.

Insurance

Every Peregrine traveller is required to have comprehensive travel insurance. This covers you for medical costs associated with hospitalisation, emergency travel and repatriation back to your home country. You can arrange your own insurance or we can recommend a policy for you. Remember to bring a copy of your insurance policy with you so your tour leader/guide can record the details at the pre-tour briefing. If you arrive at your destination without travel insurance, you'll need to organise this before you can continue on your Peregrine journey.

Medical preparation

Apart from having travel insurance and being in generally good health, some pre-holiday health preparation is advised. We strongly recommend you visit your doctor to discuss health requirements for your trip. They will advise you regarding the appropriate inoculations and in some places anti-malarial medication may also be required. Some vaccines need to be administered a few weeks before departure so allow plenty of time. Obtain a certificate of vaccination and carry this with you on this trip. A dental checkup is also highly recommended before departure.

Copies of key documents

We recommend that you photocopy the main pages of your passport, your airline ticket, itinerary, insurance policy and credit cards. Keep one set of photocopies with you, separate from the originals. Leave one set of copies at home with family or friends. It is also worth taking some extra passport photos with you.

What to take

General Packing List

The Arctic usually has - relatively - mild weather conditions in high summer. Temperatures below -5ºC are not common (although wind-chill factor can significantly add to the effect.) As a result, you should not need to make many expensive specialist gear purchases, although you do need good wet weather pants and you do need warm clothing. Wet weather jacket and boots are supplied on board the ship. On shore we do aim to provide hiking and walking opportunities whenever possible, so a reasonable pair of walking shoes or boots is suggested.


The dress code on board is relaxed and casual; you will not need to dress formally for meals. The inside of the ship is well heated, so you will not require special clothing on board. Indeed, you could spend most of your time in light trousers and a t-shirt! However, it is not unusual for you to want to go out on deck suddenly - a whale sighting, or seals on a nearby ice-floe or hopefully a polar bear - nearly always produce a major exodus, so you need to keep warm clothing handy at all times, even when a shore excursion is not imminent. When you do go ashore you will require warm clothing - a few layers of light and medium-weight items which can be easily adjusted rather than one or two large and bulky items - and wet weather gear to protect you from the spray which can sometimes be encountered on the Zodiacs.

 

Below is a list of equipment and documentation that we suggest you take with you. Please use this checklist as a guide when packing for your holiday. Laundry facilities are available on board the ship.

Travel documents: passport, visa (if required), travel insurance, air tickets or e-ticket receipts, Trip Notes
Photocopy of main passport pages, visa (if required), travel insurance and air tickets
Spare passport photos
Money: cash/credit card/EFTPOS card
Money belt (for travelling en route)
Small first-aid kit
Ecologically friendly laundry soap
Daypack (lightweight and waterproof)
Watch/alarm clock and torch/flashlight (and spare batteries)
Electrical adapter plug
Toiletries/travel wipes
Sunscreen, lip balm, moisturising cream, sunhat and sunglasses (with UV protection)
Swimsuit (in case you wish to take the Polar Plunge)
Earplugs and eye mask (for light sleepers)
Extra pair of prescription glasses (if required)
2 strong plastic garbage bags (for laundry and in case of rain)
Refillable water bottle
Phrase book (if travelling en route to ship)
Gloves (2 pairs minimum)
Hat that covers ears
Scarf or other face protection
Wind and waterproof pants (a few sizes larger)
Warm pants
Comfortable shoes
Long wool or cotton socks (for expeditions)
Silk or polypropylene socks (for inside the ship)
Jumpers/sweaters/fleeces
Cotton turtlenecks and t-shirts
Camera and spare film (or recharge for digital cameras)
Plastic bags with zippers for carrying film, etc
Binoculars

Your prescritpion medication, seasickness medication and painkillers


Money Matters

Currency

Greenland

Danish Krone

Denmark

Denmark uses the Danish Krone (DKK). Notes are in denominations of DKK1000, 500, 200, 100 and 50. Coins are in denominations of DKK20, 10, 5 and 1, and 50 øre.

Exchange rates

Refer to www.xe.com for current exchange rates.

Accessing Money

Greenland

The main bank, Grønlandsbanken readily exchange traveller's cheques for a commission of around US$5 and offer cash advances on Visa and MasterCard. Major credit cards are accepted in tourist resorts and restaurants and hotels. Larger towns now have ATMs that recognise all major foreign plastic.

Denmark

The Danish krone is the currency used in Denmark and is represented as Dkr. US$1 equals around Nkr5.58, A$1 equals about Nkr5.22 (2013). ATM’s are widespread throughout the country. Post offices and banks exchange major foreign currencies and accept all travellers' cheques. Some banks charge a fee per cheque so you'll save money bringing travellers' cheques in higher denominations.

Airport Taxes

Denmark

There are no locally paid departure taxes payable when leaving Danish airports.


While you are travelling

Hotel Check In / Check Out

Generally, your room is available after midday, and check-out is usually around 10 am. Sometimes it may be available mid-morning with prior request, but this is in no way guaranteed. If your flight is scheduled to arrive early in the morning, you may have to wait until a room becomes available. If arriving early or departing late, we suggest that you book an extra night's accommodation which will ensure that your room is ready whenever you arrive. All rooms have private facilities wherever possible. In Europe, it is common to have a bathtub equipped with a hand-held shower nozzle instead of a wall-mounted shower head. If you request a double bed, please keep in mind that European double beds are often two twin beds that have been pushed together. Also note that single rooms are often smaller than double rooms, although they cost more per person. Single room availability is limited. Make your reservations early during the busy season, as rooms in cities book well in advance. The hotels we utilise in Europe tend to fall within the 2 to 3 official star rating of the country being visited. We never contract 4 or 5 star properties and some smaller pensions and guesthouses may not have a star rating. Our properties are chosen for their good locations, smaller size and if possible 'family-run' nature.

A couple of rules

In most countries even the smallest quantity of an illegal substance is considered a very serious offence and can carry lengthy jail terms. Avoid any contact with illegal drugs. Don’t put yourself and others at risk and never carry bags or luggage for other people. Any person found to be carrying or using illegal drugs will be asked to leave the trip immediately without the right to any refund.

 

Everyone has the right to feel safe and secure on their trip. We don't tolerate any form of sexual harassment at Peregrine, either between passengers or involving our leaders or local operators. Sexual relationships (consensual or otherwise) between a leader and a passenger are unacceptable. If you ever feel another person is behaving inappropriately please inform us immediately by contacting the emergency contact number detailed in these trip notes.


Other Important 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.

1. Itinerary:
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.

2. Budgeting:
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. 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.

3. Clothes:
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. 

PLEASE NOTE: There is a strict baggage limit on the flights included in this trip of 15kgs checked baggage and 5kgs carry on.

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.

5. Gratuities:
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.


Day to Day Itinerary

Greenland and Canada's High Arctic 2015

Trip Length

Trip Code

13 days PPGC15

Maximum Passengers

111 people

Countries Visited

Canada - Arctic, Greenland, Denmark

Start City

End City

Copenhagen Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Greenland and Canada's High Arctic 2015

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.

Day 1: Copenhagen, Denmark

Enjoy an included night in Copenhagen, Denmark and meet your fellow travellers. 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

Meals included: 1 breakfast, 1 dinner

After landing in Kangerlussuaq, you’ll be transferred to the port and then take your first Zodiac ride out to the ship. In the afternoon, we will travel down one of the longest fjords in Greenland.

Day 3-7: West Greenland

Meals included: 5 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 5 dinners

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.  You’ll get to watch a demonstration of
traditional kayaking before venturing further north to Ilulissat.

 

A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Ilulissat is home to the Sermeq Kujalleq glacier, one of the fastest and most active glaciers in the world. In addition to some spectacular Zodiac cruising, there is also a refreshing longer hike along a boardwalk to a beautiful lookout in Ilulissat. Heading further north into the Upernavik Archipelago, you may spot whales and seals. The most northern discovery of any Viking artefacts in the world are at Upernavik; while nearby Kullorsuaq is a small settlement that sustains itself on fishing, whaling and sealing.

 

Your northern most stops in Greenland are Dundas and Qaanaaq, where glaciers and archaeological sites are found. In Qaanaaq, you’ll visit the local
museum; a great way to gain a deeper appreciation for what it takes to live this far north.

Day 8: Cobourg Island

Meals included: 1 breakfast, 1 lunch, 1 dinner

You’ll leave Greenland today as we sail over to Canada and visit Cobourg Island. Polar bears and various species of whales may also been seen here!
It is also an important bird area, where the cliffs are packed with thick-billed murres, northern fulmars, black-legged kittiwakes, guillemots and glaucous gulls.

Day 9-11: Lancaster Sound

Meals included: 3 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 3 dinners

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 highlighted by visiting the remains of a Royal Canadian Mounted Police post. At Croker Bay, an actively
calving glacier often litters the bay with numerous icebergs.


Another important bird area, Prince Leopold Island is home to more than 500,000 seabirds, while the Canadian National Historic Site of Beechey Island is the site of a small grave site, with markers for men who died during Sir John Franklin’s tragic expedition in 1845-46.


One of the best archaeological sites in the high Canadian arctic can be found at Radstock Bay, your final landing site before your journey home.

Day 12: Toronto

Meals included: 1 breakfast, 1 lunch, 1 dinner

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.

Day 13: Toronto, Canada

Meals included: 1 breakfast

Check out of the hotel, anytime after breakfast and depart for home.

About this information

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!

Your feedback is important

At Peregrine we are always looking for ways to improve our trips and your feedback is invaluable to us and to our tour guides. It tells us what we're doing right, what you believe could be done better and what improvements you feel could help future travellers choose and enjoy Peregrine. At the end of your trip we ask that you to take a few minutes of your time to complete our on-line feedback form. Just go to http://www.peregrineadventures.com/tour-feedback for our easy to fill out questionnaire. We’d love to hear what you have to say!

Last Updated

15 April 2015


General Contact Details

Peregrine Adventures

Phone: 855-832-4859
E-mail: sales@peregrineadventures.com
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