About the Itinerary
The ship- and land-based journey will explore the eastern Canadian Arctic and western Greenland. Every day on land and aboard our ice-strengthened expedition vessel will be different. Our approach to expedition learning weaves together exciting shore landings, interpretive hikes, community visits, Zodiac cruises, and exploration.
As always, weather, ice or other conditions may necessitate changes to the itinerary. Flexibility is the key!
|July 29||Ottawa, Canada: Our team of students, chaperones, educators and other expedition staff will assemble in Ottawa for pre-expedition activities. Accommodation at Carleton University Prescott House. Other team members joining the expedition from outside of North America will meet the group the following day in Iqaluit, Nunavut.|
|July 30-31||Iqaluit, Nunavut: A full schedule of educational and team-building activities will take place during the first two days of the expedition. This will be an important time for students and staff to get acquainted and prepare for what lies ahead. There will likely be opportunities to explore the town of Iqaluit (which means ‘salmon trout’ in Inuktitut) and the hiking trails of the surrounding region.|
|August 1||Set Sail from Iqaluit: Arctic 2012 Expedition Launch Event (Sylvia Grinell Park). Set sail in the early evening aboard the Academic Ioffe vessel.|
Hantzsch Island (AM) and Savage Islands: Our visit to Hantzsch Island will likely include a sighting Thick-Billed Murres and Black-Legged Kittiwakes. Anyone up for an Arctic swim?
We will finish the day in the Savage Islands located in the wild waters off the southeastern tip of Baffin Island. In pure expedition spirit, we hope to make a landing to these rarely visited Islands. Our expedition staff and education team will lead us on hikes across the tundra. We hope to find evidence of the Palaeo-Eskimo people who may have used the Savage Islands as a resting place as they traveled between the south coast of Baffin Island and the northern-tip of the Labrador-Quebec Peninsula.
|August 3||Monumental Island and Butterfly Bay, Nunavut: We will visit the remote and rocky island off the west coast of Baffin Island – home to hundreds of Walrus and usually a good place to view Polar Bears. We will also stop in Butterfly Bay where there will be icebergs to see, beaches to cruise, wildlife to spot and some fantastic hills and tundra to hike.|
|August 4||Cape Mercy / Icebergs: As we continue south and sail along the east coast of Baffin Island toward Cape Mercy, our education staff will be busy on deck and in the lecture hall discussing the impacts of climate change on this area of the Arctic. We will be in a world of ice and there should be many opportunities to observe icebergs and wildlife on deck. We hope to see more whales and seals, and to have opportunities to lower the Zodiacs into the water for some icy expedition exploration!|
|August 5||Sunshine Fjord (to be confirmed): We will be exploring some of Canada’s most remote regions along the coast of Baffin Island and in the Sunshine Fjord we will have the opportunity to search for Polar Bear, Beluga and other wildlife. Zodiac landings will be attempted to hike and explore the landscape.|
|August 6||Qikiqtarjuaq, Nunavut: Today we sail further north along Baffin Island’s rocky east coast and visit Qikiqtarjuaq, a small Inuit hamlet inhabited by about 500 people. We expect to encounter sea ice – and it will be all hands on deck to spot whales, seals and birdlife! Our shipboard education program continues with a variety of presentations, workshops and activities.|
|August 7||At sea: Today we bid farewell to Nunavut and begin the journey across the Davis Strait to Greenland! Our team will be keeping a vigilant watch for wildlife, attending presentations and group workshops.|
|August 8||Ummanaaq, Greenland: ‘Ummanaaq’ (pop. 1300) means ‘heart-shaped’ and it boasts the 1175m red gneiss peak. Sitting at a latitude of 70 degrees North, Ummanaaq is known as Greenland’s sunniest spot. It’s one of the only Greenlandic towns where everyone lives in single family dwellings as there’s too little space and too much solid rock to anchor blocks of apartment buildings. We’ll visit the Ummanaaq museum, the Church, turft huts and blubber house. Education program ongoing (lectures and workshops).|
|August 9||Ilulissat, Greenland: Meaning ‘the icebergs’, Ilulissat offers cold seas typically crowded with icebergs and ice floes. Home to Greenland’s famous explorer Knud Rasmussen, Ilulissat has become the country’s most popular tourist destination. We’ll visit the Knud Rasmussen museum, Petersen Art Museum, participating in a traditional crafts workshop. Education program ongoing (lectures and workshops).|
|August 10||Aasiaat, Greenland: Aasiaat is Greenland’s fifth-largest community, sitting on an island amidst low, rocky inlets near the southern entrance to Disko Bay. We’ll take a hike in the low hills surrounding the town, which offer some excellent views of the archipelago. Education program ongoing (lectures and workshops).|
|August 11||Sisimuit, Greenland: Sisimiut, ‘the fox hole burrowers’ is Greenland’s northernmost ice-free port, lying 75 km north of the Arctic Circle. It is the third-largest town in Greenland with 4400 residents and the weather tends to be better than in most other parts of the west coast. Sisimuit is also the southernmost extent of walrus habitat. We’ll take a walking tour of the town, gentle hike. Education program ongoing (lectures and workshops).|
|August 12||Kangerlussuaq, Greenland – fly to Iqaluit/Ottawa: Our final day of the expedition will be spent in Kangerlussuaq, ‘the big fjord’, which lies just north of the Arctic Circle in Greenland’s widest ice-free zone at the head of its third longest fjord. Thanks to its inland position, the continental effect provides a stable climate and some of the island’s most extreme temperatures, which range from minus 50 degrees Celsius in winter to 28 degree C in 24 hour summer daylight. It’s also the best place in Greenland to observe native wildlife. From here, we fly to Iqaluit where some members of the group will bid the others farewell and fly home to their respective northern communities. The rest of the team will fly on to Ottawa.|
|August 13||Ottawa: Welcome Back Event at the Canadian Museum of Nature. Accommodation at Carleton University Prescott House.|