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.
The 2014 Arctic Expedition will begin in Canada’s capital city, Ottawa. We then will fly to Kuujjuaq, Quebec and set sail to discover the Torngat Mountains National Park through zodiac excursions, hikes and visits with elders. The next day we will explore Naffak Brook and Rose Island. Following this we set sail through the Davis Strait crossing on our way to the west coast of Greenland. Once in Greenland we will stop in Nanortalik, Tasermiut/ Prins Christian Sund Fiords, Arsuk, Nuuk and Kangerlussuatsiaq. During this stretch of the expedition we will have the opportunity to explore many communities, fiords, icebergs and more. The expedition ends in Kangerlussuaq, Greenland where we board our charter flights back to Ottawa. The final day of expedition ends at the Canadian Museum of Nature in Ottawa for the welcome back event.
|Ottawa, Canada: Our team of students, chaperones, educators and other expedition staff will assemble in Ottawa for 3 days of pre-expedition activities including a tour of the Canadian Museum of History, Parliament of Canada, and Rideau Hall along with team building activities and expedition information sessions. Accommodations are at Carleton University.|
Kuujjuaq, QC: Today will be an exciting day as expeditioners depart for Kuujjuaq, Northern Quebec on First Air Charter. Here we will gather with remaining staff, board the expedition vessel, settle in to our cabins and meet the Captain and ship staff as we review safety protocols.
Then it’s time to raise the Students on Ice flag and set sail!
|July 13||Button Islands, Nunavut: This morning we will get off to an early start with a breakfast briefing followed by a presentation by Visitor Experience Manager Gary Baikie with Torngat Mountains National Park. Expeditioners will have the opportunity to learn about the park, bear safety and Zodiac safety before experiencing their first Zodiac excursion and hikes to explore the Button Islands.|
Arrive in the Torngat Mountains National Park
Expeditioners will have the opportunity to meet Elders from the area who will share their stories and discuss the unique lifestyle and hunting practices within their communities. The Elders will also speak to the changes they have witnessed in their environment and what this means for their way of life.
The day will include Zodiac excursions and hikes to explore Nachvak Fiord followed by an afternoon landing in Ramah Bay. Here, the expedition team will learn about the Moravian presence with the Inuit and explore a northern most Moravian settlement.
Saglek Fiord, Torngat Base Camp & Research Station
Each summer, the Torngat Mountatin National Park brings together Inuit elders and youth from Nunatsiavut and Nunavik along with researchers and Parks Canada staff to share their adventures and connect visitors to their homeland. This is the Torngat Mountains Base Camp and Research Station. Expeditioners will tour this area and speak with elders and park staff in the morning and experience an Inuit lunch at one of the shore based cooking stations (fish, panitsiaks on the rocks!).
The afternoon will include an Inukshuk hike, a Zodiac cruise to explore Shuldham and Big Island followed by an exciting evening of music, singing, dancing and Inuit games, stories and performances around the bonfire.
Naffak Brook & Rose Island
The morning will begin with lots of adventure as we arrive in Naffak Brook, load into our Zodiacs and begin a hike along a traditional passage route to an Inukshuk. Expeditioners will also have the opportunity to learn about sod house formation, guided by a team of archeologists, followed by a fishing excursion for Arctic Char.
It’s Arctic Swim Team Polar Dip time! Get your swimsuits on and brave the Arctic waters for our annual Polar Dip, followed by lunch and then back on the ship to set sail for Rose Island.
On Rose Island expeditioners will embark on Zodiac excursions to explore the island’s historic settlements and rich Inuit history and cultural significance as a hunting community for whales and seals.
The evening will include time for connecting with fellow students and staff as we reflect on the day’s experiences and engage in a choice of workshops including music/songwriting, Inuit sewing, painting, printing and drawing.
Day at sea crossing the Labrador Sea towards Greenland.
Today will be a day at sea crossing the Davis Strait and a wonderful opportunity to be out on deck taking in the wildlife (keep a look out for birds & whale sightings!).
This is also an opportunity to reflect on experiences in the Canadian Arctic and to prepare for upcoming adventures in Greenland. Students can catch up on journaling, and participate in presentations by our expert staff covering topics such as climate change, oceanography, history and politics.
Today will begin with presentations and briefings in preparation for our landing at Nanortalik, Greenland’s idyllic southernmost town, whose name means “Place of Polar Bears”.
Expeditioners will enjoy a Nanortalik community visit, hikes and activities to explore and take in this beautiful community surrounded by picturesque fjords, woodlands, hot springs and wildlife.
|July 19||Tasermiut / Prins Christian Sund Fiords
Today will be enjoyed out on the land exploring the majestic fiords of southwestern Greenland. The expedition team will have the opportunity to engage in a variety of workshop activities. One group might join one of the scientists and wade in shallow waters to collect samples. Another group might perch themselves atop a hill and work with one of our artists to sketch and paint the scene in front of them, and a third group will embark on a geology walk with our resident geologist or paleoclimatologist.
Paamiut Area, Arsuk
Arsuk is the only settlement in Paamiut and home to lots of wildlife including seals, abundant birdlife with both falcons and Greenland’s largest convocation of sea eagles and many times of whales including minke whales, fin whales, humpback whales and orcas.
Expeditioners will spend the day exploring the shoreline and marine life via Zodiac, and participate in presentations and workshops.
The evening will provide a variety of opportunities to reflect on the journey within groups and to participate in workshops including music/songwriting, yoga/meditatation, Inuit sewing, painting/drawing and journaling.
Nuuk, capital of Greenland
Today we will explore the capital of Greenland in small groups and embark on walking tours through town including a tour of the Parliament of Greenland. Nuuk is Greenland’s oldest city, founded in 1728, and is now a busy metropolis with 16,000 inhabitants. Our discussions today will center around comparing, contrasting, and celebrating modern Greenlandic culture and reflecting on its cultural development.
|July 22||Kangerlussuatsiaq Evighedsfjorden
The day will be packed full of adventure as we cruise around the Evigheds Fjord by Zodiac and enjoy day hikes and workshops to learn more about the ecology of this area.In the afternoon, expeditioners will engage in Arctic Hour – an opportunity to share experiences and how each of us can leverage our expedition experiences to make a difference in world on a local or global level.This final evening onboard the expedition vessel will end with a celebration of the journey through photos, a talent show and a special appearance by a surprise guest!
Flights depart Kangerlussuaq for Ottawa
The final day in Greenland will involve travel to the Kangerlussuaq airport, reflection time, final letters and time to process the journey and connect with fellow expeditioners before a busy travel schedule home.
Evening flight to Ottawa with transfer to Carleton University accommodations.
Ottawa: Welcome Back Event
SOI partner, the Canadian Museum of Nature will join Students on Ice in hosting a Welcome Back event on July 24, 2014 from 10am-12pm. This is a wonderful celebration of a life-changing journey and an opportunity to hear from partners, staff and YOU about your experiences in the Arctic and with Students on Ice. The event will include a slideshow and musical performances. Friends and family are welcome to attend.
|Remember these are just some of the highlights of our journey. There will be many more locations, stops and activities along the way!|