The Expedition

The 2018 Arctic Expedition begins in Canada’s capital city, Ottawa. We will fly to Kangerlussuaq, Greenland and set sail to discover the communities, fiords, bays and islands along the country’s west coast including the famous Ilulissat Icefjord, a UNESCO World Heritage site. The ship will then cross the Davis Strait.

Once in Canada, we will visit Sirmilik National Park, and explore Pikialasorsuaq (the North Water Polynya), an oceanographic feature that is the largest and the most biologically productive of its kind found north of the Arctic Circle. Our journey will take us through the eastern entrance of the Northwest Passage and Tallurutiup Imanga (Lancaster Sound), Canada’s largest National Marine Conservation Area. The expedition will end in Resolute Bay, Nunavut where we will board our charter flights back to Ottawa.

The journey will be filled with workshops, panel discussions, shore landings, Zodiac excursions, wildlife sightings and more! Students learn through the lens of science, art, history, policy and culture, grounded in an understanding and appreciation for the people who call the Arctic home. They share and connect to their peers, the expedition educators, and the land and waters around them.

Each day will be filled with exploration, discovery, presentations, workshops, hands-on research, hikes, and lots of adventure! Activities will include wildlife encounters, visits to Arctic communities as well as the opportunity to acquire first-hand knowledge and insight into the dynamics of climate change, traditional knowledge, scientific research, policy and other important Arctic and global topics.

Detailed Itinerary

*Please note the following dates and locations are subject to change

July 21- Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

·       Northern Pre-Program at Nunavut Sivuniksavut

July 22, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

·       Northern Pre-Program at Nunavut Sivuniksavut

July 23, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

·       Our 15-day Arctic expedition will begin in Ottawa, Canada’s capital region. Our team of students, chaperones, educators and expedition staff will arrive from around the world and we will officially launch the expedition with a presentation by our Expedition Leader in the evening.

July 24, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

·       Expeditioners will embark on the second day of orientation! We will see the sights in Ottawa, including the Canadian Museum of Nature, Gatineau Park, the Parliament Buildings and more! We will also engage in team-building activities and educational presentations.

July 25, Kangerlussuaq, Greenland

·       This morning we will board our charter flight to Kangerlussuaq, where our floating home, the MS Ocean Endeavour, awaits! Upon arrival, we will be given a safety briefing and assigned cabins before we set sail down Sonderestrom fjord.

July 26, Itelliq Fiord, Greenland

·       Our first landing in Greenland will be on the shores of Itelliq Fiord! We will spend the day familiarizing ourselves with expedition routines, exploring the tundra and enjoying land-based workshops.

July 27, Ilulissat, Greenland

·       As we approach this picturesque coastal town, we will sail amongst a gallery of icebergs in the Jakobshaven Icefjord. Ilulissat and the neighbouring Sermeq Kujalleq glacier are recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, noted for producing the most icebergs of all glaciers in the northern hemisphere.

July 28, Uummannaq, Greenland

·       Uummannaq, which means ‘heart-shaped’ in Greenlandic, gains it’s name from a nearby mountain that resembles a heart. We will spend the day onshore visiting the community and exploring the surrounding area before setting sail westward to the eastern Canadian Arctic!

July 29, David Strait Crossing

·       We will spend the day at sea, crossing the David Strait from western Greenland to Baffin Island. Taking advantage of a full day onboard, a variety of educational opportunities such as lectures, guided reflection, hands-on science, art and song-writing workshops will be offered.

July 30, Mittimatalik, Nunavut, Canada

·       Our first stop in the Canadian Arctic is Mittimatalik (Pond Inlet), a vibrant community that boarders Lancaster Sound on the northeastern coast of Baffin Island. We will spend the day engaging with local community members and participating in land-based workshops.

July 31, Kinngaarjuk, Nunavut, Canada

·       Surrounded by the ice-capped mountains of Coutts Inlet, our day will be filled with land-based workshops that focus on the natural and human history of this region. The Expedition Team will also take to the water and explore this stunning landscape by Zodiac.

August 1, Sirmilik National Park, Nunavut, Canada

·       Sirmilik is an Inuktitut word meaning ‘place of many glaciers’. While visiting this national park, our Expedition Team will be joined by Inuit elders and youth from Pond Inlet, and Parks Canada staff to share their adventures and connect visitors to their homeland.

August 2, Qurvik, Nunavut, Canada

·       Expeditioners will cruise around Qurvik (Cobourg Island), which is part of Nirjutiqavvik- Canada’s northernmost National Wildlife Area. The North Water polynya, the largest reoccurring polynya in the Arctic, influences the productivity and community structure of this area.

August 3, Aujuittuq, Nunavut, Canada

·       Aujuittuq (Grise Fiord), or ‘place that never thaws’, is the most northernly community in North America. We will spend the day visiting with community members and learning about the history, culture and lifestyle of this vibrant Hamlet.

August 4,  Talluruti and Croker Bay, Nunavut, Canada

·       Expeditioners will visit and learn about the history of the former RCMP post, Talluruti (Dundas Harbour), which was inhabited from 1924-1933, and 1945-1951. Nearby in Croker Bay, our expedition team will enjoy shore landings, hikes and workshops by the South Croker Glacier

August 5, Iluvulik and Appait, Nunavut, Canada

·       Our Expedition Team will embark on a morning landing to Iluvilik (Beechey Island), the historic site where the Franklin Expedition overwintered in 1845-1846. Later, we will zodiac beneath the towering cliffs of Appait (Prince Leopold Island Migratory Bird Sanctuary), one of the most important multi-species seabird colonies in the Arctic.

August 6, Qausuittuq, Nunavut, Canada

·       The ship-based portion of our expedition will end in Qausuittuq (Resolute Bay). We will disembark our floating home and spend the morning exploring the community before boarding our charter flight back to Ottawa.

August 7, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

·       Students On Ice and the Canadian Museum of Nation will host a public Welcome Back event in the morning for our Expedition Team. Friends and family will be invited to join us in celebration before we bid farewell to our expedition teammates and begin to travel home in the afternoon!

How to Participate

SOI Expeditions are open to high school and university applicants from around the world. Scholarships are available. Learn more and apply!

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Meet our Educators

A global team of scientists, elders, artists, musicians, historians, and industry leaders who help to foster a deeper understanding and appreciation for the Polar Regions through cross-disciplinary learning.

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Alumni Stories

SOI Expeditions are just the first step in a life-long journey of discovery. Learn more about our global community of talented and diverse alumni.

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This website was made possible by a generous contribution from the Leacross Foundation.