Adventure Canada - vacations and travel

Heart of the Arctic

  • Kangerlussuaq
  • Active & Adventure
Canada

from $3,995* per person 13 Days September
Comfort accommodations Exertion level: 3
Operator: Adventure Canada 12 people max
For the Inuit, the north represents their chosen landscape for survival and is home to their rich artistic and cultural legacy, which is alive and responsive to the new challenges of the twenty-first century. Our Heart of the Arctic program celebrates this legacy, as we will continue an enriching program of exploration, cultural immersion, art and archaeology with a host of outstanding resource guides and exceptional guests.

Our journey begins as we sail up Kangerlussuaq Fiord, West Greenland's longest and most captivating. We will compare and contrast Greenlandic communities with the Canadian territories of Nunavut and Nunavik. Visiting hamlets, engaging in sports and cultural events we arrive at a deeper understanding of our neighbours to the north.

As well known Arctic archaeologist and author Bob McGhee has written, "our southern vision of the Arctic is so enticing that it cannot be entirely submerged in reality." The arts of the Inuit have informed southern audiences for the last 60 years with visual imagery that has fired our imaginations. Through sculpted forms, prints and drawings and magnificent weavings we only glimpse this spectacular landscape. We now have the privilege of experiencing first hand, their reality.

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Itinerary

Day 1: Kangerlussuaq (Søndre Strømfjord), Greenland

Arriving into Kangerlussuaq, it is possible to see the largest ice cap in the world from your airplane window. Boarding the Clipper Adventurer in the afternoon, we will make our journey down spectacular Sondre Stromfjord.

Day 2: Kangaamiut & Evighedsfjorden (Kangerlussuatsiaq)

This morning we arrive in Kangaamiut, a small fishing community in the municipality of Qeqqata. During our visit to this colourful town, we'll be hosted by a local family and enjoy a presentation in the church before and optional hike.
This afternoon we vist Evighedsfjorden (Kangerlussuatsiaq), known as the Eternity Fjord. As we cruise along this meandering fjord, we find ourselves surrounded by the highest mountains in West Greenland - reaching heights of over 2,000 metres! We?ll seek out the seals and whales who reside in the area, and scan the bird cliffs.

Day 3: Nuuk

Welcome to Nuuk, the capital of Greenland! Nuuk, meaning 'the headland' and is situated at the mouth of a gigantic fjord system. Established as the very first Greenlandic town in 1728, Nuuk has a history that dates back over 4,200 years. Today, Nuuk is the world's smallest capital city with a population of only 15,000. Here we have a chance to spot Humpback whales in the fjord, reindeer roaming the land and birds soaring in the sky. The town itself is home to Greenland's University, a cathedral dating back to 1849 and Greenland's National Museum. We will visit some of the city's most important sites, before free time to explore on your own.

Day 4: Crossing Davis Strait

While crossing Davis Strait, we'll relax and enjoy onboard lectures and opportunities to watch for wildlife from the ship's decks.

Day 5: Pangnirtung (Cumberland Peninsula)

'Pang' is situated at the foot of one of the most spectacular backdrops of the Canadian Arctic. Mount Duval, at 850m, casts brilliant shadows and clouds over the boats moored in the bay, creating an ideal photo-op for shutterbugs. We'll visit the print shop and tapestry studio at the Uqqurmiut Art Centre. Pangnirtung is a major Baffin arts community.

Day 6: Monumental Island

The tiny pile of rocks known as Monumental Island lies at the mouth of Frobisher Bay, where the mixing of ocean currents from Hudson Strait creates a rich environment for ocean life. The tides here are some of the strongest in the world; depending on ice and tide conditions we will explore the area in search of polar bear, walrus and whale.

Day 7: South Baffin Coast

We will continue along the beautiful South Baffin Coast looking for a nature stop along the way.

Day 8: Kimmirut (Lake Harbour)

The population of Kimmirut is approximately 400. Once the administrative center of south Baffin, it is now one of the smallest communities in the region. An Anglican mission was established here in 1909, followed closely in 1911 by the first Hudson Bay Company trading post in the Baffin Region. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police established their first detachment in the Baffin region here in 1926. Elders here remember art legend, James A. Houston, newly married to his first wife, Alma, passing through by dogteam in the early days of 1951, en route to Kinngait (Cape Dorset). Today, the economy thrives on harvesting marine mammals, fish and land game. Many residents are renowned carvers whose art is sold and collected around the world.

Day 9 and 10: Kinngait (Cape Dorset)

Along the northwest shore of Dorset Island, surrounded on one side by rocky hills and on the Other by Hudson Strait, lies the community that art built. Between 1950 and 1962, Kinngait hosted a historic collaboration between local Inuit and James and Alma Houston ? the collaboration that launched Inuit art onto the world stage. In the distance are the jagged outlines of islands, and the inlets of Baffin Island's southern coast. Like most other settlements in Nunavut, Kinngait is a modern community, with winding gravel roads, small wooden houses, schools, stores, hotels, a nursing station, government offices and churches. But it is the outstanding artists, printmakers and carvers that have made Cape Dorset the Inuit art capital of the world.

Day 11: Markham Bay

The Markham Bay eider colony is situated on the southern coast of Baffin Island in eastern Nunavut. The terrain is gently rolling with numerous freshwater ponds. The birds nest in fractured rock habitat where the vegetation is abundant.

Day 12: Savage Islands

The lower savage islands form a small archipelago in the wild waters between the southeastern tip of Baffin Island and Resolution Island. The islands were a stopping place for Inuit and their Palaeo-Eskimo predecessors as they travelled between the south coast of Baffin Island and the northern tip of the Labrador-Quebec peninsula. An ideal place for spotting polar bears.

Day 13: Iqaluit

Sitting amid rolling hills is the transportation hub of the Arctic, Iqaluit. A major transfer point between flights to other northern communities, Iqaluit is also the smallest capital city in Canada with a population of just over 6,000! In late summer, the hills are coloured with the bright blooms of Arctic wildflowers. We will say goodbye to the Arctic landscape as we board our flight home.

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