Baffin Island Explorer

We like this trip for its single-minded focus on Baffin Island, one of the planet’s last great untrodden wildernesses. Highlights include chanced encounters with bowheads and narwhal at Isabella Bay, two planned Inuit community visits and a history lesson as you traverse the gates of the fabled Northwest Passage. One departure.

12 Days

$8,995

Baffin Island Explorer - 12 - $8,995

Trip Summary and Itinerary Map

  • 10 full days exploring - 7 days around Baffin
  • Flights Ottawa/ Iqaluit (Baffin) & Resolute/ Edmonton (charter)
  • This ship’s 1A ice rating makes it ideal for this type of Arctic expedition
  • Kayaking (additional cost)
  • Complimentary loan of a parka jacket, boots, waterproof trousers, backpack & binoculars

Start from Ottawa and end at Resolute

Landmarks visited on Baffin Island Explorer

Operator's Itinerary

Day 1: Ottawa to Iqaluit

You depart Ottawa this morning on the scheduled flight to Iqaluit, situated on Baffin Island. Upon arrival into Iqaluit, enjoy a walking tour of the town and board the expedition ship in the afternoon. After settling into your cabin and exploring the ship, meet your expedition team and fellow passengers. Excitement is in the air as you enjoy a welcome cocktail and cast off to explore one of the most remote places on earth - Baffin Island.


Day 2: Monumental Island

Situated in the Davis Strait, Monumental Island is a well-known location for walrus. Explore by zodiac along the shoreline looking for these fascinating creatures. Watchful eyes may locate smaller pups within the masses. You sometimes encounter polar bears in this vicinity and during their hunting forays, they have been known to chase walrus off their haul out and into the water. Throughout the coming days and rest of the voyage, the onboard experts educate you with a series of presentations about the environment, wildlife and history of Baffin Island and the Canadian Arctic and the planned locations to visit.


Day 3: Pangniqtuuq

Nestled in the heart of Cumberland Sound and the western gateway to Auyuittuq National Park, the village of Pangniqtuuq is beautifully situated between the mountains and the sea. This remote community is a well-known centre for traditional and contemporary arts and crafts - including carvings, prints and textiles. In addition, the Angmarlik Visitor Centre has a wonderful interpretive display featuring the lifestyle and history of the Thule and of the modern Inuit.


Day 4: Sunshine Fjord

Sunshine Fjord straddles the Arctic Circle at 66 degrees, 33 minutes north of latitude. Depending on the weather, you might cruise across the Circle on the ship, cross it in the zodiac boats or the more active option maybe to cross the circle on foot. Whichever way, it's a thrill to be above the Arctic Circle at last!

Sunshine Fjord offers terrific hiking opportunities and there are a number of great routes. You may wish to take the extended hike, gaining elevation and offering wonderful views of the surroundings. Or choose to take the less strenuous option along the shoreline. For the sea kayakers, the sheltered waters of the fjord provide great conditions for paddling.


Day 5: Auyuittuq National Park and Qikiqtarjuaq

On the eastern coast of Baffin Island, lies one of Canada's most spectacular National Parks - Auyuittuq. The landscape is dominated by steep and rugged mountain scenery, extensive glacial systems and powerful rivers. In partnership with Parks Canada, you venture into the park with skilled local guides who are able to interpret the flora, fauna, geological and glacial systems which can be found here. It's a fascinating place experienced by only a few fortunate visitors every season.

You'll be hiking and cruising the rocky shorelines looking for wildlife. There is also a planned visit to Qikiqtarjuaq, a small settlement which is home to several Inuit families. After an inspiring day of exploration, continue north along the coastline of Baffin Island, venturing deeper into the Arctic wilderness.


Day 6: Isabella Bay

Isabella Bay (Niginganiq) is an important summer habitat and feeding area for endangered bowhead whales. These remarkable marine mammals are able to break sea ice with the crown of their head. Polar bears, ringed seals, Canada geese, snow geese and narwhal are also commonly sighted in this vicinity.


Day 7: Gibb Fjord

This morning you enter the spectacular Gibb Fjord with towering cliffs all around you. The expedition ship will seem dwarfed by the giant peaks and snowy glaciers as you cruise slowly along the dark waters. One past guest commented that Gibb Fjord 'was like something out of Lord of the Rings' - and we think you'll agree!


Day 8: Mittimatalik and Sirmilik National Park

Nearing the far north of Baffin Island, you enter a broad channel which is home to the remote Inuit community of Mittimatalik. A highlight is a visit to the Natinnak Centre, where a fascinating cultural exhibit showcases aspects of daily life, culture and history of the people of the north. Inuit carvings, jewellery and other traditional craft is on display and purchasing such items from the local artisans is a great way to support the community.

Mittimatalik is also the main access point to the pristine wilderness of Sirmilik National Park. This jewel in the crown of Canada's Arctic Park system, features spectacular scenery consisting of rugged mountains, ice fields and glaciers, coastal lowlands and sizeable seabird colonies. Even your widest angle camera lens will seem inadequate to capture the vast scenery.


Day 9: Dundas Harbour and Croker Bay

Leaving the wild landscapes of Baffin Island, cross Lancaster Sound to Devon Island. This broad channel of water has been likened to the wildlife 'super highway' of the Arctic. Massive volumes of water from the Atlantic to the east and Pacific to the west, and from the archipelago of islands to the north all mix here, combining to make a rich source of nutrients and food for an abundance of Arctic wildlife. There are plans to visit the old Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) outpost at Dundas Harbour. In the afternoon the team will reposition the ship into Crocker Bay, home to a substantial glacial system


Day 10: Prince Leopold Island

Prince Leopold Island is important migratory bird sanctuary, home to thick-billed murres, black guillemots, northern fulmars and black-legged kittiwakes. A population of several hundred thousand birds, makes this one of the most significant bird sanctuaries in the entire Arctic ecosystem. Given the abundance of food found in the nutrient-rich waters here, we often sight beluga, narwhal and bowhead whales, several species of seal as well as polar bears.


Day 11: Beechey Island

The final shore landing - Beechey Island, is a place of great historic significance and suitable finale to the expedition. It is here that Sir John Franklin' s ill-fated expedition spent its last 'comfortable' winter in 1845 before disappearing into the icy vastness, sparking an incredible series of search expeditions that last almost three decades. The mystery of what happened to Franklin was partially solved in September 2014, when a joint Parks Canada and Royal Canadian Geographic Society expedition, found the long-lost Franklin shipwreck, HMS Erebus in the Victoria Strait. A trip ashore at Beechey Island to visit the grave markers on a remote windswept beach, is a thrilling experience for history buffs.


Day 12: Resolute to Edmonton

Your expedition comes to an end as you arrive into Resolute. The town is named after the British ship HMS Resolute which became trapped in ice and abandoned here in 1850 while searching for the lost Franklin expedition. A weather station and airstrip made Resolute a strategic outpost during the time of the Cold War. After arriving in Resolute you disembark the ship and bid farewell to your crew and fellow passengers. You'll be transferred to the airport for your flight south, to Edmonton. A transfer is also provided from the airport into a central downtown location.


NOTE: This itinerary is for guidance only as each voyage will vary depending on ice and weather conditions, and opportunities to see wildlife. Flexibility is key and all part of the adventure of an expeditionary cruise.

About The Ship

  • A 4* expedition ship for only 96 guests
  • Everyone can go ashore together
  • 1A ice class rating + superior stability
  • Kayaking and photo workshops
  • Hot tub & sauna
  • Boots, jacket & trousers are provided on loan
John Newby

Watching this ship from the bridge cut through rough seas really demonstrated her superior strength.

John Newby Polar Specialist

Prices, Departures and Inclusions

Prices quoted below are per person based on 2 people sharing. Cabin availability changes all the time so please contact us for up-to-date details and information on specific cabin availability.

Triple
Shared Twin
Private Twin
Superior
Shackleton Suite
Captain's Suite
July 2019
22-Jul-2019 $7,895 $8,995* $10,895 $11,795 $13,495 $15,495

* Note: Prices are per person. Paid in USD ($) - figure above is based on today's exchange rate. Actual cost $8995

Additional notes

The charter flights Edmonton/ Cambridge Bay (Nunavut) & Kangerlussuaq (Greenland)/ Ottawa at the beginning and end of the voyage cost an additional $1,995 per person on top of the voyage price.

Optional adventure activities

Sea Kayaking ($695 per person)

Hiking (Free)


Single supplement & Child policy

For those travelling solo and want their own cabin, the single supplement is 1.5 - 2 times the cost of a single berth, depending on cabin category. However, there is no single supplement for passengers willing to share a cabin.

Children are welcome. 25% discount young traveller discount up to 17 years and 20% off those aged 18-21. Please contact us for details.


Includes

  • Voyage aboard the vessel as indicated in the itinerary
  • Accommodation during the voyage on full board basis
  • All shore excursions and zodiac activities
  • Educational lectures by expert onboard polar guides
  • Access to an onboard doctor and basic medical services
  • Loan of rubber boots for the voyage's duration
  • Loan of parka jacket, boots & waterproof trousers
  • Loan of backpack and binoculars
  • Port taxes and any entry fees to historic landing sites

Excludes

  • Flights to & from the voyage start and end points
  • Charter flight Resolute/ Edmonton ($1,995)
  • Compulsory 5% goods & services tax (GST)
  • Any additional services before & after your voyage
  • Transfers not specific to the itinerary
  • Travel insurance
  • Optional adventure activities
  • Any visa, passport and vaccination expenses
  • Airport arrival or departure taxes
  • Items of a personal nature: laundry, beverages, etc
  • Customary staff gratuity at the end of the voyage
  • Additional onboard purchases (i.e. gift shop)

Questions about this Voyage?