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Arctic Quest is Amazing: Greenland to Canada in 16 Days

by Todd Smith

The Arctic Quest Cruise from Greenland to Canada is the most diverse Arctic cruises we have seen in many years. Most Arctic cruises are now focused on Spitsbergen, Svalbard and parts of Greenland. The Arctic Quest Cruise breaks the mold, spending considerable time in the Canadian Arctic, which increases cultural interactions and opportunities to view wildlife. View the full itinerary or call our Arctic travel experts for more information.

Arctic Quest Review

If you crave some cultural learning alongside your wildlife encounters, then this journey to the northern communities of the Arctic is for you. When you’re not looking for polar bear, walrus, beluga whales or seabirds, you’ll be exploring Inuit communities in Canada and learning about traditions in Greenland.

Arctic Quest Polar Bear

The itinerary is likely to encounter an astounding variety of Arctic wildlife including polar bears, walrus, beluga whales and massive sea bird colonies. Visits to traditional Inuit communities include a traditional kayak demonstration and opportunities to purchase authentic crafts from local people.  The Arctic is a spectacular wilderness region but a true understanding of the nature of the Arctic is not complete without an understanding of its people.  You'll visit one of the fastest moving and most active glaciers in the world.  Hiking and zodiac cruising are included and opportunities to kayak are available as an added option (note book early if you want the kayaking). 

Possible Landings & Wildlife Sightings in Greenland

RØDEFJORDEN - The Red Fjord, or Rypefjord, is named for the colorful sandstone located on its western side. The stone has been ‘stained’ red by hematite, creating an oddity in this part of Greenland.

KANGERLUSSUAQ - Kangerlussuaq and the Kangerlussuaq Fjord in Western Greenland present colorful buildings and potential for glimpses of Arctic wildlife such as musk oxen and caribou. Lush, mountainous landscapes provide a great backdrop at this port of embarkation, while whales may be spotted at sea.

ILULISSAT - North of the Arctic Circle, this ice fjord is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Recognized as one of the fastest moving glaciers in the world, the Sermeq Kujalleq glacier located here moves at 19m per day. More glacial ice is calved into the ocean here than anywhere else, except for Antarctica.

SISIMIUT - A village town, the second largest in Greenland, Sisimiut is a place the stretch the legs. Inhabited for more than 4,000 years the history here is a mix of Saqqaq, Dorset and Thule cultures. The colorful wooden houses here are typical of Greenlandic communities today. Nasaasaaq, an impressive mountain provides a scenic backdrop to this settlement and the nearby Amerloq Fjord is another worthwhile landing site.

Arctic Quest Hiking

Possible Landings & Wildlife Sightings in Canada

MONUMENTAL ISLAND - Just off the coast of Baffin Island in the Davis Strait, this island belongs to the Canadian Territory of Nunavut. Monumental Island is a place where both polar bears and walruses can be seen. Zodiac cruising here presents great photographic opportunities.

AKPATOK ISLAND - South of Baffin Island and the Hudson Strait, the largest island in Ungava Bay is called Akpatok Island. This limestone island has tall sea cliffs reaching as high as 250m, creating a perfect habitat for nesting seabirds including the Akpat, or thick-billed murre.

KIMMIRUT - Previously called Lake Harbour, Kimmirut is home to roughly 400 people. This small settlement has had a rich Canadian history, having been an outpost for both the RCMP and Hudson’s Bay Company.

CAPE DORSET - A historic hamlet located on Dorset Island, Cape Dorset is where remains of an ancient Thule settlement were found, dating back to 1000BC. Nearby, Mallikjuaq Territorial Park provides great hiking and exploring options, while the Inuit inhabitants of today are known for producing great works of art.

DIGGES ISLANDS - West Digges and East Digges Islands are part of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago and are home to large colonies of thick-billed murres as well as Iceland gulls and black guillemots. Strong currents in this part of the Hudson Strait also attract abundant sea life, including cetaceans and the beautiful ringed seal.

COATS ISLAND - Since 1920, Coats Island has been a protected area for caribou. There are also good chances of spotting walrus and thick-billed murres at Coats Island. At 5,500 square km in size (2,200 square miles) it is one of the largest uninhabited islands in the world.

CORAL HARBOUR - This community on Southampton Island lies along the northern rim of Hudson Bay. Surprising to many people, the name comes from fossilized coral which can be found in the waters here. It is believed that the last people of the pre-Inuit Tuniit culture lived here, but were wiped out by western disease in the early 1900’s.

MARBLE ISLAND - Sunken whaling ships and wrecked expedition ships from as far back as the 1700’s give the island a somewhat mysterious and treacherous history. The rocky landscapes of Marble Island have a high proportion of quartzite in them, creating a marble-like look on parts of the island. In addition to interesting geology, the island has plenty of great hiking trails to explore by foot. Travelers with a keen eye may spot lemmings, Arctic hare or Arctic fox here.

WALRUS ISLAND - This uninhabited island is along the western shore of Hudson Bay, north of Whale Cove. Walrus are a big reason to visit here as they haul-out on shore and can be seen bobbing around in the water.

CHURCHILL - There are very good chances of spotting beluga whales in the water near Churchill and the town itself is a hive of activity compared to other Arctic communities.

Arctic Quest Walrus

Arctic Quest Logistics

The Arctic Quest includes a pre-expedition hotel in Copenhagen, Denmark, and post-expedition hotel night in Toronto. Guests need to make their way to Copenhagen, Iceland which is no small feat for travelers in North America. Book flights to Copenhagen where a charter flight will continue your journey to Kangerlussuaq, Greenland, for embarkation. The return is easier with a disembarkation in Churchill, Manitoba, and a charter flight to Toronto for a final overnight.

Sea Explorer

The 111–passenger Sea Explorer is the sister ship to the Sea Spirit. This ice-strengthened, small luxury expedition ship features an all-inclusive bar and beverages and optional kayaking adventures. Several suites include private balconies accessed via sliding glass doors. Read a full description of the Sea Explorer.

Arctic Quest Sea Explorer

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