|Set sail on this remarkable journey that follows in the footsteps of the early explorers to visit the southern part of Greenland and learn about the lives of the early explorers and the Inuit of yesterday and today – from Nanortalik to Brattahlid, Hvalsey and Qaqortoq. Then sail across “iceberg alley” for Baffin Island of the Canadian Arctic and keep a keen watch for seabirds, seals, whales and perhaps Polar Bear. Explore the coast of Frobisher Bay before reaching Iqaluit, the capital of the newly created Nunavut territory of Canada. Journeying southbound, explore the amazing coast of isolated Labrador with boreal forests, fjords and tundra and learn about the lives of the early inhabitants and settlers. You then come to the island province of Newfoundland with their fishing “outport” communities and rugged natural coastline. This journey is a fascinating tale of tenacious people in a challenging environment.
- 18 nights/19 days
Day 1: Sunday, Sept 19 (Iceland) Embark in the vibrant city of Reykjavik.
Day 2 & 3:
Monday – Tuesday, Sept 20 & 21 (At Sea) Crossing the Denmark Strait, the program gets underway with lectures, still leaving time to relax, read and watch for birds and marine wildlife. While at sea it is possible to see whale and dolphin and perhaps late season icebergs.
Wednesday, Sept 22 (Greenland) The first impression of this frozen island is at Prins Christiansund Fjord – the cruise here is often remembered as a scenic highlight. From there the ship goes to the picturesque town of Nanortalik to explore the community and visit the museum and open air market. While in the Arctic Region, birds to watch for include kittiwake, fulmar, Arctic tern and eider.
Thursday, Sept 23 (Greenland) The first Christian church in Greenland was established in Brattahlid by Erik the Red’s wife and today there is a replica village. In the afternoon, walk to Igaliku, to see the ruins of Gadar
(Cathedral of the Fjords). This was once the religious epicentre of the Local Viking settlement.
Friday, Sept 24 (Greenland) The best preserved Viking ruins (1300’s) are found in Hvalsey including a church where the last religious ceremony was performed in 1408 before the people of the area mysteriously vanished. Enjoy
a walking tour of Qaqortoq with its brightly coloured homes and large scale Scandinavian stone sculptures throughout the town.
Day 7 & 8:
Saturday – Sunday, Sept 25 & 26 (At Sea) The ship now heads for Canada crossing the Davis Strait, also known as “iceberg alley”. Attend lectures and watch for wildlife.
Monday, Sept 27 (Nunavut, Canada) After customs clearance, it is time to explore the capital of the newest territory of Canada, Iqaluit – visit the arts centre, museum and park, and enjoy an Arctic luncheon.
Tuesday, Sept 28 (Nunavut) This day is spent exploring Frobisher Bay in the Canadian Arctic wilderness. Throughout the time spent in the Arctic and far northern regions a keen watch is kept for Polar Bear, seals, whales and seabirds.
Wednesday, Sept 29 (Nunavut) Cruise in Ungava Bay where Akpatok Island lies. This largely sandstone plateau is home to walrus, Polar Bear and Thick-billed murres. This island and the coast of Labrador are known for fine examples of flint.
Thursday, Sept 30 (Labrador, Canada) The Inuit believe that the spirit world overlaps our own in the Torngat Mountains. Today it is a UNESCO site and National Park. It may be possible to see Polar Bear on the coast of northern Labrador and also Black bear, caribou and Peregrine falcon. Cruise into Nachvak Fjord where mountains tower almost 6000 feet above the magnificent coastline and wilderness. The remote fjords were carved by glaciers and today cascading waterfalls and ancient burial grounds can be found.
Friday, Oct 1 (Labrador) Early in the morning, cruise Saglek Bay, located at the mouth of a fantastic fjord system, and where the cultural remains of Maritime Archaic, early Paleao-Eskimo and Dorset Eskimo periods have been found. The untouched landscapes are breathtaking. Guillemots are often seen here. Later in the morning, visit Hebron, a former Moravian mission that was the northernmost settlement in Labrador. The mission disbanded in 1959.
Saturday, Oct 2 (Labrador) Hopedale is a largely Inuit community, transformed by the arrival of the Moravian Missionaries in 1782 and today remains a small but thriving community. Remnants of the Hopedale Mission include a church, mission house, storehouses, workshops and other smaller buildings. In the afternoon, visit the community to learn about the past as well as life today.
Sunday, Oct 3 (Labrador) Groswater Bay is home to a fascinating array of archaeological sites. Located at the mouth of the longest inlet on the Labrador coast, aboriginal people have been here for at least 7,000 years likely taking advantage of the natural resources present – nesting seabirds, seals, whales and the abundant terrestrial fauna and flora. Learn about these ancestors as well as the Vikings and later whalers and traders through exploring the islands at the edge of the Labrador Sea.
Monday, Oct 4 (Labrador) Williams Harbour is a living example of an “outport”. Battle Harbour was originally settled by Europeans in 1770 and was famous as a key base for the Labrador Schooner Fishery. Today it is an excellent restoration of an “outport”.
Tuesday, Oct 5 (Newfoundland, Canada) From St. Anthony set off for a day steeped in Norse history. Visit Norstead (a re-enactment of a Viking settlement) and then L’Anse aux Meadows, the only authenticated Viking settlement in North America and a UNESCO site. Time permitting, visit the home of Sir Wilfred Grenfell, whose life’s work to relieve the fishermen’s plight led to the first hospital ships.
Wednesday, Oct 6 (Newfoundland) During the afternoon in Bonavista visit the replica of John Cabot’s ship, Matthew, a restored lighthouse and Ryan Premises that commemorates the role of East Coast fishery in Canadian history. In the evening the ship sets off to cover the remaining few miles to St. John’s.
Thursday, Oct 7 (Newfoundland) Disembark in St. John’s, North America’s oldest city.
All itineraries are for guidance only. Programs may vary depending on local ice and weather conditions and in order to take advantage of opportunities to see wildlife.