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The Legendary Northwest Passage: An Arctic Expedition

Program Number: 21408RJ
Start and End Dates:
9/4/2015 - 9/22/2015;
Duration: 18 nights
Location: Canada/Greenland
Price starting at: $14,595.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Adventure Afloat Study Cruise; Small Ship Cruising
Meals: 53; 18 Breakfasts, 17 Lunches, 18 Dinners    

As long ago as the Age of Discovery, European explorers dreamed of a northern sea route to the Pacific. This “Northwest Passage” would not be successfully transited, though, until the legendary adventurer Roald Amundsen did it between 1903 and 1906 — spending nearly two of those years immobilized by ice. Soon, the long-hoped-for possibility of using the passage as a shipping shortcut may become reality due to climate change. Now is the time to sail this storied route and experience the otherworldly Arctic environment on an expedition aboard an ice-rated small ship.




Activity Particulars

Walking up to two miles at a time over unmarked, rocky terrain. Embarking and disembarking Zodiacs is required for all shore activities.



Itinerary At-a-Glance

Edmonton, 1 night; aboard Ocean Endeavour, 16 nights, 1 night Toronto



Coordinated by Road Scholar.



Day 1-2: Arrival Edmonton / flight to Kugluktuk (Canada) / embark Ocean Endeavour:

After program orientation and an overnight in Edmonton, journey to the Inuit town of Kugluktuk to begin your voyage. Lodging: Comfortable hotel.



Day 3:
Kitlineq (Victoria Island):

Journey to the eighth largest island in the world. This island contains the border between Nunavut and the Northwest Territories.



Day 4:
Gjoa Haven:

Unable to proceed because of thick ice, Roald Amundsen and his ship — the Gjoa — spent two winters here, learning invaluable survival skills from the local Inuit people.



Day 5:
Bellot Strait:

Look for whales and polar bears while transiting this narrow strait. The promontory at its eastern end marks the northernmost point on the North American mainland.



Day 6:
Fort Ross:

Fort Ross, a former Hudson's Bay Company trading post, is uninhabited today. Visit the historical remnants of this remote outpost.



Day 7:
Prince Leopold Island:

Visit the tall cliffs of Prince Leopold Island, one of the top birding locations in the Arctic. Watch flocks of hungry seabirds hunt waters teeming with fish.



Day 8:
Beechey Island

Delve into Beechey Island’s importance in the history of Arctic exploration including the story of the ill-fated Franklin expedition.



Day 9:
Devon Island

Go ashore on the largest uninhabited island in the world and find the abandoned Mountie outpost at Dundas Harbour.



Day 10:
Aujuittuq (Grise Fjord):

Aujuittuq means "place that never thaws". This remote village is Canada's northernmost civilian community. Visit with the 165 residents and learn about what it takes to live year round in the Arctic.



Day 11:
Smith Sound:

Keep your binoculars and cameras ready for marine life sightings as you sail this fabled body of water that served as the main route for explorers searching for the North Pole.



Day 12:
Qaanaaq (Greenland):

Qaanaaq is the northernmost civilian habitation on Earth. Learn about local artistic traditions from residents of this northern Greenland village.



Day 13:
Kap York:

Be prepared for a hike along the tundra in order to understand and appreciate the diverse wildlife that inhabit this remote Arctic coastal ecosystem.



Day 14:
Melville Bay

Parts this bay off the coast of Greenland has been declared a natural reserve to protect the diverse marine life. This ice-filled part of the sea is home to breeding populations of belugas, seals and polar bears.



Day 15:
Karrat Fjord:

Sail across the Davis Strait to Greenland and enter this spectacular fjord. Scan the icy waters for narwhals and seals and the cliffs for colonies of Little Auks.



Day 16:
Ilulissat:

Board a Zodiac for an up-close look at Ilulissat Icefjord, located at the mouth of the Sermeq Kujalleq Glacier, one of the most active, most studied glaciers in the world.



Day 17:
Sisimiut Coast:

Continue to sail the west Greenland coastline, a place of myriad islands, undisturbed landscapes and cozy communities of cheerfully painted houses.



Days 18-19: Kangerlussuaq / disembark / Toronto / departure:

To complete your voyage, sail the length of the beautiful, 120-mile-long Kangerlussuaq Fjord to the town of the same name. Disembark the Ocean Endeavour and take a charter flight to Toronto for an overnight.



Ocean Endeavor

Sailing with a maximum of 198-passengers, Ocean Endeavour is the perfect vessel for expedition cruising. Outfitted with twenty Zodiacs, advanced navigation equipment, multiple lounges and a top deck observation room, she is purpose-built for passenger experiences in remote environments. Launched in 1982, she has had numerous upgrades, most recently in 2010 and 2014. At 137 meters (450ft) in length, Ocean Endeavour has plenty of interior and exterior space. Enjoy multiple decks offering comfortable lounge chairs, outdoor dining, a swimming pool, sauna and even a hot tub.


Meals and Lodgings
   Executive Royal Hotel Leduc-Nisku at Edmonton Airport
  Edmonton, Canada 1 night
   Ocean Endeavour
  Kugluktuk (Coppermine), Greenland
Coronation Gulf, Greenland
Gjoa Haven, Greenland
Bellot Strait, Greenland
Fort Ross, Canada
Prince Leopold Island, Canada
Beechey Island, Canada
Devon Island, Greenland
Aujuittuq (Grise Fiord), Canada
Smith Sound, Canada
Qaannaq, Canada
Kap York, Canada
Melville Bay, Canada
Karrat Fjord, Greenland
Ilulissat, Greenland
Sisimiut Coast, Greenland
16 nights
   Sheraton Gateway Hotel in Toronto Int'l Airport
  Toronto, Canada 1 night
 Executive Royal Hotel Leduc-Nisku at Edmonton Airport
Type: Three-Star Hotel
  Ship Information: N/A
  Contact info: 8450 Sparrow Drive
Leduc, AB T9E 7G4 Canada
phone: 780-986-1840
web: www.executivehotels.net/edmontonairportleduchotel/
  Room amenities: Generously sized rooms; mini fridge; iron and board; hair dryer; in room coffee; 25" color television; on-demand TV and movies; a top quality shower head in the bath; full length mirror in the bathroom and mirrored closet doors; a work desk, with desk lamp and desk level electrical outlets; voice mail and messaging system; Complimentary high speed internet access; dual port phones, so you can talk and use your computer at the same time; Morning paper; guest laundry room on the main floor, free of charge; complimentary Wifi.
  Facility amenities: Complimentary 24 hour hotel shuttle is available to take you to your flight; health spa complete with Jacuzzi tubs, steam baths, and exercise room.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: Subject to availability Contact Road Scholar Travel Services at 800-241-1404 or via email at travelinfo@roadscholar.org
  Check in time: 4:00 PM

 Ocean Endeavour
Type: Cruise Ship
  Description: Ocean Endeavour has plenty of interior and exterior space. Enjoy multiple decks offering comfortable lounge chairs, outdoor dining, a swimming pool, sauna and even a hot tub! The spacious interiors allow for multiple workshops and presentations to occur simultaneously. Community is at the heart of Adventure Canada’s expedition experience. We gather together to learn, enjoy a drink, sing a song or share a yarn – connecting with one and other. The three lounges aboard Ocean Endeavour are fantastic public spaces for seminars, events and dialogue. The Ocean Endeavour’s private spaces are stylish and comfortable. All cabins have private washroom facilities, a phone for internal calls, radio, TV and air-conditioning. There are a variety of cabin categories available ranging from 100-320 sq ft. Ocean Endeavour’s crew is experienced, and friendly. Her shallow draft and maneuverability allow her to access isolated fiords, bays and secluded communities. The stylish vessel is at home among the glorious settings we seek. Enjoy the class and comfort of a boutique hotel, while venturing to some of the world’s last great frontiers aboard the Ocean Endeavour!
  Ship Information: At 137 meters (450ft) in length, Ocean Endeavour boasts a 1B ice class, enabling her to freely explore throughout the Arctic summer. Launched in 1982, she has had numerous upgrades, most recently in 2010 and 2014.
  Contact info: Adventure Canada Home Office
14 Front St. South
Mississauga, ON  l5h 2c4 Canada
phone: 180-036-3756 x6
web: www.adventurecanada.com/ship/endeavour/
  Room amenities: All cabins have private washroom facilities, a phone for internal calls, radio, TV and air-conditioning.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes

 Sheraton Gateway Hotel in Toronto Int'l Airport
Type: Four-Star Hotel
  Ship Information: N/A
  Contact info: Terminal 3 · P.O. Box 3000, Toronto Amf
Toronto, ON L5P 1C4 Canada
phone: 905-672-7000
web: www.sheratongatewaytorontoairport.com/
  Room amenities: Work desk; individual climate control; air-conditioned room; complimentary bottled water; room service; mini bar, refrigerator available; coffee maker, wireless high speed internet access at an additional charge.
  Facility amenities: 24-hour fitness center; indoor heated swimming pool; Mahogany Grill Restaurant and Bar; safe deposit boxes.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights after:  Please contact hotel directly if you wish to make arrangements for additional nights.
  Check out time: 12:00 PM


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Check-in time at the hotel is at 4PM. Program orientation begins at 5:30 PM. You will be staying at Executive Royal Hotel Leduc-Nisku at Edmonton Airport that night.
  End of Program:
After breakfast. The hotel is connected to the airport terminal. You will be staying at Sheraton Gateway Hotel in Toronto Int'l Airport the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required. The Adventure Canada registration form is included at the end of this mailing and is required by the ship. Please sign and return this page as soon as possible so as not to jeopardize your reservation. Please note that anyone with a criminal record (including a Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicants/Alcohol conviction) may be excluded from entering Canada. A waiver of exclusion may be issued but several weeks are required and a processing fee must be paid. Contact the Canadian Embassy or a Canadian Consulate in the U.S. for more information (http://canada.usembassy.gov/traveling_to_canada/entering-canada.html).
  Parking availability:
Parking is not available.
Transportation (For Independent Travelers)
To Start of Program
  Location:  Edmonton
  Transportation to site: The Executive Royal Hotel Leduc-Nisku provides a 24 hour complimentary Airport Shuttle. Upon arrival, please make your way outside door number 9. The shuttle arrives every 5-10 minutes. There is a courtesy phone to the hotel located just inside the doors.
  From End of Program
  Location:  Toronto
  Transportation from site: The Sheraton Gateway Hotel in Toronto is located in the airport. Participants can walk to the terminal.
Equipment Requirements: 1 pair of mid-calf/high rubber boots
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


Daily Schedule

Day 1: Edmonton
(Friday, September 4)

Note: Independent arrivals



   
 Afternoon: Independent arrivals and check in to the hotel. Check-in begins at 4pm. There will be an orientation prior to dinner to review the schedule for the next day's flight.
 Dinner: Dinner in Edmonton.
 Evening: Relax at the hotel before your voyage begins.
   
Accommodations: Executive Royal Hotel Leduc-Nisku at Edmonton Airport
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Kugluktuk (Coppermine)
(Saturday, September 5)

Note: Early morning charter flight onboard a 737 aircraft with breakfast en route to Kugluktuk where we will board the Sea Adventurer. Also due to the remote location of the ports, each embarkation and disembarkation will be done via zodiac rafts.



   
 Breakfast: On charter flight.
 Morning: Early morning charter flight to Kugluktuk followed by embarkation aboard the vessel.
 Lunch: Aboard the Ocean Endeavour.
 Afternoon: Located at the mouth of the Coppermine River to southwest of Victoria Island on the Coronation Gulf, Kuglutuk is the western-most community in Nunavut.
Originally named Coppermine, it was renamed Kugluktuk according to its Inuinnaqtun name meaning "place of moving waters," on January 1st, 1996. The Coppermine River itself is designated a Canadian Heritage River for the important role it played as an exploration and fur trade route. Copper deposits along the river attracted the first explorers to the area. Because the tundra is close to the tree line, a variety of wildlife can be viewed in the area: grizzly bears, wolverines, moose, and tundra wildlife such as muskoxen, caribou, foxes, and wolves.
 Dinner: Aboard the Ocean Endeavour.
 Evening: Each evening, enjoy relaxing evening activities including live music, light lectures, games, and movies .board the Ocean Endeavour.
   
Accommodations: Ocean Endeavour
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Coronation Gulf / Victoria Island
(Sunday, September 6)

Note: At each expedition port of call there will be various excursion groups. This may include nature activities (minimal walking), short walks (about .5 - 1.5 miles), longer walks (2-3 miles) and photography sessions led by ship staff who are experts in various fields (history, paleontology, geology, sealife, Arcticic culture) . Participants may choose any of these options or opt for independent exploration. On select days there will be Road Scholar exclusive shore excursions.



   
 Breakfast: Aboard the Ocean Endeavour.
 Morning: Separating Canada's mainland from the Arctic archipelago is the Coronation Gulf. Named by Sir John Franklin in honor of the coronation of King George IV, the Gulf receives the Coppermine, Tree, Rae, and Richardson Rivers. It is host to several hundred islands and small islets.
 Lunch: On board the Sea Adventurer.
 Afternoon: The eighth largest island in the world, Victoria Island is found on the border between Nunavut and the Northwest Territories. The main community to be found here is Cambridge Bay, with a population of just over 1,000. Depending on conditions, we may stop at the community or make an outdoor expedition stop.
Prior to dinner get to know your fellow participants at a Road Scholar exclusive cocktail party.
 Dinner: Aboard the Ocean Endeavour.
 Evening: Enjoy evening activities aboard the Ocean Endeavour.
   
Accommodations: Ocean Endeavour
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Gjoa Haven
(Monday, September 7)
   
 Breakfast: Aboard the Ocean Endeavour.
 Morning: In 1903, explorer Roald Amundsen, while looking for the Northwest Passage, sailed through the James Ross Strait and stopped at a natural harbour on the island's south coast. Unable to proceed due to sea ice, he spent the winters of 1903-04 and 1904-05. There he learned Arctic living skills from the local Netsilik Inuit, skills that would later prove invaluable in his Antarctic explorations. He used his ship Gjøa as a base for explorations in the summer of 1904, sledding the Boothia Peninsula and travelling to the magnetic North Pole.
 Lunch: Aboard the Ocean Endeavour.
 Afternoon: Continue to explore Gjøa Haven, which Roald Amundsen called 'the finest little harbour in the world.'
 Dinner: Aboard the Ocean Endeavour.
 Evening: Enjoy evening activities aboard the Ocean Endeavour.
   
Accommodations: Ocean Endeavour
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Bellot Strait
(Tuesday, September 8)
   
 Breakfast: Aboard the Ocean Endeavour.
 Morning: Bellot Strait marks the first meeting of the Atlantic and Pacific tides north of Magellan Strait. Surprisingly, the strait was missed by John Ross and wasn't discovered until 1852 by William Kennedy, who named the strait after his second-in-command, Joseph-Rene Bellot.
 Lunch: Aboard the Ocean Endeavour.
 Afternoon: Continue to explore Bellot Strait.
 Dinner: Aboard the Ocean Endeavour.
 Evening: Enjoy evening activities aboard the Ocean Endeavour.
   
Accommodations: Ocean Endeavour
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Fort Ross
(Wednesday, September 9)
   
 Breakfast: Aboard the Ocean Endeavour.
 Morning: Fort Ross is an uninhabited former trading post in the Qikiqtaaluk Region of Nunavut, Canada. Founded in 1937 it was the last trading post to be established by the Hudson's Bay Company.
Situated on the Bellot Strait at the southeastern end of Somerset Island, it was operational for only eleven years as the severe ice conditions rendered it uneconomical and difficult to access. This left the island uninhabited. The former store was recently refurbished and strengthened, and is still used as a shelter by Inuit caribou hunters from Taloyoak, and as a refuge for researchers and small boat travellers passing through.
 Lunch: Aboard the Ocean Endeavour.
 Afternoon: Continue to explore Fort Ross.
 Dinner: Aboard the Ocean Endeavour.
 Evening: Enjoy evening activities aboard the Ocean Endeavour.
   
Accommodations: Ocean Endeavour
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: Prince Leopold Island
(Thursday, September 10)
   
 Breakfast: Aboard the Ocean Endeavour.
 Morning: The tall cliffs of Prince Leopold Island are one of the top bird sites in the High Arctic both during the breeding and summering seasons. It is a breeding site for Thick-Billed Murre, Black-legged Kittiwake, Northern Fulmar, Glaucous Gull, and Black Guillemot. It was beneath these tall cliffs, that Sir James Clark Ross, perhaps the greatest polar explorer of the 19th century, was based in 1848-49. Ross's 1848-49 expedition in search of the Franklin expedition was not successful; they spent a frustrating winter locked by ice in Port Leopold on the northeast coast of Somerset Island and returned to England the following summer. It was also from this area that Sir John Ross (James's uncle) escaped in 1833 after abandoning the Victory and spending four harrowing winters in the Arctic
 Lunch: Aboard the Ocean Endeavour.
 Afternoon: Continue to explore Prince Leopold Island.
 Dinner: Aboard the Ocean Endeavour.
 Evening: Enjoy evening activities aboard the Ocean Endeavour.
   
Accommodations: Ocean Endeavour
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8: Beechey Island
(Friday, September 11)
   
 Breakfast: Aboard the Ocean Endeavour.
 Morning: In 1845, Sir John Franklin took his expedition of 129 men in two ships into the Wellington Channel. Not a soul returned from the fateful expedition. It was two years before the search parties were launched. Aside from the bodies of three souls buried here, only relics were found as clues to the disappearance. Until recently, the three graves had left no indication as to the fate of the rest of the British party. Such is the interest in this story, the Canadian government recently announced a new initiative to locate the missing Franklin vessels.
 Lunch: Aboard the Ocean Endeavour.
 Afternoon: Continue to explore Beechey Island.
 Dinner: Aboard the Ocean Endeavour.
 Evening: Enjoy evening activities aboard the Ocean Endeavour.
   
Accommodations: Ocean Endeavour
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9: Devon Island
(Saturday, September 12)
   
 Breakfast: Aboard the Ocean Endeavour.
 Morning: The largest uninhabited island in the world supports significant concentrations of wildlife, including 26 species of seabirds and 11 species of marine mammals. At Dundas Harbor, we find the lonely remains of an RCMP station dating from the 1920s. We have also spotted walrus, polar bears, muskox, and caribou here. At nearby Croker Bay, we have a chance to Zodiac cruise through this scenic bay and marvel at icebergs freshly calved from the glacier at the head of the bay.
 Lunch: Aboard the Ocean Endeavour.
 Afternoon: Continue to explore Devon Island.
 Dinner: Aboard the Ocean Endeavour.
 Evening: Enjoy evening activities aboard the Ocean Endeavour.
   
Accommodations: Ocean Endeavour
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10: Aujuittuq (Grise Fiord)
(Sunday, September 13)
   
 Breakfast: Aboard the Ocean Endeavour.
 Morning: Aujuittuq means 'place that never thaws.' That's apt for this peaceful hamlet, 1,150km above the Arctic Circle -Canada's northernmost civilian community. We'll be welcomed by the population of about 165 individuals. Our activities will center on the school where we will have a chance to meet members of the community and learn about their way of life.
 Lunch: Aboard the Ocean Endeavour.
 Afternoon: Continue your afternoon in Aujuittuq.
 Dinner: Aboard the Ocean Endeavour.
 Evening: Enjoy evening activities aboard the Ocean Endeavour.
   
Accommodations: Ocean Endeavour
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 11: Smith Sound
(Monday, September 14)
   
 Breakfast: Aboard the Ocean Endeavour.
 Morning: We will spend a day exploring north into this fabled body of water that served as the main route for explorers and adventurers searching for the North Pole. Adolphus Greely, Sir George Nares and Elisha Kent Kane all travelled these waters with varying degrees of success. The Sound was named by William Baffin after Sir Thomas Smythe, promoter of voyages to find a Northwest Passage. Only 48-72km wide and 88km long, Smith Sound is often packed with ice and provides favourable conditions for wildlife viewing.
 Lunch: Aboard the Ocean Endeavour.
 Afternoon: Continue the search for wildlife and icebergs in Smith Sound.
 Dinner: Aboard the Ocean Endeavour.
 Evening: Enjoy evening activities aboard the Ocean Endeavour.
   
Accommodations: Ocean Endeavour
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 12: Qaannaq
(Tuesday, September 15)
   
 Breakfast: Aboard the Ocean Endeavour.
 Morning: Artistic talent runs high in this most northern community, and visitors are often in search of the distinct art pieces that are created here. One of the hardest places to reach in the Arctic, it is easiest to visit by ship. Not only is it the northernmost civilian habitation on Earth, Qaanaaq is also the most northern palindrome on the planet. Meet with locals who have produced beautiful hand-carved jewelry and art pieces.
 Lunch: Aboard the Ocean Endeavour.
 Afternoon: Continue to explore and meet the people of Qaannaq.
 Dinner: Aboard the Ocean Endeavour.
 Evening: Enjoy evening activities aboard the Ocean Endeavour.
   
Accommodations: Ocean Endeavour
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 13: Kap York
(Wednesday, September 16)
   
 Breakfast: Aboard the Ocean Endeavour.
 Morning: The rugged coastal environment at Kap York is rich in wildlife and is part of an extensive network of traditional hunting grounds.
During the spring and summer months the skies and cliffs are dotted with millions of birds, primarily auks and murres. This district boasts the largest seabird population in northwest Greenland.
Whalers and explorers often entered these waters and later Admiral Robert Peary's family raised a monument in honour of his achievements on the cape. Sailors' and ships' logs record multiple climbs of the cape in order to survey the ice conditions in Qimusseriarsuaq.
 Lunch: Aboard the Ocean Endeavour.
 Afternoon: Continue to explore Kap York and learn about the variety of marine wildlife from the ship's experts.
 Dinner: Aboard the Ocean Endeavour.
 Evening: Enjoy evening activities aboard the Ocean Endeavour.
   
Accommodations: Ocean Endeavour
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 14: Melville Bay
(Thursday, September 17)
   
 Breakfast: Aboard the Ocean Endeavour.
 Morning: Melville Bay (Greenlandic: Qimusseriarsuaq), is a large bay off the coast of northwestern Greenland. Located to the north of the Upernavik Archipelago, it opens to the south-west into Baffin Bay. Its Kalaallisut name, Qimusseriarsuaq, means "the great dog sledding place".
 Lunch: Aboard the Ocean Endeavour.
 Afternoon: Join the ship's staff on the main decks to look for a variety of marine life in the ocean.
 Dinner: Aboard the Ocean Endeavour.
 Evening: Enjoy evening activities aboard the Ocean Endeavour.
   
Accommodations: Ocean Endeavour
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 15: Karrat Fjord
(Friday, September 18)
   
 Breakfast: Aboard the Ocean Endeavour.
 Morning: In Karrat Fjord we will view one of Greenland's most spectacular fjords. During ice breakup, narwhals and seals use the long leads created by high winds in this region to hunt the rich waters of the fjord.
The cliffs within the fjord should give us good opportunities to see colonies of dovekies.
 Lunch: Aboard the Ocean Endeavour.
 Afternoon: Time spent on deck today will likely result in some good wildlife sightings, not to mention unbeatable photographic opportunities
 Dinner: Aboard the Ocean Endeavour.
 Evening: Enjoy evening activities aboard the Ocean Endeavour.
   
Accommodations: Ocean Endeavour
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 16: Ilulissat Icefjord
(Saturday, September 19)
   
 Breakfast: Aboard the Ocean Endeavour.
 Morning: Venturing 155 miles north of the Arctic Circle we find the stunning coastal community of Ilulissat. Ilulissat translates literally into "iceberg," and there couldn't be a more fitting name. Our visit will include time in the colorful town and a chance to hike out to an elevated viewpoint where we can observe the great fields of ice.
We will also cruise in our fleet of Zodiacs in the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Ilulissat Icefjord. The Icefjord is where we find the Sermeq Kujalleq Glacier, one of the most active and fastest moving in the world at 19m per day and calving more than 35 square km of ice annually. The glacier has been the object of scientific attention for 250 years, and, because of its relative ease of accessibility, has significantly added to the understanding of ice-cap glaciology, climate change, and related geomorphic processes.
 Lunch: Aboard the Ocean Endeavour.
 Afternoon: Continue to learn about glaciology and the recent changes to the Icefjord.
 Dinner: Aboard the Ocean Endeavour.
 Evening: Enjoy evening activities aboard the Ocean Endeavour.
   
Accommodations: Ocean Endeavour
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 17: Sisimiut Coast
(Sunday, September 20)
   
 Breakfast: Aboard the Ocean Endeavour.
 Morning: The west Greenland coastline is a rich mixture of fishing communities, myriad islands, and complex coastal waterways. We will be making an expedition stop here to explore the Greenlandic landscapes.
 Lunch: Aboard the Ocean Endeavour.
 Afternoon: Continue to explore Sisimiut Coast.
 Dinner: Aboard the Ocean Endeavour.
 Evening: Enjoy evening activities aboard the Ocean Endeavour.
   
Accommodations: Ocean Endeavour
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 18: Kangerlussuaq
(Monday, September 21)
   
 Breakfast: Aboard the Ocean Endeavour.
 Morning: Lying at the head of the longest fjord in western Greenland, Kangerlussuaq has one of the most stable climates in the region though temperatures can range from -50C in the winter to as high as 28C in summer. Kangerlussuaq, which means "The Big Fjord" in Greenlandic, is appropriately named, as it's 168km long. This morning we will have the opportunity to do a town tour and visit the local museum before we go to the airport in the afternoon to check in for our flight.
 Lunch: Aboard the Ocean Endeavour.
 Afternoon: Depart for Toronto on a charter flight.
 Dinner: Dinner will be served on the charter flight
 Evening: Check into the Toronto Airport hotel. Relax and prepare for your journey home the next day.
   
Accommodations: Sheraton Gateway Hotel in Toronto Int'l Airport
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 19: Independent departures
(Tuesday, September 22)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast and then independent departures. Your hotel is located within the airport terminal.
   
Meals Included: Breakfast
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List


A History of Arctic Exploration


Author: Juha Nurminen


Description: The ancient Inuit, Vikings, Vitus Bering, whalers, explorers and James Cook are all paid tribute in this sumptuously illustrated history, drawing on the unique collections of Helsinki's Nurminen Foundation.



A Naturalist's Guide to the Arctic


Author: E.C. Pielou


Description: Our best-selling book on the Arctic, this guide covers the geography and climate, plants, birds and wildlife of the circumpolar north.



Across the Top of the World


Author: James P. Delgado


Description: Covering all the major expeditions in detail, and written with passion and authority, this richly illustrated history by James Delgado covers the quest for the fabled Northwest Passage, from the disaster of the Franklin Expedition, to the triumph of Roald Amundsen, all the way up to present-day research.



Arctic Crossing, A Journey Through the Northwest Passage and Inuit Culture


Author: Jonathan Waterman


Description: A riveting account of a 2,200 mile solo journey across the Arctic from Prudhoe Bay to the Gulf of Boothia by kayak, accomplished in stages from 1997-1999.



Arctic Dreams


Author: Barry Lopez


Description: A dazzling meditation on the Arctic, breathtaking in scope. Lopez draws on his travels throughout the North, including Baffin Island, the Chukchi and Bering seas, Alaska, the Yukon and Greenland, interweaving natural history, accounts of early exploration, anecdote and lore into an indelible portrait of place.



Arctic Labyrinth, The Quest for the Northwest Passage


Author: Glyn Williams


Description: Drawing on letters, archives and explorer accounts, Williams charts the full sweep of the history of discovery and the quest for the Northwest Passage.



Canada Map


Author: ITMB


Description: This attractive color map of all Canada (1:6,000,000) shows topographic relief, transportation routes, cities and towns.



Frozen in Time, The Fate of the Franklin Expedition


Author: Owen Beattie, John Geiger


Description: An exhaustive examination of the evidence surrounding the disappearance of the Franklin Expedition. Beattie and Geiger, a forensic anthropologist and historian, build a credible tale of the disappearance of the expedition.



Historical Atlas of the Arctic


Author: Derek Hayes


Description: A handsome collection of 300 striking maps, most in glorious color and many presented here for the first time. Hayes provides captivating, scholarly commentary.



Polar Bears


Author: Ian Stirling


Description: A tribute to the polar bear by a preeminent researcher, this handsome natural history features outstanding color photographs and detailed chapters on biology, distribution, behavior, study, conservation and lore.



The Arctic, A Guide to Coastal Wildlife


Author: Tony Soper


Description: An essential handbook for the ship-based traveler, this compact guide to the plants, marine mammals and birds of the Circumpolar North features handsome watercolor illustrations and lively text. This new edition includes a section on the Bering Sea.



The Last Gentleman Adventurer


Author: Edward Beauclerk Maurice, Lawrence Millman (Introduction)


Description: Maurice's poignant tale of coming-of-age with the Hudson Bay Company in the Canadian Arctic in the 1930s. Posted to Pangnirtung as a remarkably unlikely 17-year-old recruit, Maurice grew into a man with the fur traders and Inuit of Baffin Island, earning the name of Issumatak (One Who Thinks).



The Last Imaginary Place


Author: Robert McGhee


Description: A curator at the Canadian Museum of Civilization, McGhee combines a lifetime of field work, ethnography and travel in this illuminating account of the human history of the Arctic.



The Man Who Ate His Boots


Author: Anthony Brandt


Description: The enthralling tale of the adventurers who searched in vain for the Northwest Passage, holy grail of 19th-century British exploration.



The Northwest Passage


Author: Tony Soper


Description: Soper draws on his many years exploring polar regions for this illustrated natural history, covering both exploration and wildlife with aplomb.



The Voyage of the Narwhal


Author: Andrea Barrett


Description: A gripping work of historical imagination in the form of a 19th-century account of Arctic exploration. It's Barrett's evocative tale of a Philadelphia naturalist Erasmus Darwin Wells who sets out on a foolhardy mission in search of the Franklin Expedition in the Canadian Arctic.



Voyages of Discovery


Author: David Boyle


Description: Splendidly illustrated in color, this compact chronicle of the Golden Age of European exploration (1492-1522) traces the voyages of Columbus, Magellan and others to Africa, Asia, the Americas and the Pacific. Facsimile documents include ships' logs, drawings by explorers and letters home.



What We Know About Climate Change


Author: Kerry Emanuel


Description: MIT atmospheric scientist Kerry Emanuel outlines the issues, causes and concerns about the fate of our climate, updated for this second edition to cover the latest from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the lack of will in the United States to tackle this vexing issue.



Who Owns the Arctic?, Understanding Sovereignty Disputes in the North


Author: Michael Byers


Description: Who actually controls the Northwest Passage? Who owns the trillions of dollars of oil and gas beneath the Arctic Ocean? A leading Arctic expert and international lawyer, Byers clearly and concisely explains the sometimes contradictory rules governing the division and protection of the Arctic in this timely little primer.





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