21407
Canada/Greenland
Arctic Expedition: Baffin Island and Greenland
Journey to the Artic Circle this summer and bask in the Land of the Midnight Sun as you explore gorgeous fjords, discover incredible wildlife and examine massive glaciers up-close.
Rating (5)
Program No. 21407RJ
Length
14 days
Starts at
11,495
Special Offer
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14 days
13 nights
38 meals
13 B 12 L 13 D
Getting There
See travel details and required documents
DAY
1
Arrival Toronto, Orientation, Welcome Dinner
Toronto
D
Sheraton Gateway Hotel in Toronto Int'l Airport

Activity note: Hotel check-in available from 3:00 p.m.

Afternoon: Orientation: The Group Leader will greet everyone and lead introductions. We will review the up-to-date program schedule and any changes, discuss roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer questions. Members of the ship’s staff will join us for dinner each night, reflect on the day’s events, and discuss what’s to come the next day. Many are active researchers with expertise in areas such as history, paleontology, geology, and biology. In the evenings, rotating members of the staff will offer educational activities and presentations on a variety of topics. At each expedition port of call, you will have a choice of field trips that will vary by location such as nature activities (minimal walking), short walks (about .5 - 1.5 miles), longer walks (2-3 miles) and photography sessions led by ship’s staff experts. Program activities, schedules, personnel, and indicated distances or times may change due to local circumstances/conditions. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding. Expedition ships — more rugged than traditional sailing vessels — are designed to venture into remote landscapes, enabling us to seek opportunities for getting up close to nature and wildlife. These educational adventures have flexible schedules. The itinerary may change daily based on weather, sailing conditions, and potential wildlife sightings. There may also be serendipitous occasions to experience something unexpected. The ship’s educational staff includes experts with knowledge related to the program theme who will lead field trips and give presentations. The schedule that follows is tentative and a representative outline. Changes in the schedule, including ports of call, can be expected due to weather and other local conditions. Updates will be provided aboard ship.

Dinner: At the hotel, enjoy a plated dinner with beverage options including coffee, tea, water, and a glass of beer or wine. Additional beverages are available for purchase.

Evening: At leisure. Continue getting to know your fellow participants, settle in, and get a good night’s rest for the day ahead.

DAY
2
Charter Flight to Kangerlussuaq, Embark Ocean Endeavour
Kangerlussuaq
B,L,D
Ocean Endeavour

Activity note: Due to the remote location of the ports, each embarkation and disembarkation will be done via zodiac rafts. Staff will be available for assistance. Flight times are subject to the unpredictable Arctic weather and the vagaries of flight servicing in remote destinations. Delays can, and often do occur. Should you require medication during the day please ensure you keep this with you.

Breakfast: Aboard the charter flight to Kangerlussuaq, Greenland.

Morning: Transfer to the airport via motorcoach for our charter flight to Kangerlussuaq on board a 737 aircraft.

Lunch: Aboard the charter flight.

Afternoon: Arrive in Kangerlussuaq, Greenland. We'll board a bus and transfer to the Ocean Endeavour for embarkation. We begin our adventure by sailing down the dramatic Sondre Stromfjord, one of the longest fjords in the world boasting 168 kilometres of superb scenery. Kangerlussuaq, the town at its eastern head, means ‘the big fjord.’

Dinner: Aboard ship we’ll have a 3-course a la carte meal with meat, seafood, and vegetarian options, plus water, coffee, and tea. Additional beverages are available for purchase. The chefs try to incorporate local delicacies when possible. Each night, we’ll be joined by fellow participants and various members of the ship’s staff.

Evening: At leisure. Rotating members of the ship’s staff will offer fun educational activities and presentations on a variety of topics such as history, biology, storytelling, and folk music.

DAY
3
Sisimiut
Sisimiut
B,L,D
Ocean Endeavour

Activity note: Zodiac landing; possibility of rough seas; getting in/out of Zodiac with assistance from staff. Walking distances up to 2 miles on uneven and hilly terrain. Each expedition day's schedule is subject to change due to wind/sea conditions. This is done with your safety in mind and we hope you understand that schedule changes are part of travelling aboard an expedition ship in this beautiful but remote part of the world!

Breakfast: Aboard ship, choose from hot and cold buffet offerings.

Morning: Today we will have the opportunity to visit the small town of Sisimiut. People have lived int he area for 4.500 years. Here we will have a chance to observe everyday life of modern Greenlanders contrasted with their historic site, lovingly preserved and framed by two large whale bones.

Lunch: Aboard ship, choose from hot and cold buffet offerings.

Afternoon: Continue to explore Sisimiut. The ice-free conditions in the sea, including some of Greenland’s deepest fjords, allow us to sail in waters that are home to many whales and seals.

Dinner: Aboard ship.

Evening: At leisure. Enjoy evening activities aboard the Ocean Endeavour.

DAY
4
Ilulissat
Ilulissat
B,L,D
Ocean Endeavour

Activity note: Zodiac landing; possibility of rough seas; getting in/out of Zodiac with assistance from staff. Walking distances up to 2 miles on uneven and hilly terrain.

Breakfast: Aboard ship.

Morning: Venturing 250km north of the Arctic Circle, we find the stunning coastal community of Illulissat. Illulissat 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.

Lunch: Aboard ship.

Afternoon: Continue to explore Illulissat. We will cruise in our fleets of zodiacs in the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Illulissat 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 kilometers 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.

Dinner: Aboard ship.

Evening: At leisure. Enjoy evening activities aboard the Ocean Endeavour.

DAY
5
Uummannaq Fjord
Uummannaq
B,L,D
Ocean Endeavour

Activity note: Zodiac landing; possibility of rough seas; getting in/out of Zodiac with assistance from staff. Walking distances up to 2 miles on uneven and hilly terrain.

Breakfast: Aboard ship.

Morning: Uummannaq Fjord in northwest Greenland is the country’s second-largest system of fjords. It empties into Baffin Bay and is characterized by its developed coastline and various bays, islands, and peninsulas. It is considered to be the sunniest spot in Greenland, and favourable weather—coupled with proximity to coastal travel routes—has made the fjord system a popular destination for Greenlandic Inuit. It has been settled and re-settled continually for the last 4,500 years.

Lunch: Aboard ship.

Afternoon: This afternoon, enjoy a Road Scholar exclusive cocktail party onboard.

Dinner: Aboard ship.

Evening: At leisure. Enjoy evening activities aboard the Ocean Endeavour.

DAY
6
Karrat Fjord
Karrat Fjord
B,L,D
Ocean Endeavour

Activity note: Zodiac cruise; possibility of rough seas; getting in/out of Zodiac with assistance from staff.

Breakfast: Aboard ship.

Morning: Today we will cruise in our zodiacs at one of Greenland’s most spectacular fjords, known for plentiful marine life and awe-inspiring landscapes. Seals use the long leads created by high winds in this region to hunt the rich waters of the fjord.

Lunch: Aboard ship.

Afternoon: Continue to take in the sights of Karrat Fjord. Time spent on deck today should result in some good wildlife sightings, not to mention unbeatable photographic opportunities of icebergs against the majestic rock faces. This afternoon, gather in the onboard meeting space for a lecture from one of the ship's knowledgeable resource staff.

Dinner: Aboard ship.

Evening: At leisure. Enjoy evening activities aboard the Ocean Endeavour.

DAY
7
At Sea - Davis Strait
Davis Strait
B,L,D
Ocean Endeavour

Activity note: Possibility of rough seas.

Breakfast: Aboard ship.

Morning: While crossing Davis Strait towards Canada, we'll relax and enjoy onboard lectures and opportunities to watch for wildlife from the ship's decks. Resource staff will be on deck for the duration, searching for wildlife and contextualizing the mighty landscape through which we travel.

Lunch: Aboard ship.

Afternoon: Relax aboard the Ocean Endeavour as you enjoy onboard lectures from the knowledgeable resource staff.

Dinner: Aboard ship.

Evening: At leisure. Enjoy evening activities aboard the Ocean Endeavour.

DAY
8
Mittimatilik (Pond Inlet)
Mittimatalik
B,L,D
Ocean Endeavour

Activity note: Zodiac landing; possibility of rough seas; getting in/out of Zodiac with assistance from staff. Walking distances up to 2 miles on uneven and hilly terrain.

Breakfast: Aboard ship.

Morning: Gather in the onboard meeting space for a lecture from one of the ship's knowledgeable resource staff.

Lunch: Aboard ship.

Afternoon: Arrive to Mittimatalik. This bustling Arctic community is surrounded by one of the most beautiful landscapes in the eastern Arctic. We will have a chance to explore the town, including its excellent library and other facilities. After some free time to explore the town, we will be treated to a cultural presentation from local citizens sharing their culture through demonstrating throat singing and arctic games.

Dinner: Aboard ship.

Evening: At leisure. Enjoy evening activities aboard the Ocean Endeavour.

DAY
9
North Baffin
North Baffin
B,L,D
Ocean Endeavour

Activity note: Possibility of rough seas.

Breakfast: Aboard ship.

Morning: Today will be an expedition day in the truest sense as we navigate the fjords of northeast Baffin Island. Baffin’s fjords are striking, affording stunning perspectives on geological processes. The Ocean Endeavour is the perfect vessel for exploring these hidden treasures of the north, as her manoeuvrability and shallow draft allows her to access regions that would be impassable to larger vessels. Staff will be on alert for changing weather and ice conditions and use their judgement as to which route along the coast will be the most spectacular. After taking in the views on deck, gather in the onboard meeting space for a lecture from one of the ship's knowledgeable resource staff.

Lunch: Aboard ship.

Afternoon: Continue to explore North Baffin Island. Our time here will be exploratory in every sense, and we look forward to seeing what the island has to offer us. Gather in the onboard meeting space for a lecture from one of the ship's knowledgeable resource staff.

Dinner: Aboard ship.

Evening: At leisure. Enjoy evening activities aboard the Ocean Endeavour.

DAY
10
Devon Island
Devon Island
B,L,D
Ocean Endeavour

Activity note: Zodiac landing; possibility of rough seas; getting in/out of Zodiac with assistance from staff. Walking distances up to 2 miles on uneven and hilly terrain.

Breakfast: Aboard ship.

Morning: This morning we will have a guided walk on Devon Island, the largest uninhabited island on earth comprising over fifty thousand square kilometres. It was first sighted by Europeans in 1616, though it was not inhabited for another three hundred years with the arrival of the Hudson’s Bay Company. The island's geology consists of reddish Precambrian gneiss and Paeleozoic siltstones and shales; these, combined with its harsh climate, have drawn comparisons with the planet Mars.

Lunch: Aboard ship.

Afternoon: Gather in the onboard meeting space for a lecture from one of the ship's knowledgeable resource staff.

Dinner: Aboard ship.

Evening: At leisure. Enjoy evening activities aboard the Ocean Endeavour.

DAY
11
Lancaster Sound
Lancaster Sound
B,L,D
Ocean Endeavour

Activity note: Zodiac landing; possibility of rough seas; getting in/out of Zodiac with assistance from staff. Walking distances up to 2 miles on uneven and hilly terrain.

Breakfast: Aboard ship.

Morning: Today we will explore Lancaster Sound, which is a proposed Marine Protected Area due to the large populations of marine mammals, including narwhal, beluga and bowhead whales. There is a great selection of landing sites available. Weather, wildlife, and sea conditions will influence our choice of landing today.

Lunch: Aboard ship.

Afternoon: Continue to explore Lancaster Sound via zodiac (weather dependent).

Dinner: Aboard ship.

Evening: At leisure. Enjoy evening activities aboard the Ocean Endeavour.

DAY
12
Prince Leopold and Beechey Islands
Prince Leopold Island
B,L,D
Ocean Endeavour

Activity note: Zodiac landing; possibility of rough seas; getting in/out of Zodiac with assistance from staff. Walking distances up to 2 miles on uneven and hilly terrain.

Breakfast: Aboard ship.

Morning: We'll cruise in our fleet of Zodiacs along the tall cliffs of Prince Leopold Island. These cliffs are exceptional birding areas in the high Arctic both during the breeding and summering seasons. It is a breeding site for thick-billed murres, black-legged kittiwakes, northern fulmars, glaucous gulls, and black guillemots.

Lunch: Aboard ship.

Afternoon: This afternoon we'll have a guided walk on Beechey Island. In 1845 Sir John Franklin took his expedition of 129 men and two ships into the Wellington Channel. Not a soul returned from the fateful expedition, and it was two years before search parties were launched. Aside from the bodies of the three souls buried here, only relics were found as clues to the disappearance. The three graves found at Beechey Island left no indication as to the fate of the rest of the British party—until recently. In the autumn of 2014, Canadian archaeologists discovered remnants of the HMS Erebus in the frozen waters of the Northwest Passage. And in the fall of 2016, further searching led to the discovery of Franklin’s second ship: the Terror.

Dinner: Aboard the ship, join the ship's crew and our fellow participants for a lively dinner that will include song and dance.

Evening: At leisure. Enjoy evening activities aboard the Ocean Endeavour.

DAY
13
Qausuittuq (Resolute), Disembark, Charter Flight to Ottawa
Ottawa
B,L,D
Hampton Inn by Hilton Ottawa Airport

Activity note: Zodiac landing; possibility of rough seas; getting in/out of Zodiac with assistance from staff. Walking distances up to 2 miles on uneven and hilly terrain. Flight times are subject to the unpredictable Arctic weather and the vagaries of flight servicing in remote destinations. Delays can, and often do occur. Should you require medication during the day please ensure you keep this with you.

Breakfast: Aboard ship.

Morning: Qausuittuq, or “place with no dawn” is truly the land of the midnight sun - daylight persists constantly from about April 29 to August 13 each year. The community’s English name, Resolute Bay is in honour of the HMS Resolute, one of the ships in the Franklin search expedition commanded by Captain H.T. Austin. Today we will disembark the Ocean Endeavour and transfer to the airport for our return flights.

Lunch: Boxed lunches available prior to disembarkation.

Afternoon: In flight to Ottawa.

Dinner: Served onboard en route to Ottawa.

Evening: Evening arrival to Ottawa. We'll gather our baggage, transfer to the hotel, and check-in. Relax for the rest of the evening after a full day of travel and prepare for your journey home tomorrow.

DAY
14
Program Concludes
Ottawa
B

Activity note: Hotel check out by 12:00 p.m. See your program’s travel details regarding transfers. If you are an independent traveler (POP status), see “Ground Transportation to Last Location.”

Breakfast: At the hotel. This concludes our program. If you are returning home, safe travels. If you are staying on independently, have a wonderful time. If you are transferring to another Road Scholar program, detailed instructions are included in your Information Packet for that program. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Please join our Facebook page and share photos of your program. Visit us at www.facebook.com/rsadventures. Best wishes for all your journeys!