Greenland & Canadian Arctic in Luxury 17 daysAboard: Silver Cloud Expedition
Take a circuit beginning and ending in Greenland, traveling to Canada and back through the open sea, visiting some of the most spectacular natural wonders of the world in the legendary high Arctic. We will cruise through awe-inspiring fjords in both countries, including the 25-mile Ilulissat Icefjord (UNESCO World Heritage Site). We will visit Sirmilik National Park and the Nijurtiqavvik National Wildlife Area, where wildlife lovers will be delighted to (most likely) see polar bears, whales (beluga, minke, bowhead, and narwhal), as well as several species of seals and birds. We will visit small Inuit villages in both Greenland and Canada: take in Inuit culture at the museum in Sisimiut, which tells the story of life in the high Arctic over 4,000 years ago. Immerse yourself in Inuit art at Pond Inlet, Nunavit, where more artists per capita live than any other place in the world. We will cruise the spectacular fjords aboard the Silver Cloud and also take Zodiac cruises to get a closer look. Most sites will be visited on foot, whenever landings are possible. Throughout the voyage, learn about the geology, wildlife and botany of these starkly beautiful locations from lecture presentations offered by your knowledgeable on board Expedition Team.
- Spectacular scenery
- Magnificent icebergs
- Myriad birdlife
- Marine and land mammals including whales, seals & polar bears
- Historical associations
- Inuit culture
- Full board accommodation on board ship, including all beverages
- Butler service in all suites
- Zodiac and shore excursions
- Highly qualified expedition team with experts in their field (marine biologists, ornithologists, historians and more)
- Programme of expert lectures
- Free wifi
- Complimentary expedition gear: backpack and water bottle on every voyage, Haglöfs parka for polar expeditions
So much to experience
Our popularitinerary Suggestions
All our itinerary holidays are fully customisable
Embark in the afternoon and set sail along Sondrestromfjord.
Located just north of the Arctic Circle, Sisimiut is the northernmost town in Greenland where the port remains free of ice in the winter. Yet it is also the southernmost town where there exists enough snow and ice to drive a dogsled in winter and spring. In Sisimiut, travelling by sled has been the primary means of winter transportation for centuries. You will see many dogs in town and we hope to meet the owner of a sled dog team and his dogs. He will tell us all about sledding and how the Greenlandic sled dog has been bred to be amongst the strongest working dogs in the world.
A walk around the town and into the outskirts will be offered. Stroll through the Sisimiut Museum with its 18th century wooden buildings and see some of the local handicraft, featuring native stonework and sealskin garments.
In the iceberg-laden waters surrounding the remote community of Uummannaq it is common to see whales, so be sure to join the expedition team out on deck during our approach. This area of Greenland is known for its huge basalt mountains, and this small hunting and fishing village (one of Greenland's most colorful villages) rests at the foot of the heart-shaped Uummannaq Mountain. We will take a guided walking tour of Uummannaq to see the granite church and also learn how village life revolves around the halibut/fish-processing factory.
As we sail towards Nanavut familiarise yourself with the elegant Silver Explorer and the Expedition Team members. Attend wildlife, geography and history discussions hosted by our expert naturalists and guest lecturers preparing you for the exciting adventures that lie ahead. Spend time on deck looking for whales and birds.
Located in northern Baffin Island, Pond Inlet is a small, predominantly Inuit community with a population of roughly 1500 inhabitants. Several glaciers and mountain ranges nearby make this one of the most picturesque communities. Many archaeological sites of ancient Dorset and Thule peoples can be found near Pond Inlet. The Inuit had long hunted caribou, ringed and harp seals, fish, polar bears, walrus, narwhals, geese, ptarmigans and Arctic hares, before European and American whalers came here to hunt bowhead whales. Pond Inlet is known as a major centre of Inuit art, especially printmaking and stone carving. View a variety of techniques and styles used in creating these unique pieces in the galleries in town.
Sam Ford Fjord
The starkly beautiful Sam Ford Fjord area of Baffin Island has one of the most impressive concentrations of vertical rock walls to be found anywhere in the world. It is a 110-kilometer (68-mile) waterway lined with sheer cliffs that have attracted some of the world’s best (and most extreme) rock climbers to the region. The steep stone walls were formed by ancient glaciers that carved the landscape through the ages. However, the feature that makes the shoreline truly special is the way that many of these walls rise straight up from the dark waters of the deep fjord.
Gibbs Fjord & Cape Burney, Bylot Island
There are few places on earth where the simple grandeur of the landscape can dwarf a ship with giant peaks, steep cliffs, and glacial rivers of ice. In Gibbs Fjord it is possible to see only towering cliffs and the seemingly impenetrable fortress of 4,000-foot walls and buttresses that make up Sillem Island, eventually dividing the dark, deep waters of Gibbs and Clark Fjords. The geological formations here make for excellent photo opportunities and it is astounding to realize that very little of this spectacular terrain has ever been explored.
Bylot Island, off the northern end of Baffin Island has an area of 4,273 square miles, making it one of the largest uninhabited islands in the world. Cape Burney lies on the east coast of Bylot Island, and is used regularly by local Inuit during their hunting and fishing seasons. The island is named for the Arctic explorer Robert Bylot who was the first European to sight the island’s steep mountains, ice fields, sheer cliffs, snowfields and glaciers in 1616. A total of 74 species of Arctic birds thrive on this island.
The Sirmilik National Park covers much of this area and has large populations of Brünnich’s guillemots and black-legged kittiwakes. The importance this area has for birds is shown in its designation as Important Bird Area - the southern end has moist lowland tundra that is ideal nesting habitat for waterfowl, shorebirds and songbirds - more than 70 different species of birds can be found on Bylot Island. Canada’s largest breeding colony of greater snow geese in the Canadian High Arctic is on this island. Look for polar bears, beluga and bowhead whales, narwhals as well as harp and ring seals.
Devon & Coburg Islands
Devon Island, located in Baffin Bay, is only slightly smaller than Croatia. The eastern side is frosted by the Devon Ice Cap, while on the western half of the island lays the 14 mile wide Haughton impact crater. It was created around 39 million years ago when a meteorite crashed into the land. The landscape surrounding this site resembles the surface of Mars. In fact, for the past decade scientists have conducted research here to determine how humans might live one day on Mars. British Arctic explorers Robert Bylot and William Baffin were the first Europeans to sight the island in 1616.
The beautiful uninhabited Coburg Island has a diverse landscape including cliffs, rocky shores, and lush tundra while bowhead whales, narwhals and beluga are known to frequent the surrounding waters. It is one of the Queen Elizabeth Islands and due to its unique ecology and wildlife, this island has been designated an International Biological Program site and a Key Migratory Bird Terrestrial Habitat site. Tens of thousands of seabirds, including Black-legged Kittiwakes, Thick-billed Murres, Glaucous Gulls and Northern Fulmars all nestle together on the rocky cliffs. Good chances of spotting many-ringed seals, bearded seals, polar bears, walruses, narwhals and beluga whales.
Markison & Alexandra Fjords & Pim Island
Markison Fjord was cut into Ellesmere Island by glaciers during the last Ice Age. Today, the combination of calm blue-green waters, icebergs, snow-covered mountains, and glaciers makes for a stunning scenic cruise. Polar bears and beluga are frequently seen in this area.
Alexandra Fjord is a naturally formed inlet on the Johan Peninsula of Ellesmere Island. Although no permanent residents live here, it has been used periodically for a variety of purposes over the years. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police had a station here for ten years, from 1953 to 1963, during the beginning of the Cold War. At the time, it was the northern-most police station in the world. Later, between 1987 and 1992, this location was used as a seasonal research base.
Pim Island is a small island off the eastern coast of Ellesmere Island in the Smith Sound. It was named to honor the naval officer and barrister Bedford Clapperton Pim of the HMS Resolute, for his role in the rescue of the crew of the HMS Investigator. Pim Island is most noted as the site where members of the Greely Expedition of 1881-1884 were forced to take refuge for nine months before they were rescued. By then, 18 of the 25 expedition members had perished. The ruins of their escapade are still visible today.
Qaanaaq (Thule) & Bowdoin Fjord
In AD 850, the Vikings established their parliament in Tórshavn, a name which translates as "Thor's harbor." It was named after Thor, the god of thunder and lightning in Norse mythology. The town became a center of trade for the island, and in fact was designated as the only legal place for the islanders to sell and buy products. This trade monopoly was abolished in 1856. Today it is the capital and largest city of the Faroe Islands, with fish-processing plants, a shipyard, and woolen products making up. It is considered to be one of the oldest capitals in Northern Europe.
Bowdoin Fjord, just over 12 miles from Qaanaaq village, is in the central west section of Greenland. The rocks that make up the scenery inside the fjord are old marine seabed deposits that are more than 1,000 million years old, and with all the weathering, they have become a ‘painted landscape’ of ochres, olives, russets and mauves. At the far end of the fjord is the calving front of the Bowdoin Glacier, which produces many large beautiful icebergs. This area was first explored by American explorer Robert Peary in the early 1900’s.
Cape York, Greenland
Visit the arctic seascape of Cape York, Greenland. Located on the northwestern coast of Greenland in Baffin Bay, Cape York is an important geographical feature delimiting the Melville Bay at its northwestern end and Kiatassuaq Island at its other end. There is a chain of coastal islands that stretches between the two capes, most notably Meteorite Island, named for the discovery one of the world’s largest iron meteorites in Savissivik, a settlement on the island. The iron from this meteorite attracted Inuit migrating from Arctic Canada who used the metal in making tools and harpoons.
Spot wildlife from deck, enjoy informative lectures and the many facilities on board.
Known as the birthplace of icebergs, the Ilulissat Icefjord produces nearly 20 million tons of ice each day. In fact, the word Ilulissat means “icebergs” in the Kalaallisut language. The town of Ilulissat is known for its long periods of calm and settled weather, but the climate tends to be cold due to its proximity to the fjord. Approximately 4,500 people live in Ilulissat, the third-largest town in Greenland after Nuuk and Sisimiut. Some people here estimate that there are nearly as many sled dogs as human beings living in the town.
Only 350 people live in the small Greenlandic community of Kangaamiut. Located on the south coast of Timerdlit Island and facing the Davis Strait, Kangaamiut is situated between the mouths of two long fjords: the Kangerlussuatsiaq Fjord (or Evighedsfjorden in Danish) to its south and to its north Kangaamiut Kangerluarsuat Fjord. Founded in 1755, it was called “Sugarloaf” (Sukkertoppen) because of the appearance of three nearby hills.
Arrive and disembark. Transfer to airport for onward or return travel
A view from Above
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