Greenland to Quebec in Luxury 15 daysAboard: Silver Cloud Expedition
Travel across the Arctic Sea from Greenland to Canada, experiencing stark natural beauty, Inuit art and culture, and rich history dating back to 2200 BC. Starting from Kangerlussuaq, Greenland, we will travel down the stark yet serene Evighedsfjord to the Evigheds Glacier and south to Greenland’s capital of Nuuk before crossing the Arctic Sea to land in Canada. We will explore the culturally rich Iqaluit, which is bursting with Inuit art, from the museum, to the streets, to the interior of a municipal building. We will search for polar bears at Akpatok Island during one of several Zodiac cruises and witness the unforgiving landscape of the Tablelands at Gros Morne National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site formed by glaciers and continents clashing together ages ago. This trip is steeped in history, including a visit to the first site of European settlement (1000 AD) in L’Anse aux Meadows and the 15th century Qilakitsoq mummies in Nuuk. We will cruise scenic passages and search for walrus, polar bear and multiple whale species at various places along the way. 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. If luck is on your side, the Northern Lights will provide bucket list evening entertainment.
- 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
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Having amassed a host of extraordinary adventures in destinations all over the world, Zoe’s experience, skills and enthusiasm for helping clients plan their ideal itinerary will help make your holiday unforgettable, action packed and life-changing.
Mike has more than 15 years of experience in the travel industry and continues to be inspired by the people, places and wildlife he discovers. His in-depth personal knowledge of a diverse range of destinations ensures your adventure itinerary will be a holiday like no other.
With a lifetime of unforgettable nature and adventure based travel under his belt, Simon shares his passion, enthusiasm and hands-on experience to help create the perfect itinerary for every client.
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Zodiac transfer out to the Silver Cloud, waiting at anchor in the fjord. Attend mandatory safety drill and depart on our Adventure.
Evighedsfjord & Kangaamiut
Within roughly an hour of steaming south from Kangerlussuaq Fjord is Evighedsfjord Fjord. The fjords in this area can reach close to a kilometer (over half a mile) of depth and are lined with tidewater glaciers from the Maniitsoq ice sheet located high up in the interior of Greenland. Some of the cliffs along the fjords of this region can exceed 2,000 metres (6,600 ft.) in height.
The Evigheids Glacier flows from the Greenland Ice Sheet, the second largest ice body in the world after the Antarctic ice sheet, to the west. It is a slow-moving tidewater glacier, meaning this valley glacier winds down through the coastal mountains to the ocean at a snail’s pace. As the glacial ice enters the water it begins to float and the eventually breaks apart into icebergs that float away down the fjord. The shades of blue and carved shapes of these ice floes are infinite. Nicknamed ‘Forever Fjord’ thanks to its length (100km, or 62 miles), the impressive Evigheds Fjord seems to go on forever! Take a Zodiac cruise through a portion of the beautiful, serene fjord to the Evighed Glacier, which visitors have described as appearing out of a painting.
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.
Nuuk, meaning “the cape”, was Greenland’s first town (1728). Started as a fort and later mission and trading post some 240 kilometers south of the Arctic Circle, it is the current capital. Almost 30% of Greenland’s population lives in the town. Not only does Nuuk have great natural beauty in its vicinity, but there are Inuit ruins, Hans Egede’s home, the parliament, and the Church of our Saviour as well. The Greenlandic National Museum has an outstanding collection of Greenlandic traditional dresses, as well as the famous Qilakitsoq mummies.
Spend time on deck watching for seabirds and marine mammals; attend informative lectures or just read and relax in the luxurious settings of the Silver Cloud.
Iqaluit is the capital of Canada’s newest territory, Nunavut, which is Inuktitut for “our land”. The community is located at the head of Frobisher Bay, an inlet of the North Atlantic extending into southeastern Baffin Island. The Bay is so long that it was first taken to be the possible entrance of a Northwest Passage. In Iqaluit, the Nunatta Sunakkutaangit Museum and the Nunavut Legislative Assembly Building both house incredible collections of Inuit artwork with interesting local prints for sale in the museum shop.
Lady Franklin & Monumental Islands
Named in honour of Sir John Franklin’s widow, the lonely and uninhabited Lady Franklin Island lies off of Baffin Island’s Hall Peninsula at the entrance to Cumberland Sound. The island is named for the wife of Sir John Franklin, the Arctic explorer who died trying to discover the Northwest Passage. The geology of the island is striking with vertical cliffs of Archean rocks, likely to be some of the oldest stone in Canada. The waters around Lady Franklin Island offer an abundance seabirds, ducks, seals, and walrus. With a bit of luck it is possible to see Atlantic Puffins here and perhaps even a polar bear.
Monumental Island in Davis Strait was named by Arctic explorer Charles Francis Hall as a tribute to the memory of Sir John Franklin who died in his quest to find the Northwest Passage. The island is offshore of Baffin Island in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago of the territory of Nunavut. Around the shoreline scores of Black Guillemots dive and fish for little Arctic cods and capelins. Successful birds fly off with a minnow grasped tightly in their beaks. On a far larger scale, it is possible to find groups of walruses with their impressive tusks along the shores of the island.
Today we explore around remote Akpatok Island at the northernmost tip of the Labrador Peninsula. The steep and sheer limestone cliffs here attract huge amounts of wildlife, most notably the world’s largest population of breeding Brünnich’s Guillemots (Inuktitut name: Akpatok), estimated at well over a million birds. We will see lots of predatoty glaucous gulls and black guillemots and also, hopefully, more polar bears as they wait for the winter ice to form.
Torngat Mountains National Park
Situated on the eastern side of northern Labrador, Torngat is sometimes described as the “Eastern Rocky Mountains”.
This massive park is home to an amazing variety of mountains, valleys and geological features, as well as lots of wildlife. Torngat Mountain and George River caribou migrate to and from their calving grounds and Inuit use the area to hunt, fish and travel throughout the year. Different animal groups will be making their migration at this time and red and Arctic foxes will be looking for lemmings and voles. Harlequin Ducks, Peregrine Falcons, Barrow’s Goldeneye and Short-eared Owls are found within the park. While Minke whales tend to linger in bays, humpback and fin whales like to stay offshore.
Polar bears hunt seals on the ice here in the winter months, and herds of Torngat Mountain and George River caribou migrate to and from their calving grounds in the warmer months. Inuit use the area to hunt, fish and travel throughout the year and many still have a strong spiritual connection to this “Place of Spirits”.
As we make our way along Canada’s scenic coastline, spend some time out on deck keeping an eye out for seabirds, dolphin, seals and migrating humpback, fin or blue whales, or attend additional natural history presentations by our expert staff.
L'Anse aux Meadows
Visit another incredible UNESCO World Heritage Site. L’Anse aux Meadows is the first European settlement in North America. Discovered in 1960, the archaeological site is believed to be settled by either Vikings or the Norse around 1000 AD as evidence of pre-Columbian overseas contact.
Around the year 1000, Vikings from Greenland and Iceland founded the first European settlement in North America, near the northern tip of Newfoundland. They arrived in the New World 500 years before Columbus but stayed only a few years and were forgotten for centuries. Since the settlement's rediscovery in the last century, the archaeological site has brought tourism to the area. Viking themes abound but so do views, whales, icebergs, fun dining experiences, and outdoor activities. L'Anse Aux Meadows on the northern tip of the island of Newfoundland is a remote community of just 40 people.
Another World Heritage site for both its exceptional natural scenery and distinctive geological history, Gros Morne National Park provides some of Earth's great geology lessons. This morning we will step on the earth’s mantle and experience the harsh landform, known as the Tablelands and visit Gros Morne’s Discovery Centre to learn more about Newfoundland’s geology, plant and animal life, marine story and human history.
Take a guided 2½ mile round trip hike to the entrance of Winterhouse Brook Canyon or a more leisurely walk to just enjoy the scenery.
Acclaimed for its unearthly landscape, Woody Point is probably as close to Mars as you will ever get in this lifetime. Situated on the west coast of the island, the Tablelands behind Woody Point in the Gros Morne National Park are composed of peridotite — like much of the surface of Mars — and NASA, the Canadian Space Agency, plus others are studying this unique land form searching for insights into possible bacterial life on the red planet. The story of the Tablelands earned Gros Morne its World Heritage Site status from UNESCO in 2010, and the area remains a geological wonder, showcasing a time when the continents of Africa and North America collided.
Havre St. Pierre
Havre St. Pierre is a tiny seaside port on the north shore of the Saint Lawrence River in Quebec. It was settled in 1857 by Acadians from the Magdalen Island. St Pierre is a little piece of France, where the inhabitants speak metropolitan, instead of Canadian, French and even use the Euro for currency! This is a great place from which to send a postcard home from the distinctive post office.
It was originally called Saint-Pierre-de-la-Pointe-aux-Esquimaux until 1927, when it was officially shortened to Havre St Pierre. Until recently the local economy relied mainly on fishing and lumbering, today it is mainly a titanium ore-transhipment port. Nearby is one of the world’s most amazing natural phenomena – the Mingan Archipelago. They are the largest group of erosional monoliths in Canada, and were declared a National Park in 1984. These limestone monoliths have formed over thousands of years by wave action, strong winds and seasonal freezing and thawing. The result is a unique set of large limestone sculptures.
Interesting museums here too, including one with the only guillotine to have been used in North America.
Bonaventure Island & Percé
Bonaventure Island, on Quebec’s Gaspe Peninsula, is an uninhabited island that is home to the largest gannet colony in North America, and the second largest in the world. It was first protected as a bird sanctuary in 1919 by the federal government. Later, in 1973, it became a national park, administered by Canada’s National Park Service. Explorer Jacques Cartier noted seeing gannets as he sailed past in 1534. One report in 1887 estimated 3,000 birds. Today, there are more than eighty thousand gannets, along with many other seabird species that nest on the island.
The discovery of these parts of Canada, inhabited at one time by Micmac Indians, by French explorers made Percé a stop-off point between Québec City and France. In the 17th century Percé developed into a bustling port with hundreds of boats anchored in the summer season. During the English campaign against Québec, the small village was burned down by the English. Afterwards, Percé was forgotten for almost half a century. Following the Treaty of Versailles, reconstruction began; by 1777 Percé added 400 seasonal fishermen to its year-round population of 300.
As we sail towards Quebec and the end of our exciting expedition take the time to enjoy your sumptuous surroundings or meet new friends to regale tales of the unique experiences you have encountered together. Keep an eye out on deck for final wildlife and birdlife sightings.
Arrive in the morning and disembark.
You may wish to spend an extra day or 2 here to experience this unique city. Québec City's alluring setting atop Cape Diamond (Cap Diamant) evokes a past of high adventure, military history, and exploration. This French-speaking capital city is the only walled city north of Mexico. Visitors come for the delicious and inventive cuisine, the remarkable historical continuity, and to share in the seasonal exuberance of the largest Francophone population outside France.
A view from Above
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