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Exploring Greenland and the Canadian High Arctic

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August 10 - 26, 2013 (17 Days)

Days 1 & 2 — U.S./Ottawa/Iqaluit

Fly to Ottawa, Canada, and check in to the Fairmont Chateau Laurier . Fly to Iqaluit the following day via chartered flight where we embark the National Geographic Explorer.

Days 3, 4, & 5 — Padloping and Hall Peninsula

We begin in true expedition style, exploring the Padloping region and the wild Hall Peninsula of Baffin Island. Hike the tundra in search of caribou and arctic foxes, or follow our botanist to learn more about the hardy Arctic plants. The exposed rocky cliffs of Monumental and are used as haul-outs by walruses. We’ll cruise the coastline in search of these icons of the Canadian North.

Days 6, 7, & 8 — Exploring the Canadian High Arctic

Lancaster Sound has been a favorite Inuit hunting and fishing location for thousands of years. Our days here will be spent searching for ringed seals, arctic foxes, walruses, and polar bears, as well as beluga, killer, and bowhead whales. We may even see the elusive narwhal, an Arctic whale known for the long, spiraling tooth that can project nearly ten feet from its upper jaw. Delve into the region’s human history on visits to archaeological sites of the Thule people and vibrant Inuit villages sustained by fishing and artistic traditions.

Day 9 — At Sea

Watch for wildlife, enjoy the ship’s amenities, and attend talks by our experts as we travel through Baffin Bay—named by explorer William Baffin when he ventured here in the 17th century on his search for the Northwest Passage—to Lancaster Sound, the eastern gateway to the Arctic Archipelago.

Day 10 — Disko Bay and Ilulissat Icefjord

Sail into Disko Bay to explore the World Heritage site of Ilulissat Icefjord, a tongue of the Greenland ice cap that extends to the bay. Take an extraordinary cruise among towering icebergs at the mouth of the fjord. Then walk alongside this immense, calving glacier to the Inuit fishing village of Sermermiut.

Day 11 — Greenland’s West Coast and Sisimiut

Dozens of deep fjords carve into Greenland’s west coast, many with glaciers fed by the ice cap that covers about 80 percent of the country. Discover this beautiful and ragged coastline in Zodiacs, searching for humpback and minke whales. At Sisimiut, a former whaling port, visit the museum and wander amid a picturesque jumble of 18th-century wooden buildings.

Day 12 — Kangerlussuaq/Ottawa, Canada

Disembark at the head of Kangerlussuaq Fjord, a scenic waterway that stretches 100 miles, and is aptly known as the “long fjord.” Fly via chartered air to Ottawa, Canada where you will check into your hotel the Fairmont Chateau Laurier Hotel.

Day 13 — Ottawa/U.S.

After breakfast head to the airport to catch your flight home.