Canada to Greenland: Baffin Bay Explorer

Quark Expeditions
4.0 . Great
74%
Travel Style: Array Relaxed
Physical Level: All or most of day hiking or biking, hills included. Moderate
Lodging Level: 3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards. Comfort (4*)
13 days
From: $ 6,495 $ 500 / day
Checking price

Overview

Highlights (Bullets)

  • Explore the Ilulissat Icefjord, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Visit Sam Ford Fjord, one of the most beautiful and isolated places on the planet
  • View arctic wildlife, such as walrus and possibly polar bears
  • Cruise in a Zodiac
  • Visit traditional settlements and meet Greenlandic and Inuit locals

Short Description

On this adventure, we’ll explore some of the most isolated regions in the world as our small ship and Zodiacs take us to areas that are otherwise inaccessible. The unrivaled natural beauty of these remote lands is simply breathtaking: you can’t help but marvel at the red heart-shaped mountain of Uummannaq, the soaring rock faces of the Sam Ford Fjord, the freshly calved bergs in the Ilulissat Icefjord, and the sheer ruggedness of islands inhabited only by iconic arctic creatures such as walrus and polar bears. In one mystical expedition, you’ll experience the wonder of the wilderness of these two historic islands.

Style Small ship cruise
See all the highlights and popular spots on a classic tour.
Itinerary Focus Classic Highlights
3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards.
Lodging Level Comfort (4*)
Flight & Transport Inclusions All internal ground transport
Start City Ottawa
End City Ottawa

Itinerary

Day 1: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Your arctic adventure begins in Ottawa. Explore the Canadian capital on your own, before spending the night at your well-appointed hotel.

Day 2: Embarkation Day in Iqaluit, Nunavut

After breakfast, board our charter flight to Iqaluit, where your first Zodiac ride will transfer you from shore to ship. You’ll experience the power of nature, as the tides here are the second highest in Canada, rising up to 39 feet (12 meters) twice a day. On board, you’ll meet your Expedition Team, the captain and his officers.

Day 3: Monumental Island

Off the southern coast of Baffin Island, this small, isolated island is completely uninhabited, except for the large population of impressive arctic animals that call the rugged terrain home. With your experienced expedition staff, you’ll get up close, exploring the rocky shoreline in a Zodiac, scouting for hauled-out walrus and polar bears prowling for food.

Day 4: Kekerten Island and Pangnirtung

Today, you cross north of the Arctic Circle. Wandering the historical remains of a whaling station on the uninhabited island of Kekerten, it’s easy to envision what life was like during the height of whaling in the Cumberland Sound area. This National Historic Site of Canada was charted by Scottish whaler Captain William Penny in 1840 and soon became a major whaling destination. The site was abandoned around 1926, after whaling declined and local Inuit families moved to the mainland community of Pangnirtung, where a trading post was established by the Hudson’s Bay Company.

As you cruise toward the picturesque Pangnirtung, you’ll see why this Inuit hamlet at the mouth of the Pangnirtung Fjord is called the Switzerland of the Arctic. Tucked beneath the snow- capped peaks of Mount Duval, Pang is also a renowned artists’ haven. Stop by the studio at the Uqqurmiut Centre for Arts & Crafts to view the traditional colorful tapestries that have attracted worldwide attention for decades. Here, you’ll also get a sense of local Inuit activities, such as sealing, fishing and hunting.

Day 5: At Sea

As our ship steams briefly south, enjoy the views of the southern coast of Baffin Island. While you spend this day at sea, join expedition staff as they look for whales and birdlife out on deck. This is your chance to relax with a glass of wine or hot tea and simply take in the wondrous beauty around you.

Day 6: Cumberland Peninsula

We continue sailing around the Cumberland Peninsula, letting the weather guide us in choosing our shore landings, as we explore this scenic region.

Day 7: Sam Ford Fjord

Situated about 380 miles (450 km) north of the Arctic Circle, in the land where the sun never sets, Sam Ford Fjord is truly one of the most isolated places on the planet. Yet this little-explored area of Baffin Island is one of the world’s best big-wall playgrounds, attracting intrepid climbers eager to scale the sheer rock faces that shoot straight out of the sea. Have your camera ready, as the number of huge formations here are awe inspiring.

 

Tonight, you’ll traverse Baffin Bay, saying goodbye to Canadian shores. Expedition staff will preview the excitement still to come in Greenland—glaciers and mummies!

Day 8: Uummannaq and Qilaqitsoq, Greenland

In the morning, you’ll visit the abandoned settlement of Qilaqitsoq (also known as Qilakitsoq), where a ghoulish discovery was made in 1972: the two graves of eight fully dressed mummies, thought to have drowned circa 1475. The remains of three women and a child are kept at the Greenland National Historic Museum in Nuuk, the Greenlandic capital.

You’ll want to be out on deck as we approach the stunning sight of Uummannaq, its colorful peaked houses perched on the rocky foothills of the red heart-shaped mountain that gave the community its name. Founded as a Danish colony in 1758 on the Nuussuaq mainland, five years later the settlement moved here, where seal hunting was more plentiful. A hike up a gently sloping hill overlooking the seaside town will yield a panoramic view of icebergs, sea and mountains.

Day 9: Eqip Sermia

Today, sail to one of the most breathtaking places in Greenland: the beautiful Eqip Sermia. As you trace the front of the massive calving glacier from a safe distance, the sounds and sight of huge chunks of ice crashing into the sea are simply spectacular.

Day 10: Ilulissat

Have your camera out as you approach Ilulissat. The nearby Ilulissat Icefjord, a tidal fjord covered with massive ice, has fascinated scientists for over 250 years. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is the sea mouth of the Sermeq Kujalleq (Jakobshavn Glacier), the fastest-moving glacier in the world, which produces at least 10 percent of all of Greenland’s calf ice. In fact, the young icebergs you see here will eventually end up off the coast of Newfoundland years later. Exploring the beauty of this natural phenomenon, you’ll be rewarded with breathtaking vistas of glaciers and ice caps.

Day 11: Itilleq

Surrounded by sea, fjords and mountains, the picturesque village of Itilleq is situated on an island with no freshwater source (a facility desalinates seawater). The community, whose main trade is fishing and hunting, will welcome us and show us their way of life. Later, join locals in a friendly soccer match.

Day 12: Kangerslussuaq

After disembarking in Kangerslussuaq, a former U.S. military base, you’ll be transferred to your charter flight to Ottawa, where you’ll spend the night at your included hotel.

Day 13: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Today, make your way to the airport or spend a relaxing day exploring in the city.

Availability

Checking price
Price From $ 6,495
Price Per Day: $ 500 per day
Checking price
  • Deposit Price: $ 1,000

Check Current Availability, prices, specials with Quark Expeditions.

Prices may vary due to local taxes and trip seasonality. Click "Request Info" to inquire directly with the tour operator for the final trip price.

78 Quark Expeditions Travel Reviews & Ratings

74%
4.0 out of 5 (100+ reviews)
Excellent 56
Great 2
Average 0
Disappointing 1
Terrible 19
Value
4.0
Guide
4.0
Activities
4.0
Lodging
4.0
Transportation
4.0
Meals
4.0

Canada to Greenland: Baffin Bay Explorer

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Company Reviews

Run! Scam! Worst cruise company ever!

1.0
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Activities1.0
Lodging1.0
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Meals1.0
I had the unfortunate experience of booking a cruise with Quark Expeditions, and I must say it was one of the most disappointing and frustrating experiences I've ever had. The entire process from start to finish left a bitter taste in my mouth.

Firstly, Quark Expeditions cancelled our cruise without any prior warning or communication. I understand that unforeseen circumstances can arise, but the complete lack of transparency and consideration for their customers was unacceptable. We had already made travel arrangements, taken time off work, and were eagerly looking forward to our trip, only to have it snatched away without any explanation.

To make matters even worse, the communication from Quark Expeditions during this ordeal was abysmal. There was no attempt made to keep us informed of the cancellation, and we were left scrambling to find out what had happened ourselves. It was an infuriating and anxiety-inducing experience, as we were left in the dark with no information about alternative options or compensation.

To add insult to injury, Quark Expeditions then decided to hold us captive in an airport hotel for three days, with no clear reasoning or explanation. We were effectively trapped, unable to leave the hotel or explore the area while we waited for further instruction. This was not only a waste of our time and money, but it also left us feeling like prisoners in a foreign country.

Perhaps the most frustrating part of this entire situation is the fact that Quark Expeditions informed us that it would take a whopping 60 days to process our refund. Sixty days! This long wait is completely unreasonable and demonstrates a complete disregard for their customers' financial well-being. It's as if they have no understanding or respect for the fact that people have budgets, bills to pay, and other responsibilities to fulfill.

Overall, my experience with Quark Expeditions was truly disappointing. The cancelled cruise, lack of communication, being held captive in an airport hotel, and the exorbitant wait time for a refund have left me with a sour impression of this company. I would strongly advise others to think twice before booking a trip with Quark Expeditions, as their lack of professionalism and customer care is completely unacceptable.
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Company is a scam

1.0
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This company cancelled our trip 3 times due to COVID. The most recent cancellation was less than 10 days notice. When we tried to re-book this time for a later date (our fourth reservation with them), they charged us over $10,000 more for the EXACT same itinerary even after their 100% guarantee says they have a voyage-for-voyage exchange on cancelled trips and we would be able to exchange the trip for the same itinerary. Now they've changed their rules to say they only have 1 date available that's approved for "exchanges." So our original booking, which was the week of Christmas, now has to be some random week when conditions are not as good and we won't even see Antarctica in the season we wanted. For the EXACT same itinerary as we already booked and paid for (and they kept the money for over 2 years for, while continuing to cancel our trips) they want 10k+ more to book. This is a scam and these people have kept our money for going on 3 years now with absolutely no intent to honor their "guarantee." This company has been a nightmare from the beginning and I highly recommend you book with someone else.
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Terrible company.

1.0
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Activities1.0
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Terrible company. It has taken me 10 months to finally get the refund from the trip me and my wife had booked (Aberdeen to svalbard). Quark refused to refund for the first 7 months saying they didn't cancel the trip (even though it didn’t run and the boat was at anchor in a different country) i was told that the trip has been re scheduled and not cancelled so legally they do not have to refund me. I hope Andrew white the ceo is proud of his decision to steal hard earned money from customers and make them fight for months to get back what is rightfully there's. After 7 months of me constantly badgering the travel agent i booked through and quark directly they agreed to refund my money but it will take them 90 days to process this refund. Its amazing quark can accept payments automatically but needs 90 days to return payments. If you are booking with quark now on there new refund terms be careful of the wording. It says IF THEY CANCEL THE TRIP which quark will not do, they will re schedule it for another date 12 months or more away, ie next years trip which you will then have to pay the price increases to them as well. Avoid at all costs.
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So much excitement yet letdown after letdown

2.0
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Value2.0
Guide2.0
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Lodging2.0
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Meals2.0
My wife and I recently planned and booked a trip to Antarctica with Quark. We were thrilled about the opportunity and had done the research to ensure we could make it happen. We chose Quark because of there great marketing and reviews and leadership with the expeditions in the area.

Everything was great until we actually went to go book. It started off by experiencing an abnormal 3 week delay in response to our request to book a tour. Then once we did and responded with specifics about what to book and where to send the deposit, another long delay. Eventually Quark made the decision to cancel all of its upcoming trips until March 2021. They presented options on how to reconcile any prepayments. We responded with how we would like to move forward. THREE MONTHS LATER, we get a response that they had a technical error preventing them from being able to provide refunds without having to send over specific bank details. Poor customer service in general. Maybe we will have forgotten by the time we go to book this again in the future, but other travelers should know.

TLDR: Great marketing, terrible service.
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Warning

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Warning
I booked a trip to the Arctic Circle 2021 on 08/28 and paid a deposit.
On 09/10 Quark canceled the trip and informed me today that the repayment will take up to 90 days due to the high workload!
I assume that Quark knew about the cancellation at the End of August and managed to collect my money in 2 days despite the workload.
I would like the money back that fast!
With the cancellation, Quark made a promise that it would be very easy to rebook in 2022, fo the same voyage, the same ship and the same price (or two options for money back).
Well, nothing was easy, because the promise could not be kept, since 2 trips in 2021 will only become one trip in 2022.
First they had a single cabin for me, then suddenly they didn't.
Instead of offering me another shared cabin at the price of the booking period - there was an early bird discount - they offered a single cabin for 34,000.00 and told me that the prices in 2022 were now higher.
Where was the promise?
And now they keep my money up to 90 days. This is really bad style Quark Expeditions!
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Do NOT book with Quark

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Meals1.0
Do NOT book with Quark. Please please please take your hard earned money elsewhere. Due to Covid, our voyage was cancelled for January 2021 which is totally acceptable. Times are tough and businesses need to make the right decisions for their employees, their investors and their future. However, by not taking care of customers, they have failed miserably. Quark wanted to book us on a future voyage instead (great!) but then proceeds to tell us that all of the options that we have paid for are not available - so a lesser product. Additionally, before the voyage was cancelled, we had friends that we travel with frequently shop for the same trip. The price was lower each time (again, typical business practice and understood by me as someone that works in both marketing and in the travel space), but the issue is that Quark refuses to do a price adjustment (we have screenshots sent from friends of what that price was). Noted here, per Quark's cancellation policy, we could have cancelled and rebooked on that same trip at the lower rate ($3k per person lower rate). However, when we contacted Quark at that time, we received no response as they were clearly deciding how to solve the challenge they created by having a cancellation policy that was in conflict with their pricing strategy. So instead of just making it right for the customer, Quark has lost a customer. Simple price adjustment, date change to the same excursion we booked and decent customer service would have built some loyal customers that can easily influence others to give their product a try. Quark has failed us, do not let them fail you. There are plenty of other options available.
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Details

Ship Name

Sea Adventurer

Ship Stats

Staff and Crew: 83

Guests: 117

Lifeboats: 4 partially enclosed

Length: 101.1 meters

Breadth: 16.2 meters

Draft: 4.5 meters

Propulsion: Diesel Twin Engines - 5,200 horsepower.

Ice Class: 1A

Cruising Speed: 12 knots in open water

Registration: Bahamas

Ship Description

Designed to carry travelers in comfort to the most remote corners of the world, Sea Adventurer was built in Yugoslavia in 1976, refurbished in 1999 and had further upgrades in 2002. You will be impressed by this ice-strengthened ship, which carries up to 117 passengers and features a spacious forward lounge and bar, window-lined dining room and promenades.

The nimble, ice-strengthened Sea Adventurer is undergoing a multi-million dollar renovation. Take a look at what to expect for 2017:

A new look and feel throughout

Renovations to the interior of the ship including outside cabins with ensuites, spacious forward lounge and bar, and other amenities

The addition of new passenger cabins

New bathrooms in every cabin, and upgrades to the Main Lounge and Main Dining Room, gym, and select suites

Significant technical enhancements – including two new engines, generators, gear boxes, drive systems, and re-bladed propellers

Increased fuel efficiency, and a minimized carbon footprint.

Deck & Cabin Plans

All Deck & Cabin Plans (affiliate link) Trip Photos (affiliate link)

Optional Activities

Add an Extra Rush of Adrenaline to Your Expedition

Every Quark Antarctic voyage includes great daily outdoor activities including Zodiac cruises, hiking and some also offer snowshoeing. The more discerning adrenaline junkie can also choose from a range of optional adventure activities, with varying exertion levels, to experience the 7th continent in a more personal way. Contact a Quark Polar Travel Adviser to learn more about adventure options, including physical requirements.

Kayaking - $595 per person

Kayaking in the Arctic is probably one of the most intimate and inspiring ways you can explore the rugged coastlines and calm bays of the regions we visit.

Kayaking in the Polar Regions is highly weather-dependent, however we guarantee at least one outing throughout your voyage, but your kayak guides will take you out as many times as possible throughout your voyage.

Offered on most Arctic voyages, spaces are limited and require some kayaking experience. All equipment, guides and instructions are provided by Quark.

Flight & Transport Inclusions

All internal ground transport

Local Flights

There is an additional cost of $1895 required for charter flights.

Group Size

Standard Group - 25 + people

Cancellation policy

All requests for cancellation must be received in writing. Cancellations received 180 days or more prior to departure, are refunded less an administrative fee of minimum US$1250, AU$1000, £650, €800 per person. If cancellation is received between 179 days and 120 days, the deposit is forfeited. If cancellation occurs less than 120 days prior to departure, all payments are forfeited. If full payment has not yet been received, the full penalty will still apply and any unpaid balance is due immediately. To protect the traveler’s investment, we recommend that you obtain adequate trip cancellation insurance.

Cancellations cannot be made online.

Additional Information

Embracing the unexpected is part of the legacy – and excitement – of expedition travel. When traveling in extremely remote regions, your expedition staff must allow the sea, the ice and the weather to guide route and itinerary details. This itinerary is a tentative outline of what you’ll experience on this voyage; please be aware that no specific itinerary can be guaranteed.

Trip ID#:

CanGreQua

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