Walrus, coast of Greenland

Iceland, Greenland and Baffin Island: Arctic Circle Traverse

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Leisurely
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Trip code: 
PNI
Way to Travel:
Guided Group
Activity:
Polar
Min age:
18
Max group size:
132

An in-depth exploration of historic, remote regions of Iceland, Greenland and Canada

This Arctic adventure is an in-depth exploration of historic, remote regions of Iceland, Greenland and Canada, venturing to some of the most picturesque places on the planet. These are untamed lands of glaciers and icebergs, where majestic ice-clad mountains and soaring fjords open dramatically into the sea. We’ll be awed by massive bird cliffs, mingle with locals, wander abandoned settlements, soak in spectacular hot springs, and experience rare opportunities to get up close to arctic wildlife such as whales, Polar bears and puffins.

Highlights

  • Explore the Kekerten Island Whaling Station, a National Historic Site of Canada
  • Encounter wildlife such as whales, walrus, puffins and possibly Polar bears
  • Experience an authentic arctic ghost town
  • Visit traditional settlements and meet Greenlandic and Inuit local
  • Travel in a small expedition vessel
  • Accompanied by extremely qualified Expedition Staff

Key information

  • 15 nights in a choice of cabin types, all with en suite facilities, 1 night hotel in Reykjavik and 1 night in Ottawa
  • Expedition cruising in comfortable conditions

What's included

  • All meals while on the ship
  • All accommodation
  • All transport and listed activities
  • Full complement of qualified Expedition Staff
  • Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Single accommodation (available on request)
  • Visas or vaccinations
  • Mandatory transfer package (including charter flights) £600 (or equivalent in booking currency) paid on booking
Call for general departures:
0208 772 3936
Call for tailormade trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Responsible Travel

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here… 

Itinerary

  • Day 1

    Start Rekjavik, night in hotel.

    Our journey begins in Reykjavik where we will overnight in a hotel - pack your bathing suit, so you can relax in a pool heated by geothermal activity near the hotel where you will spend the night.

  • Day 2

    Embarkation Day in Akureyri.

    After breakfast, you’ll board a charter flight to the northern Icelandic town of Akureyri, where your arctic adventure begins. As our ship sets sail, enjoy some time out on deck, taking in your new surroundings. Have your binoculars and camera ready—you may spot birdlife and whales at sea!

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 3

    Hornvík, Iceland.

    Sailing into the peaceful bay of Hornvík, you’ll reach the northernmost point of Iceland. This area is encircled by two of the largest bird cliffs in Europe. You can hike an old path, once used by fowlers, out to the majestic Hornbjarg cliffs, which are dominated by millions of seabirds, such as Brünnich’s guillemots, kittiwakes and puffins. Encounters with Arctic fox are common here.

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 4

    At Sea.

    While we cross the Denmark Strait, your Expedition Team will keep you informed and entertained with educational presentations about the wildlife, history and geography of Greenland, your next stop. Join expedition staff on deck and on the bridge as they look out for whales and seabirds, get to know your fellow guests or simply take in the natural beauty that surrounds you.

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Days 5-6

    East Greenland

    Now we sail south, dipping beneath the Arctic Circle. We’ll attempt our first Greenlandic shore landing, on the island of Ammassalik, one of the most isolated inhabited regions on Earth. This is an ideal area to explore by Zodiac, offering opportunities to take some stunning photographs. As you venture deep into the spectacular Sermilik Fjord, behold the breathtaking vistas of massive icebergs set against a backdrop of soaring snow-clad mountains.

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Days 7-10

    South Greenland.

    Ships rarely venture into Lindenow Fjord, the least-occupied fjord in Greenland. With your Expedition Team in tow, you’ll cruise by Zodiac in an arm of the fjord, as our staff use their years of arctic experience to search for bearded seals lying on the pack ice. You may also spot waterfalls along the sheer rock face.

    Prins Christian Sund is made up of a spectacular series of massive tidewater glaciers. A mountainous region laced with fjords, it’s an attractive area to explore by Zodiac, if the ice allows us to navigate with ease.

    Rounding the southern edge of Greenland, we’ll land at Narsaq Kujalliq, also known as Narsarmijit. Founded by Herrnhut missionaries in 1824, it’s the country’s southernmost settlement, 31 miles (50 km) north of Cape Farewell. You’ll explore Herjolfsnes, the site of an excavated Norse farm, and also have the chance to hike in the area or soak in a natural hot spring while icebergs float by.

    Welcome to the land of hot springs! A common natural phenomenon in Greenland, heated springs have lured visitors for thousands of years. On the uninhabited island of Uunartoq, three springs form a small stone-dammed pool that’s warm enough to bathe in. Surrounded by soaring mountain peaks, you can relax in this outdoor spa and contemplate the surreal scenery around you as majestic icebergs drift by.

    In the fertile region of South Greenland, you’ll visit the well-preserved ruins of a Norse church in Hvalsey. Walk amongst the towering stone walls, and you’ll feel the presence of the settlers who used to gather here before the site was abandoned in the 15th century. The Nearby fells and fjord have not changed over the centuries.

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 11

    West Greenland.

    As you sail toward Paamiut, you’ll be struck by the beauty of the surrounding dark blue mountains. Known for its mysterious fog and pleasing blend of old and new culture, the town has its own guardian: the white-tailed eagle. Inhabitants feel a strong connection with the king of the birds, and legend has it that good luck will come to those who spot it (easy to do, as they’re seen in large numbers here). Simply smile at locals, and they’ll enthusiastically share their fondness for their town, and fishermen will happily talk about their trade. You’ll have the opportunity to hike a nature trail that’s a thousand years old. You also may be able to spot fin, humpback, minke or killer whales from shore.

    History and culture buffs will find plenty to do in the bustling Greenlandic capital of Nuuk. Wander along to the waterfront to see the Hans Egede Church and Hans Egede statue, both named after the missionary who founded the settlement in 1728. At the Greenland National Historic Museum, you can view the 500-year-old remains of fully dressed mummies, found in 1972 after two brothers out grouse hunting discovered their graves under a rock outcrop. Also worth exploring are the Katuaq Culture Centre and Nuuk Art Museum.

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 12

    At Sea.

    Today, we sail across the Davis Strait, a major summer feeding ground for walrus and narwhals. Our informative presentations will prepare you for your Baffin Island adventures. During this time at sea, it’s easy to stay entertained: learn to identify seabirds on the wing, share photos and swap stories with shipmates, lounge with a book in our Polar Library, savor a glass of wine in the bar or get active in the exercise room. Or simply stay up on deck, enjoying the impressive sea views.

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 13

    Baffin Island, Nunavut, Canada.

    We’ll trace the southeastern coast of Baffin Island, the largest island in Canada and the fifth largest in the world. In this land of glacial lakes, an abundance of vibrant wildflowers such as yellow arctic poppies and purple saxifrage are scattered across the fertile landscape. Your time here will be spent going on wildlife excursions by Zodiac, hiking the tundra and visiting fishing villages and traditional Inuit settlements, learning about the local history and culture.

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 14

    Pangnirtung and Kekerten Island.

    Dubbed the Switzerland of the Arctic, the Inuit hamlet of Pangnirtung is nestled beneath the jagged, frosty peaks of Mount Duval, at the mouth of the picturesque Pangnirtung Fjord, which merges with the Cumberland Sound. Artists in Pang, as locals call it, are renowned for their traditional Inuit arts and crafts, especially intricate woven tapestries and lithographs. Here, you can visit the internationally acclaimed Uqqurmiut Centre for Arts & Crafts to watch craftspeople in action in the tapestry studio, purchase a limited- edition litho at the print shop, and even pick up a colorful Pang hat (with matching scarf and mittens) to keep you warm during the rest of your arctic adventure.

    Nearby, you’ll explore the historic remains of a whaling station on the small uninhabited island of Kekerten, and imagine what life was like long ago. Settled in 1840 by Captain William Penny, a Scottish whaler, the area is now a National Historic Site of Canada. During the height of bowhead whaling in the late 1800s, the station was the most important one in the Cumberland Sound area (the slopes along the harbor were ideal for scouting whale activity). The site represents the impact that the industry had on the culture and economy of the Inuit in the sound, as locals adapted to the rhythm of the whaler’s year.

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 15

    Monumental Island.

    Expect more wildlife sightings at Monumental Island, located off the southern coast of Baffin Island. Though uninhabited by people, the island is a well-known habitat of some of the Arctic’s most magnificent animals. As you cruise in a Zodiac along the rocky shores, keep your eyes peeled for hauled-out walrus and prowling Polar bears.

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 16

    Lower Savage Islands.

    Cruising in a Zodiac through the narrow channels separating the three rocky islands of this uninhabited archipelago, there’s a possibility of seeing polar bears meandering the rugged coast.

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 17

    Iqaluit.

    Before disembarking in Iqaluit, you’ll have a chance to bid farewell to your Expedition Team and shipmates. After, board your direct charter flight to Ottawa, where you’ll spend the night at your included hotel.

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 18

    End Ottawa.

    Today, you can make your way to the Ottawa airport to connect with your homeward flight, or spend more time exploring Canada’s capital if you have booked additional accommodation.

    Meals included: Breakfast
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Essential Info

Group Information

The Ocean Atlantic can take a maximum of 132 passengers. The Exodus group forms part of the ship’s complement, enjoying the relaxed, intimate and informal atmosphere, which breaks into smaller groups to facilitate the frequent excursions. We offer these cruises in conjunction with our partner, Quark Expeditions, and Exodus participants will join an international group, not all of whom have booked through Exodus. Occasionally some of these may be younger than 12 years old, the Exodus' stated minimum age for this trip.

Visas

Greenland

No visa required for British passport holders.

Iceland

No visa required for British passport holders.

Canada

The Government of Canada has an entry requirement, known as an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA), for some international travellers flying into Canada. Citizens from countries other than the US who do not require a visa to enter Canada are required to obtain an eTA before entering the country. Eligible travellers will need to go online to apply for their eTA.

To apply for your eTA you will need your passport, credit or debit card and an email address. At the time of publication there was a CAD$7 fee to process your eTA. Your eTA will be valid for a period of five years, or until your passport expires. We recommend you carry a print out of your eTA approval when you travel. Please visit www.canada.ca/eTA to apply.

If you have not applied for and received authorisation via an eTA prior to travel you may be denied boarding, experience a delayed processing or be denied admission at the Canadian point of entry. However, neither possession of a visa nor meeting the basic requirements for travelling visafree on the eTA, guarantees admission to Canada. As with most countries, the final determination of admissibility is made by immigration officials at the point of entry.

Arctic

No visa required for British passport holders.

Vaccinations

Greenland

There are no specific health risks.

Iceland

There are no specific health risks.

Canada

There are no specific health risks.

Arctic

There are no specific health risks.

Eating and Drinking

All meals while on the ship included.

Typical Meals

The ships galley offers good quality service and cuisine throughout, with excellent chefs preparing international menus including vegetarian dishes, accompanied by a wide variety of drinks from around the world on sale.

Breakfast: Buffet style – unlimited tea and coffee, a selection of fruit juices, hot options including bacon and eggs or omelettes, a selection of bread and toast and jam/honey/marmalade, fruit and cereal.

Lunch: Three course set meal, or the occasional buffet or BBQ.

Dinner: Three courses with a starter of soup, salad or anti-pasto, a choice of three mains with at least one vegetarian and one seafood option and a dessert of sweet pudding or ice cream or fruit, tea and coffee.

Is this trip for you?

Travelling Conditions

The voyages are designed to be as flexible as possible, taking advantage of circumstances and events as they occur, as well as passengers' wishes and particular interests wherever possible. The atmosphere on board is relaxed and friendly with expedition staff, including naturalists and Polar experts, on hand and the opportunity to mingle with people from all over the world. The ship is kept warm, clean and comfortable with a wet/mud room in which to hang gear and store boots ready for the next adventure.

On the Zodiac cruises you are sitting still for most of the time with the potential for some sea spray and a cold headwind - if you are not dressed appropriately you will get cold. On the shore excursions, the majority of landings are wet which means that the Zodiacs beach and you are helped to slide into the ankle deep shore break before walking up onto dry land (wellington boots are issued to all passengers). There are, of course, no paths, so be prepared for slippery, rough terrain and sometimes fairly deep snow. Back on board the cosy ship after each adventure, you can have a sauna and/or a hot shower and then relax with a tea, coffee, hot chocolate or something stronger from the bar.

Optional activities

Sea kayaking option

On this voyage there is the chance for some members of the party to take regular sea kayak excursions in place of the Zodiac excursions. There are a limited number of kayaks on each ship, and you must book and pay for this option in advance. All kayak trips are guided, and are subject to suitable locations and weather conditions. Should the kayaking not be possible, a place on a Zodiac is always available. Basic kayak competence is required.

Call for general departures:
0208 772 3936
Call for tailormade trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Accommodation

Ocean Atlantic

The Iceland, Greenland, and Baffin Island: Arctic Circle Traverse is offered on the Ocean Atlantic which is a Polar Adventure Ship. Full board accommodation on the ship, generally on a twin share basis in a variety of cabin types, all with shared or en suite facilities. Please visit the Polar Fleet page (www.exodus.co.uk/polar-holidays/polar-fleet) for Ship Information and Deck Plans.

Polar Adventure Ship:

These are small ice rated vessels well qualified for Polar waters. Intimate adventures are always more enjoyable with like-minded passengers and staff, so these voyages are for people who like flexible itineraries and plenty to keep them busy. Activities include frequent Zodiac excursions, trekking, kayaking and many hours on deck in areas that other ships only dream about accessing. Food and staff are superb and every guest benefits from the technical advances of this superb fleet. Rest assured our Polar Adventure Ships enable any traveller to maximize their experience sensitively in the Poles.

Call for general departures:
0208 772 3936
Call for tailormade trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Expert Blog Entries

Be the first to post your review! If you have recently returned from an Exodus adventure and want to help other travellers with your feedback then simply use the link below to post your holiday review.

Dates & Prices

An overview of flight options

Exodus is committed to making joining our tours as easy as possible, wherever you live. We generally only block book seats from London, but this certainly does not mean that you need to fly from there. Depending on the route and airlines available, there will usually be various options available for those who want to fly from their local airport.

This page aims to provide a useful overview of the options available to our clients. However, the best flight arrangements should be tailored to your personal requirements, so please contact our Sales team for expert advice.

 

What kind of options do I have ?

1. We can book for you: Flights from anywhere in the world - not via London  

Depending on the route, this may be direct or via an overseas hub like Amsterdam, the Middle East or elsewhere. On short haul routes there may be direct flights with low cost airlines, charter flights or scheduled airlines. Exodus can book most, but not all, of these for you. The most appropriate airline may be different to that which we use for the group flight from London, but many people now travel on different airlines and meet up with their fellow passengers at the destination.

Pros Cons
  • May be the most direct route
  • Often the extra fare compared to the London flight is minimal.
  • As you will be in the hands a single airline for your entire journey, the airline will be responsible for your bags and your connections.
  • You may not be able to join the group transfers. However, we can usually arrange private transfers, or book your flights to try and coincide with the group transfers. See notes on transfer arrangements below.

 

2. We can book for you: Connecting flights from your local airport to London

Exodus can book connecting flights to London so you can join the group flight there. Connecting times will be followed according to airline advice, or as requested by clients. There are two types of fares we can use for this option: a 'through-fare' or a 'published fare'.
 
a) A 'through-fare' is where you will be in the main airline's care throughout. You change planes, but your bags are checked all the way through to your final destination. 

b) A 'published fare' ticket is completely seperate from your onward ticket from London. It is usually cheaper than a through-fare but will need to be paid for and issued as soon as it is booked. This can be a problem if your tour has not yet reached minimum numbers. On 'published fares' neither airline is aware that you have connecting flights, so Exodus is responsible for timing your connection, not the airlines involved. The tickets are also usually non changeable and non refundable.

Pros Cons
  • Depending on the fare type, Exodus or the airline is responsible for flight connections.
  • Through fare tickets can be expensive.
  • On a published fare, tickets must be issued immediately; tickets on published fares can be very difficult to change if onward flight times change; bags are not checked though to your final destination.
  • Published fares are non-refundable.

 

3. Booking some or all of the flights yourself

You can also book connecting air travel yourself, either to London, or all the way to the start point. There may be certain airlines or routes we don't have access to, so this is always an option. However, if you make your own travel arrangements you become liable for any delays, cancellations or missed connections, and Exodus is not required to offer refunds if you have trouble reaching the start of your trip.

Pros Cons
  • You might find cheaper fares, or routes not available to Exodus.
  • You are responsible for any delays or missed connections, and the cost of the tour is not protected should you miss your flight be cancelled.

 

 Notes on transfer arrangements

Sometimes it is possible to travel on a different airline to the group flight from London. Where this is the case, we need to think about ensuring you meet up with the group with minimum extra cost and hassle.

  • On certain trips, it is easy to arrive on a different flight and still meet the group at the hotel with time in hand. We can usually arrange private transfers (at extra cost) or offer advice on taking a taxi to the start hotel.
  • On other trips (especially in Europe), the transfer meets the group flight and then travels some distance to the first night's accommodation. Where this is the case, our Sales team will try to arrange flights that arrive before (and depart after) the group. However, we do have to make it clear in your final documentation that if your flights are delayed, the transfer cannot wait for you. While Exodus or our local operators will do what we can to help you reach the start point of the tour, any additional costs must be paid by the client. 

 

Next steps? 

Call our Sales team on: 0203 733 0698

Email your query: [email protected]

Polar Ships: For information regarding ship specifications, visit the Polar Fleet page.

 

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