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Arctic Quest: Greenland & the Canadian High Arctic
Le Ponant Cruise
Ottawa (Canada) Round trip - 16 nights aboard the National Geographic Explorer

July 27 - August 12, 2013 & August 10 - 26, 2013

Venture deep into the far reaches of the Arctic, a land where polar bears roam, walruses loll, and hardy Inuit communities maintain their traditional way of life. Aboard National Geographic Explorer, trace the fjords of Greenland and navigate the eastern entrance to Canada’s legendary Northwest Passage. Spot polar bears on the pack ice, and muskoxen on the tundra. Watch for a wide variety of whales — from minke and killer whales to the rare narwhal, with its long tusk that can project up to ten feet. Get up close to massive glaciers, and hike the wild islands that dot Canada’s northern shores.

Day-by-Day Itinerary
Day 1 - Ottawa, Canada
Arrive in Ottawa and check into the Fairmont Chateau Laurier Hotel. (D)
Day 2 - Ottawa/Fly To Kangerlussuaq, Greenland
Fly by chartered aircraft to Greenland. Embark National Geographic Explorer at the head of Kangerlussuaq Fjord, a picturesque waterway that stretches 100 miles. (B,L,D)
Day 3 - Greenland’s West Coast & Sisimiut
Dozens of deep fjords carve into Greenland’s west coast, many with glaciers fed by the ice cap that covers 80% of the country. Trace this ragged coastline, and search for humpback and minke whales. At Sisimiut, a former whaling port, visit the museum and wander amid a jumble of wooden 18th-century buildings. (B,L,D)
Day 4 - Disko Bay & Ilulissat
Sail into Disko Bay and set out to explore the Ilulissat Glacier, a tongue of the Greenland ice cap. Take an extraordinary cruise among towering icebergs. Explore the historic Inuit fishing village of Sermermiut, and view the Ilulissat Icefjord and its immense, calving glacier. (B,L,D)
Day 5 - Uummannaq
In 1972, Uummannaq was the site of Greenland’s most remarkable archaeological find when an astounding collection of preserved mummies dating back to 1475 was discovered among the remains of an old Inuit settlement. The mummies were featured on the cover of the February 1985 issue of NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC magazine. (B,L,D)
Day 6 - At Sea In Baffin Bay (B,L,D)
Day 7-13 - Exploring The Canadian High Arctic
Carved by Ice Age glaciers, Lancaster Sound is the eastern gateway to the Arctic Archipelago. European explorers like William Baffin first ventured here in the 15th century to search for the Northwest Passage. The sound has been a favorite Inuit hunting and fishing location for hundreds 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 projects up to ten feet from its upper jaw. Delve into the region’s human history on visits to vibrant Inuit villages sustained by fishing and artistic traditions, and to archaeological sites of the Thule people. (B,L,D)
Day 14 - Hall Peninsula
We spend another day in true expedition style, exploring the unspoiled 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 Lady Franklin Islands are used as haul-outs by walruses. We’ll cruise the coastline in search of these icons of the Canadian North. (B,L,D)
Day 15 - South Baffin Island/Frobisher Bay
The southeastern tip of Baffin Island forms the mouth of the Hudson Strait and is surrounded by tiny islands. Lower Savage and Resolution Islands are often a summer home to polar bears stranded by the retreating pack ice. Navigate the ice floes and rocks in a Zodiac, and spot harbor seals frolicking in the icy waters. Continue into Frobisher Bay — named for the English navigator who came across it on his quest for the Northwest Passage— and sail towards Iqaluit. (B,L,D)
Day 16-17 - Disembark Iqaluit, Nunavut/Ottawa, Canada
Disembark in Iqaluit and fly to Ottawa, Canada by chartered aircraft. Overnight in Ottawa at the Fairmont Chateau Laurier, or similar. Fly home the next day. (B,L,D)



Terms and Conditions:

Basis of Rates:
All prices are based on two persons sharing a cabin, or a single where noted. Shared accommodations are available on certain ships and categories. For more information, please refer to our Share Guarantee Program section of our Terms and Conditions, or call us for details. All prices and fares are quoted in U.S. dollars.

Costs Include: 
All accommodations aboard ships or in hotels per itinerary or similar, all meals and nonalcoholic beverages aboard ship, meals on land as indicated, air transportation where indicated as included, shore excursions, sightseeing and entrance fees, special access permits, transfers to and from group flights, use of snorkeling equipment and wet suits, use of kayaks (where available), gratuities (except to ship’s crew), taxes and service charges, services of a ship physician on most voyages, and services of our expedition staff.

Not Included:
Air transportation (except where shown as included), extensions, passport, visa, immigration fees, scuba diving (where available), meals not indicated, travel protection plan, items of a personal nature, such as alcoholic beverages, internet access, and laundry. Gratuities to ship's crew are at your discretion.

Airfare: 
For all programs, airfare is an additional cost unless otherwise indicated. Sample airfares are subject to change. We will gladly assist in making your air arrangements for a $50 per person service fee.

Deposits: 
To reserve your place, an advance payment for the program is required at the time of reservation. The per person advance payment amount varies by program, and is outlined in our brochures, as well as on our website. Holiday departure dates and certain longer voyages may carry additional advance deposit requirements due to high demand for these voyages. Payment is accepted by Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover or check.

Receipt of your initial payment indicates your acceptance of our complete Terms and Conditions.

We require written notice at the time of reservation for any physical condition, diet, or treatment requiring special attention.

Smoking Policy:
Smoking is allowed only in designated outdoor areas.

Share Guarantee Program:

If you are a solo guest willing to share accommodations, we will be happy to make arrangements to match you with another solo guest, so you may travel at the double occupancy rate. If you are willing to share, and we are unable to make shared arrangements for you, we will guarantee you the per person double occupancy rate, and you will not incur the solo rate. This program is subject to availability, and limited to certain ships and categories.

Medical Information:
It is essential that guests with medical conditions and/or special dietary restrictions, make them known to us in sufficient time for us to accommodate their request.