West Greenland & Baffin Island
West Greenland & Baffin Island 11 days aboard Akademik Sergey Vavilov
This outstanding voyage explores the icy landscapes and colorful fishing villages of western Greenland before crossing the Davis Strait to witness the stunning fjords and soaring peaks of Baffin Island. Throughout our journey we are constantly on the lookout for wildlife - including a variety of bird and marine life and, of course, the icon of the north - the elusive polar bear.
Enjoy zodiac exploration and guided hikes to places of outstanding natural beauty, and observe and photograph the wildlife, landscape and the delicate Arctic flora. You will also have the opportunity to visit Inuit communities in both Greenland and Canada.
- Searching for polar bears and other animals
- Whales and marine mammals
- Superb birdlife
- Spectacular icebergs and scenery
- Experience Inuit culture
- Adventure options available
- Transfers to and from ship & airports
- Full board accommodation on board ship
- Zodiac excursions and shore landings
- Programme of expert lectures
- Loan of rubber boots
ITINERARY10 Nights 11 Days
- Day 1 | Ottawa to Kangerlussuaq
- Day 2 | Sisimuit
- Day 3 | Ilulissat and the Jacobshavn Icefjord
- Day 4 | Qeqertarsuaq, Disko Island
- Day 5 | Davis Strait
- Day 6 | Sunshine Fjord
- Day 7 | Cape Mercy
- Day 8 | Pangnirtung and Auyuittuq National Park
- Day 9 | Monumental Island
- Day 10 | Lower Savage Islands
- Day 11 | Iqaluit to Ottawa
Ottawa to Kangerlussuaq
We depart Ottawa this morning on our charter flight to Kangerlussuaq, situated on the west coast of Greenland. Upon arrival into Kangerlussuaq we enjoy a short tour before boarding our the ship in the afternoon. After settling in to our cabins and exploring the vessel, we meet our expedition team and fellow passengers. Excitement is in the air as we cast off and enjoy a welcome cocktail while cruising along Sondre Stromfjord in the soft Arctic twilight.
We will explore the fjord behind the town of Sisimiut before going ashore to explore this beautiful location in the afternoon. Characterised by colourful local houses, the town features a towering granite peak as a backdrop. We hope to meet a few of the traditional Greenlandic kayakers and to see a demonstration of ‘Eskimo rolling’ by one of the former Greenland kayak champions. A small museum is another interesting diversion. The town's church and a small museum are other points of interest. The restored historic houses and old Greenlandic fishing boats make for great photography.
Ilulissat and the Jacobshavn Icefjord
If one word could sum up today’s experience it would be 'ice'. Even our expedition team members, with years spent exploring both the Arctic and Antarctica, will take a moment to reflect on the awesome ice sculptures that surround the ship in all directions. Truly one of the wonders of the world the Jacobshavn Icefjord – a UNESCO World Heritage site - spews gigantic tabular icebergs out into Disko Bay. The glacier that creates these stunning monoliths advances at over 40 meters per day, creating something in the order of 50 cubic kilometers of ice annually. Our approach to Ilulissat is always dependent on the amount of ice in and around the mouth of the fjord. Our Captain and officers are skilled ice navigators and our ship has one of the highest ice ratings of any vessel exploring Arctic waters. Ilulissat was the hometown of Knud Rasmussen, one of Greenland’s most famous early explorers. The town is home to a pretty harbor with colorful fishing boats and houses on shore.
A cruise by zodiac along the face of the massed icebergs is a memorable experience. There's also a great hike through the town to a viewpoint, high above the ice field. This place will take your breathe away.
Qeqertarsuaq, Disko Island
We cruise across the bay overnight, approaching the small town of Qeqertarsuaq, situated at the head of Disko Bay. Keep a look out for humpback or fin whales which we often encounter here. A small harbour filled with local fishing boats greets us as we head ashore. Our landing site is right next to the old Customs building - now a small museum. Qeqertarsuaq is a very historic location where Eric the Red, the 9th century Norse Viking, is believed to have visited and used the location as a base for hunting, fishing and exploration. The town is easily explored on foot and a hike up to a high point provides great views of the town, the harbour and offshore where large icebergs drift by. Be sure to stop and chat to the locals. We return to the ship and weigh anchor - heading west for Baffin Island and Canada.
We wake this morning to find ourselves in the Davis Strait - a broad expanse of open water that separates Greenland from Canada. Whale sightings are possible and we sometimes encounter fin, sperm, sei and humpback whales, plus seals and seabirds. Our onboard experts deliver fascinating presentations that focus on wildlife, history, geology and the culture of the Arctic as we navigate closer towards the coast of Baffin Island. At this time of the season and with the right atmospheric conditions, we hope to catch a glimpse of the dancing lights in the night sky - the mystical Aurora Borealis.
Our first landfall on Baffin Island will be at Sunshine Fjord where you will have the opportunity to cross the Arctic Circle however you wish – on foot, in a zodiac or on board ship. This location offers terrific hiking opportunities and we have a number of great routes in mind. You may wish to take the extended hike, gaining some real elevation and offering wonderful views of our surroundings. Or choose to take the less strenuous option along the shoreline. The sheltered waters of the fjord provide the kayakers with great conditions for paddling.
Protecting the northern entrance to Cumberland Sound, Cape Mercy is an exposed headland jutting out into the Davis Strait. As the Baffin middle ice recedes throughout the summer, this stretch of coastline is a great place to look for polar bears. All eyes will be off the ship looking for these majestic animals in their natural environment.
Pangnirtung and Auyuittuq National Park
Nestled in the heart of Cumberland Sound and the gateway to Auyuittuq National Park, the village of Pangnirtung is beautifully situated between the mountains and the sea. This remote community is a well-known centre for traditional and contemporary arts and crafts – including carvings, prints and colourful textiles. In addition, the Angmarlik Visitor Centre has a wonderful interpretive display featuring the lifestyle and history of the Thule and the modern Inuit.
Located in Davis Strait, Monumental Island is a known location for walrus. We explore by zodiac along the shoreline looking for these fascinating creatures. Watchful eyes may locate smaller pups within the masses. We sometimes encounter polar bears in this vicinity. They have been known to chase walrus off their haul out and into the water.
Lower Savage Islands
At the mouth of Frobisher Bay on the south-eastern tip of Baffin Island, the Lower Savage Islands are a geological wonder. A maze of channels crisscross the island and provide great zodiac cruising opportunities. It's possible to navigate from one side of the island to the other where the ship will collect us. The islands are ideally situated between the dynamic flow of the Hudson Strait and this mixing of nutrient rich waters makes for a diversity of marine line. Tonight, as we near the end of our journey we enjoy an entertaining voyage recap from the Expedition Leader. We celebrate with a special dinner attended by the Captain of the ship and reflect on our journey through the landscapes of the Arctic.
Iqaluit to Ottawa
By morning we are anchored off the beach from Iqaluit – the largest community on Baffin Island. We say goodbye to our crew and make our way ashore on our final zodiac ride. We are transferred to the airport and board out scheduled flight to Ottawa. On arrival in Ottawa our journey comes to an end. A transfer is provided to a downtown location.
What Our Customers
Superlatives abound – a truly amazing experience...awesome. Thanks to all for making it such a memorable experience.
We have just returned from our Spitsbergen trip with Wildfoot and had to tell you what an amazing time we had! We saw 6 polar bears including a mother with 2 cubs as well as whales, walruses and lots of birds. The ship (Expedition) was really comfortable and the guides were so helpful and friendly. Thank you so much for making it all so easy.
I came to Wildfoot because a friend had booked with you when you were Antarctica Bound and they were right. Everything went perfectly, even when our flight was cancelled, you made sure we still made it to the ship with time to spare. L’Austral is a beautiful ship with first class service and food and the guides looked after us well. Very happy to recommend Wildfoot and L’Austral...
We had always wanted to see the Arctic and travelling all the way from Australia needed lots of information. After getting nowhere, we came across Wildfoot and found people who knew what they were talking about! Sara and John were so helpful and made the process easy, suggesting Iceland Greenland and Spitsbergen. This was perfect for us – amazing scenery and lots of wildlife, especially the polar bears in Spitsbergen. Thanks for everything. Ps, the ship was great too!
Just wanted to say thank you for suggesting a trip to Franz Josef Land as something different for the Arctic. We had a super trip and really enjoyed the Sea Spirit. Galapagos next!
Standing on the North Pole has been an ambition of mine since childhood and now I have done it! Thank you for making the process so easy - seeing polar bears and whales too was a real bonus.
The Sea Spirit expedition was excellent and the team organising it all were extremely good. 10 out of 10. Everything went very smoothly. The Iceland extension worked perfectly, all the organisation, connections etc. were excellent
The cruise was beyond my expectations. Got to see everything the captain wanted, even a polar bear mother with three cubs. Coal Miners Cabins were smashing. I did loads of birding and exploring over three days. All the people were great from the expedition leaders down to the passengers. So glad to have achieved my ambition of some 50 years standing and got amongst the ice of the Arctic, walked amongst it’s islands and witnessed the antics of its wonderful wildlife. What’s next??? I’ll need to speak with Sara again.
Thanks so much for enabling me to get to places I had always wanted to see from a very young age. “Ace” as my boys used to say!
Just wanted to send a quick note to say thank you very much for all your help in arranging our recent trip to Svalbard. Everything ran smoothly and the trip was a great success. Unfortunately I had to flew back a few days early and missed out on Isfjord Radio, which the rest of the team said was a brilliant place with amazing food, still the Basecamp Hotel and Nordenskiold Lodge were pretty amazing places, so I’m not complaining!
Writing back to tell you that the trip to the Arctic was all that it promised and more. It was a great wild-life sightseeing opportunity and the staff were really good.I had an excellent trip and have thousands of photos to go through.
I had an absolutely fabulous time won the Sergey Vavilov, it is an excellent ship. Sara was indeed right in her recommendation that they would be the most likely to push north into the ice to find the polar bears. We even circumnavigated Spitsbergen which was awesome and not o n the itinerary.It is such a wonderful way to take a trip when you are on your own – so if any of your potential single clients are unsure, definitely recommend it – I didn’t feel alone from the moment I stepped on board. I will be at the Birdfair next weekend and so will catch up with whoever is there – regarding this trip, and potentially my next!
Great cruise, staff and expedition team. Had a great trip.
Great cruise, staff and expedition team. Had a great trip.
We had a wonderful time, even though we didn't do all the places we were supposed to but we all felt were we went instead couldn't beaten. Saw animals I wanted to see. Bit worried what the food was like as some of the ships cooking leaves something to be desired, but food was very good. We thought all the guides were brilliant and informative, friendly and knowledgeable It was far better than we expected and even my husband thoroughly enjoyed it!
I wanted to let you know that I had a wonderful cruise in the Russian Far East. The landscape and destination were inspiring, we had some excellent wildlife sightings (sea otter, grey whale, Steller's sea eagle, snowy owl and Arctic fox were all firsts for me), and the Heritage team were superb. Rough seas forced a few changes to the itinerary but we also had some fabulous weather. All in all, a thrilling travel experience.Thanks once again for all your efforts
I thought you might like to know that this was an excellent holiday. Our guide, Brad, was absolutely wonderful, his enthusiasm and knowledge made the holiday even better. All in all the whole trip was excellent and we saw lots of bears, 24 on the first day. Fewer on the second and third days but still plenty, as well as arctic foxes,silver foxes and snowy owls. Even on the last day near the town we saw a bear on rocks by the beach.
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