Kangerlussuaq to Quebec City
15 days with Silversea Rating:
Day 1 Kangerlussuaq
Kangerlussuaq is a settlement in western Greenland in the Qeqqata municipality located at the head of the fjord of the same name (Danish: Søndre Strømfjord). It is Greenland's main air transport hub and the site of Greenland's largest commercial airport. The airport dates from American settlement during and after World War II, when the site was known as Bluie West-8 and Sondrestrom Air Base. The Kangerlussuaq area is also home to Greenland's most diverse terrestrial fauna, including muskoxen, caribou, and gyrfalcons.
Day 2 Evighedsfjord, Evigheids Glacier, Kangaamiut (Qeqqata)
Within roughly an hour of steaming south from Kangerlussuaq Fjord is Evighedsfjord Fjord. The fjords in this area can reach close to a kilometer (over half a mile) of depth and are lined with tidewater glaciers from the Maniitsoq ice sheet located high up in the interior of Greenland. Some of the cliffs along the fjords of this region can exceed 2,000 metres (6,600 ft.) in height.
The Evigheids Glacier flows from the Greenland Ice Sheet, the second largest ice body in the world after the Antarctic ice sheet, to the west. It is a slow-moving tidewater glacier, meaning this valley glacier winds down through the coastal mountains to the ocean at a snail’s pace. As the glacial ice enters the water it begins to float and the eventually breaks apart into icebergs that float away down the fjord. The shades of blue and carved shapes of these ice floes are infinite.
Only 350 people live in the small Greenlandic community of Kangaamiut. Located on the south coast of Timerdlit Island and facing the Davis Strait, Kangaamiut is situated between the mouths of two long fjords: the Kangerlussuatsiaq Fjord (or Evighedsfjorden in Danish) to its south and to its north Kangaamiut Kangerluarsuat Fjord. Founded in 1755, it was called “Sugarloaf” (Sukkertoppen) because of the appearance of three nearby hills.
Day 3 Nuuk (Godthab)
Nuuk, meaning “the cape”, was Greenland’s first town (1728). Started as a fort and later mission and trading post some 240 kilometers south of the Arctic Circle, it is the current capital. Almost 30% of Greenland’s population lives in the town. Not only does Nuuk have great natural beauty in its vicinity, but there are Inuit ruins, Hans Egede’s home, the parliament, and the Church of our Saviour as well. The Greenlandic National Museum has an outstanding collection of Greenlandic traditional dresses, as well as the famous Qilakitsoq mummies.
Day 4 Day At Sea
Days at sea are the perfect opportunity to relax, unwind and catch up with what you’ve been meaning to do. So whether that is whale watching from the Observatory Lounge, writing home to your loved ones or simply topping up your tan by the pool, these blue sea days are the perfect balance to busy days spent exploring shore side.
Day 5 Iqaluit (Nunavut)
Iqaluit is the capital of Canada’s newest territory, Nunavut, which is Inuktitut for “our land”. The community is located at the head of Frobisher Bay, an inlet of the North Atlantic extending into southeastern Baffin Island. The Bay is so long that it was first taken to be the possible entrance of a Northwest Passage. In Iqaluit, the Nunatta Sunakkutaangit Museum and the Nunavut Legislative Assembly Building both house incredible collections of Inuit artwork with interesting local prints for sale in the museum shop.
Day 6 Lady Franklin Island, Monumental Island
Named in honour of Sir John Franklin’s widow, the lonely and uninhabited Lady Franklin Island lies off of Baffin Island’s Hall Peninsula at the entrance to Cumberland Sound. The island is named for the wife of Sir John Franklin, the Arctic explorer who died trying to discover the Northwest Passage. The geology of the island is striking with vertical cliffs of Archean rocks, likely to be some of the oldest stone in Canada. The waters around Lady Franklin Island offer an abundance seabirds, ducks, seals, and walrus.
Monumental Island in Davis Strait was named by Arctic explorer Charles Francis Hall as a tribute to the memory of Sir John Franklin who died in his quest to find the Northwest Passage. The island is offshore of Baffin Island in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago of the territory of Nunavut. Around the shoreline scores of Black Guillemots dive and fish for little Arctic cods and capelins. Successful birds fly off with a minnow grasped tightly in their beaks. On a far larger scale, it is possible to find groups of walruses with their impressive tusks along the shores of the island.
Day 7 Akpatok Island (Nunavut)
Akpatok Island is a remote spot near the northernmost limits of the Labrador Peninsula. Steep and sheer limestone cliffs jut out of icy waters. Encased in snow and surrounded with sea ice in the winter months, this uninhabited island lures huge amounts of wildlife, most notably the world’s largest population of breeding Thick-billed Murres (known as Brünnich’s Guillemots in Europe), estimated at well over a million birds. These auks flock to the bare cliffs of the island between June and September, and murres incubate their single pear-shaped egg on the cliff ledges.
Day 8 Torngat Mountains National Park
The Torngat Mountains National Park is situated on the eastern side of Labrador’s northernmost point and features mountains sometimes described as the “Eastern Rocky Mountains”. The park covers an area of 9,700 km2 (over 6,000 mi2) and is dotted with remnants of several cirque glaciers. Saglek Fjord has an outstanding array of geological features and the steep cliffs provide some of the best exposures to the earth’s geologic history. The name of the national park goes back to Torngarsoak, who was believed to control the life of sea animals and took the form of a huge polar bear.
Day 9 Day At Sea
Day 10 L'Anse Aux Meadows
Around the year 1000, Vikings from Greenland and Iceland founded the first European settlement in North America, near the northern tip of Newfoundland. They arrived in the New World 500 years before Columbus but stayed only a few years and were forgotten for centuries. Since the settlement's rediscovery in the last century, the archaeological site has brought tourism to the area. Viking themes abound but so do views, whales, icebergs, fun dining experiences, and outdoor activities.
Day 11 Woody Point (Newfoundland)
Acclaimed for its unearthly landscape, Woody Point is probably as close to Mars as you will ever get in this lifetime. Situated on the west coast of the island, the Tablelands behind Woody Point in the Gros Morne National Park are composed of peridotite — like much of the surface of Mars — and NASA, the Canadian Space Agency, plus others are studying this unique land form searching for insights into possible bacterial life on the red planet.
Day 12 Havre St. Pierre (Quebec)
Havre St. Pierre is a tiny seaside port on the north shore of the Saint Lawrence River in Quebec. It was settled in 1857 by Acadians from the Magdalen Island, and still today locals speak a dialect more similar to Acadian French than to Quebec French. It was originally called Saint-Pierre-de-la-Pointe-aux-Esquimaux until 1927, when it was officially shortened to Havre St Pierre. Until recently the local economy relied mainly on fishing and lumbering, today it is mainly a titanium ore-transhipment port. Nearby is one of the world’s most amazing natural phenomena – the Mingan Archipelago.
Day 13 Bonaventure Island, Perce (Quebec)
Bonaventure Island, on Quebec’s Gaspe Peninsula, is an uninhabited island that is home to the largest gannet colony in North America, and the second largest in the world. It was first protected as a bird sanctuary in 1919 by the federal government. Later, in 1973, it became a national park, administered by Canada’s National Park Service. Explorer Jacques Cartier noted seeing gannets as he sailed past in 1534. One report in 1887 estimated 3,000 birds. Today, there are more than eighty thousand gannets, along with many other seabird species that nest on the island.
The discovery of these parts of Canada, inhabited at one time by Micmac Indians, by French explorers made Percé a stop-off point between Québec City and France. In the 17th century Percé developed into a bustling port with hundreds of boats anchored in the summer season. During the English campaign against Québec, the small village was burned down by the English. Afterwards, Percé was forgotten for almost half a century. Following the Treaty of Versailles, reconstruction began; by 1777 Percé addedl 400 seasonal fishermen to its year-round population of 300.
Day 14 Day At Sea
Day 15 Quebec City
Québec City's alluring setting atop Cape Diamond (Cap Diamant) evokes a past of high adventure, military history, and exploration. This French-speaking capital city is the only walled city north of Mexico. Visitors come for the delicious and inventive cuisine, the remarkable historical continuity, and to share in the seasonal exuberance of the largest Francophone population outside France.
All This Included
With key excursions including Zodiac cruises looking for walrus and polar bear this is an armchair explorers dream. Sail through the Forever Fjord to right front of the Evigheds glacier and visit the site of the first European settlement in North America at L’Anse aux Meadows. If luck is on your side, the Northern Lights will provide bucket list evening entertainment.
Cruising: Cabin onboard Silver Cloud
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