akademik ioffe baffin island canadian arctic cruise

Baffin Island - Jewel of the Arctic

  • Overview

    We journey up the wild east coast of Baffin Island, discovering deep fjords, soaring mountains and immense glacial systems. A variety of birdlife and marine wildlife – sometimes even polar bears – are daily companions to our voyage. Visits to remote Inuit provide a fascinating glimpse into the daily life of the people who call this wilderness their home. The history of early exploration is ever present and we visit former Hudson's Bay Company locations and Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) outposts. A highlight will be a visit to Beechey Island, the final resting place for some of the men of the ill-fated Franklin Expedition in 1845-46.

    Duration: 12 days
    Passengers: 96 passengers
    Embarkation Point: Ottawa, Canada
    Disembarkation Point: Edmonton, Canada
    Physical rating: Soft Adventure
    Fly/Cruise: Cruise only
    Single Supplement: 1.5x - 2.0x twin rate or share options
  • Itinerary
    • Day 1 - Ottawa, Canada

      We depart Ottawa on our scheduled flight to Iqaluit, Baffin Island. Upon arrival into Iqaluit we enjoy a walking tour of the town and board our expedition ship, the Akademik Sergey Vavilov in the afternoon. Excitement is in the air as we enjoy a welcome cocktail and cast off to explore one of the most remote places on earth – Baffin Island.

      Throughout the coming days and rest of the voyage, our onboard experts educate us with a series of presentations about the environment, wildlife and history of Baffin Island and the Canadian Arctic. As with all our expeditions, safety is our top priority. Weather, ice or other conditions may require us to change our itinerary and shore excursions as we go - but that is half the fun of polar exploring!

    • Day 2 - Monumental Island

      Situated in the Davis Strait, Monumental Island is a well-known location for walrus. We explore by zodiac along the shoreline looking for these fascinating creatures. We sometimes encounter polar bears around here as well – they have been known to chase walrus off their haul into the water.

    • Day 3 - Pangnirtung

      Nestled in the heart of Cumberland Sound and the western gateway to Auyuittuq National Park, the village of Pangniqtuuq (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 textiles. The Angmarlik Visitor Centre has a wonderful interpretive display sharing the lifestyle and history of the Thule and the modern Inuit.

    • Day 4 - Sunshine Fjord

      Sunshine Fjord straddles the Arctic Circle at 66 degrees, 33 minutes north of latitude. Depending on the weather, we might cruise across the Circle on the ship, by zodiac boats, or maybe by foot. Whichever way, it’s a thrill to be above the Arctic Circle. Sunshine Fjord offers terrific hiking opportunities, from long routes that offer wonderful views of our surroundings to less strenuous options along the shoreline. For the sea kayakers, the sheltered waters of the fjord provide great conditions for paddling.

    • Day 5 - Auyuittuq National Park

      On the eastern coast of Baffin Island lies one of Canada’s most spectacular National Parks: Auyuittuq. The landscape is dominated by steep and rugged mountain scenery, extensive glacial systems and powerful rivers. In partnership with Parks Canada, we venture into the park with skilled local guides who are able to interpret the flora, fauna, geological and glacial systems. It’s a fascinating place, experienced by only a few fortunate visitors every season. We also plan a visit to Qikiqtarjuaq, a small settlement which is home to several Inuit families. After an inspiring day of exploration we continue north along the coastline of Baffin Island, venturing deeper into the Arctic wilderness.

    • Day 6 - Niginganiq (Isabella Bay)

      Isabella Bay (Niginganiq) is an important summer habitat and feeding area for endangered bowhead whales. These remarkable marine mammals are able to break sea ice with the crown of their head. Polar bears, ringed seals, Canada geese, snow geese and narwhal are also commonly sighted in this area.

    • Day 7 - Gibbs Fjord

      This morning we enter the spectacular Gibbs Fjord with towering cliffs all around us. Our expedition ship will be dwarfed by the giant peaks and snowy glaciers as we cruise slowly along the dark waters.

    • Day 8 - Mittimatalik (Pond Inlet)

      Nearing the far north of Baffin Island, we enter a broad channel which is home to the remote Inuit community of Mittimatalik (Pond Inlet). A highlight is a visit to the Natinnak Centre, where a fascinating cultural exhibit showcases the daily life, culture and history of the people of the North. Inuit carvings, jewellery and other traditional craft are on display. Mittimatalik is also the main access point to the pristine wilderness of Sirmilik National Park. This jewel in the crown of Canada's Arctic Park system features the most spectacular scenery, with rugged mountains, ice fields, glaciers, coastal lowlands and large seabird colonies.

    • Day 9 - Devon Island

      Leaving the wild landscapes of Baffin Island, we cross Lancaster Sound to Devon Island. Lancaster Sound, which separates Devon and Baffin Island, has been named the wildlife ‘super highway’ of the Arctic. Waters from the Atlantic Ocean, Arctic Ocean, and the northern archipelago of islands meet here, combining to create a rich source of nutrients and food for an abundance of Arctic wildlife. We plan on visiting the old Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) outpost at Dundas Harbour. In the afternoon we reposition the ship into Crocker Bay, home to a substantial glacial system.

    • Day 10 - Prince Leopold Island

      Prince Leopold Island is an important migratory bird sanctuary, home to thick-billed murres, black guillemots, northern fulmars and black-legged kittiwakes. A population of several hundred thousand birds makes this one of the most significant bird sanctuaries in the entire Arctic ecosystem. Given the abundance of food found in the nutrient-rich waters here, we often sight beluga, narwhal and bowhead whales, several species of seal, as well as polar bear.

    • Day 11 - Beechey Island

      Our final shore landing - Beechey Island, is a place of great historic significance and a suitable finale to our voyage. It is here that Sir John Franklin’s ill-fated expedition spent its last ‘comfortable’ winter in 1845 before disappearing into the icy vastness, sparking an incredible series of search expeditions that last almost three decades.

      The mystery of what happened to Franklin was partially solved in September 2014, when a joint Parks Canada and Royal Canadian Geographic Society expedition found the HMS Erebus in the Victoria Strait. A trip ashore at Beechey Island to visit the grave markers on a remote windswept beach is a thrilling experience for history buffs. This evening we enjoy a special dinner attended by the Captain. It’s a great time to reflect on the wildlife, history and dramatic scenery of the High Arctic.

    • Day 12 - Edmonton, Canada

      Our expedition comes to an end as we arrive into Resolute and then take our flight to Edmonton. A transfer is provided from the airport into a central downtown location.

    Please consider that our voyages are expeditionary in nature. This means, that there are no concrete itineraries, your captain and expedition leader will utilise their vast experience to chart the best course for your expedition depending on the climatic and environmental conditions. Mentioned highlights and wildlife cannot be guaranteed.

  • Highlights & Activities

    Kayaking

    As a pre-booked activity, our group of sixteen paddlers and three guides gears you up with the best kit in the industry to experience one of the best paddling destinations in the world. Both single and double kayaks are available.

    USD 695 per person

    Charter Flights (Mandatory)

    This voyage starts from Edmonton on a special charter flight. The voyage ends with a charter flight to Edmonton.

    USD 1,995 per person

    Inspiring Inuit communities

    Baffin Island Inuit live on Baffin Island, the largest island in the Arctic Archipelago and in the territory of Nunavut. Baffin Island has been inhabited by the Inuit for thousands of years. Inuit from Baffin Island are descendants of the Thule, who expanded eastward across Canada from Alaska in the 12th and 13th centuries. The Baffin Island Inuit (like other modern Inuit) share biological and cultural links with their Thule ancestors.

    The Polar Bear

    To many people, the polar bear is the Arctic. The sight of such an impressive silky white bear wandering the frozen Arctic seas in search of seals symbolizes the cold, isolated nature of the Arctic so well. Polar bears are marine mammals because they spend so much of their lives away from land. In the high Arctic where there is always some sea ice to travel on, polar bears range over ice floes in the pack ice hunting seals all summer. In some areas (e.g. southern Hudson Bay, southern Svalbard) they are simply forced to come ashore. Polar bears rarely venture inland.

  • Inclusions

    Expedition Gear Package

    A complementary expedition package is provided on a loan basis, upon boarding. Your package will include;

    - Windproof / waterproof expedition jacket and bib pants
    - Waterproof backpack
    - Comfortable insulated rubber boots
    - Water resistant binoculars
    - Trekking poles

    Inclusions / Exclusions

    Included in your Expedition

    - Free use of rubber expedition boots/pants & jacket
    - Comprehensive pre-departure material
    - Port taxes
    - All shore excursions and lectures
    - All accommodation and meals on board

    Not included in your Expedition

    - Optional excursions and activities.
    - Luggage handling
    - Mandatory expedition gear not provided
    - Baggage / cancellation / interruption and medical travel insurance
    - International flights
  • Map
    Screen shot 2017 07 05 at 2.18.06 pm
  • Gallery
  • Vessel

    AKADEMIK IOFFE

    Akademik Ioffe is a purpose built oceanographic vessel featuring complex internal stabilizers and powerful engines. She accommodates just 96 guests. Combined with multi pitch propulsion and bow and stern thrusters she offers exceptional maneuverability. Expansive observation decks featuring 360 degree views make her the perfect platform for operation in Antarctica and the High Arctic. A separate lounge and bar, as well as a library provide ideal places to sit and relax or catch up on some reading. A selection of movies and documentaries can also be watched in the lounge. The sumptuous meals prepared for you by our culinary team are enjoyed in our dining room, which can host all passengers in a single seating and will keep you feeling healthy and strong for the myriad of activities offered throughout the voyage. Other facilities include the theatre style presentation room, gift-shop, fitness room, massage room, hot water spa, sauna and plunge pool. There’s also a dedicated expedition ‘mud-room’ where you prepare for your off-ship excursions.

    Features & Facilities
    • Superior accommodation
    • 360 degree observation decks
    • Lounge & Bar
    • Theatre style presentation room
    • Wellness Centre; Gym
    • Massage services
    • Hot water spa
    • Sauna
    • Plunge Pool
    • Expedition mud room
    • Digital photography lab
    • Internet/Wifi
    Key Facts
    Luxury star rating: 3
    Guests #: 96
    Crew #: 65
    Ice Class: 1A
    Speed: 14
    Refurbished:
    Technical Specs
    Year built: 1989
    Length: 117m
    Width: 18
    Draft:
    Tonnage: 6230
    Registry: Russia
    Elec Outlets: 220V / 2 Round Pin
Check Voyage Dates, Pricing and Availability
All available dates

Triple

03 Aug 2018 - 14 Aug 2018
Triple berth cabin with shared facilities
USD 7,295pp
USD 7,295pp

Twin Semi-Private

03 Aug 2018 - 14 Aug 2018
Twin cabin with semi-private facilities
USD 8,295pp
USD 8,295pp

Twin Private

03 Aug 2018 - 14 Aug 2018
Twin cabin with private facilities
USD 9,895pp
USD 9,895pp

Superior Twin

03 Aug 2018 - 14 Aug 2018
Onboard Akademik Ioffe these very large cabins are located on deck 6, and feature two lower berths, a sofa, writing desk and chair, ample storage and private washroom facilities. All cabins have a window that can be opened. These cabins provide great access to the outer observation decks and ships bridge.
USD 10,395pp
USD 10,395pp

Shackleton Suite

03 Aug 2018 - 14 Aug 2018
Double cabin with private facilities
USD 11,895pp
USD 11,895pp

One Ocean Suite

03 Aug 2018 - 14 Aug 2018
Suite with double bed, private facilities and a host of luxuries
USD 13,495pp
USD 13,495pp