Heart of the Arctic

About the Experience

Polar plunge yourself into the extremes where the frozen landscape, polar bears and Inuit culture merge on our Heart of the Arctic adventure!

You’ll be in the company of local knowledge-keepers, recognized Arctic experts, historians and naturalists eager to share their bone-deep passion and intel with you.

We’ll go deeper than an iceberg below the surface (that’s 90% deeper!). It’s the curriculum you longed for in high school: geology, botany, archeology, art, climate change, Inuit language and heritage. It will feel like recess all day long aboard the Ocean Endeavour (dubbed the “floating university” for good reason). You’ll have the opportunity to explore niche subjects via presentations, workshops and discussion panels that you won’t want to skip. Warning: there will be plenty of distractions due to the ever-changing landscape and surprise wildlife encounters!

You will meet the gifted Inuit artists in South Baffin Island’s famous artistic communities. Their ancient and contemporary expressions communicate Arctic life and an integral connection to the land through sculpture and carvings.

We will also explore Nunavik, Quebec’s northernmost region that stretches above the 55th parallel and cross the historic Davis Strait in the shadow of the explorers.

It’s a photographer’s nirvana with the tundra in full bloom. Bonus: we will also experience the remarkable glow of Arctic’s buttery sun and bathe in 18-20 hours of daylight. No need for a filter!

We’ll cross the fabled Arctic Circle by ship via the longest fjord in the world, the Søndre Strømfjord, and witness Akpatok Island too. A designated important bird area, Akpatok is home to up to 4.5% of the global North Atlantic thick-billed murre population.

The panoramic fjords of Greenland, the eastern edge of the Canadian-shield (Baffin Island), rhythmic tides of the Hudson Strait and Ungava Bay combine to offer a giant dose of beauty and bounty. From the ship, by Zodiac, or on foot, we’ll seek out the incredible species that call this matchless region home—whales, bears and caribou! We’ll be constantly searching for marine mammals, polar bears, and seabirds like the kittiwakes and fulmars in this biodiverse Arctic environment.

The zodiacs will allow us to adventure untethered from the dependency of ports, piers, and other human-made infrastructure. These versatile boats and the Ocean Endeavour will sail you through what you once thought was just an irrational dream.

For anyone who is curious and enamored by the power of nature, the midnight sun and intrigued by Inuit culture, be sure to join Wild Women on our Heart Of The Arctic Adventure!

PLEASE NOTE: FOR THE JULY 24–AUGUST 5, 2025 navigation, this trip itinerary will be reversed. The trip will begin in Kangerlussuaq, Greenland and end in Iqaluit, Nunavut. 

Check out the webinar about our Heart Of The Arctic and High Arctic Explorer Expeditions for all the feels!

 

 

Click here to see the full itinerary!
Heart of the Arctic

About the Experience

Polar plunge yourself into the extremes where the frozen landscape, polar bears and Inuit culture merge on our Heart of the Arctic adventure!

You’ll be in the company of local knowledge-keepers, recognized Arctic experts, historians and naturalists eager to share their bone-deep passion and intel with you.

We’ll go deeper than an iceberg below the surface (that’s 90% deeper!). It’s the curriculum you longed for in high school: geology, botany, archeology, art, climate change, Inuit language and heritage. It will feel like recess all day long aboard the Ocean Endeavour (dubbed the “floating university” for good reason). You’ll have the opportunity to explore niche subjects via presentations, workshops and discussion panels that you won’t want to skip. Warning: there will be plenty of distractions due to the ever-changing landscape and surprise wildlife encounters!

You will meet the gifted Inuit artists in South Baffin Island’s famous artistic communities. Their ancient and contemporary expressions communicate Arctic life and an integral connection to the land through sculpture and carvings.

We will also explore Nunavik, Quebec’s northernmost region that stretches above the 55th parallel and cross the historic Davis Strait in the shadow of the explorers.

It’s a photographer’s nirvana with the tundra in full bloom. Bonus: we will also experience the remarkable glow of Arctic’s buttery sun and bathe in 18-20 hours of daylight. No need for a filter!

We’ll cross the fabled Arctic Circle by ship via the longest fjord in the world, the Søndre Strømfjord, and witness Akpatok Island too. A designated important bird area, Akpatok is home to up to 4.5% of the global North Atlantic thick-billed murre population.

The panoramic fjords of Greenland, the eastern edge of the Canadian-shield (Baffin Island), rhythmic tides of the Hudson Strait and Ungava Bay combine to offer a giant dose of beauty and bounty. From the ship, by Zodiac, or on foot, we’ll seek out the incredible species that call this matchless region home—whales, bears and caribou! We’ll be constantly searching for marine mammals, polar bears, and seabirds like the kittiwakes and fulmars in this biodiverse Arctic environment.

The zodiacs will allow us to adventure untethered from the dependency of ports, piers, and other human-made infrastructure. These versatile boats and the Ocean Endeavour will sail you through what you once thought was just an irrational dream.

For anyone who is curious and enamored by the power of nature, the midnight sun and intrigued by Inuit culture, be sure to join Wild Women on our Heart Of The Arctic Adventure!

PLEASE NOTE: FOR THE JULY 24–AUGUST 5, 2025 navigation, this trip itinerary will be reversed. The trip will begin in Kangerlussuaq, Greenland and end in Iqaluit, Nunavut. 

Check out the webinar about our Heart Of The Arctic and High Arctic Explorer Expeditions for all the feels!

 

 

DAY 1: IQALUIT, NU, CANADA

We will start our adventure with boarding our northbound charter flight in Ottawa and head to Iqaluit.

Iqaluit (Inuktitut for “place of many fish”), situated at the chilly head of Frobisher Bay, is Nunavut’s capital (population: 8,000). It offers an instant bite of the distinct culture and is visible on menus offering muskox burgers and pan-seared Arctic char.

The Nunatta Sunakkutaangit Museum and Unikkaarvik Visitor Centre are magnetic attractions in addition to the territorial Legislature, the igloo-inspired St. Jude’s Cathedral (referred to as the “Igloo Cathedral”) and myriad of shops and galleries displaying Inuit carvings.

We will transfer by zodiac to the sleek Ocean Endeavour through the Iqaluit harbour. Is your heart-pounding with anticipation yet?

 

 

DAY 2: FROBISHER BAY

Frobisher Bay is located on an inlet of the Davis Strait in the Qikiqtaaluk Region of Nunavut, Canada.
Here’s your history cheat sheet: Between 1955 and 1987, the settlement of Iqaluit was known as Frobisher Bay. Martin Frobisher was a turned-around English explorer on a quest to find the elusive Northwest Passage in 1576. Besides thinking he had discovered the Passage and an easy shortcut to China, Frobisher also believed that he had discovered gold on an island in the Bay. Of course, it was fool’s gold that he took home to England as a souvenir.

Hot on his heels, commercial whalers introduced ships and trade to the Bay area in the 1800s. In 1880, the British Government transferred sovereignty of the Arctic archipelago to the Canadian government. Fast forward to the early 1900s: the whaling industry collapsed and the fur trade took precedence. Catholic and Anglican missionaries arrived as did a Hudson’s Bay Company trading post (in 1914).

When your history homework is complete, you’ll have a greater appreciation for the fine balance of wildlife, marine mammals and humans that live harmoniously in isolated Arctic communities.

Expect a constant feed of scenery–the kind that you see on desktop screensavers and inspirational posters encouraging you to live your best life!

 

 

DAY 3: LAKE HARBOUR

Kimmirut means “the heel” in Inuktitut, and refers to an outcrop of marble across the bay from the community. Lake Harbour (renamed Kimmirut in 1996) is located on the south shore of the Meta Incognita Peninsula on Baffin Island. Over a pot of tea (maybe), Elizabeth I dubbed Baffin Island the ‘The Unknown Shore’ in an era when a fast northwest passage to China was impossible to find by starlight and old-fashioned maps. Where are we, Siri? Unknown Shore?

Lake Harbour is also home to one of the first Hudson’s Bay Company outposts on Baffin Island–the trapping skills of the Inuit were immediately recognized and capitalized on.

Art has also played a monumental role in the hamlet (population: 400) and Kimmirut is synonymous with highly polished ivory scrimshaw and jewellery depicting animals and Arctic life. Scrimshaw techniques involve intricate etchings applied to ivory, whale’s teeth, bone or walrus tusks. Local artists also create fine jewellery utilizing semi-precious stones like sapphire, spinel, scapolite, tourmaline, iolite, apatite, zircon, moonstone, garnet and lapis lazuli–all of which have all been discovered in the region.

The location is unique in that it can only be accessed by air or water! There’s little surprise of drive-by, drop-in guests for dinner and there’s something to be said for that!

 

 

DAY 4: CAPE DORSET

In February 2020, Cape Dorset reverted back to its original name, Kinngait, which means “mountains” in Inuktitut. The creative Dorset Island hamlet near Foxe peninsula is a coveted Inuit art market hotbed. In 1959, the West Baffin Eskimo Co-operative was established—it’s the oldest professional Inuit printmaking studio in Canada. The Co-op includes Toronto-based Dorset Fine Arts, which helps to extend the artists’ audience further south and globally.

Old and new generations of artists, carvers, and printmakers continue to make Kinngait the beating heart of Inuit art. We’ll visit studios and meet the legendary artists here—this is your opportunity to purchase an Arctic memento that will continue to transport you back to the tundra and your Wild Women expedition.

 

 

DAY 5: HUDSON STRAIT

Today we’ll navigate the fast-moving waters of the 800-km long Hudson Strait. The outstretched arm of the Atlantic Ocean between Nunavut’s Baffin Island and Quebec, Canada, links Hudson Bay and Foxe Basin with the Labrador Sea. Did you follow that bouncing ball?

English explorer Henry Hudson successfully navigated the strait in 1610 and it became the main marine artery for the Hudson’s Bay Company.

Join our smartypants expedition staff on deck and scan for skulking polar bears, rasping walrus, lunging whales, barking seals, and careening seabirds! You’ll wish you had the optical advantage of an owl for 360° views!

 

 

DAY 6–7: UNGAVA PENINSULA, QC

Along the Ungava Peninsula of Nunavik, Quebec, we explore an area of treeless tundra dissected by rivers, glacial lakes rich in geology (especially iron ore deposits) and flora. Speaking of flora, if the name sounds familiar, but you just can’t place it, but you can almost taste it–it’s GIN! Quebec’s signature Ungava Gin is sunshine gold in colour with a Nordic juniper nose. It’s a blend of six rare Arctic botanicals: Nordic juniper, wild rose hip, Labrador tea, crowberry, Arctic blend and cloudberry.

We’ll enjoy the unique opportunity to hike among the fragrant gin ingredients and take advantage of wildlife and birding opps with a Zodiac cruise along the inlets and islands that pepper the peninsula.

 

 

DAY 8–9: UNGAVA BAY

Fun fact: in the winter, Ungava Bay is choked with a tumbler of rubbled, first-year ice. By summer, the bay clears and has recorded some of the highest tides in the world, including a 17-metre tide in the Bay of Leaves (Baie aux Feuilles). Hold on to your hat and gin!

Characteristically large and shallow, Ungava Bay is a thriving and impressive ecosystem. Here, endangered belugas and Canada’s largest number of breeding thick-billed murres mingle. We’ll jump into the Zodiacs to comb the shorelines and any outlying ice in an attempt to spot polar bears and walrus.

We’ll also visit the uninhabited Akpatok Island, the biggest island in Ungava Bay, at over 900-square-kilometres. It’s named for the akpat (the thick-billed murres) that nest on the precarious ledges of Akpatok’s limestone cliffs.

Ungava Bay’s basin is a peculiar mix of black spruce, dwarf birch, lichens, sphagnum moss, northern Labrador tea, sedge and peat-filled depressions. You’ll find moraines, volcanic rock, sinuous ridges, sporadic permafrost, Caribou frequent the area but are seasonal, just like pumpkin lattes and candy canes.

 

 

DAY 10: DAVIS STRAIT

Our resource staff will help deepen your understanding of the Arctic as we steam across the Davis Strait towards Greenland.
The strait splits between southeastern Baffin Island and southwestern Greenland (in case you have a map on your lap and are wondering where the heck you are). Inuit fisherman have relied on these shallow waters for an abundant Arctic char supply. Have you tried char yet?

Narwhals, bowhead and pilot whales cruise through the Strait in the company of little auks (dovekies) though sightings are always dependent on zooplankton and schools of fish like the Arctic cod. While you may fish for compliments, the auks and whales have another agenda.

Baffin Bay’s estimated population of 50,000 narwhals accounts for 80 to 90% of the world’s population. The ‘unicorns of the sea’ are playful year-round residents of Baffin Bay, feeding and mating in the winter.

Fun fact: the narwhal tusk (most commonly found on males) is actually an enlarged tooth with up to 10 million nerve endings. If they were to promote a toothpaste, it would be Sensodyne! Their tusks can grow to 10 feet in length and some narwhals can have two spiral tusks while others have none!

This is an excellent time to kick back and scout the northern Atlantic for minke, humpbacks, unicorns, auks and other unexpected pop-up wildlife. Find a seat in a workshop, watch a documentary or take advantage of the ship’s amenities! Hang out in the gym or library or bar–there will be wandering Wild Women to keep you company if you want to chat or chill out!

 

 

DAY 11: NUUK, GREENLAND

Nuuk, the buzzy capital of Greenland and largest city is a collision of nature, modernity and the tight embrace of old traditions. The Old Harbor is a reflection of Danish colonial days, while contemporary Nuuk is known for its cool vibe found in minimalist gallery cafes, upmarket Danish steakhouses, boutique shops and rowdy pubs where you may be pulled into a Greenland Polka dance (really!). Consider this your warning!

Did you know that Nuuk is a uni town? The University of Greenland is Greenland’s only university. Most courses are taught in Danish with a few offered in Greenlandic. West Greenlandic is the official language that all children learn in addition to Danish and English. Greenlandic words can be extremely long but they often convey an entire sentence. Kind of like a picture saying a thousand words. Fun fact: ‘computer’ is qarasaasiaq in Greenlandic, meaning ‘artificial brain.’

The Greenland National Museum is one of Nuuk’s treasures. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to see the 15th century Qilakitsoq mummies (move over Tutankhamun! There’s a new mummy in town!) and Inuit skin boats. Part of the collection was repatriated from the National Museum of Denmark.

 

DAY 12: KANGERLUSSUATSIAQ FJORD

Greenland’s west coast is simply stunning—it’s one big panoramic postcard of superlatives. From daunting mountains to the tiniest sprays of tundra flowers, our stop in this area is one that has everyone stamping their feet in a tantrum when it’s time to leave. The waters are relatively warm here due to the West Greenland Current and the sub-Arctic location but not as warm as the on-board hot tub.

Hikers, birders, poets, photographers, daydreamers and self-proclaimed philosophers will all fall under the coastal spell. You’ve been warned! Later, close your eyes and reflect on the day’s sensory massage in the sauna or hot tub.

 

 

DAY 13: KANGERLUSSUAQ, GREENLAND

In the early morning, we’ll complete our overnight journey up Kangerlussuaq Fjord (Søndre Strømfjord) and its 168 kilometres of OMG! scenery (provided you weren’t sleeping). Søndre Strømfjord is Danish for “big fjord” (not to be confused with the Ford-450 truck, which is also a big Ford). The fjord is surrounded by a mountain hug and bobbing glaciers, bisected by the Arctic Circle.

The Greenlandic word for goodbye is “baaj” though we know you’ll be reluctant to part this surreal landscape and the Wild Women you’ve found fast friends with.

We’ll transfer to shore by zodiac (even if you lock yourself in your cabin in protest!), then take a bus to the airport for our soutbound charter flight to Toronto, Ontario.

Baaj. Sounds a lot like waaaah, doesn’t it? Maybe it’s time to start plotting your next expedition!

 

 

 

OCEAN ENDEAVOUR

 

The Ocean Endeavour is an opulent 137-metre (450-feet), 198-passenger ice-strengthened vessel with twenty Zodiacs, advanced navigation equipment and stabilizers. A doctor, paramedic and medical clinic offer complete peace of mind. The ship has several lounge areas, a library (Compass Room) and multiple viewing decks to totally chill out by yourself or with your newfound crew!

Please note: This is not an exclusive Wild Women Expeditions or 100% women-only trip. The Wild Women group size on the Ocean Endeavour can range from 10 to 40 women. In addition, the ship’s staff and crew will also be co-ed.

MAP

*Adventure Canada itineraries may be subject to change without notice due to weather, ice, and sea conditions.

Click here to see upcoming trip dates to book your spot!

KAYAKING PROGRAM

The Qajaq program provides a quiet, fun and relaxing way to reconnect with the marine environment. The Qajaq (the proper phonetic spelling of “kayak”) was invented by Inuit and is a feat of engineering whose design remains unchanged after thousands of years.

Join us in a unique way through our qajaq program. Kayaking has become an increasingly popular mode of exploration. Paddling in pristine waters, near marine life, in the wilderness, or along a historic coast will overwhelm even the most seasoned adventurer.

It is a rare opportunity, for few have experienced these magical places by qajaq. We offer safe, fun and unforgettable moments at water level.

Limited space is available per departure and an application process is required for this activity. Cost for 2024: $800USD
If you’d like to add on this program, please book as soon as possible. Contact support@wildwomenexpeditions.com to apply.

*Fitness Level: Moderate, some kayaking experience required. A minimum of two kayak excursions will be experienced throughout the voyage.

 

BICYCLE RENTAL PROGRAM

There is a fleet of thirteen Kona mountain bikes, available for rent during set times throughout each expedition.

This unique opportunity allows passengers to explore and discover the landscape on two wheels. Cycling excursions are only available in pre-determined community visits and may be modified at any time at the discretion of the Expedition Leader.

Passengers will be notified when excursions will be available, one to two days in advance of the excursion at the daily recap. Details on difficulty level, distance, and guides will be provided at this time.

For more information, please visit the Program Director Office once onboard.


Subject to Availability, Upon Request