14 days: 9 days dog sled travel and camping, 2 nights Ottawa, 3 nights in Inuit villages.
Outside Magazine has ranked this experience among the "Top 25 Adventures of a Lifetime”, National Geographic documented it with their film “Ice Riders” and Smithsonian Magazine featured our trip in a cover story. We just can't get enough of this great experience - the cultural intrigue and stunning scenery of Greenland keep luring us back. Other projects have kept us away the past few seasons so we’re raring to return.
The Polar Inuit, the world's most northern and most traditional arctic culture, occupy an isolated 400-mile expanse of northwestern Greenlandic coastline that is framed by the Melville Bay ice cliffs to the south and the massive Humbolt Glacier near 80°N. On our past trips, we've enjoyed various destinations - the Polar Eskimo have shared more and more corners of their northern realm with us as our friendship with them has grown! Depending upon snow and ice conditions, this year's trek may take us either northward towards Inglefield Land (which features the area's greatest concentration of caribou and musk oxen as well as polar bear, seals, arctic fox and seabirds), eastwards to the remote settlement of Kangerlusuak, or southwards along spectacular cliff-lined coasts towards the historic outpost of Cape York.
This trip features spectacular coastal scenery, round-the-clock daylight (with generally moderate temps - teens and 20s) and the most traditional experience with Inuit people that can be found anywhere in today's Arctic. It’s also the easiest arctic trip we offer an is suitable for persons of all ages and fitness (no skiing skills required). You'll be teamed up with a Polar Inuit guide and travel by dog sled (Inuit-style 'fan' hitch) on a camping journey along sea cliffs and glaciers, through mountain passes and arctic tundra. You’ll also visit Siorapaluk, the world's northernmost community, as well as Qaanaaq, northern Greenland's supply post and Iqaluit, the capitol of Arctic Canada. And you’ll be traveling with the Eskimo descendants of North Pole explorers Robert Peary and Matthew Henson who discovered the North Pole. Plus this trip requires no special fitness – this is the easiest Arctic trip we’ve ever offered since each participant is riding on their own sled.
Day 1: Trip orientation meeting in Ottawa, Canada. Hotel lodging.
Day 2: Depart 9 am on 3-hr First Air jet flight to Iqaluit on Baffin Island, capitol of Canada’s new Inuit territory of Nunavut; tour the community, hotel lodging.
Day 3: 6 am departure (weather permitting) on Air Nunavut Super King turboprop charter for 3.5 flight across the high arctic including Ellesmere Island and the Kennedy Channel to reach Qaanaaq, Greenland, world's northernmost municipality (with fuel stop on Clyde River en route), stay at Qaanaaq Inn, village tour, trading post and Arctic Museum visit, welcoming dinner and orientation meeting with our Polar Inuit mushers.
Days 4-11: Travel by dog team and camp along the fiords and coastline of northwestern Greenland, visiting historic sites and settlements along the way, camping in tents or coastal huts, viewing wildlife and stunning arctic scenery, observing our Polar Eskimo companions hunting and fishing, enjoying great cross-cultural group camaraderie each evening over camp dinner in our group dining tent.
Day 12: Arrive back in Qaanaaq late afternoon, celebration dinner and lodging at Qaanaaq Inn.
Day 13: Air Nunavut return flight to Iqaluit, Canada, arriving midday, First Air flight to Ottawa arriving 4:50 pm, group night on the town and hotel lodging.
Day 14: Wrap-up breakfast and head for home!
Gear: All camping gear and sleeping bags will be provided. You just need to bring appropriate personal clothing. Loaner anoraks and pack boots available at no charge.
Guides: Paul Schurke and 1 or more additional of our staff. Each participant will be paired up with a Polar Inuit musher and dog team upon arrival in Greenland, with whom you'll be traveling companions throughout the trip.
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