"8 Days in Canada's Arctic" Baffin Island by windsorgirl
Baffin Island Travel Guide: 22 reviews and 104 photos
A Few Facts
Nunavut is Canada's newest territory and it's largest. It is one fifth of Canada. It was created by severing the Northwest Territories into two in April 1999. Nunavut lies to the east of the Northwest Territories and comprises mostly of islands in the Arctic Ocean. There are approximately 29,000 people living in Nunavut, scattered among 26 settlements. Baffin Island is one of the largest islands in Nunavut, one and a half the size of Germany with a population of only 20,000!
Why the Arctic?
Since most of my previous travels have been to tropical destinations, it didn't take much convincing to get me to join a cruise of the Canadian Arctic. And, it just so happened that this was the inaugural voyage for Cruise North Expeditions. Cruise North is a new endeavour to bring more tourists to the Baffin region and improve the economy for the local Inuit who live there. It is hoped that in the future, the cruise ship will be staffed by mostly Inuit.
Our staff, however and the ship itself, all travelled up from Argentina and Chile. The MV Ushuaia runs tours of the Antarctic from November to January. It was a five week journey from the Antarctic to the Arctic. I was very satisfied with the services and staff aboard the ship.
Our cruise was 8 days and we were given a very ambitious itinerary. Due to the tides and heavy ice coverage on Ungava Bay, we were delayed twice and our itinerary was cut in half. Personally, I didn't mind, I think we still had a great Arctic experience and if we hadn't encountered ice in the Arctic, I may have been disappointed!
You can read my travelogue for the complete itinerary, delays and all!
Many people are travelling to the Antarctic these days, but for those of us that live in the Northern Hemisphere, it is much more accessible to visit the Arctic instead. We had only a short 2hr flight from Montreal to Kuujjuaq and the start of our trip. If you are prone to seasickness, you won't have to endure the 36 hour crossing of the notoriously rough Drake Passage either. And, last but not least, you won't find Polar Bears in Antarctica!
By far, the highlight of the trip for me, was this close encounter with a very curious polar bear. Every other bear that we encountered headed for the hills at first sight or smell of us, but not this one. All five zodiacs were able to pull up close enough for a good view and great photos.
We had several opportunities to leave the ship and/or the zodiacs for a walk on shore. It really is the best way to... more travel advice
About 20,000 people live in the harsh environment of the Baffin region, 85% of these are Inuit. The Inuit have descended... more travel advice
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