Jewel of the High Arctic & Greenland (Akademik Ioffe)

Jewel of the High Arctic & Greenland (Akademik Ioffe)

From USD $8,995


Baffin Island is one of the last great wilderness regions on the planet and the focus of this outstanding expedition. From Iqaluit, situated at the head of Frobisher Bay, we explore up the wild east coast of Baffin Island discovering the deep fjords, soaring mountains and immense glacial systems.

Moving towards the southwestern coast of Greenland – the world’s largest island, we will come across colourful houses and buildings that dot the sparsely vegetated landscape. Daily excursions are plentiful; exploring in the Zodiac boats to witness glaciers and icebergs, observing wildlife, and strolling through the colourful villages or stretching our legs on longer hikes.

Visits to remote Inuit communities provide a fascinating glimpse into the daily life of the people who call this remote wilderness their home. 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. This remote and desolate place is home to several small grave markers, which we see on our shore excursion.

We eventually reach the remote town of Resolute where our adventure comes to an end. This is small ship expedition cruising at its best.

Please Note: This trip commences in Ottawa – Canada’s elegant capital city. We recommend you arrive in Ottawa at least one day prior to the scheduled voyage departure date. This gives you a buffer in the event of any unexpected travel delays between home and trip departure time. From Ottawa we fly north to
Iqaluit and after a tour of the town, we transfer to the ship for embarkation via Zodiac. At the conclusion of the trip, we fly from Resolute back to Edmonton (Alberta) via special charter flight. Upon arrival in Edmonton, a transfer is provided from the airport to a central downtown location. This flight arrives in the early evening and we advise staying the night in Edmonton and making your onward travel plans for the following day. Flights are not included.

Trip Name
Jewel of the High Arctic & Greenland (Akademik Ioffe)
Vessel Type: Expedition Length: 117 metres Passenger Capacity: 96 Built: 1989 Stability and Strength. Our ship was purpose built to conduct sensitive hydro-acoustic research and science in the polar regions. The original design brief dictated that the vessel offers a very high level of stability. This is achieved through a sophisticated internal trimming system, controlled via a series of gyroscopic sensors around the vessel. This stability feature is something you will greatly appreciate should you encounter less than ideal sailing conditions. Maneuverable, Quiet and Fast. With both bow and stern thrusters and twin reversible propellers, the ship can spin on its own axis – greatly assisting embarkation of the zodiacs in windy conditions. You will notice there is little – if any – ambient noise or vibration, which makes for a quiet ship. The ship is fast, with a top speed of 14.5 knots in open water. Unmatched stability, coupled with superior speed allows for more time at your destination (rather than ‘at sea’) and more flexibility with itinerary planning – a critical factor in polar waters where ice and weather conditions sometimes dictate our daily itinerary. Superb Design and Layout. Throughout the ship there are spaces ideally suited to every need. Spacious outer decks provide 360 degree views of the stunning polar landscapes – as well as a great place for an outdoor barbecue, which usually happens once on every voyage. Inside there are comfortable presentation spaces for lectures and film screenings and there’s a multimedia computer lab with several large screen workstations where guests can download and back up photos. Six Different Cabin Categories. All cabins feature outside windows allowing ample natural light to filter in. Cabins all have lower berths (some triple share cabins have one upper/lower bunk scenario and feature port holes). Akademik Ioffe carries a maximum of just 96 guests – making for true, small-ship expedition cruising. This is particularly important in Antarctica where visitor guidelines dictate that no more than 100 people can be on shore at any one time. We fall under this limit and that equals maximum time ashore at all locations. Ships carrying more than 100 guests compromise your time ashore. Enjoy Great Dining? So do we. The exciting schedule of onshore excursions, zodiac cruises and onboard activities are guaranteed to work up a serious appetite. Although the ship operates in some of the most remote locations in the world, you can expect an exceptional variety of tasty meals, prepared by a team of professional international chefs. Breakfasts are usually buffet style. Lunches offer a great choice of light meals - as well as more substantial options for those who are hungry - and each evening there is a hearty three-course meal offering both variety and choice. There’s also an excellent wine list featuring a range of international wines. You can get a cup of tea or coffee at any time of the day or night and we always offer afternoon tea with cakes and biscuits. Guests with dietary restrictions or special meal requirements are also well catered for. Join us on the Bridge. There is an open-bridge policy and guests are welcome to meet the navigating crew at virtually any time of day; there’s always something to learn from the officers on watch and the bridge is one of the best places on the ship for spotting whales and sea birds. Operational Safety. There are no compromises here. The expedition staff and crew onboard Akademik Ioffe have the deepest respect for changeable weather in the polar regions and the varying sea and ice conditions. That respect is apparent in every decision made throughout the voyage. The ship carries the most extensive inventory of safety equipment on all excursions and require leaders to undergo vigorous and effective safety training programs. Your expedition team are well prepared, so you can relax and enjoy your voyage. Relax — You're on Holiday. The ship also features a Finnish dry-heat sauna, a plunge pool, a hot water Jacuzzi, a small gymnasium and day spa with massage therapist. An expedition gear package is included. An expedition cruise requires a fair bit of planning and some special items of clothing and equipment are needed. You will have use of an expedition wet weather gear package free of charge, which includes a quality waterproof/windproof jacket and bib-pants as well as insulated, comfortable rubber boots designed for extended walking. A set of expedition binoculars and a walking pole are also available for the duration of your voyage. This saves you buying expensive items you may only ever use once and eliminates the need to carry such cumbersome gear all the way to the ship. If you do have your own gear, of course you are welcome to bring it. Make sure it is wind and waterproof. 


We depart Ottawa this morning on our scheduled flight toIqaluit, situated on Baffin Island. Upon arrival into Iqaluit weenjoy a walking tour of the town and board our expedition ship,the Akademik Ioffe in the afternoon. After settling into our cabinsand exploring the ship, we meet our expedition team and fellowpassengers. Excitement is in the air as we enjoy a welcomecocktail and cast off to explore one of the most remote placeson Earth – Baffin Island.
Situated in the Davis Strait, the rocky dome of MonumentalIsland can be seen from a distance. We explore by Zodiacalong the rocky shoreline and hope to encounter polar bearsin this vicinity. In good weather a complete circumnavigationof the island is possible. We should see our first large icebergsdrifting southward towards Labrador and Newfoundland onthe currents of the Davis Strait. Throughout the coming daysand rest of the voyage, our onboard experts educate us with aseries of presentations about the environment, wildlife, history ofBaffin Island and the Canadian Arctic and the locations we planto visit.
Day 3 - DAY 3 / CAPE MERCY
Today we approach the northern entrance to the Cumberlandsound – a headland known as Cape Mercy. The region is linedwith outstanding cliffs and offers a wonderful hike along theshoreline ridges. Be on the lookout for icebergs and wildlife aslarge deposits of ice receding from Baffin Bay float by. Duringthe summer months, this area is often frequented by polarbears coming ashore. Time on the water by Zodiac and Kayakwill allow for further exploration and if we are in luck we mayencounter whales and seals.
We awaken to the vast expanse of the Davis Strait, whichseparates Greenland from Canada. Throughout the day ouronboard experts educate us with a series of presentationsabout the environment, the wildlife and history and the locationswe hope to visit in the coming days. This is an importantmigration corridor for birds and whales, and we keep our eyesout for signs of wildlife from the outer decks. Large icebergsof all shapes drift on the currents of the Davis Strait and whilethese won't be your first iceberg sightings, seeing them inopen water is an impressive sight. Be sure to visit the ship’sbridge and watch the Captain and officers navigate our modernexpedition ship. Enjoy the wonderful facilities onboard the ship,spend time with the photography guide or relax with a book oryour journal.
We will explore the fjord behind the town of Sisimiut beforegoing ashore to explore this beautiful location. Characterizedby colourful local houses, the town features a towering granitepeak as a backdrop. We hope to meet a few of the traditionalGreenlandic kayakers and to see a demonstration of ‘Eskimorolling’ by one of the former Greenland kayak champions. Asmall museum is another interesting diversion.
For many, today is a highlight of the voyage. Truly one of thewonders of the world, the Jacobshavn Icefjord – a UNESCOWorld Heritage site - spews gigantic tabular icebergs out intoDisko Bay. The glacier that creates these stunning monolithsadvances at over 40 metres per day, creating around 50 cubickilometres of ice annually. Our approach to Ilulissat is alwaysdependent on the amount of ice in and around the mouth of thefjord. Our Captain and Officers are skilled ice navigators and ourship has one of the highest ice ratings of any vessel exploringArctic waters.
Uummannaq is the eleventh largest town in central-westernGreenland and is a base for hunting and fishing. Its picturesque,colourful houses sit at the base of the towering Uummannaqmountain. It is also rumoured to be the home of Santa Claus!In the 70s the town came to the world’s attention for a verydifferent reason – the discovery of ‘The Greenland Mummies’ – eight mummies (six women and two children) preservednaturally by the freezing temperatures. The mystery behind howthese Inuit people from A.D. 1475 died perplexed scientists, aswell as the reason why no males were also buried. Researcherswere able to study the mummies as non-destructively aspossible and found a number of interesting facts. We will visitthe site of this fascinating discovery and learn more about howthey lived and died.
Our educational presentation series continues as we near thefar north of Baffin Island. We enter a broad channel which ishome to the remote Inuit community of Mittimatalik. Mittimatalikis also the main access point to the pristine wilderness ofSirmilik National Park. This jewel in the crown of Canada's ArcticPark system features spectacular scenery consisting of ruggedmountains, ice fields and glaciers, coastal lowlands and sizeableseabird colonies. Even your widest angle camera lens will seeminadequate to capture the vast scenery.
Having navigated Lancaster Sound, we sight the spectacularnorth coast of Baffin Island and navigate through Navy BoardInlet. The epic landscapes of Sirmilik National Park surroundus as we approach the remote Inuit community of Mittimatalik(Pond Inlet). We are welcomed ashore and a highlight will be avisit to the Natinnak Centre, where a fascinating cultural exhibitshowcases aspects of daily life, culture and history of thepeople of the North. Inuit carvings, jewellery and other traditionalcraft is on display and purchasing such items from the localartisans is a great way to support the local community.
Leaving the wild landscapes of Baffin Island, we crossLancaster Sound to Devon Island. This broad channel of waterhas been likened to the wildlife ‘super highway’ of the Arctic.Massive volumes of water from the Atlantic to the east andPacific to the west, and from the archipelago of islands to thenorth all mix here, combining to make a rich source of nutrientsand food for an abundance of Arctic wildlife. We plan on visitingthe old Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) outpost atDundas Harbour. In the afternoon we reposition the ship intoCrocker Bay, home to a substantial glacial system.
Prince Leopold Island is important migratory bird sanctuary,home to thick-billed murres, black guillemots, northern fulmarsand black-legged kittiwakes. A population of several hundredthousand birds, makes this one of the most significant birdsanctuaries in the entire Arctic ecosystem. Given the abundanceof food found in the nutrient-rich waters here, we often sightbeluga, narwhal and bowhead whales, several species of sealas well as polar bears.
Our final shore landing - Beechey Island, is a place of greathistoric significance and a suitable finale to our expedition. Itis here that Sir John Franklin’s ill-fated expedition spent its last‘comfortable’ winter in 1845 before disappearing into the icyvastness, sparking an incredible series of search expeditionsthat lasted almost three decades. The mystery of whathappened to Franklin was partially solved in September 2014,when a joint Parks Canada and Royal Canadian GeographicalSociety expedition, found the long-lost Franklin shipwreck, HMSErebus in the Victoria Strait. One Ocean Expeditions played avital role in the search by carrying underwater search equipmenton our ship as well as scientists, historians, researchers,dignitaries and sponsors of this history-defining mission. A tripashore at Beechey Island to visit the grave markers on a remotewindswept beach, is a thrilling experience for history buffs andfor many, it will be a highlight of the expedition. We return to theship and this evening enjoy a special dinner attended by theCaptain. It’s a great time to reflect on the wildlife, history anddramatic scenery of the High Arctic.
Our expedition comes to an end as we arrive into Resolute.The town is named after the British ship HMS Resolute whichbecame trapped in ice and abandoned here in 1850 whilesearching for the lost Franklin expedition. A weather station andairstrip made Resolute a strategic outpost during the time of theCold War. After arriving in Resolute we disembark the ship andbid farewell to our crew and fellow passengers. We transfer tothe airport for our flight south to Edmonton. A transfer is alsoprovided from the airport into a central downtown location.
Day 14 - Please Note:
Polar exploration can be unpredictable. Specific sites visited will depend on prevailing weather and ice conditions at thetime of sailing. The above itinerary should be read as a ‘guide only’ and may change. The ship’s Captain in conjunction with the Expedition Leadercontinually review the sailing plan throughout the voyage, making adjustments to the itinerary along the way to take advantage of optimal weatherand ice conditions or to maximize our encounters with wildlife. Decades of experience spent exploring these waterways mean we have a largenumber of outstanding landing sites and Zodiac cruising locations to consider, even when the weather conditions may not be ideal or when heavyice may hinder our planned route. A flexible approach is something we encourage you to bring to the ship.

Trip Dates

StartEndPrice FromRoom Type
27-07-202008-08-2020USD $8,995Triple Share
27-07-202008-08-2020USD $10,195Twin Semi Private
27-07-202008-08-2020USD $12,395Twin Private
27-07-202008-08-2020USD $13,395Superior
27-07-202008-08-2020USD $15,295Shakleton Suite
27-07-202008-08-2020USD $17,595One Ocean Suite


    • Glaciated scenery, deep fjords, superb national parks and exciting ice navigation
    • Outstanding wildlife observation on shore, on Zodiac cruises and from the ship
    • Historic locations of early Arctic exploration
    • Cultural interaction and understanding through visits to remote Inuit communities