Labrador and Torngat Explorer (Akademik Ioffe)

Labrador and Torngat Explorer (Akademik Ioffe)

From USD $3,895


This voyage links numerous historic locations on Canada’s east coast, including a known Viking settlement, a French built fortress, several remote mission locations and isolated fishing ports. We journey from the more temperate climate found in the Maritimes, northwards and into the higher Arctic latitudes. Subtle changes to vegetation and wildlife species can be noticed and our expert guides will interpret and explain these changes throughout the journey.

The region features strong cultural diversity and we encounter the Nunatsiavut people in small communities along the coastline of Labrador. Numerous wildlife species are found along this coastline including bears, seals, whales and both migratory and resident birds. A particular highlight of our voyage is a visit to Torngat Mountains National Park – home to the highest mountains in Canada, east of the Rockies. This is one of the jewels in the crown of the Canadian National Park network. The Inuit have strong cultural and spiritual connections to the land which we learn about during our visit.

Our expedition vessel is the perfect platform for exploring the remote bays and fjords of this spectacular wilderness as many locations can only be accessed by ship. A final highlight awaits as we venture across Frobisher Bay to Monumental Island. This is remote, small-ship expedition cruising at its best.

Please note: The voyage ends with a flight to Ottawa – flight is not included in your rate.

Trip Name
Labrador and Torngat Explorer (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. 


Our adventure begins in the historic port town of Louisbourg,Nova Scotia. First visited in 1597 by the English, the town wasfortified in 1713 by the French in recognition of its strategicmaritime location. During the 18th century, Louisbourg was thethird busiest seaport in North America. We board the ship in thelate afternoon in time for a dinner of fresh, local lobster as wesail out past the lighthouse, into the North Atlantic and on toNewfoundland and Labrador.
This morning we are anchored off the tiny fishing communityof Trout River, the access point into Gros Morne National Park.Our zodiacs take us ashore and we are transferred by bus forvisit to the World Heritage-listed Tablelands. This incrediblelocation is noted for its unique geology and exceptional scenery.Here, the Earth’s mantle is exposed on the surface – pushedup over millions of years by the movement of tectonic plates.We explore the boreal wetland landscape, featuring dramaticrock ridges, pitcher plants, white-throated sparrows and mayencounter the iconic moose as we explore the park. Continuingnorth through the park we enjoy a visit to the Discovery Centre,before arriving at Woody Point located in majestic BonneBay. We meet the ship here, re-boarding in the afternoon andcontinue our voyage northwards.
A millennium ago, Viking long-ships would have been found along the beach of L'Anse aux Meadows. L’Anse aux Meadows is where Norseman, Leif Erikson, son of Eric the Red, is thought to have founded “Vinland” around 1000 AD. As we explore the reconstructed sod huts and Norse ruins with the site’s resident archaeologist, we see evidence that the Vikings discovered North America five hundred years prior to the arrival of Christopher Columbus.
Battle Harbour marks our arrival into the province of Labrador.The location was one of the first British settlements on theeast coast of the Americas. It was an important gateway tothe rich Labrador fisheries. We venture ashore to explore therestored fishing, whaling, commercial buildings found in thisremote community. The colourful buildings make for fantasticphotographic subjects amid the backdrop of breathtakingcoastal views.
The ancient rocks of the Canadian Shield (the exposed portion of the Earth’s crust) cradle the small coastal hamlet of Hopedale. This remarkable geological feature, estimated to be up to 4 billion years old, greets us as we sail through narrow channels and weigh anchor off Hopedale. We venture ashore by zodiac to visit the Hopedale Moravian Mission which was built in 1782. It’s a fascinating place and we learn of the influence of the early Moravian missionaries on the Inuit people of Northern Labrador.
Today we enjoy a visit to the historic town of Hebron, once the northernmost settlement in Labrador. The Moravian missionaries established Hebron in the early 1830s and the Germanic influence is clearly seen in the architecture. The Mission was closed and the local Inuit families relocated in 1959, but the original buildings still stand today. This is another designated National Historic Site.
Midway through our exploration of Labrador, our attention turns to the magnificent wilderness of the Torngat Mountains National Park Reserve. The Park was established in 2005 and covers almost 10,000 square kilometers of Northern Labrador. It is home to Canada’s highest mountains east of the Rockies, and features breathtaking fjords, glacial systems and stunning landscapes. The Inuktitut word “Torngait” means “place of spirits”; these mountains have been home to Inuit and their predecessors for over 7500 years and are of great spiritual importance to these peoples. Polar bears hunt seals along the coast, and caribou herds cross paths as they migrate to and from their calving grounds. There are some terrific opportunities to explore the area on foot and along the shoreline in the zodiacs.
Nachvak Fjord in the Torngat Mountains National Park is exceptionally beautiful. The fjord is deep and narrow and stretches more than 20 kilometers. The rocky walls of the fjord soar almost 900 meters above us at several points. Many species migrate through the area during the short boreal summer. Numerous seal species may be encountered including ring, hooded, harp and harbour seals. Minke whales have been known to linger in the fjords, while larger species, including fin and humpback, tend to stay offshore. This is an outstanding location for landscape photography with endless subjects, a dynamic colour range, and interesting lighting.
As we reach the far northern stretches of coastal Labrador, we learn of the remarkable events at Martin Bay. Here a German U-boat made the only known armed landing in North America during World War Two. In 1943, U-537 sat at anchor here, while the crew man-handled ashore and established an automated weather station. This station remained undiscovered until the late 1970’s when a German historian came across a reference to it in the German naval archives. The equipment was collected by the Canadian Coast Guard in the early 1980’s and is on permanent display in the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa. We visit the Button Islands before sailing into southern Davis Strait. Named after Thomas Button who explored the area in 1612, the islands are in the middle of the upwelling of nutrients on the edge of the continental shelf. This action makes it a magnet for thousands of seabirds and other marine mammals.
Today we will sail across the mouth of Frobisher Bay and makelandfall on Monumental Island, a small, steep-sided outcrop offthe southeast coast of Baffin Island. Here we are on the lookoutfor both polar bears and walrus that live around the island inan uneasy truce. While polar bears have been known to attackand kill young walrus they are no match for a fully-grown malewalrus, especially in the water. We enjoy our final zodiac cruisehere and tonight we reflect on the last 10-days of explorationwhile enjoying a sumptuous farewell dinner, attended by theCaptain of the ship. During the night the ship will negotiatethe narrow channels of Frobisher Bay on the way to ourdisembarkation point, Iqaluit, the capital city of Nunavut.
We bid farewell to our crew and disembark the ship by zodiacand after a short tour of Iqaluit (if time and tides permit) wetransfer to the airport for out flight to Ottawa. On arrival anairport transfer is provided to a central downtown location.
Day 12 - Please Note:
This trip commences in the historic port ofLouisbourg (Cape Breton). Access is via Sydney(Nova Scotia). We recommend you arrive ineither Sydney, or Louisbourg at least one dayprior to the scheduled voyage departure date.This gives you a buffer in the event of anyunexpected travel delays between home and tripdeparture time. Group transfers from Sydney toLouisbourg (approx 45 minutes) are included theday before - and the day of embarkation.At the conclusion of the trip we arrive in Iqaluit,situated on Baffin Island. From here we board aflight to Ottawa. Upon arrival a group transfer isprovided to a central downtown location. Polar exploration can be unpredictable. Specific sites visited will depend on prevailing weather and ice conditions at the time ofsailing. The above itinerary should be read as a ‘guide only’ and may change. The ship’s Captain in conjunction with the Expedition Leader continuallyreview the sailing plan throughout the voyage, making adjustments to the itinerary along the way to take advantage of optimal weather and ice conditionsor to maximize our encounters with wildlife. Decades of experience spent exploring these waterways mean we have a large number of outstanding landingsites and zodiac cruising locations to consider, even when the weather conditions may not be ideal. A flexible approach is something we encourage you tobring to the ship.

Trip Dates

StartEndPrice FromRoom Type
12-07-201922-07-2019USD $3,895Triple Share
12-07-201922-07-2019USD $4,895Twin Semi Private
12-07-201922-07-2019USD $6,295Twin Private
12-07-201922-07-2019USD $7,095Superior
12-07-201922-07-2019USD $8,295Shakleton Suite
12-07-201922-07-2019USD $10,095One Ocean Suite


    • Visit remote ports and local communities along the coast of Labrador
    • Inuit history and culture plus early European locations, including a Viking settlement
    • Towering mountains and wilderness of the Torngat National Park
    • Experience the transition from the Atlantic provinces into the Arctic
    • On this trip: Zodiac excursions, Onshore hiking options, Wildlife observation, Photographer in Residence, Sea kayaking available, Whale watching, Inuit community visits, Educational presentations, Active Cruising & Wellness