Charter flight from Duesseldorf* to Kangerlussuaq
Kangerlussuaq/Greenland, departure 14.00 hrs
Western coast of Greenland (Disko Bay, Storoen, Uummannaq)
The journey is the destination
Bizarre ice, wild animals and nautical challenges – one of the world’s most famous sea routes combines fascinating history and thrilling natural experiences. When you trace your finger along the map, you are tracing the lifelines of numerous pioneers who have lent their names to many of the straits of water and islands in this region. Their bravery comes to life when the HANSEATIC sets a similar course for this remote area of the Canadian Arctic. A challenge to which the ship rises thanks to its highest ice class and the experienced crew. Again and again, the captain and officers will decide which route to take, turning each of your expedition days into a great adventure. There could hardly be a more spectacular start to your cruise than the famous Disko Bay: ride in the Zodiacs between the drifting icebergs and watch the enormous ice formations that are released into the bay from the ice fjord. When the HANSEATIC sets sail for Storoen, the sudden appearance of humpback and fin whales always produces a wave of excitement. When you land on the “desert isle”, you will almost feel like you have landed on the moon, while the experts explain the geological composition of the coastal landscape. Cultural insights will be provided by Uummannaq, one of the most beautiful settlements in Greenland with typically colourful wooden houses and “Santa’s summer house”. A museum recalls the expeditions of Alfred Wegener, a German who conducted research in Greenland.
Relaxation at sea
Pond Inlet/Baffin Island/Canada
The history of exploration in the Northwest Passage comes to life in Baffin Bay, named for the English seafarer William Baffin, who came here in the 16th century on the search for a possible passage. Once you have visited Pond Inlet on Baffin Island and gotten to know a small, hidden Inuit village, the HANSEATIC will travel to the Lancaster Sound. The excitement will grow as your own chapter in the history of Northwest Passage exploration approaches.
In the heart of the Northwest Passage (including Devon Island, Somerset Island, cruising in the Victoria Strait, Jenny Lind Island, Cambridge Bay/Victoria Island, cruising in Peel Sound, Prince of Wales Island, Beechey Island)
Thrilling expeditionary spirit
In the wake of great pioneers, you will head to the heart of the legendary passage. Nautical territory perfect for the HANSEATIC and its Zodiacs. Explorations and trips ashore in this region – for example, on Devon Island – are only possible with robust motorised rubber boats. Spectacular glaciers line the coast, where you will see musk oxen, Arctic hares and maybe even your first polar bears. The further the HANSEATIC goes into the labyrinth of islands and ice, the closer you will feel to the first explorers all those years ago. Follow in their footsteps on Somerset Island, for example. In 1848, James Clark Ross landed here on the search for the missing Franklin ships, which are said to be frozen in ice at the entrance to the Victoria Strait. The fascination on the water continues on land: keep an eye out for polar bears, owls and reindeer, and not just on Jenny Lind Island. Victoria Island is also ideal for wildlife sightings. In Cambridge Bay, the wreck of the “Maud”, one of Roald Amundsen’s ships, once bore silent witness to the bravery of seafarers in times gone by. Depending on the ice, you will set out on a Zodiac ride on Peel Sound into the habitat of orcas, seals and walruses, and to Prince of Wales Island, which is known for its natural treasures, the spherical geodes. The island was discovered in 1851 during the search for John Franklin’s expedition. Aside from three sailors, whose graves were found on Beechey Island, the team remained missing. Your paths may perhaps cross with those of the polar bears, who roam the archipelago in search of food.
Finally, the HANSEATIC will take some time to explore the magnificent fjords of Baffin Island. Mountains and ice shape this expansive landscape – one impressive example being the majestic Kisimngiuqtuq glacier.
Relaxation at sea
Kangerlussuaq/Greenland, arrival 6.00 hrs
Charter flight Kangerlussuaq – Duesseldorf*
* Depending on the flight schedule, it may be necessary to change the airports of departure and arrival.
A change in itinerary may be required on this expedition. The captain will decide on the best possible alternative depending on weather and ice conditions.
Dr Arne Kertelhein, a specialist in polar history and the author of many guide books, retraces the lives of great polar researchers at original sites and on board. His talks are based on old expedition reports and historical maps.