Iceland to Canada aboard Le Champlain

Overview

Cruise along chiseled fjords packed with icebergs for up-close views of glittering glaciers on this new expedition that explores the Arctic region of Iceland, Greenland, and Canada. You'll search for beluga whales, and seabirds such as razorbills, guillemots, and kittiwakes, enjoy a hike through Gros Morne National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, visit the Gaspé Peninsula, with its colonies of northern gannets, and conclude with a cruise through the Fjord du Saguenay, which offers some of Canada’s most breathtaking scenery.

Note: This cruise is not exclusive to, nor operated by, Wilderness Travel, who acts solely as agent in booking your reservation with the ship operator. The itinerary, lecturers, and all other arrangements are subject to change at the discretion of the cruise line.

Itinerary

Day 1, Aug 27, 2019
Depart USA

Board your independent flight to Iceland.

Day 2, Aug 28, 2019
Reykjavík, Iceland

Arrive in the Icelandic capital this morning and transfer to the Reykjavík Hilton Nordica. Lunch and the remainder of the day are at leisure to enjoy this fascinating and colorful city. Gather this evening for a welcome reception followed by dinner and overnight at the hotel.

Day 3, Aug 29, 2019
Reykjavík / Embark Le Champlain

After breakfast, set out to explore Iceland’s classic scenic wonders known as the Golden Circle. Begin with Thingvellir National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site surrounded by mountains and encompassing a vast lava plain of green moss and wildflowers. Continue to Gullfoss Waterfall where the Hvita River drops 96 feet in two voluminous cascades. The Geysir Center is a huge geothermal field of both boiling and tranquil multi-hued hot springs and bubbling mud pools. After lunch, visit Fridheimar Farm, which produces tomatoes and cucumbers year-round in their impressive greenhouses and breeds Icelandic horses, before embarking Le Champlain.

Day 4, Aug 30, 2019
Vigur Island / Ísafjördur

After breakfast take a walking tour of small, verdant Vigur, the summer home to vast numbers of puffins, black guillemots, Arctic terns, and eiders. The tiny community dates back to the late 1800s and boasts Iceland’s only windmill. During lunch on board, cruise northward to Ísafjördur, the trading and cultural center of the West Fjords. A cultural tour reveals the history and daily life of one of Iceland’s oldest fishing settlements and visits the region’s scenic highlights. This afternoon, enjoy free time in town to browse the local shops.

Day 5, Aug 31, 2019
At Sea

Attend lectures on the natural and historical highlights ahead.

Day 6, Sep 1, 2019
Tasiilaq, Greenland

The small settlement of Tasiilaq is part of the municipality of the same name that covers an area five times the size of Denmark. Ashore, enjoy a cultural performance and stroll through the town’s brightly-colored buildings to visit the excellent local museum. After this, there is free time to browse handicraft shops or take a stroll around town. Those who wish may continue on a hike to Flower Valley, accompanied by naturalists who point out the varieties of local vegetation enjoying their brief seasonal bloom.

Day 7, Sep 2, 2019
Napassorssuaq Fjord

Today, cruise along the southeastern coast of Greenland. Now uninhabited, the region recalls its past civilization in skeletal sites of old Scandinavian and Inuit camps and settlements. Watch for seals, whales, and polar bears and, conditions permitting, go ashore in Napassorssuaq Fjord via Zodiac to explore this remote expanse of shoreline. Farther south, witness the portion of Greenland that fully lives up to its name. This is the most fertile part of the country; unlike the northern hunting and fishing villages, agriculture and farming are an important part of economic life.

Day 8, Sep 3, 2019
Prins Christian Sund

The 55-mile-long channel near the southern tip of Greenland offers breathtaking vistas as you cruise among a flotilla of ice. Volcanoes rise from the barren landscape, and icebergs, like tiny atolls, sit in pools of aquamarine waters. Steep, glacier-cut cliffs border the fjord; frozen waterfalls cling to their edges like freeze-framed photographs. By Zodiac and aboard the ship, cruise the bays and finger-like offshoots of this truly spectacular display of geology and geography.

Days 9-10, Sep 4- 5, 2019
At Sea

Spend your time at sea attending informative lectures, searching for wildlife from deck with naturalists, and enjoying the amenities of Le Champlain.

Day 11, Sep 6, 2019
L’Anse aux Meadows, Newfoundland, Canada

Considered by some to be the long-sought-after Vinland depicted in the Norse sagas and settled by Leif Ericson in A.D. 1000, L’Anse aux Meadows was only officially rediscovered in 1961. Declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1978, it remains the only authenticated Viking settlement in North America and represents the earliest evidence of a European presence in the New World. Visit the living history Viking trading settlement of Norstead.

Day 12, Sep 7, 2019
Gros Morne National Park, Canada

In Gros Morne, take a hike to the Tablelands, a landform that resembles the surface of the moon. Much of Gros Morne’s fame comes from this huge extrusion of the earth’s mantle thrust violently to the surface over 450 million years ago. The park is also rich in wildlife—caribou, Arctic hare, fox, weasel, lynx, and an occasional black bear. Alert spotters may observe fin, minke, humpback, and pilot whales in the offshore waters.

Day 13, Sep 8, 2019
Gaspe, Quebec

Be on deck as the ship approaches Gaspe to view stunning Percé Rock, an imposing limestone sea stack with a large arch “piercing” the rock. On nearby Bonaventure Island, step ashore for nature walks to observe interesting geology and over 300 species of birds, including black-legged kittiwakes, common murres, and a large colony of northern gannets.

Day 14, Sep 9, 2019
Havre St. Pierre

Havre St. Pierre is the gateway to the spectacular Mingan Archipelago, a chain of islands, islets, and monoliths of element-sculpted limestone. Whales and seals are often spotted frolicking among these bizarre formations, and seabirds nest along the sheer rock cliffs.

Day 15, Sep 10, 2019
Cruising the St. Lawrence River

Enjoy the passing coastal scenery, spend time sorting through your photos, and attend lectures recapping your experiences.

Day 16, Sep 11, 2019
Saguenay

The Fjord du Saguenay offers some of Canada’s most breathtaking scenery. As the ship cruises along this narrow waterway, you are surrounded by cliffs that tower from 500-1,000 feet. Keep an eye out for resident wildlife, including peregrine falcons, black bears, seals, and beluga whales.

Day 17, Sep 12, 2019
Quebec City / Disembark / USA

Transfer to the airport for your independent flights homeward.

Highlights

Highlights

Cruise along chiseled fjords packed with icebergs for up-close views of glittering glaciers
Search for marine mammals, including beluga whales in Saguenay-St. Lawrence Marine Park
Attend a cultural performance at Taiilaq and meet with friendly locals to learn more about life in the High Arctic
Take a hike through Gros Morne National Park; this UNESCO World Heritage Site is a geological wonderland that offers the world’s best examples of plate tectonics
Discover the bizarrely eroded sea stacks, arches, and cliffs of the Mingan Archipelago, a haven for seabirds such as razorbills, guillemots, terns, and kittiwakes

Details

Length: 17 days
Cost From: $14,980  
Arrive: Reykjavik, Iceland
Depart: Quebec City, Canada
Lodging: 14 nights aboard a 165-passenger vessel, 1 night hotel
Meals: All meals included aboard ship and with the group ashore (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
Activity: Cultural Adventures, Wildlife & Natural History, Small Ship Cruising, Walking, Photography
Trip Level:

13-day cruise, cultural explorations and walking tours
Cruise collection 2019 brochure

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