Set sail aboard L’Austral for a memorable 15-day expedition cruise to the discovery of Baffin Island. You will embark in Kangerlussuaq for an unforgettable journey in the heart of the most magnificent Arctic landscapes.
|1||Kangerlussuaq, Greenland||Embark the L'Austral|
|2||Sisimiut||Explore this charming, colourful town, see the history of the Inuit people at the museum & visit one of the many craft shops|
|3||Disko Bay||Visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Iluissat Fjord|
|4||At Sea||Relax, unwind and enjoy the many on board facilities|
|5||Pont Inlet, Nunavut||Snow capped mountains, fjords and glaciers|
|6||Bellot Strait||Sail between large ice floes, keep an eye out for polar bears|
|7||Pouncet Island||Spectacular, majestic scenery|
|8||Fury & Hecla Strait & Igloolik||Sail this narrow stretch of sea, visit the Inuit village od Igloolik|
|9||Prince Charles Island||Stunning scenery, watch for polar bears|
|10||Cape Dorset||Visit the local Inuit community full of craftspeople and artists.|
|11||Kimmirut||Explore the natural beauty at the Katannilik Territorial Park Reserve|
|12||Akpatok Island||See the large bird population including the thick-billed murre, glimpse polar bears moving along the limestone cliffs|
|13||Iqaluit||Impressive scenery steeped in Inuit culture|
|14||At Sea||Relax, unwind and enjoy the many on board facilities|
|15||Kangerlussuaq, Greenland||After breakfast disembark for your onward journey|
L’Austral (200 guests) was launched in May, 2011 and is a sister ship to Le Boreal and Le Soleal. She features 132 staterooms offering elegant design as well innovative state-of-the-art marine technology. The vessel boasts a convenient layout, aided by three passenger elevators. She offers a single seating dining room, al fresco dining, an outdoor heated pool, and a modern lecture facility and theatre, as well as an ample and comfortable gathering area and library.
From 1941 to 1992, the town of Kangerlussuaq in Greenland was home to an American military base. Nowadays, thanks to its international airport, it has become a transit point for travellers seeking adventure in the Far North. Located to the north of the Arctic Circle, this town is the starting point of magnificent discoveries surrounded by unspoiled nature. Indeed, just a few dozen kilometres from there it is possible to get close to the Greenland ice sheet, the largest body of ice in the Northern Hemisphere. From Kangerlussuaq, admire also the superb landscapes of tundra in autumnal colours, where Arctic hares, musk oxen, Arctic foxes, reindeer, falcons and eagles live. Board the L’Austral
During your cruise discover Sisimiut, founded in 1756 and the second largest town in Greenland. This small town is typical of Greenland, boasting bewitching panoramas: here and there, colourful stilt houses dot the undulating landscape, and the small fishing port stands as the gateway to an icy realm. As for the town centre, it is home to a number of historic buildings, a small church and a museum which retraces the history of the Inuit people, as well as many craft shops. When your ship drops anchor here, you will set out to meet the locals in a typically arctic atmosphere.
To the east of Baffin Bay, discover Disko Bay, scattered with countless icebergs produced by the Ilulissat Icefjord, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. From your ship, admire the majestic ballet of these ice giants as they slowly drift across the dark waters. This site is a natural marvel of Greenland, and is also renowned as an observation point for the region’s many humpback whales. The encounters with wild fauna and stunning landscapes in the heart of this spectacular and fragile nature will be pure moments of wonder for you.
During your day at sea, make the most of the many services and activities on board. Treat yourself to a moment of relaxation in the spa or stay in shape in the fitness centre. This day without a port of call will also be an opportunity to enjoy the conferences or shows proposed on board, to do some shopping in the boutique or to meet the Ponant photographers in their dedicated space. If you’re a lover of the open sea, you will be able to visit the ship’s upper deck to admire the spectacle of the waves and perhaps be lucky enough to observe marine species. A truly enchanted interlude, combining comfort, rest and entertainment.
On Baffin Island, located in northern Canada at the mouth of the famous NorthWest Passage, there is a small Inuit settlement at the very bounds of infinity. To get there, cross the Arctic Circle, the imaginary line that separates man from lands of mystery and wonder. It’s not so much the way of life that sets Pond Inlet’s inhabitants apart, so much as the setting. Snow-capped mountains, fjords and glaciers combine in a dazzling natural environment that fills space and expands time. Some discoveries change you forever: this is one of them.
A key stage in the North West Passage, the Bellot Strait, crossed by strong currents, promises you an unforgettable sailing experience. The entrance to the strait is dominated by the Ross Cairn. The buildings of Fort Ross also stand not far from here. Separating Somerset Island from the Boothia Peninsula, this 2-km-wide strait was discovered in 1852 by Captain William Kennedy of the Royal Navy, and the Frenchman Joseph-René Bellot, during an expedition in search of Sir John Franklin. Discover a magnificent décor covered in snow, fragmented by large ice floes. As you sail between them, your ship will perhaps be accompanied by a few polar bears.
The atmosphere of the Far North is tangible on Pouncet Island, located in the beautiful and wild Kitikmeot Region. It is here that Canada’s largest protected area can be found: the Queen Maud Gulf Migratory Bird Sanctuary, a nesting ground for more than 90% of the population of Ross’s geese. The spectacular, majestic scenery of the Far North is yours to admire, as a privileged guest in these remote lands with breathtaking icy landscapes.
At the heart of the Arctic Ocean, set sail in the footsteps of the British explorer W.E. Parris who in 1822, during his desperate quest to find the North West Passage, discovered the Fury and Hecla Strait. The expedition that he led with two Royal Navy vessels, HMS Fury and HMS Hecla, in the hope of crossing the mythical maritime passageway, ended in failure. Trapped in the ice, the two ships were blocked to the north of Foxe Basin, but this allowed them to identify the strait separating the Melville peninsula and Baffin Island. Covered by ice floe for the majority of the year, this narrow stretch of sea is very difficult to access. When you enter the passage, you will have the privilege of visiting the Inuit village of Igloolik.
Igloolik is a cultural epicentre with 1,200 inhabitants, the town was the setting for Atanarjuat, an award-winning feature-film released in 2002, the first film to be entirely written, shot and acted in the Inuktitut language and directed by Inuit filmmakers. Although part of the Qikiqtaaluk region in Nunavut, the community actually mixes cultural traditions from three regions (Qikiqtaaluk, Kitikmeot and Kivalliq). Igloolik embodies an intense concentration of the Arctic experience.
Located to the east of Baffin Island, the largest of the islands of Foxe Basin, Prince Charles Island (named in honour of Prince Charles, who was born in the year it was discovered) is 130 km long and 100 km wide. It was only discovered and mapped in 1948 during a Royal Canadian Air Force aerial survey. You’ll perhaps have the chance to glimpse a polar bear along the shallow, uniformly straight-lined and flat coastal zone of this outcrop, which was formed by post-glacial marine deposits. The tundra that covers the interior is home to a rich ecosystem that enables certain species to adapt to extreme winter temperatures.
In the Canadian Arctic Archipelago, surrounded by the hilly tundra of the Kinngait Mountains, Cape Dorset lies on Dorset Island south east of Foxe Peninsula on Baffin Island. Likely to have been inhabited for several millennia by the Inuits, its oldest signs of occupation date back to around 2400 BC and were found in Cape Dorset. What makes it unique is its large community of craftspeople and artists.
Located on the southernmost peninsula of Baffin Island, Kimmirut is a traditional Inuit hamlet facing the Hudson Strait. Sat on the mouth of the river, it overlooks the waters of Glasgow Inlet. With picturesque beauty that will surely charm you, this hamlet is on the site of Hudson Bay’s first trading post, founded in 1911. Populated for centuries by Inuits, the region is home to over 400 inhabitants who maintain a traditional way of life. Adjoining Kimmirut is the Katannilik Territorial Park Reserve, (the Inuktitut word Katannilik means “the place of waterfalls”), whose remarkable natural and cultural heritage mean it has been part of the Canadian Heritage River System since 1992.
Akpatok Island lies in the north-western part of Ungava Bay. Uninhabited, it is famous for its steep coastal cliffs that can tower over 200 metres, its large limestone platform eroded by waves and its many beaches. It has International Biological Program status and is known for its large bird population, especially the thick-billed murre, also known as Brünnich’s guillemot. You’ll perhaps have the chance to glimpse polar bears as they move along the limestone cliffs in search of food.
Known as Frobisher Bay in the past, before being named Iqaluit in 1987, the capital of Nunavut is the smallest Canadian capital, with 7,000 inhabitants. It is a gateway to the secret, mysterious and wild Arctic, expressing this world of silence, a majestic territory. Strongly rooted in its unique Inuit culture, it holds memories of a millennia-old presence of pre-Dorset, Dorset and Thule cultures. Discoveries indicate that it was a fishing and camping site, called qaluit (“place of fish”) at the time. You’ll appreciate its large ice-covered and isolated spaces steeped in Inuit culture and imbued with a unique “Far North” atmosphere.
During your day at sea, make the most of the many services and activities on board. Treat yourself to a moment of relaxation in the spa or stay in shape in the fitness centre. This day without a port of call will also be an opportunity to enjoy the conferences or shows proposed on board, to do some shopping in the boutique or to meet the Ponant photographers in their dedicated space. If you are a lover of the open sea, visit the ship’s upper deck to admire the spectacle of the waves and perhaps be lucky enough to observe marine species. A truly enchanted interlude, combining comfort, rest and entertainment.
From 1941 to 1992, the town of Kangerlussuaq in Greenland was home to an American military base. Nowadays, thanks to its international airport, it has become a transit point for travellers seeking adventure in the Far North. Located to the north of the Arctic Circle, this town is the starting point of magnificent discoveries surrounded by unspoiled nature. Indeed, just a few dozen kilometres from there it is possible to get close to the Greenland ice sheet, the largest body of ice in the Northern Hemisphere. From Kangerlussuaq, admire also the superb landscapes of tundra in autumnal colours, where Arctic hares, musk oxen, Arctic foxes, reindeer, falcons and eagles live.