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Baffin Bay VIDEO

This morning those aboard National Geographic Explorer awoke off of Cape Macculloch, the northeastern shore of Baffin Island not far from Pond Inlet. Blessed by but another beautiful bluebird day the ship explored an amazing mass of sea ice that encapsulated the glorious icebergs of Greenland carried by the currents. Searching for Ursus maritimus it was not long after our wake-up call that the first polar bear of the voyage was spotted on the ice on the far end of a floe. Read More>

Aug 4, 2015 National Geographic Explorer in Arctic

Dundas Harbor & Croker Bay

In the far northern reaches of Canada National Geographic Explorer began the day with a mind toward discovery. Read More>

Aug 3, 2015 National Geographic Explorer in Arctic

Pond Inlet & Eclipse Sound

As we headed into Pond Inlet a thick layer of fog blanketed the sea. Icebergs, although smaller than the ones we have been viewing over the past few days, still held us in fascination as they stood like sentinels along our pathway in the sea. Pond Inlet is a small hamlet located at the top of Baffin Island and although small from most standards, it is the largest of the four communities above the 72nd parallel. For us, the life of the Inuit people who live here is hard to imagine. A life where the ocean around them is free of ice for only about three and a half months of the year, where the winters are long and dark, and the summers are short and filled with light for all hours of the day. As different a life as the Inuit have from us now, it was even more so when the people here were nomadic, and life in the far north was even more distant from what we can imagine. Now, the Inuit are a people caught between a life completely interwoven with the natural world around them, and a standard of life that modern society feels is appropriate for all people to abide by, living in a mixed subsistence economy. Before any visit to the tiny hamlet would happen we would first need to clear Canadian Customs and Immigrations, and as one would imagine that clearing the entire capacity of guests, crew, and staff, as well as all of the provisions and equipment an operation such as National Geographic Explorer took some time. Read More>

Aug 2, 2015 National Geographic Explorer in Arctic

At Sea, Davis Strait & Baffin Bay

National Geographic Explorer departed Ilulissat last evening, leaving the big glacial ice of western Greenland behind. This morning a few scattered fantastically-shaped icebergs dotted the ocean landscape, gleaming in the brilliant sun, as we crossed the Davis Strait. One guest commented that it was as though an artist had arranged them. We had a flat, calm sea, giving us a smooth ride. Read More>

Aug 1, 2015 National Geographic Explorer in Arctic

Disco Bay, Greenland

The word of the day is ice. In the High Arctic, ice defines the landscape. Ice determines where we go, where the ship can navigate, and where the wildlife is found. More than 80% of Greenland is covered by ice, a vast ice sheet that inundates the landscape and, in places, is almost two miles thick. You have to go all the way to Antarctica to find more ice than Greenland. Sunrise came early this morning as National Geographic Explorer entered Disco Bay on our way to Illuissat. Read More>

Jul 31, 2015 National Geographic Explorer in Arctic

Sisimiut, Greenland

What a perfect place to start. From first thing this morning we were alongside the pier in this West Greenlandic town. Read More>

Jul 30, 2015 National Geographic Explorer in Arctic

Saangmiok Fjord

Our last day aboard National Geographic Explorer was a glorious one as the fog and clouds had departed and we enjoyed a beautiful morning in Saangmiok Fjord. The coast of Greenland was created my multiple coverings of the ice that still blanket the island away from the coast. Of the fresh water on the Earths’ surface, Greenland has 9%, Antarctica has 90%. That means the remaining one percent is in all the rivers, lakes, estuaries, and soil on the continents. We have seen glimpses of the incredibly huge amount of ice that rests on the island of Greenland. We have also seen the effects that the ice has on the bedrock as it has eroded bays, sounds, fjords, and valleys through the past millennia. Our visit to a small but spectacular fjord called Saangmiok showed us the power of the ice that still dominated the landscape of Greenland. Read More>

Jul 28, 2015 National Geographic Explorer in Arctic

Nuuk, Greenland

Passing the 64th latitude, National Geographic Explorer cut through the fog along the west coast of Greenland and dropped its anchor in Nuuk. As the capital of Greenland, Nuuk is the intersection of a dynamic Inuit culture, the site of urban lifestyle, and in many ways a role model of Arctic development. Guests disembarked from Explorer shortly after lunch where they were met with some of the earliest remnants of the colonial history of Nuuk and of Greenland. Underneath the statue of Hans Egede, Greenland’s first Lutheran missionary, the Colonial Harbor of Nuuk harbors Greenland’s National Museum, which is the repository and the official epicenter of Greenland’s social and cultural history. With introductory lectures in the cultural history of Greenland and the peoples who found their way eastward to Greenland, guests who visited the museum were able to build upon their previous knowledge and could explore some of the new exhibits that focused on the colonial history of Greenland and the country’s last Inuit cultural group, the Thule culture. Those who did not initially explore the museum’s collections had the choice of taking a bird’s eye view of Nuuk. Read More>

Jul 27, 2015 National Geographic Explorer in Arctic

Brattahlí∂, Eriksfjord, Greenland VIDEO

A photographic image should convey a sense of place transporting the audience to the heart of the locale. And in this search for the message of the land we open our eyes to all that is around. Near one thousand years ago adventurers such as we sailed from the sea. Read More>

Jul 26, 2015 National Geographic Explorer in Arctic

Hvalsey & Qaqortoq, Greenland

Today’s adventures began with a hike along the stark, rugged terrain of Hvalsey to view Greenland’s best-preserved Norse ruins. Over a thousand years ago, a thriving community of intrepid settlers chose to farm in some of the harshest conditions in the North Atlantic. The one hundred inhabitants left behind a Catholic church, banquet hall, and a now grass-covered long house, an indication of their prosperity. Numerous plants provide details about how the Norse used the harsh landscape to their advantage in order to survive everyday life. While there are still many questions about the disappearance of the Norse culture, it is surmised that when the climate changed, they were forced to move to more hospitable lands. From Hvalsey, National Geographic Explorer traversed along the coast to the nearby town, Qaqortoq, where 3,200 Greenlanders reside in colorful houses on steep granite slopes. Read More>

Jul 25, 2015 National Geographic Explorer in Arctic

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