Greenland, Arctic Canada & Hudson Bay

 

 

Day 1 - August 7, 2013 - Reykjavik, Iceland

This sailing marks a historic moment for the company, as Captain Margrith Ettlin is the first female captain at the helm of a Silversea ship. Her first tour of duty as captain of Silver Explorer will extend into October. At 5:12 p.m. the last lines were cast and off we started our expedition to Greenland and the Canadian Arctic.


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Day 2 - August 8, 2013 - At sea

The Silver Explorer continued sailing through the southern end of the Denmark Strait, following the East Greenland Current. The East Greenland Current brings cold water from the Arctic Ocean into areas further south, and is also responsible for the occurrence of big icebergs south of Greenland.


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Day 3 - August 9, 2013 - Skjoldunden Sund, Greenland

The day started early with the tall, jagged peaks of Southeast Greenland appearing out of the mist in the distance. It took only a little bit of time for the visibility to improve, and soon we could see an immense scattering of icebergs both large and small; some brilliantly white while others were stunningly blue.


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Day 4 - August 10, 2013 - Prince Christian Sund, Greenland

To me, the Greenland fjords are the most spectacular fjords in the world. I love sailing through them on the ship. At 8:30 am, we arrived at the entrance to Prince Christian Sund, one of my favourite sounds in Greenland. It was a stunning morning with bright sunshine and only a few little puffy clouds in the sky. Perfect for a morning of ship cruising!


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Day 5 - August 11, 2013 - Unartoq Island, Greenland

After enjoying a leisurely breakfast, we headed to shore at Unartoq Island. This island is famous for one particular thing – a hot spring! Since the days of the Norse these hot springs have been renowned for their healing powers, and today a large number of people visit on a regular basis.


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Day 6 - August 12, 2013 - Qaqortoq and Hvalsey, Greenland

During our very informative walking-tour, our local guide mentioned that today would be the first day of school for the children, and this marks a major event in their lives. Both boys and girls would dress in the traditional Greenlandic costumes, as would many of their parents. It was a treat to see such a colorful local event.


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Day 7 - August 13, 2013 - Brattahlid and Itilleq

Shortly after 6:30 a.m., I jumped into one of our Zodiacs with the Expedition team and went ashore to Brattahlid, a tiny settlement in Erik the Red's former estate found southwest of Greenland inside the Tunulliarfik Fjord. The surrounding area still has some of the best farmland in Greenland because the inner parts of the fjord are well protected from the cold foggy weather of the outer coast.


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Day 8 - August 14, 2013 - At sea, en route to Canada

Today we spent the day the sailing west across the Davis Strait as we crossed north of the Labrador Sea from Greenland to Canada. By the end of the day, at approximately midnight, we will be sailing into Canadian waters, leaving Greenland behind.


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Day 9 - August 15, 2013 - At sea, en route to Canada

Last night, the Aurora Borealis was spotted off the stern of Silver Explorer and many guests and crew spent a couple of hours staring into the clear night sky to witness one of nature’s most awesome spectacles.


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Day 10 - August 16, 2013 - Iqaluit, Nunavut Canada

We arrived in Apex town to inspect buildings from Hudson’s Bay Company. These particular buildings, having been built in the early 1900s, were part of a much grander history involving the Company and its expansion and exploits in the fur trade throughout the Canadian wilderness, dating back to the late 1600s and early 1700s.


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Day 11 - August 17, 2013 - Lower Savage Islands, Canada

Soon we were off to explore in true expedition style. I always think there is something quite fascinating in setting off on a journey like this...throughout the morning we had the opportunity to chat about 2.5 billion year-old rocks passing by with patches of snow and ice, along with periodic waterfalls.


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Day 12 - August 18, 2013 - Aktapok Island, Canada

Tomorrow’s destination, Douglas Harbour, will be an “Expedition Day.” Since this ship has never been there, we are not exactly sure what we will find, but we are hoping to offer a variety of guided natural history walks and explore the wildlife of this region.


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Day 13 - August 19, 2013 - Douglas Harbour, Canada

While we didn’t see any caribou, there were certainly traces of them. Their antlers lay near the landing site, and in some areas we found their tracks. During the scouting, one of the scouting party even saw the tracks of a wolf, so there is certainly wildlife around.


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Day 14 - August 20, 2013 - Cape Dorset, Baffin Island, Nunavut, Canada

We went to a printmakers workshop where local artists explained and elaborated on the techniques used to create their beautiful and colourful prints. We then went to a carving demonstration and to a community centre where we had a chance to meet various local artists and buy their products.


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Day 15 - August 21, 2013 - Walrus Island, Canada

It was a slightly wild ride to the island, but after bouncing our way there we were able to get a bit of shelter from the wind and swell. A small but rocky slope was covered with walrus – several hundred of them lay sleeping in peaceful oblivion to our presence on the rocky shore.


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Day 16 - August 22, 2013 - At Sea

 

 

Before dinner, Captain Maggie Ettlin invited all guests to her Captain's Farewell Cocktail. Up on the stage in the theatre, Maggie recalled all of our destinations, giving us some time to think back and go down memory lane.

 


 


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Day 17 - August 23, 2013 - Arviat, Nunavut, Canada

 

As the Zodiacs arrived to Arviat, we were wonderfully surprised to find out that we were the first vessel to have visited the village in over ten years! Heading off with their local guides and members of the Expedition Team, guests were introduced to the community and life in a remote Arctic village.

 


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Day 18 - August 24, 2013 - Churchill, Manitoba, Canada

 

What a great sight. How often do you get to eat your breakfast and drink your morning tea all while watching Beluga whales swimming beside you?

 


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