Each Summer They Arrive In The Thousands

The warmth of twenty-four hour daylight opens passage through the Arctic ice. The explosion of plants and flowers rush to complete their growing season in the shortened Arctic summer. Millions of migratory birds are home, nesting and preparing the next generation for the long journey south to their winter homes. Wildlife on land like polar bear, caribou and muskox along with the aquatic whales, seals and walrus increase their activity in the short summer.

In the communities, the Inuit also enjoy the brief Arctic summer. A time for “going on the land,” camping on the tundra with friends and family. A time for fishing, berry picking and enjoying all the land provides.

It is also the time that thousands of visitors arrive in Nunavut by ship. Bathed in round the clock sunlight, spectacular cruises of two weeks or longer, sailing with local experts and artists on board, offer a luxurious adventure through the waters, islands and inlets of the Arctic. This truly is one of the best ways to experience Inuit culture, exotic wildlife and history across a broad expanse of the Arctic.

Many of today’s voyages sail the fabled Northwest Passage. A historic route that saw its first true passage in 1906, made by Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen in the sloop Gjoa — it took him and his 6 crew 3 years to complete the route.

The Northwest Passage is steeped in history with a parade of colonial explorers from both east and west who attempted to find the elusive route — Captains Cook, Cabot, Sir Francis Drake, Frobisher, Gilbert, Bering and Hudson, Beechey and Parry and then Franklin — many left their names — and their graves on the land but none completed the passage.

The Northwest Passage lives on today in Nunavut — embedded in the land and sea in the cairns and the wrecks; in the resting places of Franklin’s HMS Terror and HMS Erebus and in the stories passed on from Inuit elders of the strange men in stranger ships.

Adventurers can visit the islands and sail the straits — over vast expanses of ocean and ice, past remote wilderness areas and breath-taking landscapes in Qausuittuq, Sirmilik and Auyuittuq national parks, visiting local towns where Inuit art and culture thrives beyond the legends of ships and passages.

A trip to Nunavut exploring the Northwest Passage and the land, cultures and people who live here is an epic adventure providing insight into a different place and time.

Your Arctic adventure starts at destinationnunavut.ca