2016 Canadian Arctic Cruise Season – record breaking wildlife, innovative community outreach & discovery of an historic underwater archaeological treasure
There are several reasons why the Canadian Arctic has been in the spotlight over the last number of years. The discovery of Sir John Franklin’s long lost expedition vessels (HMS Erebus & HMS Terror), the intrinsic value of Inuit traditional knowledge in the success of these discoveries, as well as the on-going contribution Canadian cruise specialist, One Ocean Expeditions (OOE) has invested in the Arctic are important contributors.
OOE’s commitment to offer a truly Canadian small expedition cruise experience integrating remote coastal communities and Inuit guides in their complement of shipboard professionals – provides the ultimate high Arctic expedition cruise experience, with voyages based on interest (photography, history, adventurous hiking, subtle walking, archeological interpretation, cultural connection). Small ship expedition cruising above the Arctic Circle provides intimate and flexible options to remote areas accessible by smaller vessels specially equipped with a high ice-class rating.
While carrying just ninety-eight (98) people OOE always receives a warm welcome from small communities visited along the coast of Baffin Island and the upper shores of the Northwest Passage. OOE’ s cruising mandate is to provide an intimate setting where passengers immerse themselves in a universe of breath-taking beauty and abundant wildlife whilst provided educational opportunities and experiences that lead to fulfilling cultural exchanges. Reviewing the incredible conclusion of OOE’s Arctic 2016 season and the epic wildlife and cultural experiences gained, the industry looks forward to OOE’s enhanced programming for their 2017 Canadian Arctic season in celebration of Canada’s 150th Anniversary.
OOE’s 2016 Arctic season came to a close with several highlights such as the successful introduction on the new Baffin Island- Jewel of the High Arcticitinerary. On this voyage travellers saw record-breaking polar bear sightings (91 in total) and abundant marine mammals including narwhal, humpback, beluga, gray, bottlenose and pilot whales. Wildlife enthusiasts were taken to Canada’s largest migratory seabird sanctuaries to view an impressive range of species including thick-billed murres, black-legged kittiwakes, northern fulmars and black guillemots to name a few. All to the delight of amateur photographers and OOE’s passionate Inuit and specialist guides who shared their knowledge with a captivated group of international travellers.
Travellers with a special appreciation for Inuit art & culture, polar history, science, wildlife photography, and documentary film making were thrilled to visit remote and most hospitable Inuit communities of Pond Inlet and Pangnirtung that granted intimate cultural exchanges and rich learning opportunities. OOE’s guiding expertise always exceeds passengers’ expectations. A diverse range of educational opportunities and workshops are offered throughout all voyages. “Who knew that some day I would set foot on the very same ground as Sir John Franklin (British explorer) and some of his men? Standing beside burial sites of the crew from the HMS Erebus and HMS Terror gives me shivers (Beechey Island),” shared Katie Murray, OOE’s onboard historian. “Sharing my passion for polar history with like-minded travellers is a dream job,” added Murray.
Wildlife lovers, history buffs and intrepid adventurers of all ages that opted for the equally enriching, Classic Northwest Passage and Finding Franklin voyages were just as pleased. These special departures hosted historians and curators from the Vancouver Maritime Museum (home of the St-Roch, the first vessel to sail the NWP from West to East (1940-42)), the museum also responsible for the creation of the internationally acclaimed ‘Across the Top of the World’ exhibit also hosted onboard One Ocean Expeditions vessels and ‘Franklin’s Exploration.’ Other passengers had the opportunity to travel with representatives and scientists from the prestigious Royal Canadian Geographical Society, Vancouver Aquarium, & Parks Canada, resulting in a wealth of knowledge within arms’ reach.
The 2017 Arctic cruise season promises to deliver a bounty of adventures with its Canada 150th programs, exclusive to OOE. This represents a golden opportunity for Canadians and international travellers who have always wanted to visit the Canadian Arctic. This is a chance to come celebrate with fellow Canadians and an impressive roster of guest speakers and Canadian icons. Travellers can choose from four Canadian Arctic departures in July and August 2017, with travel packages according to their interest, time and budget. Whether it’s an Arctic flight offer, adventure or wellness packages, OOE creatively pieces together appealing options for an enriching holiday and long-lasting memories. Canadian Arctic cruise prices start from 5495US ranging up to 12495US for 9-night voyage.