5 months ago


Meeting the People of

Meeting the People of the Arctic Some civilisations fascinate us because of their simple way of life, as though our modern world has no hold on them… The Inuit people of Greenland and the Aleut in Alaska live in harmony with nature and perpetuate their ancestral way of life in the heart of the icy vastness in the Far North. They live off hunting and fishing and the pace of their daily life is set by their traditions and beliefs which stem from shamanism and from the respect that is due to the spirits which, according to them, dwell in every living creature. These deft craftsmen from the North Pole create masterpieces by sculpting walrus tusk ivory or caribou antlers and by working the furs and skins of marine mammals with great skill. “This morning, Le Soléal came within sight of Kullorsuaq, a small Inuit village of 200 inhabitants with which the PONANT teams share a special bond. This is the village where our expedition leader Nicolas Dubreuil lives. The first landmark is the so-called thumb, the mountain which stands behind the village and inspired its name (kullor: thumb, suaq: big). Immediately upon landing on the rocky beach, our passengers got to witness the cleaning of a seal brought back by a hunter to feed the village. He cut it up and prepared it in front of the curious and impressed onlookers, who were surprised by the dexterity with which he handled his knife and recovered the flawless skins to dry them in the sun. He invited everyone to taste the liver, a choice piece that is full of vitamins… and some gave into temptation! The captain sent the Zodiac® dinghies to fetch all of the village inhabitants wanting to board the ship for a visit and, more importantly, to see the show that some of the villagers were going to put on for the Le Soléal passengers. A parade of traditional costumes made of pearls and skins then began, as songs rose in celebration of births or simply to express the joy of being together and the thanks of a community that was happy to share this special day. It was a wonderful moment spent together and a moving experience!” Cécile Manet, naturalist guide aboard Le Soléal 36 | Summer 2018 / Winter 2018 - 2019 Cruises

Why sail in the Arctic with PONANT • To go in search of ice floe at the foot of the icebergs and experience a complete change of scenery in the land of the midnight sun and the Northern Lights. • Unusual encounters with the People of the Far North, Inuits or Aleutians, who will share their local traditions with you; • To discover an exceptional wildlife*: polar bears, grizzlies, orcas, Arctic foxes, bald eagles, Arctic terns, humpback whales, walruses and elegant narwhals; • To sail in the wake of great explorers, as Roald Amundsen, James Cook, Sir John Franklin, Jean Malaurie or Paul-Emile Victor; • Experience a luxury polar expedition voyage. *As each trip is different and subject to the prevailing weather conditions and chance encounters, the wildlife described above illustrates possible experiences only and cannot be guaranteed. Arctic Expeditions by | 37