5 months ago


Must-see destinations in

Must-see destinations in the Arctic Nunavut territory The Canadian Arctic Archipelago is a terrain of frozen earth and sea ice, of far-away isolated lands. And yet, the Inuit people have lived here for thousands of years, connected to "their land". In 1999 the Inuit obtained recognition of their territory, Nunavut, which means “our land” in Inuktitut. They continue their ancient way of life in these extreme conditions. Their oral history speaks of a time when there were no differences between them and the animals they hunted; a time when man and nature communicated and when the spirits of the earth and the sea controlled Inuit destiny. Under the midnight sun, this fascinating place that has been left unspoiled by the indigenous peoples will reveal its landscapes. Greenland A land forgotten by time where the primeval beauty of the environment conjures feelings of a rare intensity… Discover Greenland, the island at the end of the world. As your ship slowly inches its way towards its coast, the land of the people appears just as one might imagine it, revealing the full magnificence of its landscapes, composed of light greenery, water, ice, icebergs, and bright colours bathed in dazzling light. Greenland is a green and white oasis surrounded by a turbulent sea; a place where the interactions between people and nature are unique. This year again, sail in the wake of the great Scandinavian explorers who once lived on these shores. On this exceptional voyage, each site visit is a timeless experience. Baffin Bay At the edges of extreme lands, where the sea ice becomes fragmented only during the brief summer, your ship will head North, between deserts of ice and snow swept by winds. Witness virgin lands from the dawn of time, and the immensity of the polar oceans: you are on Baffin Island. Take the time to look around you and you will discover a secret part of a protected treasure: polar bears, humpback whales, walruses or migratory birds. We will offer several outings by Zodiac® dinghy, in order to get as close as possible to the exceptional wildlife. As you sail Baffin Bay, let yourself be captivated by these unique landscapes: steep cliffs, gigantic fjords, icebergs and glaciers. Spitsbergen Surrounded by the icy Arctic Ocean, the history of the Svalbard Islands is exceptionally rich. Your ship will have sailed to latitude 78° north when it reaches the chiselled coasts of Spitsbergen, the last island before the Pole. Here, the sea deploys its thick, bright armour of ice... During your cruise, your excursions on land will have you following in the footsteps of the great explorers and whale hunters of old, to discover extraordinary landscapes composed of snowcovered peaks, sheer cliffs and fjords scattered with icebergs. The days at sea will be interspersed with outings in Zodiac® dinghies to spot the King of the ice, the polar bear. 38 | Summer 2018 / Winter 2018 - 2019 Cruises

Alaska With its wide open spaces, gigantic glaciers, jagged mountains and sparkling lakes… Alaska invites you to journey in the footsteps of the fur traders and gold prospectors. Aboard your ship, we invite you to cruise along the coast of Alaska, whose “Interior Passage” was crafted by the sculpture of imposing glaciers to make room for vertiginous fjords. Here, nature is shaped by glacier fronts, coniferous forests, and myriad islands and islets where the soft sun lights up the sky. During unique stopovers, discover a wild nature, between Alaska and Eastern Siberia, from the Wrangel Nature Reserve to the Pribilof volcanic islands. Katmai Region Vast tundra plains, deep canyons, sparkling lakes... During your cruise, Le Soléal will introduce you to a vast kingdom where nature reigns supreme: the Katmai landscape. Located to the southwest in the Alaska Peninsula, between the Gulf of Alaska and the Bering Sea, here you will discover landscapes sculpted by wind and rain, dominated by the sumptuous Mount Katmai, crowned with glaciers and a caldera. This place is also home to exceptional wildlife, and you should be able to spot numerous species such as the legendary brown bear, which paces up and down the banks of the translucent rivers, where countless shoals of sockeye salmon spawn. Volcanic Pribilof Islands Lost in the middle of the Bering Sea, the Pribilof archipelago is made up of four volcanic islands where nature has crafted exquisitely beautiful landscapes. Here, on the islands of Saint Paul and Saint George, you will find majestic volcanoes, lava deserts and crater lakes, offering travellers a magnificent vantage point from which to observe a fauna composed almost exclusively of fur seals. The archipelago is also renowned as a paradise for birds − Saint Paul, especially, as more than 240 different species of seabirds take flight from the top of its majestic cliff. The Northwest Passage For more than three centuries, different generations of sailors attempted to find a maritime route to link the Atlantic to the Pacific via the Canadian North. The search for this mythical passage led to both tragedies and feats. In the end, it was the Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen who found it first in 1906, after a long and perilous three-year voyage in extreme weather conditions. The elusive Northwest Passage really did exist. Aboard Le Soléal, well beyond the Arctic Circle, PONANT invites you to sail along this legendary maritime route in the wake of the great explorers of old for a truly different travel experience. Arctic Expeditions by | 39