New Cruise Line Visits High Arctic

By Staff Writers

An Inuit-owned cruise line, Cruise North Expeditions, will offer travel to the remote wilderness and breath-taking vistas offered in the Canadian Artic, skirting the polar ice pack past the summering grounds of vast herds of caribou, pre-historic looking shaggy muskox, polar bears and walrus with the stunning backdrop of icebergs, soaring mountain cliffs and fjords.

Northern Quebec’s Makivik Corporation is moving into the cruise ship industry this summer with the launch of its 66-passenger ice ship Ushuaia, which will set sail from Kuujjuaq on July 10, with its first group of tourists on the Koksoak River near the south end of Ungava Bay.

The 85-metre ship, a leased American built ship, will make eight weeklong cruises into the vast territory of northern Quebec to communities on Baffin Island and Nunavik.

Cruise North Expeditions will be headed by Dugald Wells, a professional engineer and cruise industry veteran who began his career 20 years ago in the Artic as a research scientist aboard Canadian icebreakers.

Wells said Cruise north is offering packages unique to the business. The mid-size cruise ship will employ Inuit and will operate from Kuujjuaq, formerly known as Fort Chimo.

“The main difference is basing the ship in Canada using Kuujjuaq as our home port, because it allows us to go out and deliver our Artic program in only a week, which makes it easier and less expensive for our passengers,” he said.

Points of call include the Nunavik communities of Kangiqsujuaq and Inujivik, and Cape Dorset on Baffin Island.

“Passengers traveling with Cruise North will be welcomed as privileged visitors in our home,” said Adamie Aluku, the Inuk chairman of Cruise North Expeditions, “and understand our deep reverence for the natural world.”