Auyuittuq National Park of Canada

  • Auyuittuq National Park of Canada
  • Nunavut

We began the day by sailing through the Akpait National Wildlife Area, also known as “the minarets” for its amazing spires of multi-coloured rock. The early risers on the ship got to glimpse these rock formations, and also spotted thousands of thick billed murres – the area protects a significant colony of them, and Akpait is the Inuktitut word for murres. After a morning meeting on the bow, we sailed past many impressive and majestic icebergs, including one whose size made the ship appear minuscule! Most of the icebergs we have seen in Davis Strait have broken off from glaciers in western Greenland that flow down from the Greenland’s ice cap. The largest of these have been some enormous tabular icebergs that have broken off the Peterman ice shelf in Northwestern Greenland. We also had the opportunity to see a few seals, as well as a sleepy polar bear, as we made our way towards our landing site. We spent hours hiking alongside beautiful streams, and colourful meadows filled with wildflowers. Auyuittuq means “the land that never melts” in Inuktitut, and we were so humbled by the beauty of the incredible granite peaks and vast glaciers that we saw. Adam, who works for Parks Canada and is employed at Auyuittuq National Park, gave us an informative and detailed presentation about the Park and gave us our official orientation. In the evening, we sailed up the Coronation Fiord, which led us to Coronation Glacier, the largest outlet glacier of the Penny Ice Cap. We were incredibly moved by the natural wonders we experienced. They serve as a reminder that Canada’s coastline is are diverse and unique, and that there is so much of this country we have yet to see and learn more about.