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Sandytiger

Route of the Vikings 2 shore excursions

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Hi

We are booked on Quest August 6th departure from Reykjavik to Montreal. Can anyone who has done this trip suggest which Ship excursions are worth doing?  Particularly interested in the Ventures excursions especially for Lady Franklin Island, Monumental Island and Akpotok Island.

Also how easy is it to explore the various ports independently? Are there any ports where the Ships excursions are the best way to get around? 

Not interested in kayaking or long walks. 

Thank you to anyone who can offer assistance.

Sandytiger

 

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1 hour ago, Sandytiger said:

Hi

We are booked on Quest August 6th departure from Reykjavik to Montreal. Can anyone who has done this trip suggest which Ship excursions are worth doing?  Particularly interested in the Ventures excursions especially for Lady Franklin Island, Monumental Island and Akpotok Island.

Also how easy is it to explore the various ports independently? Are there any ports where the Ships excursions are the best way to get around? 

Not interested in kayaking or long walks. 

Thank you to anyone who can offer assistance.

Sandytiger

 

Hi Sandytiger, we are doing this as well.  I seem to remember Chairsin did this last year and wrote a great trip report which I plan to look for soon.

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We were on this cruise last August and it was magnificent.  But please understand, this cruise has an 'expedition' type component. Lady Franklin Island, Monumental Island and Akpotok Islands are not ports.  They are truly islands that can only be seen via zodiac tours.  And you never get off of the zodiac.  There is an expedition team on board that will take you to these islands explaining to you the wildlife that you are seeing and ensuring that you get maximum viewing from your zodiac trip.  My husband saw a polar bear on Lady Franklin Island and then there were a whole bunch of walruses on the beach on Monumental Island as well as a mother polar bear with 2 cubs.  The polar bears were pretty high up on both islands since they are stuck on these islands until the sea ice returns and they can go back to their normal life of roaming the sea ice in search of seals for food.  Also note that many of the ports in Greenland are small native villages where you do get off of the ship and the landscape is charming but there aren't a whole lot of 'big city' type amenities.  For the Greenland stops please bring bug spray...the bugs are everywhere and quite hungry.  We all had lots of bug bites from our forays ashore.  And all of these stops required tendering since there are no piers for the ship to dock at in these small villages.

 

Quebec and Montreal are magnificent as well as some of the smaller ports in that part of Canada.  So those ports are much more 'big city' and historical in nature.  We found this trip to be an excellent mix of both 'expedition' cruising and 'big city/historic sites' cruising.  

 

I hope thus helps.  A number of folks on our cruise last year did not understand the nature of the 'expedition' portion of the cruise and were not prepared for it.

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We were on this cruise last year and our favorite excursion was the Ventures excursion in Illulisat to see the icebergs.  Amazing icebergs and we also saw whales.  If we did this cruise again we would bring a hat with bug screening attached.

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We were also on this cruise in August and loved it.  I highly recommend all the Zodiac tours, especially to see the Polar Bears on Lady Franklin and Monumental Island.  We also loved the glacial zodiac trip in Ilulisat, and did a fun excursion through the fjords by by boat in Nuuk, the capital of Greenland.  It is an expedition cruise and we had many if the same great team members we had met on our Antarctica cruise.  If this is what you are looking for you will have a wonderful time!  Even saw the Northern Lights one night in Arctic Canada!

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Thank you everyone for your very helpful replies. We understand what is involved with the zodiac trips as we did a 3 week expedition cruise to Antarctica with Quark in 2017. Just wanted to know if the views from the zodiacs was any better than those from the ship. 

Did anyone do the ship excursions in Canada? 

Sandytiger

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You must go on the zodiacs to see polar bears.  Views from zodiacs much better in general.   We did not do any ship excursions in Canada other than the zodiacs for the Canadian Arctic islands.  We hired a private guide for Quebec and had been to Montreal previously so just stayed a couple of days on our own.  The other ports were small and we walked everywhere on our own.

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