Baffin Island in the Nunavut region is Canada's largest and the world's 5th largest island (after Greenland, New Guinea, Borneo, and Madagascar). Its land area is sized 507451 km2 (195928 mi2) with a population of around 11000. The Nunavut's capital Iqaluit (formerly Frobisher Bay) is located on the island's southeastern coast. Baffin Island is among the Arctic Ocean territories along the Northwest Passage route.
The list of "Canada top 10" largest islands (world rank in brackets) includes Baffin Island (5), Victoria Island (8), Ellesmere Island (10), Newfoundland (16), Banks Island (24), Devon Island (27), Axel Heiberg Island (32), Melville Island (33), Southampton Island (34) and Prince of Wales Island (40). All of them (excepting Newfoundland - in Newfoundland-Labrador) are located in the Nunavut- Northwest Territories of Arctic Canada.
Baffin Island has two large lakes - Nettilling and Amadjuak. Being a popular destination for Arctic wildlife watching, Baffin Island is famous with its Arctic foxes and polar bears (all along its coast), Arctic hares and lemmings (throughout), Arctic wolves, stoats, beluga whales, ringed seals, various nesting birds (snowy owl, gyrfalcon, snow goose, Canada goose).
Iqaluit is the Nunavut state's capital and largest town with a population of around 7000. It was named Frobisher Bay until 1987. Iqaluit, like all Nunavut settlements, has no road, rail or shipping connections to the rest of Canada.
Clyde River (aka Kanngiqtugaapik) is located on the Patricia Bay. The town has a population of around 1000, Northern Stores, town hall, an Anglican church, hospital, school, hotel, arena. It is served by the Clyde River Airport with regular flights to Pond Inlet and Iqaluit.
Pangnirtung (aka Pangniqtuuq) is located on at the Pangnirtung Fjord's coast. The town (sized 7,8 km2 / 3 mi2) has a population of around 1500. Pond Inlet is an Inuit community (population around 1500) located on the island's northern coast.
Other popular tourist destinations on Baffin Island are:
Niginganiq (aka Igaliqtuuq or Isabella Bay) is located on the island's northeast coast, near the Clyde River village. The Isabella Bay area in late summer / early fall is a feeding and resting stopover for a large proportion of bowhead whales. During this time, around 200 bowhead whales inhabit the area.
Baffin Bay (located between the island and Greenland's southwest coast) is a marginal sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean via Nares Strait. Due to floating ice packs and icebergs, the bay is navigable in the summer only.
Hoare Bay is located on the Cumberland Peninsula's southeastern portion.
North Arm Fjord is on the island's northwest coast. Here can be seen majestic mountains and glaciers, beautiful valleys, wildlife (migratory birds).
Sam Ford Fiord is an elongated fjord located on the island's northeastern coast. Nearest settlements are Pond Inlet (some 320 km / 200 mi northwest) and Clyde River (some 80 km / 50 mi east).
Grinnel Glacier is located on the island's southwestern corner, southwest of Kimmirut,
The Arctic Circle crosses the Cumberland Peninsula (in the island's southeastern part) with the Labrador Sea to southeast and Davis Strait to the east (between Cumberland Peninsula and Greenland). Also part of Baffin Island is the Hall Peninsula separated from the Cumberland Peninsula by the Cumberland Sound (to the southwest). Cumberland Peninsula is part of the Arctic Tundra biome (formation of plants and animals with common characteristics due to the similar climate). This is the Earth's coldest and driest biome, as is in all parts of Baffin Island. The peninsula's terrain is mountainous. Mount Odin (near the Arctic Circle) has a height of 2147 m (7044 ft). Also part of the peninsula is Pangnirtung (aka Pangniqtuuq - an Inuit settlement on the southwestern coast) and the Auyuittuq National Park (translated as "the land that never melts").
Auyuittuq National Park (est 1976, a full national park since 2000, total area 19089 km2) is well known for its typical Arctic wilderness, featuring fjords, glaciers, ice fields, little vegetation, very scarce wildlife (only 12 mammal species). On the park's territory are located the Inuit hamlets Pangnirtung and the Qikiqtarjuaq Island (aka Broughton Island).
Off the Foxe Peninsula (Baffin's western part) is located the famous for its Thule culture Cape Dorset Island, which together with Mallik Island form the Mallikjuaq Territorial Park.
Baffin Island Canada was included as a port of call in the Northwest Passage cruises of the following passenger ships:
- Crystal Serenity - 32-days itinerary from Seward Alaska to NYC New York (2016 - August 16 to September 16)
- Crystal Serenity - 32-days itinerary 32-days Seward to New York City (2017 - August 15 to September 15)
Note: All Northwest Passage ship transits are assisted by a Canadian icebreaker or other vessels with an ice-strengthened hull.
Baffin Island tours, shore excursions, hotels
City Tours and Shore Excursions
Monumental Island (in the Davis Strait) is located southeast of Baffin Island, almost halfway between Lady Franklin Island and Little Hall Island (named after Charles Francis Hall, 1821-1871, an Arctic explorer). This small and uninhabited isle was named to honor the memory of Rear-Admiral Sir John Franklin (1786-1847) - a British navy officer and an Arctic explorer.
Port Baffin Island cruise ship schedule shows timetable calendars of all arrival and departure dates by month. The port's schedule lists all ships (in links) with cruises going to or leaving from Baffin Island, Nunavut Canada. To see the full itineraries (ports of call dates and arrival / departure times) and their lowest rates – just follow the corresponding ship-link.
|31 August, 2021|
|MS Fridtjof Nansen|
|3 September, 2021|
|National Geographic Explorer|