Photo Story

Mind, Body, Heart, and Soul: Adventure Travel as Lifelong Learning

© Lee Narraway

Whether in the Arctic, Atlantic Canada, Europe, or Antarctica, the time you spend at sea on one of our small ships is the perfect complement to your time on shore. Program Director Ellie Clin shares the types of experiences that will educate, engage, and enlighten you in our onboard program.

In my role as Program Director for Adventure Canada, one of my responsibilities is to plan and bring you a rich and compelling onboard program. Your time aboard the ship will act in harmony with your time ashore—you’ll learn more about the history, geology, and wildlife that you see, connect with locals from the places we visit, and try your hand at new skills.

No matter where you’re travelling with us, you can expect our onboard program to be educational, fun, and full of diverse opportunities for learning.

Presentation Iceland Greenland

© Jessie Brinkman Evans

Greenlanders Tupaarnaq Egede and Nive Nielsen provide an engaging presentation about the topic of Greenland's sovereignty and governance.

Presentations

Learn about macroplastics in Arctic ecosystems and how they’re affecting the health of seabird populations. Hear compelling stories about witchcraft, the supernatural, and folk beliefs in Scottish culture. Find out how Antarctica’s marine life is changing as a result of our climate crisis. Listen to poignant, personal histories of the effects of Inuit community relocations in Nunatsiavut.

You’ll be fascinated by the compelling presentations offered by our world-class expedition team, composed of researchers, authors, historians, scientists, and artists with celebrated professional careers. The presentation schedule is carefully curated to give you the best well-rounded knowledge of the places you’re travelling to.

Inuit culture sewing teaching

© Kristian Bogner

Leonie Auluk of Uqsuqtuuq (Gjoa Haven), Nunavut teaches a guest about sewing techniques.

Hands-on Workshops

Try your hand at beading, sewing, or carving under the exceptional guidance of a skilled Inuit artist. Attend a mixology lesson with a Taste of Place ambassador and sample Newfoundland seaweed gin or crisp east coast apple cider. Practice using binoculars, scopes, GPS systems, and other field tools. Learn a few handy phrases of Icelandic to take with you on your next shore excursion.

Get personalized advice about capturing the best photos from one of our expert photographers—you can even borrow professional-calibre cameras and lenses through our Nikon camera trial program! Our hands-on workshops will help put your learning into practice and send you home with new skills to show off to your friends and family.

Binoculars Ocean Endeavour

© Jessie Brinkman Evans

Wildlife Spotting & Interpretation

Get out on deck to admire the scenery, search for bird species to add to your life list, and bask in awe of great wildlife sightings. Listen to engaging interpretation about the sights you’re seeing alongside our expert naturalists, geologists, ornithologists, marine biologists, and cultural educators.

You may even want to get involved with the research projects undertaken through our Scientist in Residence and Young Explorers programs. Whenever you get out on deck, I recommend you dress in layers and perhaps bring a warm mug of something delicious outside with you, because it’ll be hard to tear yourself away.

Aaju peter hosts inuit welcome

© Lee Narraway

Inuit expedition team members, Aaju Peter and Heidi Langille, share their culture with guests in a tunngasugitsi (welcome) ceremony.

Tunngasugitsi (Welcome)

Attend a special welcoming ceremony on our Arctic expeditions. A tunngasugitsi is an invitation by Inuit expedition team members for you to feel grounded and accepted into the homelands of Inuit Nunangat. Watch the lighting of a qulliq, a traditional seal oil lamp. Listen to the sharing of knowledge, values, experiences, and lessons to prepare you for your travels.

I’m sure you’ll feel, as I do, immensely grateful for this spirit of welcoming. Inuit from Canada and Greenland make up at least a third of our expedition team on Arctic expeditions and they are experts in their respective fields—archaeology, conservation biology, filmmaking, cultural teaching, and more. Enjoy this ceremonial welcome that is sure to set the tone for your whole voyage.

Onboard yoga stretching class

© Kristian Bogner

Exercise & Physical Self-Care

If you’re anything like me, you might start feeling a little weary after a few good bouts of hiking, kayaking, and Zodiac cruising. With so many busy, active days on our expeditions, it’s essential to take some time for your physical rejuvenation. Stretch your muscles out on a yoga mat. Soak in the hot tub or steam in the sauna. Enjoy a treatment in the spa—my personal favourite!

Nourish yourself with a wide selection of healthful foods, and maybe an extra serving of dessert while you’re at it. Don’t forget to drink lots of water and wash your hands often. By taking good care of your body, you’ll be able to get the most out of your expedition experience and absorb as much new learning as possible.

Guests sampling Icelandic foods

© Michelle Valberg

Guests enjoy sampling fresh Icelandic seafood.

Dinner Conversation

Mealtimes are the perfect opportunity to break bread and talk travel with your new friends, and our friendly, approachable expedition team members eat with you in the dining room for every meal. It’s the perfect opportunity to get to know your fascinating fellow travellers, recount the adventures of the day, and look forward to tomorrow.

You can also enjoy our award-winning Taste of Place menu on select itineraries. This locavore culinary program introduces you to the scrumptious flavours of the region you’re travelling in. During the day, you’ll have the chance to meet the fishers, harvesters, and brewers who supply the Ocean Endeavour’s kitchen. Then enjoy a specially prepared evening meal—fresh handline-caught cod, bakeapple tarts, or a cocktail anyone?

Polar plunge fun

© Dennis Minty

Fun & Fancy

Be part of the unique mix of entertainment and camaraderie on board. From film screenings to evening concerts and dances to costume parties, you’ll love all the fun as much as you’ll love learning and exploring. Belly laughs, giggle fits, full hearts, and wide smiles are all to be expected on expedition.

Special events like the captain’s welcome go hand-in-hand with laidback barbeques, ice cream socials, and polar plunges. Early on in your expedition, you’ll be introduced to our League of Adventurers program and the community of like-minded people you’re travelling with during a fun icebreaker game.

Guests with project north donations nain JD

© Jen Derbach

Guests prepare bags of hockey equipment to donate to the youth league in Nain, Nunatsiavut, Labrador in partnership with Project North.

Giving Back

Become familiar with a new world of organizations doing amazing work in the realms of environmental conservation, youth, cultural revitalization, historic preservation, and food security. Some of my favourite events on board are our fundraising auctions! Learn more about these worthy causes, meet the people who will benefit, bid on enticing prizes, and have a great time while you’re making a difference.

Know that, just by travelling with Adventure Canada, you’re doing good for the places you travel to. The discovery fee included in the price of your trip goes to help support our partners and your expedition provides meaningful training and employment opportunities to local people from the region you travel to. Regenerative travel is a guiding ideology throughout Adventure Canada’s entire program.

Onboard library quiet reflection reading

© Kristian Bogner

Quiet Reflection

If there’s one on-board experience I simply can’t recommend enough, it’s taking the time to engage in quiet reflection. Enjoy a quiet cup of tea or coffee while you watch the waves, keep a travel journal of your experience, or just go through your photos at the end of every day—but be sure to take some time to soak the whole experience in.

I really can’t say enough just how much this type of travel has the potential to change you. (Personally, my first expedition set me on a new career path and upended my life for the better—but that’s another story we’ll have to share on board sometime.) Finding moments of stillness and gratitude will make your time on board all the richer. I can’t wait to see you there!

About the Author

Ellie Clin

Ellie Clin

Program Director

Ellie Clin is an environmental educator by training and an adventurer at heart, having explored all seven continents and both polar regions. She's also a writer, scuba diver, sailor, general professional vagabond, and foodie. As Program Director for Adventure Canada, she loves planning the on-board education program to help guests learn as much as they can about the regions we travel to.