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Nine Far-Flung Places to Visit by Sea

© Dennis Minty

No airports. No tunnels. No highways or helipads. Sometimes, it's just best to travel the old-fashioned way—by sea! Here are nine special places Adventure Canada visits that most of us will only ever have the chance to reach via ship. Which of them are on your bucket list?
Stac lee st kilda scotland

© Dennis Minty

St. Kilda, Scotland

Uninhabited since 1930, the tiny archipelago of St. Kilda is the outermost of Scotland’s Hebrides islands. Today it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which protects the former community as well as the island’s natural heritage. Feral sheep will keep you company as you explore the old stone buildings and hike the sweeping hills, while gannets and fulmars sing the soundtrack of your Zodiac cruise around the bustling seabird colonies.

Get your chance to visit on Scotland Slowly.

Mountains of Ikerasassuaq Prince Christian Sound

© Dennis Minty

Ikerasassuaq (Prince Christian Sound), Greenland

At the convergence of the Irminger and Labrador Seas around the southern tip of Greenland, you’ll find the breathtaking fjord network of Ikerasassuaq (Prince Christian Sound). The stunning metamorphic geology here is part of the region’s Ketilidian mobile belt, formed 1.8 billion years ago by colliding continents. These dramatic, rugged peaks reach heights of 2,200 metres, lapped by glacier-fed waters while white-tailed eagles soar nearby.

Get your chance to visit on Iceland to Greenland: In the Wake of the Vikings.

Polar bear akpatok island nunavik

© Stephen Gorman

Akpatok Island, Nunavut

Just offshore from Nunavik (though officially part of the territory of Nunavut), Akpatok is a flat-topped limestone behemoth looming above Ungava Bay. The island’s name comes from the Inuktitut word akpait (thick-billed murres), and for good reason: the sprawling colonies account for as much as five per cent of the species’ global population. But it’s not just black-and-white flyers you’ll have the chance to spot here—keep your eyes peeled for mountaineering polar bears who like to snack on their eggs.

Get your chance to visit on Heart of the Arctic.

Sable wild horses with shaggy coats

© Dennis Minty

Sable Island, Nova Scotia

Life’s a beach at Sable Island. The misty, mythical collection of dunes, some 150 kilometres away from Nova Scotia’s south coast, is a protected Parks Canada National Reserve. Genetically unique wild horses, endemic bird life, and the world’s largest colony of grey seals make it a fauna-tastical destination, while flora fans will adore the bullhead water lilies, blue flag irises, and marram grass swaying in the breeze. After a visit here, you’re sure to come home with sand in your shoes and a spring in your step.

Get your chance to visit on Sable Island, Cape Breton, Newfoundland, and the Magdalen Islands: Atlantic Island Odyssey.

Adelie penguin on iceberg

© Scott Sporleder

South Shetland Islands and Antarctic Peninsula

Antarctica will enchant you with its incredible scenery, from imposing glaciers to towering snow-capped peaks, vast icebergs, and ice-strewn channels. Not to mention the wildlife – from extensive colonies of chinstrap, gentoo, and Adelie penguins, to crabeater, Weddell, fur and elephant seals, and a plethora of fascinating birds.

Get your chance to visit on Journey to the Antarctic Circle.

Eclipse Sound River Torngat Mountains

© Dennis Minty

Eclipse Channel, Nunatsiavut (Labrador)

At the northerly end of Torngat Mountains National Park, small-but-mighty Eclipse Channel is a waterpark for bearded seals—and adventurous Zodiac cruisers! The waterfall’s rushing rapids form the perfect soundscape for a hike amongst the beautiful peaks, where you might have the chance to spot caribou, falcons, eagles, and both polar and black bears. But keep your eyes peeled downward, too, for a closer look at the tundra’s petite plant life and rich archaeology.

Get your chance to visit on Greenland & Wild Labrador.

beechey island snowy graves

© Dennis Minty

Beechey Island, Nunavut

For generations, this solitary spot was one of the last known sites of the doomed Franklin expedition, who met their end while searching for a route through the Northwest Passage. The poignant grave markers, Northumberland House, and other nearby archaeological remains make this a coveted, once-in-a-lifetime port of call for many history buffs. It also offers great hiking, and it’s likely the crunch of the gravel terrain beneath your boots will echo in your heart long after you leave.

Get your chance to visit on High Arctic Explorer or a Northwest Passage expedition.

Panorama view of Francois Newfoundland from Charlies Head lookout

© Dennis Minty

Francois, Newfoundland

Welcome to charming “Fransway,” what is arguably Newfoundland’s sweetest little outport. Population: 89. Here you can wander the rambling boardwalks by foot or by ATV, but you won’t find a single car, since there’s no roads leading into town. If the colourful houses, fishing boats, and mighty scenery don’t delight you, a rousing kitchen party in the community’s town hall certainly will! Be sure to pack your dancing shoes for an experience you won’t soon forget.

Get your chance to visit on a Newfoundland Circumnavigation.

Etah Greenland huge glacier tiny people

© Dennis Minty

Etah, Greenland

At the northwesterly tip of Greenland on the shores of Smith Sound, you’ll find heavenly, tranquil Etah. The village that was once a launching hub for polar expeditions is now abandoned. Today you can take in the historical wooden huts or walk out to the tremendous glacial tongue that dominates this rarely visited landscape. Plus, keep your cameras and binoculars at the ready for possible wildlife sightings in the area, including muskox, Arctic hare, and walrus.

Get your chance to visit on Out of the Northwest Passage.