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A slide show of images from Silver Explorer's recent inaugural expedition cruise to Scoresby Sound. Located on Greenland's east coast, it's considered the largest fjord system in the world.
Expedition Leader Robin West filed this report:
After crossing Denmark Strait, Silver Explorer arrived for its first-ever expedition to Scoresby Sound. The welcoming committee? Two adult blue whales, 20 metres off our bow. They stayed with us for half an hour, escorting us into the world's largest fjord system and giving Silver Explorer one of its best blue whale encounters ever.
We sailed along the southerly coast of Volquart Boons, an area with mountains rising up to 1,500 metres in waters punctuated by glaciers and endless fields of icebergs.
We were doing something that few expedition vessels do: circumnavigating Milne Land, which would require spending three days in Scoresby Sound, named for the English explorer William Scoresby, who mapped the 38,000-square-kilometre sound in detail in 1822.
Our goal was to do two to three landings daily — and still cover 80 to 90 kilometres of scenic cruising per day. To accomplish that, we would to start at 6 a.m. each morning and finish at 10 p.m.
Our first landing was on Danmark Island, where we explored the remains of a 200-year-old Inuit settlement and encountered a short-tailed weasel known as a stoat. Later in the afternoon, we landed at Renodden, where we walked the tundra and sighted musk oxen.
In the late afternoon, while at Red Island, we offered a 90-minute Zodiac excursion among towering icebergs. In my 11 years of leading expeditions, I have never seen guests return to the ship with such awe.
There was more to come. The next morning, we arrived in Cape Hofman Halvo, where we had another tundra walk, with more musk oxen sightings and an Arctic hare. That afternoon, guests were offered a Polar Plunge before we continued to sail through O Fjord with its 2,000-metre-high peaks. While cruising, we spotted two bears, a mother and a second-year cub. That evening, still light outside, we offered a Zodiac cruise among the largest icebergs we had seen in the entire fjord system.
On our last day, we visited Ittoqqortoormiit, a local Inuit settlement at the northern entrance to Scoresby Sound. Having gained some insights into the Inuit lifestyle, we sailed out of Scoresby Sound with three days of memories that will remain with us for the rest of our lives.