Experiencing the Canadian Arctic for the First Time

Allie Schultz is a One Ocean Expedition staff member who has just recently finished her first voyage to the Canadian Arctic amongst many other special guests. We asked her a few questions about her experience with her first expedition on board the RCGS Resolute

If you had to choose one word to describe your first expedition to the Canadian Arctic, what would it be?


What was your fondest memory?

It is difficult to choose just one memory as I have so many, but I would have to say it was the people, both on and off the ship that made this trip so magical.  The expedition team was terrific!  Knowledgeable, passionate and approachable, they really did make the magic happen.  The Captain and his crew, from dining services to housekeeping to maintenance, were always smiling and always had time for the passengers.  Alex and Johnny, our resident local Inuit guides, were amazing. In my opinion, we should have them on board every single voyage!  The other highlight was the curling. Curling is a great way to bring people together.

What did you learn?

Every single day was a learning opportunity.  I learned a great deal about the indigenous communities in the Canadian Arctic through our amazing Inuit guides Alex & Johnny.  This was definitely a highlight for me during the entire voyage. It was a treat seeing their land through their eyes and hearing about their culture and history through their voices. I even learned how to drum and throat sing, although I have a long way to go before I can master these skills!  Much more practice is required on my part.

What was your favourite excursion?

This is a tough question to answer.  Each excursion was eye-opening and awe-inspiring.  An excursion that deeply resonated with me would be the one to Pangnirtung. It was the very first time the vessel visited this community. It was fascinating to catch a glimpse of what life is like living in this remote part of the world. The local guides and park rangers we spoke with were full of enthusiasm and knowledge. The cultural performances were very interesting and the welcome we received was warm and genuine. Having the chance to talk to some of the locals was truly special and in spite of the unusual texture, it was even a treat to try narwhal meat!  Note to future tasters: think hard, rubbery calamari! 

Iceberg selfie in the Canadian Arctic
“I never guessed how much I would LOVE the ice” – Allie Schultz

What was an Unexpected Highlight

The ICE! For a girl like me who’s been trying get out of the cold for years, I never guessed how much I would LOVE the ice. The colours, the shapes, the sheer beauty of it all.  I would never have dreamed that ice could be so intoxicating to look at and to photograph.

Best wildlife sighting?

Our excursion to Cape Mercy, which turned out to be a zodiac cruise, comes to mind. Although the original plan was to hike on shore that day, a solitary polar bear had other ideas.  Instead, we ended up cruising along the shoreline watching this magnificent mammal swim in and out of the icebergs, looking for seals. While my camera couldn’t capture the magic of that moment, I decided to forego the camera and just be content witnessing this amazing spectacle.  

Our final zodiac cruise saw us witness a gathering of humpback whales, swimming, breaching and blowing in all their glory. When our fearless leader and zodiac driver, Mark, decided to leave a small cluster of whales near another ship, we wondered why he would leave the pack?  He was determined to find us “freshies” or our own family of whales. His instincts were spot on.  Our zodiac was the first to spot a family of whales which began as 2 or 3 and quickly became 9-10.  Hearing them call to one another was enough to stop us in our tracks. It was definitely a magical way to end our zodiac excursion.

Favourite meal?

All the meals were delicious. I would have to say the Captain’s Farewell Dinner on the final evening onboard was my favourite. Seafood galore, Champagne and Apple Sorbet which was divine.

Favourite presentation?

This is an impossible question to answer.  All of the presentations were fascinating and each of the presenters was truly engaging. I cannot pick just one favourite.

One Ocean Expeditions' amazing staff for a voyage to the Canadian Arctic.
The expedition was fantastic because of the amazing people working onboard. Image courtesy of Allison Schultz

What is a fun memory?

Doing the Polar Plunge off of the gangway with many other brave souls!  The water was a balmy 5 degrees celsius but we were blessed with blue skies and sunshine that day (and most days, to be honest). It was a perfect day for a dip.

Overall impression?

I feel so humbled and privileged to have travelled to this rugged, remote and beautiful part of the world. I would recommend it to anyone who cares about our planet, its environment, and its inhabitants. It was eye-opening and fascinating.  A beautiful ship with comfortable cabins, great amenities, delicious cuisine and the most dedicated and knowledgeable staff and crew. The region will leave you speechless.  Welcoming communities, diverse wildlife, crystal clear waters and stunning scenery. Once you are here, you realize just how precious and delicate this region is. I have become a true advocate for its protection and survival and I am sure many other passengers feel the same way.

If Allie’s account of her experience resonated with you, and you would like to experience the Canadian Arctic to yourself – join us on an expedition of your own. Contact your preferred agent, or contact us directly here.