Pond Inlet, Nunavut, Canada Cruise Port

While the Inuktitut name is Mittimatalik, meaning – among other things – "resting place" or "Where is Mittima?" (referring to unknown person said to be buried here), the arctic cruise port of Pond Inlet, Nunavut, Canada is far more than just a place to land on the shores of Baffin Island. This small town of around 1,500 residents is predominantly Inuit and located in Canada's Qikiqtaaluk or Baffin Region, although it was named after English astronomer John Pond in 1818. With a mostly service-based economy, tourism is important. In fact, Pond Inlet has been called one of Canada's "jewels of the north" for its picturesque scenery that includes mountains and glaciers. Some of these glaciers even have a national park named for them: Sirmilik National Park ("sirmilik" translates to "place of glaciers," so it's a very literal name). Here are some of our favorite experiences when cruising to Pond Inlet, Nunavut, Canada:
 
  • A great place to start is the Nattinnak Centre, the town's visitors’ area. Here you can get information about the area as well as see interpretive exhibits of the region. History buffs will enjoy the comprehensive Pond Inlet Archives and Rebecca P. Idlout Library, also located in the same building.
     
  • Along with the glaciers of Sirmilik National Park, you'll find rugged mountains, plenty of wildlife, and multiple opportunities for boating and hiking. Not only might you spot polar bears, ringed seals, and walruses, but there are also cultural sites to explore belonging to the Inuit, Thule, and Europeans.
     
  • Bird watchers can get their fill at the Bylot Island Migratory Bird Sanctuary adjacent to the northern tip of Baffin Island. This is a huge nesting area for at least 74 unique species of arctic birds, including thick-billed murres, black-legged kittiwakes, songbirds, and various waterfowl.
     
  • The Inuit culture has respect for its wildlife, and there are plenty of eco-conscious guides to take you on whale watching expeditions. Keep an eye out for beluga and bowhead whales, along with the fascinating narwhal. If you're lucky, you'll get to see the latter whales (here year-round) "sword fight" with their horns.

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