In summer, Greenland's isolated Arctic high country offers spectacular scenery and indigenous wildlife that includes a herd of approximately 5,000 musk oxen. It is home to giant icebergs, colorful villages and eons-old glaciers that frequently "calve" (breaking off large chunks of ice that crash into the fjord).

On a new tour program to the world's largest island, you'll enjoy the unique culture of the "high arctic" as you meet welcoming local residents ready to introduce you to their way of life and to their history. You'll also have a unique opportunity to observe first-hand the environmental and geographical issues that stem from the world's changing climate.

Join eminent environmentalist David Hatch this summer on an 8-day " Greenland Climate & Culture Tour," an exclusive travel program that enables you to study two unique communities, as you visit Kangerlussuaq and Ilulissat.

This program is offered by The Great Canadian Travel Company. For more than a quarter of a century the company has provided adventurous travelers with a unique "Window to the Top of the World," compiling the expertise and "insider" contacts to establish its reputation as the specialist on travel to the north.

Kangerlussuaq lies at the base of a 100-mile fjord and offers mountain ridges looking out over the huge sheet ice. You'll spend one night at Hotel Umimmak after a nonstop Air Greenland flight from Copenhagen . That afternoon's excursion is a "Musk Oxen Safari" that takes you up close to these magnificent animals.

An early-morning flight takes you to Ilulissat for a five-night stay at the Hotel Arctic. On a guided walk through the town"”third-largest in Greenland , with more than 4,500 inhabitants, founded in 1741"”you'll learn about local history and culture and modern lifestyles in the community. You'll visit fishermen at the harbor and the hunters at their trading posts"”as well as the church and the house where famous polar explorer Knud Rasmussen was born.

Ilulissat means "icebergs" in Greenlandic, and the town has a beautiful location at the mouth of a 35-mile-long ice fjord filled with enormous icebergs from Sermeq Kujalleq, the most productive glacier in the Northern Hemisphere. In 2004, the Ilulissat Icefjord was admitted onto UNESCO's World Heritage List.

You'll visit with the owner of a dog sled team and perhaps take an optional excursion that includes a helicopter tour to the Ilulissat glacier with a half-hour ground stop and a lovely cruise among the giant icebergs that float in the bay.

A full-day boat excursion visits the Eqi glacier, known as one of the most beautiful spots in all of Greenland . Travel by boat and it is possible to see pieces of ice break off at the edge of the glacier and crash into the water. Lunch is served on board.

On an excursion to the settlement of Oqaatsut you will sail approximately 12 miles north of Ilulissat. Though this truly beautiful settlement, known as Rodebay, has only 45 inhabitants, it is home to a school, church, shop and small restaurant (where you will enjoy lunch in a building dating back to colonial times).

Optional excursions include a boat tour with David Hatch to the settlement of Ilimanaq. Situated south of the ice fjord, it features beautiful old buildings from the colonial time and is known for its fine trout fishing. A five-hour guided hike to the icefjord also is available, with a guide to interpret flora, fauna and geology.

The program operates August 15-21. Priced from $3,989 per person (land only, based on double occupancy), plus $1,700 round-trip airfare Copenhagen/ Kangerlussuaq, this tour includes round-trip airfare Kangerlussuaq to Ilulissat, one nights' accommodations at Kangerlussuaq, five nights' accommodations at Ilulissat, breakfast daily and two dinners in Ilulissat. Also included are local transfers in Ilulissat, musk oxen photo safari, city walk, sled dog life tour, Oqaatsut boat tour with lunch and Eqi boat tour with lunch. Round-trip airfare between U.S. departure city and Copenhagen is additional. However, a Great Canadian travel counselor is ready to assist with booking this leg of your vacation.