IQALUIT, Nunavut -- Prime Minister Stephen Harper is spending the last day of his annual Arctic tour observing part of military exercise called Operation Nanook 14.

He's watching members of the military, the coast guard, the RCMP and other government agencies rehearsing a simulated rescue of a grounded cruise ship.

The exercise looks at what would happen if the Nunavut government called for help in ensuring the safety and security of the ship's passengers and crew.

An earlier exercise involved the deployment of maritime and air forces on a search and rescue mission in Davis Strait, off the coast of Baffin Island.

The military has conducted similar exercises in the North every summer since 2007.

Harper says these training missions improve the country's ability to operate in the North and strengthen Canadian sovereignty in the region.