Summary : Visit remote Greenlandic towns, explore ancient Norse and Viking sites, and learn of native Inuit and their lasting traditions. Identify seabirds and watch for whales while in the company of expert naturalists as well as an onboard environmentalist, historian, conservation biologist, photographer and oceanographer. Discover deep fjords with spectacular rock walls and active glaciers on Zodiac cruises. Visit the world’s smallest capital and fastest moving glacier, meet a sled dog team and their owners and see the famous Qilakitsoq mummies on a trip filled with discovery and adventure. There will be ample time for relaxation as well, from soaking in a natural hot spring to taking advantage of onboard amenities.
Activities : Birding, Culture, Hiking
$999,999,999 to $0
Embark the vessel, meet the Expedition Team members and attend a Zodiac and safety briefing.
Spend the day crossing the Denmark Strait, which connects the Arctic and Atlantic Oceans. Meet fellow passengers and become acquainted with the luxurious amenities found on board the vessel. In the evening, attend a special Welcome Aboard cocktail party where the Captain will introduce his senior officers and crew members.
Cruising along Greenland’s rugged eastern coast and discover Skoldungen Fjord. Spend much of the day out on deck to take in the enchanting scenery: towering mountains tipped with snow and sculptured icebergs in shades of white and blue. Upon arriving at top of the fjord, easily see the retreating state of the Thyrms Glacier, and take a Zodiac cruise to explore from an up-close perspective. Exiting the U-shaped fjord, join Expedition Team members out on deck to marvel at the spectacular scenery.
Explore one of South Greenland’s most dramatic natural features: Prince Christian Sound. The water is placid and the crisp scent of ice fills the air. Watch waterfalls stream down sharp, wrinkled mountainsides while the vessel navigates the fjord through a sea of icebergs that glitter in the sun. Born of compacted ancient snows that calve into the sound at the glacier’s edge, each iceberg is different from the next. Time and weather conditions permitting, plan to set out via the Zodiacs to explore even more.
Nanortalik lies in a scenic area surrounded by steep mountainsides and is Greenland’s most southerly town. Its name means the “place of polar bears,” which refers to the polar bears that used to be seen floating offshore on summer’s ice floes. Learn about the region from Inuit times to today at the town’s excellent open-air museum. Watch an impressive kayak demonstration at an Inuit summer hunting camp while learning about their native dress and ancient customs. Time permitting, enjoy the tradition of kaffe-mik (coffee and cake) and a folk dancing presentation at the Cultural Center.
In the afternoon, the vessel will drop anchor at Uunartoq. Since the days of the Norse, the hot springs here have been renowned for their healing effects. Take this opportunity to relax and unwind in steaming waters. Remember to pack swimwear!
Arrive at the picturesque harbor town of Qaqortoq in the morning. Its name translates to ‘white place,’ but today, instead of snow, admire the hillsides of colorful houses painted in bright primary shades. Enjoy the charming town square which is home to Greenland’s oldest fountain built in 1928. Surrounding it are two churches, one old and one new, an open-air fish and meat market, and the Qaqortoq Museum. Explore the museum which houses a superb collection of historical artifacts associated with Inuit hunting and fishing, as well as a collection of contemporary artwork.
In the afternoon, the vessel anchors off Hvalsey. Once ashore, learn how Christianity spread its influence throughout Europe and eventually reached remote Greenland in 1000 AD. Hvalsey Church was built in the 14th century and is the best preserved in Greenland from that period. Together visit these historical ruins from the time of the Vikings.
Encircled by a wealth of Norse ruins, begin the day at Qassiarsuk. Tour the foundation remains of Erik the Red‘s manor house. He founded Greenland after being banished from Iceland and Norway for murder. Explore a recently unearthed Norse graveyard that contains remains of 144 Norse colonists. Gaze at Hans Lynge’s remarkable bronze sculpture of Erik the Red.
Back aboard the vessel, enjoy lunch as the ship cruises to Ittileq. From the landing site, walk 2.5 mi (4 km) to Igaliku and meet its 30 inhabitants, who are very proud of their beautiful village. With local guides, visit the ruins of Garðar, which was once the religious heart of 12th-century Norse Greenland.
Gather in The Theatre to hear fascinating tales of adventure and learn about the region’s endemic wildlife and remarkable nature. Knowledgeable Lecture Staff are experts in a variety of scientific fields and their topics inform on the many adventures that lie ahead. Binoculars and camera in hand, head out on deck to watch for marine mammals and identify the seabirds.
Arrive in Greenland’s first town (est. 1728) and current capital, Nuuk, which means “the heartland”. Take a leisurely walk through this picturesque harbor town and soak up its natural beauty. Visit Inuit ruins, Hans Egede’s home, parliament, and the Church of our Saviour. Observe the famous Qilakitsoq mummies at the Greenlandic National Museum.
Located just north of the Arctic Circle, Sisimiut is the northernmost town in Greenland where the port remains free of ice in the winter; yet it is also the southernmost town where there exists enough snow and ice to drive a dogsled in winter and spring. Traveling by sled has been the primary means of winter transportation here for centuries. Meet a sled dog team and their owners, who will share about sledding and how the Greenlandic sled dog has been bred to be amongst the strongest working dogs in the world.
Just after sunrise, be out on deck to see the northern hemisphere’s most active glacier – Jakobshavn – often surrounded by icebergs in all shapes and sizes and in varying shades of white and turquoise. Known as the birthplace of icebergs, the Ilulissat Icefjord produces nearly 20 million tons of ice each day. While here, there may be an opportunity to see a demonstration of ancient fishing methods and enjoy some locally caught and prepared fish. Take a guided walking tour of Ilulissat and visit the local history museum. The afternoon tour continues via fishing boat navigating amongst the many icebergs at the fjord’s entrance. Alternatively, purchase an optional adventure by helicopter to see the magnificent Jakobshavn Icefjord from above.
Participate in discussions and onboard activities led by the Expedition Team, relax in one of the lounges with a book, or meet up with new friends for cocktails. A variety of options are available, including educational lectures, spa treatments, a workout in the Fitness Centre, and exquisite dining. Before turning in for the night, take a stroll on deck to experience the solitude of the vast sea and sky.
After breakfast, disembark the vessel and board a charter flight to Copenhagen.
Read this itinerary as a guide only; the exact route and program varies according to ice and weather conditions - and the wildlife you encounter. Flexibility is the key to the success of this expedition.
Although travel insurance is not mandatory to participate in this voyage, ExpeditionTrips strongly recommends Emergency Medical/Evacuation coverage which includes coverage for cancellation, trip disruption, baggage and personal property. ExpeditionTrips can assist you with this.
Ship accommodation; all onboard meals and entertainment; butler service; complimentary beverages (select wines, champagne, spirits, bottled water, specialty coffees, juices and soft drinks); onboard gratuities (except spa and salon); parka; Silver, Medallion, Grand and Owner's Suite guests receive laundry service and dinner at Officer's table; 1 hour of internet access per guest/per day for passengers booked in Adventurer, Explorer, View, Vista, and Veranda Suites; unlimited internet access for passengers booked in Expedition, Medallion, Silver, Grand, and Owner’s Suites. Subject to change without notice.
Airfare; government fees and taxes; transfers and luggage handling; passport and visa expenses; travel insurance; items of a personal nature; helicopter tour; Wifi; fuel surcharge may apply.