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West Greenland – Disko Bay

Arctic Greenland Cruise

Summary : This 10-day voyage focuses on Disko Bay, an area as rich in history and legend as it is famous for icebergs and whales. Your arctic expedition explores the natural wonders of Northwest Greenland in all its glory, from the impressive Ilulissat Icefjord (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) and breathtaking Eqip Sermia glacier to the red heart-shaped mountain of Uummannaq and the incredible volcanic rock formations of Qeqertarsuaq. Traditional Inuit villages, each with its own character, are found along the coast with their brightly colored wooden houses dotting the rugged landscape. Vast stretches of unspoiled wilderness await modern-day adventurers in this magical realm, home to some of the best whale watching in the country.

Activities : Birding, Culture, Hiking, Kayaking, Triple/Quad Cabins

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Itinerary
Day 1
Reykjavik, Iceland

Arrive in the capital city of Iceland and make your own way to your included hotel.

Day 2
Reykjavik / Kangerlussuaq, Greenland

After breakfast, board your charter flight to Kangerlussuaq. You’ll have some time to wander this small seaside town, situated in one of Greenland’s longest fjords, before being transferred by Zodiac from shore to ship.

Day 3
Itilleq

Today, you’ll visit a typical Greenlandic village, the picturesque Itilleq. Delightfully situated in a hollow (which is the meaning of “Itilleq” in Greenlandic), it’s surrounded by sea, mountains and fjords, on an island with no freshwater source. The small fishing and hunting community will welcome and introduce you to their way of life. Nearby, Itilleq Fjord is the perfect place to explore, as the colorful tundra bursting with wildflowers offers a vibrant contrast to the stark, soaring cliffs.

Day 4
Illulissat

Adventure awaits you in Ilulissat (meaning “iceberg” in Greenlandic), a gateway to another world. Just south of this town is the beautiful Ilulissat Icefjord, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and home of one of the most actively calving glaciers in the world, Sermeq Kujalleq. Cruise in a Zodiac at the mouth of the fjord, and if you’re lucky, you may witness the spectacle of calving ice. These young bergs float down the fjord to enter Baffin Bay and, years later, end up farther south, off the coast of Newfoundland. The town itself, founded in 1741, is so traditional that sled dogs outnumber the people and still have the right of way. Hiking trails offer stunning vistas of the bergs as they approach the bay.

Day 5
Equi Glacier

Sailing toward the glacier Eqip Sermia rewards with breathtaking views one of the most photographed places in Greenland. Zodiac cruise from a safe distance, tracing the spectacular jagged, gleaming-blue glacier front. You may also stop nearby for a shore landing.

Day 6
Uummannaq / Qilaqitsoq

Have your camera ready and be out on deck as the ship approaches Uummannaq (which means “heartlike”), named for the heart-shaped mountain that towers over the town. It’s a breathtaking vista you won’t want to miss. Founded as a Danish colony in 1758 on the mainland, the settlement was moved five years later to this nearby island, where seal hunting was more plentiful. Marvel at the traditional colorful houses perched atop the rugged terrain as you wander through the town.

Nearby Qilaqitsoq (also known as Qilakitsoq) is where the remains of eight fully dressed mummies were discovered in 1972 under a rock outcrop by two brothers out hunting for grouse. The ruins of several buildings can be found not far from the graves. The world-famous mummies, which date back to 1475 AD, can now be viewed at the Greenland National Museum in Nuuk.

Day 7
Qeqertarsuaq (Disko Island)

The town of Qeqertarsuaq (also the name of the island it’s on) is one of Greenland’s oldest, founded in 1773 as a whaling station. Today, although whaling still occurs, sealing and fishing are more predominant. Particularly rich with marine life, the waters around the island play host to humpback, fin, and minke whales. Coupled with the abundance of icebergs the area boasts, whale watching here is especially awe inspiring. Just as mesmerizing is the varied volcanic landscape, a combination of lush hilltops, red-tinged basalt mountains, hot springs and incredible rock figures.

Day 8
Sisimiut

Today, you’ll have time to explore the 18th-century colonial buildings of Sisimiut and also watch a demonstration of traditional kayaking. Be sure to wander the historic area, where you can pass under the large arch formed by a pair of bowhead whale bones. There will also be an opportunity to hike amongst the soaring mountains that surround the town.

Day 9
Kangerlussuaq / Reykjavik, Iceland

After bidding goodbye to your Expedition Team, take a direct charter flight back to Reykjavik, Iceland, where you'll be transferred to your included hotel.

Day 10
Reykjavik, Iceland

Make your way home at your leisure.

Notes

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.

Bilingual Departure: English/French

Mandatory Travel Insurance:
Due to the remoteness of the areas in this itinerary, travelers are to carry a minimum of $50,000 of emergency medical coverage. Proof of coverage is required prior to embarkation. All guests are strongly recommended to have comprehensive travel insurance coverage. The shipping company will not be held responsible for delays due to force majeure. Any additional costs accrued will be the responsibility of the traveler. ExpeditionTrips strongly recommends that the travel insurance policy covers trip cancellation insurance, trip delay (interruption or after departure coverage), baggage and repatriation. ExpeditionTrips can assist U.S. residents with travel protection options. Other conditions may apply based on pre-existing conditions.

Kayaking Option:
Not included in cruise rate. This is a pre-booked option for kayakers with some experience. Places are strictly limited so please advise at time of booking. Please contact ExpeditionTrips for additional details.

Included:
Shipboard accommodation with daily housekeeping; meals on board throughout your voyage; shore landings per the daily program; Zodiac transfers and cruising per the daily program; photographic journal documenting the voyage; a pair of waterproof expedition boots on loan for shore landings; an expedition parka – yours to keep; coffee, tea, cocoa available around the clock; hair dryer and bathrobe in every cabin; miscellaneous service taxes and port charges; luggage handling aboard ship; emergency evacuation insurance to a maximum benefit of $500,000 per person*; Greenland cruise passenger tax. Subject to change without notice.

Not Included:
Airfare; mandatory charter airfare package; passport and visa expenses; government arrival and departure taxes; meals ashore; baggage, cancellation and medical travel insurance; excess baggage charges; mandatory waterproof pants for Zodiac cruising; laundry, bar, beverage and other personal charges; phone and internet charges; the customary gratuity at the end of the voyage for ship’s crew and staff; additional overnight accommodation; optional kayaking; fuel surcharge may apply.

*Emergency Evacuation Insurance:
Emergency evacuation coverage to a maximum benefit per paying passenger of $500,000 is included in the cost of this expedition. Included coverage is applicable only while traveling with the shipping company between the first and last day of the expedition. Additional days of travel prior to the expedition and/or after the expedition, including pre- and post-packages/hotels/flights, purchased from the shipping company or from suppliers other than the shipping company, are not covered by the included emergency evacuation insurance. We strongly advise all passengers to purchase medical, cancellation and baggage insurance, and additional emergency evacuation coverage.

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