Summary : Join an expedition which follows the same maritime course set by Norse settlers over a thousand years ago—an enriching experience of Nordic culture and Arctic nature! In the Disko Bay, experience local folk dancing in Qeqertarsuaq and sail to the renowned Eqi Glacier. At the Sermermiut Plain you'll have the chance to admire the World Heritage Site of the Ilulissat Icefjord and the dazzling icebergs in the late evening sun. Further to the south along the western coast of Greenland, visit the capital of Greenland, one of the smallest in the world. Before heading north again along the spectacular east coast of Greenland, marvel at the narrow cliffs of the picturesque Prince Christian Sound and the charming silence of the undisturbed Skjoldungen Island.
Activities : Birding, Child-Friendly, Culture, Hiking, Kayaking, Photography, Dedicated Solo Cabins, Triple/Quad Cabins
$4,000 to $11,100
Board your included flight in Reykjavik to fly to Kangerlussuaq, Greenland where you will board the ship.
Experience Greenland’s second-largest city at the foot of Nasaasaaq Mountain.
Under Disko Island’s 1000-metre-high mountains we enter the protected natural habour that has the Danish name ‘Godhavn’ or Good Harbour and in Greenlandic ‘Qeqertarsuaq’ which means ‘The Big Island’.
Visit the historic local church and partake in a ‘kaffemik’ at community center. The local community center hosts a traditional Greenlandic “kaffemik”, best described as a friendly gathering with coffee, cake and traditional dances and music.
During the afternoon the ship heads east towards the giant glacier Eqip Sermia in the north-easterly corner of Disko Bay. This glacier is, without overstating, one of the most impressive in Greenland. Here you can experience a glacier calve up close, which is not possible in Ilulissat. Great crevasses, deep blue glacial streams, a landscape so unique and stunning that words are simply not sufficient. An outstanding opportunity to see, hear and smell this mighty ice world.
Ilulissat is possibly the most well located town in Greenland. The name simply means ‘icebergs’ in Greenlandic and the town’s nickname is rightly ‘The Iceberg Capital of the World’.
The icebergs come from the Icefjord, which is located a half hour’s hike south of Ilulissat. These impressive frozen structures are born some 70km deeper into the fjord by the enormous Sermeq Kujalleq glacier. This 10km-wide glacier is the most productive glacier outside of Antarctica. Whereas most glaciers only calve at a rate of approximately a meter a day, the Ilulissat glacier calves at a rate of 25 meters per day. The icebergs produced by the glacier represent more than 10% of all icebergs in Greenland, corresponding to 20 million tons!
These facts, together with the fjord’s extreme beauty, have secured the Icefjord a place on UNESCO’s World Heritage List.
On this day, you will also have the opportunity to join an optional boat trip to the Icefjord (additional fee). The journey takes about two and a half hours in total, and presents an opportunity to gain a closer look at the amazing ice-sculpted scenery. The trip is definitely something out of the ordinary and a great natural experience that you will remember for years to come - but be sure to remember warm clothes!
If a hike or a trip by boat does not present enough excitement, there is also an opportunity to arrange a helicopter ride over the Icefjord (additional fee).
Please note the boat and helicopter excursions to the Icefjord are optional outings and therefore not included in the general tour price. Furthermore, the helicopter excursion must be booked in advance.
Evighedsfjord, or the Fjord of Eternity, is one of the highlights of the voyage.
The ship will navigate along the fjord's steep mountainsides so you can hopefully experience spectacular glaciers, sliding slowly down to the sea.
As the ship enters the Nuuk Fjord there is a fair chance of encountering the area's seasonal visitors—humpback whales.
The world's smallest capital is in Greenland considered by many a mighty metropolis - a total of 17,000 people live here today, almost a third of the country’s population.
The area has been inhabited back to 2200 BC by pre-Inuit hunters. From year 1000 to 1350 AD, the Icelandic Vikings and farmers settled in South Greenland and in the Nuuk Fjord, while at the same time Inuit hunters of the Thule culture moved south from North Greenland. The Nordic settlers disappeared around 1350 AD, but the Inuit stayed, being far better equipped to hunt and survive in the tough Arctic nature.
Modern history of Greenland began in 1721, when the Norse missionary Hans Egede founded a permanent colony and trading station near Nuuk. In fact, Egede’s main purpose to return to Greenland was to convert the Catholic northerners to Lutherans, but soon after his arrival he realized the Norse had disappeared, a mystery yet unresolved.
In 1979, the Landsting (Parliament) was established in Nuuk, and the town was finally recognized as the country's capital.
Ivittuut is a former cryolite mine at Ivituut, the only place in the world where this very special mineral was mined until depleted 30 years ago. Used in aluminum melting, the mineral became strategically important. Americans to set up bases in South Greenland during World War II.
Kap Farvel, or Cape Farewell, is renowned not only as Greenland's southernmost point, but also for its infamous, although mostly seasonal, gale-force winds.
The captain will deliberately opt for a far more comfortable but at the same time more spectacular route, cruising via the inside passage through the Prince Christian Sound from the Atlantic in the east, to the settlement of Aapilattoq in the heart of the fjordlands in southwest Greenland.
The island of Skjoldungen is without doubt one of most beautiful areas in East Greenland. Situated at 63° N, the island is surrounded by narrow, steep fjords and glaciers, and with plenty of the cool, crisp and clean air of the ever present and nearby ice sheet. Experience a lush landscape and a milder climate than most would expect. Acclaimed Norwegian explorer Fridjof Nansen came here in late summer 1888 in search of a suitable ascension point for the first inland ice crossing.
Skjoldungen is also the name of an abandoned settlement, located on the southwest side of the island. Up to 100 people lived here until 1965, and some houses remain. Continue your journey to Dronning Marie Dal in the area's northwestern corner to get a closer view of its interesting flora.
Approach the island of Ammassalik and enter King Oskar's harbor with Polhem Mountain (3,300 feet) to starboard. See East Greenland's largest town, Ammassalik or Tasiilaq (2,000 inhabitants), which is the name used today. Although massive ice floes surround Tasiilaq making shipping traffic impossible most of the year, it has well-functioning educational institutions and health services.
Ammassalik was established as a colony in 1894, 10 years after the famed Gustav Holm's umiaq expedition (open skin boat). The place where the town is located, originally had no permanent settlement, but it turned out to be a perfect place to live because of its natural harbor and easy access to open waters.
Visit the beautiful local museum with the old turf hut, which undoubtedly is the place with the very best opportunities to buy some of Greenland's best crafts.
From Tasiilaq, spend the rest of the day exploring the dramatic fjords and landscapes of the Ammassalik district, with the Kuummiit settlement (about 400 inhabitants) as your next destination. Kuummiit is a tiny settlement where most people thrive commercially by fishing or hunting. Choose to get ashore or stay onboard and enjoy the view of some of the most scenic and dramatic mountains in Greenland just behind Kuummiit.
Enjoy lecturers onboard who will make inspiring and enriching presentations about both Iceland’s and Greenland’s history, nature, wildlife and climatology.
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. ExpeditionTrips is not responsible for itinerary changes.
Mandatory Travel Insurance:
As a requirement of participation on this expedition, all passengers must purchase emergency evacuation/repatriation insurance; minimum $200,000. The medical insurance must be able to cover all existing health issues the passenger might have. It must also cover medical treatment and medical evacuation in any of the areas traveled. Other conditions may apply based on pre-existing conditions. ExpeditionTrips strongly recommends at least $200,000 Emergency Medical/Evacuation coverage for Antarctic trips which includes coverage for cancellation, trip disruption, baggage and personal property. ExpeditionTrips can assist U.S. residents with travel protection options.
Exercise your body while engaging your mind and heart in an unforgettable outing, safely guided by kayak masters throughout the journey. The region, weather, sea and ice conditions will dictate when and where kayaking may be possible in order to ensure your safety and improve your experience. Kayaking is weather dependent.
Onboard Expedition Photographer:
Each voyage has a dedicated expedition photographer onboard to document the voyage and share their passion for photography through lectures and during landings and Zodiac cruises. Greenland is filled with mesmerizing landscapes, and the expedition photographer is available to help elevate your photographic capabilities to beautifully capture the magical moments of your voyage.
Optional Boat Trip to Ilulissat Icefjord:
The journey takes about two and a half hours in total, and presents an opportunity to gain a closer look at the amazing ice-sculpted scenery. The trip is definitely something out of the ordinary and a great natural experience that you will remember for years to come- but be sure to remember warm clothes!
Optional Helicopter Flight over Ilulissat Icefjord:
Discover huge iceberg pushing towards the mouth of the Kangia Icefjord, and breaching their way into the Disko Bay. Get to see the very small settlement of Ilimanaq just south of the icefjord, and if you are lucky, you might get a glimpse of the many whales in the bay on your way back to Ilulissat. Fly in a Vulcanair Partenavia P68 airplanes. These airplanes are ideal for the purpose of sightseeing flights. Being high wing mounted with large windows at each seat, you have the perfect conditions for taking pictures and bringing your memories back home, as well as giving you a clear view of the landscape. The Partenavia, can carry up to 5 passengers plus the pilot. Duration: approx. 40 min.
Optional Reindeer Glacier Excursion in Kangerlussuaq:
Your journey to one of the area’s most remarkable glaciers requires transport via a tundra coach, a 4WD vehicle, which is designed to take on the rocky, changeable terrain and gravel roads. Along the way, keep your eyes open for the wildlife that resides in the area, namely reindeer and musk oxen, while you let your mind wander while listening to the history and stories of the area narrated by your guide.
One-way flight Reykjavik/Kangerlussuaq or reverse; transfer from the Kangerlussuaq airport to ship or reverse; shipboard accommodations; digital photo journal of your trip; all meals onboard ship. Subject to change without notice.
Airfare other than mentioned as included; accommodations other than the ship; transfers not mentioned as included; passport and visa expenses; optional excursions; alcohol, soft drinks and other beverages besides coffee and tea; Wi-Fi; communication charges; all items of a personal nature; laundry; required travel insurance; gratuities; excess baggage charges; airport departure tax; fuel surcharge may apply.
Photos © Albatros Expeditions