Summary : This is your chance to embark on an 11-day expedition cruise to Greenland. You will enjoy a combination of adventure and discovery in the company of an experienced team of naturalist guides, anthropologists, ornithologists and marine mammal specialists. During your cruise and Zodiac outings, you will have many opportunities to admire local fauna: seals, whales, orcas, and many species of seabirds. To the country’s west, you will sail amid the blue icebergs of the Narsaq region, and among the largest icebergs in the Northern Hemisphere in Ilulissat, before reaching the steep cliffs where nest the many birds in the fjord of Eternity.
Activities : Birding, Child-Friendly, Culture, Hiking, Triple/Quad Cabins
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$7,000 to $26,010
Embark your vessel for introductions to experienced crew and fellow travelers. Settle in to life on board as your cruise begins its voyage.
Welcome to this small, sheltered bay on the east coast of Greenland south of Tasiilaq, for a date with history and the ice. When your ship calls here, you will have the opportunity to visit the vestiges of ancient peat houses from the Thule civilization. Then, after navigating through the ice, you will reach the departure point of the first ever crossing of the Greenland ice sheet, led in 1888 by Fridtjof Nansen, a great Norwegian polar explorer. This is a magical place where you can climb a gentle slope to reach the ice sheet’s first foothills and get a better idea of just how gigantic it is.
Discover Skjoldungen Island on the southeast coast of Greenland. This uninhabited land boasts magnificent landscapes that are sure to dazzle you. The island is surrounded by a stunning fjord, a distinctive feature of which is its double entrance; it forms a bend before joining the sea on the other side. Mountains, glacial valleys, rocky outcrops, tundra and willow forests make up the beautiful scenery which you will be able to admire more closely when you land here. At this port of call, surrounded by wild and pristine nature, it is quite common to see bearded seals, orcas, but also birds such as the common redpoll, the northern wheatear, or the common raven.
Your ship glides silently towards the Greenland coast, in a setting punctuated by pointed peaks and majestic glaciers. You are on the verge of crossing the Prins Christian Sund, a narrow channel that stretches out and zigzags between Greenland’s southeast and southwest. Fall under the spell of the primitive beauty of these unique landscapes, including rocky cliffs and waterfalls that are fed by the ice sheet and plunge into the icy waters. Here, bearded seals love to lie on the floating ice to soak up the sunshine. If you are lucky, you may get to witness an aurora borealis, a stunning light show put on by the polar night.
After sailing in the Kangerlluarssuk fjord, discover the town of Narsaq. You will be dazzled by the beauty of the surrounding icebergs, large masses of ice in different shapes and shifting colors. Dominated by lush mountains, this small town is typical of Greenland. It is known for its sheep farming, made possible by the rich, grassy plains to the town’s north. This rather rare activity reflects a past and a technique inherited from the Vikings. Admire the stunning interplay of colors between the multicolored house facades and the glaciers with their myriad shades of blue, and dive into the Scandinavian history of Narsaq by visiting the local museum, a unique experience.
When Erik Le Rouge, the exiled Norse chief, landed on the coast of Nuuk, he found a fertile and welcoming land dotted with fjords. He settled there with a group of his former countrymen, and the Norse remained the principal inhabitants until, over a period of 500 years, their population declined and gave way to the Inuit. Nuuk is situated at the mouth of one of the largest networks of fjords in the world, where the waters never freeze. The town spreads gently out towards the Davis Strait and enjoys an historic center that is particularly rich in national heritage. The vivid reds, blues, greens, and yellows of the houses are a lively contrast to the somber waters of Greenland, and serve to lift the spirits of the locals during the Winter months.
At the heart of Disko Bay—a UNESCO World Heritage Site—the Ilulissat Icefjord provides an extraordinary spectacle of almost surreal beauty, with the largest icebergs of the northern hemisphere. The sculptural icebergs continue their timeless journey, shimmering with their eternal light. Vast pieces of ice break off from the bergs and rejoin the inexorable movement of the sea. Close by lies the town of Ilulissat, the region’s principal destination. Encircled by icebergs, it has retained a unique mix of traditional Arctic life, with multicolored wooden houses, huskies, and the leather tanners who still work today using the ancient methods of their ancestors.
Your ship glides slowly along the water towards the west coast of Greenland, to enter Evighedsfjorden, just south of Kangerlussuaq. Evighedsfjorden means “the fjord of Eternity”, and for good reason, just when you think you’ve reached the end of this stretch of sea, it seems to go on forever, as though to bring even more pleasure to those sailing in it. The spectacular scenery ranges from glaciers to tundra with an abundant flora, and jagged cliffs where numerous bird species have taken up residence. Take the time to observe the white-tailed eagles and the colonies of seagulls and black-legged kittiwakes flying overhead in the area.
Disembark and transfer to the airport for your flight to Paris.
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.com is not responsible for itinerary changes.
Bilingual Departures: All departures are French/English.
ExpeditionTrips strongly recommends Emergency Medical/Evacuation coverage for trips which includes coverage for cancellation, trip disruption, baggage and personal property. Other conditions may apply based on pre-existing conditions. ExpeditionTrips can assist U.S. residents with travel protection options.
Meals and accommodation on board the ship; transfer from ship to Kangerlussuaq airport; one-way flight on disembarkation day from Kangerlussuaq to Paris in economy class; Captain’s welcome cocktail and gala dinner; coffee, juice, soft drinks and open bar (pouring wines, house champagne, alcohol except premium brands); port and safety taxes; gratuities; luggage transfer from pier to the ship and vice versa; 24-hour room service (special selection); butler service is included for guests staying on Deck 6; parka; boot rental. Subject to change without notice.
Airfare; any ground services before and/or after the cruise other than the ones included; visa and passport fees; travel insurance; personal expenses such as onboard medical consultations and drug prescriptions, spa, laundry and hair salon; other drinks not included in open bar; fuel surcharge may apply.
Photo Credit: © Servane Roy-Berton, © Nathalie Michel, © Ponant