Enjoy an in-depth exploration of one of Greenland’s most remote regions. As you cruise from the icy waters of the little-visited east coast, down to the lush southern tip and up to the charming communities and glaciers of the west coast, spectacular, unspoiled wonders await wherever you go. Each visit to the picturesque villages and Norse ruins that dot the shoreline will immerse you in Greenland’s distinct culture and history, while the rugged landscape—dominated by dramatic fjords, imposing glaciers, towering mountains and verdant valleys—will leave you breathless.
Day 1 — Arrive in Reykjavik, Iceland
Arrive in the Icelandic capital and make your way to your included
hotel. You will have the day to explore the city on your own.
Day 2 — Embarkation Day in Reykjavik
This afternoon, you’ll board your vessel and begin your expedition.
Get ready for a great adventure ahead!
Day 3 — At Sea
As we cruise across the Denmark Strait, your Expedition Team will
teach you about the wildlife and storied history of Greenland, its
fascinating geology, ecology and climate, and the incredible sights
you will soon explore. Staff will also keep watch for the seabirds
you’ll likely see soaring above your ship, as well as the whales that
can be encountered here.
Days 4 and 5 — Exploring East Greenland
Your exploration of Greenland begins with East Greenland, one of the
least visited and most remote parts of the island. Your days sailing
along the coast will be guided by weather and ice conditions, with
each day and each excursion presenting new adventures. The region is a
sight to behold, boasting a mesmerizing maze of vast glaciers, steep
mountains and breathtaking fjords. One location we hope to visit if
conditions allow is Skjoldungen, where you’ll cruise between the
mountains to view glaciers deep within the fjords surrounding this
island. The narrow part of the fjord provides an ideal place to put
our Zodiacs in the water for a more in-depth exploration. If
conditions allow, you may also visit the site of an abandoned Inuit
settlement, whose inhabitants were relocated to larger, more
accessible towns around 1961. Exploring ashore, you’ll experience a
true arctic ghost town, complete with abandoned buildings, furniture
and even shoes! Hiking the rugged terrain rewards with impressive
views of snow-capped mountains, deep green waters and the surprisingly
colorful arctic tundra. This site is prone to insects, however, so
have your spray or netting at the ready.
If you’re feeling even more adventurous, perhaps
you’ll treat yourself to an optional paddling excursion (extra cost),
an unforgettable opportunity to glide past icebergs and glaciers and
capture some photographs from a unique perspective. Another possible
destination is Lindenow Fjord, a great spot for Zodiac cruising, if
conditions are favorable. This rarely visited deep fjord is fed by a
number of glaciers and offers ample opportunities for your camera to
get a workout. You’ll also want to keep watch for bearded seals, as
they’re known to haul out on the ice floes.
Days 6 and 7 — Exploring South Greenland
Sailing on, we’ll explore Greenland’s fertile southern coast.
Nicknamed Arctic Patagonia, this region is as rich in spectacular
scenery as it is in history and culture. Here, it’s easy to see why
Erik the Red gave Greenland its name: everywhere you look rewards with
vistas of icy waters set against a backdrop of soaring mountains,
crystal-clear waterfalls and unbelievably lush, green valleys.
Scattered around the shores of the fjord systems that dominate the
area are several small settlements, both ancient and present day,
making South Greenland an ideal place to explore. The magical Prins
Christian Sund, a complex maze of narrow fjords and channels, is a
great place for cruising. You’ll explore this stunning sound, home to
calving glaciers, jagged mountains and sheer cliffs that plunge
dramatically into the water. Sailing this coastline from the vantage
point of your ship or a Zodiac is an exhilarating experience. If
conditions allow, venturing ashore provides opportunities for all
levels of hiking. Steeped in Norse history, the southern coast of
Greenland provides plenty of places to learn about this ancient
culture. One such landing we hope to make is at Hvalsey, the site of
Greenland’s largest and best-preserved Norse ruins. Exploring the
remains of the circa 14th-century church will feel like stepping back
in time, as the building appears much as it did when it was abandoned
in the 15th century and the surrounding fells and fjord remain
The little village of Igaliku, home to about 30 inhabitants, is
Greenland’s oldest sheep-farming settlement. It’s a charming place to
go ashore, as sheep peacefully graze on the grass, surrounded by
bloom-covered rolling valleys and snow-capped mountains. The area is
also known for its storied past, as evidenced by the remarkable red
sandstone ruins of the Gardar cathedral (the largest church in
Greenland in the Middle Ages) and bishop’s residence, which date back
to the early 12th century, when Greenland’s first bishop was
appointed. Wandering the foundations, excavated in 1926, you’ll get to
see a bit of history firsthand as you learn about this interesting
relic of the Viking period. Together with four other historic farming
communities, Igaliku is part of a newly established UNESCO World
Days 8 to 13 — Exploring West Greenland
Boasting spectacular glaciers, mountainous landscapes, and vibrant
communities, the west coast of Greenland will leave you awestruck.
Heading north, each day we hope to take Zodiac excursions from the
ship to explore local bays, channels and landing sites, discovering
some of the quaint villages dotting the islands and fjords in the
region and cruising in some of Greenland’s most picturesque places.
The west coast is home to Nuuk, the charming Greenlandic capital.
You’ll have time to wander the streets of the historic Old Nuuk
neighborhood and see the Hans Egede Church and Hans Egede statue near
the waterfront, both named after the missionary who founded the
settlement. History buffs will want to visit the national museum to
view the famous Greenlandic mummies, found under a rock outcrop in
1972 by two brothers who were grouse hunting. Sisimiut is another
interesting place to go ashore, as there are more dogsleds here than
humans. You’ll have time to wander the town’s historic area, where
several 18th-century colonial buildings still stand, including
Greenland’s oldest surviving church. You’ll also be treated to a
traditional kayaking demonstration. The kayak is Greenland’s national
symbol and can be traced back over 4,000 years to the Inuit, who used
the vessels for hunting and transportation.
Another beautiful locale, and one of west
Greenland’s highlights is the Ilulissat Icefjord, a UNESCO World
Heritage Site. Home to one of the world’s most active glaciers,
Jakobshavn Glacier or Sermeq Kujalleq in Greenlandic, this is a great
place to enjoy a Zodiac excursion to experience icebergs from a unique
perspective not afforded by land. Venturing ashore at the nearby town,
Ilulissat (which means “iceberg”), rewards with its own spectacle:
young bergs floating out to Disko Bay. A hike from the town to the
icefjord will allow you to view this unforgettable river of ice from
the rocky shore. Given that it’s known for having more sled dogs than
people, it’s not surprising that Ilulissat is the birthplace of the
first European to traverse the Northwest Passage by dogsled, explorer
Knud Rasmussen. Surrounded by sea and mountains, the fishing community
of Itilleq (meaning “crossing place”) is situated in a scenic hollow
on a small island, about a mile (2 km) above the Arctic Circle.
Explore traditional wooden houses painted in a rainbow of colors, chat
with the locals and join a customary football (soccer) match between
visitors and residents, and you’ll be experiencing Itilleq’s famous
friendly vibe in no time.
Day 14 — Disembark in Kangerlussuaq & fly to Rekyjavik
Enjoy one more Zodiac ride to shore, where you’ll board your charter
flight back to Reykjavik, Iceland. Upon arrival in Reykjavik, we will
transfer you to your included hotel.
Day 15 — Depart Reykjavik, Iceland
Today, you can make your way home at your leisure or spend some time
exploring this artistic city.
Embracing the unexpected is part of the legacy—and excitement—of
expedition travel. When traveling in extremely remote regions, your
expedition staff must allow the sea, the ice and the weather to
guide route and itinerary details. This itinerary is a tentative
outline of what you’ll experience on this voyage; please be aware
that no specific itinerary can be guaranteed.