11 days/10 nights
Departs 29 July 2023
This afternoon it is time to board your vessel in Reykjavík. You will have a little time onboard to settle in before the Captain sets course westbound for Greenland. D
Enjoy your first day at sea, crossing the Denmark Strait and cruising along Greenland’s dramatic east coast. Throughout the day, fascinating and enriching lecturers are presented on both Iceland’s and Greenland’s history, nature, wildlife and climatology. B L D
Skjoldungen / Saqqisikuik
Surrounded by narrow, steep fjords and glaciers, the island of Skjoldungen is without doubt one of the most beautiful areas in East Greenland. Skjoldungen is also the name of an abandoned settlement, located on the southwest side of the island, where around 100 people lived until 1965. You will also explore Dronning Marie Dal, a beautiful area in the island’s northwestern corner to view its interesting flora.
If conditions permit, guests will also see the impressive Bernstorff Icefjord – the most productive glacier on the southeast coast. The ship will keep a good distance away from big icebergs in these ice-infested waters. B L D
Prince Christian Sound
Today the ship traverses the spectacular inside passage through the Prince Christian Sound. The Sound is 60 kilometres long, spanning from the Atlantic in the east to Aapilattoq settlement in the heart of the fjordlands of South West Greenland.
Prince Christian Sound has impressive, steep mountainsides and many adventurous kayakers have had to turn around because of the very limited number of landing sites available. Another fantastic sight of today’s cruise through the Sound is the old weather station, which was manned by sturdy meteorologists until only two years ago. B L D
South Greenland – Qassiarsuk
Early this morning the vessel sails into Eriksfjord, which in Greenland is called Tunulliarfik. The anchor is dropped off Erik the Red’s Brattahlíð settlement, where the Qassiarssuk village is today. Here you will see, among other things, a reconstruction of Tjodhildur’s church – the first church on the North American continent. There are also some Norse ruins, left after they disappeared in the 1400’s. Here you will really feel a sense of history and wonder.
It was from Brattahlíð that Erik and Tjodhildur’s son Leif Eriksson, went west in about 1000AD and discovered Baffin Island, the Labrador coast and Newfoundland, before returning to South Greenland. B L D
Greenland’s capital city – Nuuk
Today continue cruising north to reach Nuuk. As the ship enters the Nuuk Fjord there is a good chance of seeing the area’s seasonal visitors: the humpback whales.
One of the smallest capital cities in the world, Nuuk is considered by many in Greenland as a mighty metropolis. Just 17,000 people live here today, almost a third of the country’s population. The area has a fascinating history, and has been inhabited since 2200 BC by pre-Inuit hunters. From the 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. Egede’s main reason for returning to Greenland was to convert the Catholic northerners to Lutherans, but soon after his arrival he realised the Norse had disappeared, a mystery yet unsolved. In 1979, the Landsting (Parliament) was established in Nuuk, and the town was finally recognised as the country’s capital. B L D
Today you will have some time to relax onboard and make the most of the facilities or to enjoy another presentation by the team. The ship travels along the Greenlandic West Coast. B L D
Qeqertarsuaq on Disko Island
This morning wake up to the wonders of Disko Island and its towering 1000-metre-high mountains. The protected natural harbour that has the Danish name ‘Godhavn’ or Good Harbour and in Greenlandic ‘Qeqertarsuaq’ which means ‘The Big Island’.
Godhavn was until 1950 the most important town north of Nuuk, solely because of the large number of whales found here, giving the town great wealth. The local community centre hosts a traditional Greenlandic “kaffemik”, best described as a friendly gathering involving coffee, cake, music and traditional dances.
In the afternoon the ship heads east towards the giant glacier Eqip Sermia in the north-easterly corner of Disko Bay; without doubt one of the most impressive in Greenland. Here you can experience a glacier calving up close, the great crevasses and deep blue glacial streams make the landscape so unique and stunning. B L D
Your next stop is the town of Ilulissat. The name simply means ‘icebergs’ in Greenlandic and the town’s nickname is ‘The Iceberg Capital of the World’.
The impressive icebergs come from the Icefjord, which is located a half hour’s hike south of Ilulissat. The enormous Sermeq Kujalleq glacier is 10 kilometres wide and is the most productive glacier outside of Antarctica.
The Ilulissat Glacier calves at a rate of 25 meters per day – where as most only calve at 1 metre per day. Around 10% of all icebergs in Greenland are created from this mammoth glacier. This, along with the fjord’s extreme beauty has placed Icefjord on UNESCO’s World Heritage List.
Today, Ilulissat is Greenland’s third largest town with more than 4,500 inhabitants. The town is very vibrant, welcoming and lively, with a wide range of cultural attractions. It is also the birthplace of legendary polar explorer Knud Rasmussen.
You will also have the chance to join a hike or a boat trip to the 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. Alternatively, there is also an opportunity to see the glacier from a birds-eye view in a helicopter. B L D
Please note: the boat and flight excursions to the Icefjord are optional outings and therefore are at an additional cost. Furthermore, the flight excursion must be booked in advance – please contact us for further details.
The Settlement of Sarfannguit
Another fascinating town visit beckons today – the settlement of Sarfannguit, which translates into “the place of the little stream”. Aptly named, the settlement nestled at the foothills of the mountains and glaciers in the distant backcountry.
A stroll through the settlement offers an insight into rural life in today’s Greenland, where modern conveniences and technological advancements have become commonplace. The locals however still place great value on important customs and preserving their traditions and Inuit heritage.
Following your visit, the vessel journey’s toward the fjord of Kangerlussuaq, also known as Sondre Stromfjord. The first part of the fjord provides a chance to enjoy panoramic views of high mountains and deep valleys. B L D
Tour Ends Reykjavík
During the night, the ship completes the voyage through the 160-kilometre Kangerlussuaq Fjord. After breakfast aboard the ship, bid farewell to the ship’s staff and disembark in Kangerlussaq.
It is not difficult to see that Kangerlussuaq’s landscape has largely been shaped by the last glaciation period, often known simply as the “Ice Age,” some 18,000 years ago.
Today you can also choose an optional excursion to the beautiful Reindeer Glacier. The duration of the excursion is about four hours.
This afternoon, it is time to fly from Kangerlussuaq to Keflavík Airport, Iceland. On arrival, tour ends. B
Please note: The tour of Reindeer Glacier is at an additional cost.
Please note: This itinerary is based on 29 July 2023 departure and is subject to change due to weather conditions.
B = Breakfast | L = Lunch | D = Dinner