5 reasons to go on a cruise to Greenland

  1. Few places combine such incredible scenery, such clarity of light and such raw power of nature
  2. Truly magnificent mountainscapes and some of the planet's most spectacular fjords
  3. Chase the northern lights
  4. Experience the immensity of Ilulissat Icefjord or Scoresby Sund's labyrinthine fjord system
  5. Trace Greenland's rich culture - both past and present

West Greenland

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Home of the capital, Nuuk, plus the country's main airport at Kangerlussuaq and the world famous UNESCO-nominated Ilulissat Icefjord, West Greenland is the most populous and accessible part of Greenland.

During the summer months, expedition ships ply the spectacular coastline and fjords. Charming multi-coloured villages, vast icebergs and good chances of whale sightings are definite highlights.

East Greenland

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By contrast, East Greenland is wild, sparsely populated and far more challenging to get around due to the near absence of roads and limited infrastructure. If you're looking for pristine wilderness, landscapes and ice on a majestic scale, few places can compare.

Cruises operate in late August and September when the pack ice moves north for a few brief weeks before winter closes in again.

Greenland ships

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As your floating hotel and basecamp, it's crucial to choose the right ship. The ships plying the waters of Greenland during the summer months range from 55-200 passengers, with a range of both comfort levels and cabin types.

A ship's ice-strengthened capabilities and stability are important criteria if considering either an itinerary with a sea crossing or where there's a chance to experience heavy ice (East Greenland and Northwest Passage).

Greenland landing sites

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Daily off-ship excursions, accompanied by your experienced expedition team, lie at the heart of every Greenland cruise. They're typically varied and the types of landing will depend on which part of Greenland you're exploring. From walking the tundra, community visits and zodiac cruises amongst giant icebergs, to visiting places of historic interest and wildlife sightings, each landing site has been handpicked for its distinct qualities.

Greenland cruises

Greenland is vast, and whether you choose to explore the wild east, populous west or historic south coast, you can expect daily off-ship excursions showcasing the best of each distinct region.

Greenland & Svalbard cruises

While Greenland has more than enough appeal on its own, combining East Greenland and its near neighbour, Svalbard, makes for a spectacular longer cruise of great contrast and variety.

Greenland & Canadian Arctic cruises

Divided by a short sail across the Davis Strait, combining the spectacular coast and picturesque villages of West Greenland with the wildlife and history of the Canadian Arctic works brilliantly.

How much does a Greenland cruise cost?

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Greenland cruises vary in length from 8-17 days which is reflected in the individual voyage cost. The following prices, based on a twin cabin, are just a guide as there is variation between different ships:

  • Greenland (8-12 days) approx. USD $6,500 - $8,500 per person
  • Greenland & Svalbard (13-15 days) approx. USD $5,500 - $10,000 per person
  • Greenland & Canadian Arctic (13-17 days) approx. USD $9,500 - $18,000 per person

Plan your trip

Alex says

Greenland: FAQs

  • What wildlife might I see?

    You may see some wildlife - musk oxen and birdlife particularly - but Greenland isn’t renowned for wildlife in the same way as Svalbard and Canada's Northwest Passage. You would certainly be very lucky to see a polar bear, and only in East Greenland. If seeing wildlife is your primary objective then there are better places in the Arctic.

  • How do I choose which region to visit?

    It's a tricky question as each region is so distinct, but in short: 

    • East Coast: Very wild and unpopulated. Perfect for those in search of true wilderness. Better chances of seeing wildlife than in the west, but limited.
    • West Coast: A spectacular coastline dotted with pretty, colourfully-painted villages. Good chance of seeing whales. Highlights include the capital, Nuuk, and the mighty Ilulissat Icefjord.
    • South Coast: First settled on by the Vikings, making it perfect for history buffs, a warmer climate and farming gives the south a totally different feel to the rest of the island.
  • When is the best month to travel?

    Cruises of Greenland operate during the summer months between June and early September when the opening up of the ice allows passage along the coastline. However, East Greenland cruises and those combining with Canada's Northwest Passage are only in late August and September.

  • Will I see the Northern Lights?

    It depends on the timing of your cruise. Due to the constant 24 hours of daylight in high summer (June - August), you won't get to see them. The best chances for experiencing the extraordinary Aurora Borealis are on a September cruise when the rapidly drawing in nights of early autumn provide the ideal conditions. Greenland is a particularly good place for seeing the Northern Lights from our own personal experience.

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