5 reasons to go on a cruise to Greenland
- Few places combine such incredible scenery, such clarity of light and such raw power of nature
- Truly magnificent mountainscapes and some of the planet's most spectacular fjords
- Chase the northern lights
- Experience the immensity of Ilulissat Icefjord or Scoresby Sund's labyrinthine fjord system
- Trace Greenland's rich culture - both past and present
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.
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.
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
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 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.
By day explore East Greenland’s ice choked fjords, spot musk oxen and visit the remains of Inuit settlements, while evenings in late summer provide good chances to experience the Northern Lights. A comfortable, but not luxurious, 116 passenger expedition ship…
This truly expeditionary voyage stands out as one of the few to really explore southwest Greenland in-depth. Beginning and ending in Kangerlussuaq, experience Greenland’s rich Viking past and the incredible Ilulissat icefjord, into which 35 billion tonnes of icebergs calve…
One of very few voyages to explore Southern Greenland in depth, expect big ice, Viking history, dramatic scenery and humpback whale sightings. Highlights include the spectacular Ilulissat Icefjord, home to one of the world’s fastest-moving glaciers, and Tasermiut Fjord, nicknamed…
Featuring West Greenland’s vast icebergs and humpback whales as the main stars, this voyage packs real punch. Highlights include the impressive Ilulissat Icefjord UNESCO site with its kilometre high icebergs, zodiac cruises, Inuit village visits and walking the rugged tundra.…
Beginning in Iceland, travel in the footsteps of Erik the Red exploring Southern Greenland where The Vikings settled, before turning northwards up the dramatic west coast. History and spectacular ice, disgorged by West Greenland’s productive glaciers, will be the overriding…
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.
Introductions to the High Arctic don’t come much better. Over 13 days traverse the High Arctic from wildlife-rich Svalbard, via East Greenland’s towering icebergs and autumnal tundra, finishing in Iceland. This well balanced itinerary provides abundant wildlife, startling scenery and…
For the ultimate Arctic experience this unparalleled 24-day voyage is hard to beat. Created by splicing together two popular voyages, it delivers extended time circumnavigating Svalbard while maximising wildlife sightings, with exploration of East Greenland’s deep fjords and towering…
This comprehensive Arctic triumvirate encompassing Svalbard, East Greenland and Iceland offers the best of both worlds: some of The Arctic's best wildlife viewing with spectacular scenery, unspoiled fjords and gigantic icebergs. Plus, you may be lucky enough to see both…
Beginning in Svalbard before arcing westwards across the Greenland Sea and then down East Greenland’s long coastline to finish in Iceland, this is an audacious Arctic journey of startling diversity and contrast. Spectacular landscapes, towering glaciers and once-in-a-lifetime wildlife encounters…
Beginning deep inside the High Arctic and finishing in subarctic Iceland, we like this voyage for its diversity, sense of journey and extended time exploring East Greenland. Zodiac cruising amongst towering icebergs, glimpsing the Northern Light and tracking musk oxen…
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.
This comprehensive westbound voyage stands out for its compelling combination of West Greenland, in-depth exploration of remote Baffin Island and the historic Northwest Passage. Jaw dropping scenery, towering icebergs, thrilling wildlife encounters, Inuit community visits and fascinating history pervade this…
Circumnavigate legendary Baffin Bay as part of this extraordinary Arctic adventure which cherry picks the region’s highlights. From West Greenland’s spectacular glaciers and pretty Inuit villages to the remoteness and rich wildlife of Baffin Island, this is a journey of…
Spending equal time exploring Canada’s historic Northwest Passage and West Greenland, we like this voyage’s balance and variety as much as exploring little visited places like Thule, one of the northernmost towns in the world. Big ice, rich history, exotic…
This trip is ideal for those wanting to immerse themselves in Inuit history and culture as part of their Arctic adventure. Numerous community visits are planned, alongside daily excursions by zodiac and on foot. West Greenland’s spectacular whales and glaciers…
How much does a Greenland cruise cost?
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
Getting to Greenland
For such a large country surrounded by close neighbours, it isn’t a straightforward place to get to, but this is very much part of Greenland’s charm. Whether travelling by air …
When to Visit Greenland
Greenland wears very different cloaks depending on when you choose to visit: spring, summer or autumn. Each has its own enchanting characteristics making it tough to decide which …
From Greenland’s vast size and diversity of landscape to her welcoming people and vibrant city, it’s a staggering place on so many levels. For the adventure traveller, few …
Help Me Choose
We're all clear on where the Arctic is located and why we want to visit, but its vastness and the sheer variety of experiences on offer can be a real challenge when deciding where …
If there's a place that's going to make you feel tiny, it's Scoresby Sound. The icebergs and the cliffs are so huge that you lose all sense of proportion.
Alex Mudd General Manager
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.
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.
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.