Trip Summary and Itinerary Map
- 4 full days exploring Greenland
- 4 full days exploring Newfoundland and Nova Scotia
- Single September departure
- Travel on a true expedition ship with a 1B ice class rating
- Kayaking (extra cost), hiking & snowshoeing
- Experienced expedition crew onboard
Day 1 – Embark in Reykjavík:
In the afternoon, we board our vessel in Reykjavík and set our course westbound for Greenland.
Days 2 & 3 – At Sea Towards South Greenland:
Our lecturers onboard will make inspiring and enriching presentations about both Iceland and Greenland’s past history and about nature, wildlife and climatology.
Day 4 – Prince Christian Sound:
Kap Farvel, or Cape Farewell, is renowned not only as Greenland's southernmost point, but also for its infamous, although mostly seasonal, gale-force winds. We deliberately opt for a far more comfortable but at the same time more spectacular route, cruising via the inside passage through the Prince Christian Sound, a 60km long waterway, from the Atlantic in the east to Davis Strait and the fjord-lands of South West Greenland.
Day 5 – South Greenland; Hvalsey Church & Qaqortoq:
As a small sheltered enclave, South Greenland's blue fjords and green mountains are enclosed by the ubiquitous ice cap. Wherever you look, the chalk-white glare is felt from the ice, which rises up to two thousand metres to the north and east. South Greenland has it all: icebergs, high mountains reflecting in deep blue fjords, and Greenlandic culture with beautiful towns, settlements and colorful wooden houses adhering to the hillsides. And a 1000-year-old Norse history, created by Erik the Red's visions of a new found country with a beautiful name.
A wedding in Hvalsey Church in AD 1408 marks the last historic documentation from the Norse settlement in Greenland. The wedding guests stayed two years before returning to Iceland, and nothing was ever heard again from their relatives back in Greenland. In their heyday, the area housed several thousand Christian souls from Cape Farewell to Nuuk, 600km further north. The reason for their downfall is probably a significant climate deterioration that made hunting and farming difficult.
Qaqortoq / Julianehåb, the unofficial capital of South Greenland, is a model Greenlandic town. The colourful houses embrace the busy harbour and creep up the mountainsides. In centre of the town are old colonial houses, solidly built in stone and timber. And between the old houses is the only fountain in Greenland, erected back in 1928 - a proud monument in Qaqortoq.
Day 6 – South Greenland; Erik the Red’s Brattahlíð:
During the early hours, our ship will sail through Erik Fjord, deep into South Greenland.
Erik the Red came here with his men and his wife Tjodhilde in 982AD, and in what is now Qassiarsuk he built his farm Brattahlíð, meaning “the steep grass slopes”.
We make landing by Zodiac (inflatable boat), and start our walk through the village. Qassiarsuk and much of South Greenland practice farming and animal husbandry at the margin of what is possible. Large stables are built for the sheep during the hard winters, and we see small cultivated fields growing potatoes and turnips. At the northern end of the village are the partly excavated ruins of stable buildings and residential areas, as well as the reconstructed church and farmhouse of Erik, Tjodhilde and their son, Leif the Lucky. After our visit, we steam back out of the fjord towards open sea.
Days 7 & 8 – At Sea Towards Newfoundland:
We now some days at sea, with the ship heading for a more southerly course towards Vinland than the one used by Leif Eriksson. During our crossing, there are good opportunities to relax in the ship's library, participate in the series of lectures held by our expedition leaders, and look out for seabirds and whales on our course to the southwest.
The west coast of Greenland is favoured by mild waters of the Gulf Stream, whereas a cold sea current runs south along Baffin Island and Labrador's shores. The officers on the bridge will keep an eye out for the icebergs, flowing down Iceberg Alley from the big glaciers in Greenland and Arctic Canada all the way south to Newfoundland.
Day 9 – Newfoundland; St Anthony & L’Anse Aux Meadows:
We have reached Strait of Belle Isle between Labrador and the northernmost point of Newfoundland. It was here that Erik the Red's son, Leif Eriksson, arrived around the year 1000 after sailing down Helluland (Baffin Island) and Markland (Labrador), before reaching an area with lush meadows and trout-rich rivers, which he called Vinland. Here he wintered before he sailed back to Greenland. He was followed by his brothers Thorvald and Thorfinn, who brought women and livestock, and who stayed in the area for a number of years, possibly to explore the coast down to St. Lawrence Bay and Nova Scotia.
Vinland is marked on a map from the Middle Ages, and numerous researchers have sought the archaeological evidence of the settlement. The tenacious Norwegian archaeologist Helge Ingestad and his wife, Anne Stine Ingestad, found the final proof in 1962 of Leif the Lucky’s discovery of America. A number of houses and finds of hearth sites, spinners and more has made L’Anse aux Meadows one of the most important archaeological sites in the world.
Our ship cannot anchor near L’Anse aux Meadows, so we sail south to the small town of St. Anthony. We then drive by bus approximately 40 km north to L’Anse aux Meadows, where among other things, we will see reconstructions of Viking houses in the style of Erik the Red's residence at Qassiarsuk in South Greenland. We return to the ship and continue our journey down the east coast of Newfoundland.
Days 10 & 11 – Newfoundland; St John’s:
In the evening we approach and dock in St. John's, North America's easternmost point. For centuries, this strategic location attracted adventurers, traders, pirates and, not least, seafarers, who created the foundation for the city's prosperity. In 1497, Italian seafarer and explorer Giovanni Caboto (also known as John Cabot) came and proclaimed the enclave the first permanent settlement in North America. We will stay at the quay overnight and spend the next day in town.
St. John's oozes charm. In addition to a long, eventful history, the city offers unique architecture, culture and nature experiences. In the narrow streets of the town centre there are a wealth of museums, galleries, historic buildings, parks, restaurants, pubs and cozy shops. St. John’s downtown is one of the oldest trading places in North America. One of the city's main sights is Signal Hill with beautiful views of the old historic harbour town. By 1704, flags were hoisted on Signal Hill when ships approached (whether kind or hostile), and for centuries the vantage point was a sore point in military disputes. Another attraction in St. John's is Cape Spear. In Newfoundland folklore, Cape Spear is also called "the western world of the far east", and on this spot, you are at North America's most eastern point. In addition to a stunning landscape, Newfoundland's oldest lighthouse is also located here.
Day 12 – Saint Pierre & Miquelon; French Protectorate in Canada:
Off the south coast of Newfoundland are the two small islands of Saint Pierre and Miquelon, which together form an autonomous French territorial area. Miquelon is the largest of the two islands, but is almost uninhabited. The 6000 inhabitants of the territory live on the small island of Saint Pierre, which is only 8 kilometers long. The inhabitants speak French, have French passports and use the Euro - despite the fact that their closest French neighbours in Brest live 3800km away. However, the affiliation has been challenged in past, and for centuries England and France have alternately thrown each other out and taken over the islands until they finally became French in 1816. We sail into the port of Saint Pierre and explore the streets of the small town.
Day 13 – Nova Scotia; Louisbourg:
We travel around 150 nautical miles before reaching Nova Scotia's coast. The island was originally populated by Mi'kmaq Indians before the British established a port in 1605. Then the Scottish arrived, probably attracted by homely-looking coastlines along Cape Breton Island.
However, it is the French history we focus on again during today's landing. We have reached the beautiful natural harbour of the city of Louisbourg and we will visit the French fortress of Fort Louisbourg on the opposite bank of the bay. Here, too, England and France battled for power in eastern Canada, and the fort changed hands several times during the 18th century. In 1920, the decayed remains of the French fort were preserved and in the following years it was rebuilt to its original form of the 1740s. The site is now a Canadian National Park and a popular destination. There are often historical plays, war reenactments and eighteenth century events carried out here. After our visit we continue along the south coast, the least inhabited part of the island, and reach our final destination of Halifax.
Day 14 – Disembark in Halifax:
Our ship docks in one of Canada's busiest ports, and after breakfast we say goodbye to the crew.
Halifax is the capital of Nova Scotia, one of Canada's maritime provinces. Founded in 1749 and right up to 1905, Halifax was one of the largest British naval bases outside England. To defend Halifax, the British authorities built a number of fortifications in and around this strategically important port. Despite the fact that the citadel has never been attacked, the British army and the Canadian forces protected the present citadel right up to 1906 and again during both world wars.
Halifax is one of Canada's most important immigration ports, and for more than 1.5 million immigrants, the city was their first impression of Canada before being spread across the vast country. The Titanic shipwreck of 1912 is also an essential part of Halifax's history: three ships from the city helped to save survivors from the disaster, and a large number of the victims are buried in the city's cemeteries.
NOTE: This itinerary is for guidance only. Each voyage will vary depending on ice and weather conditions, and opportunities to see wildlife. Flexibility is key and all part of the adventure of an expeditionary cruise.
About The Ship
- Choice of 8 cabins and suite categories
- Dedicated single cabins
- Multiple observation decks for spotting wildlife
- Chef-prepared meals and dining room with unreserved seating
- Fleet of 20 zodiacs
- Zodiac cruising, hiking and snowshoeing all included
- Polar library stocked with a large collection of polar books, and games
- Gym, lecture theatre, and polar boutique
Prices, Departures and Inclusions
* Note: Prices are per person. Paid in USD ($) - figure above is based on today's exchange rate. Actual cost $4500
Single Supplement And Child Policy
For those travelling solo and want their own cabin, the single supplement in a twin cabin is 1.7 times the cost of a single berth. However, there is no single supplement for passengers willing to share a cabin.
At date of embarkation, the minimum age restriction of 8 years and a minimum height and weight requirement of 64 lbs or 29kg and 48” or 1.2m must be met.
- All excursions and activities by zodiac
- Voyage aboard the vessel as indicated in the itinerary
- Accommodation during the voyage on full board basis
- All shore excursions and zodiac activities
- Educational lectures by expert onboard polar guides
- Access to an onboard doctor and basic medical services
- Loan of rubber boots for the voyage's duration
- Comprehensive pre-departure information
- Port taxes, any entry fees to historic landing sites and AECO fees
- Flights to and from points of embarkation/disembarkation
- Any additional services before and after your voyage
- Transfers not specific to the itinerary
- Travel insurance
- Optional adventure activities
- Single room supplement
- Any visa, passport and vaccination expenses
- Airport arrival or departure taxes
- Items of a personal nature: laundry, beverages, etc
- Customary staff gratuity at the end of the voyage
- Additional onboard purchases (i.e. gifts, drinks)