Southern Greenland: Vikings & Big Ice

One of very few voyages to explore Southern Greenland in depth, expect big ice, Viking history, dramatic scenery and humpback whale sightings. Then journey on to the west coast, delving into Greenlandic culture in the capital city, and visiting the spectacular Ilulissat Icefjord, home to one of the world’s fastest-moving glaciers.

15 Days

$8,495

Southern Greenland: Vikings & Big Ice - 15 - $8,495

Trip Summary and Itinerary Map

  • 10 full days ‘off ship’ exploring east, south and west Greenland
  • Charter flights from Kangerlussuaq to Reykjavik at the end of the trip 
  • Travelling aboard a recently refurbished 134 guest ship
  • Kayaking (additional cost) & hiking
  • Complimentary parka jacket & 2 Reykjavik hotel nights

Start from Reykjavik and end at Reykjavik

Landmarks visited on Southern Greenland: Vikings & Big Ice

Operator's Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival in Reykjavik

Arrive in the Icelandic capital this morning and make your way to your included hotel. You will have the day to explore the city on your own, before a welcoming briefing at your hotel in the evening.


Day 2: Embarkation Day

You'll board your vessel in the afternoon and set out on the expedition. Get ready for a great adventure ahead!


Day 3: At Sea

As you 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 4–5: 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 you'll 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 your Zodiacs in the water for a more in-depth exploration.

Again dependent on conditions, 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 book onto 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 6-7: South Greenland

Sailing on, you’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 planned landing 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 similarly untouched.

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 Heritage Site.


Days 8-13: Greenland's West Coast

Boasting spectacular glaciers, mountainous landscapes, and vibrant communities, the west coast of Greenland will leave you awestruck.

Heading north, each day there are planned Zodiac excursions from the ship to explore local bays, channels and landing sites, discovering some of the quaint villages that dot the islands and fjords of the region, and cruising in some of Greenland's most picturesque places. You'll find friendly faces, local artisans and colorful houses on the wildflower-covered tundra.

You'll visit Nuuk, the capital of Greenland and home to fewer than 16,000 people. You'll have time to wander the streets and see the Hans Egede Church and Hans Egede statue near the waterfront, both named after the missionary who founded the settlement. You'll also visit the museum to see the famous Greenlandic mummies.

The town of Sisimiut is also an interesting place to visit, where you'll have time to wander the town's historic area, seeing it's several 18th-century colonial buildings, 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 fastest-moving 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 (meaning "iceberg'), rewards with its own spectacle: young bergs floating out to Disko Bay. A hike from the town to the ice ford 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 Ilussiat is the birthplace of the first European to traverse the Northwest Passage by dogsled.

Surrounded by sea and mountains, the fishing community of Itileq (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 colours, chat with the locals and join a customary football/soccer match between visitors and residents, and you'll be experiencing Itileq's famous friendly vibe in no time.


Day 14: Disembarkation in Kangerlussuaq

Enjoy one more Zodiac ride to shore, where you’ll board your charter flight back to Reykjavik, Iceland. Upon arrival in Reykjavik, you will be transferred to your included hotel.


Day 15: Depart Reykjavik

After breakfast, you can make your way home at your leisure or spend some more time in Reykjavik.


NOTE: This itinerary is for guidance only as 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

  • A 4* vessel suitable for up to 128 guests
  • A spacious ship with extensive public areas
  • High 1A ice class
  • Rounded stern & stabilisers means superior stability
  • Optional kayaking available
  • Complimentary jacket & loan of rubber boots
Swoop Says background image

What I liked most were this ship’s vast outer decks - brilliant for spotting wildlife - and her superior stability.

Ben Rowley Arctic Consultant

Prices, Departures and Inclusions

Prices quoted below are per person based on 2 people sharing. Cabin availability changes all the time so please contact us for up-to-date details and information on specific cabin availability.

Triple
Lower Deck Twin
Twin Porthole
Twin Window
Superior Twin
Deluxe
Premium Suite
Owner's Suite
August 2020
29-Aug-2020 $8,495* $9,995 Full $11,995 $13,495 $14,495 Full $16,995 Offer available

* Note: Prices are per person. Paid in USD ($) - figure above is based on today's exchange rate. Actual cost $8495

Additional Notes

Optional Activities:

Sea kayaking – USD $695 (basic ability required)

Paddling excursion – USD $195 (no experience required)


The mandatory transfer package at the beginning and end of the voyage costs an additional USD $1,295 per person on top of the voyage price. This is inclusive of taxes and fees.

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 64lbs or 29kg and 48" or 1.2m must be met.

Includes

  • Voyage aboard the vessel as indicated in the itinerary
  • Accommodation during the voyage on full board basis
  • All shore excursions and zodiac activities (incl. hiking, polar plunging, and photography)
  • Departure transfer to hotel in Reykjavík
  • 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
  • Complimentary parka jacket
  • Complimentary photo journal
  • Comprehensive pre-departure information
  • Port taxes and any entry fees to historic landing sites

Excludes

  • Flights to & from points of embarkation/disembarkation
  • Charter flights Reykjavík/Akureyi & Kangerlussuaq/Reykjavík
  • Transfers not specific to the itinerary
  • Any additional services before and after your voyage
  • Travel insurance
  • Optional adventure activities (incl. kayaking & paddling)
  • Any visa, passport and vaccination expenses
  • Airport arrival or departure taxes
  • Items of a personal nature: laundry, beverages, communication, etc
  • Waterproof trousers or any other gear not mentioned
  • Customary staff gratuity at the end of the voyage
  • Additional onboard purchases (i.e. gift shop)

Questions about this Voyage?