Greenland Explorer

Featuring 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. Combines well with an Iceland extension.

15 Days

$4,395

Greenland Explorer - 15 - $4,395

Trip Summary and Itinerary Map

  • 10 full days exploring Greenland (2 East, 2 South, 6 West)
  • One of very few cruises to focus on just this area
  • Embark in Reykjavík and fly back from Kangerlussuaq (included charter flights)
  • 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 Greenland Explorer

Operator's Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Reykjavík, Iceland

Your journey begins in Reykjavík, where you can explore the Icelandic capital on your own before spending the night at your included hotel.


Day 2: Embarkation in Reykjavík

This afternoon, you’ll board your vessel in Reykjavík and begin your expedition. Get ready for a great adventure ahead!


Day 3: At Sea

As you cruise across the Denmark Strait, the 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 the ship, as well as the whales that can be encountered here.


Days 4 & 5: Exploring 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 mesmerising maze of vast glaciers, steep mountains and breathtaking fjords.

One visit planned 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 the zodiacs in the water for a more in-depth exploration.

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 colourful 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 you can book an optional paddling excursion (extra cost), which is 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: Exploring South Greenland

Sailing on, you’ll make your way towards 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 to 13: Exploring West Greenland

With spectacular glaciers, soaring fjords and vibrant communities, the west coast of Greenland will leave you breathless. Nuussuaq (formerly known as Kraulshavn) is the only mainland community in the Upernavik Archipelago. Founded in 1923 as a trading station, it's one of the most traditional hunting and fishing villages in Greenland.

It's not surprising that the red-hued, heart-shaped mountain that rises up behind Uummannaq gave the traditional community its name (Uummannaq means "heart-like" in Greenlandic). As your ship approaches the shore, you'll want to be on deck to take in the incredible view of the twin peaks towering over the vibrantly painted wooden houses dotting the rocky terrain below. The settlement was established as a Danish colony in 1758 on the mainland, but it relocated five years later because seal hunting was more plentiful here.

As throughout the trip, your landings will be dependent on conditions each day. You may visit the ruins of an ancient settlement at Qilaqitsoq (also known as Qilakitsoq), where the remains of eight fully dressed mummies were discovered under a rock outcrop in 1972 by a pair of hunters. A possible visit to the picturesque Itilleq will allow you to explore this typical Greenlandic village, situated in a hollow and surrounded by sea, mountains and fjords.

Cruising farther south, you will enjoy spectacular views of Eqip Sermia. The jagged, blue-tinged glacier soaring out of the crystal-clear water is one of the most beautiful sights in Greenland, and the hope is to zodiac cruise along its massive front from a safe distance. You may also go ashore to explore nearby.

You might also visit Ilulissat, the birthplace of explorer Knud Rasmussen, the first to traverse the Northwest Passage by dogsled, in the early 1920s. Today, the town boasts more sled dogs than people and hikes here lead out to stunning views of the young icebergs as float out the fjord to Disko Bay.

Just south of Ilulissat, which means "iceberg" in Greenlandic, is the impressive Ilulissat Icefjord. The UNESCO World Heritage Site is home to Sermeq Kujalleq, the most productive glacier in the northern hemisphere. As you zodiac cruise at the mouth of the fjord, you may be lucky to witness the wonders of calving ice (listen to the loud roars as the ice breaks off).

A visit to Sisimiut may also take place. Here, you'll be able to explore the 18th-century colonial buildings and also watch a demonstration of traditional kayaking. Spend time wandering around the historic area, where you can pass under the large arch formed by a pair of bowhead whale bones, and then hike amongst the soaring mountains that surround the town.


Day 14: Disembarkation in Kangerlussuaq and fly to Reykjavík

Enjoy one more zodiac ride to shore, where you will board your charter flight back to Reykjavík, Iceland. Upon arrival, you will be transferred to your included hotel.


Day 10: Depart Reykjavík, Iceland

You can make your way home at your leisure or spend some more time exploring the town.


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.

This trip can run as a group trip, with prices starting from $4,395 per person for a complete group. If you are looking to join a group or you are a solo traveller we will help to form likeminded groups of travellers. Please let us know your travel plans.

The trip can also run on a private basis to fit around your plans. Departures may be tailored and can be set up on a date of your choice. Please note that there is a higher price for smaller groups. Please enquire for further details.

Activities

  • Kayaking (USD 695) - basic abilities required


Additional Notes

The charter flights at the beginning and end of the voyage cost an additional $1,695 per person on top of the voyage price. This is inclusive of taxes and fees.


Single Supplement & 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.

Child Policy: 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 1.2 meters must be met.

Includes

  • Complimentary parka jacket
  • 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 and any entry fees to historic landing sites

Excludes

  • Flights to & from Reykjavik, Iceland
  • USD 1,695 Package: 2 hotel nights pre/ post cruise in Reykjavik and Charter flights Reykjavik/ Kangerlussuaq return
  • Any additional services before & after your voyage
  • Transfers not specific to the itinerary
  • Travel insurance
  • Optional adventure activities
  • 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. gift shop)

Questions about this Voyage?