Trip Summary and Itinerary Map
- Travel on a brand new expedition ship with hugely experienced guides, spending nine full days exploring the West Coast of Greenland
- Travelling in May means you'll see the season in, experiencing pristine landing areas and the transition to the midnight sun
- Spot feeding whales and musk oxen, and birds taking care of their young
- For the even more adventurous, additional excursions include kayaking, zodiac cruising, or flying over the fjords
- Package offered with flights included between Copenhagen and Greenland
Day 1: Arrival in Nuuk
Arrive in Greenland’s capital, Nuuk and transfer to the hotel. The remainder of the day is at leisure to explore the city.
Accommodation: Hotel Hans Egede (or similar)
Day 2: Tour of Nuuk and then the voyage begins
The northernmost capital in the world, Nuuk was founded in 1728 by the Norwegian missionary, Hans Egede, and has more than 17,000 inhabitants. The centre of Greenland lies at the mouth of its very own fjord system, on the mid-west coast of Greenland. The fjord system is the second largest in the world and is one of the country’s main drawcards.
On an introductory tour, discover Nuuk’s contrasting architecture from beautiful old buildings to colourful houses – one of Nuuk’s trademarks, with the brightly-coloured houses providing a stark contrast to the rocks or white winter snow. Stop by the newly renovated and roof-covered “brættet”, where the day’s catch of seal, birds and fish are sold.
Other attractions in the town include the award-winning culture centre Katuaq, City Hall, the cathedral from 1849, as well as the National Museum, located down by the colonial buildings at the old harbour, with a stunning view over the fjord. The museum was established in 1966 and became Greenland’s National Museum and Archives, offering a unique ethnographical collection. Discover the famous mummies and costumes from Qilakitsoq in northwest Greenland, as well as the world’s oldest and almost completely intact skin boat the Peary Land Umiaq, whose well-preserved remains are estimated to date back to the 1470s.
After getting familiar with Nuuk on a city tour, embark the Greg Mortimer to commence your voyage.
Days 3 – 10: Exploring Greenland's West Coast
Over the coming days, you will discover the immense beauty of West Greenland. In true expeditionary style, the following places will be visited:
Sisimiut: Greenland’s second-largest town, Sisimiut is the only place in Greenland that has an open-air public swimming pool. The town is also famous for its old blue church with the gate made from whale jaws. The museum in Sisimiut, exhibiting early life in Greenland, allows you to experience local history as well as some cultural-historical treats. There are also various hiking trails, some of which venture into the mountains that offer spectacular vantage points.
The hike from Palasip Qaqqaa to the Priest Mountain is perhaps one of the more challenging hikes offered to a cruise expeditioner visiting Greenland, with a 550 metre (1,805 foot) summit. It takes 3.5 hours and is steep in parts, meaning that a reasonable level of fitness is required. Setting off from Sisimiut harbour, you'll be transported by bus to the starting point of the hike. The first part involves trekking alongside a small river with fresh drinking water, you'll then go on to see the local flora and the possibility of foxes, grouse and eagles. If you’re lucky you might even come across musk oxen.
Throughout the hike, you will be rewarded with stunning views of Sisimiut and then, at the top, you can view the whole town, the surrounding fjords and the sea.
Important: the weather can change quickly so bring a light jacket. Hiking boots are necessary and mosquito repellent is strongly recommended.
Ilulissat: Nature puts on one of its finest displays in Ilulissat with mountainous icebergs drifting from one of the most productive glaciers in the Northern Hemisphere and out into Disko Bay. A short distance south of town is the mind-blowing Ilulissat Icefjord, designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2004 and home to one of the most actively calving glaciers in the world, Sermeq Kujalleq. Enjoy a zodiac cruise at the mouth of the fjord or kayak through the sea ice and icebergs. Hiking trails offer magnificent vistas of the icebergs, with many great photographic opportunities.
An additional helicopter flight can also be booked, allowing you to get as close as possible to the glacier. You'll take off from Ilulissat Airport and cross hills, lakes and ice fjords before landing on the mountain at Kangia, where you can revel in the incredible surroundings for some time. Then fly above the edge of the glacier and the icebergs in the fjord, viewing some of the largest icebergs of all as you make your way back to the town; a wonderful finale to the trip.
The flight lasts approximately 90 minutes and costs AU$760.
Qeqertarsuaq: Greenland’s largest island, Qeqertarsuaq lies in the middle of Disko Bay, about 70 km from the mainland and reachable in a day’s sailing. The island is different from the rest of Greenland due to its volcanic origin. The landscape is characterised by red-tinged basalt mountains, verdant hilltops, interesting rock figures and hot springs (not suitable for bathing). Disko Island is well-known for its beautiful nature, abundant flora and interesting geology that made geological surveys possible from 1848.
From spring to autumn, the area around Disko Island becomes a meeting ground for large whales such as bowhead and humpbacks – a perfect place for kayaking and zodiac cruising for possible whale encounters. In the 17th Century, the first whaling stations were established on Disko Island and the optimal fishing areas drew many European whaling expeditions. Being located nearer to the Arctic Circle, during the summer months, you will see the midnight sun in Qeqertarsuaq, an experience only possible north of Sisimiut.
Uummannaq: Surrounded by steep islands, and an endless supply of icebergs from the Qarajaq Glacier, Uummannaq (meaning “heart-like”) is the centrepiece of an archipelago where everyday hunting and fishing life plays out in the middle of one of nature’s grandest creations in Greenland. As the ship approaches Uummannaq, have your camera ready and be out on deck as the vista is magnificent. Founded as a Danish colony in 1758 on the mainland, the settlement was moved five years later to this nearby island, where seal hunting was more plentiful. As you wander the town, through the snow and ice, watch out for the colourful local houses that are so emblematic of Greenland.
The iconic heart-shaped mountain of Uummannaq towers over the island, and the symbol of the heart is an unmistakable landmark for visitors. Nearby Qilakitsoq, a former settlement, but now an archaeological site, is famous for the discovery of eight mummified bodies in 1972. The mummies which date back to 1475 AD, can now be viewed at the Greenland National Museum in Nuuk. Uummannaq is a great place for zodiac cruising to explore the coastline, kayaking and hiking.
Upernavik: With a name that translates to the Springtime Place, the town has long been associated with Inuit traditions of ice fishing and hunting for sea mammals. Visit a bay dotted with hundreds of islands, the world's largest bird cliffs at Apparsuit, an open-air museum revealing colonial and Viking histories. See thousands of islands interspersed with icebergs stretching off into the distance as you kayak or sail around the waterways, and if conditions permit traverse the mesmerising waters of the Upernavik Icefjord.
Day 10: At Sea
As you sail back south to Nuuk, keep a lookout for whale blows and the seabirds that trail the ship in the ever-present Arctic winds. Enjoy the time to reflect on your recent adventures in Greenland, share and exchange photos, and soak in the spectacular scenery of West Greenland.
Day 11: Return to Nuuk
Arrive back in Nuuk where you disembark and farewell your crew, expedition team and fellow travellers. A transfer to downtown or to the airport is included.
About The Ship
- Her unique X-BOW design isn’t only eye-catching, the practical benefits are a smoother ride for passengers and lower fuel consumption, which is good for us all
- Even with a capacity 120 passengers the large, highly experienced expedition team of 15 - 18 people will deliver a very personalised experience for all on board
- Choose from 5 well-appointed cabin categories, 80% of which have balconies, which is rare on polar ships
- The combination of a small number of passengers and multiple zodiac loading decks means great chance of spontaneity and faster zodiac logistics
- Optional kayaking is always popular, while this is one of only a few ships to also offer scuba diving and polar snorkelling
Prices, Departures and Inclusions
* Note: Prices are per person. Paid in AUD ($) - figure above is based on today's exchange rate. Actual cost $9700
The second departure on 18 May 2020, starting from AUD $11,590, is for the flight inclusive package from Copenhagen to Nuuk. All guests will be required to book at least one pre and one post night accommodation in Copenhagen (not included) due to flight times.
Cabin availability changes all the time so please contact us for up-to-date details and information on specific cabin availability.
Optional Adventure Activities:
Sea Kayaking (AUD $1,200 per person) - basic abilities required, all departures
Single Supplement And Child Policy
Single Supplement: 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.
- 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 parka for the voyage's duration
- Comprehensive pre-departure information
- Port taxes and any entry fees to historic landing sites
- Flights to and from points of embarkation/disembarkation (excl. Copenhagen package)
- Any additional pre/post land services, including meals
- Transfers not specific to the itinerary
- Optional adventure activities (e.g. kayaking)
- Visa, passport and any vaccination expenses
- Airport arrival and departure taxes
- Personal travel insurance
- Items of a personal nature (e.g. laundry, beverages)
- Customary staff gratuity at the end of the voyage
- Additional onboard purchases (i.e. gifts, drinks)