Trip Summary and Itinerary Map
- See the three huge Qaleraliq glaciers and the mythical Inlandis plateau, the second largest glacier in the world
- Pass through waters surrounded by mountains, cliffs and waterfalls, and explore areas that are unchartered by kayakers, for a truly authentic wilderness adventure
- Wildlife highlights include seals, whales, caribou, arctic fox and hare
- Camp in stunning locations overlooking bays full of icebergs throughout the trip, with three nights hostel accommodation
- Wrap up the adventure with a day in the traditional town of Narsaq, visiting the museum and meeting locals at the inuit market
Day 1: Boat transfer to Narsaq town, our kayaking base
Fly to Narsarsuaq airport from either Reykjavík or Copenhagen, where you will be welcomed by the guide and then take a boat transfer to the city of Narsaq. Once settled in the hostel, go to the supply store to organise your kayaking kit - kayaks, paddles, clothing and navigation accessories. If conditions permit, there may time of familiarising yourself with the use of the rudder.
Accommodation: Kayak Hostel
Days 2 to 13: Kayaking
Begin the adventure with a crossing across the great fjord of Narsaq, sailing among icebergs as you head southwest toward Tuttutooq Island. The landscape is one of low mountains with waterfalls running into the sea and the constant presence of seals.
You'll travel parallel to the coast, doing some trekking and sheltered by the islands until you reach the cabin of Ujaraq, a local fisherman. Depending on the weather and how the journey progresses, the guide will decide whether to circumnavigate Tuttutooq island or take the “shortcut” to the Qaleraliq fjord. Arrive at a point right across from the fjord that leads directly to the Qaleraliq glaciers, the Perito Moreno of the Arctic.
Torsukattak fjord zone
Cross the wide Kerssuaq fjord, often plagued by ice and with luck visited by whales. Then, spend two days skirting the coast in a northeast direction through an area relatively unchartered by kayakers, approaching the mouth of the Torsukattak fjord and its islands until we reach the Qaleraliq Fjord. Camping overnight in tents.
Towards Qaleraliq Glacier
The next stage is a beautiful 15 km sail along the cliffs before reaching the three gigantic Qaleraliq glaciers, the gateway to the 2,500 kilometers of icy plateau leading to the northern coast of Greenland. It goes without saying that the spectacle, seen and heard from our silent kayaks, is amazing.
Still surprised by the intermittent roar of cracking or seracs collapsing into the sea, set up camp for the night on the sandy beach. After a break, enjoy some time on foot with a trek up to Lake Tasersuatsiaq, which offers a privileged view of the infinite Inlandis or Greenlandic ice cap. You can also expect further delightful sights of the caribou, arctic fox and hare which this region is home to. Camping overnight in tents.
After breakfast and dismantling the tents, sail to the end of the fjord, disembarking to enter the perpetual Inlandis ice-sheet. It is about four hours of hiking, enjoying the sights of the rimayas or large transverse cracks, as you reach the great moraine (ice and sediment) following the guide’s instructions. The return journey will take you back to your kayak and the camping location for the night.
Today is uniquely both the easiest and probably most awe-inspiring. Travel by kayak around all the Qaleraliq glaciers, then set up camp on nearby Caribou Island.
Sermiat Naajaat Glacier
Set sail in a northeastern direction, circumnavigating the island of Akuliaruseq (also called caribou because of their presence there) to visit the two Naajaat Sermiat glaciers. This day will cover the most ground, although by now your muscles will be more than ready for the challenge! Camp in a tent overnight.
Head towards Qingaarsuup Island, the second last key point on the adventure. From your camp you'll be able to enjoy a short walk up to a unique viewpoint of Inlandis and much of the route travelled during the previous days.
From Qingaarsuup to Narsaq town
Navigate the Ikersuaq fjord towards Stephensen bay in the island of Tuttutooq. This was an inuit settlement called Manitsuarsuk, which ruins of can be observed. Continue making your way through the waters towards Narsaq if conditions permit (if not, a boat transfer will be organised). Spend the night in hostel accommodation.
Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner
Day 14. Stay in Narsaq or optional excursion to Qaqortoq
A day at leisure to roam around Narsaq town, the third most populated town in South Greenland (about 1,500 residents). Some of the varied treasures to be discovered include the museum, inuit and fish markets, and local leather and fur shops. There is also the option of a relaxed hike to the surrounding mountains.
Optional: Excursion to Qaqortoq town (125 €) and the norse ruins of Hvalsey Church (180 €)
Transfer by boat to Qaqortoq, known as the most charming town in all Greenland. Take a stroll around the city while you enjoy the beauty of its colourful buildings and the awe-inspiring landscapes. See the museum, fur shops, church, the traditional kayak club, or the only fountain in the country.
Then, sail from Qaqortoq to the best preserved norse ruins in Greenland, passing the large island of Arpatsivik, the norse “Hvalsey” or Whale Island, and reaching the Hvalseyfjördur, where the church ruins stand in a quiet and peaceful setting. In the afternoon, transfer by boat back to Narsaq.
Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner
Accommodation: Kayak Hostel
Day 15. Transfer to Narsarsuaq airport. Flight.
Boat transfer from Narsaq to Narsarsuaq, where you will have time to explore the area or visit the Bluie West One museum. This former US military base has been frozen in time since the Second World War and now offers a great history on the creation of the village of Narsarsuaq.
Later, take your flight from Narsarsuaq to either Reykjavík (domestic airport) or Copenhagen.
Prices, Departures and Inclusions
Price quoted for flights from Reykjavík (Iceland). Flights from Copenhagen (Denmark) are available. The supplement for this option is €300.
Special Northern Lights dates are as follows:
15 - 29 August 2019 (from Copenhagen)
27 August - 10 September 2019 (from Reykjavík)
Optional Excursions: It’s recommended that these are confirmed in advance of the trip.
Booking: Up to 45 days before the journey’s departure date. After that, dependent on flight availability.
- Meals: 14 breakfasts, 13 lunches, 14 dinners
- Accommodation: 12 nights camping, 2 nights hostel
- Return flight from Reykjavík (or Copenhagen) to Narsarsuaq
- South Greenland Expeditions’ guide (English)
- Transfers in Greenland, as specified in the itinerary
- Brattahalid reconstructions
- RIB boat travel equipment
- Lunch on flight days
- Airport taxes and fees (approx €165-200 from Reykjavík / €200 from Copenhagen)
- Accommodation, food and transfers in Reykjavik or Copenhagen
- Flights to Reykjavik or Copenhagen
- Any extra/optional excursions
- Travel insurance
- Personal Equipment (request our recommended kit list for more details)
- Unexpected expenses as a result of weather conditions (including difficulties or cancellations due to ice or weather conditions) or flight or boat delays