Greenland Zodiac Expedition

A rare opportunity to explore the south and west coast of Greenland on an expedition style trip. Travelling by zodiac you will camp along the shore, trek, visit remote communities and be permanently ready to jump in the water to swim with whales.

14 Days

$15,000

Greenland Zodiac Expedition - 14 - $15,000

Trip Summary and Itinerary Map

  • A true expedition operated by a vastly experienced crew
  • Travel by open boat from Narsarsuaq to Ilulissat
  • Comfortable campsites set up by advanced party ahead of you
  • See parts of Greenland others will never experience
  • Snorkel with whales
  • Trek on the ice
  • Fish for cod and char
  • Visit remote communities
  • Trek away from the crowds
  • Live in the clean Greenlandic air

Start from Narsarsuaq and end at Ilulissat

Landmarks visited on Greenland Zodiac Expedition

Operator's Itinerary

Day 1 - Narsarsuaq to Hvalsey Church:

Your guides will meet you in Narsarsuaq from where we will start our journey north. The first part of the day, you will given thorough safety instructions and an introduction to our vessels and equipment. We will go through first aid, emergency calls, flashlight and rifle handling.  

Commencing our tour, in the Kujalleq municipality, we will start by visiting Qassiarsuk which is a small sheep-farming settlement. In recent years, Qassiarsuk has begun to draw the attention of archaeologists and historians as excavations have revealed what is believed to have been the homestead of Erik Thorvaldsson - also known as Erik the Red - who took land in the year 985, according to the Icelandic sagas.

From Qassiarsuk, we will sail a short distance across the Eriksfjord and go ashore for a 7km dirt road walk to the small settlement of Igaliku - also a sheep-farming settlement, sporting its own Norse ruins - which lies in the bottom of Igaliku Fjord. The walk will give you an idea of the landscape before your first hike the next day. In Igaliku harbour, we welcome you back into the boat and let you rest on the final stretch of the day, approx 57km to another Norse ruin, the Hvalsey Church, by which we will make our first camp. 


Day 2 - Uunartoq Hot Springs - 20km hike:

Today will take you on a long hike through characteristic South Greenland landscape: no roads! After breakfast, we start by taking you to the opposite side of Igaliku Fjord, a trip of approx 37km. From here, you will hike approx 20km across the land to the Alluitsoq / Lichtenau Fjord. The first part of the hike is a bit demanding, taking you around small ponds  and lakes, over hills and streams but in all, it is a hike that allows you to enjoy the scenery while on the go. The land is used for sheep-farming and not far from our pick-up point by the fjord, we will pass the Eqalugaarsuit sheep farm. Once back in the RIB, you will be transported to the campsite - approx 17km - at Uunartoq, the natural hot springs of South Greenland.


Day 3 - Qaqortoq, Glacier Camp & Hike:

The first part today allows you to recharge. After a well-earned sleep and a nice breakfast, we will set out in the RIB and head for the town of Qaqortoq, approx 72km to the northwest. We will work our way around small islands and through inlets, all the while taking in the scenery of South Greenland. We will spend some hours in Qaqortoq, sightseeing, buying supplies and refueling before heading for our camp, approx 69km further northwest.

This camp will be set up overviewing one of three adjoining glaciers. For those interested in getting really close to the ice, we can sail you to a small peninsula adjoining two of the glaciers. You can also get close to the ice by hiking directly from the camp.


Day 4 - Snorkelling & The Settlement of Arsuk:

This day will be spent on and - for those interested - in water. We will traverse approx 194km, zigzagging our way between the small islands dotting the coastline, into Sermersooq municipality, passing small settlements and lone summer cottages along the way. Not far from Arsuk, we will stop and take out the snorkelling gear. As you may already have noticed at this point, the water is very clear -  especially in the shallows - and here you will get the chance to see underwater stalagmites, formations that are very rare in our part of the world. We will spend the night in the settlement of Arsuk.


Day 5 - Paamuit & An Ice Hike:

Today you’ll make another long boat journey of approx 131km, to the town of Paamiut, from where we will refuel and stock up our supplies. Paamiut is a fishing community with a population of around 1500 and is especially known among tourists for its beautiful church. We will spend a couple of hours, giving you the chance to have a look around town.

From Paamiut, we will sail another 82km before you’ll go ashore to hike the last 17km to the camp.


Day 6 - Settlement of Qeqertarsuatsiaat & WWII Airstrip:

Both sightseeing and hiking are on offer today. We will start by sailing 67km to the small settlement of Qeqertarsuatsiaat, an old trading and fishing station and - more recently - a settlement staffing the Canadian-owned ruby mine of Aappaluttoq. After refueling, we continue sailing toward our camping destination on an abandoned WWII American airstrip approx 68km to the north. You will go ashore and hike the last 10 km across relatively flat terrain.


Day 7 - Coastal Sailing  and Hiking to the Settlement of Qooqqut:

Today we take a long stretch in the RIB, approx 120km. We will be weaving around small islands up along the coast until we reach and turn down the Ameralik Fjord not far from Nuuk. Further down the fjord, we will go ashore and hike approx 18km to our destination for the night. The hike goes through a mountainous landscape and may be strenuous for some. Not far from Qooqqut, we will rest by a stream and fish arctic char for our dinner. Once we reach Qooqqut, we will settle in for a delicious dinner in Qooqqut Nuan and enjoy a good night’s sleep in the settlement’s cabin lodges.


Day 8 - Nuuk City & Settlement of Atammik:

This will be a day of cultural contrasts: from the capital city life in Nuuk to the settlement life in Atammik. After an evening of luxury, we will set out for a day in Nuuk. Nuuk is by far the biggest city in Greenland, and being the financial and educational hub of the country, it offers more recreational activities than any other city, such as museums, gyms, cafés, restaurants, a cinema and a swimming pool. Moreover, numerous associations offer both traditional and modern activities as drum dancing, Greenlandic polka dancing, storytelling, Argentine tango, archery and kayaking. After half a day in Nuuk, we will commence the northern part of our journey, sailing approx 95km to settle in at Atammik for the night.


Day 9 - Bird Mountain & Trout Fishing:

We will take another great leap up the coast, sailing approx 123km towards our camp, and enter the Qeqqata municipality. Not far from our destination, we will pass by the town of Maniitsoq, a town originally developed from the relocation of the colonial trading station from the settlement of Kangaamiut in the 18th Century. Today Maniitsoq offers a variety of tourist activities and is a favoured spot for ski-enthusiasts. 

On our way to the camp, we will visit a bird mountain which is a relatively rare sight these days as many bird colonies around the country have been hunted to extinction. 

Before reaching the camp, you will be set ashore to hike the last 4km. It is a hike of moderate difficulty in a relatively barren mountain landscape. Human habitation around the Maniitsoq area dates back more than 4000 years, and the hike will give you an idea of the living conditions of the ancient Inuit. From the camp, you can follow a stream to a prime fishing spot and fish trout for dinner.


Day 10 - Kangaamiut & Sisimiut:

Today is a day for sightseeing, in the settlement of Kangaamiut and the town of Sisimiut. We start by sailing a short stretch of 48km to Kangaamiut which was once a favoured trading spot in the colonial days. Today, the population of the settlement is in steep decline, as young people leave to study or work in the bigger cities. After a refuel and sightseeing, we will take on the long stretch of the day - approx 137km - to the town of Sisimiut. Like the Maniitsoq area, Sisimiut is a favoured place of human habitation, with archaeological finds dating back 4500 years - as far back as the Paleo-eskimo cultures of the Saqqaq and Dorset people. Today, Sisimiut is the second largest city in Greenland and supports itself mainly by tourism.


Day 11 - Sailing:

Setting out from Sisimiut, we soon cross into the Qaasuitsup municipality, and head for our next destination, approx 204km north. As we move up along the coast, you will notice the stark difference between this coastline and that of South Greenland. The mountains are steeper and the general landscape more rugged and barren but still supporting small settlements. Larger icebergs will adorn the horizon and whales will be a more frequent sight. After a long day in the RIB, we will find a suitable place to make camp and enjoy our last afternoon and night in desolate surroundings.


Day 12 - Qeqertarsuaq:

Today we reach the island of Qeqertarsuaq - “Big Island” in Disko Bay. On our way there, we will first stop to refuel at the settlement of Kitsissuarsuit - one of three fishing and hunting settlements supported by the town of Aasiaat. Then we will continue to the island of Nunarsuaq and have a short rest while taking in the scenery of Disko Bay. Finally, we will sail the last stretch of the day to the island and town of Qeqertarsuaq. 


Day 13 - Disko Bay & Ice Cap Hiking:

We will cross Disko Bay and hike to the Eqi Icecap. We’ll follow the southern coastline of Qeqertarsuaq eastbound until we break off and head for the mainland. The total boat ride is approx 164km long, during which you may lean back and take in the magnificent environment of Disko Bay and Ilulissat Icefjord which has been proclaimed a UNESCO World Heritage Site. On the mainland, we will go ashore for a hike of 16km, to the Eqi Icecap and back, to the last campsite of our journey overlooking the awe-inspiring Eqi Glacier. 


Day 14 - Kayaking & Arrival in Ilulissat:

Your last day will be spent on the iceberg-filled waters of Ilulissat. We will set out from our camp and go 69km south to the backwaters of Ilulissat. Approx 6km before town, those who are interested will have the opportunity to paddle rest of the way down. Sailing amongst the icebergs is a pleasure for many but kayaking is an entirely different experience, one that leaves some speechless. Once in Ilulissat, we will settle in and finish our journey with a farewell dinner.

Prices, Departures and Inclusions

Single Supplement And Child Policy

Costs based on sharing a tent - please ask for single occupancy rates.

Child Policy: recommended minimum age is 18.


Includes

  • All meals
  • Voyage aboard the vessel as indicated in the itinerary
  • Accommodation during the expedition is on full board basis
  • All excursions and activities
  • Accompanied by expert polar guides
  • Access to expedition doctor and basic medical services
  • Loan of drysuits for the duration
  • Comprehensive pre-departure information
  • Port taxes and any entry fees to historic landing sites

Excludes

  • 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
  • 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)

Questions about this Trip?