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Essential Greenland: Southern Coasts and Disko Bay

15 Days FROM USD 8,495

Overview

Discover the highlights of Greenland as you cruise around this beautiful island, surrounded by a spectacular rugged landscape that is dominated by imposing glaciers, jagged mountains, dramatic fjords and lush, green valleys. Little visited East Greenland is a maze of vast glaciers, towering snow-capped mountains, colourful Arctic tundra and breathtaking fjords. Visit an abandoned Inuit ghost town, hike, take Zodiac cruises and maybe even an optional paddle in the icy waters. Southern Greenland is the Patagonia of the Arctic, overflowing with awe-inspiring scenery, rich Nordic history and a fascinating culture. West Greenland offers more incredible vistas, vibrant communities and the capital Nuuk, and is home to Sisimiut, Ilulissat Fjord and Disko Bay. 

Optional Activities :

Trip Code: ACQEEGSC

Location: Arctic

Ship: Ocean Adventurer

CRUISE ITINERARY

Arrive in the Icelandic capital and make your way to your included hotel. You will have the day to explore the city on your own.

Reykjavik, Iceland

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

Embarkation Day in Reykjavik

As we cruise across the Denmark Strait, your Expedition Team will teach you about the wildlife and storied history of Greenland, it’s 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.

At Sea

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 we hope to 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 our Zodiacs in the water for a more in-depth exploration. If conditions allow, 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, perhaps you’ll treat yourself to 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 favourable. 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.

Exploring East Greenland - Day 4 & 5

Sailing on, we’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 landing we hope to make 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.

Exploring South Greenland - Day 6 & 7

Boasting spectacular glaciers, mountainous landscapes, and vibrant communities, the west coast of Greenland will leave you awestruck. Heading north, each day we hope to take Zodiac excursions from the ship to explore local bays, channels and landing sites, discovering some of the quaint villages dotting the islands and fjords in the region and cruising in some of Greenland’s most picturesque places.

The west coast is home to Nuuk, the charming Greenlandic capital. You’ll have time to wander the streets of the historic Old Nuuk neighbourhood and see the Hans Egede Church and Hans Egede statue near the waterfront, both named after the missionary who founded the settlement. History buffs will want to visit the national museum to view the famous Greenlandic mummies, found under a rock outcrop in 1972 by two brothers who were grouse hunting.

Sisimiut is another interesting place to go ashore, as there are more dogsleds here than humans. You’ll have time to wander the town’s historic area, where several 18th-century colonial buildings still stand, 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 most active 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 (which means “iceberg”), rewards with its own spectacle: young bergs floating out to Disko Bay. A hike from the town to the icefjord 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 Ilulissat is the birthplace of the first European to traverse the Northwest Passage by dogsled, explorer Knud Rasmussen.

Surrounded by sea and mountains, the fishing community of Itilleq (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 Itilleq’s famous friendly vibe in no time.

Exploring West Greenland - Day 8 to 13

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

Disembark in Kangerlussuaq and fly to Reykjavik

Today, you can make your way home at your leisure or spend some time exploring this artistic city.

Depart Reykjavik
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Pricing & date

Essential Greenland: Southern Coasts and Disko Bay from USD 8,495
Departing Ending Duration
29 Aug 2020 12 Sep 2020 15
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Important Information

  • - Shipboard accommodation
    - All meals whilst on-board including snacks
    - Beer and wine during dinner
    - Coffee, tea and cocoa available around the clock
    - All shore excursions and zodiac cruising (*excluding forward facing zodiac)
    - Guiding and lectures by expedition team and team
    - English-speaking expedition team
    - Free use of rubber boots on land
    - Wind and water resistant expedition jacket
    - All Port taxes
    -  Greenland voyages cruise passenger tax

    Exclusions:
    - Airfares to/from embarkation and disembarkation city
    - Visa fees (if applicable)
    - Travel Insurance
    - Personal expenses such as laundry, on-board communication (telephone calls, faxes, email service)
    - Gratuities for the crew (recommended US$15.00 per person per day)
    - Optional Activities whilst on-board

    **Mandatory Transfer Package includes;
    • One night’s pre-expedition hotel accommodation in Reykjavik
    • Group transfer from the Reykjavik hotel to the ship on Day 2
    • Group transfer from the ship to the Kangerlussuaq airport on disembarkation day
    • Charter flight from Kangerlussuaq to Reykjavik
    • Group transfer from Reykjavik airport to airport hotel
    • One night’s post-expedition hotel accommodation in Reykjavik
    • Shuttle transfer to Keflavik airport on last day of itinerary
          *Package Price: USD$1,295 pp

  • 2 (light adventure)
  • Available upon request

  • Contact us for more details

  • Season and availability

SPEAK TO A SPECIALIST

Talk to one of our Destination Specialists to plan your South American adventure and turn your dream into a reality. With exceptional knowledge and first hand experience, our consultants will assist in every way possible to make your journey the most memorable it can be, matching not only the itinerary, but the accommodation and activities to suit your style of travel and budget.

Sustainability

Chimu Adventures undertakes a number of sustainability measures within its operations including:

1) Only using local guides and office staff to both maximise local employment opportunities and minimise carbon footprints. Local guides also ensure you benefit from the intimate knowledge, passion and culture of the country you’re visiting.

2) Where possible, using locally owned and operated boutique hotels to maximise the return to the local community.

3) Chimu’s “Pass it on” programme has provided funding to hundreds of local community projects in Latin America. Our aim is to empower local communities, helping them to develop their own infrastructure for the future. Since 2006, we have been working with Kiva (a well-known Non-Governmental Organisation), providing hundreds of loans to local businesses all over South America.

4) In our pre tour information we provide a range of tips and advice on how to minimise your impact on both local environments and communities.

5) Chimu Adventures’ offices also take a number of sustainability measures including carbon offsets for company vehicles and most staff travel. Chimu Adventure’s internal processes are also structures to create a paperless office and to reduce waste. There are also internal programmes to help staff minimise their carbon footprint such as our staff bike purchase assistance plan which encourages office staff to commute to work via bicycle. Currently almost half of our office based staff commute to work via bicycle.