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Iceland to Greenland: In The Wake of Eric The Red | Ocean Albatros

11 Days FROM USD 6,590

Overview

Join us on this incredible 11 day expedition from Iceland to Greenland. Follow in the maritime courses set by the early Norse explorers over a thousand years ago. Departing from Reykjavik you will cross the Denmark Strait visiting the quaint settlements of Skjoldungen and Saqqisikuik. Enjoy the unforgettable sights of deep fjords and solitary glaciers as you pass through the dramatic Prince Christians Sound. Heading north you will visit the capital of Greenland, one of the smallest in the world. In Disko Bay you will discover the well renowned beauty of Eqi glacier as well as experience the traditional cultural folk dancing in Qeqrtarsuaq. In the Illulissat icefjord you will enjoy the sight of dazzling icebergs as they glisten off the afternoon sun - Finally your voyage will end in Kangerlussuaq where you will have the opportunity to glimpse muskoxen and reindeer roaming the tundra of the Greenland Icecap.

Note: Includes flight from Greenland to Copenhagen or Reykjavik at the end of the voyage.

Optional Activities :

Trip Code: ACABETR

Travel Style: Small Ship Expedition Cruise

Location: Iceland and Greenland

Ship: Ocean Albatros

Flights: Local charter flight Kangerlussuaq - Keflavik included in cruise cost.

WHY CHOOSE THIS CRUISE?

  • Undertake a number of incredible expedition options including kayaking and incredible zodiac expeditions through rocky outcrops, ice floes and close to immense glaciers.

  • Enjoy the incredible sights of the Illulissat icefjord - home to immense glaciers and the vibrant and lovely town on Illulissat, this icefjord has secured a place on UNESCOS world heritage list.

  • Explore the quaint capital of Nuuk - the smallest capital city in the world with a total of 17000 people.

CRUISE ITINERARY

In the afternoon, we board our vessel in Reykjavík and set our course westbound for Greenland.

Arrival and Embarkation in Reykjavik

Our lecturers onboard will make inspiring and enriching presentations about both Iceland’s and Greenland’s past history and about nature, wildlife and climatology.

Crossing the Denmark Strait

The island of Skjoldungen is without doubt one of most beautiful areas in East Greenland. Situated at 63° N, the island is surrounded by narrow, steep fjords and glaciers, and with plenty of the cool, crisp and clean air of the ever present and nearby ice sheet. Still, we will find and experience a lush landscape and a milder climate than most would expect. Acclaimed Norwegian explorer Fridjof Nansen came here in late summer 1888 in search of a suitable ascension point for the first inland ice crossing.

Skjoldungen is also the name of an abandoned settlement, located on the southwest side of the island. Up to 100 people lived here until 1965, and some houses remain. We continue our journey to Dronning Marie Dal in the area's northwestern corner to get a closer view of its interesting flora.

After Skjoldungen and Ilertakajik fjord, the Alpine peaks and mountainous landscape diminish and from here, we will find that over large stretches, the ice sheet reaches all the way to the shoreline, forming cohesive ice shelfs, a type of icy landscape that some travelers who have been to Antarctica will probably recognize.

Skjoldungen and Saqqisikuik

Kap Farvel, or Cape Farewell, is renowned not only as Greenland's southernmost point, but also for its infamous, although mostly seasonal, gale-force winds.

We deliberately opt for a far more comfortable but at the same time more spectacular route, cruising via the inside passage through the Prince Christian Sound. This 60 km long waterway, from the Atlantic in the east, to the settlement Aapilattoq in the heart of the fjordlands of South West Greenland.

The sound has steep mountainsides, and many adventurous kayakers have had to turn around because of a very limited number of landing sites available. The old weather station of Prince Christian Sound, manned until a two years ago by sturdy meteorologists, is another classic point-of-interest along this itinerary.

Prince Christian Sound

Early in the morning we sailed into Eriksfjord, which in Greenland is called Tunulliarfik. We throw anchor off Erik the Red's Brattahlíð settlement, where the Qassiarssuk village is today. Here we see, among other things, a reconstruction of Tjodhildur's church, which was the first church on the North American continent. There are also other ruins after the Norse people, which disappeared in the 1400s. Here one can really sense the path of history and wonder why the Norse people suddenly disappeared from Greenland.

It was from Brattahlíd that Erik and Tjodhildur's son Leif Eriksson, about 1000, went west and discovered Baffin Island, the Labrador coast and Newfoundland, before returning to South Greenland a few years later. Around lunch time we sail out of Eriksfjord close to Qooroq Isfjord.

Qassiarsuk

During the morning and day, we cruise north to reach Nuuk in the afternoon. As we enter the Nuuk Fjord we have fair chances of encountering the area's seasonal visitors: the humpback whales. The world's smallest capital is in Greenland considered by many a mighty metropolis - a total of 17,000 people live here today, almost a third of the country’s population.

The area has been inhabited back to 2200 BC by pre-Inuit hunters. From year 1000 to 1350 AD, the Icelandic Vikings and farmers settled in South Greenland and in the Nuuk Fjord, while at the same time Inuit hunters of the Thule culture moved south from North Greenland. The Nordic settlers disappeared around 1350 AD, but the Inuit stayed, being far better equipped to hunt and survive in the tough Arctic nature.

Modern history of Greenland began in 1721, when the Norse missionary Hans Egede founded a permanent colony and trading station near Nuuk. In fact, Egede’s main purpose to return to Greenland was to convert the Catholic northerners to Lutherans, but soon after his arrival he realized the Norse had disappeared, a mystery yet unresolved. In 1979, the Landsting (Parliament) was established in Nuuk, and the town was finally recognized as the country's capital.

Nuuk

The following day will be spent at sea toward the Grenlandic West Coast.

At Sea

Under Disko Island’s 1000-metre-high mountains we enter the protected natural habour that has the Danish name ‘Godhavn’ or Good Harbour and in Greenlandic ‘Qeqertarsuaq’ which means ‘The Big Island’. Godhavn was until 1950 the most important town north of Nuuk, solely because of the large number of whales caught and landed here. This gave the town great wealth. Now it’s on the way to oblivion with declining job opportunities and connections to mainland.

The local community center hosts a traditional Greenlandic “kaffemik”, best described as a friendly gathering with coffee, cake and traditional dances and music.

During the afternoon the ship heads east towards the giant glacier Eqip Sermia in the north-easterly corner of Disko Bay. This glacier is, without overstating, one of the most impressive in Greenland. Here you can experience a glacier calve up close, which is not possible in Ilulissat. Great crevasses, deep blue glacial streams, a landscape so unique and stunning that words are simply not sufficient. An outstanding opportunity to see, hear and smell this mighty ice world. In the evening, we will prepare for departure.

Disko Island, Eqip Sermia Glacier

Ilulissat is possibly the most well located town in Greenland. The name simply means ‘icebergs’ in Greenlandic and the town’s nickname is rightly ‘The Iceberg Capital of the World’.

The icebergs come from the Icefjord, which is located a half hour’s hike south of Ilulissat. These impressive frozen structures are born some 70km deeper into the fjord by the enormous Sermeq Kujalleq glacier. This 10km-wide glacier is the most productive glacier outside of Antarctica. Whereas most glaciers only calve at a rate of approximately a meter a day, the Ilulissat glacier calves at a rate of 25 meters per day. The icebergs produced by the glacier represent more than 10% of all icebergs in Greenland, corresponding to 20 million tons!

During the more than 250 years that have passed since the establishment of Ilulissat, the town has steadily flourished. Today, Ilulissat is Greenland’s third largest town with more than 4,500 inhabitants. The town is very vibrant, welcoming and lively, with a wide range of cultural attractions, according to Greenlandic standards. The legendary polar explorer, Knud Rasmussen, and his good friend, Jørgen Brønlund, were both born in Ilulissat.

On this day, you will also have the opportunity to join a boat trip to the Icefjord. The journey takes about two and a half hours in total, and presents an opportunity to gain a closer look at the amazing ice-sculpted scenery. The trip is definitely something out of the ordinary and a great natural experience that you will remember for years to come - but be sure to remember warm clothes!

In the evening, we will cruise southward from “the Iceberg Capital”, leaving lovely Disko Bay in our wake.

Ilulissat

The settlement of Sarfannguit, which translates into "the place of the little stream” an appropriate name for a settlement nestled at the foothills of the mountains and glaciers in the distant backcountry. The settlement’s slightly more than 100 residents live off hunting, trapping and fishing, most often in pursuit of arctic char, reindeer and musk oxen. Although Sarfannguit is quite remote, it lies within a few hours from Sisimiut, the second-largest town in Greenland. The accessibility to such a large town provides an indispensable economic benefit to a small community like Sarfannguit.

A stroll through the settlement offers insight into rural life in today’s Greenland, where modern conveniences and technological advancements, such as internet and smart phones have become commonplace, yet locals still place great value on important customs and preserving their traditions and their Inuit heritage.

We will continue our journey toward the fjord of Kangerlussuaq, also known as Sondre Stromfjord. Especially the first part of the fjord gives a great opportunity to enjoy an impressive passage with panoramic views of high mountains and deep valleys.

Sarfannguit

During the night, we will have completed our passage through the 160-kilometer/100 mile Kangerlussuaq Fjord. After breakfast aboard the ship, we will bid farewell to the ship's staff and the Zodiac boats will shuttle us to shore.

Due to Kangerlussuaq’s military history and present-day role as an important air travel hub, Kangerlussuaq remains fairly isolated from Greenland’s rich cultural traditions in comparison to other regions. While you still find cultural experiences when visiting Kangerlussuaq, the most impressive attraction is the surrounding nature, which is just beckoning to be explored.

It is not difficult to see that Kangerlussuaq’s landscape has largely been shaped by the last glaciation period, often known simply as the “Ice Age,” some 18,000 years ago. The mountains are rounded and soft, and many meltwater lakes remain. From the inland ice sheet, best known as the Greenland Ice Sheet, the meltwater cuts its way through the porous moraine landscape and flows into Kangerlussuaq Fjord.

As our time in Greenland concludes, we will fly from Kangerlussuaq to Reykjavík Airport, Iceland, and your Arctic adventure will have concluded.

Disembarkation in Kangerlussuaq
DOWNLOAD ITINERARY PDF
Departing Ending Duration From Price
29 Jul 2023 08 Aug 2023 11 USD 6,590
Cabin Type From Price
CAT G - Single Stateroom Porthole USD 9,990
CAT F - Triple Stateroom Porthole USD 6,590
CAT E - French Balcony Suite USD 8,790
CAT D - Porthole Stateroom SOLD OUTSOLD OUT
CAT C - Balcony Stateroom OCEAN ALBATROS | ERIC RED ICE2GREEN | 29JUL23USD 8,067
CAT B - Balcony Suite SAVE UP TO 15% OFFUSD 9,002
CAT A - Balcony Junior Suite SAVE UP TO 15% OFFUSD 11,892
CAT FS - Freydis Premium Balcony Suite SOLD OUTSOLD OUT
CAT BS – Brynhilde 2BR French Balcony Suite SAVE UP TO 15% OFFUSD 15,717

Important Information

  • 11-day/10-night cruise in a shared outside double stateroom with bathroom/toilet
    Flight Kangerlussuaq - Keflavík
    Guiding and lectures by experienced expedition team
    All scheduled landings and excursions by zodiac
    Briefings and guided walks by tour leaders
    Town and settlement tours in Qassiarsuk, Nuuk, Qeqertarsuaq, Ilulissat & Sarfannguit

    EXCLUSIONS 

    Pre-voyage hotel accommodation in Iceland
    International flights
    Travel and medical insurance
    Beverages (other than tea and coffee) 
    Personal expenses
    Customary gratuities for staff and expedition crew (Recommended at USD 14 per person per day) 
    Visa and reciprocity fees (if applicable) 

  • 2 (light adventure)
  • Available on request. Please contact us for more information.

  • Please note this itinerary is subject to change depending on weather, ice and sea conditions. 

  • Departure date, seasonality and availability

SPEAK TO A SPECIALIST

Sustainability

Being environmentally accountable is a crucial part of our organisation. Chimu is currently striving towards using less paper, taking several initiatives to do so and tracking our progress along the way. Our goal: A paperless organisation. For this reason, all information given to you will be sent electronically. We encourage those who choose to travel with us to support our aspirations and actions and ask that you reconsider printing out documentation. To view these documents, you can download them to your iPad or portable computer before and during your trip.

Chimu is passionate and dedicated to sustainability measures and understands the crucial part sustainability plays within the tourism industry.

We use local guides and office staff to both maximise local employment opportunities and minimise carbon footprint. Local guides also ensure you benefit from the intimate knowledge, passion and culture of the country you’re visiting. Our guides are all highly qualified (most with university degrees) or equip with many years of experience and are paid above the standard wage. Whether it be our knowledgeable local guides, locally produced meals or the transport on tour, we do not use imported goods when local products are available. We aim to minimise our impact on the environment and give as much back as possible to the communities we work in.

While visiting the many national parks, heritage sites, museums and landmarks our travellers are encouraged to explore whilst remaining culturally aware and sensitive. We further encourage you to buy appropriate souvenirs and discourage the buying of anything wrongfully made or taken from the environment i.e. shells and endangered species products. Information on how you can be environmentally conscious, and travel responsibly will be made available in our Travellers Guides and provided during your travels by guides and staff.

For more information on our sustainability policies, including how we are striving towards being a paperless organisation, click HERE

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