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Greenland to Iceland - In the Wake of Eric the Red

12 Days FROM USD 4,790

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Overview

Join us on this incredible 12 day expedition from Greenland to Iceland - following 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 Tasiilaq and Kulusuk. 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.

Optional Activities :

Trip Code: ACABGI

Travel Style: Small Ship Expedition Cruise

Location: Iceland and Greenland

Ship: Ocean Atlantic

Flights: Please contact us for assistance with your international flight.

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, board your chartered flight in Reykjavík, Iceland or Copenhagen, Denmark, bound for Kangerlussuaq in Greenland (both flight options are available, please contact us for more information).

Upon arrival in Kangerlussuaq, you will be transported to the small port located west of the airport, where your ship Ocean Atlantic, will be anchored. Zodiacs will transfer you to the ship, where you will be checked in to your stateroom. After the safety drill, you will enjoy a dinner as Ocean Atlantic ‘sets sail’ through the 160-kilometer Kangerlussuaq fjord.

Embarkation in Kangerlussuaq

After breakfast, you will arrive to the colorful town of Sisimiut, where you will get an idea of what modern Greenland looks like. With 5,400 inhabitants, it is considered Greenland’s second ‘city’. People have lived around Sisimiut on and off since 2,500 BC.

Sisimiut is an important place for education and industry, and local factories process the bulk of Royal Greenland's fishing. The fish processing plant is one of the largest of its kind in Greenland, and one of the most modern in the world.

Your city tour highlights include the historic colonial quarter, as well as the museum and the beautiful church. Additionally, you will pay a visit to the busy city center for a glimpse of what daily life is like in 21st century Greenland. In the afternoon, your voyage will continue northward.

As evening falls, you will pass the Sisimiut Isortuat Fjord, the Nordre Stromfjord settlements of Attu and Ikerasaarsuk, and the small town of Kangaatsiaq. During the bright night, we will pass Aasiaat and proceed into the southern waters of Disko Bay. Next, the ship’s heading will be set for Disko Island, known for its distinctive 1,000-meter/3,280 feet layered crags.

At this point, you will be north of the Arctic Circle! Here, the nights are bright and early risers can enjoy the sight of the icebergs on Disko Bay as they squeeze out of the Ilulissat Icefjord and dance into the frigid ocean waters.

Sisimiut

Your next sojourn lies on the southern tip of the Disko Island, where Ocean Atlantic will anchor in a protected natural harbour, which is named Godhavn (‘Good Harbour’) in Danish, while its Greenlandic name, Qeqertarsuaq, means ‘The Big Island’.

Although topographically quite different from mainland Greenland due to the basalt characteristics of the Disko Island’s mountains, Qeqertarsuaq maintains a long, rich history and once served as one of the country’s important economic centres. From the 16th century, the community was relatively prosperous and, in fact, considered the most important town north of Nuuk until the mid-1900s, due in part to the area’s sizeable whale hunting population.

During your visit, you will wander through town, paying a visit to the characteristic octagonal church, nicknamed “God’s Inkpot”, as well as to a local community center that will be hosting a traditional Greenlandic “kaffemik”, which can be best described as a friendly gathering with coffee, cake and traditional dances and music.

As the day draws to a closing, Ocean Atlantic will set a north-easterly course bound for a magnificent natural highlight – the enormous Eqip Sermia Glacier.

Situated approximately 50 nautical miles north of Ilulissat, the Eqip Sermia Glacier is renowned for its jaw-dropping beauty. Legendary arctic explorers selected this location as a base for their studies. One such explorer, the acclaimed Swiss glaciologist Alfred de Quervain, used the location as a base for his expeditions onto Greenland’s inland ice sheet over a century ago.

You will sail as close as possible to the ice’s edge – but at a safe distance to avoid plunging blocks of ice and violent waves that often result from the calving glacier.

Disko Island

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’.

In Disko Bay, which is located just off the coast of Ilulissat, gigantic icebergs linger in the freezing waters. These icebergs come from the Icefjord, which is located a half hour’s hike south of Ilulissat. These impressive frozen structures are born some 70km/43,5 miles deeper into the fjord by the enormous Sermeq Kujalleq glacier. This 10km/6 miles-wide glacier is the most productive glacier outside of Antarctica; Whereas most glaciers only calve at a rate of approximately a metre/three feet a day, the Ilulissat glacier calves at a rate of 25m/82 feet per day. The icebergs produced by the glacier represent more than 10% of all icebergs in Greenland, corresponding to 20 million tons/22 million us tons of ice per day!

These facts, together with the fjord’s unforgettable scenery, have secured the Ice fjord a place on UNESCO’s World Heritage List. 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.

On this day, you will also have the opportunity to join a boat trip to the Ice fjord (not included). The journey takes about two and a half hours in total, a great opportunity to take a closer look at the amazing ice-sculpted scenery.

If a hike or a trip by boat does not present enough excitement, there is also an opportunity to arrange a flight excursion over the Ice Fjord (not included).

In the evening, we will cruise southward from “the Iceberg Capital”, leaving lovely Disko Bay behind us as we part.

Ilulissat

Listen to a lecture from our experienced expedition staff, see a film about Arctic nature – or go out on deck to catch glimpses of migrating birds and hopefully some whales.

At Sea

During the night, we have cruised north to reach Nuuk in the morning. As we enter the Nuuk Fjord we have fair chances of encountering the area's seasonal visitors: 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. In the afternoon, we will leave the capital and continue our southbound journey.

Nuuk

We reach South Greenland and expect the reach Arsuk Fjord with the small settlement of the same name. But the important call here is the former cryolite mine at Ivituut, the only place in the world where this very special mineral was mined until depleted 30 years ago. Used in aluminium melting, the mineral became strategically important, and forced the Americans to set up bases in South Greenland to protect the supply during WW 2.

Ivittuut

Early in the morning we sailed into Eriksfjord, which in Tunisia 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 Brattahlid 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. In the afternoon we sail out of Eriksfjord close to Qooroq Isfjord.

Qassiarsuk

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 settlement Aapilattoq in the heart of the fjordlands of South West Greenland to the Atlantic in the east.

Prins Christian Sund

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.

Skjoldungen

Our lecturers onboard will make inspiring and enriching presentations about both Iceland’s and Greenland’s history, nature, wildlife and climatology. A captain’s farewell drink and a slideshow of our voyage will also be presented this evening.

At Sea

As our time in Greenland concludes, we slowly approach the Icelandic Capitol, Reykjavík, and your Arctic adventure will have concluded.

Disembarkation in Reykjavik
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Pricing & date

Greenland to Iceland - In the Wake of Eric the Red from USD 4,790
Departing Ending Duration
03 Aug 2022 14 Aug 2022 12
05 Sep 2022 16 Sep 2022 12

Important Information

  • Cabin accommodation on baord ship
    All meals whilst on baord 
    Charter flight Kanerlussuaq - Keflavik
    Guiding and expeditions by experienced expediton crew
    Town and settlement tours in Tasiilaq, Kuumiit, Nuuk, Qeqertarsuaq, Ilulissat and Itilleq
    Taxes and tariffs

    EXCLUSIONS

    Hotel accommodation in Iceland
    Travel insurance
    Extra excursions not mentioned in the itinerary 
    Single room supplement
    Meals not on board the ship
    Personal expenses
    Customary gratuities for the crew

  • 2 (light adventure)
  • Available on request, contact us for more details.

  • Please note this itinerary may be subject to change depending on weather and ice 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 remain 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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