South & West Greenland in Luxury 13 daysAboard:
Join us for a journey that follows the route of the Norse in their explorations of Greenland. Heading first to East Greenland, we will experience the beauty of deep fjords and crystal clear glaciers. In South and West Greenland, we will see the remains of Norse settlements and will visit small towns and villages to encounter a fascinating mix of local and Danish culture. Visiting Ilulissat’s Icefjord (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) will illustrate the tremendous forces of nature that influence the life of the Greenlanders. Throughout the voyage, learn about the history, geology, wildlife and botany of this spectacular area from lecture presentations offered by your knowledgeable on board Expedition Team.
- Bird and marine wildlife
- Magnificent scenery
- Historical associations
- Full board accommodation on board ship, including all beverages
- Butler service in all suites
- Zodiac and shore excursions
- Highly qualified expedition team with experts in their field (marine biologists, ornithologists, historians and more)
- Programme of expert lectures
- Free wifi
- Complimentary expedition gear: backpack and water bottle on every voyage, Haglöfs parka for polar expeditions
So much to experience
Too much to choose from? This is where we come in
Take advantage of our vast experience, passion and expertise to help you hand craft the perfect Arctic adventure for you.
Simon’s deep passion for and first-hand knowledge of a vast range of destinations all over the world gives him the ideal skills to help you create a truly unforgettable wildlife inspired adventure to the most exciting places on the planet.
With countless travel experiences and an enduring hunger for adventure, Zoe knows exactly what’s needed to craft a holiday of a lifetime. Her experience and generosity of spirit are legendary and she’ll help you build an itinerary that will make all your dreams come true.
Mike lives and breathes adventure travel and has a wealth of experience in some of the most exciting and inspirational destinations in the world. His expertise and first-hand experience afford him the skills to help build holidays to remember.
Our popularitinerary Suggestions
All our itinerary holidays are fully customisable
Embark and set sail.
You may wish to arrive a day earlier to experience this unique city. Sprawling Reykjavík, the nation's nerve center and government seat, is home to half the island's population. On a bay overlooked by proud Mt. Esja (pronounced eh-shyuh), with its ever-changing hues, Reykjavík presents a colorful sight, its concrete houses painted in light colors and topped by vibrant red, blue, and green roofs.
Spend time on deck looking for birds and marine mammals or just relax and enjoy luxurious onboard surroundings and facilities.
We will spend much of the day out on deck to take in the scenery: towering mountains tipped with snow, ice-scraped valley sides and sculptured icebergs in shades of white and blue. Upon arriving at the top of the fjord where we can easily see the retreating state of the Thrym Glacier, we will have our first Zodiac cruise of the journey, allowing us to explore this picturesque setting from a unique, up-close perspective. Later, spend time on deck to marvel at the spectacular scenery and to look for humpback whales and orcas, frequently seen at the entrance of the fjord.
Prince Christian Sund & Aappilattoq
Our plan for today is to explore one of South Greenland’s most dramatic natural features: Prince Christian Sund. On either side, waterfalls stream down sharp mountainsides as we navigate the fjord through a sea of icebergs born of compacted ancient snows that calve into the sound at the glacier’s edge, each iceberg different from the next.
In the afternoon, and shortly before leaving the sound, we will visit the small settlement of Aappilattoq. You can walk through the village and climb a nearby hill for excellent views of the sound and the mountains.
Nanortalik and Uunartoq Island
Nanortalik lies in a scenic area surrounded by steep mountainsides and is Greenland’s most southerly town. Visit the excellent open-air museum and, time permitting enjoy the tradition of kaffe-mik (coffee and cake) and a folk dancing presentation at the Cultural Centre.
In the afternoon, we drop anchor at Uunartoq. Since the days of the Norse, the hot springs here have been renowned for their healing effects. Take this opportunity to relax and unwind in steaming waters. It is quite an experience to be in the hot spring and see icebergs float by.
Qaqortoq & Hvalsey
This morning we arrive at the picturesque harbour town of Qaqortoq. Our local guides will take us to the charming town square, home to Greenland’s oldest fountain built in 1928. Surrounding it are two churches, one old and one new, an open-air fish and meat market, and the Qaqortoq Museum. This modest museum houses a superb collection of historical artefacts associated with Inuit hunting and fishing, a whaler’s gun and a collection of contemporary artwork.
Northeast of Qaqortoq and at the end of a fjord, Hvalsey is one of the best examples of South Greenland’s many scattered ruins from the Norse period. Today the area is used for sheep-grazing, but until the 15th century the settlement at Hvalsey, and specifically Hvalsey’s church, played an important part. Christianity had spread its influence throughout Europe and eventually had reached remote Greenland, where it established itself in the country in 1000 AD. Hvalsey Church was built in the 14th century and is the best preserved of the churches in Greenland from that period.
Qassiarsuk and Ittileq
Qassiarsuk is the newer, Greenlandic name for this small village. Brattahlid is the older, Norse name. Here we tour the foundation remains of the manor house of Erik the Red, who found Greenland after being banished from Iceland and Norway for murder. We will also visit the site of the first Christian church ever built in North America (physiographically speaking), see a recently unearthed Norse graveyard that contains remains of 144 Norse colonists, and have a chance to admire Hans Lynge’s remarkable bronze sculpture of Erik the Red.
Itilleq is an idyllic little village located on a small island about a half a mile off the west coast of Greenland, and only about a mile north of the Arctic Circle. It is one of the most picturesque villages in Greenland with its quaint colorful houses surrounded by stunning rugged mountains and glaciers. Originally, the village of Itilleq was founded on another island in 1847, but was later moved to its present location. The 100 people living here today survive mainly on hunting and fishing, with a fish factory being the main employer.
Spend time on deck looking for birds and sea life, attend wildlife, geography and history discussions hosted by our expert naturalists and guest lecturers, or simply relax and enjoy all the luxury facilities on board.
Nuuk, meaning “the cape”, was Greenland’s first town (1728). Started as a fort and later mission and trading post some 240 kilometers south of the Arctic Circle, it is the current capital. Almost 30% of Greenland’s population lives in the town. Not only does Nuuk have great natural beauty in its vicinity, but there are Inuit ruins, Hans Egede’s home, the parliament, and the Church of our Saviour as well. The Greenlandic National Museum has an outstanding collection of Greenlandic traditional dresses, as well as the famous Qilakitsoq mummies.
Evighedsfjord & Kangaamiut
Within roughly an hour of steaming south from Kangerlussuaq Fjord is Evighedsfjord Fjord. The fjords in this area can reach close to a kilometer (over half a mile) of depth and are lined with tidewater glaciers from the Maniitsoq ice sheet located high up in the interior of Greenland. Some of the cliffs along the fjords of this region can exceed 2,000 metres (6,600 ft.) in height.
The Evigheids Glacier flows from the Greenland Ice Sheet, the second largest ice body in the world after the Antarctic ice sheet, to the west. It is a slow-moving tidewater glacier, meaning this valley glacier winds down through the coastal mountains to the ocean at a snail’s pace. As the glacial ice enters the water it begins to float and the eventually breaks apart into icebergs that float away down the fjord. The shades of blue and carved shapes of these ice floes are infinite.
Only 350 people live in the small Greenlandic community of Kangaamiut. Located on the south coast of Timerdlit Island and facing the Davis Strait, Kangaamiut is situated between the mouths of two long fjords: the Kangerlussuatsiaq Fjord (or Evighedsfjorden in Danish) to its south and to its north Kangaamiut Kangerluarsuat Fjord. Founded in 1755, it was called “Sugarloaf” (Sukkertoppen) because of the appearance of three nearby hills.
Known as the birthplace of icebergs, the Ilulissat Icefjord produces nearly 20 million tons of ice each day. In fact, the word Ilulissat means “icebergs” in the Kalaallisut language. The town of Ilulissat is known for its long periods of calm and settled weather, but the climate tends to be cold due to its proximity to the fjord. Approximately 4,500 people live in Ilulissat, the third-largest town in Greenland after Nuuk and Sisimiut. Some people here estimate that there are nearly as many sled dogs as human beings living in the town. In addition to the charming local history museum in Ilulissat, there is a view of the Icefjord from a boardwalk at the outskirts of town. The magnificent Icefjord is a UNESCO World Heritage site and the northern hemisphere’s most active glacier with icebergs evident in all shapes, sizes and shades of blue.
Located just north of the Arctic Circle, Sisimiut is the northernmost town in Greenland where the port remains free of ice in the winter. Yet it is also the southernmost town where there is enough snow and ice to drive a dogsled in winter and spring. In Sisimiut, travelling by sled has been the primary means of winter transportation for centuries. In fact, the area has been inhabited for approximately 4,500 years. Modern Sisimiut is the largest business center in the north of Greenland, and is one of the fastest growing Greenlandic cities.
Arrive in the morning and disembark after breakfast.
A view from Above
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