Mythical Iceland to Greenland 16 DaysAboard:
Join us for this exciting journey from Iceland to discover the spectacular east, south and west coasts of Greenland. Departing from Reykjavik you will discover Heimaey Island off Iceland’s south coast before crossing the Denmark Strait for 11 days of exploration in the Arctic wilderness wonderland of Greenland. Witness some of the most spectacular and unspoilt scenery on earth, visit historic sites from the Viking era and experience a sense of true wilderness on this unique and in-depth discovery voyage.
- Experience true wilderness and amazing birdlife in Iceland
- Explore some of the most spectacular and unspoilt scenery on earth on Greenland
- Visit historical sites from the Viking era
- Discover the heart of Greenland - villages, islands and spectacular fjords
- Experience the Midnight Sun
- Full board accommodation on board ship
- Transfer ship to airport in Kangerlussuaq
- Excursion towards Icecap in Kangerlussuaq incl. BBQ after the voyage
- Economy flight Kangerlussuaq to Copenhagen post-voyage
- Wind and water-resistant jacket
- Landings with small boats and activities on board and ashore
- Professional English-speaking Expedition team that provide lectures as well as accompanying landings and activities
- Free tea and coffee
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.
Mike has more than 15 years of experience in the travel industry and continues to be inspired by the people, places and wildlife he discovers. His in-depth personal knowledge of a diverse range of destinations ensures your adventure itinerary will be a holiday like no other.
Having amassed a host of extraordinary adventures in destinations all over the world, Zoe’s experience, skills and enthusiasm for helping clients plan their ideal itinerary will help make your holiday unforgettable, action packed and life-changing.
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.
Our popularitinerary Suggestions
All our itinerary holidays are fully customisable
Your Arctic adventure will begin in Reykjavik, the capital of Iceland, where your expedition vessel will be waiting for you. You may wish to arrive a day or 2 early to spend some time exploring this charming and vibrant modern city which offers top restaurants, interesting museums and quirky narrow streets. Embarkation will begin in the afternoon and as you settle in to your cabin and explore your new surroundings we will set sail for Heimaey.
Spectacular Heimaey is the largest of the Westman Islands and will be the first stop on our exciting expedition. Our historian experts will accompany us here as we explore this island which is known as “Iceland’s Pompeii” due to an unexpected volcanic eruption in 1973 which forced the entire population of the island to evacuate and set sail to mainland Iceland. The eruption caused substantial damage, with a large number of buildings being buried underneath the ash and lava, and many being completely destroyed. A number of buildings have since been unearthed and restored and there is now a fascinating museum, Eldheimar, which has been built around the remains of one of the homes.
Located off the south coast of Iceland, the Westman Islands are dominated by magnificent cliffs which form the natural habitats for many different seabirds, including puffins and kittiwakes, and are also a great place for whale watching. We will hope to explore by small boat through the surrounding waters in search of wildlife sightings.
Leaving behind mythical Iceland we will spend the day at sea sailing across the Denmark Strait towards southeast Greenland. This fabled sea passage holds many stories and you may wish to attend some of the onboard lectures and presentations to gain an insight into the area’s history, including the passage of the Vikings and the famous WWII battle between the Royal Navy and the German Kriegsmarine which took place in May 1941. We also recommend spending some time on deck looking for your first sightings of icefloes and watching the seabirds following in the ship’s wake.
Today will be a very special day as we reach the eastern coast of Greenland and alight at Umivik bay to discover its beautiful scenery and historical connotations. It is here where Nansen stepped ashore almost exactly 131 years ago to the day to begin his pioneering crossing of the Greenland icecap, and we will spend the day exploring the bay’s abandoned settlements and enjoying a small boat cruise around the area’s many glaciers which calve their icebergs into the sea.
Skjoldungen & Exploring East Greenland
On day 5 we will arrive at Skjoldungen Island, a currently uninhabited island which was carved from Greenland by mighty glaciers, which we can see as we enjoy a cruise through the deep fjords. As we sail through the fjords make sure to have your cameras ready for the beautiful scenery of steep rock cliffs, rising to the magnificent peak of Azimuthbjerg which stands at over 1,700 metres high at the northwest point of the island.
On day 6 we will have no fixed itinerary as we take the opportunity to enjoy a day of adventures at sea. Your captain and expedition leader will assess the weather and ice conditions to choose the best course for today and we hope to be able to offer a cruise among the icebergs and a landing at Igdlukulik in Lindenow fjord.
Prince Christian Sound
Our next experience in Greenland will be the spectacular Prince Christian Sound which separates mainland Greenland with Sangmissoq and the other islands of the Cape Farewell Archipelago. We plan to spend the day here sailing through the narrow channel so make sure to be on deck with your cameras ready for some spectacular scenery of steep mountains and glaciers calving icebergs straight into the ocean. If the channel is blocked with ice, we will instead sail around Nunap Isua (Cape Farewell).
Today we will make our first landing in southern Greenland as we go ashore on the uninhabited island of Uunartoq to visit the numerous natural hot springs to perhaps enjoy a soak in the bubbling balmy waters. Set amongst grassy fields and surrounded by stunning mountain peaks and drifting icebergs this authentic experience will certainly be one to remember.
As we reach Qassiarsuk we will begin our discovery of the history of the Vikings as we visit where Erik the Red built his Brattahlíð estate in 982 A.D. This scenic area is host to a landscape of lush green fields dotted with sheep and busy farmsteads and provides a colourful contrast to the icescapes at sea.
Our historians will accompany us here as we learn about how and why Erik settled in Qassiarsuk, and enjoy a guided walk through the settlement. You will be able to visit the reconstruction of Erik’s longhouse and the church that Erik’s wife Tjodhildur made him build, as well as visiting the town’s current church and participating in some of the optional activities available including hiking and kayaking.
Igaliku and Hvalsey
Today we will visit one of the most beautiful villages in Greenland as we arrive at Igaliku to discover a delightful landscape of tall snow-covered mountain peaks, lush valleys and the oldest sheep farming settlement on the island. Here we will enjoy a walk around the area to meet some of the locals (the current population stands at 27) and see the area’s unique sandstone houses as well as experiencing the stunning views of the Igaliku fjord. We will also see some attractive relics of the Viking period, including a cathedral which was the biggest of all churches in Greenland in the Middle Ages.
Later we will use our small boats to come ashore at Hvalsey to see some of the best-preserved ruins from the Norse period including Hvalsey Church which is estimated to have been built in the 14th century. Our expert historians will accompany us as we explore the area and find out about how Erik the Red’s relatives established the farmstead late in the 10th century.
We conclude our exploration of southwest Greenland with a visit to the abandoned mining town of Ivittuut. This uninhabited settlement is a stronghold for musk oxen and was built on top of the so-called Norse Middle settlement. More than a thousand years ago, Vikings settled the area with about twenty farms. It is the smallest and least well known of the Norse settlements on Greenland, and no written records of its residents have been found. This is why archaeologists believe it was the last one established, and the first to be abandoned. We might meet some of the hunters who return to seek shelter in the old houses by the sea.
Moving northwards up the west coast we will reach the mouth of one of the largest and most spectacular fjord systems in the world to visit Nuuk, the oldest and largest town in Greenland. The capital of Greenland, Nuuk offers a unique mixture of old and new, with picturesque historic buildings and churches dotted amongst modern government and academic buildings. Nuuk is home to almost a third of Greenland’s population and there is plenty to do here including city tours, hikes, scenic flights and visits to the Greenland National Museum - home to the mummies from Qilakilsoq.
At the head of the beautiful Nuuk fjord lies Kapisillit, a small settlement that is home to just under 100 people. Here we will enjoy a thrilling small boat cruise along the fjord where on a calm day the reflections of the mountains in the still fjord waters are quite simply breathtaking.
As we make our way towards Kangerlussuaq we will stop to visit Maniitsoq. Dubbed the “Venice of Greenland” owing to its unique position in an archipelago, intersected by small natural canals, Maniitsoq is set amongst the most impressive of landscapes. With the rugged peaks of the Eternity Fjord on one side and huge glaciers on the other this unique area is a wonderful place to explore on foot. You can spend the day walking around the colourful houses connected by small roads and wooden stairs, shopping for souvenirs, or even enjoying a kayaking excursion. This is also an excellent place to spot whales with humpbacks often being seen frolicking in the surrounding ocean waters.
As we near the end of our expedition there is time for one more adventure as we sail through the 190km fjord to the town of Kangerlussuaq and disembark to enjoy an excursion to the Greenland Ice Cap. This vast icy wasteland stretches 1,500 miles north and reaches heights of up to 3,200 metres above sea level and offers phenomenal photo opportunities. In the late afternoon we will enjoy a barbecue meal surrounded by beautiful scenery before transferring to the airport for your late evening flight to Copenhagen.
After your overnight flight you will arrive in "Wonderful, Wonderful Copenhagen" where your thrilling Arctic adventure will sadly come to an end.
A view from Above
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