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Midnight sun light, Ilulissat

Reykjavik to Kangerlussuaq

Example 12 Day Cruise aboard Silver Wind
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Your ultimate Arctic experience begins here. Join the Silver Wind and sail through the stark beauty of Svalbard during this 12-day voyage. This intimate exploration offers unprecedented access to a very remote region. Gaze amazed as the sun never sets on the abundance of wildlife that thrives here – both above and below the waves, hopefully spotting the mighty Polar Bear during a Zodiac Cruise.
Street view of old town Reykjavik
Highlights
  • See the artefacts at the Sisimiut Museum
  • Tour the capital of Greenland, Nuuk
  • Explore the Evigheds Glacier
  • Cruise along the Prince Christian Sound
  • Discover the stunning capital city of Reykjavik
Trip Type:
  • Small Ship
Activity Level: Relaxed
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Full Itinerary

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Day 1: Reykjavik, Iceland | Embark

The capital of Iceland’s land of ice, fire and natural wonder, Reykjavik is a city like no other - blossoming among some of the world’s most vibrant and violent scenery. Home to two-thirds of Iceland’s population, Reykjavik is the island’s only real city, and a welcoming and walkable place - full of bicycles gliding along boulevards or battling the wind when it rears up. Fresh licks of paint brighten the streets, and an artistic and creative atmosphere embraces studios and galleries - as well as the kitchens where an exciting culinary scene is burgeoning. Plot your adventures in the city's hip bars and cosy cafes, or waste no time in venturing out to Iceland’s outdoor adventures. Reykjavik’s buildings stand together in a low huddle - below the whip of winter’s winds - but the magnificent Hallgrímskirkja church is a solid exception, with its bell tower rising resolutely over the city. 

Day 2: At Sea

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Days at sea are the perfect opportunity to relax, unwind and catch up with what you’ve been meaning to do. So whether that is going to the gym, visiting the spa, whale watching, catching up on your reading or simply topping up your tan, these blue sea days are the perfect balance to busy days spent exploring shore side.

Day 3: Skjoldungen

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Located on Greenland’s relatively rarely visited rugged east coast, Skoldungen Fjord has enchanting scenery with towering mountains tipped with snow, ice-scraped valley sides and sculptured icebergs in shades of white and blue. At the top of the fjord one can easily see the retreating state of the Thrym Glacier. The U-shaped fjord offers spectacular scenery and as an extra perk, it is not uncommon to see whales in the fjord.

Day 4: Cruise Prince Christian Sound | Aappilattoq (Kujallec)

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The transit through the Sound is one of this voyage’s highlights. Connecting the Labrador Sea with the Irminger Seat, Prince Christian Sound or “Prins Christian Sund” in Danish is named after Prince (later King) Christian VII (1749-1808). 100 km (60 miles ), long and at times just 500 m (1500 ft) wide, this majestic and spectacular fiord throws you back into a Viking era – flanked by soaring snow-topped mountains, rock-strewn cliffs and rolling hills, it is as if time has stood still and one easily forgets that this is the 21st century. As you marvel at the sheer size of the mountains that surround you, with the Arctic waters lapping deceptively at the hull, revel in the silence enveloping you. Icebergs float serenely by, carrying with them the ages of time. Be sure to wear warm clothing as this is one spectacle that you do not want to miss.

If you’re looking for remote and remarkable then you have found it. Cruise through Prince Christian Sound to the western end and you’ll find Aapilattoq, a (very) small Greenlandic village of just 100 inhabitants. The name of the village means “sea anemone” in the local Greenlandic language, and the fact that the village has retained its Inuit name is a good indication of what you can expect; traditional village life much as it has been for the past 100 years. Hunting and fishing are the main occupations here, and it is not unusual when taking a stroll through Aappilattoq, past the small school (where 22 pupils from ages 3-16 are enrolled) and church, to come across a polar bear skin drying in the wind behind a local dwelling. The village is hidden behind a prominent red rock and towering mountains, which make the village virtually inaccessible by land. Naturally, the Aapilattoq and its surrounding area are phenomenally rich in Arctic wildlife: Arctic fox and Arctic hare live in the countryside around the village while marine mammals include ringed seal, harbour seal, hooded seal, bearded seal, harp seal, humpback whale (typically in summer), minke whale, fin whale, narwhal, and beluga.

Day 5: Nanortalik (Kujallek) | Uunartoq Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
There is a wonderful legend that the Vikings named Greenland Green and Iceland Ice in order to confuse potential attackers. Because it is quite the opposite; if Iceland is full of emerald forest, then expect ice in Greenland. Lots and lots of ice. Thus one shouldn’t be too surprised to learn that the name Nanortalik means “place of polar bears”. Although, as Nanortalik is Greenland’s most southerly town, don’t be too disappointed if you don’t see any. In truth, Greenland’s polar bears typically live much further north. What you will see however is Mother Nature at her finest. Vertical cliff walls, sheets of floating sea ice and a plethora of Arctic wildlife that amount to an adventurer’s wonderland. As Nanortalik itself is located on a small island in the southern tip of Greenland, nature is never far away, wherever you find yourself. The optimistically named city centre is surrounded by the pristine waters of Tasermiut Fjord and dotted with the colourful houses you would expect this far north.

In the local Kalaallisut language, Uunartoq means 'hot', and there is no mystery why. Several warm springs exist in Greenland, but Uunartoq Island is the only site where the waters form a pool warm enough to bathe in. Although not as well known as the famous springs of Iceland, nowhere can challenge Uunartoq for scenery. The picturesque series of steaming pools are backed by some of the best scenery Greenland has to offer. Icebergs larger than city blocks drift through the labyrinth of fjords which make up Southern Greenland, passing as they drift towards the ocean. Mountains pierce the clouds, and the tundra blooms in the long summer days; and there is no better way to appreciate the spectacular wilderness of South Greenland than from the perfectly warmed natural comfort of the Uunartoq hot spring. The ancient crystalline rock of Southern Greenland is nearly two billion years old. A fault in the rock allows water to sink down into the ground, where Earth's internal heat warms it, causing it to rise again.

Day 6: Qaqortoq (JulianehÄb) | Hvalsey

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The largest town in southern Greenland, Qaqortoq has been inhabited since prehistoric times. Upon arrival in this charming southern Greenland enclave, it's easy to see why. Qaqortoq rises quite steeply over the fjord system around the city, offering breath-taking panoramic vistas of the surrounding mountains, deep, blue sea, Lake Tasersuag, icebergs in the bay, and pastoral backcountry. Although the earliest signs of ancient civilization in Qaqortoq date back 4,300 years, Qaqortoq is known to have been inhabited by Norse and Inuit settlers in the 10th and 12th centuries, and the present-day town was founded in 1774. In the years since, Qaqortoq has evolved into a seaport and trading hub for fish and shrimp processing, tanning, fur production, and ship maintenance and repair.

18 kilometers northeast of Qaqortoq, Hvalsey is part of Qaqortukulooq, one of the five sites of the UNESCO World Heritage Arctic farming complex Kujataa. Between Eriksfjord to the north and Einarsfjord to the south, the Hvalseyfjord branches off from Einarsfjord. Although Hvalsey is better known for the well-preserved ruins of one of the sixteen churches in the Norse’s Eastern Settlement, the church was in a farmstead known as Thjodhild’s Stead. This farmstead at the northeastern end of the fjord included a large building with living quarters, a hall and livestock pens, as well as other livestock pens, a storage building and a warehouse –the ruins of which can still be seen. The Norse farming laid the foundation for the Inuit farming in later centuries, leading to the UNESCO World Heritage status in 2017. In the 14th century account “Descriptions of Greenland” the abundant fish, a reindeer farm on Reindeer Island and Hvalsey’s name “Whale Island” clearly indicate that the Norse had ample food sources at that time. 

Day 7: At Sea

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Days at sea are the perfect opportunity to relax, unwind and catch up with what you’ve been meaning to do. So whether that is going to the gym, visiting the spa, whale watching, catching up on your reading or simply topping up your tan, these blue sea days are the perfect balance to busy days spent exploring shore side.

Day 8: Nuuk (Godthab)

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
In the bustling capital city of Greenland, you could be forgiven for forgetting you are in such a vast and isolated country. Nuuk is Greenland's economic and social hub, home to more than a third of Greenland's population, and although it feels like a world capital, scratch the surface, and a uniquely Greenlandic character can be found underneath. Nuuk Cathedral overlooks the gorgeous old Colonial Harbour district and the Greenland National Museum, resting place of the legendary Qilakitsoq mummies, the true highlight of the museum's archaeological collection. Above the Colonial Harbour sits downtown Nuuk, with lines of Scandistyle apartments, a bustling shopping district, the Greenlandic Parliament, Nuuk City Hall (which welcomes visitors to see its artwork) and even outdoor cafes selling locally produced food and beer. These nods to modernity compete for space with local artisan boutiques, the meat market selling the catch from Nuuk's vast fjord-lands, and the stunning Katuaq Cultural Centre, where blockbuster movies, as well as local and foreign performers entertain the people of Nuuk.

Day 9: Evighedsfjord | Evigheds Glacier

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Evighedsfjord (Eternity Fjord) is a large fjord northeast of Kangaamiut in southwest Greenland. The fjord has a length of 75 kilometers and several branches with numerous glaciers coming down from the Maniitsoq Ice Cap to the north can be seen. The Evighedsfjord has several bends and whenever the ship reaches the supposed end the fjord continues in another direction and seems to go on forever. Qingua Kujatdleq Glacier is at its southeastern end. At the northwestern end a U-shaped valley has seven glaciers coming down from the mountains but not reaching the water. The glaciers had their maximum extent around the year 1870 and have gone through several cycles of advance and retreat. The mountains on either side of the fjord can reach in excess of 2,000 meters and the fjord has a depth of up to 700 meters. Evighedsfjord’s snowline is at 1,100 meters and the Evighedsfjord region is famous as one of Greenland’s best heli-skiing areas.

The Evigheds 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.

Day 10: Ilulissat

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
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 that also boasts a local history museum located in the former home of Greenlandic folk hero and famed polar explorer Knud Rasmussen.

Day 11: Sisimiut

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Sisimiut ('The People of the Fox Holes') is Greenland's second city, the largest Arctic City in North America, and a hub between the warmer South and the frozen North of the country. With a young, dynamic population, including students from all over the country, Sisimiut is one of the fastest growing cities in Greenland. Inhabited for more than four and a half thousand years, the Danish Colonial Era saw the rapid development of the city into a trade centre, and the old buildings and artefacts can be seen at Sisimiut Museum, a collection of beautifully restored buildings displaying everything from ancient turf houses to modern Inuit art. The local artisans are considered some of the best in Greenland, and often sell their wares direct from their communal workshop in the harbour, where they barter with hunters for raw materials. Today, modern industry focussed on processing sea food and shipping; KNI, the state-run chain of general stores operating in even the most remote settlements is based in Sisimiut.

Day 12: Kangerlussuaq | Disembark

  • 1 Breakfast
Kangerlussuaq is a settlement in western Greenland in the Qeqqata municipality located at the head of the fjord of the same name (Danish: Søndre Strømfjord). It is Greenland's main air transport hub and the site of Greenland's largest commercial airport. The airport dates from American settlement during and after World War II, when the site was known as Bluie West-8 and Sondrestrom Air Base. The Kangerlussuaq area is also home to Greenland's most diverse terrestrial fauna, including muskoxen, caribou, and gyrfalcons. The settlement's economy and population of 512 is almost entirely reliant on the airport and tourist industry.

Photo Gallery

Midnight sun light, Ilulissat Street view of old town Reykjavik Colorful Sisimiut, Greenland Old Harbour, Nuuk, Greenland Houses of Greenland Get a close up view of the Greenland ice sheet

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Notes

INCLUDED IN THE CRUISE FARE

  •  Guided Zodiac, land and sea tours, and shoreside activities led by the Expeditions Team

  •  Parka

  •  Enrichment lectures by a highly qualified Expeditions Team

  •  Spacious suites

  •  Butler service in every suite

  •  Unlimited Free Wifi

  •  Personalised service – nearly one crew member for every guest

  •  Choice of restaurants, diverse cuisine, open-seating dining

  •  Beverages in-suite and throughout the ship, including champagne, select wines and spirits

  •  In-suite dining and room service

  •  Onboard entertainment

  •  Onboard gratuities



*Rates are capacity controlled and are subject to change without notice.

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Everything was amazing! The planning with Adventure Life went smoothly. The actual trip was fantastic! One of the best trips I have experienced. The cruise staff members were knowledgeable and attentive. I will be writing more about this on the blog!
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