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Northern Lights in Greenland

Into the Northwest Passage

Example 14 Day Cruise aboard Ocean Albatros
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Begin your journey in Kangerlussuaq, Greenland. Cruise to the Inuit land of Nunavut on Baffin Island to visit several small settlements and learn about everyday life for the people who have called this harsh region home for generations. As the ship continues toward the entrance to the Northwest Passage, keep on the lookout for polar bears, narwhal and the numerous bowhead whales feeding off Baffin Island's coast. Next return to Greenland, visiting Qaanaaq, the northernmost town in Greenland. Navigate further down the west coast to Upernavik, Uummannaq and Ilulissat before returning to Kangerlussuaq. This expedition voyage encompasses the wide range of the highlights of the Arctic region, from the stunning scenery to uniquely adapted wildlife to distinctive cultures.
First views of Baffin IslandRugged mountains of GreenlandColorful homes in GreenlandHouses of GreenlandOne of Greenland's many glaciersNorthern Lights in Greenland
  • Photograph birds and wildlife in their stunning natural habitat
  • Marvel at Ilulissat Icefjord, where most north Atlantic icebergs originate
  • Travel to Greenland, Nunavut, and the Northwest Territories in one sailing
  • Learn about Inuit communities, culture, and worldview first hand
Places Visited
Activity Level: Relaxed

Full Itinerary

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Day 1: Kangerlussuaq | Embark

Board a chartered flight in Keflavik, Iceland, bound for Kangerlussuaq in Greenland. Upon arrival to Kangerlussuaq (Søndre Strømfjord), transfer to the small port located west of the airport, where your ship will be anchored. After the mandatory safety drill, enjoy a dinner as Ocean Atlantic ‘sets sail’ through the 160-kilometer Kangerlussuaq fjord.

Day 2: At Sea

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Enjoy a day at sea while the ship is heads across Davis Strait to Baffin Island in the Canadian territory of Nunavut. During the crossing, there are good opportunities to relax in the ship's library, participate in the series of lectures held by Albatros Expeditions’ lecturers, and look for seabirds and whales on the course to the southwest.
Onboard lecturers will make inspiring and enriching presentations about John Davis, Canada's and Greenland’s past history, and the unique polar wildlife, nature and climatology. 

The west coast of Greenland is favored by mild waters of the Gulf Stream, whereas the Baffin Island current along Baffin Island's shores is cold. The officers on the bridge will keep an eye out for icebergs flowing down "Iceberg Alley" from the big glaciers in Greenland and Arctic Canada. 

Day 3: Qikiqtarjuaq, Baffin Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Overnight the ship has approached Cape Dyer, where the United States established one of their many DEW (Distant Early Warning) stations that surround the Arctic continental American. Cape Dyer itself is a towering edge towards the Davis Strait of about 800-meter elevation. The cliff and the station could very well be your first view of Arctic Canada (if you’re awake!)

Like its Greenlandic named counterpart Qeqertarsuaq, Qikiqtarjuaq means “the big island.” The town, with around 600 inhabitants, lies on an island outside of Baffin’s east coast. The area is known for many whales, and the Bowhead whale (also known as the Greenland right whale or Arctic whale) which is only found in polar waters, is often observed in congregations here.

Day 4: Isabella Bay

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Follow the Baffin Island east coast further north to Isabella Bay, which is designated a Bowhead whale sanctuary. If you haven’t had any sightings yet, the chances are very good with hundreds of whales feeding here each summer. The Ninginganiq marine habitat around Isabella Bay is a protected National Wildlife Area. The Inuktitut word "Ninginganiq" translates roughly into "the place where fog sits," so keep a watchful eye for the excitingly abundant fauna through the weather.

Day 5: Sam Ford Fjord

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The sheer magnitude of vertical rocks on each side of the Sam Ford Fjord make it worth a side step. For many rock climbers, these steep granite walls are pilgrimage objects. For those less inclined to scaling cliffs in cold climates, the natural beauty of the fjord and the dark waters that are home to narwhals and seals provide plenty of attraction. The isolated fjord was created by glaciers and some of the cliffs rise to 1500 meters above sea level. In this amazing wilderness area, you are also likely to spot many migratory birds.

Day 6: Pond Inlet

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Pond Inlet, which in the local Inuit language is named Mittimatalik, is a town of 1600 inhabitants, most of whom are Inuit. Take a stroll through the town and notice the building styles and culture, and compare these to what you see later in Greenland. 

The polar Arctic climate allows for only short summers. Still, visitors come here to experience the spectacular views of mountains, glaciers and icebergs floating along.

After the visit, head back to the ship for lunch and head north through the Eclipse Sound dividing Baffin Island and Bylot Island. 

Day 7: Lancaster Sound

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Today cruise further north into the gateway to the Northwest Passage, Lancaster Sound. Depending on the ice situation and the weather, the ship will make its way into the entrance of the passage. The idea of a short cut through the North West to the Pacific Ocean was alive for hundreds of years before it was finally deemed too difficult for regular commercial use. A few icebreaking tanker ships from Canada's northern oil fields are the only commercial ships navigating the route. 

During the day, cruise along the eastern coast of Devon, which is the largest uninhabited island in the world. Continue north toward Ellesmere Island, which is the third largest island in Arctic Canada. All migrations of the Inuit to Greenland have crossed over Ellesmere Island and Smith Sound. The course will break east and set straight for Greenland’s western coast.

Smith Sound and its northern continuation, the Kennedy Channel, have strong currents, acting as an outlet for polar pack ice and icebergs from the Arctic Ocean. The bridge officers will of course keep a vigilant watch as the ship approaches Greenland.

Day 8: Qaanaaq

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Spend a day visiting Qaanaaq, the northernmost town in Greenland and one of the more isolated communities in the world. Until modern times, yearlong sea ice and plenty of calving glaciers into the bay isolated North Greenland, and it was only through the adventurous dogsledding expeditions and tireless work of Knud Rasmussen and his friends at the beginning of the 20th century that the Thule Inuit came into contact with the Greenlanders further south. The language of the Northern Inuit is still distinctive from the rest of Greenland.

Day 9: At Sea

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
After leaving Qaanaaq in the evening, pass the American Thule Base as well as Meteor Island and settlement of Savissivik during the night. 

Day 10: Upernavik

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The Upernavik territory covers an area nearly the size of Great Britain. The town itself and the ten smaller settlements in the area are inhabited by about 3000 people, mostly Inuit hunters. Upernavik is home to the world’s northernmost open-air museum with well-preserved buildings from the colonial period. Today, Upernavik is a mix between the hunter culture of old and the new wave, with dog sleighs being used alongside modern snowmobiles: even this far north, modernity is catching up.

The city itself was founded as a Danish colonial station, but the surrounding areas and small villages history go back more than 4500 years, when groups of hunters and gatherers travelled along the coasts of Alaska, Canada, and Greenland.

Anchor and make a landing to visit the little city and the museum.

Leaving Upernavik behind, pass Svartenhuk's darkly colored hills and keep a lookout for the whales these waters are famous for.

Day 11: Uummannaq

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
When you wake up this morning, you will find yourself almost 600km north of the Arctic Circle, and in one of Greenland’s most beautiful and sunny regions. The ship has reached Uummannaq, situated on a small island. Uummannaq means "place where the heart is," and the impressive 1,175m heart-shaped mountain that gave the town its name dominates the view. Explore the city before heading back to the ship for lunch.

Day 12: Ilulissat | Disko bay

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Ilulissat is one of the most scenic towns in Greenland. The name simply means "icebergs" in Greenlandic, and the town’s nickname is - quite rightly - "the Iceberg Capital of the World."

Just south of town, Ilulissat Icefjord expels gigantic icebergs into the cold waters of Disko Bay. These impressive frozen structures are born some 30km deeper into the fjord by the enormous Sermeq Kujalleq Glacier. This 10km wide glacier is the most productive outside of Antarctica. Whereas most glaciers only calve at a rate of approximately a meter (3.2 ft) per day, the Ilulissat glacier moves forward at a rate of 25 meters per day, producing more than 10% of all icebergs in Greenland. This, along with the fjord’s unforgettable scenery, have secured the Icefjord 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 welcoming and lively with a wide range of cultural attractions, according to Greenlandic standards. The legendary Arctic explorer, Knud Rasmussen was born in Ilulissat.

During the visit you will have the opportunity to join a boat trip to the Ice fjord (optional excursion). 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 in fixed-wing aircraft over the Ice fjord (optional excursion).

*Please note the boat and flight excursions to the Ice fjord are not included in the general tour price. Contact a Trip Planner for more details.*

In the evening, cruise southward, leaving lovely Disko Bay behind.

Day 13: At Sea

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Spend today at sea getting glimpses of sea birds migrating south.  

Onboard lecturers will make inspiring and enriching presentations about Greenland’s history, nature, wildlife and climatology.  This evening, enjoy the captain’s farewell drink and a slideshow with all the memories and highlights from the voyage made by the onboard Photographer. 

Day 14: Kangerlussuaq | Disembark

During the night, the ship will have completed passage through the 160-kilometer (100 mile) Kangerlussuaq Fjord. After breakfast aboard the ship, bid farewell to the ship's staff and take a Zodiac shuttle to shore.

Your arctic adventure and time in Greenland concludes as you board the chartered flight from Kangerlussuaq to Keflavik Airport, Iceland.


Ocean Albatros

Dates & Prices

My Preferred Start Date

Per person starting at
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Category G
Single Stateroom (Porthole) 14 m2. Standard single Stateroom on board, located on deck 3.
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Category H
Single Balcony Stateroom 24 m2. Located on Decks 4 & 6. They have a private balcony, a double bed, a bathroom, and a sofa that can be used as a bed for a child if traveling as a family. If you desire to book two staterooms with connecting doors, this is also a possibility within this category.
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Category F
Triple Stateroom (Porthole) 22 m2. There are four Triple Staterooms featuring portholes, all with private en-suites. Located on Deck 3.
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Category E
French Balcony Suite 16 m2. A standard Stateroom with a French balcony, a double bed or two single beds, floor-to-ceiling windows, and a bathroom. Located on Deck 7.
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Category D
Albatros Stateroom (Porthole) 22 m2. All have a double bed or 2 single beds and a bathroom. The State Rooms are located on deck 3 and 4.
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Category C
Balcony Stateroom 24 m2. Located on decks 4 & 6. They have a private balcony, a double bed or two single beds, a bathroom and a sofa that can be used as a bed for a child if traveling as a family. If you desire to book two staterooms with connecting doors, this is also a possibility within this category.
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Category B2
Balcony Suite 28 m2. Located on decks 4 & 6. 4 suites that feature double or twin beds a seating area, bathroom, and a private balcony. Include VIP services
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Category B1
Balcony Suite 35 m2. 2 suites onboard located on deck 4. The suites feature double or twin beds a seating area, a bathroom, and a large private balcony. Include VIP services
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Category A
Junior suite 42 m2. 4 suites with a great view from their location high up on the ship on deck 7. Featuring a double bed or twin beds, a sofa bed, a spacious bathroom, and a private balcony. The suite can accommodate up to 3 people. Include VIP services
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Premium Suite
Premium suite 45 m2. This 2-bedroom suite features a double bed (or twin beds), a sofa bed, a private balcony and a spacious bathroom. Located on deck.4. Include VIP services


  • Charter flight Reykjavik-Kangerlussuaq-Reykjavik  
  • Transfer to/from Kangerlussuaq Port 
  • 14-day/13-night cruise with Ocean Atlantic in a shared outside/inside double cabin with private bathroom/toilet in the category chosen  
  • English-speaking expedition team  
  • Nature hikes and Zodiac cruises per itinerary  
  • Near-port town and settlement walks with expedition team  
  • Information briefings and lectures by expedition team  
  • Full board on ship  
  • Free coffee, tea and afternoon snacks on the ship  
  • Welcome and farewell cocktails      
  • Taxes, tariffs and AECO fees   
  • Special photo workshop  
  • Welcome and farewell cocktails  
  • Digital visual journal link after voyage, including voyage log, gallery, species list and more!  
  • Hotel accommodations pre- and post- cruise
  • Travel insurance
  • Cancellation insurance
  • Extra excursions and activities not mentioned in the itinerary
  • Single room supplement
  • Meals not on board the ship
  • Beverages other than coffee and tea
  • Tips for the crew (we recommend USD 15 per person per day)
  • Personal expenses
  • Anything not mentioned under "Inclusions"
  • Required Emergency Evacuation Insurance of at least $200,000. Please let us know if you need help arranging this.
Practical notes: 
Please note that all the outings and landings rely on weather, sea and ice conditions being favorable both for the ship to access the areas, as for the zodiacs and kayaks to maneuver under adequate conditions, ensuring the safety of all our passengers and staff. For this reason, during moments of harsh weather and throughout the entire trip, Ocean Atlantic has excellent public areas, such as wellness/sauna, restaurant, bar and a library for our passengers to spend their spare time.  Our ship is staffed by experts in the field who will also share great lectures along the way, ranging from exploration history to biology, geology, ice and wildlife. 
  • 13 Breakfasts, 12 Lunches, 13 Dinners
  • 13 Nights Accommodations
  • Accommodations as listed
  • Ground transportation as listed
  • Excursions and activities as listed
  • Meals as listed
  • Port Fees
  • Coffee, Tea, Water and Afternoon Snacks
  • Photography Workshop
  • Welcome and Farewell Cocktails   
  • Digital visual journal link after Voyage, with voyage log, gallery, species list and more
  • Gratuities
  • Travel Insurance
  • Personal Expenses
  • Flight costs (please request a quote)
  • Additional excursions during free time
  • Fuel and transportation surcharges (when applicable)
  • Alcoholic and non specified beverages
  • Excursions may be booked onboard for additional cost. (Available on Certain Departures Only & Weather Dependent)



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