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Colorful homes in Greenland

Farthest North - Expedition Cruise

Example 14 Day Cruise aboard Ocean Atlantic
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Colorful Sisimiut, Greenland
Highlights
  • Photograph Arctic wildlife in their stunning natural habitat
  • Marvel at Ilulissat Icefjord, where 90% of N. Atlantic’s icebergs originate
  • Explore the colorful town of Sisimiut, Greenland's second largest town
  • Learn about Inuit communities, culture, and worldview first hand
Places Visited
Trip Type:
  • Small Ship
Activity Level: Relaxed
0

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: Sisimiut, Greenland

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
After breakfast, we arrive at the colorful town of Sisimiut, where we will get an idea of what modern Greenland looks like. With 5,400 inhabitants, it is Greenland’s second-largest town. Nowadays, 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.

Our city tour highlights include the historic colonial quarter, as well as the museum and the beautiful church. In the afternoon, our voyage will continue northward.
After breakfast, we arrive at the colorful town of Sisimiut, where we will get an idea of what modern Greenland looks like. With 5,400 inhabitants, it is Greenland’s second-largest town.

Day 3: Qeqertarsuaq, Disko Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Below Disko Island’s 1,000-meter tall mountains we put into port in a protected natural harbor. The place is aptly named Godhavn (“Good Harbor”) in Danish, while its Greenlandic name “Qeqertarsuaq” simply means “The Big Island”. 

Up to 1950 Godhavn was the most important town north of Nuuk, the main town of Greenland, solely because of the many whales that the whaling boats towed here from the Disko Bay. This bestowed the town with much wealth, starting already in the 16th century. The town is now on its way to oblivion as it gets harder and harder to find work, and because of the infrequent connections to the mainland. We walk through town to the characteristic, octagonal church, nicknamed “the inkpot of God”. During our stay in Qeqertarsuaq, we will visit the local community center that will be hosting a traditional Greenlandic “kaffemik”. It can best be described as a friendly gathering with coffee, cake, and traditional dances and music.

Day 4: Crossing Melville Bay | At Sea

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Based on continually updated ice charts the Captain sets as direct a course as possible all the way into Nares Strait and Hans Island. To make sure we have sufficient time to get through any pack ice, we will have a few days at sea. However, the days are by no means wasted: There are always chances to see minke whales and fin whales. We are constantly followed by the little arctic fulmar, moving from windward to lee gaining speed and dynamic in its flight along the vessel. And in the lecture hall, our expeditions staff have a diverse program of lectures about Greenlandic nature and culture.

During the night we cross Melville Bay, with a coastline marked by calving glaciers. The dangerous winter ice in the bay and the long distance to the Danish colonies to the south meant that the polar Inuit from the Thule district were isolated from the rest of West Greenland until just 130 years ago. They thus have a closer relationship with the Inuit in Canada and speak a dialect that differs significantly from the southern Greenlandic language. 
 

Day 5-6: Cape Alexander | Hans

  • Ship
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
If the ice conditions are favorable, we continue north. The ship's speed will be reduced, and we should expect to be at sea most of the time. We sail through Smith Sound and pass Cape Alexander, Greenland's westernmost point. 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. Our bridge officers will of course keep a vigilant watch as we approach Hans Island – or Hans Ø, as it is written in Danish.

Hans Island has been widely covered in the media because it is located exactly between Ellesmere Island in Canada and Greenland. The island falls within the 12-mile territorial limit of either shore, allowing both sides to claim it under international law. A veritable flag war has since unfolded between Canadian and Danish authorities, who alternately have hoisted their flag and placed a bottle of either Canadian whiskey or Danish schnapps. In 2018, the governments of the two countries have agreed to resolve the border dispute at the negotiating table and to build a weather station on the island to monitor the special pack ice conditions that occur in Nares Strait.

Day 7: Qaanaaq

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
During the night we have escaped the confines of Nares Strait. Entering Inglefield Bay, we pass some of Greenland’s biggest bird cliffs and are again in habituated areas. The Captain anchors Ocean Atlantic off Qaanaaq, the only proper town in northwest Greenland.

The town was founded in 1953, when the Americans built their base near the original trading post of Thule. All Inuit were transferred to this new place. Today, some 600 people live in Qaanaaq, which is supported weekly by Air Greenland flights and twice a year by cargo ship.  We take a walk through the town, where we can visit the small museum and the well-stocked supermarket.

Day 8: Thule - Knud Rasmussen's Hunting Station

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Having left Qaanaaq in the evening, Captain will cast anchor in North Star Bay at the American Thule Base. The base is off limit for us and not the scope for our visit.
We will make a Zodiac landing at the abandoned settlement Uummannaq at the foot of Dundasfjeldet.On these expeditions, local Inuit, men, and women, always participated on equal terms with Knud Rasmussen and Peter Freuchen.
 
On our route south we will pass below Cape York and Meteor Island, famous for the huge Cape York iron meteorites. The largest of the many fragments, the 40 ton Ahnighito is on display at the American Museum of Natural History. Also at Cape York is the huge cairn, erected by Robert Peary.

 

Day 9: Kullorsuaq, Melville Bay

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
After a fine morning at sea, we reach the distinctive rock pillar “The Devil’s Thumb” reaching 540 meters above the flat surroundings. The island is home to the 400 inhabitants living in the settlement of Kullorsuaq, which in Greenlandic obviously means ”The Big Thumb”. We are still in polar bear territory, and the local hunters have a quota of several bears. Their skins are used for the much sought-after polar bear pants, and the tasty (to the local palates) meat is shared amongst everybody in the settlement.

Day 10: Upernavik Town

  • 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, inhabits some 3000 people, mostly Inuit hunters. Upernavik is a mix of the hunter culture of old and new high-tech fishing. You can equate old and new with the dog sleighs that exist alongside modern snowmobiles.

The city itself was founded as a Danish colonial station, but the surrounding areas and small villages history go back more than 4500 years. This was when groups of hunters and gatherers traveled along the coasts of Alaska, Canada, and ultimately Greenland. We anchor and make a landing, allowing us to visit the little city and the open-air museum. Nights are getting darker, and it might be a good idea to dress up warm, go on deck a check the sky for aurora borealis, northern light.

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

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Ilulissat is one of the most scenic located towns in Greenland. The name simply means ‘icebergs’ in Greenlandic, and the town’s nickname is right ‘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/three feet a day, the Ilulissat glacier moves forward at a rate of 25 meters per day, producing more than 10% of all icebergs in Greenland. These facts, together with the fjord’s unforgettable scenery, have secured the Ice fjord a place on UNESCO’s World Heritage List.
 

Day 13: The settlement of Sarfannguit

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The settlement of Sarfannguit, which translates into ‘the place of the little stream” an appropriate name for a settlement nestled at the foothills of the mountains and glaciers in the distant backcountry. The settlement’s slightly more than 100 residents live off hunting, trapping and fishing, most often in pursuit of arctic char, reindeer and musk oxen.
 
Although Sarfannguit is quite remote, it lies within a few hours from Sisimiut, the second-largest town in Greenland. The accessibility to such a large town provides an indispensable economic benefit to a small community like Sarfannguit. A stroll through the settlement offers insight into rural life in today’s Greenland, where modern conveniences and technological advancements, such as the internet and smartphones have become commonplace, yet locals still place great value on important customs and preserving their traditions and their Inuit heritage.

Day 14: Kangerlussuaq | Disembark

  • 1 Breakfast
During the night, we will have completed our passage through the 160-kilometer/100 mile Kangerlussuaq Fjord. After breakfast aboard the ship, we will bid farewell to the ship's staff and the Zodiac boats will shuttle us to shore.

Due to Kangerlussuaq’s military history and present-day role as an important air travel hub, Kangerlussuaq remains fairly isolated from Greenland’s rich cultural traditions, in comparison to other regions. While you still find cultural experiences when visiting Kangerlussuaq, the most impressive attraction is the surrounding nature, which is just beckoning to be explored. 

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

Photo Gallery

Colorful Sisimiut, Greenland Colorful homes in Greenland Houses of Greenland Amazing blue water and ice in Greenland The edge of Greenland's ice cap Midnight sun light, Ilulissat Whale breaching near the ship

Map

Ship/Hotel

Ocean Atlantic

Theater
Coffee Lounge
Mudroom

Dates & Prices

Per person starting at
$6,390
Category G
Select a Date
Category G - Single
Size 9-10 m². Cabins feature a single bed, private bathroom, and a porthole. Located on Columbus Deck (Deck 4).
Category F
Select a Date
Category F
Size 18-21 m². Large Inside Triple Cabin, featuring a double or two single beds, and a fold-out single bed, a relaxing sitting area, and a bathroom with a bathtub, and a porthole. Located on Marco Polo Deck (Deck 5).
Category E
Select a Date
Category E
Size 18-21 m². Large Inside Cabin, featuring a double or two single beds, a relaxing sitting area, and a bathroom with a bathtub. Located on Marco Polo Deck (Deck 5).
Category D
Select a Date
Category D
Size 11-12 m². Featuring two single beds, private bathroom, and a porthole. Located on the Columbus Deck (Deck 4).
Category C
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Category C
Size 12-13 m². This Standard Cabin has two single beds, private bathroom, and a window. Located on the Marco Polo Deck (Deck 5).
Category B
Select a Date
Category B
Size 20-23 m² Featuring a double bed or two single beds, a sofa bed that enables triple accommodation, a relaxing sitting area, private bathroom and windows. Partly obstructed view. Located on the Magellan and Hudson Deck (Deck 7 & 8).
Category A
Select a Date
Category A
Size 19-24 m². Featuring a double bed or two single beds, a relaxing sitting area, a private bathroom, and windows. Located on the Marco Polo Deck (Deck 5).
Premium Suite
Select a Date
Premium Suite
Size 35 m². These 2-room suites are designed with a large double bed or two twin beds, an elegant living room, a large private bathroom, and windows. Located on the Marco Polo Deck (Deck 5).

Notes

INCLUSIONS
  • 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!  
EXCLUSIONS
  • 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. 

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