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Arctic Icebreaker Expedition: Extreme Greenland

Example 21 Day Cruise aboard Kapitan Khlebnikov (QU)
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Join the crew of the Kapitan Khlebnikov on this amazing 21-day icebreaker expedition around Greenland. Northeast Greenland is one of the most isolated regions in the world. The lush tundra supports herds of musk oxen, and shore landings offer excellent hiking and photographic opportunities. On this journey, you have the opportunity to visit the remains of Thule camps, and enjoy the splendor of “iceberg alley” as you navigate past majestic icebergs. Get a glimpse into the lifestyle of the residents of Ittoqqortoormiit, the most northerly community in East Greenland. Sailing south to Tasiilaq, you will undoubtedly spend time in the bar, exchanging impressions of this awesome wilderness with fellow travelers.
  • Attend lectures and workshops by your expedition staff
  • Explore Station Nord, a military and scientific station
  • Zodiac through Dove Bugt, alert for polar bears & walrus
  • Hike the Greendlandic landscape of Narsaq Kujalliq
Places Visited
Trip Type:
  • Small Ship
Activity Level: Relaxed

Full Itinerary

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Day 1: Arrive Longyearbyen, Svalbard, Norway

Your Arctic adventure begins in Longyearbyen, Svalbard’s largest settlement. Relax before your journey, or take in the frontier-style atmosphere of the city. Embarkation will take place at about 4pm, so be sure to arrive in time.

Day 2-3: At Sea

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Enjoy an educational program with lectures and workshops to prepare you for your time in Greenland. The expedition staff will be on deck and on the bridge to maximize the opportunities for you to see whales and birdlife while at sea. This is a great opportunity to mingle with your fellow guests or simply take in the natural beauty.

Day 4: Cape Morris Jesup, Greenland

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Today, the crew will attempt to land on Cape Morris Jesup, one of the least-visited areas in the Arctic, and the most northerly point in Greenland.

NB: Your Captain will send helicopters with ice specialists to scout ahead over the Lincoln Sea and Kennedy Channel, the body of water separating Greenland and Ellesmere Island. Should ice and weather conditions allow, we will use the ice-crushing power of the Kapitan Khlebnikov to navigate over the northern coast of Greenland. In this scenario, you will become part of polar history, as the Kapitan Khlebnikov will be the only passenger vessel to have ever achieved this feat. If we do so, the rest of the itinerary below will be forgone in favor of this historic alternative journey. If conditions do not allow passage, the crew will continue our exploration of Greenland’s eastern coast.

Day 5: Station Nord

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
This morning, explore a truly unique site – Station Nord. This station is a military and scientific station, and the base of the Northeast Greenland National Park. As the second northernmost permanent settlement in Greenland, for years, the post office has delivered mail here, addressed to Santa Claus at the North Pole!

Day 6: Expedition Stop

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The crew will let the weather be the guide in choosing the ship's landings, as you explore the breathtaking landscapes of the region.

Day 7: Danmarks Havn

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
This small weather station, operated by eight hardy souls, is located about halfway along the coast of northeast Greenland National Park. You will cruise in Zodiacs through Dove Bugt (Greenlandic for “bay”), alert for polar bear and walrus.

Day 8: Shannon and Sabine Islands

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Through many years of service with Quark Expeditions, Kapitan Khlebnikov has earned an international reputation as an expedition vessel. So it is fitting that a landing will be made on Shannon Island, named for a Royal Navy frigate that sailed valiantly during the Napoleonic and American Wars.

No less significant is a visit to a hut built by arctic explorers from the timbers of the expedition vessel Alabama. The vessel, at anchor off shore, was holed by ice and sank. The two crew members left in charge of the vessel constructed the hut to shelter the exploration party on its return.

Day 9: Daneborg and Eskimonaes

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
There are four permanent bases in the park. Daneborg is the largest, with a population of 12 during the summer months. The hamlet is the headquarters of the Slaedepatruljen Sirius (Sirius Patrol), responsible for maintaining Danish sovereignty and policing Northern and Eastern Greenland. The unit, comprised of drivers and sled dogs, is a division of the Danish Navy. Each team of two men and 11 to 15 dogs carries between 770 to 1100 lbs of supplies for depot huts along their patrol routes.

Day 10: Blomsterbugta and Ela Oya (Ella Island)

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Blomsterbugten, the “Bay of Flowers,” is home to beautiful purple and gold colored rocks that you can either explore in the distance, or on a hike for those who wish.

The halfway mark of the voyage will occur on Ella Island. Pack a backpack and binoculars, because you can climb to the summit of the islands for an outstanding view of five fjords and grazing musk oxen. Ella Oya is a hiker’s dream. The area is surrounded by ice-choked waters, rugged cliff s and sky-blue icebergs.

Day 11: Ittoqqortoormitt and Hall Bredning

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
At the mouth of the ford complex, Ittoqqortoormiit is East Greenland’s most northerly community which boasts a blend of traditional and modern lifestyles. With clear skies, you may have a great opportunity to see the Northern Lights. You can also support local Inuit artisans by purchasing unique handicrafts. Your time here is spent exploring the community and gaining an appreciation of the local way of life.

The icebergs crossing Hall Bredning in the inner reaches of Scoresbysund are some of the most magnificent in the world.

Day 12: Rypefjord and Rodefjord

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Pushing onward, the expedition lands in Rypefjord. With binoculars in hand, birders should keep watch for snow buntings, ravens, and wheatears. At Rodefjord, you may encounter a shallow area trapping hundreds of icebergs, known as the Iceberg Graveyard. Drift leisurely by these floes, a photographer’s paradise.

Day 13: Frederiksdal and Sydkap

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Sailing deeper into Scoresbysund, you may encounter massive icebergs and an ancient Thule settlement as the ship approachs Sydkap. The scenery here is stunning, with towering mountain sides and hundreds of apartment-sized icebergs playing tricks with your sense of perception.

Day 14: Danmark Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
A visit to Danmark Island marks the circumnavigation of Milne Land, which is west of the entrance to Scoresbysund Fiord. Enjoy wild, rugged views and great hiking with the impressive backdrop of nunatuks in the background – mountain peaks poking above the Greenland ice sheet.

Day 15: Denmark Strait

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Your Quark Expeditions parka will come in handy during the transit of Denmark Strait, the body of water that separates Iceland from Greenland. Weather in the Strait is variable, but we recommend being out on deck to watch for whales in this area of rich biomass.

Day 16: Tasiilaq

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Further down the coast of Greenland, we dip beneath the Arctic Circle and attempt a shore landing on the island of Ammassalik in its principal community, Tasiilaq. With about 1,800 inhabitants, it is the largest community in East Greenland. Enjoy a hike, community visit, or an ice cruise.

Day 17: Bernstorfs Isfjord

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
South of Ammassalik are many fjords – deep, steep-walled valleys along coastlines flooded with seawater. Plan to navigate around the fjords in search of newly minted glaciers and seek a place to go ashore for an optional hike.

Day 18: Nanortalik Hot Springs and Herjolfsnes

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
In the morning, the crew anticipates the ship will round the southern tip of Greenland, one of the first regions to be inhabited by European settlers. Go ashore at Narsaq Kujalliq, just west of Cape Farewell, to explore an excavated farm from the Viking period known as Herjolfsnes. Here, you can also hike, or sit back and soak in a natural hot spring while watching icebergs floating by.

Day 19: Cruise the coast of Greenland

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Spend the day cruising north along the dramatic west coast of Greenland. Enjoy the final presentations, lectures and recap of the voyage, which will sum up everything we’ve seen and done over the the last 20 days.

Day 20: Disembark in Kangerlussuaq, Greenland

  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Just 37 miles north of the Arctic Circle, Kangerlussuaq sits at the head of one of the longest fjords in Greenland. Musk ox and arctic fox inhabit the tundra-covered plain that surrounds the town. Later, head to the airport where we board our charter flight to Ottawa. Upon arrival, transfer to the hotel.

Day 21: Depart Ottawa, Canada

  • 1 Breakfast
Today you can make your way home at your leisure or spend time in Ottawa, Canada’s capital city.

Photo Gallery

Tasiilaq Rodefjord Blomsterbugta Daneborg and Eskimonaes Danmark Island Ittoqqortoormitt



Kapitan Khlebnikov (QU)

Dates & Prices

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Triple Cabin-Kapitan Khlebnikov
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135 sq. ft. Cabins include twin bunk beds and a convertible sofa, writing desk, chair, bookshelves, storage box, telephone, and porthole or window.
Twin Cabin - Kapitan Khlebnikov
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135 sq. ft. Cabins include one twin bed and a convertible sofa, writing desk, chair, bookshelves, 2 wardrobes, storage box, telephone, and porthole or window.
Suite-Kapitan Khlebnikov
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193 sq. ft. Cabin includes separate living area, TV/VCR, refrigerator, convertible sofa, double bed, 2 desks, 2 chairs, bookshelves, storage box, telephone, 2 wardrobes, and picture window.
Corner Suite - Kapitan Khlebnikov
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Corner Suite
285 sq. ft. Cabin includes separate living area, TV/VCR, refrigerator, convertible sofa, double bed, 2 desks, 2 chairs, bookshelves, storage box, telephone, 2 wardrobes, and picture window.


- Request the Twin or Triple Share Program where you are matched with a cabin mate of the same gender. Even if a cabin mate is not found for you, no single supplement will be charged.
- Single supplement of 1.7 times the twin rate for travelers who want to guarantee single room.

IMPORTANT REMINDER: Embracing the unexpected is part of the legacy – and excitement – of expedition travel. Our actual icebreaker program will vary according to ice and weather conditions, unexpected opportunities and wildlife sightings. The captain and expedition leader will determine our exact route based on reconnaissance flights and ice reports. The ice conditions in the Arctic vary dramatically from season to season – and no specific itinerary can be guaranteed in advance. This itinerary is a tentative outline of what you’ll experience on this voyage. A measure of flexibility is something all of us must bring to a polar expedition.


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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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