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Northern lights dance across the Arctic landscape

South and East Greenland - Aurora Borealis

Kangerlussuaq - Keflavik - Example 11 Day Cruise aboard MV Janssonius
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Join us on an adventurous Arctic voyage throughout remote southeast Greenland, enjoying the grandeur of colossal glaciers, old Norse history, and seldom-seen species under the magical northern lights. The expedition traverses huge icebergs as it journeys into the largest and deepest fjord system in the world. The Northern Lights illuminate the journey, with plenty of chances to hike and kayak.
Sight-seeing in the arctic.Spot the Minke whaleEnjoy the unique towns of Greenland.Travelers find a walrus on a zodiac trip through the arctic.View of the Sermilik Fjord in Greenland.Northern Lights in GreenlandNorthern lights dance across the Arctic landscape
Highlights
  • View of fantastic landscapes of the Sermilinguaq Fjord
  • Discover the remarkable collection of Inuit mummies
  • Admire the aurora borealis, or northern lights
  • Look for humpbacks and minke whales
Places Visited
Activity Level: Relaxed
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Full Itinerary

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Day 1: Kangerlussuaq | Embark

Our voyage begins in the small town of Kangerlussuaq (Søndre Strømfjord), where we board the ship and spend the night sailing westward through the area’s long fjord (250 km, 155 miles). The currents here are strong and may work against us or with us.

Day 2: Sermilinguaq Fjord

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Today we head east of Hamborgerland to reach the fantastic landscapes of the Sermilinguaq Fjord. Our Zodiac excursions in this area, which will take place near a glacier front, also include some landings near seabird colonies where some winged residents still keep to the cliffs.

Day 3: Nuuk

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
We next land at Nuuk (once called Godthåb), the capital of Greenland, with a population of about 18,000.   

The trip to shore should include a visit to the museum, which has a remarkable collection of Inuit mummies dating from the 15th century. These were found near Uummannaq, farther to the north. The Cultural Centre of Nuuk, which each year has an exhibition of the work from a Greenlandic artist, is also well worth visiting. 

The area around Nuuk offers many attractions: Among the oldest exposed rocks on Earth are found here, and the waters to the west of town are a good place to look for humpbacks and blue whales.   

We’re now getting into the zone where the darkness at night lets us admire the aurora borealis or northern lights.

Day 4: Lichtenfels | Fiskenaes

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
We aim to land at Lichtenfels, an abandoned Herrnhuters (Moravian Brethren) mission post, with a large cemetery from the 18th century.   

We may also sail to the small Greenlandic fishing village of Fiskenaes (formerly Brielse Haven). Later in the evening, we sail past Flade Isblink, where the Greenland ice sheet nearly comes to the coast.   

Keep a lookout for humpbacks and minke whales. If we’re lucky, we might see migratory birds from the Southern Hemisphere, such as great shearwaters from Tristan da Cunha and Antarctic skuas from Antarctica.

Day 5: Ivittuut

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Our first landing of the day is Ivittuut, a deserted settlement where we can see the remains of an old cryolite mine from the 19th century, along with many tokens of how people lived here a century ago. We often also see musk oxen that have been introduced into this area. In the Arsuk Fjord, we may visit the impressive waterfall of Fox Fald and see the deep blue front of the Arsuk Glacier. 

Day 6: Hvalsey

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Today we continue to Hvalsey (Whale Island), visiting the best-preserved Viking church in Greenland.   

We then plan to sail to the ruins of Gardar, a historic episcopal residence now located in the settlement of Igaliku. Here we see more ancient Norse buildings where the local people keep sheep and grow potatoes, often against a background of dazzling icebergs. When and why the Norse disappeared from Greenland is not known, but records show there were settlers living here for about 500 years.

The remains of their dwellings are scattered all over the area, but one of the longest-lived settlements was at Hvalsey.

Day 7: Herjolfsnes | Aappilattoq

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Sailing Prins Christian Sund, we cut through the southern tip of Greenland. This strait is renowned for its magnificent views on both sides.   

At the entrance to the strait, opposite the settlement of Narsarmijit (once Frederiksdal), we hope to land at Herjolfsnes and enjoy the extensive artifacts of Greenland’s Viking settlers.   

We then continue past Aappilattoq (formerly Augpilagtoq), a village characterized by a towering mountain, and plan to make a shore excursion at either Igdlorssuit Havn or Svaerdfisken Havn.

Day 8: Timmiarmiut Fjord

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
We venture on to the remote eastern coast of Greenland.   

At the mouth of Timmiarmiut Fjord (one of the few fjords on the east coast that has recorded depth soundings), we land on Timmiarmiut Island in a safe bay that ships have used for centuries.   

The remains of Thule culture dwellings can still be seen here, and deeper in the fjord is a great area for Zodiac cruises among icebergs that have calved from glaciers flowing down from the inland ice.  

Day 9: Skjoldungen Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Today just might offer us the high point of the whole voyage. As we circumnavigate Skjoldungen Island, we’ll experience some of the most breathtaking landscapes in all of Greenland.   

We aim to sail by a deserted settlement, then more inland near the settlement of Qornoq. Here we can see the remains of a Thule settlement and maybe even ringed seals. 
 
At the head of the fjord, we’ve planned a walk to Dronning Marie Dal amid a landscape of colorful autumn flora.

Day 10: Denmark Strait

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
As we sail the Denmark Strait on our way to Iceland, the going can be rough, but be sure to spend some time on deck looking for whales, migrating seabirds, and of course, the aurora borealis.

Day 11: Keflavik | Disembark

  • 1 Breakfast
Though even the greatest adventures eventually must end, you will return home with countless memories (and memorable photos) to enjoy for years to come.   
Depending on the weather, we should arrive at the delightful Icelandic port town of Keflavik around midday.   

Since the weather in the Denmark Strait might delay us, we suggest planning your return flight for after day 11.

Ship/Hotel

MV Janssonius

MV Janssonius
MV Janssonius
MV Janssonius

Dates & Prices

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MV Janssonius Quadruple Porthole cabin
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Quadruple Porthole
Quadruple cabins with bunk beds and private facilities (these can also be used as triple or twin cabins). Spacious outside cabins with a minimum of two portholes or windows per cabin
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Triple Porthole
Triple cabins with bunk beds and private facilities. These cabins are spacious with a minimum of two portholes or windows per cabin.
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Twin Porthole
Twin cabins with portholes, private toilet and shower and 2 single lower berths. Spacious outside cabins with a minimum of two portholes or windows per cabin.
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Twin Window
Twin cabins with windows, private toilet and shower and 2 single lower berths. Spacious outside cabins with a minimum of two portholes or windows per cabin
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Twin Deluxe
Superior cabins with lower birth twin beds, private toilet and shower and a separate day room. Spacious outside cabins with a minimum of two portholes or windows per cabin
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Superior
Suite with a double bed, private toilet and shower and a separate day room. Spacious outside cabins with a minimum of two windows per cabin.
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Junior Suite
Suite with a double bed, private toilet and shower and a separate day room. Spacious outside cabins with windows.
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Grand Suite with private balcony
Suite with a double bed, private toilet and shower and a separate day room. Spacious outside cabins with 4 windows and a private balcony.

Notes

PLEASE NOTE: All itineraries are for guidance only. Programs may vary depending on ice, weather, and wildlife conditions. Landings are subject to site availabilities, permissions, and environmental concerns per AECO regulations. Official sailing plans and landing slots are scheduled with AECO prior to the start of the season, but the expedition leader determines the final plan. Flexibility is paramount for expedition cruises. The average cruising speed of our vessel is 10.5 knots. Charter flights from Keflavik to Kangerlussuaq available, please contact us for more information about the flights.

Included in this voyage
  • Voyage aboard the indicated vessel as indicated in the itinerary
  • All meals throughout the voyage aboard the ship including snacks, coffee and tea.
  • All shore excursions and activities throughout the voyage by Zodiac.
  • Program of lectures by noted naturalists and leadership by experienced expedition staff.
  • Transfer in Kangerlussuaq to our vessel.
  • Transfer in Keflavik from our vessel to city center.
  • Free use of rubber boots and snowshoes.
  • All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the program.
  • AECO fees and governmental taxes.
  • Comprehensive pre-departure material.
Excluded from this voyage
  • Charter flight from Keflavik to Kangerlussuaq $450 USD pp
  • Any airfare, whether on scheduled or charter flights
  • Pre- and post- land arrangements.
  • Passport and visa expenses.
  • Government arrival and departure taxes.
  • Meals ashore.
  • Baggage, cancellation and personal insurance (which is strongly recommended).
  • Excess baggage charges and all items of a personal nature such as laundry, bar, beverage charges and telecommunication charges.
  • The customary gratuity at the end of the voyages for stewards and other service personnel aboard (guidelines will be provided).
Included
  • 10 Breakfasts, 9 Lunches, 10 Dinners
  • 10 Nights Accommodations
  • Accommodations as listed
  • Ground transportation as listed
  • Excursions and activities as listed
  • Meals as listed
  • Loan of Waterproof Boots for Landings
  • Comprehensive Pre- and Post-voyage Information Materials
     
  • Program of lectures by noted naturalists and leadership by experienced expedition staff.
  • All Miscellaneous Service Taxes and Port Charges Throughout the Program
     
  • Snowshoes Available on Loan for Shore Excursions on Designated Voyages
  •  Luggage Transfer from Pick-up Point to the Vessel on the Day of Embarkation in Ushuaia
Excluded
  • Gratuities
  • Travel Insurance
  • Personal Expenses
  • Flight costs (please request a quote)
  • Additional excursions during free time
  • Passport and Applicable Visa Expenses
  • Government arrival and departure taxes
  • Excess baggage charges
  • Pre- and Post Land Arrangements
  • Fuel Surcharge - to be invoiced separately

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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!
Justin Chappelle

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