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Exploring Greenland

In the Wake of the Vikings: A Voyage from Iceland to Greenland

Example 12 Day Cruise aboard Ocean Endeavour
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Greenland’s east coast is just a short voyage from Reykjavík. Breathtaking fjords define this seldom-seen region. Whales and seabirds are abundant here. Photographers, birders, and hikers will be in awe. Villages around Greenland’s southern tip offer glimpses of the island's remarkable culture. Bask in the Unartoq geothermal springs. Explore the ruins of Brattelid—a settlement founded by Erik the Red! Kangaamiut is a quaint fishing village. Greenland’s capital, Nuuk, offers shopping and dining. You’ll sail mighty Sondre Stromfjord to your final destination, Kangerlussuaq.

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Reykjavík, Iceland | Embark
Day 2 : Vestmannaeyjar (Westman Islands)
Day 3 : At Sea
Day 4 : East Greenland
Day 5 : Ikerasassuaq (Prince Christian Sound)
Days 6-7 : South Greenland
Day 8 : Hvalsey and Oaqortoq
Day 9 : Brattahlid
Day 10 : Nuuk
Day 11 : Qeqqata Kommunia
Day 12 : Kangerlussuaq | Disembark

Highlights

  • Search for whales while following the Viking route across Denmark Strait
  • Discover east Greenland’s pristine, stunning fjords
  • Get close to glaciers and calving icebergs
  • Wander the streets of Nuuk, Greenland’s dynamic capital
  • Experience village life in tiny Greenlandic fishing hamlets

Ship

Ocean Endeavour

Places Visited

Activities

Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level

Relaxed

Trip Snapshots

Exploring Greenland Street view of old town Reykjavik One of Greenland's many glaciers A mother polar bear and her young relax on the Arctic landscape Late summer in West Greenland

Day 1 Reykjavík, Iceland | Embark

Iceland’s cosmopolitan capital, Reykjavík (“steamy bay”) was established in 874 AD. Powered by geothermal energy, Reykjavík is widely considered one of the cleanest, greenest cities on Earth. 

Despite centuries of relative isolation, today Reykjavík is a contemporary city with plenty to see and do. The National Culture House preserves treasures like the Poetic Edda, and the Norse Sagas in their original manuscripts. Depart Reykjavík in the evening aboard the Ocean Endeavour.

Day 2 Vestmannaeyjar (Westman Islands)

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Vestmannaeyjar lies off the south coast of Iceland and comprises fourteen islands, numerous rocks, and skerries. Only the largest island, Heimaey, is inhabited. 

Numerous species of seabirds, including the famous puffins, nest in the steep rock faces along the ocean cliffs. The volcanically active area has seen two major eruptions in recent times: the formation of the island of Surtsey in 1963, and the Eldfell eruption ten years later that destroyed much of Heimaey and nearly blocked its harbor.

Day 3 At Sea

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Sailing west from Iceland, you are in the wake of the Vikings. Norse explorers set out from Iceland a millennium ago in open longboats. Their destination: Greenland. Later they would also reach Baffin Island, Labrador, and Newfoundland.

Watch out for marine mammals and bird life as you sail in these rich northern waters. Along the way, your expedition team will enrich your understanding of the archeology, history, culture, and wildlife that await us in Greenland!

Day 4 East Greenland

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
An expedition day on Greenland’s east coast means that you are cruising in the ice, looking for opportunities for Zodiac exploration. As ever, your expedition team is on deck looking for bears, seals, and humpback whales as you navigate a coastline traced with innumerable fjords and dotted with pack ice.

Day 5 Ikerasassuaq (Prince Christian Sound)

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Scout for wildlife and vistas as you approach Ikerasassuaq through ice. This remote and stunning body of water joins the Irminger and Labrador seas. Among the islands of the Cape Farewell Archipelago, near Greenland’s southernmost tip.

Craggy mountain peaks tower over narrow fjords. Glacial tongues plunge toward the water. Conditions are favorable for calving icebergs, while strong tidal currents limit the formation of sea ice.

Day 6-7 South Greenland

  • Ship
  • 2 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 2 Dinners
South Greenland lives up to its namesake; here, the land is fertile and agriculture thrives. Farms and vegetable husbandry contrast with the barren ice that covers so much of the country. Jagged mountains rise from beyond green pastures, with sheep farms directly bordering icefjords. Here, Norse settlement history intersects with contemporary Greenland life.

Day 8 Hvalsey and Oaqortoq

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Hvalsey Church is the best-preserved Norse ruin in Greenland. The last known official record from the original Norse colony is of a wedding held here in September 1408! Nearby Qaaqortoq is the largest town in South Greenland. The area has been inhabited for over 4,000 years, beginning with the Saqqaq culture. 

Day 9 Brattahlid

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Brattahlid—meaning “steep slope,”—lies at the head of Tunulliarfik Fjord. In this location, the famous Viking explorer Erik the Red had his estate. His descendants made their homes here until the mid-1400s. This area features the best farming conditions in Greenland.

Here find a reconstruction of the first Norse church in Greenland, as well as a Viking longhouse. There are substantial archeological remnants here, preserving the legends of the Norse. 

Day 10 Nuuk

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Greenland’s capital bridges old and new. The old harbor region of town includes many buildings dating from the Danish colonial days. The modern downtown core includes shopping, cafes and restaurants, and public institutions with a European flair.

The Greenland National Museum is one of Nuuk’s outstanding features; the world-famous Greenland mummies are housed here. The museum’s exhibits also offer in-depth information about colonial, Norse, and Inuit presence in Greenland—a must-see.

Day 11 Qeqqata Kommunia

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The west Greenland coastline is a rich mixture of fishing communities, many islands and complex coastal waterways. The waters are relatively warm here, due to the West Greenland Current and the sub-Arctic location—making for more lush vegetation. Explore the landscape of wild Greenland.

Day 12 Kangerlussuaq | Disembark

  • 1 Breakfast
Sondre Stromfjord is one of the longest fjords in the world and boasts 168 kilometers of superb scenery. End your adventure by sailing up this dramatic fjord as the sun rises to greet us. Kangerlussuaq, the town at its eastern head, is a former US Air Force base and Greenland’s primary flight hub. Disembark the Ocean Endeavour and transfer to the airport for your return charter flight.

Ocean Endeavour

Deals

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Book before January 19, 2019 and save 15% per person. Some restrictions may apply. Contact us for details.
Valid on all 2019 departures

Per person starting at
$4,995
Ocean Endeavour - Cat 1 Quad
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Quadruple - Category 1
Deck four. Interior cabin, four lower berths, private bath (separate shower room and powder room) - approx. 240 sq. ft.
Ocean Endeavour - Cat 2 Triple
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Triple - Category 2
Deck four. Interior cabin, 3 lower berths, two private baths - approx. 200 sq. ft.
Interior Twin cabin on the Ocean Endeavour
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Interior Twin - Category 3
Deck five. Interior cabin, 2 lower berths, private bath - approx. 125 sq. ft. (twin)/110 sq. ft. (single)
Exterior Twin Cabin on the Ocean Endeavour
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Exterior Twin - Category 4
Deck four. Porthole window, unobstructed view, two lower berths, private bath - approx. 100 sq. ft. (twin)/90 sq. ft. (single)
Exterior Twin Cabin on the Ocean Endeavour
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Main Twin - Category 5
Deck five. Picture window, unobstructed view, 2 lower berths, private bath - approx. 115 sq. ft.
Comfort Twin cabin on board Ocean Endeavour
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Comfort Twin - Category 6
Deck four. Two portholes, views, two lower berths OR matrimonial bed- 175 sq.ft. Deck seven: picture window, partial view, two lower berths- 135 sq.ft. Deck eight: Picture windows, obstructed view, matrimonial bed, pvt. bath, fridge - 160 sq.ft.
Top Deck Twin on the Ocean Endeavour
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Select Twin - Category 7
Deck five. Picture windows, unobstructed view, two lower berths OR matrimonial bed, approx. 190 sq. ft. and deck eight: oversize windows, partial obstruction, private bath, refrigerator - approx. 145 sq. ft.
Superior Twin on the Ocean Endeavour
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Superior Twin - Category 8
Deck five. Two picture windows, view, two lower berths, sitting area- 210 sq.ft. Deck seven: forward-facing windows,view, matrimonial, private bath w/full tub- 180 sq.ft. Deck seven: picture windows, partial view, matrimonial, pvt bath, fridge - 160 sq.ft
Junion Suite on board the Ocean Endeavour
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Junior Suite - Category 9
Deck five: picture windows, views, matrimonial bed, sitting area- approx. 270 sq. ft. Deck seven: forward-facing picture windows, views, matrimonial bed, private bath w/full tub, sitting area, private bath, refrigerator - approx. 290 sq. ft.
Suite on the Ocean Endeavour
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Suite - Category 10
Deck seven. Forward-facing picture windows, unobstructed view, matrimonial bed, private bath with full tub, refrigerator - approx. 310 sq. ft.

Notes

- Rates are quoted in U.S. dollars and represent costs per person, double occupancy. Request the Twin 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.

- Cabins are available for single occupancy at 1.5 times the double occupancy rate.

Expedition costs include:
  • Pre-departure materials
  • The expertise and company of our expedition staff 
  • Onboard educational programming
  • Interactive workshops
  • Evening entertainment
  • All shipboard meals, including on deck barbecues & afternoon tea, 24-hour coffee, tea and snacks
  • Hors d’ouevres & snacks during evening recaps
  • 24-hour documentary and film programming
  • Fully stocked library
  • Nikon Camera Trial Program
  • $250 USD Discovery Fund Fee
  • Introductions to local people and customs
  • Sightseeing
  • Museum entries, park accesses, port taxes
  • Access to pristine wilderness areas
  • Zodiac tours and cruises
  • On-site archaeology workshops
  • Community programming: local performances, presentations, and demonstrations

    Expedition costs Do Not Include: 
  • Commercial and charter flight costs
  • Gratuities (suggested at $15 USD per person per day)
  • Bicycle rentals
  • Personal expenses
  • Mandatory medical evacuation insurance
  • Additional expenses in the event of delays or itinerary changes
  • Possible fuel surcharges
  • Pre- and post-trip hotel accommodation
  • Program enhancements
Payment & Cancellation Policies
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Kate was great to work with in the planning stage. She was prompt, helpful, and efficient. Our tour guide, Edwin, was knowledgeable and passionate. We were very happy to have traveled with Adventure Life, it made the trip easy and a true pleasure. We could concentrate on enjoying the experience rather than the details of travel.
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