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Exploring Greenland

East Greenland Explorer

Example 13 Day Cruise aboard Greg Mortimer
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East Greenland is one of the most isolated habitations in the world. Along the more than 20,000 kilometers/12,427 miles of coastline, you’ll only encounter two towns and five small settlements, inhabited by no more than 3,500 people. An awesome wilderness of more than 1,457,000 km² including the world's largest national park, East Greenland offers fantastic possibilities for great adventures. In East Greenland, steep mountains rise from the sea and giant white and blue icebergs float in deep fjords. Only 120 years ago, there was no connection between East and West Greenland. Therefore, the culture, traditions, and even language are different between inhabitants of the east and west.

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Reykjavik
Day 2 : Akureyri | Embark
Day 3 : At Sea
Days 4-11 : East Greenland
Day 12 : Denmark Strait
Day 13 : Disembark in Akureyri | Reykjavik


  • Cruise amongst colourful and giant sculptured icebergs in Scoresbysund
  • Meet Inuit locals at Ittoqqortoormiit, Greenland
  • Kayak in waters teeming with whales and ringed, harp and hooded seals
  • Encounter musk oxen and perhaps arctic foxes on hikes through colorful tundra


Greg Mortimer

Places Visited

  • Arctic
  • Europe
  • Greenland
  • Iceland
  • Akureyri
  • Denmark Strait
  • Kejser Franz Joseph Fjord
  • King Oscar Fjord
  • Reykjavik
  • Rodefjord
  • Scoresbysund
  • Scorsbysund Fjord, Greenland


Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level


Trip Snapshots

Exploring Greenland Exploring Greenland Exploring Greenland by kayak Polar bear in the Arctic Narwhal sighting in the Arctic Walrus in the Arctic

Day 1 Reykjavik

Arrive in Reykjavik, Iceland, and make your own way to the group hotel.

Day 2 Akureyri | Embark

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
After a leisurely breakfast, check-out of your room and board your comfortable coach for your drive on the ring road north to Akureyri, Iceland’s second largest town, where your ship the Greg Mortimer awaits. Whatever the time of year, Akureyri is a lively and energetic town, and home to around 20,000 inhabitants. It is by far the most densely populated community outside the Reykjavík area, and is the center of trade, culture, and services for the north of Iceland. It is a town closely associated with educational institutions and cultural events, all of those having strong traditional roots.

The 400 km/248 mile journey to Akureyri takes approximately six hours and you will get a glimpse of Iceland’s dramatic landscape along the way. Upon embarkation, you’ll have time to settle into your cabin before our important briefings. Spend some time out on the observation decks and say goodbye to Iceland as you sail across the Denmark Strait to Greenland.

Day 3 At Sea

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
As the ship crosses the Denmark Strait to Greenland, enjoy informative and entertaining lectures from the expert expedition team including naturalists, historians, and geologists.

Day 4-11 East Greenland

  • Ship
  • 8 Breakfasts, 8 Lunches, 8 Dinners
As you approach East Greenland, you may encounter more pack ice where you may see seals and a variety of seabirds, including northern fulmar and migratory Brunnichs guillemots. This stretch of coastline is ripe for exploration, with its many secrets locked in place by drift ice for up to eight months each year. Home to polar bears, snowy owls, and musk ox, it’s the world’s largest national park, covering 972,000km2; most of which is inland ice and the rest a composite fjord landscape.

Over the next seven days a host of choices are open to you and depending on ice and weather conditions, the east coast of Greenland is yours to explore. Your experienced expedition team, who have made countless journeys to this area, will use their expertise to design your voyage from day to day. This allows the best use of the prevailing weather, ice conditions and wildlife opportunities. Generally, make up to two landings or Zodiac excursions per day; cruising along spectacular ice cliffs, following whales that are feeding near the surface.

Over the coming days, be prepared to experience ice, lots of it. East Greenland contains some of the Arctic’s most impressive scenery. Deep fjords and narrow channels, flanked by sharp ice-clad peaks up to 2,000 meters/ 6,562 feet high. Glaciers create gigantic icebergs that drift throughout the fjord system creating breath-taking scenes. The landscape is filled with multi-colored tundra home to musk oxen and arctic hare. Throughout the area are ancient Thule archaeological sites, historical trappers’ huts, and modern Inuit hunters’ cabins. A highlight is a visit to the Inuit village of Ittoqqortoormiit, the most isolated and northernmost permanent settlement in the region, with approximately 450 inhabitants. The community boasts an excellent museum, gift shop, an abundance of Greenlandic sled dogs, and the opportunity to meet Inuit people.

Explore Scoresbysund, the largest fjord system in the world – a spectacular place that simply needs to be seen to be believed. North of Scoresbysund is, Kong Oscar and Kaizer Franz Josef fjords, two of the most significant fjord systems in all of Greenland, each one encompassing several smaller fjords and sounds. Thanks to the fertile volcanic soil mountains that protect areas from the strong winds, the area is rich in wildlife. You may spot everything from musk ox and arctic foxes to mountain hares and even reindeer near the fjord. Look skyward and you could catch a glimpse of birds including glaucous gull, black-legged kittiwake, northern fulmar, common raven and common eider.

Attempt to enter Kaiser Franz Josef Fjord, a remote and rarely visited fjord system with countless opportunities for exploration within the Northeast Greenland National Park. Cruising through Kong Oskar Fjord you will marvel at the geological beauty of the mountains. Then head south along the coast of Liverpool Land, with your passage dependent on ice conditions. Aim to reach Scoresbysund, the world’s biggest fjord and favorite hunting ground of the local Inuit. Massive glaciers dump into this fjord, the birthplace of the famous big Greenland icebergs.

Plan to visit the remote Inuit community of Ittoqqortoormiit (Scoresby Town) and to hike across the tundra in search of ancient graveyards and summer villages occupied 3,000 years ago by Eskimos. This area provides excellent opportunities for sea kayaking in its maze of calm, interconnecting waterways. If you are lucky you may see musk oxen, arctic hare, and seals, and maybe if you are extremely lucky a possibility to see a polar bear or narwhal, although due to the local hunting traditions, these sightings are often very rare.

Day 12 Denmark Strait

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
In the Denmark Strait, sail back towards Iceland. Keep a lookout for whale blows and the many seabirds that trail your ship in the ever-present Arctic winds. Enjoy the time to reflect on your recent adventures, share and exchange photos, and breathe in the fresh ocean air. As your ship nears Iceland, re-enter an inhabited world as you encounter fishing vessels working the coastal waters.

Day 13 Disembark in Akureyri | Reykjavik

  • 1 Breakfast
During the early morning, arrive into the northern Icelandic town of Akureyri. Upon disembarkation, bid farewell to your expedition team, crew and fellow expeditioners as your buses will be waiting to transfer you back to downtown Reykjavik or to the airport.

NOTE: Due to departure flight schedules out of Reykjavik, it is recommended that passengers stay overnight in Reykjavik before continuing with your onward international travel arrangements.

Greg Mortimer

Reykjavik - Hotels

Per person starting at
Greg Mortimer-Aurora Stateroom Triple
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Aurora Stateroom Triple
6 rooms available. All include en-suite bathrooms, three single beds, porthole window, desk area and 42" flat-screen TV
Greg Mortimer
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Aurora Stateroom Twin
Greg Mortimer features 8 porthole rooms, all with private en-suites. Located on Deck 3, they're close to the mudroom and loading platforms, perfect for adventurers who are looking for a comfortable base that's close to the action.
Greg Mortimer
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Balcony Stateroom C
14 rooms available. All include en-suite bathrooms, floor to ceiling windows and balconies and a select number are also connecting rooms, perfect for families or groups.
Greg Mortimer
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Balcony Stateroom B
22 rooms available. All include en-suite bathrooms, floor to ceiling windows and balconies and a select number are also connecting rooms, perfect for families or groups.
Greg Mortimer
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Balcony Stateroom A
22 rooms available. All include en-suite bathrooms, floor to ceiling windows and balconies and a select number are also connecting rooms, perfect for families or groups.
Greg Mortimer
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Balcony Suite
With a bit more room to stretch the legs, the Greg Mortimer's two Balcony Suites are perfect for polar adventurers who travel with plenty of gear. Featuring private balconies, en-suite bathrooms and a comfortable desk area, these will sell out quickly!
Greg Mortimer
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Junior Suite
The Greg Mortimer's four Junior Suites take in some impressive scenery from their vantage points on Deck 7. When you aren't enjoying a landing, you can relax in the suites' separate lounge area, or just watch the world float by from the private balcony.
Greg Mortimer
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Captain's Suite
The largest of all the rooms, the Greg Mortimer's singular Captain's Suite will take you to the polar regions in ultimate style and comfort. Complete with large lounge area, balcony, walk-in wardrobe and en-suite.


Voyage Inclusions
  • One night’s hotel accommodation with breakfast in Reykjavik on Day 1
  • Group transfer from Reykjavik to Akureyri pier on Day 2
  • Transfer from pier to downtown or airport in Reykjavik on Day 13
  • Onboard accommodation during voyage including daily cabin service
  • All meals, snacks, tea and coffee during voyage
  • Beer, house wine and soft drinks with dinner
  • Captain’s Welcome and Farewell reception including four-course dinner, house cocktails, house beer and wine, non-alcoholic beverages
  • All shore excursions and Zodiac cruises
  • Educational lectures and guiding services from expedition team
  • Access to our onboard doctor and basic medical services
  • A 3-in-1 waterproof polar expedition jacket
  • Complimentary use of muck boots during the voyage
  • Comprehensive pre-departure information
  • A printed photo book produced with photos from your voyage
  • Port surcharges, permits, and landing fees
Voyage Exclusions
  • International or domestic flights, unless specified
  • Transfers not mentioned in the itinerary
  • Airport arrival or departure taxes
  • Passport, visa, reciprocity fees and vaccination charges
  • Travel insurance or emergency evacuation charges
  • Hotels and meals not included in itinerary
  • Optional excursions not included in the itinerary
  • Optional activity surcharges
  • All items of a personal nature including but not limited to: alcoholic beverages and soft drinks (outside of dinner service), laundry services, personal clothing, medical expenses, gratuities, Wi-Fi, email or phone charges
Payment & Cancellation Policies
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The trip might have been the absolute best of our lifetime (thus far). We particularly want to commend our guide Peter in the Guilin area-he was so incredibly attentive, energetic, enthusiastic-and absolutely dedicated to ensuring that our meals were 100% vegetarian.
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