Have questions? We're here.
A towering iceberg drifts in Disko Bay

Greenland Disko Bay

Example 6 Day Cruise aboard Ocean Atlantic
Talk with an expert
Customize any aspect of your Greenland trip. 1.406.541.2677
Help Me Plan My Trip
Talk with an expert Ask a Question
Traveling by sea is a magnificent way to experience Greenland. The most stunning sights lie along the dramatic coastline: small, colorful houses situated on the steep mountainsides surrounding the fjords; giant glaciers producing enormous icebergs; whales and seals playing in the sea. The people of Greenland live along the coast in small towns and settlements – at summer only accessible from the sea. Their culture, architecture and living conditions are enriched and limited by the harsh nature of the Arctic. On town visits, take the opportunity to meet the hospitable Greenlanders and learn more about the Inuit culture. Enjoy this expedition cruise aboard Ocean Atlantic and explore the stunning landscapes and rich cultures of the Arctic.

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Keflavík, Iceland | Kangerlussuaq, Greenland | Embark
Day 2 : Sisimiut, Greenland
Day 3 : Qeqertarsuaq, Disko Island
Day 4 : Ilulissat, Greenland
Day 5 : Itilleq
Day 6 : Kangerlussuaq, Greenland | Disembark

Highlights

  • Take a journey to the Ilulissat Icefjord
  • Discover charming Sisimiut, the second largest town in Greenland
  • Enjoy unique Itilleq, located just north of the Arctic Circle
  • Visit Qeqertarsuaq's octagonal church, also known as the “God’s Inkpot"

Ship

Ocean Atlantic

Places Visited

Activities

Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level

Relaxed

Trip Snapshots

A towering iceberg drifts in Disko Bay Reflection of colorful houses in Greenland Exploring Greenland by kayak Exploring Greenland Exploring Greenland Exploring Greenland View of an iceberg at dawn Midnight sun light, Ilulissat

Day 1 Keflavík, Iceland | Kangerlussuaq, Greenland | Embark

Upon arrival from Keflavík in Iceland, transfer to the small port located west of the airport, where the ship, Ocean Atlantic, is anchored. Board a Zodiac to reach the ship, where you can check in to your cabin. After a safety drill, enjoy 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, arrive in the colorful town of Sisimiut, where you can explore modern Greenland. With 5,400 inhabitants, it is considered Greenland’s second ‘city’. People have lived around Sisimiut on and off since 2,500 BCE.

In 1756, Count Johan Ludvig Holstein established a colony here and called it “Holsteinsborg”. The oldest part of Sisimiut’s historic quarter features townhouses from this “Holsteinsborg” era, and the oldest house in the town dates to 1756. One of the most culturally significant buildings is the Blue Church, built in 1775.
Today, 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.

The city tour highlights include the historic colonial quarter, as well as the museum and the beautiful church. Additionally, make a visit to the busy city center for a glimpse of what daily life is like in 21st century Greenland. In the afternoon, the voyage continues north.

As evening falls, pass the Sisimiut Isortuat Fjord, the Nordre Strømfjord settlements of Attu and Ikerasaarsuk, and the small town of Kangaatsiaq. During the course of the bright night, you may pass Aasiaat and proceed into the southern waters of Disko Bay. Next, the ship sets course for Disko Island, known for its distinctive 1,000-meter (3,280 ft) layered crags.

At this point, the ship sails north of the Arctic Circle! Here, the nights are bright and early risers can enjoy the sight of the icebergs on Disko Bay as they drift out of the Ilulissat Icefjord and dance into the frigid ocean waters.

Day 3 Qeqertarsuaq, Disko Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The next stop lies on the southern tip of Disko Island, where Ocean Atlantic docks in a protected natural harbor. Named Godhavn (‘Good Harbour’) in Danish, its Greenlandic name, Qeqertarsuaq, means ‘The Big Island’.
 
Although topographically quite different from mainland Greenland due to the basalt characteristics of Disko Island’s mountains, Qeqertarsuaq has a long, rich history and once served as one of the country’s important economic centers. From the 16th century, the community was relatively prosperous and, in fact, considered the most important town north of Nuuk until the mid-1900s, due in part to the area’s sizable whale hunting population.

During the visit, wander through town, paying a visit to the characteristic octagonal church, nicknamed “God’s Inkpot”, as well as to a local community center that is hosting a traditional Greenlandic “kaffemik”, which can be best described as a friendly gathering with coffee, cake and traditional dances and music.
Musicians from Greenland originally played on a drum (qilaat) made from an oval wooden frame covered with the bladder of a polar bear. Unlike other drums, the qilaat was played by hitting the frame with a stick, not the skin itself. This modest instrument was used for a variety of purposes, including entertainment, exorcism, and witchcraft.

After missionaries arrived, drum dancing was prohibited and later replaced by part-singing of psalms and choral works, which today are renowned for their particular Greenlandic sound. Today, drum dance is used as entertainment in cultural events and on festive occasions.

Greenlandic music is inspired and influenced by music from other cultures, like the Danish and Inuit cultures, and more specifically, Dutch and Scottish polka, American country and rock ‘n’ roll and even Hawaiian music, which inspired the so-called Vaigat-musicians in Greenland in the 1950s and 60s.

As the day draws to an end, Ocean Atlantic sets a north-easterly course bound for a magnificent natural highlight – the enormous Eqip Sermia Glacier.
Situated approximately 50 nautical miles north of Ilulissat, the Eqip Sermia Glacier is renowned for its jaw-dropping beauty. Legendary arctic explorers selected this location as a base for their studies. One such explorer, the acclaimed Swiss glaciologist, Alfred de Quervain, used the location as a base for his expeditions onto Greenland’s inland ice sheet over a century ago.

The ship sails as close as possible to the ice’s edge – but at a safe distance to avoid plunging blocks of ice and violent waves that often result from the calving glacier.

Day 4 Ilulissat, Greenland

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Ilulissat is possibly the most well-located town in Greenland. The name simply means ‘icebergs’ in Greenlandic, and the town’s nickname is, naturally, "the Iceberg Capital."

In Disko Bay, which is located just off the coast of Ilulissat, gigantic icebergs linger in the freezing waters. These icebergs come from the Icefjord, which is located a half hour’s hike south of Ilulissat. These impressive frozen structures are born some 70km (43 miles) deeper in the fjord by the enormous Sermeq Kujalleq glacier. This 10km/6 miles-wide glacier is the most productive glacier outside of Antarctica; Whereas most glaciers only calve at a rate of approximately a meter (3 ft) a day, the Ilulissat glacier calves at a rate of 25m (82 ft) per day. The icebergs produced by the glacier represent more than 10% of all icebergs in Greenland, corresponding to 20 million tonnes (22 million US tons) of ice per day!

These facts, together with the fjord’s unforgettable scenery, have secured the Icefjord a place on UNESCO’s World Heritage List.

During the more than 250 years that have passed since the establishment of Ilulissat, the town has steadily flourished. Today, Ilulissat is Greenland’s third largest town, with more than 4,500 inhabitants. The town is vibrant, welcoming and lively with a wide range of cultural attractions.


On this day, you may also have the opportunity to join a boat trip to the Icefjord (not included). The journey takes about two and a half hours in total, a great opportunity to take a closer look at the amazing ice-sculpted scenery. The trip is definitely something out of the ordinary and a great natural experience that you can remember for years to come – but be sure to have warm clothing on! If a hike or a trip by boat does not present enough excitement, there is also an opportunity to arrange a helicopter ride over the Icefjord (not included).

**Please note the boat and helicopter excursions to the Icefjord are not included in the general tour price. Furthermore, the helicopter excursion must be booked in advance. Ask a Trip Planner for more details.


In the evening, the ship cruises southward from “the Iceberg Capital”, leaving lovely Disko Bay behind.

Day 5 Itilleq

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
In the morning, wake up to a picturesque view— the settlement of Itilleq, which translates to ‘the hollow’ or ‘the flatlands’, quite an appropriate name for a settlement nestled at the foothills of mountains and glaciers in the distant backcountry to the east. 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 Itilleq is quite remote, it lies within a few hours via dinghy sail 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 Itilleq’s.

A stroll through the settlement offers insight into rural life in today’s Greenland, where modern conveniences and technological advancements, such as internet and smartphones have become commonplace, yet locals still place great value on important customs and preserving their traditions and Inuit heritage.

Before lunch, return to Ocean Atlantic and continue the journey toward the fjord of Kangerlussuaq, also known as Sondrestromfjord. Especially the first part of the fjord gives a great opportunity to enjoy an impressive passage with panoramic views of high mountains and deep valleys.

Day 6 Kangerlussuaq, Greenland | Disembark

  • 1 Breakfast
During the night, the journey through the 160 km (100 mile) Kangerlussuaq Fjord is completed. After breakfast aboard the ship, bid farewell to the ship's staff and disembark the Ocean Atlantic. Fly from Kangerlussuaq to Reykjavík.

Ocean Atlantic

Per person starting at
$2,800
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
Select a Date
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:
  • English-speaking guides.
  • Flights Reykjavik – Kangerlussuaq round trip.
  • Local transport in Kangerlussuaq on day 1.
  • City tours in Sisimiut, Qeqertarsuaq,and Ilulissat.
  • Museum visits in Sisimiut, Qeqertarsuaq and Ilulissat.
  • Church visits in Qeqertarsuaq and Ilulissat.
  • 'Kaffemik'  visit in Qeqertarsuaq.
  • Briefings and talks by tour leaders.
  • 5-day cruise in a shared outside double suite with bathroom/toilet.
  • Full board on the ship.
  • Coffee, tea and water on the ship.
  • Taxes and tariffs.
EXCLUSIONS:
  • Extra optional excursions.
  • Single room supplement and cabin upgrades.
  • Meals not on board ship.
  • Beverages other than coffee, tea and water.
  • Tips for ship crew (approx. 13.5 USD per day per participant).
  • Personal expenses.
Payment & Cancellation Policies
Mary Curry employee headshot
Mary C

We Love to Talk Travel

Call 1.800.344.6118
or
Chat Now
This was my first experience with Adventure Life - and I couldn't have been more pleased with the trip. The guides and local staff in both Buenos Aires and Uruguay were terrific - extremely helpful and accommodating. I really enjoyed meeting the friendly staff in Buenos Aires in person (I left my bags with them for the afternoon).
Karen Snider

Why Travel With Adventure Life

More Reasons

Awards and Accolades

All News