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An Arctic fox gazes across the landscape

Disko Bay to Uummannaq - Remote At Heart

Example 10 Day Cruise aboard M/S Balto
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Experience a life-affirming adventure with the beautiful 12-passenger ship M/S Balto! Begin your voyage by exploring the Disko Bay area, known for its diverse and astonishing landscape, including unique geological formations, deep fjords, springs and caves, magnificent towering icebergs, and impressive glaciers faces. Continue up the beautiful Vaigat strait and onwards to the breathtakingly beautiful fjords or areas north of Uummannaq. The rich waters are likely to introduce us to several whale species, such as humpback, minke, or pilot whales, as we navigate in between enormous icebergs under the midnight sun. Return to Ilulissat and admire the ice-carved fjords. 
A sunny day over Illulisat Whale sighting in Polar waters!Sun shining on the iceMidnight sun light, IlulissatAn Arctic fox gazes across the landscape
Highlights
  • Venture into Disko Bay and admire a wondrous parade of icebergs
  • Explore the beautiful nature around Qeqertarsuaq and its charming colors
  • Observe numerous different species of animals, such as whales, and foxes
  • Explore the rarely-visited side of Disko Island, full of geological wonders
Trip Type:
  • Small Ship
Activity Level: Relaxed
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Full Itinerary

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Day 1: Ilulissat, Greenland | Embark

Arrive at the town by the ice fjord, Ilulissat. Immediately upon arrival, we are struck by the natural beauty that surrounds you, with hills, glaciers, and a bay filled with icebergs. The remoteness of your everyday life is obvious! In the afternoon board M/S Balto. After the safety orientation, venture into Disko Bay, sailing in the low sun, midst a wondrous parade of icebergs of thousand shades of blue. Overnight, sail across the bay and anchor past the glacial waterfalls by Qeqertarsuaq on the south side of Disko Island. Keep in mind that this is truly an expedition voyage, and your itinerary largely depends on the weather, calving activity and amounts of ice. Where possible you go on zodiac excursions or make landings.

Day 2-9: Expedition cruising

  • Ship
  • 8 Breakfasts, 8 Lunches, 8 Dinners
We enjoy breakfast with a view of the volcanic cliffs of Disko Island. Disko is unique in its geology and lush vegetation and stands out in the otherwise ice-packed bay. Greenlandic legend says it is because the island was moved here from the south by two kayaking seal hunters, and when it entered Disko bay a witch from Ilulissat cast a spell on it to the ground. The island invites beautiful hikes and the columnar basalt rocks show the island's volcanic history.

We pay a visit to Qeqertarsuaq – the settlement on the island – to explore the beautiful nature around the town and the colorful town itself.

As we leave Qeqertarsuaq, we cruise close to the eastern side caves, which is also a place where we often witness humpback whales feeding. Occasionally we might hear the mighty thundering of a large ice calving across the bay. We continue up the picturesque Vaigat Strait and en route, we pass by some magnificent glacier fronts and navigate between myriads of icebergs.

There are many impressive and active glaciers in this part of Greenland. One of the glaciers we might explore is Eqip Sermia, which is one of the most active glaciers in Greenland. It is a powerful experience to hear the explosive sound of the air being released as the glacier calves.

When we proceed northwest on the Vaigat strait, striking high cliffs and enormous icebergs surround us. We round the corner of the Nuussuaq peninsula, which separates Disko Bay from the Uummannaq Bay. This area is known to be home to numerous different species of animals, such as whales, seals, walrus, reindeer, and foxes.

We anchor in front of the secluded village of Niaqornat, better known as “the village at the end of the world”. The village is home to a population of approx. 50 people; several of them are proud hunters, displaying narwhal horns, walrus skulls, polar bear skin, and antlers around their huts. This offers a unique opportunity to get an understanding of the local culture, of which we need to respect and aim to learn more!

Approaching Uummannaq Island is a sight to behold in any weather, on a clear sunny day or with heart-shaped mountain or coastal cliffs rising above the strips of fog. We most likely will have the company of whales spraying near the ship. According to the myth, a piece of the visitors’ hearts will remain on the Uummannaq Island, always trying to summon them back. Whether it is the magic mountain that dominates the landscape of the island or if it is the singing children ashore that are magnetizing, is left to be unsaid.

We aim to visit the town of Uummannaq with its old settler houses, church, museum, and remains of failed Arctic expeditions in the area. 

As we continue east, we approach several highly active glaciers, from which numerous blue-shifting icebergs are thrown into the sea. Very few vessels venture here and many of the fjord systems are still unnamed. The crew of M/S Balto, who have had the fortune of traveling in this area, describes it as one of the most stunning landscapes of north Greenland.

When we start to proceed southwest, we are likely to be treated with magnificent shows of enormous icebergs and the events they do – turning, exploding, and maybe dumping lakes of water in the sea. We continue via the rarely visited western side of Disko Island, visiting fjords full of geological wonders.

Day 10: Ilulissat | Disembark

  • 1 Breakfast
In the morning we disembark in Ilulissat for homebound flights.

Ship/Hotel

M/S Balto

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M/S Balto Interior
Owner's Suite

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Early Booking Discount
Book any Svalbard expedition 2023 before 31st January 2022 and receive a $300 discount per person! This discount cannot be combined with any other offers. Additional restrictions may apply. Please contact us for details.
Applies to all departures

Per person starting at
$10,890
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Double Cabin
Located on the lower deck, three cabins featuring twin beds, portholes, and private facilities.
M/S Balto Cabins
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Superior Cabin
Located on the main deck, one larger cabin featuring twin beds, windows, and private facilities.
Owner's Suite
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Owner's Suite
Located on the main deck, one large superior cabin with a double bed, windows, and private facilities.
Single Cabin
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Single Cabin
Located on the lower deck, two cabins available for single occupancy.

Notes

Price includes
  • 9 nights on board M/S Balto
  • All meals on board
  • Coffee and tea
  • 1 Expedition Leader and 1 guide
  • Guiding ashore and talks on board
  • All excursions and activities
  • Comprehensive information material before the expedition
  • The trip is climate compensated
Not included
  • Flights to and from Greenland
  • Travel and cancellation insurance
  • The customary gratuity to the ship’s crew
  • Personal expenses such as bar and shop charges

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Our guide and driver were very good with their knowledge and were very helpful with our questions. It was a very pleasant visit that would have been impossible to do on our own. Hotels and restaurants were fantastic. The special places we got to go to, like the kitchens, were great. Enjoyed the entire trip!
Meyer Smolen

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