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Exploring Greenland

In the Wake of Eric the Red

Kangerlussuaq- Reykjavik - Example 11 Day Cruise aboard Ocean Albatros
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Join an expedition cruise from Kangerlussuaq to Reykjavík, which follows the same maritime course set by Norse settlers over a thousand years ago. Board the Ocean Albatros  and Cross the Danmark Strait between Iceland and Greenland, visiting the Inuit settlements of Tasiilaq and Kulusuk. Further south, pass from East Greenland to West Greenland through the dramatic Prince Christians Sound. In Disko Bay, experience local folk dancing in Qeqertarsuaq and sail to the renowned Eqi Glacier. At the Sermermiut Plain, take a chance to admire the World Heritage Site of the Ilulissat Icefjord and the dazzling icebergs. Finally, enter the long fjord of Kangerlussuaq, where you can search for a glimpse of the muskoxen and reindeers roaming the tundra along the Greenland Icecap. 
Exploring GreenlandExploring GreenlandOne of Greenland's many glaciersPolar bear in the ArcticWhale sighting in Polar waters!View of a glacier in GreenlandMidnight sun light, IlulissatSun shining on the iceBig blue icebergs at glacier lagoon on IcelandView of an iceberg at dawnNarwhal sighting in the ArcticView of Reykjavik from the Church TowerHallgrimskirkja Church in ReykjavikStreet view of old town ReykjavikPolar bears in the ArcticEarly morning in Tasiilaq, East GreenlandExploring Greenland
Highlights
  • Sail through Greenland's spectacular Prince Christian Sound
  • Explore the Ilulissat Icefjord and Kujataa farming communities
  • Wander the streets of Nuuk, Greenland’s dynamic capital
  • Explore Qeqertarsuaq, the only town on the volcanic island of Disko
Activity Level: Relaxed
Involves minimal physical effort and is typically associated with leisurely activities. Activities are low-intensity or last less than a few hours each day.
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Full Itinerary

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Day 1: Kangerlussuaq, Greenland | Embark

Upon arrival in Kangerlussuaq, we will be transported to the small port located west of the airport, where our ship, will be anchored. Zodiacs will transfer us the short distance to the ship, where you will be checked in to your stateroom. After the safety drill, you will enjoy a dinner as we ‘set sail’ through the 160-kilometer Kangerlussuaq fjord.

Day 2: Sisimiut

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Experience Greenlands Second-largest city at the foot of Nasaasaao Mountain 

Day 3: Qeqertarsuaq, Greenland

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Under Disko Island’s 1000-meter-high mountains, enter the protected natural harbor that has the Danish name Godhavn or "Good Harbor" and in Greenlandic Qeqertarsuaq which means "The Big Island."

Godhavn was until 1950 the most important town north of Nuuk, solely because of the large number of whales caught and landed here. This gave the town great wealth. Now it is on the way to oblivion with declining job opportunities and connections to the mainland.

The local community center hosts a traditional Greenlandic “kaffemik”, 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 would be played by hitting the frame with a stick, and not the skin itself. This modest instrument was used for a variety of purposes, including entertainment, exorcism, and witchcraft.

During the afternoon the ship heads east towards the giant glacier Eqip Sermia in the north-easterly corner of Disko Bay. This glacier is one of the most impressive in Greenland. Here you can experience a glacier calve up close. Experience the great crevasses, deep blue glacial streams, a landscape so unique and stunning that words are simply not sufficient. An outstanding opportunity to see, hear and smell this mighty ice world. In the evening, prepare for departure.

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 rightly "The Iceberg Capital of the World."

The icebergs come from the Icefjord, which is located a half hour’s hike south of Ilulissat. These impressive frozen structures are born some 70km deeper into the fjord by the enormous Sermeq Kujalleq glacier. This 10km-wide glacier is the most productive glacier outside of Antarctica. Whereas most glaciers only calve at a rate of approximately a meter a day, the Ilulissat glacier calves at a rate of 25 meters per day. The icebergs produced by the glacier represent more than 10% of all icebergs in Greenland, corresponding to 20 million tons!

These facts, together with the fjord’s extreme beauty, 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, according to Greenlandic standards. 

On this day, you may also have the opportunity to join a boat trip to the Icefjord. The journey takes about two and a half hours in total and presents an opportunity to gain 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 remember warm clothes!

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.

**Please note the boat and helicopter excursions to the Icefjord are optional outings and therefore 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 in its wake.

Day 5: At Sea

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The lecturers onboard make inspiring and enriching presentations about both Iceland’s and Greenland’s past history and about nature, wildlife, and climatology.

Day 6: Nuuk, Greenland

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
During the night, the ship cruised north to reach Nuuk in the morning. As you enter the Nuuk Fjord you have fair chances of encountering the area's seasonal visitors, humpback whales.

The world's smallest capital is considered by many in Greenland a mighty metropolis - a total of 17,000 people live here today, almost a third of the country’s population.

The area has been inhabited since 2200 BCE by pre-Inuit hunters. From the year 1000 to 1350 CE, the Icelandic Vikings and farmers settled in South Greenland and in the Nuuk Fjord, while at the same time Inuit hunters of the Thule culture moved south from North Greenland. The Nordic settlers disappeared around 1350 CE, but the Inuit stayed, being far better equipped to hunt and survive in the tough Arctic nature.

The modern history of Greenland began in 1721 when the Norse missionary Hans Egede founded a permanent colony and trading station near Nuuk. In fact, Egede’s main purpose to return to Greenland was to convert the Catholic northerners to Lutherans, but soon after his arrival he realized the Norse had disappeared, a mystery yet unresolved.

In 1979, the Landsting (Parliament) was established in Nuuk, and the town was finally recognized as the country's capital.

Late in the afternoon, leave the capital and continue the northbound journey.

Day 7: Qassiarsuk

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Discover Qassiarsuk, Eric the Rec Settlement Around lunch we sail into Eriksfjord, which in Greenland is called Tunulliarfik. We throw anchor off Erik the Red's Brattahlíð settlement, where the Qassiarssuk village is today. Here we see, among other things, a reconstruction of Tjodhildur's church, which was the first church on the North American continent. There are also other ruins after the Norse people, which disappeared in the 1400s. Here one can really sense the path of history and wonder why the Norse people suddenly disappeared from Greenland.

It was from Brattahlíð that Erik and Tjodhildur's son Leif Eriksson, about 1000, went west and discovered Baffin Island, the Labrador coast and Newfoundland, before returning to South Greenland a few years later. Around lunchtime, we sail out of Eriksfjord close to Qooroq Isfjord.

Day 8: Prince Christian Sound

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Kap Farvel, or Cape Farewell, is renowned not only as Greenland's southernmost point but also for its infamous, although mostly seasonal, gale-force winds.

Deliberately opt for a far more comfortable but at the same time more spectacular route, cruising via the inside passage through the Prince Christian Sound. This 60 km long waterway runs from the Atlantic in the east to the settlement Aapilattoq in the heart of the fjord lands of South West Greenland. 

The sound has steep mountainsides, and many adventurous kayakers have had to turn around because of a very limited number of landing sites available. The old weather station of Prince Christian Sound, manned until a two years ago by sturdy meteorologists, is another classic point-of-interest along this itinerary.

Day 9: Skjoldungen Island

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The island of Skjoldungen is, without doubt, one of the most beautiful areas in East Greenland. Situated at 63° N, the island is surrounded by narrow, steep fjords and glaciers, and with plenty of the cool, crisp and clean air of the nearby ice sheet. Still, you can find and experience a lush landscape and a milder climate than most would expect. Acclaimed Norwegian explorer Fridtjof Nansen came here in late summer 1888 in search of a suitable ascension point for the first inland ice crossing.

Skjoldungen is also the name of an abandoned settlement, located on the southwest side of the island. Up to 100 people lived here until 1965, and some houses remain. Continue the journey to Dronning Marie Dal in the area's northwestern corner to get a closer view of its interesting flora.

After Skjoldungen and Ilertakajik fjord, the Alpine peaks and mountainous landscape diminish and from here, you may find that over large stretches, the ice sheet reaches all the way to the shoreline, forming cohesive ice shelves, a type of icy landscape that some travelers who have been to Antarctica probably recognize.
Visit Bernstorff Icefjord, the most productive glacier on the southeast coast, but keep a good distance from big icebergs in these waters.

Day 10: At Sea

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The lecturers onboard make inspiring and enriching presentations about both Iceland’s and Greenland’s past history and about nature, wildlife, and climatology.

Day 11: Reykjavík, Iceland | Disembark

  • 1 Breakfast
Disembark after breakfast at Reykjavik, the colorful capital city of Iceland

Ship/Hotel

Ocean Albatros

Ocean Albatros BBQ Deck
Ocean Albatros Fitness
Ocean Albatros Pool Deck

Dates & Prices

My Preferred Start Date

Per person starting at
$5,790
Ocean Albatros Cat GOcean Albatros Cat G
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Category G
Single Stateroom (Porthole) - 14 m2 Standard single Stateroom onboard, located on deck 3. This is a conveniently located State Room close to the Mudroom which facilitates access to the Zodiacs during embarkation and disembarkation to begin your adventures.
Ocean Albatros Cat FOcean Albatros Cat F
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Category F
Triple Stateroom (Porthole) - 22 m2 There are four Triple Staterooms on board Ocean Albatros featuring portholes, all with private en-suites. Located on Deck 3, they're close to the mudroom and loading platforms. Triple staterooms are normally with twin beds however a double bed can be accommodated.
Ocean Albatros Cat EOcean Albatros Cat E
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Category E
French Balcony Stateroom - 14 m2 The French Balcony Suite is a standard Stateroom with a French balcony, a double bed, floor-to-ceiling windows and a bathroom. All French Balcony Suites are located on Deck 7.
Ocean Albatros Cat DOcean Albatros Cat D
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Category D
Albatros Stateroom (Porthole) - 13-22 m2 The standard Stateroom on Ocean Albatros is close to the Mudroom and has quick access to the Zodiac platforms for disembarkation during landings. This is very convenient if you have more limited mobility and would like a short distance to the Zodiacs. The State Rooms are perfect for those who wish a comfortable base during their stay onboard Ocean Albatros. The standard State Rooms all have a double bed or 2 single beds and a bathroom. The State Rooms are located on deck 3 and 4.
Ocean Albatros Cat COcean Albatros Cat B Balcony
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Category C
Balcony Stateroom - 18-22 m2 The most abundant type of Stateroom on Ocean Albatros located on decks 4 & 6. They have a balcony, a double bed or two single beds, a bathroom and a sofa that can be used as a bed for a child if traveling as a family. If you desire to book two staterooms with connecting doors, this is also a possibility within this category.
Ocean Albatros Cat COcean Albatros Cat C Balcony
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Category Csp
Superior Balcony Stateroom (48) app. 24 sqm, including Balcony.
Ocean Albatros Cat COcean Albatros Cat C Balcony
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Category Cxl
Grand Balcony Stateroom (4) app. 30 sqm, including Balcony.
Ocean Albatros Cat BOcean Albatros Cat B Balcony
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Category B
Balcony Suite approximately - 25-32 m2 Ocean Albatros has 6 Balcony Suites on board located on decks 4 & 6. The suites feature double or twin beds and a seating area, bathroom, and a large balcony. The balcony suites can host 2 people.
Ocean Albatros Cat AOcean Albatros Cat A Balcony
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Category A
Junior suite - 39 m2 The 4 junior suites aboard Ocean Albatros have a great view from their location high up on the ship on deck 7. The suites feature a double bed or twin beds, sofa bed, seating area, a spacious bathroom and a private balcony. The suite can accommodate up to 3 people.
Ocean Albatros Premium SuiteOcean Albatros Premium Suite
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Premium Suite (Freydis Suite)
Premium suite - 45 m2 – FS (Freydis Suite) The second largest of all the staterooms on board the Ocean Albatros is the Premium Suite. This 2-bedroom suite features a double bed (or twin beds), a sofa bed, table and chair, a balcony and a spacious bathroom. Located on deck.4. This category is available upon request. Please refer to Albatros Expeditions for price.
Ocean Albatros Family SuiteOcean Albatros Family Suite
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Family Suite (Brynhilde Suite)
Family suite - 52 m2 – BS (Brynhilde Suite) The largest of all the staterooms on board the Ocean Albatros is the Premium Suite. The Double-Bedroom, Family Suite is going to be located on Deck 7, featuring two interconnecting French Balcony Suites, accommodating up to 5 people on two double beds and a sofa bed. This category is available upon request. Please refer to Albatros Expeditions for price.

Notes

Kayaking activities available on both Arctic and Antarctic voyages. 
Although kayaking opportunities are possible in most locations during each excursion in the Antarctic region, weather, sea, and ice conditions will dictate the when and where to ensure your safety and improve your experience.
In order to sign up for this activity, you need to have previous kayaking experience and attend a mandatory safety briefing by the Kayak Master. The cost is $345/person per outing and it can only be booked onboard.

Possible shared staterooms for same-gender, single travelers: Category C (Balcony Stateroom) and Category F (Triple Porthole Stateroom)
Included
  • 10 Breakfasts, 9 Lunches, 10 Dinners
  • 10 Nights Accommodations
  • Accommodations as listed
  • Ground transportation as listed
  • Activities as listed
  • Meals as listed
  • Access to a 24-7 Emergency line while traveling
  • Welcome and Farewell Cocktails   
  • Digital visual journal link after voyage, including voyage log, gallery, species list and more.
  • English-speaking expedition team
  • Information briefings and lectures by expedition team
  • Special photo workshop
  • Local transport in Kangerlussuaq on Day 1
  • Flights Iceland or Denmark – Kangerlussuaq
  • Guided walks with the expedition team
  • Dinner drink package
  • Free coffee, tea, and afternoon snacks on the ship
  • Taxes, tariffs, and landing fees
  • Nature hikes and Zodiac cruises per itinerary
  • Town and settlement walks in Qeqertarsuaq, Ilulissat & Nuuk
  • Cultural arrangements in Qeqertarsuaq, Ilulissat
Excluded
  • Gratuities
  • Travel Insurance
  • Personal Expenses
  • Flight costs (please request a quote)
  • Additional excursions during free time
  • Beverages (other than coffee and tea)
  • Anything not mentioned under 'inclusions'
  • Extra excursions and activities not mentioned in the itinerary
  • Meals not on board the ship
  • Tips for the crew (we recommend USD 14 per person per day)
  • Emergency Evacuation insurance of at least $200,000 per passenger is required. Please bring a copy of your insurance onboard.
  • Kayaking - Offered on all ships and all trips if conditions allow. This can be booked onboard only.
  • Transfer from the ship on day 11

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