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A towering iceberg drifts in Disko Bay

Greenland Disko Bay

Example 8 Day Cruise aboard Ocean Albatros
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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 Albatros and explore the stunning landscapes and rich cultures of the Arctic.
Reflection of colorful houses in GreenlandExploring Greenland by kayakExploring GreenlandExploring GreenlandExploring GreenlandView of an iceberg at dawnMidnight sun light, IlulissatDisko BayBoat, barn, and iceberg on Disko BayEarly morning in Tasiilaq, East GreenlandA sunny day over Illulisat A towering iceberg drifts in Disko Bay
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"
Places Visited
Trip Type:
  • Small Ship
Activity Level: Relaxed
0

Full Itinerary

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Day 1: Kangerlussuaq, Greenland | Embark

Upon arrival from Greenland, transfer to the small port located west of the airport, where the ship, Ocean Albatros, 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: Uummannaq, Greenland

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
When you wake up this morning, you will find yourself almost 600km north of the Arctic Circle, and in one of Greenland’s most beautiful and sunny regions. The ship has reached Uummannaq, situated on a small island. The impressive 1,175m high heart-shaped mountain that has given the town its name dominates the view (Uummannaq means ‘place where the heart is’). There is time to explore the city before heading back to the ship for lunch. From the town, there is an extraordinary vista comprising the island’s 1,000-meter tall rock faces, the snow-covered peaks on Nuussuaq peninsula to the south, and out across the fiord. In the fiord, icebergs of all shapes and sizes majestically float by on a course set by wind and current. As many as 5 active glaciers at the bottom of the fiord ensure that we can observe plenty of icebergs.
 
Uummannaq was founded as a colony in 1758 on the Nuussuaq mainland, but shortly thereafter, in 1763, it was moved to the nearby island, as seal hunting was more bountiful here. On our walk along the town’s steep streets, we visit the historic train-oil building, built-in 1860. Inside its yellow walls, whale and seal blubber used to be stored. Because of the horrid stench, the blubber was not boiled here, but well outside town! Behind the train-oil storage, we will find a peat hut, which was still in use a few years ago.  
 
The dry and settled arctic climate has around 2,000 hours of sunshine and 100 millimeters of precipitation per year, giving Uummannaq the right to call itself the Greenlandic Riviera!

Day 5: Eqip Sermia Glacier

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
In the morning the cruise ship will have reached a magnificent natural highlight, the calving Eqip Sermia glacier. We enjoy lunch on the sun deck with this magnificent natural wonder in the background.
 
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. We will sail 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.
 
In the afternoon we head for Ilulissat, where we berth in the evening and go for an evening walk to the Sermermiut plain.
 
If the sea ice is too dense between the Ataa fjord and the Eqi glacier the captain will have to select a different route today. In this case, the itinerary will be adjusted accordingly and we might, for example, pay a visit to the abandoned coal mine at Qullissat or visit the settlement of Saqqaq.

Day 6: 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 right ‘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/43,5 miles deeper into 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/three feet a day, the Ilulissat glacier calves at a rate of 25m/82 feet 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!

Day 7: Settlement of Sarfannguit

  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The settlement of Sarfannguit, which translates into "the place of the little stream” is an appropriate name for a settlement nestled at the foothills of the mountains and glaciers in the distant backcountry. 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 Sarfannguit is quite remote, it lies within a few hours 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 Sarfannguit.
 
A stroll through the settlement offers insight into rural life in today’s Greenland, where modern conveniences and technological advancements, such as the internet and smartphones have become commonplace, yet locals still place great value on important customs and preserving their traditions and their Inuit heritage.

Day 8: Kangerlussuaq | Disembark

  • 1 Breakfast
During the night, we will have completed our passage through the 160-kilometer/100 mile Kangerlussuaq Fjord. After breakfast aboard the ship, we will bid farewell to the ship's staff and the Zodiac boats will shuttle us to shore.

Ship/Hotel

Ocean Albatros

Dates & Prices

My Preferred Start Date

Per person starting at
$4,590
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Category G
Single Stateroom (Porthole) 14 m2. Standard single Stateroom on board, located on deck 3.
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Category H
Single Balcony Stateroom 24 m2. Located on Decks 4 & 6. They have a private balcony, a double bed, 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.
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Category F
Triple Stateroom (Porthole) 22 m2. There are four Triple Staterooms featuring portholes, all with private en-suites. Located on Deck 3.
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Category E
French Balcony Suite 16 m2. A standard Stateroom with a French balcony, a double bed or two single beds, floor-to-ceiling windows, and a bathroom. Located on Deck 7.
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Category D
Albatros Stateroom (Porthole) 22 m2. All have a double bed or 2 single beds and a bathroom. The State Rooms are located on deck 3 and 4.
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Category C
Balcony Stateroom 24 m2. Located on decks 4 & 6. They have a private 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.
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Category B2
Balcony Suite 28 m2. Located on decks 4 & 6. 4 suites that feature double or twin beds a seating area, bathroom, and a private balcony. Include VIP services
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Category B1
Balcony Suite 35 m2. 2 suites onboard located on deck 4. The suites feature double or twin beds a seating area, a bathroom, and a large private balcony. Include VIP services
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Category A
Junior suite 42 m2. 4 suites with a great view from their location high up on the ship on deck 7. Featuring a double bed or twin beds, a sofa bed, a spacious bathroom, and a private balcony. The suite can accommodate up to 3 people. Include VIP services
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Premium Suite
Premium suite 45 m2. This 2-bedroom suite features a double bed (or twin beds), a sofa bed, a private balcony and a spacious bathroom. Located on deck.4. Include VIP services

Notes


INCLUSIONS
• English-speaking guides.
• Flights Iceland or Denmark – Kangerlussuaq round trip.
• Local transport in Kangerlussuaq on day 1.
• City tours in Sisimiut, Qeqertarsuaq, Uummannaq 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.
• 8-day/7 night cruise in a shared outside double stateroom with bathroom/toilet.
• Full board on the ship.
• Coffee, tea and water on the ship.
• Taxes and tariffs.
• Guiding and lectures by our experienced expedition leader and team
• Special photo workshop
• Welcome and farewell cocktails
• Digital visual journal link after the voyage, including voyage log, gallery, species list and more!

EXCLUSIONS
• Extra optional excursions.
• Single room supplement and stateroom upgrades.
• Meals not on board ship.
• Beverages other than coffee, tea and water.
• Tips for ship crew (approx. 14 USD per day per participant).
• Personal expenses.

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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.
Lisa Bridge
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