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Disko Bay to Uummannaq - Icebergs, Whales and Inuit culture

Example 10 Day Cruise aboard M/S Balto
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Experience an adventure in West Greenland on this 10-day Greenland cruise with  M/S Balto. Begin your voyage in 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 stunning Vaigat strait and onwards to the breathtakingly beautiful fjords and 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. 
Colorful houses of UummannaqSoaring icebergsMidnight sun light, IlulissatSun shining on the iceGet a close up view of the Greenland ice sheetQeqertarsuaqVisit Niaqirant
Highlights
  • Explore the magnificent Disko Bay and its breathtaking scenery
  • Admire numerous gigantic icebergs and calving glaciers
  • Delight yourself with the magical midnight sun
  • Enjoy various oportunities to see incredible wildlife
Places Visited
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: Ilulissat | Embark

Arrive independently to the town by the ice fjord, Ilulissat. Immediately upon arrival, struck by the natural beauty that surrounds us, with hills, glaciers and a bay filled with icebergs. The remoteness from our 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 our itinerary largely depends on 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
Enjoy breakfast with a view of the volcanic cliffs of Disko Island. It 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 ground. The island invites to beautiful hikes and the columnar basalt rocks show the island's volcanic history.

Visit to Qeqertarsuaq – the settlement on the island – to explore the beautiful nature around the town and the colourful town itself.

As you leave Qeqertarsuaq, cruise close to the eastern side caves, which is also a place where you often witness humpback whales feeding. Occasionally you might hear the mighty thundering of a large ice calving across the bay. Continue up the picturesque Vaigat Strait and en route, 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 you 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.

Proceed northwest on the Vaigat strait, striking high cliffs and enormous icebergs surround us. 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.

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 you 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. 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.

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

As you continue east, approach several highly active glaciers, from which numerous of 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 travelling in this area, describes it as one of the most stunning landscapes of the north Greenland.

Start to proceed southwest, you 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. 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 disembark in Ilulissat for homebound flights.

Ship/Hotel

M/S Balto

Dining Room
Saloon
Bar

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Book by May 31st, 2024, and save a $500 discount per person on any Greenland expedition in 2025. It cannot be combined with any other promotions. Additional restrictions may apply. Please contact us for details.
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Per person starting at
$11,490
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Double Cabin
Located on the lower deck, three cabins featuring twin beds, portholes, and private facilities.
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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.
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Single Cabin
Located on the lower deck, two cabins available for single occupancy.

Notes


Included
  • 9 Breakfasts, 8 Lunches, 9 Dinners
  • 9 Nights Accommodations
  • Accommodations as listed
  • Ground transportation as listed
  • Activities as listed
  • Meals as listed
  • Access to a 24-7 Emergency line while traveling
  • 100% Climate Compensated
  • Coffee and tea on board
  • 1 Expedition Leader and 1 guide
  • Guiding ashore and talks on board
  • Comprehensive information material before the expedition
Excluded
  • Gratuities
  • Travel Insurance
  • Personal Expenses
  • Flight costs (please request a quote)
  • Additional excursions during free time
  • Fuel and transportation surcharges (when applicable)
  • Medical travel insurance, including emergency medical attention and evacuation coverage with a minimum of $100,000 of evacuation coverage is required.
  • Flights to and from Greenland

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Everything was amazing! The planning with Adventure Life went smoothly. The actual trip was fantastic! One of the best trips I have experienced. The cruise staff members were knowledgeable and attentive. I will be writing more about this on the blog!
Justin Chappelle
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