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Expedition East Greenland & the Westman Islands

Example 13 Day Cruise aboard M/S Balto
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Embark on a 13-day expedition cruise aboard the MS Balto and discover the beauty of East Greenland's wilderness, mountain ranges, majestic glaciers, diverse icebergs, and crystal-clear waters. Immerse yourself in the unique Inuit culture, learning about their traditions and heritage. This journey is not just a destination, but an unforgettable life experience. Your adventure concludes with exploring the Westman Islands, renowned for their puffin colonies.
Whale sighting in Polar waters!Early morning in Tasiilaq, East GreenlandPuffinSermilikReflection of colorful houses in GreenlandKuummiut
  • Explore the abandoned military base of Bluie East Two in the Ikateq fjord
  • Witness the thundering calvings of the Karale and Knud Rasmussen glaciers
  • Discover the serenity and hidden waterfalls of the Ammassalik fjord system
  • Experience the vibrant Inuit culture and local myths in Tasiilaq
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.

Full Itinerary

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Day 1: Reykjavik

You arrive individually in Reykjavik and check into your hotel.

Day 2: Fly to Kulusuk | Embarkation day

You fly from Reykjavik to Kulusuk airport. In the afternoon, you board M/S Balto and begin your great exploration. On an expedition of this kind, the exact route be decided by weather and ice. 

Day 3-10: Expedition cruising

  • Ship
  • 8 Breakfasts, 8 Lunches, 8 Dinners
Visit the town of Tasiilaq. With just under 2000 inhabitants, it is the largest settlement in East Greenland. It is home to an older and different Inuit culture, where shamanism and native culture are much more vibrant than in other parts of Greenland. During your expedition, learn more about local myths and legends, such as the one about tupilaqs. In the Greenlandic Inuit religion, a tupilaq was an avenging monster fabricated by a practitioner of witchcraft or shamanism by using various objects such as animal bone, skin, hair, or ligament. Tasiilaq is also known for its art scene, where local artists create prints, sculptures, and textiles mostly portraying the animals, landscapes, and traditional stories of the area.

Venture into the serenity of the Ammassalik fjord system and the small settlement of Kuummiut. This is a relatively unknown pearl of east Greenland, nestled within the Ammassalik Island group. The surrounding fjords, lined by tall mountain tops, offer perfect hiking opportunities with hidden waterfalls and spectacular views. Kuummiut has a rich Inuit heritage, and you can hope to get the opportunity to learn about the traditional practices.

Further up north is the Ikateq fjord, where you might make a landing at the abandoned military base from World War II, Bluie East Two. It played an important role as a refueling and maintenance stop for aircraft traveling between North America and Europe. It is no longer in operation today, but some remnants still exist, such as abandoned fuel drums, buildings, and vehicles.

Weather permitting, you can reach the ice-choked Tuttilik Fjord. You can hope to go ashore and explore some abandoned Inuit winter houses. The area around the fjord features mountainous terrain, offering dramatic vistas. The fjord has been a site of historical significance as well. It was near Tuttilik Fjord that the British explorer Gino Watkins tragically drowned in a kayak accident in 1932 while hunting for seals. Watkins was a notable British explorer, best known for his expeditions in Greenland. His primary interest was in surveying and mapping uncharted territories. He emphasized the importance of using local knowledge and techniques, often adopting Inuit survival methods. This approach was not only more effective but also helped foster respect and understanding between different cultures.

Further east are two impressive glaciers: Karale and Knud Rasmussen. When sailing in this area, most likely you can hear and see thundering calves from these two very active glaciers.

Continue into the mighty Sermilik Fjord. It stretches over 90 kilometers and cuts through a rugged landscape of towering glaciers and jagged peaks, and you can find yourself amongst a myriad of icebergs of all shapes and sizes. Most of them originate from the impressive Helheim glacier at the deep end of the fjord, which produces some of the largest icebergs in all of Greenland. The beauty around you is stunning!

On the southern shores of the Sermilik fjord is the tiny village of Tiilerilaaq. The wooden houses are beautifully situated on a hill, with the grand Sermilik fjord in the background. The local Inuit culture and the traditional hunting and fishing activities play a significant role in the way of life here. Before you wave goodbye, head out on a nice hike to overview the surrounding landscapes and the many icebergs!

If the ice allows, you can enter Johan Peterson Fjord. On the northern side of the entrance of the fjord is Qeertartivatsiaq Island, where you can find Inuit ruins on the southern shore of the island. At the head of the fjord are some outlet glaciers from the inland ice coming straight down to the sea. This is one of the few places you can catch sight of the actual inland ice, although please know that it is often blocked by beautiful icebergs.

You are continuously looking for Arctic foxes, seals, and different species of whales.

Day 11: Kulusuk | Disembark | Reykjavik

  • 1 Breakfast
After a long, nice breakfast, disembark in Kulusuk. Head out on one final Greenland excursion: a glacier hike to an ice cave. It is a truly unique experience to lose yourself in this surreal world of blue and to take in all of the cave's incredible details. After an early dinner in Kulusuk, head to the airport and board your flight to Reykjavik, where you can check into the hotel for a good night's sleep.

Day 12: Westman Islands

  • 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Today, take the ferry to the Westman Islands and the main island of Heimaey for a full-day tour, offering a unique and memorable experience. These islands are known for their stunning natural beauty, including lava fields, volcanic craters, and rugged cliffs. It also has a rich history and vibrant wildlife. The islands are one of the best places in the world to see puffins.

After the visit to the museum, and if the weather conditions are favorable, hike up the Eldfell volcanic crater. On a clear day, the views from the top are out of this world. Enjoy a nice ‘local lunch. It is time to look for the real stars of the island: the famous puffins that nest and breed in the rocky cliffs along the coast. Walk around with your guide and try to spot the cute birds, also known as the “Clowns of the Ocean” for their unique and colorful look.

After a lovely island dinner, the ferry and a bus take you back to your hotel in Reykjavik for a good night’s sleep. (Included in the flight and hotel package.)

Day 13: Homeward bound

Today, bid your farewells and return home or onwards for new adventures.


M/S Balto

Dining Room

Reykjavik - Hotels

Dates & Prices

My Preferred Start Date

Per person starting at
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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.


  • 9 Breakfasts, 9 Lunches, 10 Dinners
  • 12 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
  • A full day excursion to the Westman Islands including meals
  • All excursions and activities in Greenland
  • 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.
  • Mandatory flight & hotel package: Keflavik (Iceland) to Kulusuk (Greenland) roundtrip. Pre and Post hotel stay in Reykjavik and transfers between hotel and airport in Keflavik.
  • International flights to and from Iceland


When to Go

Good to ideal period to travel, and many people choose to visit at this time.


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