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A towering iceberg drifts in Disko Bay

Disko Bay

Example 8 Day Cruise aboard Ocean Albatros
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Embark on an 8-day cruise aboard the Ocean Albatros. Explore through West Greenland. Sailing offers the optimal way to discover Greenland's diverse landscapes, from vibrant coastal villages to majestic glaciers and fjords. Even in larger towns, Arctic nature remains close, providing moments of solitude amidst the wilderness. Life in Greenland follows the rhythms of the sea, tides, and the midnight sun, shaping local culture and lifestyle. Explore Kangerlussuaq, Sisimiut, Qeqertarsuaq, Uummannaq, and the heart of Disko Bay, with highlights like Eqip Sermia Glacier and Ilulissat Icefjord. Encounter friendly locals, learn about ancient culture, and navigate these remote regions using Zodiacs. Join this Arctic adventure!
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 BayA sunny day over Illulisat A towering iceberg drifts in Disko Bay
Highlights
  • Experience the lush and picturesque town of Qeqertarsuaq, known for its stunning rock formations and black sand beaches
  • Discover the small city of Uummannaq and visit the museum to learn about its fascinating Inuit history
  • Witness the awe-inspiring Eqip Sermia Glacier and marvel at the immense cataracts of ice falling into the ocean
  • Explore the colorful city of Sisimiut and discover its rich history and cultural significance
Places Visited
Activity Level: Variable
Activity options vary depending on destination and operator. Activity level is determined by the range and intensity of activities you choose to participate in. Discuss with your Trip Planner which options are best for you.
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Full Itinerary

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Day 1: Kangerlussuaq, Greenland | Embark

On the first day of your expedition, board your flights bound for Kangerlussuaq on the west coast of Greenland.

Situated at the head of a 160km long fjord of the same name, Kangerlussuaq is Greenland's only inland town and was established as Søndrestrom Air Base/Blue West-8 by American troops in 1941. Existing mainly to service the airport, the village of Kangerlussuaq itself retains a strong 'Cold War' feeling, hinting at its extensive American military use before it was signed over to the Greenlandic Government in 1992. Today, Kangerlussuaq is Greenland's largest air hub, with daily flights from Denmark and around the country. Its stable climate and lack of fog make it ideal as an airport. Still, it exhibits some of the most varied temperatures in the country, commonly registering the highest summer and lowest winter temperatures due to its inland location. 

Upon arrival in Kangerlussuaq, transfer to the small port west of the airport, where the Ocean Albatros awaits at anchor. Zodiacs will transfer you to the ship and check in to your stateroom. After the mandatory safety drill, enjoy dinner and a glass of champagne as you sail on a course for an adventure through the 160-kilometer Kangerlussuaq fjord.

Day 2: Sisimiut, Greenland

After breakfast, Ocean Albatros will arrive in the colorful city of Sisimiut. With around 5,400 inhabitants, it is Greenland's second-largest city and one of the most interesting to explore. Paleo-Inuit people have lived around Sisimiut on and off since 2,500 BC, arriving in waves of migration from Arctic Canada. Remnants of turf huts and tent camps from this time can be found throughout the vast backcountry surrounding Sisimiut, including Tele Island, a short, pleasant walk from the harbor. 

1756 Count Johan Ludvig Holstein established a colony here and called it "Holsteinsborg." The oldest part of Sisimiut features townhouses from this era and the oldest dates back to 1756. One of the most culturally significant buildings is the Blue Church, built in 1775. Now a landmark in the city's historic museum district, it is arguably the best preserved in Greenland and the perfect place to discover the Greenland of old. 

Nowadays, Sisimiut is an important hub of education and industry, and local factories process the bulk of fish caught in the country (Greenland's most significant export). The fish processing plant in the harbor is one of the largest in Greenland and among the most modern in the world. Just beyond the harbor sits the headquarters of KNI, the government-operated company that resupplies the many small settlements throughout Greenland - a vital service in a country with so many remote communities. 

The busy city center of Sisimiut offers a glimpse of daily life in 21st-century Greenland, where seal hunts and smartphones collide. Take a refreshing stroll around Spedjesø and take in an exhibition at the city's cultural center, Taseralik, explore the region's fascinating heritage at the city museum, or visit the Artists Workshop, where savvy shoppers can purchase traditional artworks directly from the artist. As evening falls, leave Sisimiut and set a course for the iceberg-studded waters of Disko Bay (Qeqertarsuup Tunua) as Ocean Albatros sails for Qeqertarsuaq.

Day 3: Qeqertarsuaq, Disko Island

Nestled below Disko Island's 1,000-meter mountains, pull into port in a beautifully sheltered natural harbor. The place was aptly named Godhavn ("Good Harbour") in Danish, while its Greenlandic name, "Qeqertarsuaq," means "The Big Island." 

For most of Greenland's modern history, Godhavn was the political and economic capital of North Greenland (while Godthåb, now Nuuk, served this role in Southern Greenland). Its importance was due to the vast economic activity generated by whaling in Disko Bay, the preeminent Arctic industry since the 16th Century. As the whaling industry collapsed in the early 1900s, Godhavn lost its political status as all government functions moved south to Godthåb/Nuuk, and the town was forced to reinvent itself, changing its name to Qeqertarsuaq in 1979. Today, hunting and fishing are the primary industries in Qeqertarsuaq, while tourism is becoming increasingly important. Ferries arrive in the town daily in summer from around Disko Bay, while in winter, access is only by helicopter from nearby Ilulissat. 

Qeqertarsuaq's sweeping red-and-black basalt mountains radically differ from the rolling granite hills that characterize much of Greenland and provide much richer soil. Despite being situated well above the Arctic Circle, this rich volcanic soil and the area's mild microclimate make it much greener and lusher than the rest of the country. Locals from all over Disko Bay come to the island in summer to hunt and collect angelica, herbs, and mushrooms, and the stunning rock formations and black sand beaches attract visitors from all over the world. The town is typically Greenlandic, with quaint multicolored homes, a splendid museum, and the unique octagonal church nicknamed 'God's Inkpot' (built in the Norwegian stave style). With excellent hiking opportunities, friendly locals, and a fascinating place in regional history, Qeqertarsuaq has a lot to offer.

On the afternoon of your day on Disko Island, the ship will reposition slightly to the east and launch the fleet of Zodiacs to explore the coast of Kuannit. Kuannit means 'Angelica' in Greenlandic, referring to the herb that grows abundantly on the rich south-facing slopes of the island. This stretch of coastline is one of Greenland's best-kept secrets; with lush greenery dripping with water from mountain springs, spectacularly weird basalt rock formations riddled with caves and waterfalls, and plenty of sapphire-blue icebergs, this section of coast is one of the most spectacular in the Arctic. 

From Kuannit, set a northerly course towards Uummannaq.

Day 4: Uummannaq

The small city of Uummannaq sits perched precariously at the foot of a massive mountain. Like the rest of the area, the mountain reaches vertically out of the icy depths, punching 1170m into the clear blue sky. Uummannaq mountain (translated from Greenlandic as “heart-shaped”) is a true Greenlandic icon and a mecca for climbers worldwide. The city occupies a small area of flatter ground at the foot of the mountain, founded by Danish colonists in 1763 – some of the original buildings from this era can still be visited in the harbor-front area. More recently, Uummannaq has become famous in Scandinavia as the home of Santa Claus – the small turf house belonging to the festive hero himself can be reached via a pleasant (if challenging) 2-3h hike out of town. 

As for many towns in Greenland, however, the Inuit history of the area reaches back much further. At some point around the year 1600, a group of Inuit women and children died in the area (possibly in a boating accident). They were lovingly laid to rest in a rocky cairn under a cliff on the mainland overlooking Uummannaq at a site called Qilakitsoq, protected from the rain and snow but exposed to the dry Arctic wind, which mummified their bodies. They were rediscovered in 1972 by two brothers from Uummannaq (possibly on the advice of elders in Uummannaq, who had preserved rumors of the site for centuries). The mummies were taken to Denmark for analysis before being returned to Greenland, where they still rest in the National Museum in Nuuk today. The small museum in Uummannaq did not have the facilities to house such a significant find. Still, several artifacts, such as clothing from the archaeological site (as well as a plethora of finds from before, during, and after the Qilakitsoq period), are displayed, along with a cabinet of curiosities from the city’s brief mining boom. 

Uummannaq itself is a lively little town. Expect to see enterprising locals selling handicrafts in the grassy town square while others sell their catch in the local fish market - always a fascinating sight. Watch fishermen bait their long lines as they search for halibut or load up with provisions for hunting trips deep into the vast fjordlands outside town.

Ensure you are on Ocean Albatros’ outer decks during your sail-out from Uummannaq – the deep, clear blue iceberg-studded waters of the fjord and the dramatic vertical mountains around the city offer some of the best views in Greenland. With a calm microclimate and round-the-clock summer sunshine, not for nothing is this staggeringly beautiful area nicknamed the Greenlandic Riviera!

Day 5: Eqip Sermia Glacier

From Uummannaq, return to the heart of Disko Bay, setting sail towards Eqip Sermia. 

Eqip Sermia (a typically descriptive Greenlandic name meaning 'the Glacier at the End of the Fjord') is a relatively small glacier compared to many in Greenland. However, a vast river of ice still flows directly from the Greenland Ice Sheet. It is also one of the most active, and ice constantly tumbles off the vast glacier front. Watching the immense cataracts of ice fall into the ocean is a sight that has to be seen to be believed, and the comfortable viewing decks of Ocean Albatros offer the best possible platform to do so. Perhaps with a specially crafted cocktail in hand! 

If conditions allow, launch the fleet of Zodiacs to approach this vast river of ice and hopefully experience the roar of the glacier's frequent calvings at sea level (from a safe distance, of course)! 

From Eqip Sermia, the ship repositioned slightly southwards during the evening towards Ilulissat, the largest city in Disko Bay and the Iceberg Capital of the World.

Day 6: Ilulissat

This is it. This is why visitors from all over the world come to Greenland. Translated from Kalaallisut simply as ‘icebergs,’ Ilulissat has rightly known the world over as ‘the Iceberg Capital of the World.’ Indeed, no other city on Earth occupies such a spectacular natural setting. 

Ilulissat Icefjord, Greenland’s most famous site, is within a short walk of the harbor. Choked with city-sized icebergs so closely packed one could almost walk across to the other side, Ilulissat Icefjord stretches 70 km from its outlet in Disko Bay near the city of Ilulissat back to the Sermeq Kujalleq glacier. This is the largest glacier on Earth outside Antarctica, draining 13% of the Greenland Ice Sheet and producing 10% of all the ice in the Northern Hemisphere (enough water to supply the annual needs of the entire United States). These mind-blowing statistics and the indescribably beautiful scenery have secured the Ilulissat Icefjord designation as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

While archaeological finds detail the long Inuit habitation of the area, the modern town has steadily flourished in the 280 years since its establishment; legendary Arctic explorer Knud Rasmussen was born in Ilulissat, and his childhood home now houses the city museum. Today, Ilulissat is Greenland’s third largest town, with more than 4,500 inhabitants, and is undoubtedly Greenland’s tourism capital, with more hotel rooms than even Nuuk. The city offers visitors excellent amenities, fresh locally caught seafood served in the city’s cafes and restaurants, and excellent shopping – look out, especially for the Artist’s Workshop above the harbor, where you can buy handmade artworks directly from the artist. The city typically experiences dry, sunny weather throughout the summer, and there are a variety of well-marked hiking routes around the Icefjord, with options to suit all abilities. 

During the visit, you can take a boat trip with a local captain to the Icefjord (optional excursion – charge applies). The journey takes about two and a half hours and is considered the best way to experience the magic of Ilulissat Icefjord up close. Suppose a hike or a trip by boat does not present enough excitement. In that case, there is also the opportunity to join a flightseeing excursion in fixed-wing aircraft over the Icefjord (optional excursion – charge applies).

Please note the boat and flight excursions to the Icefjord are not included in the general tour price. Refer to Price Information for further details.

Day 7: Itilleq

  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The settlement of Itilleq, which translates roughly as "the Crossing Place from the Sea," nestles at the foothills of the mountains and fjords that line central Greenland's backcountry. Situated just north of the Arctic Circle, Itilleq is one of the many tiny villages dotting the coast of Greenland. The settlement is located in the heart of the Aassivisuit-Nipisat UNESCO World Heritage Site, inscribed due to its ancient Inuit hunting heritage, documenting the entire habitation history of Greenland.

While colorful modern houses have replaced turf houses and hide tents, the lifestyle here has changed little since the Inuit first arrived in Greenland. The local highways are the water and the ice, and the sea and tundra continue to nourish the locals as they have for thousands of years. Arctic char, reindeer, and muskoxen are typical catches and plentiful in the area. 

Despite this ancient heritage, locals in Itilleq are still firmly in the modern world, with smartphones, speedy Wi-Fi, and satellite TV. However, the people of Itilleq remain proud of their ancient heritage and continue moving their culture forward in a modern, fast-paced world. Locals are pleased to show off their picturesque town, and visitors are greeted with warm Greenlandic hospitality.

After departing Itilleq, head slightly south and enter the 160km-long Kangerlussuaq Fjord.

Day 8: Kangerlussuaq | Disembark

  • 1 Breakfast
During the night, sail up the 160-kilometer/100-mile Kangerlussuaq Fjord. After breakfast aboard the ship, bid a fond farewell to the ship's crew, Expedition Team, and fellow travelers before shuttling ashore by Zodiac.

Due to Kangerlussuaq's military history and present-day role as an essential air travel hub, Kangerlussuaq remains relatively isolated from Greenland's rich cultural traditions compared to other regions. While you still find cultural experiences when visiting Kangerlussuaq, the most impressive attraction is the surrounding nature, which is just beckoning to be explored. The American military essentially constructed the town in the 1950s, and this small airport town retained something of its Cold War atmosphere. Your Arctic adventure and time in Greenland conclude as you board the flight from Kangerlussuaq back to the southern world. 

Ship/Hotel

Ocean Albatros

Ocean Albatros BBQ Deck
Ocean Albatros Fitness
Ocean Albatros Pool Deck

Dates & Prices

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Per person starting at
$6,595 2-3 travelers
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
  • 7 Breakfasts, 6 Lunches, 7 Dinners
  • 6 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
  • Parkas and Boots in assorted sizes, suitable for shore landings
  • Special photo workshop
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.

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The trip was terrific with great planning on your part. Most of the adventures were not mainstream and somewhat off the beaten path which made it especially enjoyable!! We felt taken care of and you all were readily available to respond to questions and issues. I would highly recommend your company and friends have already expressed interest based on our pictures and excitement.
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