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Ittoqqortoormiit Village, Greenland

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Example 12 Day Cruise aboard Ocean Albatros
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Embark on a 12-day cruise to and from Reykjavik aboard the Ocean Albatros. Discover East Greenland, explore stunning landscapes and witness the aurora borealis, vast glaciers, towering mountains, and captivating Arctic wildlife. Immerse yourself in the cultural richness of Ammassalik, experience the isolation of Scoresbysund—the most secluded Greenlandic community—and marvel at the grandeur of the world's largest Northeast Greenland National Park. Departing from Reykjavík, this unique itinerary seamlessly blends Tasiilaq's cultural hub with Ittoqqortoormiit's remote settlement. Explore historical sites and picturesque villages, and navigate Scoresbysund's expansive fjord system. Journey to the North East Greenland National Park, witness pristine wilderness, encounter muskoxen and beluga, and enjoy Zodiac excursions with the potential to witness the northern lights—an ideal mix of Inuit culture, scenic beauty, and Arctic wildlife encounters in this vast Arctic wilderness.
Sail past bird colonies on your Arctic cruiseRugged mountains of GreenlandAmazing blue water and ice in GreenlandGet a close up view of the Greenland ice sheetExploring GreenlandIttoqqortoormiit Village, Greenland
Highlights
  • Discover the nutrient-rich waters of the Denmark Strait, colliding the cold polar East Greenland Current with the warm northbound Gulf Stream
  • Experience life in an East Greenlandic settlement in Kuummiut, where you can watch icebergs pass and see frolicking whales
  • Witness the unique time warp to the Second World War in Ikateq, surrounded by staggering natural beauty
  • Explore the rock-like columns of Hallgrímskirkja Church looming over Reykjavik
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: Reykjavik, Iceland | Embark

The rock-like columns of Hallgrímskirkja Church loom over Reykjavík, a hip Scandi capital that needs little introduction. With new Nordic cuisine, excellent shopping, fantastic excursions, and an easy, relaxed vibe, Reykjavík is one of Scandinavia's most welcoming and exciting cities.

After your mandatory safety drill, enjoy dinner and a glass of champagne in the afternoon as you set sail on a course for adventure across the Denmark Strait bound for Greenland.

Day 2: Crossing the Denmark Strait

The Denmark Strait is the narrow section of the North Atlantic separating Iceland from Greenland. This body of water is among the most productive in the world, where the cold polar East Greenland Current collides with the warm northbound Gulf Stream. These nutrient-rich waters support vast stocks of fish and the humans, seals, whales, and seabirds that rely on them. 

Days at sea are never dull—a variety of activities onboard for guests to enjoy to engage the mind, body, and soul. Join your knowledgeable Expedition Team lecturers in the Theatre to hear specially crafted lectures on Greenlandic history, wildlife, geology, culture, and more, unwind with a massage in the Albatros Polar Spa, or watch the seabirds gliding along the ship from the hot tubs as the Ocean Albatros flies across the Denmark Strait.

Day 3: Kuummiut | Ikateq

Spend the morning in the small village of Kuummiut, which sits in breathtaking surroundings in the calm reaches of Ammassalik Fjord. Kuummiut - meaning 'People who Live by the River' - is one of the area's largest and most prosperous villages. Sitting upon some of East Greenland's richest fishing grounds, Kuummiut holds the only fish factory in the region, and fishermen from miles around come through Ammassalik Fjord (which is wide enough to stay primarily ice-free year-round) to sell their catch here.

Kuummiut is an ideal place to experience life in an East Greenlandic settlement. Where other towns have traffic, Kuummiut has the yowling of sled dogs and the sigh of the wind through the grass. No roads lead in or out of this isolated village, and the sea is the highway for local transport - although motorboats have replaced the skinboats that brought people to these shores long ago. It is a perfect place to sit, watch the icebergs pass, and perhaps see the whales, which often frolic in the calm waters offshore.

In the afternoon, sail slightly eastward from Kuummiut to Ikateq, a spectacular fjord with a fascinating history. During the darkest days of the Second World War, American forces established an airbase here (one of the network of air bases which includes Kangerlussuaq on the west coast) to serve as a stepping stone for aircraft transiting between Europe and North America. The rugged landscape of East Greenland meant the approach to the airport was hazardous, with frequent fog masking the treacherous mountains. Enormous resources were invested into Ikateq Airbase (also known as Bluie 2 East), with a 5,000ft runway, hangar, barracks, and port constructed. A fleet of military vehicles and thousands of barrels of fuel were also brought to this remote region. With Germany defeated, improvements to intercontinental aircraft, and increasing tensions with the Soviet Union, the United States Military abandoned the base in 1947, leaving almost everything behind.

The air base has been a contention between Nuuk, Copenhagen, and Washington for many years. Many in the Greenlandic Government wanted the site cleaned up and the ruins removed, an expensive and logistically challenging task. Eventually, the Danish Government agreed to remove hazardous waste from the site (mainly decaying fuel drums), leaving the rest of the equipment in place as an essential part of regional history. Over 75 years later, however, almost everything remains as it was on the day the Americans left. Ikateq is a unique place, a time warp to the Second World War: eerie, fascinating, and surrounded by staggering natural beauty.

Day 4: Tasiilaq

In the morning, arrive in Tasiilaq, the largest settlement in East Greenland. Unlike the west coast, which had had uninterrupted contact with Europe since the 1700s, the coast of East Greenland remained more or less uncontacted until around 1894, when a Danish trading post was established at Tasiilaq. The vast distances involved in Arctic travel meant that the people of East Greenland (Tunumiit) were isolated from their cousins to the west. Therefore, East Greenland's language, traditions, and culture differ significantly from other parts of the country.

Ancient traditions are vital here. This region of Greenland was the home of the last Angakkuit (Shamans) of Greenland and is the home of the tupilak - a monster fashioned from animal (and sometimes human) body parts and animated by the power of an Angakkuq to wreak havoc on enemies. Creating such a monster was dangerous, as a more powerful magic user could turn it back to attack its creator. The first Europeans were curious about what these dark beasts looked like, and locals carved facsimiles in bone or horn, beginning one of Greenland's finest artistic traditions. The tupilaat made by artisans in Tasiilaq is considered among the best in the country. 

Tasiilaq sits in a perfect natural harbor on Ammassalik Island (meaning 'the Place of Many Capelin'). While superficially similar to towns on the West Coast, visitors will quickly notice differences; the landscape here is much more rugged, the people fewer, and the sled dogs much more numerous. Tasiilaq offers excellent exploration opportunities, with fantastic hiking routes like the Flower Valley, easily accessible from town. For those wishing to delve into Tunumiit culture, visit the museum in the city's old church, hear the city's exquisite choir perform in the modern church, or watch a drum dancer in traditional East Greenlandic costume perform a millennia-old spiritual tradition. For those wishing to indulge in retail therapy, visit the Stunk Artist's Workshop, where skilled craftsmen create beautiful pieces from natural local materials. 

Day 5: At Sea, en route to Ittoqqortoormiit

Sailing along the coastline of this vast island (where reaching the next-closest town takes two nights and a day of sailing), it can be challenging to comprehend the scale of this vast country. 

Measuring roughly four times the size of France, Greenland dominates the Atlantic portion of the Arctic, covering latitudes from 59-83°N and 11-74°W. Around 80% of Greenland is covered by the Greenland Ice Sheet (Sermersuaq or 'The Great Ice' in Greenlandic), the largest body of ice on earth outside Antarctica. The Greenland Ice Sheet is so vast that it governs the region's weather patterns, with summer meltwater and winter ice driving ocean currents in this part of the North Atlantic. 

Despite the lack of towns, the stretch of coastline between the Ammassalik and Scorsesbysund regions is of vital importance to the residents of the area. During the summer, locals hunt whales, seals, and other game by boat along the coast of this vast wilderness, as their ancestors have done since time immemorial. Some skilled hunters still use kayaks to sneak up on skittish prey like narwhals - continuing a millennia-old hunting tradition. While some use snowmobiles in winter to traverse the sea ice that hugs the coast, most hunters use dogsleds, which are more reliable, rugged, and do not rely on fuel. In this challenging country, ancestral traditions are still superior to the trappings of modern life.

Day 6: Ittoqqortoormiit

Entering Scoresbysund, Earth's most prominent and extended fjord system, one could be forgiven for not realizing this huge 35km inlet is a fjord! Scoresbysund is named for English whaler and explorer William Scoresby, one of the first Europeans to map this region; the local name for this vast fjord system, Kangertittivaq, is a typical Greenlandic understatement, roughly meaning 'The Rather Large Fjord.' 

The only settlement in this region is Ittoqqortoormiit (meaning 'the People Who Live in Big Houses), which surely ranks among the most remote communities on Earth. As the name suggests, the town is relatively new, established by Danish authorities in 1925. Colonists were relocated from the Ammassalik region further south in response to the area's poor living conditions and to develop Danish sovereignty during a territorial dispute with Norway. While establishing the town was challenging, the settlers soon realized the region was hugely rich in game, with excellent hunting and trapping opportunities. This tradition continues to this day - most residents continue to live a subsistence hunting lifestyle, essential in a town where supply ships arrive only once or twice each summer. The only access to the outside world is via the heliport to the nearby airport, where small aircraft depart for Iceland.

Ittoqqortoormiit is a town with a strong sense of community and traditional culture, where foreigners are welcomed warmly. The city hosts an excellent museum and a beautiful conventional Greenlandic church, and locals often welcome visitors to their community wearing colorful traditional costumes. The town represents a lovely introduction to the culture and lifestyle of Northeast Greenland in one of the most spectacular natural locations anywhere in the world.

Day 7-9: Northeast Greenland National Park

During the night, cruise past the rugged peaks of the Liverpool Land peninsula and reach the mouth of King Oscar Fjord. You are now in the vast Northeast Greenland National Park, measuring almost a million square kilometers (nearly twice the size of France); this is the largest National Park and the largest area of protected land on Earth and includes the northernmost land on the planet. 

There are no permanent settlements in the area. Still, until the middle of the 19th Century, various nomadic Inuit hunters lived in this spectacular region, harvesting the area's natural riches.

The program for your days in the National Park depends on wind, sea, weather, and ice conditions. In such a remote region so far north, Mother Nature dictates all human activity. The Captain and the Expedition Leader will jointly determine your route and activities, typically announced the night before.

Some interesting landings you may visit include the 1300-meter-high rock wall Bastionen on the coast of Ella Island. Further north, you may pass past the small Maria Island, where the Germans had a camp during World War II. The Germans' attempt to gain a foothold in Greenland during World War II is fascinating. Past Ruth Island, you hope to land on Ymer Island at Blomsterbugten, a small oasis in the national park. From the tiny hunting lodge Varghytten, you can enjoy the formidable view of the characteristic, flat mountain Teufelsschloss, where the multicolored rock layers testify to the area's exciting geological development. From here, you may aim to sail by the mighty iceberg-producing Waltershausen Glacier before entering the beautiful Moskusokse Fjord. On your way back towards the open sea, you might aim for landings on Jameson Land, a breeding ground for polar bears.

Guests can surely encounter excitement, adventure, and mind-boggling natural beauty wherever they go in this vast wilderness. The experienced Expedition Team will be on hand to provide guests with as much knowledge of the region as possible, either in hand-crafted lectures, evening recaps, onshore, or over a cup of coffee on deck. Throughout your time in the National Park, the skilled Expedition Team members will be the constant lookout for the charismatic wildlife of the region - keep your binoculars handy!

Day 10: Blosseville Coast

Possibly the most dramatic coast outside of Antarctica, the Blosseville is guarded by Greenland’s highest mountains and steepest fjords – and a belt of pack ice that was once able to ward off explorers, sometimes for years! 

The Blosseville Coast is named after French Explorer Jules de Blosseville, the first European to see this formidable coastline. While attempting to survey the coast 1833 onboard the vessel La Lilloise, the ship and all onboard were lost without a trace. Subsequent expeditions failed to find any trace of the boat, and its fate remains a mystery to this day. 

The recent decades have also had warmer summers and reduced sea ice cover, enabling purpose-built ice-strengthened vessels such as the Ocean Albatros to venture along the coast, looking for polar wildlife, abandoned Inuit settlements, and otherworldly landscapes.

Day 11: At Sea, en route to Reykjavik

During your time at sea approaching Reykjavik, various activities will be arranged on board to allow you to reflect on your voyage. Relax with an expertly crafted cocktail in the Nordic Bar in the company of new friends, soak up the knowledge and passion of the Expedition Team during lectures, or enjoy the flight of the fulmars that accompany you towards Iceland. 

During your last evening onboard, join the Captain and Officers for the Farewell Cocktail Party, followed by a presentation of photos and video by the onboard photographer - the ideal opportunity to re-live your Arctic adventure. Skål!

Day 12: Reykjavik, Iceland | Disembark

  • 1 Breakfast
As the Icelandic capital comes into view on the horizon, strange objects appear trees larger than ankle height, glassy skyscrapers, and streets full of cars, busses, and people... Such a bustling capital may feel odd after the remote wilderness of Greenland! 

After a hearty breakfast, it is time to bid a fond farewell to the Crew and Expedition Team of Ocean Albatros and descend the gangway back to dry land with memories of the voyage of a lifetime. 

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Ocean Albatros Fitness
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Per person starting at
$7,595 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
  • 11 Breakfasts, 10 Lunches, 11 Dinners
  • 11 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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Our guide and driver were very good with their knowledge and were very helpful with our questions. It was a very pleasant visit that would have been impossible to do on our own. Hotels and restaurants were fantastic. The special places we got to go to, like the kitchens, were great. Enjoyed the entire trip!
Meyer Smolen
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