This Expedition is land-based, perfect for those suffering from sea-sickness who don’t want to travel the region by cruise ship.. Be welcomed into a local home to enjoy kaffeemik, a unique Greenlandic tradition and casual celebration where sweets and conversation are served up by the plateful.. Stay on the edge of the famed Ilulissat Icefjord, watching frosted peaks of icebergs from the shore while you explore the village.. Cruise through broken ‘bergs to the tiny fishing community of Oqaatsut, then embark on an unforgettable hike through archaeological sites, gorges and craggy hillside.
There are so few places left on earth that can be described as truly remote and wild, but Greenland is surely one of them. Travel to the world’s largest non-continental island, where fewer than 60,000 people live in the tundra-like environment. Here, icebergs tower instead of skyscrapers and tiny settlements on the coast still rely on subsistence fishing to survive. Hike through boulder-strewn hillside to the ruins of an ancient Paleo-Inuit culture, breathe the purest air imaginable and crane your neck in awe of iceberg giants on this eight-day expedition.
Breakfast Included: 7 Lunches Included: 1 Dinner Included:
Welcome to Ilulissat! With fewer than 5000 residents (and about 1500 sled dogs), this is Greenland’s third-largest city, located on famous Disko Bay. The main drawcard here is the spectacular Ilulissat Icefjord, where apartment block-sized icebergs are visible from the shore. Ilulissat actually means 'icebergs', and there is a likelihood that the iceberg that sank the Titanic came from here. Your tour kicks off with a welcome meeting at 6 pm, when you can get to know your fellow explorers and tour leader.
Enjoy breakfast at the hotel and then set out on a guided walk of town. Over the course of a 2-hour stroll your leader will illuminate the history of Ilulissat from 1741 to the present. You’ll also learn a little about what daily life is like when icebergs are your neighbours and you live 300 kilometres north of the Arctic Circle. See the colonial part of town, built by the Danish when it was still called Jakobshavn, visit fishermen at the harbour and at the fishmarket Brættet, pass the birthplace of pioneering anthropologist Knud Rasmussen and learn about the unique pressure facing shopkeepers in this part of the world at a supply store. Perched on a cliff edge and with icebergs floating behind it, the 18th-century Zion Church is a great place to take some photos. Following the tour, the rest of the day is free for you to explore at your own pace.
Oqaatsut / Kangia / Ilulissat
Fortify yourself with breakfast and then embark on a 1-hour cruise towards the tiny settlement of Oqaatsut (also called Rodebay), passing towering icebergs that have broken free from the Ilulissat Icefjord en route. Around 40 people live here permanently, primarily occupied by fishing and hunting. Back in Ilulissat step off the boat and set out on a hike that takes you past historical and natural splendour. Begin at the old quarry and walk to Seqinniarfik hill, where you will stop to enjoy your picnic lunch with a view of behemoth icebergs. Continue to Nakkaavik (Old Ladies Gorge) where you’ll have unobstructed views of the Kangia Icefjord from your place on the rugged mountain. Finally, pass through Sermermiut, an archeologically significant site settled as early as 4000 years ago by the Saqqaq. Finish at an old heliport. During the hike your guide will illuminate the fascinating geological, environmental and cultural histories of this World Heritage-listed area. Return to Ilulissat town in the afternoon and spend the rest of the day at your leisure.
Aside from breakfast this morning your day is free and clear for you to do as you please. There are a few highly recommended optional activities on offer today, just note that they are not included in the price of your tour. A 3-hour iceberg sightseeing tour is a breathtaking way to get close to the white monuments that decorate Ilulissat Icefjord. 50 gigatons of ice flow out into the ocean here every year. While the views from the shore are spectacular, nothing beats cruising alongside these giants, some of which tower 100 metres above sea level. That’s as tall as Big Ben, for reference. If you’d like to see a different kind of giant, you might like to head out on a whale safari. Greenland’s waters are graced by three varieties: narwhals, belugas and bowheads. This cruise is your chance to have a close encounter with these wild creatures. Of course, you are also free to simply relax in town.
After breakfast board your included flight to Nuuk. This flight is a scenic flight at the same time, with views over the coastal fjords and part of the immense icecap that covers 80% of the country. Upon arrival transfer from the airport to your hotel and settle in, then head out on a city tour with your leader. This 2-hour tour will introduce you to the capital and largest town of Greenland, established by Denmark in 1728 under the name Godthåb (Good Hope). Get your bearings and snap some pictures of the colourful houses that line the waterfront, then choose which of the sights to explore on your own. The National Museum of Greenland is a great place to begin. Collections here include mummies from the 15th century and the oldest umiaq (skin boat) in the world. Discover expressions of the country’s culture in the Nuuk Art Museum, where exhibitions display contemporary and historic art. In the evening, ask your leader for advice on where to grab dinner. Our stay in Nuuk is at a local hotel famed for exclusively using 'bæredygtige energiressourcer' (sustainable energy resources), and everyday operations at the property have sustainability and the reduction of the environmental footprint in mind so that future generations can experience the Greenland that exists today. This is especially significant as the hotel is located in an area that will be affected most by climate change.
Quassussuaq / Nuuk
Grab some breakfast and then enjoy a so-called kaffeemik with a local family. Kaffeemik is a celebratory tradition where a fun, casual social gathering is held at someone's home. Leave your shoes at the door and sip coffee, munch sweets and ask your hosts about life in Greenland. Later, lace up your boots again and head out on a guided hike around the Quassussuaq region. Hike through rugged landscapes, past small freshwater streams and boulders to the summit of Little Malene mountain. It’s a steep ascent to reach the top of this 500-metre-tall mountain and while the hike isn’t difficult you will need to be physically fit to enjoy it. Once at the top you’ll be rewarded with sweeping views of the city of Nuuk and the untouched wilderness that surrounds it. Spend the afternoon at your leisure, perhaps resting after today’s hike.
Enjoy a day as clear as the Greenland air. Today you have the option of exploring Nuuk on your own or partaking in a non-included boat tour to the hunting settlement of Kapisillit, where fewer than 100 people live. In many ways a typical Greenlandic village, Kapisillit is a fantastic place to observe the serenity and way of life in a tiny town on the edge of the world. The tour also visits the abandoned settlement of Qoornoq. If you’d prefer to stay in Nuuk, you may want to visit any of the museums you didn’t get a chance to see the other day. The Katuaq, a cultural centre designed to resemble the undulating shimmer of the northern lights, is open to the public most days and has a cinema playing both Hollywood blockbusters and European arthouse films. The centre also has art exhibitions and live performances, subject to scheduling. Your leader will have more information.
After breakfast your Greenland adventure comes to an end. Chat to your agent or Intrepid representative at the time of booking to review your flight options.