Boasting the Ilulissat Icefjord, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, West Greenland offers an adventure-filled experience that includes thrilling Zodiac cruises along gleaming ice-filled fjords, unbeatable photographic opportunities, and meeting friendly Inuit locals living in some of the world’s most remote and harshest environments. Affectionately known as the ice-factory of the north, the icebergs that are created from calving glaciers are some of the largest on the planet. On this unforgettable voyage at one of the world’s most remote regions, you will discover Greenland’s capital, Nuuk, an Arctic metropolis with a small-town feel, where you can marvel at the mummies in the National Museum or learn about Inuit culture at the Nuuk Art Museum. Hiking trails reveal stunning vistas of the icebergs as they approach the bay. Kayakers will glide across gleaming waters teeming with whales, while being surrounded by towering fjords.
This West Greenland Explorer voyage departs in May when you can experience nearly 24 hours of daylight and witness the great melt well underway with rivers gushing, sea ice breaking up, and glaciers calving from the warmer weather. Nature is abuzz with activity with whales feeding on plentiful krill so it's a perfect time for whale watching and birdwatching with parents feeding their young. It is also a great time for Zodiac cruising and photographing icescapes as the landscape is at its most pristine white and you can see giant icebergs floating in fjords filled with sea ice starting to break up. As the snow starts to melt from the ground, the undergrowth starts to appear revealing green mosses and the occasional flowers starting to bloom.
West Greenland Explorer
17 May 2020
Cruise and Stay
Included in this Package
International flights from London
2 nights Copenhagen Airport (1 either side of voyage)
10 night Expedition Voyage including
• One night’s hotel accommodation in Nuuk
• Half day tour in Nuuk on day 2 prior to embarking Greg Mortimer
• Group transfer from ship to airport in Nuuk
• On-board accommodation during voyage including daily cabin service
• All meals, snacks, tea and coffee during voyage
• Beer, house wine and soft drinks with dinner
• All shore excursions and Zodiac cruises
• Educational lectures and guiding services from expedition team
• Access to our onboard doctor and basic medical services
• A 3-in-1 waterproof polar expedition jacket
• Complimentary use of muck boots during the voyage
• Comprehensive pre-departure information
• A printed photo book produced with photos from your voyage
• Port surcharges, permits, and landing fees
London / London
Fly from London to Copenhagen. Make your own way to your overnight airport hotel.
Make your own way back to the airport for your flight to Nuuk. Arrive in Greenland’s capital, Nuuk and transfer to our group hotel. The remainder of the day is at leisure.
The northernmost capital in the world, Nuuk was founded in 1728 by the Norwegian missionary Hans Egede, and has more than 17,000 inhabitants. The centre of Greenland lies at the mouth of its very own fjord system, on the mid-west coast of Greenland. The fjord system, is the second largest fjord system in the world and is one of the country’s main drawcards.
On an introductory tour, discover Nuuk’s contrasting architecture from beautiful old buildings to colourful houses – one of Nuuk’s trademarks, with the brightly-coloured houses providing a stark to the rocks or white winter snow. Stop by the newly renovated and roof-covered “brættet”, where the day’s catch of seal, birds and fish are sold. Other attractions in the town include the award-winning culture centre Katuaq, City Hall, the cathedral from 1849, as well as the National Museum, located down by the colonial buildings at the old harbor, with a stunning view over the fjord. The museum was established in 1966 and became Greenland’s National Museum and Archives, offering a unique ethnographical collection. Discover the famous mummies and costumes from Qilakitsoq in northwest Greenland, as well as the world’s oldest and almost complete intact skin boat the Pearyland Umiaq, whose well-preserved remains are estimated to date back to the 1470s.
After discovering Nuuk on city tour, embark the Greg Mortimer to commence your voyage.
Over the coming days, you will discover the immense beauty of west Greenland. In true expeditionary style, we plan to visit the following places:
Sisimiut: Greenland’s second largest town, Sisimiut is the only place in Greenland that has an open-air public swimming pool. The town is also famous for its old blue church with the gate made from whale jaws.The museum in Sisimiut exhibiting early life in Greenland, allows you to experience local history as well as some cultural historical treats. There are
various hiking trails, some of which venture into the mountains that offer spectacular vantage points.
Ilulissat: Nature puts on one of its finest displays in Ilulissat with mountainous icebergs drifting from one of the most productive glaciers in the Northern Hemisphere and out into Disko Bay. A short distance south of town is the mind-blowing Ilulissat Icefjord, designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2004 and home to one of the most actively calving glaciers
in the world, Sermeq Kujalleq. Perhaps enjoy a Zodiac-cruise at the mouth of the fjord and kayak through sea ice and icebergs. Hiking trails offer magnificent vistas of the icebergs – perfect for photography. An optional flight over the fjord offers unforgettable views.
Eqip Sermia: Accessible only by sea, Eqi glacier is located 80 kilometres north of Ilulissat. It’s one of the most active glaciers in Greenland. Although it’s smaller than Sermeq Kujalleq glacier in Ilulissat, it’s more accessible. If ice conditions permit, we’ll Zodiac-cruise within a safe distance to wait for chunks of ice to calve, and to hear the deafening crash of the ice breaking off followed by the huge splash when it hits the water – an experience you won’t forget quickly. A hike to the glacier offers a different view.
Uummannaq: Surrounded by steep islands, and an endless supply of icebergs from the Qarajaq Glacier, Uummannaq (meaning “heart-like”) is the centrepiece of the archipelago – a great place for hiking, kayaking and
Zodiac-cruising to explore the coastline.
Disko Island: A volcanic island, much younger than the rest of Greenland, Disko Island (or Qeqertarsuaq in Greenlandic) rose up from the continental split where Iceland is now located. Disko Island has many natural features including mountains, hot springs and excellent hiking trails. Rich with marine life, the waters around the island hosts, humpback, fin, minke and bowhead whales – perfect for Zodiac-cruising and encounters with whales.
As you sail back south to Nuuk, keep a lookout for whale blows and the seabirds that trail our ship in the ever-present Arctic winds. Enjoy the time to reflect on your recent adventures in Greenland, share and exchange photos, and soak in the spectacular scenery of West Greenland.
Arrive back in Nuuk where you disembark and farewell your crew, expedition team and fellow travellers. A transfer to downtown or to the airport is included. Fly from Nuuk to Copenhagen. Make your own way to your overnight airport hotel.
London / London
Make your own way back to the airport for your return flight to London