Essential Greenland: Southern Coasts and Disko Bay

Greenland

Enjoy an in-depth exploration of one of Greenland’s most remote regions. As you cruise from the icy waters of the little-visited east coast, down to the lush southern tip and up to the charming communities and glaciers of the west coast, spectacular, unspoiled wonders await wherever you go. Each visit to the picturesque villages and Norse ruins that dot the shoreline will immerse you in Greenland’s distinct culture and history, while the rugged landscape—dominated by dramatic fjords, imposing glaciers, towering mountains and verdant valleys—will leave you breathless

  • Search for iconic arctic wildlife, such as whales, seals and seabirds
  • Explore the Ilulissat Icefjord and Kujataa farming communities, both UNESCO World Heritage Sites
  • Meet locals and experience traditional Inuit settlements
  • Visit Norse historical sites and learn about this fascinating culture
  • Cruise in a Zodiac to explore icebergs, glaciers, fjords and more
  • Immerse yourself in the icy realm of the Arctic with optional kayaking adventures
This voyage focuses on Disko Bay, an area as rich in history and legend as it is famous for icebergs and whales. Your arctic expedition explores the natural wonders of northwest Greenland in all their glory, from the impressive Ilulissat Icefjord (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) and breathtaking Eqip Sermia glacier to the red heart-shaped mountain of Uummannaq and the incredible volcanic rock formations of Qeqertarsuaq. Traditional Inuit villages, each with its own character, are found along the coast, their brightly colored wooden houses dotting the rugged landscape. Vast stretches of unspoiled wilderness await modern-day adventurers in this magical realm, home to some of the best whale watching in the country.

Exclusive Arctic 2020 Savings

Book by June 15, 2019 and save the following:

- 10% early booking discount for all twin cabins - Use Promocode ARQX10 (excludes Triple cabins)

- Plus, a Free Transfer Package valued at $1295 USD

- Pay in Full and receive 10% additional savings on the voyage fare only after other combinable promotions are applied and if full payment is received no later than June 15, 2019.

- Combine two or more consecutive voyages and enjoy an additional 5% savings
- Repeating passengers enjoy an additional 5% discount

Stewart's Take

Greenland is Europe’s final frontier: its grandeur is unquestionable and yet unknown to most travelers.

Overview

Enjoy an in-depth exploration of one of Greenland’s most remote regions. As you cruise from the icy waters of the little-visited east coast, down to the lush southern tip and up to the charming communities and glaciers of the west coast, spectacular, unspoiled wonders await wherever you go. Each visit to the picturesque villages and Norse ruins that dot the shoreline will immerse you in Greenland’s distinct culture and history, while the rugged landscape—dominated by dramatic fjords, imposing glaciers, towering mountains and verdant valleys—will leave you breathless.
Day 1 — Arrive in Reykjavik, Iceland Arrive in the Icelandic capital and make your way to your included hotel. You will have the day to explore the city on your own. Day 2 — Embarkation Day in Reykjavik This afternoon, you’ll board your vessel and begin your expedition. Get ready for a great adventure ahead! Day 3 — At Sea As we cruise across the Denmark Strait, your Expedition Team will teach you about the wildlife and storied history of Greenland, its fascinating geology, ecology and climate, and the incredible sights you will soon explore. Staff will also keep watch for the seabirds you’ll likely see soaring above your ship, as well as the whales that can be encountered here. Days 4 and 5 — Exploring East Greenland Your exploration of Greenland begins with East Greenland, one of the least visited and most remote parts of the island. Your days sailing along the coast will be guided by weather and ice conditions, with each day and each excursion presenting new adventures. The region is a sight to behold, boasting a mesmerizing maze of vast glaciers, steep mountains and breathtaking fjords. One location we hope to visit if conditions allow is Skjoldungen, where you’ll cruise between the mountains to view glaciers deep within the fjords surrounding this island. The narrow part of the fjord provides an ideal place to put our Zodiacs in the water for a more in-depth exploration. If conditions allow, you may also visit the site of an abandoned Inuit settlement, whose inhabitants were relocated to larger, more accessible towns around 1961. Exploring ashore, you’ll experience a true arctic ghost town, complete with abandoned buildings, furniture and even shoes! Hiking the rugged terrain rewards with impressive views of snow-capped mountains, deep green waters and the surprisingly colorful arctic tundra. This site is prone to insects, however, so have your spray or netting at the ready. If you’re feeling even more adventurous, perhaps you’ll treat yourself to an optional paddling excursion (extra cost), an unforgettable opportunity to glide past icebergs and glaciers and capture some photographs from a unique perspective. Another possible destination is Lindenow Fjord, a great spot for Zodiac cruising, if conditions are favorable. This rarely visited deep fjord is fed by a number of glaciers and offers ample opportunities for your camera to get a workout. You’ll also want to keep watch for bearded seals, as they’re known to haul out on the ice floes. Days 6 and 7 — Exploring South Greenland Sailing on, we’ll explore Greenland’s fertile southern coast. Nicknamed Arctic Patagonia, this region is as rich in spectacular scenery as it is in history and culture. Here, it’s easy to see why Erik the Red gave Greenland its name: everywhere you look rewards with vistas of icy waters set against a backdrop of soaring mountains, crystal-clear waterfalls and unbelievably lush, green valleys. Scattered around the shores of the fjord systems that dominate the area are several small settlements, both ancient and present day, making South Greenland an ideal place to explore. The magical Prins Christian Sund, a complex maze of narrow fjords and channels, is a great place for cruising. You’ll explore this stunning sound, home to calving glaciers, jagged mountains and sheer cliffs that plunge dramatically into the water. Sailing this coastline from the vantage point of your ship or a Zodiac is an exhilarating experience. If conditions allow, venturing ashore provides opportunities for all levels of hiking. Steeped in Norse history, the southern coast of Greenland provides plenty of places to learn about this ancient culture. One such landing we hope to make is at Hvalsey, the site of Greenland’s largest and best-preserved Norse ruins. Exploring the remains of the circa 14th-century church will feel like stepping back in time, as the building appears much as it did when it was abandoned in the 15th century and the surrounding fells and fjord remain similarly untouched. The little village of Igaliku, home to about 30 inhabitants, is Greenland’s oldest sheep-farming settlement. It’s a charming place to go ashore, as sheep peacefully graze on the grass, surrounded by bloom-covered rolling valleys and snow-capped mountains. The area is also known for its storied past, as evidenced by the remarkable red sandstone ruins of the Gardar cathedral (the largest church in Greenland in the Middle Ages) and bishop’s residence, which date back to the early 12th century, when Greenland’s first bishop was appointed. Wandering the foundations, excavated in 1926, you’ll get to see a bit of history firsthand as you learn about this interesting relic of the Viking period. Together with four other historic farming communities, Igaliku is part of a newly established UNESCO World Heritage Site. Days 8 to 13 — Exploring West Greenland Boasting spectacular glaciers, mountainous landscapes, and vibrant communities, the west coast of Greenland will leave you awestruck. Heading north, each day we hope to take Zodiac excursions from the ship to explore local bays, channels and landing sites, discovering some of the quaint villages dotting the islands and fjords in the region and cruising in some of Greenland’s most picturesque places. The west coast is home to Nuuk, the charming Greenlandic capital. You’ll have time to wander the streets of the historic Old Nuuk neighborhood and see the Hans Egede Church and Hans Egede statue near the waterfront, both named after the missionary who founded the settlement. History buffs will want to visit the national museum to view the famous Greenlandic mummies, found under a rock outcrop in 1972 by two brothers who were grouse hunting. Sisimiut is another interesting place to go ashore, as there are more dogsleds here than humans. You’ll have time to wander the town’s historic area, where several 18th-century colonial buildings still stand, including Greenland’s oldest surviving church. You’ll also be treated to a traditional kayaking demonstration. The kayak is Greenland’s national symbol and can be traced back over 4,000 years to the Inuit, who used the vessels for hunting and transportation. Another beautiful locale, and one of west Greenland’s highlights is the Ilulissat Icefjord, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Home to one of the world’s most active glaciers, Jakobshavn Glacier or Sermeq Kujalleq in Greenlandic, this is a great place to enjoy a Zodiac excursion to experience icebergs from a unique perspective not afforded by land. Venturing ashore at the nearby town, Ilulissat (which means “iceberg”), rewards with its own spectacle: young bergs floating out to Disko Bay. A hike from the town to the icefjord will allow you to view this unforgettable river of ice from the rocky shore. Given that it’s known for having more sled dogs than people, it’s not surprising that Ilulissat is the birthplace of the first European to traverse the Northwest Passage by dogsled, explorer Knud Rasmussen. Surrounded by sea and mountains, the fishing community of Itilleq (meaning “crossing place”) is situated in a scenic hollow on a small island, about a mile (2 km) above the Arctic Circle. Explore traditional wooden houses painted in a rainbow of colors, chat with the locals and join a customary football (soccer) match between visitors and residents, and you’ll be experiencing Itilleq’s famous friendly vibe in no time. Day 14 — Disembark in Kangerlussuaq & fly to Rekyjavik Enjoy one more Zodiac ride to shore, where you’ll board your charter flight back to Reykjavik, Iceland. Upon arrival in Reykjavik, we will transfer you to your included hotel. Day 15 — Depart Reykjavik, Iceland Today, you can make your way home at your leisure or spend some time exploring this artistic city. Important reminder: Embracing the unexpected is part of the legacy—and excitement—of expedition travel. When traveling in extremely remote regions, your expedition staff must allow the sea, the ice and the weather to guide route and itinerary details. This itinerary is a tentative outline of what you’ll experience on this voyage; please be aware that no specific itinerary can be guaranteed.

Luxury Expedition Ship M/S Ocean Adventurer

Luxury Expedition Ship M/V Ocean Adventurer

This Polar Adventure Ship formerly known as Sea Adventurer was built in 1975. She underwent a $13 million conversion in 1998 and again in 2017. Her proud reputation is complimented by her well-appointed, elegance. Ocean Adventurer is the perfect expedition ship for people who enjoy soft adventures and creature comforts. Ocean Adventurer is equipped with Zodiacs for shore landings and ocean level cruising, yet offers fine dining, and cabins with exterior views and facilities en suite.

For full information about this vessel click here...

Included
  • Shipboard accommodation with daily housekeeping
  • All breakfasts, lunches, dinners and snacks on board
  • All shore landings per the daily program
  • Leadership throughout the voyage by our experienced Expedition Leader
  • All Zodiac transfers and cruising per the daily program
  • Formal and informal presentations by our Expedition Team and special guests as scheduled
  • Photographic journal documenting the expedition
  • Waterproof expedition boots on loan for shore landings
  • Official Quark Expeditions parka to keep
  • Coffee, tea and cocoa available around the clock
  • Hair dryer and bathrobe in every cabin
  • Comprehensive predeparture materials, including a map and an informative Arctic Reader
  • All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the program
  • All luggage handling aboard the ship
  • Emergency evacuation insurance to a maximum benefit of US$100,000 per person
  • Greenland voyages cruise passenger tax
Excluded
  • Mandatory transfer package
  • International airfare
  • Passport and visa expenses
  • Government arrival and departure taxes not mentioned above
  • Meals ashore unless otherwise specified
  • Baggage, cancellation, interruption and medical travel insurance—strongly recommended
  • Excess-baggage fees on international flights
  • Mandatory waterproof pants for Zodiac cruising, or any other gear not mentioned
  • Laundry, bar, beverage and other personal charges unless specified
  • Phone and Internet charges
  • Voluntary gratuity at the end of the voyage for shipboard staff and crew
  • Additional overnight accommodation
  • Optional kayaking activities
  • Arrival and departure transfers in Reykjavik
Rates and Share Bookings Prices shown are per person in US Dollars on a shared basis. If you are travelling alone and wish to share, you will be matched with someone of the same gender and pay only the share rate. If desired, Single occupancy is available at 1.7 times the twin share rate. Deposits Reservations require a deposit of 20% (minimum $1000 per person) at the time you receive a booking confirmation from Expeditions Online. A payment link will be sent to you and this may be paid by major credit card. Bookings within 120 days of departure require full payment. Final Payments Balances are due 120 days prior to departure and may be paid by bank transfer. Cancellations All requests for cancellation must be received in writing to Expeditions Online. Cancellations received 180 days or more prior to departure, are refunded less a fee of $1000 per person. If cancellation is received between 179 days and 120 days, the full deposit is forfeited. If cancellation occurs less than 120 days prior to departure, all payments are forfeited. If full payment has not yet been received, the full penalty will still apply and any unpaid balance is due immediately. We strongly recommend that you obtain adequate trip cancellation insurance. Booking Terms Please read carefully the Terms and Conditions for Expeditions Online (link at the bottom of this page). This voyage is operated by Quark Expeditions and you additionally travel under their terms and conditions as the operator as well as of the Shipping Company/transport carrier. Details will be forwarded to you at the time of booking.
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