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adventure travel trip to Greenland
Enjoy nature's iceberg sculptures in Disko Bay.
Dates
  • Jun 19-Jul 1, 2014
  • Jun 26-Jul 8, 2014
  • Jul 3-15, 2014
  • View all trip dates
  • Duration 13 days
    Group Size 4-12
    Land Cost $6,195 Details
    Single Supplement $850
    Lodging 2 stars-3 stars
    Grade II-III
    Best Time

    Adventure in Ice Paradise

    Discover Greenland, including Disko Bay and the Illulissat Glacier

    Day 1      Arrive Narsarsuaq / Glacier Views

    Fly from Reykjavik's domestic airport (or from Copenhagen; extra charge applies) to Narsarsuaq, where you will be met and transferred to Hotel Narsarsuaq. There will be time today to walk around the area, or take an optional trek to a fantastic glacier viewpoint, around an hour's hike from town. Check in to your hotel in nearby Narsarsuaq, where you will stay for two nights.

    Meals: None
    Lodging: Hotel Narsarsuaq (private facilities)

    Air Greenland (photo by R. Weiss)
    Day 2      Qassiarsuk / Tasiusaq / Iceberg Bay

    This morning you will be driven to the harbor for a boat trip through Tunulliarfik Fjord, usually covered by icebergs, to Qassiarsuk. Led by your guide, visit the church ruins and the settlement known as old Brattahlid, the capital of Viking Greenland, where Eric the Red settled in 985 at the start of the colonization of the island. Walk through the town of about 100 inhabitants, mostly farmers, and reflect on the history and daily challenges of its inhabitants. Stop for a late lunch at the Leif Eriksson Hostel, named after the great mariner and Eric's son, who made the first colonization trip from here to North America in the year 1000. Travel by 4x4 vehicle to Tasiusaq, where just a handful of people live in notable isolation next to Sermilik Fjord, which is almost always blocked by icebergs from the Eqaloruutsit Glacier. Afterward, consider an optional kayak excursion in scenic "Iceberg Bay." Overnight in your hotel in nearby Narsarsuaq.

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
    Lodging: Hotel Narsarsuaq (private facilities)

    Day 3      Trekking / Igaliko and Environs

    Following a hearty breakfast, transfer to Igaliko, considered the most beautiful town in Greenland, and a summer holiday destination for locals. It is an idyllic spot, surrounded by lakes and farmland and green hills, with impressive views of icebergs floating on the fjord. Trek through the mountains and lakes and enjoy the spectacular views of Ilissumatarfik, the highest mountain in the area at more than 5,600'. Loaded with huge bundles of firewood, Vikings used to climb to the summit of this mountain to light great fires that served as a beacon for ships sailing from Europe to Brattahlid, the capital of Greenland Viking world. 

    Return to your hotel for dinner and a comfortable overnight stay.

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch (picnic), Kaffemik, Dinner
    Lodging: Igaliko Country Hotel (private room, shared facilities)

    Relaxing with a view
    Day 4      Qoorooq Ice Fjord / Igaliko

    In the morning following another filling and warming breakfast, embark on a sea excursion to Qoorooq Fjord to see what probably is the most spectacular glacier in South Greenland. Enjoy the wonderful sight of ice floating all around as the captain skillfully navigates among blocks of ice until the increasing density no longer allows us to continue. Next, the captain heads to Itilleq, where you will set off on an easy hike across the "Kongevejen," or Path of the Kings, to Igaliko, a small Inuit village of about 60 people, famous for being the most beautiful settlement in Greenland. While here, explore the ruins of Gardar, the archdiocese and religious capital of Viking Greenland. Retire to your small country hotel in Igaliko for a well-deserved night's rest.

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch (picnic), Dinner
    Lodging: Igaliko Country Hotel (private room, shared facilities)

    Day 5      Igaliko / Narsaq

    After breakfast, hike back to Itilleq and take a boat trip to Narsaq, the third most populated town in South Greenland, with about 1,700 inhabitants. You will have free time to visit the local market, fur shops, hunters' harbor, the Greenland museum, walk around the area, or do some shopping.

    Meals: Breakfast
    Lodging: Hotel Narsaq (private facilities)

    Day 6      Qaleraliq Camp / Zodiac / Ice Excursion

    Following breakfast at the hotel, set off for Qaleraliq camp, toward the Inland Ice, arriving at a cozy, enchanting day camp set on a sandy beach with spectacular views of Qaleraliq's glacier. Today, experience the glacier from the water and on an ice hike; two ways to grasp its mass and beauty.

    First, from the camp, board a Zodiac boat for water views of the glacier's fronts, admiring their vertical ice walls and numerous icebergs as you approach along their descent of more than six miles to the sea. Next, set off on an impressive ice excursion using crampons (organized to be suitable for all travelers and skill levels) on one of the oldest masses of ice on the planet. This very special adventure is comparable only (perhaps) to visiting Perito Moreno glacier in Patagonia. Explore crevasses, drains, caves, seracs, and other ice formations that give an incredible, labyrinthine quality to this glacier. An expert mountain guide, also a specialist in glacier science, will organize, escort, and lead the group to ensure we are provided with and know how to use appropriate equipment, to ensure everyone's safety, and to share his knowledge about the special characteristics of the glaciers in South Greenland. This is a unique and special experience, exciting and original, and sure to surprise and delight both first-timers and those accustomed to the peculiarities of the glacier world. This is one of the most impressive sights and one of the best excursions in all of Greenland, as well as one of the highlights of your trip. (Note: If you choose not to participate in this ice excursion, you may remain with the Zodiac boat captain to explore or spend time in and around the Qaleraliq Camp. Your guide will decide what is best, based on participation, weather conditions, and your comfort and safety.)

    Later, transfer by boat to Qaqortoq, South Greenland's capital, looking for whales while en route in the boat. Qaqortoq was founded in 1775 and now has more than 3,300 inhabitants who describe it as the most charming and attractive town in the country. Spend the night in Qaqortoq.

    Meals: Breakfast
    Lodging: Hotel Qaqortoq (private facilities)

    Board your Zodiac (photo by R. Weiss)
    Day 7      Qaqortoq, Capital of South Greenland

    This morning, take a small excursion around town, where you'll discover the beauty of its colorful buildings, the awe-inspiring landscapes, and some of the 30 different rock sculptures spread around town.

    Choose among optional excursions to Hvalsoy Church and Upernaviarsuk Agricultural Center, or Uunartoq Geothermal Springs, or Kaffeemik or dinner with a Greenlandic Family.

    The evening is yours free to explore the museum, fur shops, traditional kayak club church, the only fountain in the country, and to have dinner in one of Qaqortoq's restaurants or enjoy a drink with the local people.

     

    Retire to your small hotel, in the center of town with great waterfront views, for your last night in this marvelous land.

    Meals: Breakfast
    Lodging: Hotel Qaqortoq (private facilities)

    Kaffemik (photo by R. Weiss)
    Day 8      Helicopter Tour / Ilulissat

    After breakfast and check-out, experience another of your trip's highlights - an impressive and unforgettable helicopter trip over the fjord system of South Greenland! On the flight, you'll see everywhere you've traveled over the last week while taking in the fascinating composition of the fjords and fantastic views of the Inland Ice. After your helicopter trip, fly on to Ilulissat, north of the Arctic Circle!

    Meals: Breakfast
    Lodging: Hotel Arctic

    Enjoy the view!
    Day 9      Ilulissat

    After a leisurely morning, take a guided city tour including the old part of town with buildings from the very start of the Danish trading station, the busy fishing harbor, the old church and the museum. (Note: Museum entrance is not included.)

    Meals: Breakfast
    Lodging: Hotel Arctic

    Ilulissat (photo by R. Weiss)
    Day 10      Ilulissat

    There are multiple activities that are available the two days you are in Ilulissat, and your guide will provide additional information about the options. These activities may be weather dependent, so it is best to remain flexible. Today you may choose to take the Hunter's Settlement tour (6 hours). You will travel by boat to the small settlement at Oqaitsut/Rodebay with a local population of approximately 40 persons totally dependent on fishing and hunting - a quite different world compared to the nearby town of Ilulissat. Take a guided walk through the village and enjoy lunch at the old trading station before returning to Ilulissat.

    Meals: Breakfast
    Lodging: Hotel Arctic

    Day 11      Ilulissat / Disko Bay

    This morning, dependent on weather and options, you may want to explore on your own or take the guided tour to Sermermiut (cost not included). Take the bus as far as the road goes. Walk along the UNESCO designated Ilulissat Ice Fjord to Sermermiut where traces from the three old Inuit cultures still can be seen. Sermermiut is a fertile valley next to the Ice Fjord; here you can enjoy the flowers as well as the fantastic icebergs. Later in the day, visit a Greenland home, to enjoy "Kaffemik" (traditional coffee social), and learn about Greenland and its population. In the evening, take a cruise to the Ice Fjord to enjoy the late sunset over the icebergs. The warm, red colors reflecting in the gigantic icebergs is a fantastic sight. (The home visit and Midnight Cruise to the Ice Fjord are included activities.)

    Meals: Breakfast
    Lodging: Hotel Arctic

    Disko Bay ice-scape
    Day 12      Ilulissat On Your Own

    Today is at your leisure. You may choose to visit the calving glacier Eqi and the Inuit Settlement Ataa, or take the sightseeing flight over Ilulissat Fjord (cost of these activities are not included). You may also just choose to explore on your own.

    Meals: None
    Lodging: Hotel Arctic

    Day 13      Ilulissat / Reykjavik / Onward

    After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your flights to Reykjavik and onward.

    Meals: Breakfast



     
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