Become one of the few to explore the Arctic expanse of Greenland

Its neighbour might have the name, but Greenland is the true land of ice. Join an epic adventure to the extremes of Europe and discover a world of endless glaciers and glistening icebergs. Cruise from Akureyri around the southern tip of the world’s largest non-continent island and land at the abandoned settlement of Skoldungen, kayak silently between icebergs, and soak in the steaming hot springs of Uunartoq. You’ll meet the locals in small Greenlandic villages, discover 4,000-year-old history, and take Zodiacs to cruise deep into fjords and get close to glaciers creating icebergs. Beginning and ending in Iceland, this trip is the best way to sample this beautiful and dramatic country.


Start
Reykjavik, Iceland
Finish
Reykjavik, Iceland
Countries
Greenland, Iceland
Style
Comfort
Theme
Polar, Wildlife
Code
BQMK
Physical rating
Ages
Min 8
Group size
Min 1, Max 132

Why we love this trip

  • Meet locals along the west coast of Greenland and explore traditional Inuit settlements

  • Soak in the geothermal hot springs at Uunartoq while icebergs float by

  • Visit the dramatic landscape of Tasermiut fjord, known as ‘arctic Patagonia’

  • Admire the fast moving glacier at Ilulissat, a UNESCO world heritage site

  • Hike the tundra in the shadow of the towering mountains of Evighedsfjorden

Is this trip right for you?

  • As you’d expect, temperatures in the Arctic are very cold. A warm parka will be provided along with waterproof boots and unlimited hot drinks, but you should also bring base layers and lots of warm clothing. Please see the trip notes for further important information about what to bring.

  • Weather depending, you will be making regular excursions in a Zodiac boat to explore the local area and look for wildlife. It can get very cold and wet on the Zodiac, so make sure you are dressed appropriately and that you keep your camera safe and dry. Sturdy sea legs are needed as you make wet and dry landings from the boat, and on steep terrain, snow and other uneven surfaces. Some ships have a lot of stairs, so please hold on to the handrails if seas are rough.

  • The weather plays a pivotal part in this adventure and although there’s an itinerary in place, there are no guarantees that you’ll be able to do everything that is planned for. A level of flexibility and openness to embracing the unexpected are important in expedition travel, especially to such a remote area.

Itinerary

Arrive in the Icelandic capital this morning and make your way to your included hotel. You will have the day to explore the city on your own.
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Special Information
Please note, no arrival transfer is included. Please make your own way to the joining hotel. On arrival, you will receive a welcome letter outlining the departure information for the following day’s flight. An agent representing Quark Expeditions will be available in the lobby of the hotel this evening to answer any questions about the charter flight scheduled for the following morning.
You’ll fly from Reykjavik to Akureyri to board your vessel and begin your expedition. Get ready for a great adventure ahead!
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Experience a true arctic ghost town when we visit the abandoned settlement of Skjoldungen, where inhabitants were forced to move to larger, more accessible towns in 1961. The narrow part of Skjoldungen Fjord is an ideal place to explore by Zodiac. Those who opt for our kayaking program may have an opportunity to get out on the water to glide past icebergs and capture some great photographs.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast (2)
  • Lunch (2)
  • Dinner (2)
Climbers and mountaineers around the world know Tasermiut Fjord, one of the world’s most prolific big-wall playgrounds. This part of Greenland is particularly dramatic, being nicknamed the Arctic Patagonia. A bit of a history lesson will be provided here as you learn about the settlements of the area, founded by Erik the Red. As we round Cape Farewell, the southernmost point of Greenland, we will call in at the natural hot springs found in the Uunartoq area, soak in the geothermal waters and watch the icebergs pass by.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast (3)
  • Lunch (3)
  • Dinner (3)
Heading north, you’ll stop at some of the quaint villages that dot the islands and fjords of Greenland’s western side. You’ll find friendly faces, local artisans and colorful houses on the wildflowercovered tundra. You’ll visit Nuuk, the capital of Greenland and home to fewer than 16,000 people. You’ll have time to wander the streets and see the Hans Egede Church and Hans Egede statue near the waterfront, both named after the missionary who founded the settlement. You’ll also visit the museum to see the famous Greenlandic mummies.
The nearby town of Sisimiut is an interesting place to visit, as there are more sled dogs here than humans. Evighedsfjorden, which means “Fjord of Eternity,” is a favoured place for us to put the Zodiacs in the water for some more in-depth exploration. This long, deep fjord has very few settlements, so you’ll come to appreciate nature in its rawest form. There will be an opportunity for hiking among the towering mountains, and you’ll have plenty of chances to photograph the colorful tundra and dramatic landscapes.
The west coast of Greenland provides many dramatic, mountainous landscapes where fjords open into the sea. You will explore the Ilulissat Icefjord, home to one of the world’s fastest-moving glaciers. Moving approximately 62 feet (19 meters) per day, the glacier provides you with a great opportunity to photograph ice crashing into the sea. Continuing along, the Amerloq Fjord offers a chance for you to stretch your legs by exploring abandoned villages and ancient Thule sites.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast (6)
  • Lunch (6)
  • Dinner (6)
After farewelling your companions and crew, you’ll board your direct charter flight back to Reykjavik, Iceland. Upon arrival in Reykjavik, we will transfer you to your hotel.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
After breakfast, you can make your way home at your leisure or spend some more time in in beautiful Iceland.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
No departure transfer is included. Please make your own way to the airport for your onward journey.

Meals

14 breakfasts, 11 lunches, 12 dinners

Transport

Ship, Zodiac, plane

Accommodation

Expedition Voyage, comfortable hotel

Dates & availability

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There are currently no scheduled departures on our Greenland Valleys and Fjords trip. If you are interested in other trips in the region visit one of the links below.

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Important notes

BOOKING CONDITIONS
Arctic and Antarctic bookings have an increased deposit requirement of 20% of the full voyage cost (before any discount).  The balance is due 120 days before departure. 

If a booking is cancelled 120 days or more before departure - the cancellation fee is the full loss of the deposit paid.

If a booking is cancelled between 119 days and departure - the cancellation fee is 100% of the total price of the voyage.

Other fees may apply for air tickets and other arrangements booked in conjunction with a Polar voyage.

ADVENTURE OPTIONS
Kayaking is available to book on all Arctic voyages (except the North Pole). This must be booked prior to departure and incurs an additional cost. Spaces are limited so please enquire at time of booking. To participate in kayaking, previous, recent experience is essential. In addition, there are other included optional activities offered on some voyages such as snow shoeing and hiking. These activities do not need to be booked in advance and no additional cost applies.

Your voyage is operated by our sister company, Quark Expeditions. All accommodation and transfer arrangements as listed in the itinerary are also operated by Quark Expeditions or their local representatives.

Strict luggage limits apply. Please see Trip Notes (What to Take) for more information.

Essential trip information

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what's included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.