10 Days / 9 Nights
August 12, 2014
This year join The Great Canadian Travel Company’s exclusive charter of the Schooner Opal for the extraordinary one-week sailing from Iceland to the east coast of Greenland. Explore the pristine fjords, enjoy the myriad of wildlife, and let your mind wander as you retrace the steps of the great explorers on board this magnificent and traditional wooden ship.
You will spend the voyage exploring the calm waters of the Scoresbysund Fjord; mountain peaks, sheer granite walls open to picturesque anchorages and stunning islands inhabited only by muskoxen, snow hares and grouse that you will explore on gentle hikes. The landscape is difficult to imagine, but you can rest assured that this unique trip will introduce you to the most fascinating images, sounds, and impressions of the astonishing arctic.
Arrive in Reykjavik and transfer to your central hotel for an overnight stop.
Depart Reykjavík for a flight to Constable Point Greenland, a small airfield on the west side of Hurry Inlet in Jameson Land. Embark and get an introduction and a safety briefing by the crew and then sail towards the village of Ittoqqortoormiit where the evening is spent with locals in perhaps the most isolated village of the world. Ittoqqortoormiit was founded in the 1925s by people from Ammassalik. It is the most northerly settlement on the east coast of Greenland. The 450 inhabitants make their living mostly by subsistence hunting of seals, Narwhale, Muskoxen and Polar Bear. The quaint little houses dot the rocky slopes of south Liverpool Land with magnificent views of Kap Brewster and the Volquart Boons Coast to the south.
Sail west between whole palaces of icebergs that gently drift under the influence of the currents in the Arctic waters in the mighty fjord of Scoresby Sound, after calving from the parent glaciers originating in the Inland Ice. Anchor at Hekla Havn, on Denmark Ø, the site of an old Inuit settlement and wintering camp of the first scientific expedition to Scoresby Sound over a hundred years ago. A short evening walk exploring Hekla Havn, and the surrounding area.
Sail west through the narrow Føhnfjord with the majestic basalt mountains of Gåseland on the port side and 2000 metres high sheer granite cliffs of Milne Land on the Starboard side. After being up close to the peculiar looking Red Island and even landfall at the red sandstone shore the tour continues to the north through Rødefjord which is often filled with both larger icebergs and ice crust from icebergs that are breaking up. We will arrive in Harefjord in the late afternoon where anchors are set for two nights.
The whole day is spent ashore in Harefjord scouting for muskoxen, snow hares, grouse, geese and other wildlife, which normally graze on the south facing slopes. Between 6 and 7 hours of easy to moderate hiking with a lunch break at the top of a ridge with a breath taking view over Harefjord where the glacier tongues descend into the sea. Those who prefer less exercise can stroll at the coast or stay on board enjoying the view. In the evening the crew will make a bonfire and prepare BBQ at the rocky beach.
The sailing continues eastwards through the awesome Øfjord. This is one of the most spectacular parts of the trip. Terrific mountain peaks and granite walls tower 200 meters up from the sea just like if the Cerro Torre (one of the majestic mountains of the Southern Patagonian Ice Field in South America) and Fitzroy river (in Queensland, Australia) has been moved to the Arctic: A true feast for the eyes. Usually the sea breeze in the Øfjord during the middle of the day allows sails to be set. Close look at some of the most amazing cliffs and a glacier front. This day ends by setting anchors in Jyttes Havn Bjørneøe in the late afternoon.
The day is spent hiking in and around Jytteshavn in Bear Islands as this is possibly one of the nicest and most picturesque anchorages in Scoresby Sound. There are two options of a longer or shorter hike in the Bear Islands, or on the northernmost tip of Milneland, a short zodiac ride away. Jytteshavn is the place to try your skills at sea swimming at 71°N and temperatures can be as surprising as 13°C in the summertime. In the evening we offer a nice meal on board and then a cosy bonfire on the beach with story telling or singing.
Sailing the channel between the Bear Islands and Milne land with a breathtaking view of the spectacular archipelago. As we sail into the last evening and night of the trip it is likely that we‘ll be experiencing sights of the largest and the most fascinating icebergs of the journey. This provides a fantastic opportunity for photographs of the majestic and impressive icebergs that are often found in this particular area. When we wake up the next morning we are anchored at the at the airstrip in Constable Point.
The last morning we will enjoy a good breakfast together, write in the diary on board and share contact information with each other. Then we will disembark the schooner for the last time and board the aircraft in Constable Point and fly back to Reykjavík, Iceland. Transfer to your hotel for your final night stay.
Transfer to Keflavik for the return flight home.
- 8 day sailing aboard schooner Opal
- Meals and soft drinks on board
- Services of an experienced crew
- Airfare between Reykjavik and Constable Point
- One pre and one post night accommodation Reykjavik
- Airport transfers to Keflavik
- Airfare to Reykjavik
- Travel Insurance
- Items of a personal nature
This is an exclusive departure and space is very limited. Book Early to avoid disappointment!