Greenland Explorer: Valleys and Fjords

002151 - W20

**Book by January 15, 2020 on an Arctic 2020 cruise and save 10%, excluding triple cabins.** Greenland is Europe’s final frontier: its grandeur is unquestionable and yet unknown to most travellers. Sailing along Greenland’s coast is the best way to sample the rich history and diversity of this beautiful and dramatic country and to encounter an ancient culture surviving in a modern world.

Highlights
Details
Itinerary
Included
Not Included
Tour Notes
Map
Highlights
  • Meet locals on the western coast of Greenland and explore traditional Inuit settlements
  • Visit the Ilulissat Icefjord, a UNESCO World Heritage site
  • Explore historic places from Norse and Viking eras
  • Spot arctic wildlife, such as whales, birds and seals
Details

2020 Date:
August: 29

2020 Prices:
From US$8,495 – triple to US$33,990 – single or twin, Owner’s Suite

Prices are “starting from” rates, shown in US$, per person based on three people sharing a triple cabin or two people sharing a suite. Several categories of cabins are offered on this expedition cruise. Pricing is available for single occupancy of a cabin or suite.

Tour Code:
002151 - W20

Itinerary
Open All
Day 1: Arrive Iceland

Arrive in Icelandic and make your way to the capital city of Reykjavik to check-in to your included hotel. You will have the day to explore the city on your own. In the evening, join us at your hotel for a welcome briefing.

Day 2: Embarkation Day - Reykjavik

This afternoon, you’ll board your vessel and begin your expedition. Get ready for a great adventure ahead!

Days 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 & 5: 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 & 7: 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 - 13: Greenland’s West Coast

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.

Day 14: Disembark in Kangerlussuaq - fly to Reykjavik

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

After breakfast, you can make your way home at your leisure or spend some more time in Reykjavik.

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
Not Included
  • International airfare to/from Reykjavik from your home city
  • Arrival and departure transfers in Reykjavik
  • Mandatory transfer package, including charter flights, if applicable
  • Meals ashore unless otherwise specified
  • Government arrival and departure taxes not mentioned above
  • Laundry, bar, beverage and other personal charges unless specified
  • Baggage, cancellation, interruption and medical travel insurance—strongly recommended
  • Mandatory waterproof pants for Zodiac cruising, or any other gear not mentioned
  • Phone and Internet charges
  • Voluntary gratuity at the end of the voyage for shipboard staff and crew
  • Additional overnight accommodation pre/post cruise in Reykjavik
  • Optional kayaking activities
  • Passport and visa fees, vaccinations as required
Tour Notes

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.

Disclaimer: We do our utmost to ensure that information posted on our website is correct at the time of publication, however trip details are subject to change without notice by the suppliers and operators involved. We update the information as soon as possible when changes are advised to us, however, we cannot assume responsibility for such changes made by the suppliers and operators.
Map