You will be travelling in late summer, a season characterised by peace and quiet after a hectic and brief summer. Autumn also has nature showing all sides of itself, from beautiful sunny days, draping the mountains in shades of yellow brown whose intensity often surpasses the midnight sun of summer, to violent autumn storms, appealing with their brutal beauty but also requiring proper clothing. We have selected the best experiences; the Ice Cap in Kangerlussuaq, the capital city of Nuuk and not least Ilulissat in the Disko Bay area at the UNESCO site, the world-famous ice fjord.
Northern lights can be experienced on a dark night sky and the further south we travel, the darker the nights become and you might just be so lucky to experience this fascinating natural phenomenon. In addition, the night sky is crammed with stars because Greenland is far less affected by electric lights than in the rest of Europe.
Fly from Copenhagen to Kangerlussuaq with Air Greenland's Airbus. The first sight of Greenland is truly special and already at that time, you get into a totally different mood. 8 days of excitement await you. In Kangerlussuaq, we check in at the Polar Lodge. The Polar Lodge is 100 metres from the airport with the beautiful rocky scenery right in its backyard. After being welcomed by the tour guide, you get the chance to visit the impressive Ice Cap.
Excursion to the Ice Cap. The Greenland Ice Cap is the second largest ice sheet in the world and covers 80 per cent of Greenland, proportional to 40 times the area of Denmark, and has attracted expeditions and researchers. And with good reason. It is a truly unique experience to look at the enormous field of ice and feel the forces of nature. Along the way, we pass the spectacular Russell glacier, another breathtaking sight with its vertical ice wall of up to 60 metres.
In the evening, dinner is served at the Rowing club beautifully situated on the shore of Lake Ferguson approximately 5 kilometres outside Kangerlussuaq.
After breakfast, fly to Nuuk and before boarding the coasting vessel Sarfaq Ittuk, there is time for a city tour. The landmark of the city, the Sermitsiaq mountain, gives you an almost majestic welcome and the fantastic fjord system reflects the wild nature, which provides the most incredible setting for the small civilised metropolis. Nuuk's more than 15,000 inhabitants benefit from more than 100 kilometres of asphalt roads. Although the city is busy, nature is not far away and most citizens use nature actively all year round.
During the city tour, you will be introduced to the largest attractions, including the Greenland National Museum, the beautiful arts centre Katauaq, whose façade is shaped like the northern light, and the equally beautiful old district with the statue of Hans Egede looking across the old colonial harbour, the fjord and the mountain range in the distance.
Use the rest of the afternoon to explore the city on your own. Are you looking for local arts and crafts, a wide selection can be found in the souvenir shops of the city, selling everything from small, delicate earrings to sealskin furs.
At the end of the day, we go on board Sarfaq Ittuk, departure at 9 pm, and ahead lie two days aboard, heading towards Ilulissat. The coasting vessel sails up and down along the west coast and is also used by Greenlanders themselves. As the vessel lands in the coastal towns, there is a wonderful atmosphere of activity and joyful reunion.
During the voyage, the trip and the passing scenery can be taken in from the indoor panoramic lounge located at the back of the vessel or from the many outdoor areas in which you can enjoy the clean air from a deck chair.
Sailing in Greenland can be a chilly affair, but it is incredibly beautiful! Remember warm clothes as well as your camera and binoculars. The speed is nice and slow, fully allowing you to relax and enjoy the changing scenery.
During the morning we will come to both Maniitsoq and Kangaamiut, but you will stay on board. It is always exciting though to stand and watch life on the harbour and in the village from deck.
A visit in Greenland's second largest town, Sisimiut. Come in around 6 o'clock in the evening to Sisimiut, the second largest city in Greenland with slightly more than 5,000 inhabitants. The atmosphere in the welcoming city is warm and intense, oozing of authentic Greenland. The colour palette of the houses provides a stunning contrast to the undulating rocky area that also on the outskirts of the city supplies rocks for the many sled dogs of the city.
The guided tour offers you a great impression of Sisimiut. We pass the board with today's catches of fish and game, the town hall, the highest vantage point and the homely old district with its original colonial buildings. A wonderful break on the sailing trip. We re-embark the coasting vessel and continue northwards.
As we approach Ilulissat, there is every reason to enjoy the sight of the icebergs. Some are just large-scale lumps of ice while others are almost towering above you. What a welcome and introduction to the magnificent Disko Bay.
Check in at Hotel Arctic or Hotel Icefjord on the seafront to the phenomenal Ice Fjord, which in 2004 was listed as UNESCO world heritage. Lead by the guide, we tour the city, allowing you to get more familiar with Ilulissat. You will be given an introduction to the history and culture of the city and will pass the museum, the old colonial houses, the beautiful and simple Zion's Church and the lively harbour.
In the evening, a nice welcome dinner will be served at the hotel.
Enjoy Ilulissat on your own. There is a reason that this beautiful city is one of the most visited places in Greenland: The impressive Ice Fjord. The icebergs can be experienced by sea, by land and from the air.
Consider joining a hike to Sermermiut, an old settlement right at the mouth of the Ice Fjord where giant icebergs have stranded on an old moraine. You can also attend a lecture about life as a sled dog – highly relevant in the city where thousands of dogs bask in the mountain rocks while waiting for the arrival of winter. Perhaps a happy, awkward puppy will greet you and follow you around a bit.
Allow yourself to wander about on your own, drink a caffé latte at a cosy café and find a quiet place where you can enjoy the view.
In the evening, you can take a lovely cruise between the icebergs that, regardless of the weather, are guaranteed to take your breath away. The sun is low on the horizon and it can be difficult to tell night from day. Reflections from the soft, warm light gives the icebergs and mountain tops an orange tinge, and the water becomes almost purple.
You can spend the day on your own or go on a whale safari.
Most people are surprised how great an experience it is to get up close to such a large animal as the whale. In the waters of Greenland, 15 species of whale are often seen. Three of these stay in Greenland during the winter; the beluga, the narwhal and the Greenland whale. The blue whale and the killer whale are only rarely seen.
During summer, we normally get to see the humpback whale, minke whale and fin whale. The whales swim around the entire Disco Bay throughout the summer, sometimes near the city, other times in the Ice Fjord or up north by the Crown Prince Islands. We have radio contact with the fishermen and sealers of the city, who are our sources to information about whales in the bay. This way, we almost always spot them. The humback whale with its characteristic tail is the one we see most often.
Spend the last day in Ilulissat as you wish. The helicopter takes you across the Ice Fjord and its giant icebergs at low altitude. The view of the 7 kilometre wide glacier edge and the roaring silence provide an experience of grand proportions. Follow in the footsteps of Knud Rasmussen at the local museum and end your stay in Greenland with a shopping trip through the high street where stores, souvenir shops, cafés and the board obligingly let themselves be photographed.
In the evening, we meet in the restaurant at Hotel Arctic where we will enjoy a wonderful dinner along with a final sight of the midnight sun glowing above the Ice Fjord.
Bringing home a wealth of experiences from this amazing land, fly back Copenhagen via Kangerlussuaq, arriving at Copenhagen Airport in the evening.
DetailsContact us about this itinerary
- Flight between Copenhagen, Kangerlussuaq, Nuuk and Ilulissat with Air Greenland
- Coastal ship Nuuk to Ilulissat with MS Sarfaq Ittuk
- All airport transfers
- Accommodation 2 nights in cabin at the coastal ship (private bath/toilet), 1 nights at Polar Lodge (shared bath/toilet) and 4 nights at Hotel Arctic (private bath/toilet) with daily breakfast
- Full board at coastal ship - from saturday morning, welcome and farewell dinner at Hotel Arctic and 1 dinner in Kangerlussuaq, all without beverage
- Guided city tours in Nuuk, Sisimiut and Ilulissat, guided hike to the old settlement Sermermiut by the Icefiord, admission to museums, English speaking local tour guides and taxes