Essential Greenland: Southern Coasts & Disko Bay
Enjoy an in-depth exploration of one of Greenland's most remote regions with the Essential Greenland: Southern Coasts and Disko Bay expedition. As you cruise around this enchanting island, sailing from the icy waters of the little-visited east coast, down to the lush southern tip and up to the charming communities and glaciers of the west coast, spectacular, unspoiled wonders await wherever you go.
Each visit to the picturesque villages and Norse ruins that dot the shoreline will immerse you in Greenland's distinct culture and history, while the rugged landscape - dominated by dramatic fjords, imposing glaciers, towering mountains and verdant valleys - will leave you breathless. The Arctic has been inspiring explorers for centuries, and this expedition offers the chance for you to discover why.
Highlights include: Search for iconic arctic wildlife, such as whales, seals and seabird; explore the Ilulissat Icefjord and Kujataa farming communities, both UNESCO World Heritage Sites; meet locals and experience traditional Inuit settlements; visit Norse historical sites and learn about this fascinating culture; cruise in a Zodiac to explore icebergs, glaciers, fjords and more; and immerse yourself in the icy realm of the Arctic with optional kayaking adventures.
Your Ship: The vessels in the Quark Expeditions fleet accommodation anywhere from 128 to 199 passengers. They never exceed more than 200 passengers which gives guests the best polar experience on a smaller ship. Quark Expeditions boasts the largest polar-class fleet of any polar operator, and the ability to offer you this incredible voyage on one of their ice strengthened vessels. The entire Quark Expeditions fleet is built for challenging polar environments, allowing Quark to take you to places ordinary cruise companies wouldn't dream of going.
Ultramarine: The newest ship in the Quark Expeditions fleet, Ultramarine is equipped with two twin-engine helicopters and offers guests the most robust portfolio of adventure activities in the industry and the most spacious suites in its category. Ultramarine also features breathtaking public spaces, and more outdoor wildlife viewing spaces than other expedition ships its size. Guests: 199
Day 1: Reykjavik, Iceland Arrive in the Icelandic capital and make your way to your included hotel. You will have the day to explore the city on your own.
Day 2: Embarkation Day in Reykjavik This afternoon, you'll board your vessel and begin your expedition. Get ready for a great adventure ahead!
Day 3: At Sea As you 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: Exploring 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 mesmerising maze of vast glaciers, steep mountains and breathtaking fjords.
One location you might 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 the 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 favourable. 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: Exploring South Greenland Sailing on, you'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 you 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 you might 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: Exploring West Greenland Boasting spectacular glaciers, mountainous landscapes, and vibrant communities, the west coast of Greenland will leave you awestruck. Heading north, each day we hope to take Zodiac excursions from the ship to explore local bays, channels and landing sites discovering some of the quaint villages dotting the islands and fjords in the region and cruising in some of Greenland's most picturesque places.
The west coast is home to Nuuk, the charming Greenlandic capital. You'll have time to wander the streets of the historic Old Nuuk neighbourhood and see the Hans Egede Church and Hans Egede statue near the waterfront, both named after the missionary who founded the settlement. History buffs will want to visit the national museum to view the famous Greenlandic mummies, found under a rock outcrop in 1972 by two brothers who were grouse hunting.
Sisimiut is another interesting place to go ashore, as there are more dogsleds here than humans. You'll have time to wander the town's historic area, where several 18th century colonial buildings still stand, including Greenland's oldest surviving church. You'll also be treated to a traditional kayaking demonstration. The kayak is Greenland's national symbol and can be traced back over 4,000 years to the Inuit, who used the vessels for hunting and transportation.
Another beautiful locale and one of west Greenland's highlights is the Ilulissat Icefjord, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Home to one of the world's most active glaciers, Jakobshavn Glacier or Sermeq Kujalleq in Greenlandic, this is a great place to enjoy a Zodiac excursion to experience icebergs from a unique perspective not afforded by land. Venturing ashore at the nearby town, Ilulissat (which means iceberg), rewards with its own spectacle: young bergs floating out to Disko Bay. A hike from the town to the icefjord will allow you to view this unforgettable river of ice from the rocky shore. Given that it's known for having more sled dogs than people, it's not surprising that Ilulissat is the birthplace of the first European to traverse the Northwest Passage by dogsled, explorer Knud Rasmussen.
Surrounded by sea and mountains, the fishing community of Itilleq (meaning crossing place) is situated in a scenic hollow on a small island, about 2 kilometres above the Arctic Circle. Explore traditional wooden houses painted in a rainbow of colors, chat with the locals and join a customary football match between visitors and residents, and you'll be experiencing Itilleq's famous friendly vibe in no time.
Day 14: Disembark in Kangerlussuaq and 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, you will be transferred to your included hotel.
Day 15: Reykjavik, Iceland Today, you can make your way home at your leisure or spend some time exploring this artistic city.
Important Reminder: Embracing the unexpected is part of the legacy - and excitement - of expedition travel. When traveling in extremely remote regions, your Expedition Team 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. By the same token, wildlife encounters as described are expected but not guaranteed. Your Expedition Team will use their considerable experience to seek out wildlife in known habitats, but the presence of any particular species of bird or marine wildlife is not a guarantee.
• Shipboard accommodation with daily housekeeping • All meals, snacks, soft drinks and juices on board • Beer and house wine during dinner • All shore landings per the daily programme • Leadership throughout the voyage by our experienced Expedition Leader • All Zodiac transfers and cruising per the daily programme • Formal and informal presentations by the 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 • Complimentary reusable water bottle • Hair dryer and bathrobe in every cabin • Comprehensive onboard materials, including a map and an informative Arctic Reader • All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the programme • All luggage handling aboard the ship • Emergency evacuation insurance to a maximum benefit of US$500,000 per person • Greenland voyages cruise passenger tax
Mandatory Transfer Package Includes: • One night's pre-expedition hotel accommodation in Reykjavik • Group transfer from the Reykjavik hotel to the ship on Day 2 • Group transfer from the ship to the Kangerlussuaq airport on disembarkation day • Charter flight from Kangerlussuaq to Reykjavik • Group transfer from Reykjavik airport (Keflavik) to airport hotel • One night's post-expedition airport hotel accommodation in Keflavik • Shuttle transfer to Keflavik airport on last day of itinerary
Pricing (per person) $USD
2022 1 July 2023 29 Jun
Booking conditions • Please enquire for other cabin categories and 2023 pricing
• Baggage allowance on charter flight is 20 kg checked and 5 kg carry-on
• Single cabin prices available on request
• Please enquire for other cabin categories and 2023 pricing • Baggage allowance on charter flight is 20 kg checked and 5 kg carry-on • Single cabin prices available on request
Not included • International airfare
• Arrival and departure transfers, except where listed in the Mandatory Transfer Package
• Passport and visa expenses
• Government arrival and departure taxes not mentioned above
• Meals ashore unless otherwise specified
• Baggage, cancellation, interruption and medical travel insurance - strongly recommended
• Excess-baggage fees on international flights
• Mandatory waterproof pants for Zodiac cruising, or any other gear not mentioned
• Laundry, bar, beverage and other personal charges unless specified
• Phone and Internet charges
• Voluntary gratuity at the end of the voyage for shipboard staff and crew
• Additional overnight accommodation
• Any Adventure Options
• International airfare • Arrival and departure transfers, except where listed in the Mandatory Transfer Package • Passport and visa expenses • Government arrival and departure taxes not mentioned above • Meals ashore unless otherwise specified • Baggage, cancellation, interruption and medical travel insurance - strongly recommended • Excess-baggage fees on international flights • Mandatory waterproof pants for Zodiac cruising, or any other gear not mentioned • Laundry, bar, beverage and other personal charges unless specified • Phone and Internet charges • Voluntary gratuity at the end of the voyage for shipboard staff and crew • Additional overnight accommodation • Any Adventure Options
Gratuity • Gratuities are voluntary and can be given at the end of your cruise
• We recommend that you budget US$10 to US$15 per person per day, if you are pleased with the service on board
• Gratuities are voluntary and can be given at the end of your cruise • We recommend that you budget US$10 to US$15 per person per day, if you are pleased with the service on board
Early booking offers for cruises departing in 2022 & 2023
• Up to 25% savings on Standard and Premium Cabins for select expeditions and departures. • Up to 10% additional savings with full payment within 30 days of booking. • Valid on select voyages and departures in 2022 & 2023 • Full payment must be received no later than 30 days after the booking is confirmed. • Offers are valid for new bookings made by 1 November 2021 and applies to the voyage fare only, subject to availability.
Please contact World Journeys for up to date details, terms and conditions at the time of booking.