Ultimate Greenland Expedition

Copenhagen - Kangerlussuaq - Ilulissat

Touch an iceberg with your bare hands and marvel at the power of nature in Greenland. Experience its authentic culture and meet the local people who call Greenland home on this expedition along the northwest coast of Greenland. This iconic voyage to the last frontier of the north has returned due to popular demand.

  • Enjoy a vacation under the marvelous midnight sun, an amazing natural summer phenomenon
  • Ponder Greenland’s stunning nature as your travel to Thule, the border of the known world
  • Sail all the way along the edge of the Greenland ice sheet
  • Learn about the fascinating Inuit culture and history

Overview

The history of the people of Greenland is at the core of this journey. See abandoned settlements which were first inhabited 900 years ago. Visit the northernmost community in the world and sail right up to the edge of the Greenland Ice Sheet, which has a huge impact on the country's climate and culture. Meet the friendly people who live here today, and discover their traditional way of life.

The Inuit Hunting Culture

In Greenland, hunting and fishing have been a crucial part of life for over 4,000 years. Throughout the generations, the Inuit people have created and refined unique products, including kayaks, harpoons, bird spears and high-quality clothing made of animal hide and fur. The fact that even compacted snow, in the form of an igloo, can be used as a temporary shelter demonstrates this culture's extraordinary ability to utilise materials found in nature. 

Wild and Majestic Nature

Stand at the edge of the gigantic Greenland Ice Sheet, which stretches 1,500 miles north, covering up to 80% of the island. Enjoy exploring rarely visited settlements such as Upernavik and Siorapaluk, touch an iceberg with your bare hands and marvel at the power of nature in Ilulissat Icefjord. With daily landings and excursions, including kayaking, hiking and other activities, you will discover the authentic Greenland and really meet the people who call it home.

Your Voyage Price Includes:

  • Hurtigruten Expedition Voyage in cabin category of your choice on a full board basis (daily buffet breakfast, buffet lunch, and set or buffet dinner)
  • Economy flights between Copenhagen and Kangerlussuaq
  • Transfer from airport to ship, and ship to airport, in Kangerlussuaq
  • Excursion toward ice sheet, incl. dinner, after the voyage
  • Wind- and water-resistant jacket
  • Landings and activities on board and ashore
  • Professional English-speaking Expedition Team that gives lectures and accompanies landings and activities
  • Complimentary use of Muck Boot rubber boots
  • Complimentary tea and coffee

Not Included:

  • Flights from US
  • Travel Protection Plan
  • Luggage handling
  • Optional excursions and gratuities

Notes:

  • Prices are in USD per person
  • All planned landings are subject to weather and ice conditions
  • All itineraries are subject to change
  • Single cabins on request
Itinerary

Voyage Itinerary

This is an expedition where the elements rule, and the weather, wind, and ice conditions will determine our schedule. Safety is paramount and the captain will decide the final sailing itinerary during the voyage. Therefore, this itinerary is only an indication of what you can experience and why every expedition with Hurtigruten is unique.

August 6, 2017

Departure port Copenhagen to Kangerlussuaq, Greenland
Day 1
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Photo: Heather Poon Photo

Your adventure begins


Location : Copenhagen to Kangerlussuaq, Greenland

Your flight from Copenhagen lands in Kangerlussuaq in the evening. You'll find MS Spitsbergen here, ready to start your expedition.

Why Copenhagen?

  • Easy to access – Enjoy direct-flight accessibility to Greenland (included in your voyage price) with multiple international flight carriers.

  • Charming and picturesque – Being there is like taking a page from a Hans Christian Andersen story!

  • Friendly and welcoming people – Danish people are officially the happiest people on Earth!

  • Multiple accommodation options, versus those you’ll find in Reykjavik, which are often sold out and very pricey.

  • Award-winning food – This small city boasts 15 Michelin-starred restaurants and counting!

  • Beautiful palaces - The three central palaces of Copenhagen are must-sees: Christiansborg, for the (free) tower climb; Rosenborg, for the beautiful Knights’ Hall; and Amalienborg, for the changing of the guards.

  • Denmark doesn't use the Euro, but the Danish Krone, which is great for currency conversion! Tipping is minimal. Restaurant bills normally include a service charge and taxi drivers don't expect a tip, although it's customary to round up the amount.
Day 2
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Photo: Thomas Haltner Photo

Disko Bay


Location : Sisimiut, Greenland

Sisimiut is the southernmost town on the western coast of Greenland. We offer a variety of optional shore excursions here, including hikes, boat trips, and sightseeing, as well as the chance to shop for local handicrafts and enjoy some Greenlandic specialities in a local restaurant. 

Day 3
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Photo: Mark McDermott Photo

The Only Town on the Island of Disko


Location : Qeqertarsuaq, Greenland

Qeqertarsuaq is the only town situated on the old volcanic island of Disko. The area offers amazing Arctic experiences. Join optional excursions such as a tour of the town, kayaking, or an ice-cruising boat tour. If you appreciate archaeology and history, you should definitely pay a visit to the local museum. Alternatively, you can stroll around the town on your own.

Day 4
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Photo: John Sikorski Photo

Heart-Shaped Mountains & Mummies from Thule


Location : Uummannaq, Greenland

The town of Uummannaq is situated in scenic surroundings at the foot of a heart-shaped mountain. Our optional excursions include meeting local Greenlanders or taking the ship's expedition landing craft ashore to Qilakitsoq to see where the mummies from the Thule era (approximately 1475 A.D.) were found.

Day 5
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Photo: Ørjan Bertelsen Photo

Harsh conditions await


Location : Davis Strait

We sail northwest along the Davis Strait from 71° to 76° North, an area of the Greenlandic coastline mapped by explorer Lauge Koch, passing some of the northernmost settlements in Greenland. In these harsh and remote areas, life is a constant battle, and you can learn more about this in one of the informative lectures given by our expedition team.

Day 6
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Photo: Thomas Haltner Photo

Colonised by Inuits


Location : Qaanaaq (Thule), Greenland

Qaanaaq (or Thule) was the first part of Greenland to be settled by the Thule people, the ancestors of the modern Inuit, who came from Canada. The district is one of the northernmost inhabited places on Earth and has a population of around 1,000. It is also the last US military base in Greenland. Hunting for seals, whales, and polar bears in the traditional way is the main occupation in the town and the surrounding settlements. Visit the Ultima Thule souvenir shop to buy genuine and original artwork and crafts from the Qaanaaq district.

Day 7
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Photo: Trym Ivar Bergsmo Photo

Little sands


Location : Siorapaluk, Greenland

Situated just over 845 miles from the North Pole, Siorapaluk is the northernmost settlement in the world. The settlement was founded in 1933 and is known for its beautiful surroundings and geology. Siorapaluk means ‘little sands’ and was named after the small sandy beach in front of the village. This will be the northernmost landing on this trip, and you should not miss the opportunity to visit the church, museum, or the local shop.

Day 8
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Along the ice edge


Location : Greenland Sea

We will spend a day cruising along the ice edge, and may even try to reach 80° North.

Day 9
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Photo: Thomas Haltner Photo

The ruins of Mount Dundas


Location : Dundas Old Thule", Greenland""undas "Old Thule", Gr""ndas "Old Thul""das "Old""as "

There is evidence of people living in the area now known as Dundas as far back as 900 years ago. Just north of Mount Dundas there are a number of excavation sites, including Comer’s Midden, where several house ruins and ‘middens’, archaeological dumping grounds containing domestic waste products including shells, animal bones, and other refuse, have been found. In 1910, the Danish explorer Knud Rasmussen founded a trading post here and in 1963, the area was officially designated as Thule, the 17th municipality of Greenland and the northernmost community in the world. However, the town has since been abandoned, and you can wander around the old settlement, taking in the ruins of this trading post, or walk to the other side of the peninsula to see the remains of the old turf huts from the former settlement.

Day 10
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A day on deck


Location : Greenland Sea

Enjoy a day at sea where you can stay on deck to spot wildlife or attend a lecture given by our expedition team.

Day 11
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Polar bears and seal skins


Location : Upernavik, Greenland

For centuries, the locals have migrated to Upernavik during the spring to take advantage of the rich hunting grounds. This small settlement lies at 72° 47' N and 56° 10' W, in Melville Bay, and everything is within walking distance. Many of the locals still go hunting and fishing – if you're walking through town keep an eye out for polar bear and seal skins! The town is also home to the world’s northernmost open-air museum. 

Day 12
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Photo: Mark McDermott Photo

Discover the Eqip Sermia Glacier


Location : Ilulissat Icefjord, Greenland

Today, you will have a unique opportunity to witness the true power of nature on a visit to the Eqip Sermia Glacier, which calves icebergs into the open ocean. We will use the ship’s expedition landing craft to go ashore in this beautiful area. If you're feeling more active, you can take a short hike on your own in the area. Everybody who goes ashore is invited to a barbecue dinner with a terrific view over the glacier.

Day 13
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Photo: Chelsea Claus Photo

The Ilulissat Icefjord


Location : Ilulissat, Greenland

Ilulissat is set in the stunning scenery of the Ilulissat Icefjord. The area was added to the UNESCO World Heritage Site list in 2004. Just outside the town, at the mouth of the fjord, you can often see enormous icebergs that have run aground. They originate from the Jakobshavn Glacier, one of the most productive glaciers in the Northern Hemisphere. We offer a variety of optional shore excursions such as hikes, historic town walks, and a boat tour to the Icefjord.

Day 14
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Photo: Thomas Haltner Photo

Visit the 'Arctic Circle Village'


Location : Itilleq, Greenland

Itilleq means ‘the hollow’, and as its name suggests, this small settlement is situated in a hollow, majestically surrounded by high mountains and glaciers. Located just over a mile north of the Arctic Circle, Itilleq is truly an Arctic Circle village. The 130 people who live here are mainly engaged in hunting and fishing occupations. The island has no fresh water, so its inhabitants have to use a facility that makes fresh water from sea water. The town’s church has an interesting history: It was built in Thule (Umanak, North Greenland) in 1930 and was moved to Itilleq in 1963.

Day 15
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Photo: Hurtigruten Photo

The Arctic adventure comes to an end


Location : Kangerlussuaq, Greenland

As we reach Kangerlussuaq, your expedition with MS Spitsbergen has come to an end. Take the opportunity to join a final excursion to the Greenland ice sheet. This vast icy wasteland stretches 1,500 miles north and reaches heights of up to two miles – just under 10,500 feet –above sea level. The road to the edge of the ice sheet boasts beautiful natural scenery, ranging from Arctic desert and tundra with low-growing shrubs to hilly terrain offering breathtaking views over the landscape. Your plane to Copenhagen leaves late in the evening.

Day 16
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Return to civilisation


Location : Copenhagen, Denmark

You arrive in the Danish capital early in the morning and hopefully have the time to explore "Wonderful, Wonderful Copenhagen" before you head home. 

August 20, 2017

Location Copenhagen, Denmark
Your Ship Experiences

Excursions

Challenge your inner explorer and experience everything that Greenland has to offer with our diverse range of optional excursions.

Articles

Learn more about our destinations on this voyage.

Videos

Immerse yourself in the adventures you can experience on a voyage to Greenland

Flight Packages

Flight Packages

Please contact us if you want to add on a flight between the US and Copenhagen. Flight packages include transfers.