If your “bucket list” includes seeing the sky dance of the Northern Lights - this is the tour for you. The autumn and winter skies above Greenland’s eastern coast are renowned for putting on some of the best Aurora displays in the world. If you consider yourself an active traveler, this tour provides lengthy shore excursions, which will have you walking and hiking across the pristine wilderness of Greenland.
Quark Expeditions has been sailing this remote coast for decades, and our Expedition Team know all the best spots for hiking, trekking and wildlife viewing. The local Inuit elders always welcome our guests with open arms. Search for wildlife, trek across the tundra and make new friends in Ittoqqortoormiit on this special once-in-a-lifetime voyage.
Expedition in Brief:
Day 1 - Reykjavik
Your adventure begins with an overnight stay in thoroughly-modern Reykjavik, the world’s northernmost capital city.
Day 2 - Embarkation Day in Reykjavik
After a leisurely morning exploring Reykjavik on your own, you and your fellow shipmates will be transferred to Reykjavik’s port to begin your expedition to Greenland. As you sail out to sea, your first wildlife sightings will be seabirds above and whales below, get ready for a great adventure!
Day 3 - 4 - At Sea
Sail through the Denmark Strait en route for mysterious Greenland. Your onboard Expedition Team will keep you informed and entertained with presentations about Greenland’s wildlife, history and geography.
Day 5 - 7 - Greenland National Park
Fjords and flower meadows punctuate the scenery of Greenland National Park, where Arctic Fox and Musk Oxen roam free. Your days will be spent exploring and learning about the unique history and geology of Greenland.
King Oscar Fjord is a hiker’s paradise. You may walk across the delicate flower-and-berry-strewn tundra at Holm Bay, Zodiac-cruise through spectacular Alepfjord or challenge yourself with a climb to the top of nearby Ella Island (the views are worth it.)
From Ella Island you’ll head to the Antarctic. Yes, curiously, there is an Antarctic Sound in the Arctic. The area is home to beautiful purple and gold colored rocks with Ymer Island and Blomsterbugten, the “Bay of Flowers”, ready to explore in the distance.
Keeping a constant eye out for wildlife, you will then head south along the Liverpool Coast. Weather conditions are variable here, but we’ll aim to visit Storefjord and the “warming island” of Uunartoq Qeqertaq, which was only discovered in 2005.
Day 8 - 11 - Scorsbysund Fjord
Arriving at Scoresbysund, you’ll find yourself mesmerized by the largest, longest, and – some say – most beautiful fjord system in the world. This area was named for William Scoresby, who charted the east coast of Greenland in 1822.
At the start of the sound, Ittoqqortoormitt is East Greenland’s most northerly community and one of the world’s last remaining examples of a living hunter society. With clear skies, you’ll have a great opportunity to see the Northern Lights here. You can also support the local Inuit artisans by purchasing unique handicrafts. Our time here is spent bonding with the Inuit people and gaining an appreciation of their way of life.
Sailing on, deeper into Scoresbysund you’ll encounter massive icebergs and an ancient Thule settlement as we approach Sydkap and Øfjord. The scenery here is something you can’t even imagine, with towering mountain sides and hundreds of apartment size icebergs playing tricks with your sense of perception.
Pushing onward, your expedition will come to Rypefjord and Kap Hofmann Halvø. We will keep our eyes peeled for sightings of rare blue icebergs, which are more normally seen in the Antarctic. With binoculars in hand, birders should keep watch for Wheatears, Snow Buntings and Ravens at Rypefjord.
At Cape Hofmann Halvø we’ll have our best chance for closer encounters with grazing Musk Oxen and enjoy a final hike out on the colorful tundra.
Day 12-13 - At Sea
Your homeward journey re-crosses the Denmark Strait, giving you a couple of days for whale watching. During our crossings we’ve seen White-beaked Dolphins and Humpback, Minke and Blue Whales. Birders have enjoyed spotting Kittiwakes, Gannets, Guillemots, Fulmars and Razorbills on our journey back to Iceland.
Day 14 - Disembarkation Day in Reykjavik
Your Greenland adventure comes to an end as you enter port in Reykjavik. Head to the airport, or if you have time, stick around to explore this great city.