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Arctic Express: Greenland’s Northern Lights (Cruise North, Fly South)

13 days

Scoresbysund, the world’s largest fjord system, beckons you to explore Greenland. Enticing you with some of the world’s best displays of Northern Lights, the Inuit settlement of Ittoqqortoormiit and its inhabitants offer you a rare connection to the past with their tradition of living off the land just as their ancestors did hundreds of years ago.

Iceberg-choked fjords, tundra hikes and the arctic wildlife of Greenland National Park create picture-perfect scenes every day. This can be one of our most active expeditions, where you can climb atop mountains and watch herds of grazing musk ox on the horizon. This is pure wilderness at its finest: the untouched Arctic as it was thousands of years ago.

Day-by-Day Expedition in Brief

  • View expansive Greenland landscapes
  • Explore the world’s largest fjord system
  • Visit the world’s largest and most remote national park
  • Possible musk ox and whale sightings
  • Cruise in a Zodiac
  • Hike the tundra
  • Visit a local community
  • Take advantage of optional kayak adventure opportunities

Day 1 — Reykjavik, Iceland

Your adventure begins with an overnight stay in thoroughly modern Reykjavik, the world’s northernmost capital city.

Day 2 — Embarkation Day in Akureyri

You’ll fly from Reykjavik to the northern Icelandic town of Akureyri 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!

Days 3 and 4 — At Sea

Sail through the Denmark Strait en route for mysterious Greenland. Your on board Expedition Team will keep you informed and entertained with presentations about Greenland’s wildlife, history and geography.

Day 5 — Brogetdal and Waltershausen Glacier

Brogetdal means “multicolored valley,” and here you’ll view multi-hued mountains surrounding this lovely basin and unusual geology.

Day 6 — Blomsterbugten and Renbugten

The valleys of Blomsterbugten and Renbugten are considered some of the most scenic in Greenland, and delight with unexpected icy blues, brazen golds, fiery reds and mossy greens. These scenic plains will charm you with their panoramic vistas and unusual rock formations.

Day 7 — Antarctic Sund and Ella Oya (Ella Island)

Renowned for its stunning landscapes, the oddly-named Antarctic Sund is a marine channel surrounded by ice-choked waters, azure icebergs, and craggy, colorful cliffs. At Ella Oya, a hiker’s paradise, you can challenge yourself with a climb to the top of the island, where you will be well rewarded for your efforts.

Day 8 — Apelfjord

You’ll cruise through spectacular Alpefjord, a wonderland of fjords and sounds, and through a multitude of dazzling icebergs in countless shapes and sizes.

Day 9 — Hall Bredning and Ittoqqortoormiit

Larger than football fields, the icebergs crossing Hall Bredning in the inner reaches of Scoresbysund are some of the most magnificent in the world. The geology and topography of the area will fascinate you.

Day 10 — Rypefjord and Rodefjord

Pushing onward, your expedition will come to Rypefjord. With binoculars in hand, birders should keep watch for wheatears, snow buntings and ravens. At Rodefjord, you’ll encounter a shallow area trapping hundreds of icebergs, known as the Iceberg Graveyard. You’ll drift leisurely by these icebergs, a photographer’s paradise.

Day 11 — Frederiksdal and Sydkapp

Sailing on deeper into Scoresbysund, you’ll encounter massive icebergs and an ancient Thule settlement as we approach Sydkap. The scenery here is something you can’t even imagine, with towering mountain sides and hundreds of apartment-sized icebergs playing tricks with your sense of perception.

Day 12 — Disembarkation at Constable Point

We arrive at Constable Point to board our charter flight to Reykjavik, the largest city in Iceland, and home to marvels of architecture and nature. Explore the area’s many must-see attractions, or discover its more hidden gems.

Day 13 — Depart Reykjavik

Transfer to the airport for your return flight home, or a bit more time exploring this fascinating city.
View full 13-day itinerary »

Adventure Options Add an Extra Rush of Adrenaline to Your Expedition

Every Quark Arctic voyage includes great daily outdoor activities including Zodiac cruises and hiking.

Hiking is a great way to appreciate the immense windswept landscapes of the Arctic.

The tundra comes alive during the brief Arctic summer, with bursts of color from shrubs and plants that eke out a living in this Polar environment.

You’ll and each hike is different — exploring communities, shorelines or glaciated landscapes, often on the lookout for wildlife. Hiking participation is optional and your Expedition Team will advise you of what you can expect prior to each excursion.


  • Optional on most Arctic voyages
  • All guides and instructions are provided by Quark
  • No experience is required; optional lengths and levels of hiking offered

Pre- and Post-Trip Options Extend Your Stay

Getting to the Arctic can be just as much fun as being there. Quark offers multiple travel packages that enable you to see more of the world before and after your adventure.

Iceland Experience Package

From the charming city of Reykjavik, to the therapeutic waters of the Blue lagoon, and the bubbling hot springs of Thingveller National Park, you will be mesmerized by the unique beauty and striking geography of this Nordic island. Iceland offers adventures for every activity and skill level – ask about the other options available to enjoy the fresh air and explore the dramatic landscape.