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Essential Greenland: Southern Coasts and Disko Bay

15 days

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 our expeditions offer the chance for you to discover why. We’re excited to host you on your unforgettable adventure! Feel free to reach out to our team of Polar Travel Advisers or your travel professional, who can answer your questions and provide assistance at any time.

Day-by-Day Expedition in Brief

  • Search for iconic arctic wildlife, such as whales, seals and seabirds
  • 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
  • Immerse yourself in the icy realm of the Arctic with optional kayaking adventures

Day 1 — Arrive in 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 we 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 and 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 mesmerizing maze of vast glaciers, steep mountains and breathtaking fjords. One location we hope to 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 our Zodiacs in the water for a more in-depth exploration.

Days 6 and 7 — Exploring South Greenland

Sailing on, we’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 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.

Days 8 to 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 neighborhood 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.

Day 14 — Disembark in Kangerlussuaq & fly to Rekyjavik

Enjoy one more Zodiac ride to shore, where you’ll board your charter flight back to Reykjavik, Iceland. Upon arrival in Reykjavik, we will transfer you to your included hotel.

Day 15 — Depart Reykjavik, Iceland

Today, you can make your way home at your leisure or spend some time exploring this artistic city.
View complete 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. We also offer kayaking on most of our voyages; a great way to experience the beauty of the Arctic in a more personal way. Contact a Quark Polar Travel Adviser to learn more about adventure options, including physical requirements.

Explore the ocean from a more intimate vantage point on a sit-on-top kayak. No experience is required to manoeuvre these very stable kayaks, allowing you to enjoy an unforgettable experience on the water, taking in breathtaking landscapes and wildlife. Whether it’s your first time in a kayak or you want greater flexibility to try other Adventure options, this shorter excursion is for you.  
 
Paddling in the Polar Regions is highly weather-dependent and a one-time experience. Your kayak guides will attempt to take you out on the water for 1-1.5 hours of paddling. Offered on most voyages, spaces are limited. All equipment, guides and instructions are provided by Quark. 

Pricing subject to change based on season. Please proceed to checkout or contact a Polar Travel Adviser for more details. 

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 Arctic 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.