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West Greenland: Disko Bay

10 days

This 10-day voyage focuses on Disko Bay, an area as rich in history and legend as it is famous for icebergs and whales. Your arctic expedition explores the natural wonders of northwest Greenland in all their glory, from the impressive Ilulissat Icefjord (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) and breathtaking Eqip Sermia glacier to the red heart-shaped mountain of Uummannaq and the incredible volcanic rock formations of Qeqertarsuaq. Traditional Inuit villages, each with its own character, are found along the coast, their brightly colored wooden houses dotting the rugged landscape. Vast stretches of unspoiled wilderness await modern-day adventurers in this magical realm, home to some of the best whale watching in the country.

Day-by-Day Expedition in Brief

  • Visit traditional communities on the western coast of Greenland
  • Explore the Ilulissat Icefjord, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • View arctic wildlife, such as whales, birds and seals
  • Cruise in a Zodiac to get up close to glaciers, fjords, icebergs and more
  • Take advantage of kayaking opportunities

Day 1 — Arrive in Reykjavik, Iceland

Your journey begins in Reykjavik, where you can explore the Icelandic capital on your own before spending the night at your included hotel.

Day 2 — Fly to Kangerlussuaq, Greenland and Embark

After breakfast, board your charter flight to Kangerlussuaq. You’ll have some time to wander this small seaside town, situated in one of Greenland’s longest fjords, before being transferred by Zodiac from shore to ship.

Day 3 — Itilleq

Today, you’ll visit a typical Greenlandic village, the picturesque Itilleq. Delightfully situated in a hollow (which is the meaning of “Itilleq” in Greenlandic), it’s surrounded by sea, mountains and fjords, on an island with no freshwater source. The small fishing and hunting community will welcome us and show us their way of life.

Day 4 — Illulissat

Adventure awaits you in Ilulissat (meaning “iceberg” in Greenlandic), a gateway to another world. Just south of this town is the beautiful Ilulissat Icefjord, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and home of one of the most actively calving glaciers in the world, Sermeq Kujalleq. We’ll cruise in a Zodiac at the mouth of the fjord, and if you’re lucky, you may witness the spectacle of calving ice.

Day 5 — Eqip Sermia

Sailing toward the glacier Eqip Sermia rewards with breathtaking views one of the most photographed places in Greenland. We hope to Zodiac cruise from a safe distance, tracing the spectacular jagged, gleaming-blue glacier front. We may also stop nearby for a shore landing.

Day 6 — Uummannaq and Qilaqitsoq

Have your camera ready and be out on deck as the ship approaches Uummannaq (which means “heart- like”), named for the heart-shaped mountain that towers over the town. It’s a breathtaking vista you won’t want to miss.

Day 7 — Qeqertarsuaq (Disko Island)

The town of Qeqertarsuaq (also the name of the island it’s on) is one of Greenland’s oldest, founded in 1773 as a whaling station. Today, although whaling still occurs, sealing and fishing are more predominant. Particularly rich with marine life, the waters around the island play host to humpback, fin, and minke whales.

Day 8 — Sisimiut

Today, you’ll have time to explore the 18th-century colonial buildings of Sisimiut and also watch a demonstration of traditional kayaking. Be sure to wander the historic area, where you can pass under the large arch formed by a pair of bowhead whale bones. There will also be an opportunity to hike amongst the soaring mountains that surround the town.

Day 9 — Disembarkation in Kangerlussuaq

After bidding goodbye to your Expedition Team, you’ll take a direct charter flight back to Reykjavik, Iceland, where we will transfer you to your included hotel.

Day 10 — Depart Reykjavik, Iceland

You can make your way home at your leisure or spend some more time exploring Reykjavik.
View full 10-day itinerary »

Adventure Options

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.

Complimentary

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