Sailing along the West Coast of Greenland gives you the perfect opportunity to meet the locals whilst experiencing the breathtaking Arctic summer.
Experience the most popular sites and towns of Greenland on this tour; the Greenland Ice Sheet in Kangerlussuaq, the capital of Nuuk, and, of course, Ilulissat in the Disko Bay area by the UNESCO World Heritage Site, the world-famous Ilulissat Ice Fjord
Sailing plays a very important role in the Greenlandic infrastructure and a cruise along the West Coast of Greenland is a fabulous way of experiencing this beautiful and varied country. Accommodation is in outside cabins with private facilities.
Fly from Copenhagen to Kangerlussuaq. On arrival in Kangerlussuaq check in to the hotel for an overnight stay. Meet your local guide for a welcome meeting. We recommend booking an optional excursion to Greenland Ice Sheet Point 660. This evening enjoy a welcome dinner at Roklubben in Kangerlussuaq (excluding drinks). (D)
This morning fly to Nuuk, Greenland's colourful capital. Here, enjoy a walking tour including a visit to the Greenland National Museum and the old colonial harbour. In the afternoon free time allows you to wander around the town, visit a number of excellent souvenir shops and enjoy a beverage in Katuaq Cultural Centre (when we last visited they do a rather delicious vegan chilli!). In the evening transfer to the commercial harbour and board the MV Sarfaq Ittuk. (B,D)
Sail north along the Greenlandic West Coast. The ship calls in to Maniitsoq and Kangaamiut - it is not possible to embark, but you can stand on deck for views of the villages and life in harbour. In the evening arrive in the town of Sisimiut, the second-largest town in Greenland, rich with Inuit history and literally translated as 'the people at the fox burrows'. Enjoy a guided tour of this picturesque ever-growing town including a visit to the local museum. Overnight onboard. (B,L,D)
Enjoy the morning at sea before approaching Ilulissat around 1pm - take in the views of icebergs of all shapes and sizes as the boat sails into the magnificent Disko Bay. From the harbour transfer to the Hotel Arctic and check in for 4 nights. After a short briefing about the town and the many excursions on offer here,enjoy a guided tour of Ilulissat. (B)
Today join a guided walk/hike to Sermermiut. This old settlement is located right at the mouth of the icefjord where giant icebergs have stranded on an old moraine. Along the way, visit the amazing Icefjord Centre with exhibitions about ice and the UNESCO World Heritage area. We certainly recommend finding a quiet place, where you can enjoy the view of the omnipresent icebergs. In the evening perhaps join an optional cruise amongst the icebergs. (B)
Today is free to explore Ilulissat early or perhaps join a whale watching safari and/or enjoy a kayaking experience around the bay. (B)
Optional Whale Watching Safari
During summer it is possible to see the humpback whale, minke whale and fin whale in the waters around Greenland. The whales swim around the entire Disko Bay throughout the warmer months, sometimes very close to the town. The ship has radio contact with local fishermen, who provide information about where the whales are.
Optional Kayak Experience
For the adventure seeker perhaps join an optional Kayak Experience in Ilulissat. Inuit have kayaked in the Greenland waters for more than a thousand years. The kayaks glide silently through the water amongst the huge icebergs rising around you. The midnight sun gives the ice a unique hue. With a little luck, it may also be possible to see whales. All tours take place in double kayaks with a safety boat close by. The excursion takes about 3-4 hours (at sea for at least two hours).
Free day - it is possible to pre-book a helicopter tour or a day tour to Eqi Glacier - the calving glacier. (B,D)
Optional Excursion Eqi Glacier
Only a few places in Greenland are as beautiful as the Eqi Glacier, which spills into in the fjord 80 kilometres north of Ilulissat. It is possible to get very close to the glacier by boat and experience huge pieces of ice breaking off. The sounds are thunderous, and the sight of ice crashing into the water is astonishing.
The sailing route goes north along the coast passing Bredebugt, the settlement of Oqaatsut and a large fjord system called Pakitsoq, where whales and seals are often spotted. Further along the route, pass through the Ataa Strait, which is surrounded by steep mountains teeming with bird life and waterfalls. The boats, which are reinforced for sailing in icy waters, will remain in front of the glacier for approximately two hours and wait for the ice to calve. Meanwhile, a delicious lunch will be served.
After breakfast at the hotel, transfer to the airport for the flight to Copenhagen via Kangerlussuaq.(B)
The sea has always been the main method of transport around Greenland, in a country with few roads. On board the Sarfaq Ittuk meet locals travelling from town to town to visit relatives and friends, relax and enjoy the dramatic coastal scenery as you sail by. This is not a cruise but a slow local way to travel on board a ferry that is a life line to the local communities on the west coast of Greenland. There is a guide on board giving optional talks about different topics concerning Greenland and there are guided walks in some of the settlements en route (payment locally).
We include 2 berth outside cabins which have a small private bathroom with shower. There are also 4 berth cabins - please contact us for prices for these.
There is a lounge and café on board serving local foods and if not on deck watching the coastline sail by, then most passengers spend time in the café or lounge chatting.