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Greenland and its surrounding waters are home to an impressive array of wildlife. The scenery is dramatic, particularly in autumn with vivid colours by day and the spectacular northern lights by night.

Starting in Reykjavik, Iceland, the trip sails north through the Denmark Strait, accompanied by fulmars, kittiwakes and rafts of common guillemot.  You will cross the Arctic Circle and continue north, whale watching on the way, before spotting your first icebergs on the east coast of Greenland.

The landscapes in Greenland are particularly beautiful, especially during autumn when the dwarf willow and dwarf birch change colour.  Arctic blueberries and crowberries add their own colourful touch, backed by huge dark mountains, and the cold blue of the icebergs.

Wildlife highlights include musk oxen, Arctic wolf, rock ptarmigan and collared leeming, and there will be plenty of time for Zodiac cruises along glacier fronts, and whale watching from the comfort of your vessel.

A typical Greenland itinerary is shown below, however we offer a choice of itineraries, expedition vessels and cabin types to suit your requirements.

Departures in the second half of September have a good chance of experiencing the delights of the Aurora Borealis (northern lights).

Typical itinerary

  1. Day 1: Arrive Reykjavik, Iceland, and transfer by road to Akureyri to board vessel

    In the morning you will transfer by bus (approximately six hours) from Reykjavik to Akureyri, where your vessel is moored. In the early evening the vessel leaves Iceland and sails north towards the Denmark Strait. 

  2. Day 2: Sail north through Denmark Strait

    You are almost certain to see fulmars, kittiwakes, Gannets and rafts of common guillemot as the vessel sails through the Denmark Strait. You will cross the Arctic Circle and continue north, perhaps seeing whales. In the evening  the first icebergs appear as you approach the east coast of Greenland near Kap Brewster.

  3. Day 3: Volquart Boons Coast

    In the morning you sail along the ragged and glaciated Volquart Boons Coast. Here a zodiac cruise may be organised along one of the glacier fronts of this coast, and you can experience your first landing near one of the glaciers, such as Maanegletsjer or in Vikingebugt. 

    Later you will land on Danmarksø where there are the remains of an Inuit settlement abandoned around 200 years ago. In the evening the voyage continues through the beautiful fjords to the west, choked with icebergs.

  4. Day 4: Cape Hofmann Halvø

    Going ashore at Cape Hofmann Halvø, this is a reliable spot for viewing musk oxen, and you may also see rock ptarmigan and, at sea, great northern diver.  In the evening you will sail through the fjord towards Scoresby Land.

  5. Day 5: Sydkap in Scoresby Land

    On the way to Sydkap in Scoresby Land this morning, you will encounter huge icebergs, some over 100 metres high and more than a kilometre in length. Most of the bergs are grounded as the fjord is only about 400 metres deep here. You will land near Sydkap to view the remains of the Thule culture winter houses. 

  6. Day 6: Ittoqqortoormiit

    In the morning you will land at a lagoon at the south coast of Jameson Land, an area where waders and geese collect for their autumn migration. In the afternoon you will visit Ittoqqortoormiit, the biggest settlement near Scoresby Sund with about 400 inhabitants. 

  7. Day 7: At sea – Aurora Borealis

    The whole day at sea offers excellent opportunities to see large whales and seabird migration and, at night, the Aurora Borealis (northern lights).

  8. Day 8: Arrive at Akureyri and disembark, then transfer by road to Reykjavik

You should note: Exact itinerary and duration will depend on your chosen vessel, departure date and local conditions.

Key info

  • Duration and price excluding international flights: 8 days from £3,695 pp
  • Group size: Varies according to vessel
  • When to go: May-Oct
  • Departures: Please contact us for departure date details.
  • Included in the price/package:
    • Accommodation in twin-share cabin
    • All meals on board ship
    • Guided shore excursions
  • Activities available:
    • Birdwatching
    • Photography
    • Scuba diving
    • Sea kayaking
Featured location:

North East Greenland National Park

North East Greenland NP is the world’s largest (almost 1m sqkm). Though the park is part of the Greenland Ice Sheet, there are large ice-free areas of green mountains with beautiful wild flowers, long fjords, precipitous cliffs and hot springs. Off shore, huge icebergs in fantastic shapes float on the deep blue sea.

  • Ideal for viewing: bearded seal, musk ox, ringed seal, walrus, polar bear
  • Excellent for: Wildlife cruises, Whale watching
This itinerary is available on the following cruise vessels:

Ortelius

The ice-strengthened Ortelius is an excellent vessel for expeditions in the Arctic and Antarctic. With the highest ice-class notation, it offers possibilities to travel to remote locations such as the Ross Sea and Franz Josef Land. Flexibility assures maximum wildlife opportunities.

Plancius

The Plancius accommodates a maximum of 114 passengers in cabins ranging from triple to superior, all with outside view and private facilities. She offers a range of itineraries in Antarctica and the Arctic, and the large open deck spaces offer excellent opportunities to watch wildlife.