Adventure in Greenland
11 days with Ponant Rating:
Day 1 – REYKJAVÍK
Embarkation from 16H00 to 17H00. Departure at 18H00.
Iceland’s capital stretches along the edge of a vast bay in the west of the country. For a panoramic view of the lush, green landscapes, make your way to Perlan, the “Pearl of Reykjavík”, alarge environmental structure located on ’Oskjuhlið hill. Look out for the signpost showing the way to the evangelical Hallgrímskirkja church, and to the historical centre where you can stroll along the Skólavördustígur and the Laugavegur. The little shops in these lively streets will entice you to do a bit of shopping. For some relaxation just outside of the city, you’ll have the opportunity to visit the Reykjanes peninsula and its famous thermal lagoons of the Blue Lagoon.
Day 2 – AT SEA
During your day at sea, make the most of the many services and activities on board. Treat yourself to a moment of relaxation in the spa or stay in shape in the fitness centre. Depending on the season, let yourself be tempted by the swimming pool or a spot of sunbathing. This day without a port of call will also be an opportunity to enjoy the conferences or shows proposed on board, to do some shopping in the boutique or to meet the PONANT photographers in their dedicated space. As for lovers of the open sea, they will be able to visit the ship’s upper deck to admire the spectacle of the waves and perhaps be lucky enough to observer marine species. A truly enchanted interlude, combining comfort, rest and entertainment.
Day 3 – NANSEN HARBOR AND QINGMINGUARTALIK
Travelling to Nansen Harbor is the guarantee of a voyage back in time and will enable you to discover a superb bay, into which the ice cap plunges directly. Arriving in these parts, you will immediately understand why Fridtjof Nansen chose this place for his ice cap crossing in August 1888. Indeed, it is particularly easy to access the cap from here and you will certainly be able to follow in some of this great Norwegian explorer’s footsteps. A unique experience, one that will definitely delight the most adventurous among you.
Welcome to Qingminguartalik, a small protected bay on the eastern coast of Greenland, around 200 km south of Tasiilaq, for a date with history and ice. During this port of call, you will have the opportunity to visit the remains of old peat houses from the Thule civilisation. Then, after sailing through the ice, you will reach the starting point of the very first crossing of the Greenland ice cap, led in 1888 by Fridtjof Nansen, the great Norwegian polar explorer. A magical place where you can climb the gentle slopes of the ice cap’s first foothills to better appreciate its huge size.
Day 4 – SKJOLDUNGEN
Discover Skjoldungen Island on the south-east coast of Greenland. This uninhabited land boasts magnificent landscapes that are sure to dazzle you. The island is surrounded by a stunning fjord, a distinctive feature of which is its double entrance: it forms a bend before joining the sea on the other side. Mountains, glacial valleys, rocky outcrops, tundra and willow forests make up the beautiful scenery which you will be able to admire more closely when you land here. At this port of call, surrounded by wild and pristine nature, it is quite common to see bearded seals, orcas, but also birds such as the common redpoll, the northern wheatear, or the common raven.
Day 5 – PRINS CHRISTIAN SUND
Your ship glides silently towards the Greenland coast, in a setting punctuated by pointed peaks and majestic glaciers… You are on the verge of crossing the Prins Christian Sund, a narrow channel that stretches out and zigzags over some one hundred kilometres between Greenland’s south-east and south-west. Fall under the spell of the primitive beauty of these unique landscapes, including rocky cliffs and waterfalls that are fed by the ice sheet and plunge into the icy waters. Here, bearded seals love to lie on the floating ice to soak up the sunshine. If you are lucky, you may get to witness an aurora borealis, a stunning light show put on by the polar night…
Day 6 – NARSAQ
After sailing in the Kangerlluarssuk fjord, discover the town of Narsaq. You will be dazzled by the beauty of the surrounding icebergs − large masses of ice in different shapes and shifting colours. Dominated by lush mountains, this small town is typical of Greenland. It is known for its sheep farming, made possible by the rich, grassy plains to the town’s north. This rather rare activity reflects a past and a technique inherited from the Vikings. Admire the stunning interplay of colours between the multicoloured house facades and the glaciers with their myriad shades of blue, and dive into the Scandinavian history of Narsaq by visiting the local museum. A unique experience.
Day 7 – NUUK
When Erik Le Rouge, the exiled Norse chief, landed on the coast of Nuuk, he found a fertile and welcoming land dotted with fjords. He settled there with a group of his former countrymen, and the Norse remained the principal inhabitants until, over a period of 500 years, their population declined and gave way to the Inuit. Nuuk is situated at the mouth of one of the largest networks of fjords in the world, where the waters never freeze. The town spreads gently out towards the Davis Strait and enjoys an historic center that is particularly rich in national heritage. The vivid reds, blues, greens and yellows of the houses are a lively contrast to the somber waters of Greenland and serve to lift the spirits of the locals during the Winter months.
Day 8 – ILULISSAT
At the heart of Disko Bay - a UNESCO World Heritage Site - the Ilulissat Icefjord provides an extraordinary spectacle of almost surreal beauty, with the largest icebergs of the northern hemisphere. The sculptural icebergs continue their timeless journey, shimmering with their eternal light. Vast pieces of ice break off from the bergs and rejoin the inexorable movement of the sea. Close by lies the town of Ilulissat, the region’s principal destination. Encircled by icebergs, it has retained a unique mix of traditional Arctic life, with multicoloured wooden houses, huskies and the leather tanners who still work today using the ancient methods of their ancestors.
Day 9 – ILULISSAT
Day 10 – EVIGHEDSFJORDEN
Your ship glides slowly along the water towards the west coast of Greenland, to enter Evighedsfjorden, just a few kilometres south of Kangerlussuaq. Evighedsfjorden means “the fjord of Eternity”, and for good reason: just when you think you’ve reached the end of this stretch of sea measuring over 100 kilometres in length, it seems to go on forever, as though to bring even more pleasure to those sailing in it. The spectacular scenery ranges from glaciers to tundra with an abundant flora, and jagged cliffs where numerous bird species have taken up residence. Take the time to observe the white-tailed eagles and the colonies of seagulls and black-legged kittiwakes flying overhead in the area.
Day 11 – KANGERLUSSUAQ
Disembarkation at 07H00.
From 1941 to 1992, the town of Kangerlussuaq in Greenland was home to an American military base. Nowadays, thanks to its international airport, it has become a transit point for travellers seeking adventure in the Far North. Located to the north of the Arctic Circle, this town is the starting point of magnificent discoveries surrounded by unspoiled nature. Indeed, just a few dozen kilometres from there it is possible to get close to the Greenland ice sheet, the largest body of ice in the Northern Hemisphere. From Kangerlussuaq, admire also the superb landscapes of tundra in autumnal colours, where Arctic hares, musk oxen, Arctic foxes, reindeer, falcons and eagles live.
All This Included
This PONANT itinerary is your chance to embark on an 11-day expedition cruise to Greenland. Aboard Le Boréal, you will enjoy a combination of adventure and discovery in the company of an experienced team of naturalist guides, anthropologists, ornithologists and marine mammal specialists...
From Reykjavik, you will touch the east coast of Greenland at Nansen Harbor, the departure point of the first ever crossing of the ice sheet by the Norwegian Fridtjof Nansen. You will be able to disembark and walk along the first foothills of the ice sheet, a gigantic mass of frozen freshwater.
During your cruise and Zodiac® outings, you will have many opportunities to admire an abundant and varied fauna: seals, whales, orcas, not to mention the many species of seabirds.
Your ship will then sail down the narrow Prins Christian Sund passage, which connects the south-east of Greenland to the south-west. Jagged mountains, rocky cliffs, waterfalls and floating ice form a wonderful wild landscape in which frolic colonies of bearded seals.
To the country’s west, you will sail amid the blue icebergs of the Narsaq region, and among the largest icebergs in the Northern Hemisphere in Ilulissat, before reaching the steep cliffs where nest the many birds in the fjord of Eternity.
Cruising: Standard cabin onboard Le Boreal
Terms and Conditions
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* The prices shown are U.S. dollars per person, based on double occupancy, and subject to availability. Prices quoted for land/cruise arrangements are subject to increase without notice. Once we have received your deposit, land/cruise prices are guaranteed. Air prices quoted via phone or email are subject to increase and are guaranteed only from the time that full payment is received. Also, air prices or air promotions mentioned on this site or on the phone do not include baggage fees imposed by airlines.