DAY TO DAY PROGRAM
Day 1: Copenhagen – Kangerlussuaq – Inland Ice (-/-/-)
Departure from Copenhagen in the morning, and arrival in Kangerlussuaq before noon, local time. In Kangerlussuaq you will stay at the local hostel Polar Lodge (or Old Camp).
At 1pm we are heading out to the ice cap, which is situated about 30 miles (40km) from Kangerlussuaq. We use 4wd busses to drive the rugged way through beautiful landscapes, formed by the extending and retreating ice cap throughout many years. This is actually where the ice stopped after the last ice age (about 12.000-15.000 years ago), during which the ice cap covered most of northern Europe. The round shapes of the mountains, really shows the true force of the ice. A truly magnificent view is guaranteed!
If conditions permit, we will be able to walk up upon the ice cap itself.
Back in Kangerlussuaq in the evening, we recommend eating at Restaurant Roklubben, which is situated beautifully at the lakeside of Lake Ferguson. Make dinner reservation at the reception, and arrange transfer (included when you have dinner).
Day 2: Kangerlussuaq – Ilulissat – City tour + ice fjord cruise (B/-/-)
Breakfast at the hotel, and afterwards we fly to Ilulissat. Even at the inflight over the ice fiord, you will be able to spot floating icebergs far into the horizon. Transfer to the hotel is included. Sleep at the centrally located Hotel Hvide Falk, where you are offered private facilities and view of the ice fjord from your room.
Today, we will take you on a historical walk through town, where you will get a solid introduction to Ilulissat – the third largest town in Greenland. We will walk past the old colonial harbor, “brættet” (the wood-board) where the local fishermen sell their daily catch, the house of Arctic Explorer Knud Rasmussen and the Zion Church.
In the evening we will sail out and meet the icebergs on an ice fjord cruise. To sail among the giant icebergs, gives a whole other perspective to the massiveness of these giant bodies of ice. It gets cold out on the ocean, so bring warm clothes, hat and gloves too.
Day 3: Ilulissat – Sermermiut Valley by the UNESCO-site (B/-/-)
Breakfast at the hotel. The first part of the day offers one of the most beautiful hikes, you will ever experience! Sure there are harder treks out there, with formidable views, but nothing quite like this: Towering icebergs floating by as we walk into the valley of Sermermiut. Not too long ago several Inuit settlements called this their home, and it’s still possible to see some of their household remains.
We will walk to the Kangia icefjord, which came under UNESCO protection in 2004, a spectacular site. It is said that it was an iceberg from this very glacier front, which sank the Titanic. 10% of the entire ice spill, which happens in Greenland, exits through this narrow straight and very few glaciers in the world produce more or bigger icebergs than this place.
Day 4: Ilulissat – Qeqertarsuaq with the coastal ferry across the Diskobay (B/-/-)
Breakfast at the Hotel. In the morning we’ll take the public boat towards the Disko Island.The boat ride takes around 2,5 hours crossing Disco Bay with lots of icebergs and good chances to spot whales on the way. You will pass by the huge basal cliffs of the Disco Island before you arrive in the town, Qeqertarsuaq. The town is also called “Godhavn” which translates in to Good Harbour. This refers to, that Qeqertarsuaq at all times have been an attractive location for whale hunting, thus a ‘good harbour’.
In Qeqertarsuaq you will stay at the small hotel.
Day 5: Hike to Kuannit (B/L/-)
Breakfast at the hotel. Today we’ll do one of our absolute favorite hikes in Greenland; hike to Kuannit, which is located approx 5 km east of Qeqertarsusaq. On the way well pass the heliport and ‘Arctic Station’ (part of University of Copenhagen). We’ll also pass the soccer field – properly the located soccer field in the world!
We’ll cross the Red River and hike takes us a bit up, so we have a onderfull view over the Disko Bay and the enormous icebergs floating by – sometimes we even see whales from here.
At Kuannit we’ll stop for lunch and coffee/tea, and the guide til will explain about the basalt formations and the tempered water springs. We might also taste wild growing angelica; the namesake of Kuannit and a traditional ingredient in the Greenlandic kitchen.
The afternoon is open.
Day 6: Qeqertarsuaq and return to Ilulissat (B/-/-)
Breakfast at the hotel . You can also spend the day exploring the charming town of Qeqertarsuaq. In the even afternoon you have a boat back to Ilulissat and arriving late you will have a beautiful midnight sun against the ice fiord. Accommodation is at “Hotel Hvide Falk”.
Day 7: Ilulissat – Day at leisure and wellness sauna (B/-/-)
Breakfast at the hotel. Today is a day to relax and we have given you time to absorb all the impressions so far. We recommend a visit to the local art museum, Knud Rasmussen Museum or the spectacular Icefiord Center. You will have plenty of time to hike around town, and check out the many smaller shops, some of which sell local handicrafts.
You can also hike to UNESCO-site around the ice fjord – there are 3 marked routes, and they are all wonderful.
In the afternoon it’s time to visit our wellness sauna and cold tub, so remember to bring bathing suits for this little treat. Our sauna experience is based on 1 hour in the sauna and cold tub and then you have 30 minutes to dress and undress. The sauna is situated beautifully at the very edge of the Disko Bay. Sometimes we can see whales while sitting in the cold tub.
If you are curious for other kinds of excursions you can find more options here. Ilulissat Adventure is our local department in Ilulissat, owned by Arctic Friend.
Day 8: Disko Bay Explorer trip – visit the settlement Oqaatsut (B/L/-)
Breakfast at the hotel. Then it is time to visit the small settlement of Oqaatsut (Dutch name: Rode Bay). You will meet up in the harbour, where you will start today’s trip with a 35 minutes boat trip to Oqaatsut. It is a beautiful trip, and you will pass large icebergs, small hunter’s cabins and maybe whales. Today the main activity in Oqaatsut is fishing and hunting, but tourism is also an important part of the life in the settlement. Life seems in many ways peaceful and balanced. Oqaatsut has a church, a common house for special occasions and celebrations, a school and of course a local store where you can buy (almost) everything!
In Oqaatsut, you will enjoy a lunch at a local family or in one of two local restaurants and a guided walk around the settlement. In the afternoon you will go back to Ilulissat. On the way we will try to spot for whales.
Day 9: Eqi glacier and free time – optional excursions in the area (B/L/D)
Breakfast at the hotel. Today is another day to write home about! Few places in Greenland is as scenic and extreme as the glacier of Eqi, the calving glacier. The glacier is situated about 70 km north of Ilulissat, and we will go there by boat. On the boat we are able to sail up to the very edge of the glacier, and if we are lucky, experience the glacier calve. Today the front of the glacier is up to 100 meters high on the highest point, but it changes all the time. The noise it makes, when old ice cracks off and drops into the sea, is a sight to behold.
Hiking trip to the lagoon, moraine and glacier:
From the cabins we will hike around the small lagoon, which is situated in the southern part of the glacier. In the lagoon you will often find large flocks of geese in the breeding season. The tour continues up along the moraine where you have an excellent view of the glacier’s different formations, like cracks and colors and movements – absolutely spectacular and very close up but from a safe distance. At this spot you will also be able to see the voluminous calvings with huge chunks of ice falling off and into the fjord.
Day 10: Return Eqi – Ilulissat (B/L/-)
Breakfast at Café Victor. You will have the morning to yourself. Enjoy the pristine nature around Eqi, go for a walk to the old moraine near the present glacier front. At around 03:00 pm you will go back on the boat, which will take you back to Ilulissat. We are taking the same route home, and coffee and cake is served on the way back. We will be back in Ilulissat at around 06:00pm. Look out for seals and whales on the way! You will stay at Hotel Hvide Falk.
Day 11: Ilulissat – Day at leisure (B/-/-)
Breakfast at the hotel. This is your last day in Ilulissat to enjoy as you prefer best by exploring on your own or perhaps you would like some extra excursions. If you are curious for other kinds of excursions you can find more options here. Ilulissat Adventure is our local department in Ilulissat, owned by Arctic Friend.
Day 12: Return journey Ilulissat – Kangerlussuaq – Copenhagen (B/-/-)
Early flight from Ilulissat takes you to Kangerlussuaq, from where we fly back to Copenhagen where we will arrive in the evening (local time).