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Artic Circle Journey

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Take a direct flight to Kangerlussuaq via Air Greenland. Upon your arrival, meet your guide for a tour of the city as well as a transfer to your hotel. Kangerlussuaq not only has some of the best and most stable weather in Greenland, but also the best access to the Ice Cap and wildlife. Just minutes from your hotel you can often spot reindeer and musk oxen. Enjoy the tour by minibus as your guide tells the history of the area. A visit to the city museum is also included.

No other destination in Greenland offers this easy access to the Inland Ice Cap – time permitting, we drive by 4x4 vehicle directly to the amazing Ice Cap.


Arrive in Ilulissat, Greenlandic town north of the Arctic Circle. Upon arrival at Ilulissat, we check into the hotel, which is beautifully situated right next to the shore of the Disko Bay. Try arctic king crabs for lunch at a local restaurant . The afternoon is free for you to take a stroll and absorb the atmosphere of the town, situated 300 km north of the Polar Circle. Besides the famous Kangia Icefiord, the town is also known for the Ilulissat museum, the former college of education and later on, the birthplace of the famous Arctic explorer, Knud Rasmussen. The Art Museum is housing paintings from Emmanuel A. Petersen. After the walk, enjoy "coffee-mik" in a Greenlander's home. This traditional cup of coffee is served to visitors as a welcoming gesture and a way to teach others about the culture of the Greenlandic people.


We will start the day at the quarry in the south-east end of town. From here, we will take the path which will lead us through a stunning ravine with high rockwalls, and the snow bunting might show itself to us. Once arriving at the top, we will see a small white stripe of the ice cap in the horizon. The hike continues downwards to a small lake from where we will get the first view of the Icefiord and the huge icebergs floating around in it. Passing by a small stream, we will fill up our water bottles and find a nice place to have a picnic. The remaining part of the hike will take place along the Icefiord and we will get to experience the ice with all our senses. The creaking, crunching and rumbling sounds from the icebergs will overwhelm our ears, and we can even smell the ice. As far as the eye can see, there is ice and more ice. Along the Icefiord we continue to Holm’s Hill, the place where the Greenlanders from Ilulissat meet every 13th of January to greet the sun after spending the winter in complete darkness. Towards the end of the day we will start exploring the largest of the old Greenlandic settlements, Sermermiut, which has been the home to both the paleo- eskimo and neo-eskimo societies. During the Thule-culture period around 250 people lived and died in this remarkable rugged area. Sporadic immigrations to the area count both the early Saqqaq-culture and also the subsequent Thule-culture that settled in the area that surrounds Ilulissat.


Today, we will go by boat across the Disko Bay. It is easy to just lean back and enjoy the fresh air from the sea while the icebergs calmly drift by. The icebergs here are gigantic, as they strand here on the submerged moraine at the mouth of the Icefiord they rise masterfully directly in the sea, often with an altitude of around 100 metres. We sail among these cathedrals and might spot a couple of whales if we are lucky. We eat our packed lunch on the boat and subsequently arrive to Qasigiannguit, Greenland’s second oldest town, founded by the Danish merchant Jacob Severin in 1734. Qasigiannguit is a small pearl right next to Qarqassuak - "The big rock". In the afternoon you might want to do a walk around the town or visit the local museum, definitely worth seeing. The museum has a very well conserved collection of items dating back to the Saqqaq culture, a culture that immigrated to Greenland 4,500 years ago. An entire settlement, Qeqertasussuk, was excavated in the south eastern part of the Disko Bay, south of Qasigiannguit.

In Qasigiannguit there are some good opportunities for spotting whales. From the hotel where we will be staying, you might get a glimpse of humpback whales and minke whales. The following days offers opportunities for shorter hikes eg. passing by the coast line in order to see these fantastic animals as they scamper about in the sea, or a hike to Paradisbugten "Paradise Bay" and Bryghusbugten "Brewery Bay" and the area where Qasigiannguit was originally founded.


We sail from Qasigiannguit to "Basis Island" - Kitsigsunguit - the biggest of the islands, also called Grønne Ejland "Green Island". On this island we have been granted permission to harbour in the old harbour, the place where the whalers and fishermen used to harbour in the old times. In this place we will encounter things left behind from former settlers such as turff cottages as well as a cemetery in the centre of the island. We will do a small walk on the island and follow a path leading to a colony of the Arctic tern - which hopefully we will experience at close range. In clear weather we see the giant icebergs deriving from the Icefiord. To the west we can spot the Disko Island with the characteristic snow and ice covering the range of the high mountains and to the east we are able to see green mountains around Qasigiannguit. After a couple of hours we have lunch in the old harbour while we observe and hear the twitter from the Arctic tern. After lunch we continue by boat to the conservation area on the island of Niaqomaq. This island is the domicile to many different bird species. We might encounter the tern, the guillemot and the black guillemot hiding in the cliffs. After observing the many different species of birds from the boat we continue our boat trip and head back to Qasigiannguit. Throughout the entire day we might even spot whales and seals from the boat.


Later on in the afternoon we sail back to Ilulissat, the mainland. But before that, we still have some time to explore the Disko Island. You might want to do a walk to "Udkiggen" a lookout point for spotting whales. This is the southernmost point of the island and this place has been used for ages for spotting whales and seals. A visit to Quqertarsuaq Museum and/or Arctic Station is definitely also worth a visit. Late in the afternoon we leave by boat for Ilulissat and as we get closer to Ilulissat Icefiord, the icebergs cluster up. In clear weather trotline fishermen in their yawls are visible.


Today we leave Ilulissat by boat northwards to follow the path of the greatest French arctic explorer, Paul Emilie Victor. On our way we pass by Oqaatsut, a small settlement with about 50 inhabitants. We continue through the Atâ strait with the rough cliffs of the island Arveprinsen Ejland to the left and several big bird cliffs to the right. On the steep and rough cliffs several cormorants, fulmars and Arctic skuas flourish. We are closing in at the Eqip Sermia glacier after approx. 5 hours of sailing, and while we enjoy lunch on board the boat, we watch as big chunks of heavy ice break off the glacier and trembles intensely into the sea. The sound is ear-splitting — big forces of nature is at display. The glacier calves off ice at least once every hour leaving us with a guarantee to observe this incredible phenomenon of ice falling into the sea from a glacier frontline rising 110 meters above the surface of the sea! This is a unique sight. The boat calls at Port Victor at Ice Camp Eqi with only a short distance to the glacier. The harbour is named after the French arctic explorer who came here right after the Second World War to investigate the ice cap. At that time this was the only place with access to the ice cap using heavy expedition equipment. After arrival at Eqi, we are accommodated in the small red-painted wooden huts and later on we have dinner at “Café Victor". All the huts have a small terrace from where you can watch the rumbling glacier while drinking your evening coffee. If you want to do some trekking in the area, there are plenty of excellent hiking opportunities around Ice Camp Eqi, e.g. a trip to the south towards a glacial river, which has cut its way forcefully down to the sea and created a deep canyon whose waters are filled with brown sediment. With a little luck you may spot a seaeagle hover high above the cliffs thus the area is home to the northernmost seaeagle nest in Greenland.

Alternatively, you can take a look at "the French Man’s Hut", a hut constructed by Paul-Emile Victor as a base for all his expeditions to the ice cap. You can still see original inscriptions on the walls, and while looking around you might find interesting things from former expeditions.


Breakfast is enjoyed while watching the Eqi glacier. Thereafter, we pack our daypack with lunchbags etc, and begin our trek for the day. The aim for our expedition is to get to the ice cap, and experience the incredible natural wonder first hand. The immense size of the Icecap, its movement towards the sea calving enormous icebergs, gives us a better understanding of what the Ice age must have been like. Looking eastwards to the horizon is Eastgreenland - approx. 600 km away! We return to Ice Camp Eqi where we will enjoy a proper dinner and fall asleep to the sound of ice cracking from the nearby glacier.


We have breakfast in the café to the sound of the glacier calving, sounds which on rare occasions are so powerful that you can feel it in your chest. After preparing a lunch box, we set off and make our way around a small lagoon to get closer to the front of the glacier. This takes us up on the edge of an old terminal moraine left behind as the glacier retreated. Since 1930 the glacier has been retreating up the hill and further out of the sea. This means that the front of the glacier is now more than 100 meters high in some places, and several times a day immense lumps of ice break off into the sea. The old terminal moraine gives us a safe view point from which we can really appreciate this 4 km wide glacier front at a very close range. In these impressive surroundings we will enjoy our lunch, while watching the harsh nature right in front of us. We return to Ice Camp Eqi in time to reach the boat that will bring us back to Ilulissat, where civilization awaits us with a warm shower among other things.


Experience a unique and spectacular Midnight Cruise to the Ice Fiord - The midnight sun and the warm red colours reflecting upon these gigantic icebergs is a memorable sight. Cruise between the icebergs and enjoy a late martini on ‘the real rocks’! The season for the midnight sun is approximately mid- May to mid-July. Outside this season the excursion is operated as an evening cruise with the beautiful sunset reflecting over the icebergs, so don’t forget your camera!


Take a private helicopter ride to the Ice Cap - Whilst in Ilulissat we can also arrange a helicopter excursion for you which will include a ground stop giving you the opportunity to get out. During the flight we cruise in low altitude over the beautiful Ilulissat Ice Fiord which is now on the UNESCO World Heritage list. Operation is dependent on the weather and helicopter capacity. Please note that this can only be booked locally.


Bid farewell to Greenland as we leave for the airport and fly via Kangerlussuaq to Copenhagen. If the weather is good, we will have a splendid view — from one side you can see the ice fiord, from the other side it is the Disko Bay that lies beneath. If time allows it, it is possible to take a walk in the area around Kangerlussuaq. Even close to the populated area you can see musk oxes. We change flights in Kangerlussuaq and continue the flight to Copenhagen with enough time to let all the great experiences settle in our minds.