Day 1: Ilulissat, Greenland
We arrive to the town by the ice fjord, Ilulissat, where we stay one night in hotel. Immediately upon arrival, we are struck by the natural beauty that surrounds us, with hills, glaciers and a bay filled with icebergs. The remoteness from our everyday life is obvious!
Day 2: Embarkation
We explore Ilulissat, where the sled dogs outnumber the people. It is also the birthplace of explorer Knud Rasmussen and the museum in his name is well worth a visit. In the afternoon we board M/S Balto. After the safety orientation, we venture into Disko Bay, sailing in the low sun, midst a wondrous parade of icebergs and ice of all shapes and sizes in thousand shades of blue. Overnight we sail across the bay and anchor past the glacial waterfalls by Qeqertarsuaq on the south side of Disko Island.
Day 3 – 7: Expedition cruising
We enjoy breakfast with a view of the volcanic cliffs of Disko Island. Disko is unique in its geology and lush vegetation and stands out in the otherwise ice-packed bay. Greenlandic legend says it is because the island was moved here from the south by two kayaking seal hunters, and when it entered Disko bay a witch from Ilulissat cast a spell on it to ground. The island invites to beautiful hikes around hot springs and columnar basalt rocks that show the island's volcanic history. We pay a visit to Qeqertarsuaq – the settlement on the island – to explore the beautiful nature around the town and the colourful town itself. On the outskirts of the village are nice hiking paths, overlooking cliffs with caves and a bay with icebergs.
As we leave Qeqertarsuaq, we cruise close to the eastern side caves, which is also a place where we often witness humpback whale feeding. Occasionally we hear the mighty thundering of a large ice calving across the bay. We may stop by an old fishing village on the east side of Disko island and learn more about this traditional lifestyle.
We continue up the picturesque Vaigat Strait. En route, we pass by some magnificent glacier fronts and navigate between myriads of icebergs. One of the glaciers we explore is Eqip Sermia, which is one of the most active glaciers in Greenland. It is a powerful experience to hear the explosive sound of the air being released as the glacier calves.
We hope to make a visit in the village of Saqqaq. Here, extraordinary archaeological findings of the ancient and now extinct Saqqaq culture have been made, dating back to around 2500 BCE. This makes the Saqqaq the earliest known inhabitants of Greenland, and surprisingly to science, ancestors of three Arctic peoples from Siberian Far East.
Heading back towards Ilulissat, we pass the old whaling settlement Oqaatsut. Today it is a strong fishing community with less than 50 inhabitants and colourful houses spread out on the rocks.
Day 8: Iulissat
In the morning we disembark in Ilulissat for homebound flights.
Please note: Our exact route will depend on ice, weather conditions and wildlife. The places mentioned are just examples of some of the many sites this region of Greenland has to offer. We always strive to maximize your experience. Please remember that flexibility is the key to a successful expedition!