Greenland

ilulissat-mads-phils-visit-greenland.k.jpgPhoto Credit: Mads Phils, Visit Greenland

Winter Northern Lights Explorer in West Greenland

From $2725 Per Person Double Occupancy

Semi-Guided, 10 days, 9 nights
Dates: January 24, February 7 & 21, March 7 & 21, April 4, 2019

The nature in Greenland is simply exceptional and it provides the setting for numerous experiences in the snow and below the northern lights. This trip combines two of Greenland's most popular destinations, Ilulissat and Kangerlussuaq. Experience northern lights, sled dogs, dogsleds, impressive icebergs and a vastness of snow-clad rocks.
  

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Dates: January 24, February 7 & 21, March 7 & 21, April 4, 2019

Day 1: Arrive Copenhagen

Upon arrival independent transfer into downtown Copenhagen. Relax and enjoy Denmark's capital city.

Accommodation at Absalon Hotel or similar

Day 2:  Copenhagen - Kangerlussuaq

Breakfast at the hotel. Independent transfer back to Copenhagen airport. 

Fboard Air Greenland's red plane in Copenhagen and head towards the airport in Kangerlussuaq, Greenland. The flight takes 4.5 hours and at the end of it awaits an eight-day winter adventure in Kangerlussuaq and Ilulissat in Greenland. A guide from our local partner "World of Greenland Arctic Circle" will greet you upon arrival and help you check in to Old Camp. Old Camp is located a few kilometres from the airport and offers casual accommodation with kitchen facilities, a recreation room and a souvenir shop.

When you have checked in and unpacked, the guide with gather you for a briefing. You will get information about the area, the town of Kangerlussuaq as well as places to eat and places to go. 

After the briefing, sightseeing in Kangerlussuaq.

Sightseeing in Kangerlussuaq
Kangerlussuaq is a former American airbase. Today, it is in Greenland's principal airport. You will hear the history of the place. The base opened during the Second World War and was very active during the cold war before it eventually became a modern, civil international airport. The Kangerlussuaq area holds Greenland's longest network of roads and we will follow them to visit some interesting places – and of course see the incredible Greenlandic nature.

After visiting the harbor to see the fjord, we will pass Kellyville – a small research village 12 kilometers from Kangerlussuaq Airport. We will also visit the town's kennels where you can get close to the Greenlandic sled dog. This tour of the town is a great way to get a quick overview of Kangerlussuaq and its surroundings.

Optional Excursion: Tundra adventure Kangerlussuaq is completely unique in many ways, and when it comes to terrestrial wildlife, no other place in Greenland can compare. Musk oxen have a unique and interesting history in this area, as the big animals were actually first flown into the area in 1967. The project has been a huge success; the animals have thrived there, and today, the stock counts 3-4,000 animals, which is one the largest stocks of musk oxen in the world.

The Arctic tundra is widespread, and the musk oxen are free to roam all over the area. We cannot guarantee that you will get very close to the animals, but the guide always brings binoculars, giving you a great chance to spot the large cloven-hoofed animals (or some of all the other wildlife in the area).

The evening is your own to spend as you wish. You can either cook your own dinner or try out some of Kangerlussuaq's eateries.   


Accommodation in Old Camp (shared facilities)

Day 3:   Kangerlussuaq 

During winter, Kangerlussuaq is a  cold place and many pose for a selfie in front of the thermometer hanging in the departure hall of Kangerlussuaq Airport. It displays the outside temperature, which may crawl far below 0 degrees Celsius, but as they say: There is no such thing as bad weather as long as you are wearing the right clothes.

The Kangerlussuaq area offers plenty of things to do. As mentioned above, Kangerlussuaq has Greenland's longest network of roads, allowing you to take many long walks to enjoy the tranquility.


Optional excursion: Two-hour dogsled ride-Dog sledding is an integral part of winter in Greenland. At least north of the Arctic Circle, where Kangerlussuaq is located. Therefore, you will be trying out this ancient Inuit tradition. Not many means of transportation have existed for as long – except perhaps for dugout canoes and Shank's pony.

The basic principle of dog sledding is still the same as almost 1,000 years ago. The dogs are harnessed and hitched to a simple wooden sled. And away we go. The sled driver will take you across the thick ice on the fjord with his dogs to give you a taste of what a person from Northern Greenland would call the real Greenland.

Optional excursion:Extended northern lights excursion-
If you arrive January - March, you will spend some of the afternoon on a 1.5-hour lecture about northern lights and the starry sky, which is so beautiful and clear in Kangerlussuaq. After the lecture, you will learn how to best capture the northern lights using your camera.

After dinner, drive for about an hour on the road towards the Greenland Ice Sheet. Then we will stop, tilt our heads back and look for the northern lights with the Ice Cap as a picturesque backdrop. After almost three hours below the night sky, we will end the excursion with a strong cup of Greenlandic coffee. In connection with this excursion, you can rent a tripod for your camera for DKK 75 per day.

Optional package April only: Ice Fishing - 
If you arrive in April, you will be going ice fishing today. This is a great experience, which is reminiscent of the past. We will drive the approx. eight kilometers to the harbour. From there we will walk out onto the ice on the Kangerlussuaq Fjord (formerly known as Sondre Stromfjord) where we will find a great place for fishing. (Kangerlussuaq is Greenlandic for 'the long fjord', and the airport is named after the fjord).

We will drill a hole in the ice and hope that we will get lucky. Fortunately, the fjord is often full of fish, so there is a good chance that some of them will rise to the bait.

Accommodation at Old Camp (Shared facilities) - description: Old Camp is located in the old officers barracks, which today has been transformed into a classic hostel with a wonderful view of Kangerlussuaq. The hostel has a TV room, shared facilities, souvenir shop and a book shop. Neat, clean rooms and toilet and shower in the hallway. Breakfast is served in the lounge each morning.

Day 4:   Kangerlussuaq

Today is another great full-length day in Kangerlussuaq, which you can spend as you wish.

Optional package: Excursion to Point 660 by the Greenland Ice Sheet-If you have purchased the excursion package, you will be going to the Greenland Ice Sheet today. We will visit Point 660, which is located 660 meters above sea level. On our way to the ice, the four-wheel drive will take us through a stunning and varied area. Near the Greenland Ice Sheet, we will pass an incredible moraine landscape, which is covered by snow this time of the year, but still a very impressive sight. When the road stops, we must continue on foot and we will now step up onto the actual Greenland Ice Sheet. Here, you will be standing on the absolute largest ice cube in the northern hemisphere and the second-largest ice sheet in the world. The ice is wavy and some places offer a look into the universe of the ice, which is not always white. When the ice becomes really compact void of any air bubbles, it appears to be almost black and blue.

Along the journey back and forth, you are likely to be able to spot reindeer, musk oxen and perhaps even mountain hares and foxes.

Accommodation at Old Camp (Shared facilities)

Day 5:   Kangerlussuaq - Ilulissat

Today, continue on to Ilulissat where more adventures await you. After a 45-minute flight, we will approach the town from above the stunning estuary of the Ilulissat Icefjord and land at Ilulissat Airport. Here, you will be picked up by Hotel Icefiord's bus and driven to the cozy hotel in Ilulissat, which overlooks the water. A guide from our local excursion office "World of Greenland" will hold a briefing to tell you about the town, the area as well as interesting sights and places to eat.

And then begins the guided tour of the town:

Ilulissat is the third-largest town in Greenland and is considered to be one of four the main towns along with Nuuk, Sisimiut and Qaqortoq. People have resided in the area for 4,500 years, but the actual town was founded as a settlement in 1727, and in 1741, Icelandic merchant Jacob Severin established the Jacobshavn trading station. Later, the town also changed its name to Jakobshavn (now with a 'k'), and you will see many buildings that carry traces of the past. The most famous inhabitant of Ilulissat is without comparison Knud Rasmussen who grew up in the building, which now serves as the local cultural historical museum. You can look forward to an interesting tour of the town with plenty of useful information for the days to come.

This evening, just like the others, is at your own disposal. The hotel has a great restaurant, and the town has a nice selection of restaurants and cafés.

Accommodation at Hotel Icefiord (private facilities): description - Hotel Icefiord is centrally located in Ilulisat, approx. 1 km from the city center. Common feature is that there is lavished on detail - all rooms are decorated in a simple style with the Greenlandic nature and culture as inspiration. All rooms have stunning views to the Disco Bay. Private shower and toilet, WiFi and TV in all rooms. The rooms can be ordered either with double bed or two single beds.

Day 6:    Ilulissat

The Disco Bay is one of Greenland's most popular tourist destinations. Mainly due to the ice but also because the place is home to a particular beauty, has numerous cultural sights – and because it is an excellent example of how Greenlanders welcome the new while upholding old traditions.  

As you would have learned at yesterday's briefing, there are plenty of things do on your own. Visit the sealskin workshop where artisans sew the most beautiful sealskin products and create arts and crafts items from bone, tooth and reindeer points.

Optional package: Hiking to the former Inuit settlement Sermermiut-
If you have purchased the excursion package, day 5 will take you on a hike to the abandoned Sermermiut settlement. Sermermiut has been populated for thousands of years due to its incredible location near the Icefjord. Although the surroundings are particularly beautiful, it was not the view that made the Inuit settle here millennium after millennium. Instead, they stayed due to the rich hunting grounds and the Icefjord, which still supplies food both for the locals and for export.

The remnants of the 4,000-year-old settlement make the destination of today's outing. The kitchen midden from centuries ago has proved a gold mine of knowledge for scientists, and some of that knowledge will be bestowed upon you today by our guides. The hike takes approx. two hours. You will be walking on a constructed wooden pathway, thus minimising the risk of sinking belly-deep into the snow.

Accommodation at Hotel Icefiord

Day 7:    Ilulissat 

The day is at your own disposal and your options are once again plentiful. Many travelers love to go out into the nature and happily take the same walk to the Icefjord several times to see if the icebergs have changed position or shape. You will never tire of doing so.

Optional package: Sailing on the Icefjord-
If you have purchased this package, you are about to experience one of the tour's absolute highlights; the boat trip out into the estuary of the Icefjord where you will be sailing between the huge icebergs that are stranded here. For thousands of years, the ice at the estuary has created a large sand dune in which the colossal icebergs run aground. Sometimes, when the pressure of the ice becomes too high – or due to swells or melting – the giant icebergs can push free and continue on into the Disco Bay.

On today's excursion, we will get near these enormous icebergs, and because they have run aground, the boat's captain and the officer know their way around the frozen giants – always keeping a safe distance.

Accommodation at Hotel Icefiord

Day 8:    Ilulissat 

This is your last full day in Ilulissat, so now is the time to get your to do list sorted and make sure that you can tick off as many points as possible. Pay a visit to 'the Board' where local fishermen and sealers sell their catches of the day, the cultural historical museum or the art museum.

Optional package April: Two-hour dogsled ride-
If you have purchased the excursion package, and you arrive in April, you can look forward to a two-hour dogsled ride. The Icefjord estuary, which you saw from the water yesterday, is an impressive sight both summer and winter. On this sled ride, we will cross the Little Akinnaq rock, and after seven kilometers, we will reach a great vantage point. Because the trip takes place in undulating hilly terrain, you will get to experience the dogs working not only in front of the sled but also behind it where they act as brakes on steep slopes. Besides the driver, the sleds here in Ilulissat will hold two persons.  

As previously mentioned, Ilulissat has several great restaurants, and perhaps you can visit one more of them on your last night here.

Accommodation at Hotel Icefiord 

Day 9:  Ilulissat -Kangerlussuaq-Copenhagen

Enjoy the last look of the fjord from the aircraft to Kangerlussuaq, before flying onward to Copenhagen with arrival in the evening.

Upon arrival independent transfer into downtown Copenhagen. Relax and enjoy Denmark's capital city.

Accommodation at Absalon Hotel or similar

Day 10: Depart Copenhagen

Or, extend your stay in Scandinavia!

You Trip includes the following:

Not included: 

Single Supplement on request. If interested, please inquire

This package is priced LAND ONLY. If you need assistance with booking your airfare from the US/Canada, let us know and we will be happy to help you.

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