Greenland from South to North

This adventure takes you from lush and colourful South Greenland, to the impressive icebergs in the north. Experience the change of landscape on this 1,200 km long voyage along the west coast of Greenland, aboard the local ferry M/S Sarfaq Ittuk.

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Tour Description Detailed Itinerary Price and Practical Info

Tour Description

Let the beauty of Greenland creep under your skin. On the journey from south to north you’ll experience much of Greenland in a short period of time.

From South Greenland's green-blue fjords, verdant nature, Norse history and sheep farming, to the vibrant capital Nuuk, and finally the world famous iceberg capital, Ilulissat.
Look forward to experiencing 10 towns while enjoying the relaxed mood on board the ship.

In 2004, Ilulissat Icefjord became a UNESCO World Heritage Listed site.
Then in 2017 "Kujataa Greenland" with its Norse ruins and "Inuit Farming" was added.
Recognised for their raw beauty and historical significance, both these UNESCO sites will be a highlight of your time in Greenland.

Highlights

  • Learn how Greenland was named
  • Visit some of Greenland’s best UNESCO World Heritage sites
  • Sail the turquoise blue South Greenland fjords
  • Cruise approx. 1,200 km along the west coast of Greenland
  • Experience the coastal ferry M/S Sarfaq Ittuk, where meeting locals is a cultural experience
  • Have a full day in Nuuk - Greenland's capital
  • The entrance to Ilulissat is a good ending to the coastal cruise
  • See the huge icebergs of Ilulissat Icefjord

Summary

Day 1. Copenhagen - Narsarsuaq - Qaqortoq
Direct flight from Copenhagen to Narsarsuaq and further on to Qaqortoq.

Day 2. UNESCO World Heritage Site: Hvalsø Church Ruin. Evening departure for your coastal cruise.
Today you have an excursion by boat visiting one of Greenland’s UNESCO World Heritage destinations. In the evening you commence your coastal cruise aboard M/S Sarfaq Ittuk.

Day 3. Arsuk, Paamiut and Qeqertarsuasiaat
At sea - 3 short calls.

Day 4. Nuuk
Today's call: Nuuk - you have the whole day in Greenland's capital, Nuuk.

Day 5. Maniitsoq, Kangaamiut and Sisimiut
At sea - 3 calls - including 2 hours in Sisimiut.

Day 6. Aasiaat and Ilulissat
Arrival in Disko Bay and Ilulissat.

Day 7-9. Ilulissat
A guided city sightseeing tour and a hike to Sermermiut are included in Ilulissat, but you have plenty of free time for optional excursions.

Day 10. Homeward bound
Fly home from Ilulissat-Kangerlussuaq-Copenhagen.

Click here to see the detailed daily itinerary

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1. Copenhagen - Narsarsuaq - Qaqortoq

The flight duration is about 4½ hours to Narsarsuaq in southern Greenland. The airport and surrounds were originally an American military base. The runway is located at the end of Eriksfjord between the turquoise blue water and the inland ice, so as always in Greenland, the landing offers a spectacular view in clear weather. However, the difference in South Greenland is that the view of iceberg-filled fjords includes sheep farms and other agriculture – a scene totally unique and perhaps unexpected!

After arrival in Narsarsuaq, you’ll be transferred by bus to the small harbour where you’ll board the Disko Line ferry to South Greenland's largest ‘city’, Qaqortoq.
The sailing trip takes approx. 2 to 5 hours depending on the type of boat used today.

In Qaqortoq you’ll be staying at Hotel Qaqortoq in the centre of the city, with a lovely view of Julianehåb Fjord and the harbour.
Qaqortoq has about 3,500 inhabitants and is an education centre in South Greenland. It’s known as one of the most photogenic cities in Greenland with many small private gardens.
- / L / -

Qaqortoq.

If you come by boat, as you navigate towards Qaqortoq through Julianehåb Fjord, you’ll see the many colourful houses which the city is famous for.

Day 2. UNESCO World Heritage Site: Hvalsø Church Ruin. Evening departure by ship.

Today you’ll visit one of the 5 UNESCO sites in South Greenland.

"Kujataa Greenland" is a sub-Arctic agricultural landscape consisting of 5 sub-areas of South Greenland at the edge of the ice sheet. It was admitted to UNESCO's World Heritage List in 2017. Among the world heritage sights is the well preserved Hvalsø Church Ruin, only 30 minutes from Qaqortoq. You’ll learn a little of the region’s Norse (Viking) history and the wedding which took place in 1408 – the last known documented evidence of the Norse in Greenland.
In 1992, Greenland’s late governor, Jonathan Motzfeldt, was married here.

This evening you depart Qaqortoq aboard M/S Sarfaq Ittuk, sailing northwards.
You’ll be comfortable in your outside cabin, but don’t forget to be on deck for the departure. Watch the locals bid farewell to family and friends - it can be quite a spectacle!
In a couple of hours you’ll reach Narsaq.

Today's port calls:
Departure from Qaqortoq 19:00
Narsaq 21:00 - 21:30
B / - / -

Day 3. Arsuk, Paamiut and Qeqertarsuatsiaat (at sea)

The ship sails through the night with arrival off Arsuk early this morning. Due to the small harbour size, the ship doesn’t come into port, however the town is visible from the deck.
From Arsuk the ship travels to Paamiut, with arrival around 14:00 hrs (2 pm).
After a 30 minute stop you sail to Qeqertarsuatsiaat with arrival at 22:15 hrs (10:15 pm).

Life aboard M/S Sarfaq Ittuk
In the summer there is a guide on board to provide tourist-friendly information along the way, as well as lectures and walks in some of the ports of call.

The ship's aft salon also houses a cinema where movies are shown several times a day.
There are sofas and chairs so you can sit and admire the view from large panoramic windows. It’s a popular place for locals to relax, and they’re particularly fond of the on board massage chair. It's probably the massage chair with the world's best view!

Today's port calls:
Arsuk 06:45 - 07:00
Paamiut 14:00 - 14:30
Qeqertarsuatsiaat 22:15 - 22:30
- / - / -

Day 4. Nuuk

The ship sails through the night towards Nuuk, Greenland's capital. With arrival in port this afternoon, you have 8 hours in Nuuk. The guide on board has arranged a shared tour, which we recommend you take part in.

As Greenland’s capital, Nuuk is a vibrant city, especially on Fridays.
Despite the isolated location, there are shops, cafes, buses and rush hour traffic – just as you’d find in any capital city around the world.
At the old colonial harbour you’ll find the National Museum, the beautiful Mother of the Sea sculpture, the Hans Egede statue, Hans Egede’s house and numerous other things of interest.
Nuuk is surrounded by one of the world's largest fjord systems – the beloved playground for Nuuk’s citizens. On free days the locals head into the fjord to camp in their favourite spot. Some have cosy cabins and some sleep on their boats. Fishing and hiking are popular activities.

You must be back on board the ship by 20:30 hrs (8:30 pm) latest. Departure from Nuuk is at 21:00 hrs (9 pm).
You’ll see new faces on board this evening, as those who disembarked in Nuuk are replaced with new travellers.

Today's port call:
Nuuk 07:30 - 21:00
- / - / -

Day 5. Maniitsoq - Kangaamiut - Sisimiut

This morning the ship arrives in Maniitsoq, commonly referred to as “the Venice of Greenland” by locals, due to the small natural canal-like channels in the surrounding archipelago. Approx. 2,800 people live in Maniitsoq. The city is located on an island at the mouth of Hamburgsund, surrounded by high mountains, deep fjords and glaciers.
The ship sails slowly here, and if the weather is good most people are out on deck enjoying the view.
If the crew spot whales, they make an announcement so you don’t miss the spectacle.

Shortly before dinner the ship arrives off the coast of Kangaamiut. Unable to land passengers directly here, smaller vessels are used for ship to shore transport.

Evening arrival in Greenland's second largest city, Sisimiut.
Beautifully situated among high mountains, the city has approx. 5,600 inhabitants.
Known for their independence and entrepreneurship, one such entrepreneur is a woman from South Greenland who has opened the store Qiviut. Qiviut is the Greenlandic name for muskox wool, which is warmer than sheep wool and softer than cashmere.
For the ultimate Greenland souvenir, you can buy beautiful Qiviut clothing and other Greenland-related goods, so it’s definitely worth a visit.

Today's port calls:
Maniitsoq 07:00 - 08:00
Kangaamiut 11:30 - 11:45
Sisimiut 19:00 - 21:00
- / - / -

Day 6. Aasiaat - Ilulissat

When you wake this morning the vessel will already be heading to Disko Bay, with plenty of opportunities to see whales and seals.
By 08:00 hrs (8 am) the ship will arrive in Aasiaat for a short 30 minute visit. During this lightening visit you can take a brisk walk to the black church and possibly further up to the assembly house, where you can "peek" through the window and see some of renowned Danish artist Per Kirkeby's paintings.

From Aasiaat the ship sails north to the iceberg capital, Ilulissat. A couple of hours sailing from Aasiaat you’ll start to see the really big icebergs which Disko Bay and Ilulissat Icefjord are famous for. This is a great chance to take photos of the ice monsters from deck, so dress warmly. Your sea voyage ends on arrival in Ilulissat.
From the port, the Hotel Icefiord bus will transfer you to your comfortable home for the next 4 nights. All rooms at Hotel Icefiord have sea views.
Welcome to the capital of the icebergs and to a firm foundation below the feet!

Ilulissat Icefjord was admitted to UNESCO's World Heritage List in 2004 and was one of the first areas in the Arctic to be placed on the list. Although protected, we have special permits to sail among the icebergs and fly helicopter tours.

Today’s port calls:
- / - / -

Day 7. Ilulissat. City Tour and Sermermiut Hiking

This morning we’ve arranged a guided hike around the city to gain insight into everyday life and a little about the local history, culture and nature.

In the afternoon a nice hike to Sermermiut is arranged. A visit to the old Inuit settlement of Sermermiut is an absolute must. Observe at close range the impressive flow of ice and the view over the mouth of the fjord, filled with icebergs as far as the eye can see.
The view from here is breathtaking.
B / - / -

Ilulissat - enourmouse icebergs

For many enthusiasts, Ilulissat (formally Jakobshavn) is considered “the Navel of the World” when discussing travel to Greenland.

Day 8-9. Free days in Ilulissat

These two days in Ilulissat are on your own. In addition to relaxing and postcard writing, you can visit the art museum, an artisan’s studio, the town museum and a sea of cosy shops. Remember, there is always something to see down at the boat harbour.
If you’d like to experience the nature and icebergs from the air, we recommend a flight-seeing excursion by helicopter or a small 2-engine airplane. Both flight-seeing trips offer excellent photo opportunities.
See pictures for excursions in Ilulissat here
B / - / -

Day 10. Ilulissat - Copenhagen via Kangerlussuaq

Your Greenland adventure is at an end today, however we hope the unique impressions and memories of a lifetime will inspire you to return.
Short flight to Kangerlussuaq, where you’ll board Air Greenland’s Airbus for your flight to Copenhagen.
B / - / D

As we say in Greenlandic, Takuss' - see you later!

NOTE! – Would you like to extend the journey?

If you’d like more days to fully explore and experience our wonderful part of the world, we have excellent knowledge of Greenland and can tailor an itinerary according to your wishes.
Please contact us for information.

Price and Practical Info

Price Includes (in shared double room / cabin with private facilities)

  • Flights Copenhagen (Denmark, Europe) - Narsarsuaq (Greenland) incl. taxes
  • Flights Ilulissat (Greenland) - Kangerlussuaq (Greenland) - Copenhagen (Denmark, Europe) incl. taxes
  • Sailing with Disko Line: Narsarsuaq-Qaqortoq
  • 1 night at Hotel Qaqortoq (Qaqortoq) incl. breakfast and transport on arrival / departure
  • 4 nights on board M/S Sarfaq Ittuk in an outside cabin without meals
  • Ship's Guide on board M/S Sarfaq Ittuk (June to August)
  • 4 nights at Hotel Icefiord (Ilulissat), in shared double room incl. breakfast and transport on arrival / departure
  • Excursions: Hvalsø Church Ruin from Qaqortoq as well as a City Tour and Guided Hike to Sermermiut in Ilulissat
  • Contribution to the Travel Guarantee Fund

Price Excludes

  • Meals, except breakfast at the hotels and meals on the Atlantic flight
  • Meals aboard M/S Sarfaq Ittuk - can be bought at Café Sarfaq
  • Excursions, except those specifically mentioned in ‘Price Includes’
  • Tour guide (this trip is on your own)
  • Travel and cancellation insurance
  • Single room supplement / cabin allowance, 8,900 DKK

Please note: The price of this trip is a base-level estimate, calculated on a certain category of seat on the flights and room / cabin category of accommodation. The actual price for your travel dates may differ, according to availability at the time of booking. Please confirm with us any possible surcharges at the time of making your booking.

If you need further explanation, please feel free to contact us.

Meals

Included meals are marked with B (breakfast), L (lunch), D (dinner) on each day.
If meals are not included, these are marked with -.
On Air Greenland flights between Denmark and Greenland, free meals and drinks are served on board. On domestic flights in Greenland, a cup of coffee and a biscuit is typically served.

Accommodation

Access to Electricity

It’s possible to charge digital camera batteries at the hotels and on board M/S Sarfaq Ittuk (with your own charger).

Mobile Phone

Mobile phone coverage is sparse during this trip, so there will only be limited opportunities to use your phone.

IMPORTANT NOTE!

The programme is subject to change without notice. A trip like this is dependent on good weather. There may therefore be some changes in the programme. Delays and cancellations may occur, especially in air and ship transportation.
No compensation is granted for the first 24 hours of delay or travel changes due to external circumstances. We will strive to reduce the disruption as much as possible and endeavour to provide an alternative programme or fill the additional waiting time.

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