Ocean Albatros Disko Bay, Greenland Expedition Cruise
Greenland by sea is the best way to experience this 8-day journey
Authentic local interaction
Ilulisat, the Iceberg Capital of Greenland
The Polartours experience
Visit the Settlement of Sarfannguit
Learn from industry experts
Your trip is 100% carbon offset
Digital Visual Journal
Join a majestic adventure in Greenland and experience summer in the Arctic, complete with gigantic icebergs, settlement visits, the stunning Eqi Glacier and Greenland in a changing climate. Travelling by sea is still the best way to experience Greenland. The places most worth seeing are situated along the dramatic coastline: small and colourful houses resting on the steep mountainsides down to a fjord, giant glaciers producing enormous icebergs, meanwhile, whales and seals play in the sea. And only a few minutes' hike away, you will find yourself totally isolated, surrounded by wilderness. The people of Greenland live along the coast in small towns and settlements – in summer, only accessible from the sea. Their culture, architecture and living conditions are enriched and limited by the harsh nature of the Arctic. On our town visits, you can meet hospitable Greenlanders and learn more about the Inuit culture.
But global warming is changing Greenland’s arctic environment at an alarming rate. On this 8-day voyage to Disko Bay and Uummannaq, we follow the tracks of scientists and decision-makers to see with our own eyes the retreating glaciers and gasp at the thought of losing them. During our third day of the cruise, we visit the Danish Research Station on Disko Island.
The expedition concept means we will utilize Zodiacs for beach landings and enjoy nature hikes to get close to receding glaciers.
We reach our northernmost point at the fabulous town of Uummannaq. Before heading southbound, we attempt to make a Zodiac landing at Eqip Sermia, a giant retreating glacier and visit Ilulissat, the 'Iceberg Capital of the World'. Our last visit is to the small Inuit settlement of Sarfannguit. Back in Kangerlussuaq, we disembark and make our way back to Iceland or Denmark.
Unforgettable experiences await you in Greenland!
We compensate all 3.12 tons of CO2 that this trip will cause.
Your ship: Ocean Albatros
Welcome aboard the brand new Ocean Albatros. This stunning, purpose-built polar cruise ship will be deployed to a large selection of expedition cruise destinations, Antarctica, the Arctic, and a variety of exciting new destinations in between.
Ocean Albatros offers a total of 95 comfortable staterooms and suites, all with unobstructed sea view, and most with their own balcony. Like her sistership, the Ocean Victory, her amenities include two restaurants, a wellness area, the “Albatros Nordic Bar”, an open deck dining facility, a modern lecture lounge, and other state-of-the-art amenitie … Read more about Ocean Albatros
Keep in mind this is an expedition cruise, so your itinerary will depend greatly on the weather, amount of ice and wildlife breeding behavior.
Adventure options during the cruise
Fly to Kangerlussuaq, embark and start your adventure!
Welcome to Greenland!
Guests not participating in any excursions can take a stroll around the town on their own until embarkation time at the late afternoon.
After finishing the day’s excursion, we will transfer to the harbour and board the ship by Zodiacs that ferry us in small groups to the ship anchored about one kilometre out into the fjord. After checking in, there will be a short safety demonstration before dinner is served in the lovely dining room. We will set sail on our voyage after dinner and begin our passage through the 160 km-long fjord and out into the ocean.
NB. Your luggage will be transfered to the ship directly from the airport, so please pack any items you might need during the first day, in your carry-on. We suggest that you pack a waterproof jacket to wear as we are ferried to the ship on our Zodiaccs, which are open to the elements.
Explore the West coast of Greenland
Western Greenland is home to some of the most active glaciers in the Arctic. North of the Arctic Circle, the small town of Kangerlussuaq gives the easiest access to the vast Ice Sheet and is a favorite place to view the Northern Lights. Disko Bay is also good for whale watching.
Polar Bears do occur in western Greenland but are extremely elusive due to the impact of hunting.
The very NE part of Greenland is separated from the rest of western Greenland by the ice sheet and, in the winter, is joined to Ellesmere Island by the sea ice. This means the area shares a lot more with the Canadian Arctic and the associated wildlife.
Breathtaking coastal scenery, huge icebergs, and an abundance of wildlife make this part of Greenland well worth a visit on your Arctic cruise.
Your unforgettable Arctic cruise comes to an end in Kangerlussuaq
During the night, we will have completed our passage through the 160-kilometer/100 mile Kangerlussuaq Fjord. After breakfast aboard the ship, we will bid farewell to the ship's staff and the Zodiac boats will shuttle us to shore. Return by flight from Kangerlussuaq to Iceland or Denmark.
Single Cabin Supplement
When booking online, you can choose the option to "Upgrade to single occupancy". This will guarantee you the whole cabin to yourself, for an additional fee. If you don't select this option, then another traveler of the same sex might be placed into the same cabin with you.
8-day/7-night cruise on Ocean Albatros in a shared outside double room with a private bathroom in the category chosen
Flights: Iceland or Denmark – Kangerlussuaq round trip
Local transport in Kangerlussuaq on days 1 and 8
English-speaking expedition staff
Guided walks with the expedition team
Nature hikes and Zodiac cruises per itinerary
Information briefings and lectures by the expedition team
City tours in Sisimiut, Qeqertarsuaq, Uummannaq and Ilulissat
Museum visits in Sisimiut, Qeqertarsuaq and Ilulissat
Church visits in Qeqertarsuaq and Ilulissat
'Kaffemik' visit in Qeqertarsuaq
Special photo workshop
Full board on the ship
Dinner drink package
Free coffee, tea, and afternoon snacks on the ship
Welcome and farewell cocktails
Taxes, tariffs, and landing fees
Digital visual journal link after the voyage, including voyage log, gallery, species list, and more
What's not included
Extra excursions and activities not mentioned in the itinerary
Single room supplement and cabin upgrades
Meals not on board the ship
Beverages (other than coffee and tea and dinner-drink package)
Tips for the crew (we recommend USD 14 per person per day)
Travel, cancellation, and senior insurance
Anything not mentioned under ’Inclusions’
Should I Cross the Drake Passage by Ship or Fly to Antarctica?
When it comes to traveling to Antarctica, one of the first questions that often arises is, "Can I fly to Antarctica?". The answer is: Yes, you can. Most trips start in Patagonia (Ushuaia and Punta Arenas) and cross the Drake Passage by ship, but there are also trips that use planes to cross that infamous sea passage. Here are the Pros and Cons for each method:
Flying to Antarctica:
Pros: Flying to Antarctica is the quickest way to reach the continent. It offers convenience and is often the choice for those with very limited time.
Cons: There are limited commercial flights to Antarctica, and these are primarily reserved for research and expedition purposes. Tourist accessibility is limited, and it can be costly. Also, as not many trips include flights, you'll be limiting your choice a lot if you decide to only look for such trips.
Crossing the Drake Passage by ship:
Pros: If you choose to cross the Drake Passage by ship, you embark on an incredible adventure. This journey is not just a means of transportation; it's an expedition in itself. The crossing takes 1.5 - 2 days, which are filled with scientific lectures that prepare you for the experience. You'll witness diverse wildlife, including penguins and whales, as your anticipation starts building up. To us, the crossing is a quintessential experience of a true Antarctic explorer.
Cons: Crossing the Drake Passage takes some time, and the seas can be rough. It's not the quickest way to reach the continent, and you need to allocate more time for your expedition.
In conclusion, when it comes to traveling to Antarctica, you have these two choices. Flying offers efficiency and direct access, perfect for specific purposes. Crossing the Drake Passage by ship provides an unmatched adventure and connection with Antarctica's unique environment. Consider what truly matters to you, and you'll find the Antarctic transportation choice that suits your goals and spirit of exploration.
What activities can I expect on a Polar Cruise?
All cruises in the polar regions operate to itineraries that are more-or-less fixed. We say "more or less", because wildlife (breeding, seasonality) and weather always play an important role in routing. Most cruises will offer a range of land-based and water-based activities that you will enjoy at various points in your cruise, including:
- Land excursions (including hiking trails, visitor centers, time relaxing on beaches, observing animals, etc.)
- Bird Watching
- Snorkeling (from ship or beaches)
- Dinghy rides
- Diving (on ships with diving itineraries)
- Naturalist presentations. These usually take place every evening - on board the bigger ships also with help of projectors, microscopes etc.
All boats carry English speaking, scientifically trained guides. They will lead you on your excursions, allowing you to learn as much as possible about the unique wildlife and habitats of the Polar Regions.
How to choose the right ship?
Choosing the right ship for a cruise to Antarctica or the Arctic seems difficult, but it doesn't have to be. Our fleet is over 30 vessels, we are sure that there is the perfect one for you. Please, follow these simple steps, and you will be able to find your ideal ship:
- Determine your budget and desired level of comfort: Are you looking for luxury or more budget-friendly options? On our website you can set the price range.
- Consider ship size: Large ships offer more amenities and facilities, but they can also feel crowded and impersonal. Smaller ships offer a more personal experience, but may not have as many amenities.
- Look at the cabins: Although you probably won’t spend much time in your cabin, look at the photos and read the descriptions to make sure you're happy with the one you choose.
- Consider the activities on board: Are you interested in kayaking, camping, diving or a photography workshop? Or maybe you want to take part in a Citizen Science Program? These activities can enhance your overall experience. See what our ships have to offer.
- Read customer reviews: Learn about other travelers' experiences by reading reviews.
- Ask your Polar Specialist: Feel free to contact your Polar Specialist. They are happy to share their knowledge and are always ready to help.
In addition: We work with responsible partners who provide a great experience for their passengers. All of our providers are committed to sustainability and to preserving the beauty of the polar regions. You don’t need to worry about the impact of your cruise, because we’ve already taken care of it.
What is the booking process for a Polartours Cruise?
We love to help people find their dream vacation to the Arctic and Antarctic. Whether you give us a call, contact us via email, or use our website inquiry form, one of our Polar travel experts will be more than happy to answer any questions, recommend ships and itineraries, and walk you through the whole process!
Step 1: Find your perfect trip. If you have already started looking for Polar Cruises, you will have quickly noticed that the sheer amount of options can be quite overwhelming. To help you navigate the countless departures and itineraries that our fleet offers, we have put together a great filter page for Antarctic and Arctic Expedition Cruises. Use this page to filter all trips by price, date, ship category, and even destinations you wish to visit. We update all dates, prices, and availabilities daily, and are proud to host what is doubtlessly the world's most complete collection of information.
Step 2: Found something you love? We'll hold your spaces, free of charge! If you find a cruise you like, you can either inquire directly with us or make an unbinding booking online. We will then reach out to the shipowners to put a hold on your spaces for a limited time, free of charge. Once we have confirmed your block with the ship, we will send you a written confirmation of your reservation and include full payment details in an invoice. Typically, we are able to hold unpaid reservations for up to 1 week*. This gives us time to clarify all your remaining questions, and also ensures that no other passengers can book your spaces, while we continue our conversation.
Step 3: Confirm your booking. In order to confirm your booking, we ask for a deposit payment. You can pay via bank transfer or credit card. Keep in mind, that we can only hold your spaces for a limited amount of time. If we don't receive your payment after this time, we can no longer guarantee that the places will be available or that the price won't increase. To prevent disappointment, we will automatically cancel your reservation if we don't receive your deposit by the due date stated on your booking reservation.
Step 4: Booking confirmation & Payment. As soon as we have received your deposit and a completed passenger information form, we will be pleased to send your booking confirmation and updated invoice, along with your trip itinerary, important information, and other great tips for your cruise.
Step 5: Final payment. In your initial invoice, we will define a final payment date by when you need to pay us the remaining amount of your trip. Once we have received your final payment we'll send you your cruise documents and voucher. As your trip approaches, we make sure to pass along all necessary information, so you feel super prepared and stress-free.
*For last-minute bookings, we might not be able to hold your spaces for so long. We will also require the full payment of your cruise upon booking.
When is the best time to book?
An expedition cruise to Antarctica or the Arctic is a big deal! Most people plan for this type of trip at least 8 months in advance. This means the earlier you book, the better chance you'll have to reserve your prefered cabins. Early bird discounts are also popular and a great way to get 10-30% off your cruise.
Most expedition cruises offer optional activities like camping and kayaking, but the spaces are limited. A cruise with 120 passengers can have only 10-15 spaces for kayaking. These are reserved on a first come first served basis. The earlier you book, the higher your chance of grabbing a spot.
Even though last minute deals do occur, keep in mind that the airline prices will be much higher if you purchase them last minute. You may save a few hundred on your cruise, but you may end up paying the most for airfare.
What can i do to avoid seasickness?
If you are prone to motion sickness then here are a few hints to help you.
Firstly, book a cabin in the middle of the ship. The middle of the ship will move less, both in roll and in pitch. Secondly, chose a larger ship. Bigger vessels typically are more stable, and some of them are even equipped with "stabilizers", fins under water that remove the rolling in the swells. Thirdly, take medical advice on anti-seasickness medication. Some traditional remedies are said to be very effective, such as taking ginger or using commercially-available acupressure wristbands.
Watch this informative video about life onboard an expedition ship and seasickness from our expert guide and Polartours Brand Ambassador, Kevin.