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QuarkExpeditions_ Three Arctic Islands Northbound

Wild Landscapes of West Greenland

Reach a milestone in your journey: Cross the Arctic Circle aboard the Sylvia Earle

Length

15 Days

Ship category

Premium

Ship type

Mid-Sized Ship

Capacity

132 Passengers

Wild Landscapes of West Greenland

Trip highlights

Experience amazing wildlife

Stand in awe of Ilulissat Icefjord, a UNESCO World Heritage Site

See a polar bear!

A genuine expedition style forging far north

The Polartours experience

Witness the night sky dazzling surprises

Experience the chill of a polar plunge

Visit the northernmost capital in the world

Learn from Polar experts

Welcome to Aurora’s Wild Landscapes of West Greenland expedition.

Home to the northernmost capital in the world, Nuuk, the west coast of Greenland may be the most inhabited part of the world’s largest island, but you’re unlikely to encounter many people outside of Nuuk. With no road to connect the townships, flying or sea travel are the only options available. The further north we venture along the west coast, the smaller and more isolated the settlements become. We push through the sea ice, calved from the enormous Greenland ice sheet to where few tourists venture, to explore hidden bays glittering with icebergs and where whales may shelter.

Your ship: Sylvia Earle

Sylvia Earle Final Exterior
Sylvia Earle deck plan
Sylvia Earle Final Exterior

Welcome aboard the Sylvia Earle, a brand-new cruise ship named after the first female chief scientist of the U.S. National and Atmospheric Administration. Sylvia Earle was also named by Time Magazine as its first Hero for the Planet in 1998. Set to sail in November 2022, this powerful new ship honors Sylvia’s long-standing marine conservation efforts. Built for intense weather conditions, the Sylvia Earle is a pioneer in nautical technology. Sail the Arctic or the Antarctic like never before aboard one of the most modern and elegant cruise ships.

The Sylvia Earle was created for the most rugg … Read more about Sylvia Earle

Cabins

Junior suite sylvia earle
Junior Suite

Type:

Double/Matrimionial (convertible)

Max. occupancy:

2

More about this cabin

balcony stateroom superior sylvia earle
Balcony Stateroom Superior

Type:

Double/Matrimionial (convertible)

Max. occupancy:

2

More about this cabin

captain's suite sylvia earle
Captain’s Suite

Type:

Double/Matrimionial (convertible)

Max. occupancy:

2

More about this cabin

balcony stateroom C sylvia earle
Balcony Stateroom C

Type:

Double/Matrimionial (convertible)

Max. occupancy:

2

More about this cabin

Aurora stateroom superior sylvia earle
Aurora Stateroom Superior

Type:

Double/Matrimionial (convertible)

Max. occupancy:

2

More about this cabin

balcony stateroom A sylvia earle
Balcony Stateroom A

Type:

Double/Matrimionial (convertible)

Max. occupancy:

2

More about this cabin

Aurora stateroom twin sylvia earle
Aurora Stateroom Triple

Type:

Double/Matrimionial (convertible)

Max. occupancy:

3

More about this cabin

balcony stateroom B sylvia earle
Balcony Stateroom B

Type:

Double/Matrimionial (convertible)

Max. occupancy:

2

More about this cabin

Map

Itinerary

Keep in mind this is an expedition cruise, so your itinerary will depend greatly on the weather, amount of ice and wildlife breeding behavior.

Paddling Excursion

0 Days

Paddling Excursion

Please note that depending on the ship, length of your cruise, and the itinerary, this price may vary. Inquire with your Polar Specialist. Enjoy being out on Polar waters on a two-person inflatable kayak, which enables you to enjoy a more intimate sailing experience in an unforgettable location. The kayaks are stable and comfortable, the perfect vehicle to see the Polar regions from a different perspective. This is a one-time activity, and no prior experience is necessary. IMPORTANT: This activity is dependent on weather conditions and logistics.

Price on request

Sea-Kayaking-What-To-Wear-In-Antarctica

0 Days

5.0

(1)

Sea Kayaking

Embark on an exhilarating sea kayaking adventure in some of the world's most magnificent and biodiverse wilderness areas, including Antarctica and the Arctic. Take in the breathtaking scenery as you navigate through ice and icebergs of all shapes and sizes. In Antarctica, spend unforgettable moments with penguins, seals and whales, and keep an eye out for the occasional encounter with leopard seals or killer whales. In the Arctic, paddle through bird colonies, past massive glaciers and around huge icebergs. Led by experienced guides, you will join a small group of like-minded adventurers to explore the picturesque coastlines of these wild and remote destinations. Paddling offers an intimate and unique way to experience the beauty of these regions and make the most of your time there. Important: This activity is subject to weather conditions and logistics.

Price on request

Baie Comeau
For the perfect shot
Toronto

Having made your way to Toronto, check in at our group hotel located near the airport for an overnight stay. At our welcome briefing this evening, enjoy a drink and meet fellow expeditioners. Please visit the Aurora Expeditions hospitality desk to collect your luggage cabin tags and to speak with our ground operations team, who may have information to share with you about pre-embarkation procedures and also the charter flight to Nuuk tomorrow. You will receive Aurora Expeditions cabin tags for your luggage. Please clearly label the tags with your name and ship cabin number.

Accommodation: Westin Toronto Airport Hotel (or similar)

Greenland
Albatros Expedition Disko Bay
ocean Atlantic 4 arctic islands

Nuuk

Please ensure that your luggage is fitted with cabin tags clearly labelled with your name and cabin number. Any valuables or personal items should be kept on you throughout the day. Your luggage will be delivered to your cabin ahead of your arrival on board.

After breakfast at the hotel, board our charter flight to Nuuk, where the Sylvia Earle awaits. After boarding, there is time to settle into your cabin before our important safety briefings. This evening, meet your expedition team and crew.

Greenland
Albatros Expedition Disko Bay
ocean Atlantic 4 arctic islands

Thule & Qannaq

Kangerlussuaq

Qeqertarsuaq

Cape Alexander

Etah

Kennedy Channel

Uummannaq

Sisimiut

Ilulissat & Disko Bay

Karrat Fjord and Upernavik

Qeqertarsuaq

Hans Island

Eqi Glacier

Cape York

Sissiut and Itilleq

Greenland’s second largest town, Sisimiut is located approximately 54 kilometres (33.5 miles) north of the Arctic Circle, meaning that during summer, you can experience the midnight sun here. The town is famous for the old blue church with the gate made of whale bone. In the cosy museum next door to the church, you will find an excellent reconstruction of an Inuit turf house as well as exhibits of local history and early life in Greenland.

Sisimiut offers hiking trails with various degrees of difficulty. The easier trails take you through the town itself, its outskirts and into the mountains, where you will find spectacular vantage points.

Some 4,500 years ago, the Saqqaq culture arrived from Canada and settled in the area. They lived here for approximately 2,000 years, after which they mysteriously disappeared from the area. The Dorset culture arrived around 500 CE and stayed until the 1200s until they were replaced by the Thule culture, and today, most of the population of Sisimiut are descendants of the Thule culture.

Greenland
Albatros Expedition Disko Bay
ocean Atlantic 4 arctic islands

Thule & Qannaq

Kangerlussuaq

Qeqertarsuaq

Cape Alexander

Etah

Kennedy Channel

Uummannaq

Sisimiut

Ilulissat & Disko Bay

Karrat Fjord and Upernavik

Qeqertarsuaq

Hans Island

Eqi Glacier

Cape York

Sissiut and Itilleq

This compelling island seems to have more in common with Iceland than Greenland. While most of the interior is mountainous and glaciated, its beautiful shorelines boast black sandy beaches, unusual basalt columns, hot springs and dramatic lava formations. We plan to appreciate the colourful flowers on the Kuannit Hike, where you can walk stunning landscapes, see ancient basalt columns and perhaps spot whales in Disko Bay.

Greenland
Albatros Expedition Disko Bay
ocean Atlantic 4 arctic islands

Thule & Qannaq

Kangerlussuaq

Qeqertarsuaq

Cape Alexander

Etah

Kennedy Channel

Uummannaq

Sisimiut

Ilulissat & Disko Bay

Karrat Fjord and Upernavik

Qeqertarsuaq

Hans Island

Eqi Glacier

Cape York

Sissiut and Itilleq

Note: In genuine expeditionary style, our itinerary for the following days is heavily dependent on weather conditions and unpredictable sea ice. The following places are some that we hope to visit.

Uummannaq

Set on an island of the same name, Uummannaq is located 600 km (373 mi) above the Arctic Circle and is famous for its heart-shaped mountain. It’s also well-known for the Qilakitsoq mummies, Greenland’s oldest, that were discovered in nearby. The centre of town is compact and easy for you to explore independently, and there are several marked hiking trails, many of which lead to mountain lakes, for those who want to stretch their legs. Kayakers can enjoy paddling among the icebergs and keeping watch for whales that frequent the area.

Upernavik

Set amid a labyrinth of small islands, Upernavik is home to traditional settlements and enormous icebergs that Greenland is famous for. Kayakers can paddle in the serene bay among the glittering icebergs while other expeditioners can discover the town on walks or hike in the surrounding area. Upernavik is the world’s northernmost open-air museum. A walk through the old part of town, which encompasses the original colonial buildings, tells the cultural history of the area, including the colonial and Viking periods. Keep a look out for a traditional old kayak and umiaq boat, which highlights the main mode of transport used by locals to navigate the archipelago during summer. The shy and elusive narwhal is also known to visit the area, and at nearby Apparsuit, bird enthusiasts will be thrilled to find one of the world’s largest bird cliffs.

Greenland
Albatros Expedition Disko Bay
ocean Atlantic 4 arctic islands

Thule & Qannaq

Kangerlussuaq

Qeqertarsuaq

Cape Alexander

Etah

Kennedy Channel

Uummannaq

Sisimiut

Ilulissat & Disko Bay

Karrat Fjord and Upernavik

Qeqertarsuaq

Hans Island

Eqi Glacier

Cape York

Sissiut and Itilleq

Find a spot in one of our many observation lounges and enjoy the spectacular surrounding landscapes. Our talented and knowledgeable expedition members will present informative and entertaining talks about the region that you’re travelling through.

Greenland
Albatros Expedition Disko Bay
ocean Atlantic 4 arctic islands

Thule & Qannaq

Kangerlussuaq

Qeqertarsuaq

Cape Alexander

Etah

Kennedy Channel

Uummannaq

Sisimiut

Ilulissat & Disko Bay

Karrat Fjord and Upernavik

Qeqertarsuaq

Hans Island

Eqi Glacier

Cape York

Sissiut and Itilleq

In Qeqertarsuaq, we enjoy a Zodiac excursion in Disko Bay that’s often filled with icebergs and is a hotspot for marine life including humpback, fin, minke and bowhead whales. Enjoy a walk through the settlement, perhaps try some local tea made from fresh local herbs, learn about the history of Qeqertarsuaq at the museum before walking along the black sand beach towards the colourful colonial buildings.

Greenland
Albatros Expedition Disko Bay
ocean Atlantic 4 arctic islands

Thule & Qannaq

Kangerlussuaq

Qeqertarsuaq

Cape Alexander

Etah

Kennedy Channel

Uummannaq

Sisimiut

Ilulissat & Disko Bay

Karrat Fjord and Upernavik

Qeqertarsuaq

Hans Island

Eqi Glacier

Cape York

Sissiut and Itilleq

Known as the ‘birthplace of icebergs’, this region produces some of the most dazzling icebergs found anywhere on earth. We explore ice-filled Ataa Sund and hope to experience a few of the active glaciers from a safe distance. In Ilulissat, we visit the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Icefjord and stand in awe at its immensity. Sermeq Kujalleq, also known as Jakobshavn Glacier, is the most productive glacier – not only in Greenland but the entire Northern Hemisphere. It produces 20 million tonnes of ice each day, all floating into the Ilulissat Icefjord and Disko Bay..

Ilulissat optional helicopter flight (90 mins): this excursion is the only way you can get close to the gigantic glacier. The 10-seater helicopter departs from Ilulissat Airport sweeping over hills, lakes and ice fjords. On the return flight to Ilulissat, fly above the edge of the glacier with breathtaking views of the massive icebergs drifting in the fjord. The views of some of the largest icebergs that become stranded on a moraine underneath the water, just outside the town, offers a wonderful finale to this excursion. Please note that this excursion requires a minimum of 8 passengers to operate.

Greenland
Albatros Expedition Disko Bay
ocean Atlantic 4 arctic islands

We hope to visit a Greenlandic settlement located near the Aasivissuit-Nipisat UNESCO World Heritage Site, a place where the local inhabitants live a traditional fishing and hunting lifestyle that dates back 4,000 years. The settlement also features the remarkable Qaammat Pavilion, built on the ridge at the top overlooking the Ikeertoq fjord. This stunning architecturally designed and award-winning crystal structure was created by Swedish architect, Konstantin Ikonomidis, in cooperation with the local community and the UNESCO team. It is a tribute to nature, the land and cultural traditions of the indigenous Inuit people.

Greenland
Albatros Expedition Disko Bay
ocean Atlantic 4 arctic islands

Thule & Qannaq

Kangerlussuaq

Qeqertarsuaq

Cape Alexander

Etah

Kennedy Channel

Uummannaq

Sisimiut

Ilulissat & Disko Bay

Karrat Fjord and Upernavik

Qeqertarsuaq

Hans Island

Eqi Glacier

Cape York

Sissiut and Itilleq

Evighedsfjorden, or Eternity Fjord, is one of the more spectacular fjord complexes in west Greenland due to its forested landscape. Hike through a forested valley, witness hills become towering snow-capped mountains as countless glaciers pour down from sheer cliff walls. Occasionally, the thunderous sound of a calving glacier breaks the silence in a place where you are unlikely to see another soul.

Greenland
Albatros Expedition Disko Bay
ocean Atlantic 4 arctic islands

In Nuuk, the capital of Greenland, farewell the crew and expedition team, and transfer to the airport for our charter flight to Toronto for an overnight stay.

Accommodation: Westin Toronto Airport Hotel (or similar)

Baie Comeau
For the perfect shot
Toronto

After breakfast, check out of your room and continue your journey with a transfer to the airport.

Dates & Prices

From

Until

Info

Availability

Price

15

Aug

2025

29

Aug

2025

- Complimentary Kayaking

Available

From

EUR 16,167

EUR 19,400

15

Aug

2025

29

Aug

2025

Complimentary Kayaking

Available

From

EUR 16,167

EUR 19,400

Preferred date unavailable? Contact us

Info

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.

What's included

Leadership throughout your voyage by our experienced Expedition Leaders, including shore landings and other activities

All Zodiac transfers and cruising as per the daily program

All shore landings as per the daily program

Shipboard accommodation with daily housekeeping

All meals, snacks, soft drinks and juices on board throughout your voyage (Please inform us of any dietary requirements as far in advance as possible. Unfortunately, the ships’ galleys cannot prepare kosher meals.)

Select beer and wine during dinner; and coffee, tea and cocoa available around the clock

Formal and informal presentations by our Expedition Team and guest speakers as scheduled

A photographic journal documenting the expedition

A pair of waterproof expedition boots on loan for landings and Zodiac cruising excursions

An official Quark Expeditions® parka to keep

Hair dryer and bathrobes in every cabin

All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the program

Comprehensive onboard materials, including a map and an informative Arctic Reader

All miscellaneous service taxes and port charges throughout the program

All luggage handling aboard the ship

Emergency Evacuation insurance for all passengers to a maximum benefit of USD $500,000 per person

Greenland voyages cruise passenger tax

What's not included

Mandatory Transfer Package of $1,995 USD (your polar Travel specialist will provide you with all the information about this package)

International airfare

Arrival and departure transfers in Toronto

Passport and visa expenses

Canadian eTA required for non-Canadian or U.S. visa-exempt passengers

Government arrival and departure taxes not mentioned above

Meals ashore unless otherwise specified

Baggage, cancellation, interruption and medical travel insurance—strongly recommended

Excess-baggage fees on international flights

Mandatory waterproof pants for Zodiac cruising, or any other gear not mentioned

Laundry, bar and other personal charges unless specified

Phone and Internet charges (connectivity may vary by location)

Voluntary gratuity at the end of the voyage for shipboard staff and crew

Additional overnight accommodation

Adventure Options not listed in Included Activities

Credit Card charges may apply

A fuel surcharge may apply at a later stage. More info

FAQ

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.

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
  • Kayaking
  • 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Life Onboard & Seasickness
Wild Landscapes of West Greenland
Premium
New

From

EUR 16,167



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