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Winter in Kangerlussuaq

Southern Greenland: On the Trail of the Vikings

Join an ultra-immersive exploration of the most beautiful regions of Greenland aboard the Sylvia Earle

Length

14 Days

Ship category

Premium

Ship type

Mid-Sized Ship

Capacity

132 Passengers

Southern Greenland: On the Trail of the Vikings

Trip highlights

Visit picturesque villages and Norse ruins

Observe breathtaking icebergs and glaciers

Sail on icy waters

Venture to the most remote spots of Greenland

The Polartours experience

Best price guaranteed

Learn from Polar experts

Your booking contributes to our Conservation Project

Flightseeing experience above your Zodiac

Experience the enormity of Greenland – the world’s largest island – where jagged peaks pierce azure skies, and countless glaciers snake their way towards the coast. Delight in hikes across tundra in search of arctic fox and reindeer, tasting delicious wild berries along the way. Zodiac-cruise along fjords where you might glimpse ringed seals lazing on sea ice calved from Greenland’s enormous ice sheets—the largest in the Arctic, and perhaps encounter whales feeding in the nutrient-rich waters. Sail along Prince Christian Sound flanked by imposing mountains. Green pastures in south Greenland signal the presence of human settlement, and where Viking ruins of Erik the Red still stand at Hvalsey. Weaving through the fjords and channels, we enter west Greenland, the country’s most developed region, home to the nation’s capital, Nuuk and the world's northernmost capital.

On this voyage, we visit remote Inuit hamlets and settlements, where the local Inuit people still practice traditional hunting methods including whaling that some people may find confronting. If you find yourself feeling upset and disturbed by what you see, please alert a member of the expedition team immediately, who will do their best to address your concerns and take action to mitigate the problem, wherever possible.

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

captain's suite sylvia earle
Captain’s Suite

Type:

Double/Matrimionial (convertible)

Max. occupancy:

2

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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

balcony stateroom superior sylvia earle
Balcony Stateroom Superior

Type:

Double/Matrimionial (convertible)

Max. occupancy:

2

More about this cabin

Junior Suite Douglas Mawson
Junior Suite

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

QuarkExpeditions_ Essential Greenland
QuarkExpeditions_ Essential Greenland
QuarkExpeditions_ Essential Greenland

Arrival at Reykjavik

Having made your way to Reykjavik, you will be met by a representative of Aurora Expeditions and transferred to our group hotel. Upon arrival at your included hotel, 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 or to provide you with information about where to dine, withdraw cash or purchase last minute items from a local pharmacy or supermarket.

The remainder of your time is at leisure. All meals today are at your own expense.

Accommodation: Fosshotel Reykjavik (or similar)

Sylvia Earle header
Sylvia Earle Final Exterior
Quark Expeditions_ Essential Greenland Arctic

Breakfast and check-out. Join our guided Golden Circle and Geothermal Energy tour. With 85% of it’s electricity sourced from renewable sources, Iceland sets an outstanding example when it comes to sustainable energy.

Our journey takes us to the famous seismic sights of the Golden Circle route - Gullfoss waterfall, Geysir, and history-rich Thingvellir National Park, before we experience first-hand how green, sustainable energy is produced at one of the largest single-site geothermal power plants on the planet at the Geothermal Energy Exhibition and Ljósafossvirkjun Power Station.

We’ll also spend time at a true eco-village. Powered with thermal and solar energy, Sólheimar is fully sustainable, boasting greenhouses and forestry programmes, while it’s sustainable workshops are dedicated to candle-making, carpentry, weaving and soap-making. Late afternoon we return to Reykjavik for embarkation.

This evening, get to know your fellow expeditioners, expedition team and crew.

Greenland
Albatros Expedition Disko Bay
Albatros Expedition through north atlantic

Nansen fjord

Crossing the Greenland Sea, we sail through the Polar Basin’s nutrient-rich waters, searching for encroaching pack ice, fin whales and seabirds. Our team of experts entertains us with informative talks about sea ice, glaciers, European arctic plants and animals and epic tales of early explorers such as Nansen, Andreé and Scoresby.

Greenland
Albatros Expedition Disko Bay
Albatros Expedition through north atlantic

Popular among skilled rock climbers, Kangertitivatsiaq Fjord is home to spectacular mountain peaks and essential big walls that attract daring climbers. A new discovery for Aurora Expeditions in 2022, the 26-kilometre (16-mile) fjord is filled with glaciers including the Glacier of France. It’s an ideal place for ship cruising, Zodiac excursions and discovery hikes.

Greenland
Albatros Expedition wake of Eric the red
Albatros Expedition North West Passage

Nuuk

Uunartoq

Skjoldungen

Continue south along Greenland’s King Frederik VI Coast, always on the lookout for whales, especially the rare sperm whale that is occasionally seen here. Weaving through the narrow channels of Skjoldungen Fjord we land at the end of the fjord for a walk along a glacial river, across a tundra valley covered in northern willow and blooming pink wildflowers. Kayakers can paddle across the front of a tidewater glacier, search for harp seals, ivory gulls and whales.

Back on board, enjoy the stunning surrounds with a drink in hand basked in the soft light of the setting sun.

Greenland
Albatros Expedition wake of Eric the red
Albatros Expedition North West Passage

Nuuk

Uunartoq

Skjoldungen

Prince Christian Sound connects the Labrador Sea with the Irminger Sea. Approximately 100 km / 60 mi long, and, in parts, as narrow as 500-m (600-ft) wide, the fjord is flanked by jagged mountain peaks, some reaching over

2,200 m (7,200 ft) high, with countless glaciers coming all the way down to the sea. We slow-cruise through the sound to enjoy the spectacular scenery. Icebergs sculpted into fantastic shapes often block the entrance to the sound, a great spectacle for photography.

Greenland
Albatros Expedition wake of Eric the red
Albatros Expedition North West Passage

Nuuk

Uunartoq

Skjoldungen

Aappilattoq is a small settlement that lies in the southern section of a sound. Aappilattoq means red in Greenlandic, and the town is named after the red mountains rising above it. Aappilattoq is well-known in Greenland for the jagged mountain peaks that surround it—a delight for photographers.

The towering, jagged mountains that surround Tasermiut Fjord is why it’s often referred to as the ‘Patagonia of the north’. At Klosterdal, we are surrounded by three giant mountains - Napasorsuaq, Ketil and Nalumasortoq. Here we can walk to a Norse ruin, hike along the valley, or explore the bay by kayak.

Greenland
Albatros Expedition wake of Eric the red
Albatros Expedition North West Passage

Nuuk

Uunartoq

Skjoldungen

Continue to Nanortalik, the southernmost town in Greenland, located on an island of the same name. Its name derives from the West Greenlandic word ‘Nanoq’ meaning ‘the place where bears pass through,’ describing the polar bears that were once seen floating past on sea ice. Deep fjords, woodlands and grasslands, and rugged mountainside cliffs, some over 1,000 m /3,280 ft, attract enthusiastic climbers from around the world.

On arrival, you’ll receive a warm welcome from the local community who have opened up their town for you to explore. Nanortalik is a town that’s known for their love of singing and you’ll be treated to choir performance.

Visit Nanortalik Church, a wooden, Danish Lutheran church built in 1916 and is currently the only church serving the Nanortalik congregation. The church is in the old colonial quarter of the town. Next to the church is a landmark boulder called the ‘Knud Rasmussen Stone,’ named after Greenland’s most famous citizen, Dr Knud Rasmussen, an explorer and ethnologist.

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

Hvalsey Church is the best-preserved Norse ruin in Greenland. ‘Hvalsey’ is old Norse for ‘Whale Island.’ Christianity arrived in Greenland around 1,000 AD and gradually churches began to be built. Late medieval documents indicate there were up to 14 parish churches in the Eastern Settlement. Hvalsey itself was built in the early 14th century, but it was not the first church built on this site.

After exploring Hvalsey ruins, continue to Qaqortoq, where our Zodiacs shuttle us ashore. Qaqortoq is the capital of South Greenland. With a history dating back to 1775, the town offers various cultural activities and attractions including an outdoor art project called “Man and Stone,’ which features stone carvings scattered throughout the town created by local artists. Qaqortoq is Greenland’s southernmost town and is the administrative centre of the south Greenland. Built from yellow stone, and dating back to 1804, the building that now houses the Qaqortoq Museum originally belonged to the town’s blacksmith. Qaqortoq’s landmark building is the Church of our Saviour. This large wooden Lutheran church, known as the ‘Red Church’, is in the historic part of town, near the harbour.

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

At Igaliku in Tunulliarfik Fjord, lush valleys filled with tall grass hints at Greenland’s first sheep farming settlement. Igaliku also guards the entrance to the well-preserved remains of Norse ruins allowing visitors to explore Norse history, hike within the UNESCO World Heritage-listed surroundings to discover lakes, mountains and hidden Norse ruins.

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

Narsarsuaq is the gateway to hiking trails through lush valleys and Norse ruins spotted along Tunulliarfik Fjord.

Narsarsuaq holds historical significance to Greenland’s history. The Norse Vikings settled in this area in the 12th century and gave Narsarsuaq a name to suggest that an Arctic forest covered the large plain. Taking home stories of lush valleys and plains nestled in deep fjord, the Vikings called this country Greenland. Marked trails allow hikers to enjoy the superb scenery, with the one of the most popular hikes leading to the spectacular lookout over icebergs in the Tunulliarfik Fjord and the Qooroq Glacier.

At Qassiarssuk, located directly across the Tunulliarfik Fjord, follow in the footsteps of Erik the Red and discover why he made it his home. The remains of a church, stables, hall and other buildings can still be seen. Visit the tall statue of Leif Erikson (son of Erik the Red) overlooking the town and fjord.

Sailing between Hvalsey, Igaliku and Qassiarssuk allows you to connect the dots of Viking history in Greenland.

Greenland
Albatros Expedition Disko Bay
ocean Atlantic 4 arctic islands

As we sail towards Nuuk, enjoy some free time relaxing or attending a presentation from our expedition team. This evening, share stories and celebrate with fellow expeditioners at Captain’s Farewell Dinner.

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

As we sail towards Nuuk, enjoy some free time relaxing or attending a presentation from our expedition team. This evening, share stories and celebrate with fellow expeditioners at Captain’s Farewell Dinner.

Baie Comeau
For the perfect shot
Toronto

Today, you can make your way home at your leisure or spend some time exploring this artistic city.

Dates & Prices

From

Until

Info

Availability

Price

4

Aug

2025

17

Aug

2025

- Air Credit Offer included

Available

From

USD 11,856

USD 16,027

4

Aug

2025

17

Aug

2025

Air Credit Offer included

Available

From

USD 11,856

USD 16,027

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

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 $1,295 USD (your polar Travel specialist will provide you with all the information about this package)

International airfare

Arrival transfers in Reykjavik

Passport and visa expenses

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
Southern Greenland: On the Trail of the Vikings
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