Exploring Greenland's Southwest Coast and Disko Bay

Exploring Greenland's Southwest Coast and Disko Bay– Iceland, Greenland, Denmark –19 days / 18 nights, Reykjavik - Kangerlussuaq - Sisimiut - Qeqertarsuaq - Uummannaq - Ukkusissat - Upernavik - Ilulissat - Itilleq - Kangerlussuaq - CopenhagenExplore Greenland's Southwest Coast and Disko Bay, a 19-day voyage on the new MS Spitsbergen. Sail from mythical Iceland to south Greenland and the Disko Bay - the heart of Greenland. Spectacular scenery, deep fjords, and the midnight sun are a stunning backdrop to this expedition. Discover Reykjavik, experience Greenland's fascinating culture and historical sites from the Viking era, and cruise the Ilulissat Icefjord, an UNESCO World Heritage site.

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PolarInside PolarOutside ArcticSuperior ExpeditionSuite
$8,774 $10,347 $12,000 $15,540

Rates in USD per person, double occupancy, subject to withdrawal

I F/J N U F M MG
$8,038 $8,719 $8,719 $9,469 $10,294 $11,383 $12,907

Regular Rates, in USD per person, double occupancy, capacity controlled and subject to availability

Operation June 23 - July 11, 2017
Departure June 23, 2017
Price from $8,774 per person in double PolarInside cabin
Included Hurtigruten expedition on MS Spitsbergen, 19 days
Cabin grade of your choice
Full board (breakfast, lunch, dinner)
Transfer from the ship to the airport in Narsarsuaq
Excursion and dinner in Narsarsuaq
An economy flight from Narsarsuaq to Copenhagen
A wind- and water-resistant jacket
Landings with small boats
Activities on board and ashore
A professional English-speaking expedition team that gives lectures
and accompanies activities on board and on shore
Complimentary tea and coffee
Not Included International flights
Optional Shore Excursions
Gratuities
Travel insurance
Luggage handling
$25 handling fee
More Information MS Spitsbergen deck plan
MS Spitsbergen cabin categories: more-info/ms-spitsbergen-cabins-categories.pdf

Contact us to book today!

Day 1 REYKJAVIK Iceland's capital, Reykjavik, is a vibrant city, rich with history and culture, while close to unparalleled natural beauty such as glaciers, waterfalls, geysers, and mountains. Enjoy discovering Reykjavik on your own before you embark on MS Spitsbergen in the afternoon.

Aboard MS Spitsbergen

Day 2 AT SEA (B, L, D) We leave Iceland behind and sail across the Denmark Strait to reach Greenland. Denmark Strait connects the Greenland Sea to the Erminger Sea. This crossing was used by the Vikings to migrate from Iceland to South Greenland some 1,000 years ago, calculating their distance to land by tracking the direction of flight of seabirds.

Aboard MS Spitsbergen

Day 3 AT SEA (B, L, D) The Denmark Strait was also a battle ground during World War II between ships of the UK's Royal Navy and Germany's Kriegsmarine on May 24, 1941. At this battle, the British battleship HMS Prince of Wales fought the largest German battleship, Bismark, which was attempting to break into the North Atlantic to attack Allied merchant shipping.

Aboard MS Spitsbergen

Day 4 TASIUSAQ (B, L, D) Tasiusaq is a small, picturesque village in the Tasermiut fjord in South Greenland. The settlement is not connected to any other place by road. In the Greenlandic language, the name of the settlement means 'a bay with a small outlet'.

We will also spend time exploring the Tasermuit Fjord, a place that National Geographic considers to be among the top 10 most spectacular places in the world. With imposing cliffs, crystal-clear rivers, blue glaciers, and majestic icebergs, the area offers great opportunities for kayaking and hiking. At the end of the fjord you will see South Greenland's largest hanging glacier.

Aboard MS Spitsbergen

Day 5 UUNARTOQ - QAQORTOQ (B, L, D) Explore the uninhabited island of Uunartoq. This small island is blessed with natural hot springs warm enough to soak in. Soaking pools are fed by hot springs bubbling up from the ground below, keeping the water temperature a balmy 93–100° F, even during the freezing winter. The springs are set in a completely natural environment, in the middle of a grassy field, surrounded by mountain peaks and drifting icebergs. Soak in the warm water and enjoy the beautiful natural surroundings. Many consider Qaqortoq one of the most beautiful towns in Greenland for it's array of colorful houses. The excursions on offer here include an interesting visit to the only tannery in Greenland, a city walk with guide, and a 'kaffemik'' to meet the locals and experience a traditional open-house gathering.

Aboard MS Spitsbergen

Day 6 IVITTUUT (B, L, D) The abandoned mining town of Ivittuut, which means 'grassy place', is a stronghold for musk oxen. It is near Cape Desolation in southwestern Greenland, and located on the ruins of a former Norse settlement.

The area was originally settled by Vikings and contained about twenty farms, and is called the 'Middle Settlement' by modern archaeologists because of its location between the larger Western and Eastern Settlements. It is the smallest and least well known of the three settlements, and no written records of its residents exist today. This is why archaeologists believe it was the last established settlement, and the first to be abandoned. We might meet some of the hunters who come here to seek shelter in the old houses by the sea.

Aboard MS Spitsbergen

Day 7 KAPISILLIT (B, L, D) Enjoy exploring the Nuup Kangerlua fjord, which is approximately 100 miles long. It was formerly known as Godthaab Fjord, Gilbert Sound, and the Baal's River. It is the longest fjord on the Labrador Sea coast of Greenland, and one of the longest in the inhabited part of the country.

Snow-capped mountains, towering waterfalls, and gleaming icebergs can all be found in its waters and along its coastlines. We will enter the eastern part of the fjord system and visit the small settlement of Kapisillit. Kapisillit means 'salmon' in the Greenlandic language. The name refers to the belief that the only spawning-ground for salmon in Greenland is a river near the settlement. The village has less than 100 year-round residents, most of whom are hunters and fishermen.

Aboard MS Spitsbergen

Day 8 MANIITSOQ (B, L, D) Since Maniitsoq is situated in an archipelago, intersected by small natural canals, the locals have nicknamed the town the 'Venice of Greenland'. However, situated between the rugged peaks of the Eternity Fjord and huge glaciers, this is where all comparisons to Venice end. The town name means 'the uneven place' and refers to the many rocky knolls and small mountains that shape the landscape of the town. Small roads and wooden stairs connect the colorful houses.

The exhibitions at Maniitsoq Museum provide a good introduction to local culture and history. The town has a supermarket, Brugseni, and a few smaller convenience stores. But it is the surrounding landscape that leaves the greatest impression, and the area is perfect for kayaking. In the ocean waters nearby, humpback whales are particularly playful and love to show off with aerial acrobatics and tail whips. Enjoy a day exploring this tiny town set in majestic nature

Aboard MS Spitsbergen

Day 9 SISIMIUT (B, L, D) Sisimiutis situated 25 miles north of the Arctic Circle. The name means 'the people living in a place where there are fox dens'. This is the second largest town in Greenland, and is a modern settlement that maintains ancient traditions. Our optional shore excursions include hikes, boat trips, and sightseeing tours. You can also watch local artists sculpt jewelery and crafts from bone, leather, and metal, or taste Greenlandic specialities in a local restaurant.

Aboard MS Spitsbergen

Day 10 CAMP FRIEDA (B, L, D) We will visit a location near Saqqaq, around 70° N, 51° W, that was without an official name until 2013. The place has special significance to Friederike Bronny, called Frieda, one of our expedition team members. As a young geology student, she spent a year in a tent in this small valley. She also visited the spot several times later as an expedition leader. A few years ago, MS Fram was planning to land here, and the captain needed to inform the authorities. Unfortunately, this particular site didn't have a name. So the captain said, "At Hurtigruten we call it 'Camp Frieda'". Not long after, the authorities relayed back that, from that moment on, 'Camp Frieda' would be the official name of this valley.

Aboard MS Spitsbergen

Day 11 ILULISSAT (B, L, D) Ilulissat is set in the stunning scenery of the Ilulissat Icefjord. The area was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2004. Just outside the town, at the mouth of the fjord, you can often see enormous icebergs that have run aground. They originate from the Jakobshavn Glacier, one of the most productive glaciers in the Northern Hemisphere.

These mighty icebergs are unique - no two are alike. Marvel at the changes in hue of the ice: from white and blue to shades of orange and red, when the iceberg surface is struck by the rays of the midnight sun. Hear the icebergs' soundtrack of cracking and rumbling as the sounds echo from one end of Ilulissat to the other.

We offer a variety of optional shore excursions here such as hikes, historic town walks, and a boat tour to the Icefjord.

Aboard MS Spitsbergen

Day 12 QEQERTARSUAQ (B, L, D) Qeqertarsuaq is the only town situated on Disko, a volcanic island. A Greenlandic legend says that two seal hunters were annoyed that the island stood in their way. Using a single hair from an infant, they towed the island up north using their kayaks. A witch in Ilulissat did not like this lush, green island approaching, and cast a spell on it to run aground.

This verdant island in the midst of ice offers amazing Arctic experiences. Join optional excursions such as a guided town tour, kayaking, or an ice-cruising boat trip. If you like archaeology and history, you should visit the local museum. Or, feel free to explore the settlement on your own.

Aboard MS Spitsbergen

Day 13 ITILLEQ (B, L, D) Itilleq means 'the hollow', and as its name suggests, this small settlement is situated in a hollow, majestically surrounded by high mountains and glaciers. Around 130 people live here, mainly engaged in hunting and fishing. The island has no freshwater, so Itilleq uses a facility for creating freshwater from seawater. The church here has an interesting history: it was built in Thule (Umanak, North Greenland) in 1930 and was moved to Itilleq in 1963. Itilleq can truthfully be called the Arctic Circle aillage, as the Arctic Circle only about a mile south of the village.

Aboard MS Spitsbergen

Day 14 NUUK (B, L, D) Nuuk is the oldest town in Greenland and is situated at the mouth of one of the largest and most spectacular fjord systems in the world. Today the town is a place where old and new traditions meet, from picturesque old buildings in Kolonihaven to the buildings of the Greenland Home Rule. As the capital city, Nuuk also houses a university, a teacher-training college, churches, and the Greenland National Museum, where the mummies from Qilakilsoq are found. City tours, hikes, and possibly a scenic flight are among the optional excursions you may participate in on this day.

Aboard MS Spitsbergen

Day 15 PAAMIUT (B, L, D) Continuing south, we enjoy the Greenlandic scenery as we head for Paamiut, an area where people have been living since around 1500 B.C. The name Paamiut means ''the people who live at the mouth', a reference to its location at the mouth of the Kuannersooq Fjord. Strolling around Paamiut is about appreciating the beauty in simple experiences and meeting the friendly locals. Make sure you visit the church, one of the finest in Greenland, built in 1909 from wood in the Norwegian style.

Stop along the colorful bridge in the town center and tour the old neighborhood to observe picturesque buildings. Paamiut is known for its soapstone artists and their extraordinary national costumes of sealskin and thousands of beads. You can see examples of these artforms as you walk around the settlement. The white-tailed eagle is plentiful in Paamiut, and the townspeople feel a strong connection with it. It is said that good luck will come to anyone who sets eyes on this king of the sky. Join the expedition team for a hike to the mountain peaks. On the way back to the ship, stop to pick the angelica that grows wild on the hillside.

Aboard MS Spitsbergen

Day 16 IGALIKU - HVALSEY (B, L, D) Igaliku is one of the most beautiful villages in Greenland. This is the oldest sheep-farming settlement on the island, and upon arrival you will see tall snow-capped mountains during summer, lush valleys with flowers and, of course, sheep. Sandstone houses give a distinct flavor to the area, as does the stunning view to the Igaliku fjord. Experience the tranquility and peace of this historic settlement.

Christianity was introduced to Greenland at the turn of the last millennium, with the first bishop being appointed in 1124. The impressive Episcopal residence of Gardar was established shortly after that date in Igaliku. A cathedral was built, the biggest of all churches in Greenland, during the Middle Ages. For many years, the bishop's palace was a focal point for the Norsemen and visitors from Iceland and Norway. The ruins of the cathedral and the bishop's palace have been renovated in recent years and today make up an attractive relic of the Viking period. Igaliku's 27 inhabitants are very proud of their community and are eager to guide you through the village.

In Hvalsey, you will find some of the best-preserved ruins from the Norse period: Erik the Red’s relatives established the farmstead late in the 10th century and Hvalsey Church was probably built in the 14th century. In 1408, a wedding at the site's church is the last documented event to occur during the Norse settlement of Greenland. We use our small landing craft to go ashore and give you the chance to explore the area for yourself.

Aboard MS Spitsbergen

Day 17 QASSIARSUK (B, L, D) In Qassiarsuk you will find green fields dotted with white sheep, lush vegetation, and busy farmsteads, a colorful contrast to the icescapes found at sea. Qassiarsuk is also where Viking Erik the Red built his Brattahlid estate in 982 A.D after being banished from Iceland and escaping to the land he called 'Greenland'. Erik settled in Qassiarsuk because the area was considered the most fertile place in Greenland when he arrived.

Join a guided walk through the settlement, where you will learn more about the history of the region. You can visit the reconstruction of Erik's longhouse and the church that Erik’s wife Tjodhildur had him build. The walk will include a visit at the town's current church. This is also a great area to try optional activities such as kayaking, hiking, or exploring the town on foot.

Aboard MS Spitsbergen

Day 18 NARSARSUAQ (B, L, D) This expedition ends in Narsarsuaq, a settlement in the Kujallew Muncipality in Southern Greenland. Its immediate surroundings in the Tunulliarfik Fjord hold incredible significance to Greenland's history. The land where Narsarsuaq now stands earned Greenland its name.

The Norse Vikings settled in this vicinity many centuries ago and gave Narsarsuaq a name that hints that an Arctic forest once covered the large plain. Taking tales of verdant nature in a deep fjord home to their Nordic brethren, the Vikings called this country 'Greenland'. Our disembarkation is followed by a boat transfer and a guided walking tour before enjoying Greenlandic culinary specialities. Then you'll have a transfer to the airport and take a night flight to Copenhagen.

Dsy 19 COPENHAGEN You arrive in the Danish capital early in the morning and will hopefully have the time to explore "Wonderful Copenhagen" before you head home.

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