Explore Scoresby Sund and Northeast Greenland National Park on this magical Arctic voyage
In the island-dotted bays of eastern Greenland, adventure reaches glacial proportions. Embarking in Reykjavic, Iceland, head north across the Arctic Circle into the fjords of Northeast Greenland National Park. Get active on hikes across colourful tundra – on the lookout for grazing muskoxen and Arctic foxes – or simply relax on deck and enjoy the views. Next, it’s on to Scoresby Sund, the world’s largest fjord system and a great place to see the spectacular Aurora Borealis. Catch a glimpse of rare seabirds, scoot past bobbing icebergs in a Zodiac and visit the Inuit settlement of Ittoqqortoormiit. This is pure wilderness at its best: the untouched Arctic as it was hundreds, even thousands of years ago.
- Physical rating
- Min 8
- Group size
- Min 1, Max 132
Why we love this trip
Travel to some of the Arctic’s best locations to see the Aurora Borealis
Explore the Scoresby Sund, the world’s largest – and most beautiful – fjord system, as well as the most remote national park on the planet
Get close to wildlife such as whales, muskoxen and seabirds on regular Zodiac trips
Experience a vast array of Polar landscapes on cruises through iceberg-choked waters and hikes across colourful tundras
Visit the remote community of Ittoqqortoormiit, where you can mingle with the Inuit locals and learn about their way of life. This is also a great place to catch a northern lights display
Optional activities such as sea kayaking take your adventure to the next level, but book early, as these sell out fast
Is this trip right for you?
As you’d expect, temperatures in the Arctic are very cold. A warm parka will be provided along with waterproof boots and unlimited hot drinks, but you should also bring base layers and lots of warm clothing. Please see the trip notes for further important information about what to bring.
Weather depending, you will be making regular excursions in a Zodiac boat to explore the local area and look for wildlife. It can get very cold and wet on the Zodiac, so make sure you are dressed appropriately and that you keep your camera safe and dry. Sturdy sea legs are needed as you make wet and dry landings from the boat, and on steep terrain, snow and other uneven surfaces. Some ships have a lot of stairs, so please hold on to the handrails if seas are rough.
The weather plays a pivotal part in this adventure and although there’s an itinerary in place, there are no guarantees that you’ll be able to do everything that is planned for. A level of flexibility and openness to embracing the unexpected are important in expedition travel, especially to such a remote area.
There’s plenty to see and do if you arrive early into the world's northernmost capital city. Reykjavik boasts vibrant art, music, food and nightlife scenes, and a visit to the city would be incomplete without a soak in one of the area's geothermal springs, the Blue Lagoon being the most famous.
Notes: If you arrive earlier or wish to extend your stay and need accommodation, please ask Peregrine or your agent for details and costs.
Meals IncludedThere are no meals included on this day.
Special InformationNo arrival transfer is included. Please make your way to the joining hotel.
It's important to note that on the flight to Akureyri, there's a strict luggage limit: 20 kilograms (44 pounds) of checked luggage and five kilograms (11 pounds) of cabin baggage. Should you have additional luggage, it can be stored at the hotel in Ottawa (you can't take it with you on the plane).
On arrival into Akureyri, you'll transfer to your ship, get settled and meet your Expedition Team, captain and crew. As you sail out to sea, keep an eye out for seabirds wheeling above and whales breaching in the waves below. The adventure has begun!
From Ella Island, you’ll head to the Antarctic – the Antarctic Sound, that is. The area is home to beautiful purple and gold rocks, while Ymer Island and Blomsterbugten shimmer in the distance. From here, keeping an eye out for wildlife, head south along the Liverpool Coast.
POSSIBLE LANDINGS AND WILDLIFE SIGHTINGS
BLOMSTERBUGTEN, YMER ISLAND
Known as the Bay of Flowers, Blomsterbugten's colourful, lush landscape differs from other Arctic regions such as Spitsbergen. You can expect to find a range of flora and fauna here, with a possible hike to Noa Lake.
Encounter icebergs before hiking across Denmark Island, which offers stupendous views of Scoresby Sund and Fønfjord below.
HOLM BAY AND ELLA ISLAND
Toward the northern end of Scoresby Land is King Oscar Fjord. Holm Bay is a common landing site, allowing for panoramic views of the fjord and surrounding area. Within the fjord lies Ella Island, where the Danish navy unit known as the Sirius Sledge Patrol trains in summer. Muskoxen may be spotted on the island.
The Red Fjord, or Rødefjord, is named for the colorful sandstone of its western side. The stone has been “stained” red by hematite, creating an oddity in this part of Greenland.
The following optional activities are available on some or all of this trip's departures. Please note that they must be booked in advance (additional costs may apply), and that space is limited.
Taken in small groups of maximum 16 people, multiple times per voyage, kayaking adventures are only conducted during calm weather conditions. Travellers with all levels of kayaking experience can take part, however if you are a novice, please take an introductory course prior to the voyage (and make sure it covers how to do a wet exit). Even if you do have some experience, we recommend doing some pre-trip practice, so you're comfortable out on the icy waters.
Hiking is a great way to appreciate the immense windswept landscapes of the Arctic. The tundra comes alive with colourful shrubbery during the brief Arctic summer. Whether you're exploring communities, glacial shorelines or animal habitats, each hike is different. Your Expedition Team will advise you as to the difficulty levels of each optional hike when you're there.
Snowshoeing is a novel way to experience the polar landscape and discover remote alcoves and hidden valleys. The rewards are well worth the effort, as we’ll be able to visit places that are inaccessible on foot. The snowshoes we use today are much lighter and more forgiving than the old wood-weave snowshoes used during the days of the North American fur trade.
- Breakfast (4)
- Lunch (4)
- Dinner (4)
At the start of the sound, Ittoqqortoormiit is East Greenland’s most northerly community. You’ll have the chance to support the local Inuit artisan community by purchasing unique handicrafts. Your time here is spent meeting the Inuit people and gaining an appreciation of their way of life.
Sailing deeper into Scoresby Sund, you’ll encounter massive icebergs and an ancient Thule settlement as we approach Sydkap and Øfjord. The scenery here is spectacular, with towering mountains and hundreds of apartment-sized icebergs playing tricks on your sense of perception.
Pushing onward, the expedition will come to Rypefjord and C. Hofmann Halvø. Keep your eyes peeled for rare blue icebergs, which are usually only seen in the Antarctic. Birders should keep watch for ptarmigans, wheatears, snow buntings and ravens at Rypefjord. At C. Hofmann Halvø, there's a good chance you'll see muskoxen up close as you enjoy a final hike out on the colourful tundra.
POSSIBLE LANDINGS AND WILDLIFE SIGHTINGS
C. HOFMANN HALVØ
This is often the best location for getting close to muskoxen. The peninsula is home to birds like wheatears and snow buntings; you may also spot rock ptarmigans or great northern divers while at sea.
Around 500 people call this northern settlement home. Traditional hunting and fishing techniques are alive and well here, as are the northern lights. In fact, this is one of the best places to catch the Aurora Borealis. Hiking from Ittoqqortoormiit towards Hurry Inlet, you’ll be immersed in Arctic flora as wildflowers colour the landscape.
Icebergs and early history take center stage here, as remains of an ancient Thule settlement may be seen. Be on the lookout for Arctic hare and muskoxen.
- Breakfast (4)
- Lunch (4)
- Dinner (4)
- Breakfast (2)
- Lunch (2)
- Dinner (2)
Special InformationYour adventure ends on arrival in Reykjavik. Once your charter flight arrives at the domestic airport, you will be transferred to a central point where you can continue on your own to your post voyage accommodation, or to the International airport.
Meals13 breakfasts, 11 lunches, 12 dinners
TransportExpedition cruise ship, zodiac, plane
Accommodation12 nights expedition cruise ship, 1 night hotel
Arctic and Antarctic bookings have an increased deposit requirement of 20% of the full voyage cost (before any discount). The balance is due 120 days before departure. If a booking is cancelled 120 days or more before departure - the cancellation fee is the full loss of the deposit paid. If a booking is cancelled between 119 days and departure - the cancellation fee is 100% of the total price of the voyage. Other fees may apply for air tickets and other arrangements booked in conjunction with a Polar voyage.
Kayaking is available to book on all Arctic voyages except on Icebreakers. Kayaking must be booked prior to departure and incurs an additional cost. Spaces are limited so please enquire at time of booking. Some previous, recent experience is essential. Snowshoeing and hiking is also offered on some itineraries. These activities are at no additional cost and do not need to be pre-booked. See the itinerary for Adventure options available on this voyage.
Your voyage is operated by our sister company, Quark Expeditions. All accommodation and transfer arrangements as listed in the itinerary are also operated by Quark Expeditions or their local representatives.
Strict luggage limits apply. Please see Trip Notes (What to Take) for more information.