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Eqi – the calving glacier

Inspiration / Nature / Eqi – the calving glacier

Few places in Greenland are as beautiful as the Eqi glacier. You can get up close to the calving glacier by boat. We offer excursions where you can see the Eqi Glacier in all its glory.

The best part is that it is possible to get extremely close to the edge of the glacier by boat and actually see it calve. The glacier calves so often, that anyone passing by will witness the sounds and the sights of this spectacular natural phenomenon. The shotgun cracks of sounds are so loud and the vision of gigantic chunks of ice breaking off into the water is breathtaking.


80 km north of Ilulissat, is a rare natural wonder: the Eqi glacier and its stunning surroundings. The glacier does not have the enormous dimensions of the famous Kangia Icefjord further south. However Eqi is by no measure small. On a day trip by boat, you can get very close to the edge of the glacier and experience it calve.

The edge of the glacier covers 3.4 km. The average height from top to bottom is about 200 meters, of which 30 of the 80 meters are above sea level.

If you go there by boat it will take app. 2-4 hours of sailing, depending on the type of boat.


The Greenland Ice Sheet is full of air

The Ice Sheet is made of snow and when densely packed, it becomes ice. This procedure puts pressure on the air between the snow flakes and results in air bubbles. When the glacier calves, the air is released and this is what creates the explosion-like sounds.

The oxygen-rich ice is a food resource for many animals; cormorants, guillemots, kittiwakes and the rare praise gull is often seen nearby. If you have a keen eye for spotting things, you may notice the seals that live in the ice in front of the glacier. The great eagle can be spotted in the land area and often a cross grouse, hare and small arctic fox may cross your path. The great diversity of the landscape creates fertile grounds for a large variation in vegetation.


Glacier Lodge Eqi

If you have more than one day available, spoil yourself with one or several days at the Glacier Lodge Eqi, which has 15 cabins available located around the Café Victor. From these cabins, you can see and hear the calving glacier; a very meditative way to spend time and enjoy the fireworks of nature.

A piece of heaven in the Greenlandic wasteland

The Glacier Lodge Eqi is unique as it is located right across from the calving glacier, Eqip Sermia, of which all cabins have a view. In 2001, the first four cabins were built and the concept has been developed each year. The newest four cabins are of Comfort Standard, the first of their kind in Greenland. No other places in the Greenlandic wilderness have this luxury. The Glacier Lodge Eqi is far from towns and settlements, working of a sustainable concept that is C02 conscious and environmentally friendly.

Great accomodation in Greenland

The 15 cabins are open from 15 June to 15 September and have a total of 52 beds, when all sleeping arrangements are included. Cabins are often booked as double rooms. However its up to the guests to decide whether to be 1 or 4 in each cabin. Many people choose to book the cabins like you would a double room in a hotel.

The tents, which will be available in 2019, will have two beds each.

Read more about Glacier Lodge Eqi here.


Great service at Café Victor

All guests at Glacier Lodge Eqi are serviced by the Café Victor, that has a veterinary authority approved kitchen and the standard of any hotel kitchen. The energy used in the kitchen is generated by solar cells. The solar cells run three freezers, a fridge, hood, lights, water purification, alarms, satellite phones and much more. The kitchen focusses on cooking with as many Greenlandic commodities as possible and the dishes are cooked by skilled chefs.


Nature is well preserved at the Eqi Glacier

Eqi and the surrounding nature, including the outstanding natural phenomenon of the calving glacier, is well looked after. Neither trash nor toilets are emptied in the area – everything is brought back to Ilulissat where it is put into the urban waste system. To have an ecological sustainable camp, the new initiative is to have the whole camp fully run on solar power.

The spectacular view combined with the sustainable way of living in these cozy cabins gives a sense of truly being in nature. Where few people go and where Wi-Fi, satellite TV and noisy cars does not exist.


Facts about the sustainable Glacier Lodge Eqi

  Private water supply with natural water pressure from higher lake.

  Organic water purification without adding chemicals for UV light.

  Solar energy provides warm water through vacuum pipes and UV lights

  The solar plant produces about 12,000 watts

  The wastewater is treated in three-stage separation tank

  All other waste is transported back to the Ilulissat waste system

The history of Eqi

There are many experiences to be had in the area surrounding the lodge. The cabins are next to “the Frenchman’s cabin”, a historical relic from Poul Emil Victor’s expeditions to the Inland Ice Sheet during 1948 – 1953.

As the seabound entry point is very accessible and has a short distance to the Greenlandic Ice Sheet, the area has been point of entry for many scientific expeditions. H. J. Rink from 1848, MP Porsild in 1913, Alfred Wegener in 1928 and Poul Emil Victor, whose tracks are still very clear today, 60 years later. This really illustrates how fragile the arctic nature is.

Victor used Eqi as a base for extensive studies of the thickness of the Ice Sheet and meteorological observations. In tracked vehicles, the expedition crossed the Ice Sheet and all supplies were brought through Eqi. More than 60 years later, the expedition cabin still stands and the many traces of the French presence are still seen. Caterpillar tracks, bridges, oil drums, an old cable car and large aluminum sleds are still present in the moraine on the edge of the Ice Sheet.


The Eqi Lodge – experience the area and ice on foot

They say that Greenland is the land of contrasts. The greatest contrasts are in the landscape surrounding the edge of the ice where ice meets bedrock. From Glacier Lodge Eqi, you have great opportunity of experiencing this by foot. You can walk the area on your own, go on tours or walks in or around Iluilssat arranged by World of Greenland.

The shortest walk is 4 – 5 hours and will take you to the edge of the moraine by Eqip Sermia. The walk is moderate; it has only a few vertical meters to climb and it isn’t especially technically difficult. You have to cross a small river over which you can usually walk from rock to rock. The vertical dimension has a small increase in rocky terrain along the edge of the moraine. From here you have a spectacular view of the glacier.

If you’re up for a longer hike, there is one that takes you to the Ice Sheet in about 8 – 10 hours. This will also allow you to walk on the Greenlandic Ice Sheet. On this hike you will see beautiful turquoise glacial streams and moulins.

Last but not least, you can go on a tour and spend the night close to the ice. These tours are more demanding but you will have more time to walk the Inland Ice Sheet. They are not demanding but require good physical shape. Over 1000 vertical meters must be conquered on both tours. However, you don’t have to be an ironman to participate. People of all ages, shapes and sizes go on these tours and if you live a normally active life you will usually have no problem.


Visit Eqi with Greenland Travel

Greenland Travel offers many views and tours to the Eqi glacier. We have tours where you spend the night at Glacier Lodge Eqi. You can also go on a tour to the calving glacier starting from Ilulissat.

“Dream Tour in the Disco Bay” and “grand tour of Greenland from south to north” are two of our most popular trips to Greenland. both tours offer the experience of two nights in Glacier Lodge Eqi and other great excursions.