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Greenland's northern lights and icebergs in Kangerlussuaq and Ilulissat

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  • Destination Greenland
  • Travel Category Individual tour
  • Departure from Copenhagen
  • Duration 8 days
  • Price pr. person from 1.755 EUR
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The nature in Greenland is simply exceptional – not least during winter – and it provides the setting for numerous experiences in the snow and below the northern lights. On this tour, which combines two of Greenland's most popular destinations, Ilulissat and Kangerlussuaq, you can experience northern lights, sled dogs, dogsleds, impressive icebergs and a vastness of snow-clad rocks.

You have the option of planning your visit to Greenland yourself or purchasing our excursion package, which includes the most exciting experiences for you to try. Among these is a ride on one of Greenland's most traditional means of transportation – the dogsled.  

The Greenland Ice Sheet at Kangerlussuaq
Kangerlussuaq Airport is Greenland's busiest airport, but do not be alarmed by these words. Most arrivals and departures take place in the course of a few hours. For the rest of the day, you are surrounded by a wonderful tranquillity and infinite masses of snow. You have plenty of options to have fun in the snow here. We highly recommend that you go to the Greenland Ice Sheet, which covers 83% of Greenland and is larger than France, Spain, Germany and Italy combined. On your way to and from the Greenland Ice Sheet, you might spot musk oxen, reindeer and mountain hares.   

The Ilulissat Icefjord offers UNESCO-listed world heritage
Following three eventful days in Kangerlussuaq, it is time to visit Ilulissat located on the world-famous Ilulissat Icefjord. In 2004, the Icefjord was listed by UNESCO as world heritage, which makes perfect sense. Icebergs may shoot 75 metres up into the air – a sight that you will not soon forget.

Below the fluttering northern lights
Even permanent residents in Greenland cannot get enough of the northern lights. Nothing compares to the experience of witnessing the incredible northern lights move across the clear and frosty night sky. It is such an incomprehensibly beautiful sight. (Please note that the nights are too bright in April to be able to enjoy the northern lights. Instead, the long, bright nights are coming).

"We have travelled with Greenland Travel twice now – and both times we have chosen a package solution with pre-booked excursions. It works perfectly – highly recommendable!" L. Hansen, 2016 on Trustpilot
Greenland's northern lights and icebergs in Kangerlussuaq and Ilulissat

Itinerary

The itinerary below is based on our excursion package with plenty of interesting activities that will bring you close to Greenlandic nature and culture. We have chosen physical activities on a level at which everyone should be able to join. Our local partners are available during your entire holiday, so you can also choose to compose your very own Greenlandic adventure.

  • Day 1 Flight from Copenhagen to Kangerlussuaq, briefing and sightseeing (Optional: Tundra adventure)

    We board Air Greenland's red plane in Copenhagen and head towards the airport in Kangerlussuaq, Greenland. The flight takes 4.5 hours and at the end of it awaits an eight-day winter adventure in Kangerlussuaq and Ilulissat in Greenland. A guide from our local partner "World of Greenland Arctic Circle" will greet you upon arrival and help you check in to Old Camp. Old Camp is located a few kilometres from the airport and offers casual accommodation with kitchen facilities, a recreation room and a souvenir shop.

    When you have checked in and unpacked, the guide with gather you for a briefing. You will get information about the area, the town of Kangerlussuaq as well as places to eat and places to go. You can also have your pre-booked excursions confirmed or book excursions then and there.

    After the briefing, we will go sightseeing in Kangerlussuaq.

    Sightseeing in Kangerlussuaq
    Kangerlussuaq is a former American airbase. Today, it is in Greenland's principal airport. You will hear the history of the place. The base opened during the Second World War and was very active during the cold war before it eventually became a modern, civil international airport. The Kangerlussuaq area holds Greenland's longest network of roads and we will follow them to visit some interesting places – and of course see the incredible Greenlandic nature.

    After visiting the harbour to see the fjord, we will pass Kellyville – a small research village 12 kilometres from Kangerlussuaq Airport. We will also visit the town's kennels where you can get close to the Greenlandic sled dog. This tour of the town is a great way to get a quick overview of Kangerlussuaq and its surroundings.
    If you have purchased the excursion package, you will head out to the tundra after the sightseeing:

    Tundra adventure (optional)
    Kangerlussuaq is completely unique in many ways, and when it comes to terrestrial wildlife, no other place in Greenland can compare. Musk oxen have a unique and interesting history in this area, as the big animals were actually first flown into the area in 1967. The project has been a huge success; the animals have thrived there, and today, the stock counts 3-4,000 animals, which is one the largest stocks of musk oxen in the world.

    The Arctic tundra is widespread, and the musk oxen are free to roam all over the area. We cannot guarantee that you will get very close to the animals, but the guide always brings binoculars, giving you a great chance to spot the large cloven-hoofed animals (or some of all the other wildlife in the area).

    The evening is your own to spend as you wish. You can either cook your own dinner or try out some of Kangerlussuaq's eateries.

    image
    info Welcome to Kangerlussuaq, where you will be seeing some unusual signs.
  • Day 2 Kangerlussuaq on your own (Optional: Dogsledding and northern lights excursion or ice fishing)

    During winter, Kangerlussuaq is a pretty cold place and many pose for a selfie in front of the thermometer hanging in the departure hall of Kangerlussuaq Airport. It displays the outside temperature, which may crawl far below 0 degrees Celsius, but as they say: There is no such thing as bad weather as long as you are wearing the right clothes.

    The Kangerlussuaq area offers plenty of things to do. As mentioned above, Kangerlussuaq has Greenland's longest network of roads, allowing you to take many long walks to enjoy the tranquillity.

    Optional package
    If you have purchased an excursion package, today's itinerary features either a dogsledding and northern lights excursion or ice fishing. April is often too bright for northern lights, so if you arrive after March, you will go ice fishing instead. You will not miss out on the dogsledding, however. At this time of the year, we have just chosen to move it to Ilulissat in Northern Greenland where there is more snow in April.

    Two-hour dogsled ride
    Dogsledding is an integral part of winter in Greenland. At least north of the Arctic Circle, where Kangerlussuaq is located. Therefore, you will be trying out this ancient Inuit tradition. Not many means of transportation have existed for as long – except perhaps for dugout canoes and Shank's pony.

    The basic principle of dogsledding is still the same as almost 1,000 years ago. The dogs are harnessed and hitched to a simple wooden sled. And away we go. The sled driver will take you across the thick ice on the fjord with his dogs to give you a taste of what a person from Northern Greenland would call the real Greenland.

    Extended northern lights excursion
    If you arrive January - March, you will spend some of the afternoon on a 1.5-hour lecture about northern lights and the starry sky, which is so beautiful and clear in Kangerlussuaq. After the lecture, you will learn how to best capture the northern lights using your camera.

    When we have enjoyed our dinner, we will drive for about an hour on the road towards the Greenland Ice Sheet. Then we will stop, tilt our heads back and look for the northern lights with the Ice Cap as a picturesque backdrop. After almost three hours below the night sky, we will end the excursion with a strong cup of Greenlandic coffee. In connection with this excursion, you can rent a tripod for your camera for DKK 75 per day.

    Optional package April
    If you arrive in April, you will be going ice fishing today. This is a great experience, which is reminiscent of the past. We will drive the approx. eight kilometres to the harbour. From there we will walk out onto the ice on the Kangerlussuaq Fjord (formerly known as Søndre Strømfjord) where we will find a great place for fishing. (Kangerlussuaq is Greenlandic for 'the long fjord', and the airport is named after the fjord).

    We will drill a hole in the ice and hope that we will get lucky. Fortunately, the fjord is often full of fish, so there is a good chance that some of them will rise to the bait.

    image
    info Today you can go dogsledding in what will hopefully be a wonderful weather.
  • Day 3 Kangerlussuaq on your own (Optional: Excursion to Point 660 by the Greenland Ice Sheet)

    Today is another great full-length day in Kangerlussuaq, which you can spend as you wish.

    Optional package: Excursion to Point 660 by the Greenland Ice Sheet
    If you have purchased the excursion package, you will be going to the Greenland Ice Sheet today. We will visit Point 660, which is located 660 metres above sea level. On our way to the ice, the four-wheel drive will take us through a stunning and varied area. Near the Greenland Ice Sheet, we will pass an incredible moraine landscape, which is covered by snow this time of the year, but still a very impressive sight. When the road stops, we must continue on foot and we will now step up onto the actual Greenland Ice Sheet. Here, you will be standing on the absolute largest ice cube in the northern hemisphere and the second-largest ice sheet in the world. The ice is wavy and some places offer a look into the universe of the ice, which is not always white. When the ice becomes really compact void of any air bubbles, it appears to be almost black and blue.

    Along the journey back and forth, you are likely to be able to spot reindeer, musk oxen and perhaps even mountain hares and foxes.

    image
    info Definitely not the worst place to make a stop.
  • Day 4 Flight from Kangerlussuaq to Ilulissat, briefing and tour of the town

    Today it is time to continue on to Ilulissat where more adventures await you. We will travel on board one of Air Greenland's red Dash 8 planes. After a 45-minute flight, we will approach the town from above the stunning estuary of the Ilulissat Icefjord and land at Ilulissat Airport. Here, you will be picked up by Hotel Icefiord's bus and driven to the cosy hotel in Ilulissat, which overlooks the water. A guide from our local excursion office "World of Greenland" will hold a briefing to tell you about the town, the area as well as interesting sights and places to eat. You are welcome to book excursions at this time or confirm your pre-booked excursions.

    And then begins the guided tour of the town:

    Ilulissat is the third-largest town in Greenland and is considered to be one of four the main towns along with Nuuk, Sisimiut and Qaqortoq. People have resided in the area for 4,500 years, but the actual town was founded as a settlement in 1727, and in 1741, Icelandic merchant Jacob Severin established the Jacobshavn trading station. Later, the town also changed its name to Jakobshavn (now with a 'k'), and you will see many buildings that carry traces of the past. The most famous inhabitant of Ilulissat is without comparison Knud Rasmussen who grew up in the building, which now serves as the local cultural historical museum. You can look forward to an interesting tour of the town with plenty of useful information for the days to come.

    This evening, just like the others, is at your own disposal. The hotel has a great restaurant, and the town has a nice selection of restaurants and cafés.

    image
    info En route to Ilulissat, you can see the Icefjord from the plane.
  • Day 5 Ilulissat on your own (Optional: Sermermiut hike)

    The Disco Bay is one of Greenland's most popular tourist destinations. Mainly due to the ice but also because the place is home to a particular beauty, has numerous cultural sights – and because it is an excellent example of how Greenlanders welcome the new while upholding old traditions.  

    As you would have learned at yesterday's briefing, there are plenty of things do on your own. Visit the sealskin workshop where artisans sew the most beautiful sealskin products and create arts and crafts items from bone, tooth and reindeer points.

    Optional package: Hiking to the former Inuit settlement Sermermiut
    If you have purchased the excursion package, day 5 will take you on a hike to the abandoned Sermermiut settlement. Sermermiut has been populated for thousands of years due to its incredible location near the Icefjord. Although the surroundings are particularly beautiful, it was not the view that made the Inuit settle here millennium after millennium. Instead, they stayed due to the rich hunting grounds and the Icefjord, which still supplies food both for the locals and for export.

    The remnants of the 4,000-year-old settlement make the destination of today's outing. The kitchen midden from centuries ago has proved a gold mine of knowledge for scientists, and some of that knowledge will be bestowed upon you today by our guides. The hike takes approx. two hours. You will be walking on a constructed wooden pathway, thus minimising the risk of sinking belly-deep into the snow.

    image
    info From Sermermiut, you have a spectacular view of the icebergs.
  • Day 6 Ilulissat on your own (Optional: Sailing on the Icefjord)

    The day is at your own disposal and your options are once again plentiful. Many travellers love to go out into the nature and happily take the same walk to the Icefjord several times to see if the icebergs have changed position or shape. You will never tire of doing so.

    Optional package: Sailing on the Icefjord
    If you have purchased this package, you are about to experience one of the tour's absolute highlights; the boat trip out into the estuary of the Icefjord where you will be sailing between the huge icebergs that are stranded here. For thousands of years, the ice at the estuary has created a large sand dune in which the colossal icebergs run aground. Sometimes, when the pressure of the ice becomes too high – or due to swells or melting – the giant icebergs can push free and continue on into the Disco Bay.

    On today's excursion, we will get near these enormous icebergs, and because they have run aground, the boat's captain and the officer know their way around the frozen giants – always keeping a safe distance.

    image
    info Sailing on the Icefjord is beautiful in all kinds of weather (photo: Mads Pihl, Visit Greenland).
  • Day 7 Ilulissat on your own (Optional in April package: Dog sledding)

    This is your last full day in Ilulissat, so now is the time to get your to do list sorted and make sure that you can tick off as many points as possible. Pay a visit to 'the Board' where local fishermen and sealers sell their catches of the day, the cultural historical museum or the art museum.

    Optional package April: Two-hour dogsled ride
    If you have purchased the excursion package, and you arrive in April, you can look forward to a two-hour dogsled ride. The Icefjord estuary, which you saw from the water yesterday, is an impressive sight both summer and winter. On this sled ride, we will cross the Little Akinnaq rock, and after seven kilometres, we will reach a great vantage point. Because the trip takes place in undulating hilly terrain, you will get to experience the dogs working not only in front of the sled but also behind it where they act as brakes on steep slopes. Besides the driver, the sleds here in Ilulissat will hold two persons.  

    As previously mentioned, Ilulissat has several great restaurants, and perhaps you can visit one more of them on your last night here.

    image
    info After 31st March, the dogsled rides take place in Ilulissat instead of Kangerlussuaq.
  • Day 8 Flight from Ilulissat via Kangerlussuaq to Copenhagen

    Catch the last glimpse of the Icefjord as Air Greenland's Dash 8 take you from Ilulissat Airport to Kangerlussuaq. From there, you will continue to Copenhagen where you will be arriving in the evening.

    image
    info It is time to return home, and we will take a final flight above the ice (photo: Mads Pihl, Air Greenland)

Dates & prices

Departure Accommodation Guaranteed departure Price pr. person Availability
25-01-2019 Double room Guaranteed departure 1.755 EUR 9 Rooms Book tour
25-01-2019 Single room Guaranteed departure 1.930 EUR 5 Rooms Book tour
01-02-2019 Double room Guaranteed departure 1.755 EUR 10 Rooms Book tour
01-02-2019 Single room Guaranteed departure 1.930 EUR 5 Rooms Book tour
08-02-2019 Double room Guaranteed departure 1.755 EUR 13 Rooms Book tour
08-02-2019 Single room Guaranteed departure 1.930 EUR 4 Rooms Book tour
15-02-2019 Double room Guaranteed departure 1.755 EUR 9 Rooms Book tour
15-02-2019 Single room Guaranteed departure 1.930 EUR 5 Rooms Book tour
22-02-2019 Double room Guaranteed departure 1.755 EUR 9 Rooms Book tour
22-02-2019 Single room Guaranteed departure 1.930 EUR 4 Rooms Book tour
01-03-2019 Double room Guaranteed departure 1.890 EUR 10 Rooms Book tour
01-03-2019 Single room Guaranteed departure 2.065 EUR 5 Rooms Book tour
08-03-2019 Double room Guaranteed departure 1.890 EUR 9 Rooms Book tour
08-03-2019 Single room Guaranteed departure 2.065 EUR 4 Rooms Book tour
15-03-2019 Double room Guaranteed departure 1.890 EUR 7 Rooms Book tour
15-03-2019 Single room Guaranteed departure 2.065 EUR 4 Rooms Book tour
22-03-2019 Double room Guaranteed departure 1.890 EUR 10 Rooms Book tour
22-03-2019 Single room Guaranteed departure 2.065 EUR 5 Rooms Book tour
29-03-2019 Double room Guaranteed departure 1.890 EUR 10 Rooms Book tour
29-03-2019 Single room Guaranteed departure 2.065 EUR 5 Rooms Book tour
05-04-2019 Double room Guaranteed departure 1.755 EUR 4 Rooms Book tour
05-04-2019 Single room Guaranteed departure 1.930 EUR 4 Rooms Book tour
05-04-2019 Triple room Guaranteed departure 1.755 EUR Sold out
More info about accommodation
Info Flight schedule (local times):
Departure from Copenhagen 09:15 (GL779)
Return to Copenhagen 20:00 (GL780)
Please note that departure times are subject to change by the airline.

Excursion packages and add ons

Excursion Package

Excursion Package
Period: January - March 2019

Incl. departure March 29, 2019. Get all the most popular excursions with this package. All tours below are included. (We recommend that you book the package while booking your trip.)

  • Northern Lights tour and photo course (2+3 hours)
  • Excursion to the ice cap with bus, point 660 (5 hours)
  • Tundrasafari in 4WD/bus (1,5 hours)
  • Hike to Sermermiut by Ilulissat Icefjord (2 hours)
  • Sailing at Ilulissat Icefjord (2,5 hours)
  • Dog sled trip in Kangerlussuaq, rental of warm clothes and boots, 3 persons per sled (2 hours)
Price pr. adult 560 EUR
Price pr. child (2-11) 355 EUR
Excursion Package

Excursion Package
Period: Departure April 5, 2019

Our excursion packages consist of the most popular excursions and are adapted to the day program of your trip. We recommend that you book the package when you book your trip. By booking later, a handling fee of EUR 30 will be added and the package might be sold out. This excursion package consists of:

  • Excursion to the ice cap with bus, point 660 (5 hours)
  • Tundrasafari in 4WD/bus (1,5 hours)
  • Ice fishing on the Kangerlussuaq fjord (3 hours)
  • Hike to Sermermiut by Ilulissat Icefjord (2 hours)
  • Sailing at Ilulissat Icefjord (2,5 hours)
  • Dog sledding in Ilulissat, rental of warm clothes and boots, 2 persons per sled (2 hours)
Price pr. adult 525 EUR
Price pr. child (2-11) 400 EUR

Included in tour

Included

  • fly
    Flights and Transportation

    Return flight Copenhagen–Kangerlussuaq with Air Greenland
    Return flight Kangerlussuaq–Ilulissat
    Transfers

  • overnatning
    Accommodation

    3 nights at Old Camp (shared toilet and shower) in Kangerlussuaq
    4 nights at Hotel Icefiord in Ilulissat

    More info about accommodation
  • måltider
    Meals

    Breakfast
    Food and beverage on both flights between Copenhagen and Kangerlussuaq

  • andet
    Other

    2 briefings
    2 town tours
    Towels and bedding at the hotel and the hostel
    All taxes and fees
    Contribution to the Travel Guarantee Fund
    Invoice fee

Not included

Lunch and dinner
Travel insurance

Upgrade to a four-hour dogsled ride
Included in the excursion package is a two-hour ride. At an additional cost, you can extend this to a four-hour ride upon your arrival. This is obviously subject to weather conditions and vacancies. The latter is rarely a problem on these trips, however.

 

Practical information

Flight times:
Departure: Copenhagen 09:15 (GL779)
Return: Copenhagen 20.00 (GL780).
Please note that departure times are subject to change by the airline.

Luggage allowance:
20 kg of checked baggage
8 kg of cabin baggage (max. dimensions of cabin baggage: 55 x 40 x 23 cm).

Guaranteed
departure
On selected departures
  • Contact your Travel Specialist

    Peter Simonsen

    Peter has lived in Greenland and further had his own incoming agency in Ilulissat. Peter has been all around the country and you can be sure to get an answer to every kind of request relating to the country.

  • Packing list for this tour

    The right clothing is essential when travelling in the Arctic. Before you pack your bags, take a look at our packing list. Please do not hesitate to ask us for advice.

  • All you need to know about your trip

    Find information about your destination in our guide "Ready, set, go – the adventure awaits you". We have gathered essential information you should know before, during and after your trip.