nordlys over kangerlussuaq

With Northern Lights on the Starboard Side in Greenland

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  • Destination Greenland
  • Travel Category With tour leader
  • Departure from Copenhagen
  • Duration 8 days
  • Price pr. person from 2.910 EUR
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With Northern Lights on the Starboard Side in Greenland

You can never get enough of the northern lights. Greenlanders rush outside when the beautiful light is dancing across the sky, even though they can watch it as often as they want to in the winter time. It is beautiful and breathtaking. On this tour, you can combine one of our popular round trips in Greenland with northern lights sightings.

Varied tour by air and sea

We have put together a special trip where you can experience the northern lights here, there and everywhere. We will take you to three of the most popular destinations in Greenland. Along the way, we will try flying with a propeller aircraft and sail for a few days with the coastal ship that sails along the west coast of Greenland. We will stay at centrally located hotels with nice views and enjoy delicious food prepared with delicious Greenlandic ingredients.

Three popular places in Greenland

In Ilulissat, you will experience the world famous Ilulissat Icefjord which is on UNESCO's World Heritage List. In the capital of Nuuk, you get a taste of city life and Greenland's cultural history. In Kangerlussuaq, you will get to walk on the Greenland Ice Sheet. As a bonus, you will also stroll through Greenland's second largest town, Sisimiut, when the coastal ship docks there. And, all along the way, we have the best conditions to experience the northern lights.

Northern lights on land and at sea in Greenland

The northern lights can be seen when there aren’t any clouds at night on a dark sky. Usually, there will be plenty of stars at the same time as they sparkle when you see them in the Arctic. The very special thing about this trip is that we will sail along the coast of Greenland where the only light for miles around will come from the ship itself. Therefore, it is very dark all around us in the evening and night.

International group

The tour guide speaks English/Danish on departure October 3, 2019 and German/Danish on the departures September 26 and October 10, 2019. Local guides speak English.

"Seeing the northern lights is a classic Arctic experience, but in Greenland, it is particularly stunning. The very low light conditions in our towns and settlements ensure that there is as little light pollution as possible. We have hundreds of days a year when the sky is totally clear and there is a great chance to experience this beautiful, natural phenomenon. " Visit Greenland
With Northern Lights on the Starboard Side in Greenland

Itinerary

With this program, you will go on a Greenland round trip. You are going sailing and flying, and you will visit three towns and a settlement. The included excursions are sightseeing walks in Nuuk, Sisimiut, and Ilulissat. If you purchase the excursion package, you will go on a lot of other excursions. All along the trip, you will be accompanied by a knowledgeable tour guide. However, we have made sure that there is also time to explore on your own.

  • Day 1 Flight Copenhagen - Kangerlussuaq. The Greenland Ice Sheet and Northern Lights

    We fly from Copenhagen to Kangerlussuaq with Air Greenland and, after a pleasant flight of about 4.5 hours, we land in the middle of the Greenlandic tundra in Kangerlussuaq. In clear weather, you've already gotten your first glimpse of the ice sheet which is just 25 km from the city.

    Because of the time difference, we land at about the same time as we left, so we have almost a full day available to us here. Hotel Kangerlussuaq is located at the airport, and the tour guide makes sure that everyone gets their luggage and will be settled in their rooms. Then we have a welcome meeting where you get an overview of the Kangerlussuaq area.

    After the welcome meeting, it is the time for excursions for those who have purchased the excursion package. We recommend that you supplement your trip with an excursion package which includes the most popular excursions. If you do not want it, obviously, there are many other possible activities.

    Excursion to the Greenland Ice Sheet Point 660 (Excursion package)

    The Greenland Ice Sheet is the world's second largest ice cap, and it covers 80 % of Greenland. It is a unique experience to stand on the ice sheet. The trip to the ice cap is also spectacular in itself.

    We drive from Kangerlussuaq in a bus that looks like a monster truck bus. This way, we will get through the hilly terrain. We drive through an Arctic desert, and there is a likelihood that we will experience the area's wildlife such as caribou, hares, foxes and musk oxen.

    At a distance, we see the impressive Russell Glacier which rises in the countryside. Our ultimate goal is Point 660, located 660 meters above sea level. The bus stop at the edge of the ice and we walk the last stretch up on the ice cap. Now you will be standing on the largest glacier in the northern hemisphere!

    Welcome dinner

    At night, we will have a welcome dinner at the Restaurant Roklubben, a beautifully located restaurant by Lake Ferguson 5 km outside of Kangerlussuaq. After dinner, you will be taken back to the hotel or you can go on your first major northern lights sighting.

    Northern Lights in Kangerlussuaq with Greenlandic coffee (Excursion Package)

    We dare say that Kangerlussuaq has some of the best northern lights in the world. On this special northern lights excursion, we drive out of the populated area where there is no artificial light. Here, we experience the beautiful show of northern lights flickering above. Afterward, we gather at a warmer place and, enjoying a "Greenlandic Coffee," it is time for storytelling. Greenlandic coffee consists of coffee, whipped cream along with Kahlua, whiskey and Grand Marnier.

    image
    info Northern Lights in Kangerlussuaq.
  • Day 2 Flight Kangerlussuaq - Nuuk, city tour and departure by coastal ship

    After breakfast at the hotel, we now fly from Kangerlussuaq to Nuuk. We fly with one of Air Greenland's bright red Dash 8 aircraft. The trip lasts about 50 minutes along the west coast of Greenland. Just before we land in Nuuk, we pass the landmark that is the Sermitsiaq mountain.

    We also fly over the stunning Nuuk fjord system which is the second largest in the world. When we land in Nuuk, we'll collect our luggage and go to the center of Nuuk where we deposit our luggage at Hotel Hans Egede.

    City tour of Nuuk, Greenland National Museum

    Nuuk has about 17,500 inhabitants which is significantly more than just two decades ago. Entirely new neighborhoods have been added since 2000. Although Nuuk is a busy place in a Greenlandic context, nature is never far away. We now have a city tour in Nuuk's old center, and the first stop is the National Museum.

    Greenland’s National Museum houses many relics, but the most amazing are without comparison the famous mummies from Qilakitsoq. They were found in North Greenland outside the town of Uummannaq by two brothers out hunting. They found eight freeze-dried and unusually well-preserved mummies under a rocky outcrop. Four of the mummies are now at home at the National Museum and provide a fascinating insight into the ancient Inuit culture in Greenland.

    We continue our round trip of the old town. We visit the statue of Hans Egede, overlooking the old colonial harbor, the fjord and the islands that separate Nuuk from the Davis Strait. Then we move on to the beautiful building of Katuaq, the Cultural Center of Greenland, whose facade is shaped like the northern lights.

    Experience Nuuk on your own. Shopping and culture

    The rest of the afternoon you are on your own to explore Nuuk. There are cafés and restaurants and many shopping opportunities. You'll find a great selection of shops offering Greenlandic handicrafts and Greenlandic design. Nuuk is the best place to look for original Greenlandic design since the selection here is greater than in the other towns in Greenland.

    Departure by the coastal ship Sarfaq Ittuk and sailing northward

    When the day draws to an end, we board the ship Sarfaq Ittuk. Departure is at 9 PM. Ahead of us are two days aboard the ship bound for Ilulissat. The coastal ship sails up and down the west coast and is very popular among the Greenlanders. When the ship docks in coastal towns, you will experience happy reunions when the locals pick up their long-awaited friends and family.

    The northern lights on starboard

    We head out in the evening and, if it is a cloudless night, there is a good chance to see the northern lights from the deck. There is something special about the Greenlandic nature. It's rough and raw, but also beautiful, and you will quickly feel like you are a part of it.

    If it is too cold on the deck, you can also see the northern lights from within, e.g. from the panoramic lounge. However, we can already reveal that it is not the same to see the northern lights from the inside. This time of the year, it is cold to be outside on a ship, but it's also incredibly beautiful. Pack your warm clothes, and unforgettable experience will be all around.

     

    image
    info We sail with the coastal vessel MS Sarfaq Ittuk from Nuuk to Ilulissat.
  • Day 3 At sea with a call in Sisimiut and a guided town walk

    After a night's sleep on the ship, you can look forward to the breakfast buffet in the ship's cafeteria. In the morning, the ship docks in Maniitsoq and Kangaamiut, two of the towns along the coast. We are not able to go ashore, but from the deck, you get a good idea of the two towns and the life at the port.

    Ashore in Greenland's second largest town, Sisimiut

    At 6 PM, we reach Sisimiut and here we will go on a guided town walk. Sisimiut, Greenland's second largest town has just over 5,000 inhabitants. There is a cozy atmosphere and an authenticity that is peculiar to Sisimiut. The town is surrounded by steep mountains, and the view is absolutely beautiful.

    At this point, we have come north of the Arctic Circle, and we are in the dogsled district. This means you will hear a lot of howling dogs. It's exciting, intense and a bit like being in a werewolf movie.

    We do not have not a lot of time in Sisimiut, but enough time to get an idea of the town in the hilly landscape. We pass the town hall, the town’s highest vantage point, and the place where fishermen and hunters sell their catch. We also experience the old, original buildings from the colonial era, now lovingly restored.

    Aboard Sarfaq Ittuk, our journey to the north continues. Tonight, once again, we go on the deck and gaze at the sky, hoping that the weather gods are with us and giving us lots of life-affirming northern lights. The name of our tour comes from this part of the journey; we sail north along the west coast of Greenland, and therefore we have the coast and hopefully the northern lights on starboard.

     

    image
    info Sisimiut. One of the Greenlandic towns along the west coast of Greenland.
  • Day 4 Arrival in Ilulissat. City tour and sled dog visit. Hotel Arctic

    As Sarfaq Ittuk approaches Ilulissat, there will be significantly more icebergs in the water. Very large icebergs. They are significantly larger in the Disko Bay and for the coming days, icebergs are at the core of our activities. Along with northern lights, of course.

    Accommodation at Hotel Arctic

    Upon arrival in Ilulissat, we are picked up and accommodated at Hotel Arctic. Hotel Arctic is located on the outskirts of Ilulissat with a view of the Ilulissat Icefjord. The Icefjord was added to UNESCO's World Heritage List in 2004.
    Today, Hotel Arctic is located on the outskirts of Ilulissat; this has not always been so. Until recently, it was actually located a bit outside the of the town.

    However, Ilulissat is one of Greenland's four growth centers, so the town has expanded and reached the hotel. The other growth centers in Greenland are Nuuk, Sisimiut, and Qaqortoq.

    Once you've got your room, we will have an information meeting to learn more about the town and the many excursions that are available in this exciting area. If you have you purchased the excursion package, you will have five excursions ahead of you. If you have not purchased the excursion package, there are two exciting excursions included in the trip and you can go exploring on your own.

    Cultural town walk with visit to the Sledge dogs' area

    After the information meeting with the tour guide, we go on a town walk where you get the opportunity to get to know Ilulissat. The tour guide gives you an introduction to the history and culture of the area. We also pass by the town's museum which is housed in the world-famous polar explorer Knud Rasmussen’s birthplace. We see the old colonial houses, the almost 250 years old Zion Church and the city's iconic and vibrant harbor.

    After the tour of the town, we head towards the outskirts of town where the sled dogs reign. Here you get a lecture about life as a sled dog which is quite relevant in this city where thousands of dogs are waiting for winter so they can go running in front of a sled.

    Ilulissat on your own

    After the lecture, you have the opportunity to see more of the town on their own. There are some crafts shops and also a workshop where the artists are busy with their artwork. You can also take a break at a café before you find a place to have dinner.

    Restaurants in Ilulissat

    There are many restaurants in Ilulissat and, at Hotel Arctic, there are two really good ones. They both come with excellent views, and the food is of an international standard, prepared with tasty Greenlandic ingredients. You'll also find several restaurants in town.

    In the evening, we recommend that you go out on the hotel's terrace and look at the northern lights. You may use the hotel's back door and walk down beside the five aluminum igloos next to the hotel. They are situated on a small hill right above the water's edge so, while watching the northern lights above you, you can also hear the waves below you.

    image
    info Ilulissat Icefjord from above. Notice the town of Ilulissat on the northern side of the fjord. (Photo: Rino Rasmussen - Visit Greenland)
  • Day 5 Ilulissat. Hike to Sermermiut Valley at Ilulissat Icefjord

    After a wonderful breakfast buffet at the Hotel Arctic, we head out on a trip to Ilulissat Icefjord. We will be picked up from the hotel and driven to the top of the Sermermiut Valley. Today, you will need your hiking boots.

    Hike to Sermermiut and Ilulissat Icefjord

    We are going on a five-hour hike along the icefjord. We walk at a steady pace but the terrain is uneven in some places, and we do not recommend this trip if you are physically disabled. However, you can along at the start of the excursion and consider how long you will go along the way. The first part of the trip is simple.

    We begin our walk at the old quarry on the outskirts of Ilulissat. Subsequently we pass Seqinniarfik, Holm’s Hill where, every year on January 13, the townspeople go to welcome the sun after a few months without sun.
    Here we enjoy our lunch before we reach the vantage point at Nakkaavik (Kællingekløften).

    The story goes that, in the old days, if there was famine the elderly people went out here and threw themselves into the sea so as not to be a burden to the community and to ensure that there was enough food for the next generations. Here we have a view of Ilulissat Icefjord and the huge amounts of ice and icebergs that float along the fjord.

    The hike ends at a footbridge, built after the site became a world heritage site and we walk past the former Inuit settlement, Sermermiut. Before Ilulissat became a colony, this place was the most populated place in North Greenland.

    Northern lights and dining

    You are on your own again this evening. Obviously, the tour guide will be happy to go with you to see the northern lights again.

     

    image
    info View from our hiking route to Ilulissat and the Disco Bay.
  • Day 6 Ilulissat: Sailing at the Ilulissat Icefiord and Inuit Legends. Or a day on your own

    Today you can do things on your own. For those who have purchased the excursion package, two exciting excursions are on the menu. For those who have not acquired the tour package, it is possible to attend the excursions if space is available. 

    Boat tour to Ilulissat Icefiord (Excursion Package)

    Sailing among the icebergs at the mouth of Ilulissat Icefiord is easily the most popular excursion in Greenland. On this three-hour excursion, we sail in a small boat towards the fjord where huge and beautiful masses of ice are stuck on a sandbar. They are stranded until they are melted enough and can move on – if a big wave will lift them up and push them out of the fjord.

    The boatmen know the area and are always sailing in a responsible manner. They know the ice and know where the most impressive icebergs are available. At this time of year, the sun low in the sky so there will be some fine shading on the ice. Remember to bring your camera.

    Back in Ilulissat, you can enjoy the town. We recommend a trip to the art museum.

    Inuit Legends - Legends and myths (Excursion Package)

    The evening offers an exciting excursion. We will go to a peat hut on the mountain. Now you can wrap yourself in hides and blankets and get comfortable. Your tour guide will now tell you about the legends and myths that have been told for generations in the winter months when people had to stay indoors.

    Inuit culture, the original religion, and the Inuit relationship to nature's special phenomena are the focus of this excursion. We spice up the stay in the hut with tastings of traditional Greenlandic food. There is also an opportunity to taste Greenlandic coffee once again. 

    If there is heavy snow in the mountains, we use snowshoes to get to the hut. Then it becomes almost expedition-like, but everyone can participate. Of course, during our stay at the hut, we keep an eye on whether the northern lights dance across the sky outside.

     

    image
    info Northern Lights above the huge icebergs of the Ilulissat Icefjord. (Photo: Visit Greenland)
  • Day 7 Ilulissat: Boat trip to Ilimanaq settlement or time on your own

    On your last day in Ilulissat, you can enjoy the town and its surroundings. If you have purchased the excursion package, you will go on a five-hour excursion to the beautifully situated settlement Ilimanaq south of Ilulissat Icefjord.

    Boat trip to Ilimanaq settlement (Excursion Package)

    Just a generation ago, the majority of the Greenlandic population lived in the many small villages that lay as pearls on a string along the coast. Today, the majority of the population lives in the towns but the villages are still here. Some are abandoned, others are still full of life.

    One of these is Ilimanaq, located just south of the icefjord. Only 50 people live here, but a new cottage village at the outskirts of Ilimanaq has breathed new life the settlement, along with fishing, of course. At all places in Greenland, fishing is very visible and it is by far the Greenland’s largest industry.

    Ilimanaq has some of the oldest colonial buildings in Greenland and is also known for its fine trout caught in the area of Tasiusaq behind the settlement. We leave from the port of Ilulissat. The trip takes about an hour each way, and then you have 2-3 hours to walk around and enjoy life in a genuine Greenlandic settlement. We will bring lunch packs for the trip to Ilimanaq and coffee and tea will be served on the boat on both ways.

    Farewell dinner at Hotel Arctic

    In the evening, we meet in the restaurant of the Hotel Arctic where we enjoy a nice farewell dinner. Afterward, one last time, we put on our warm outdoor clothes on and go out in the area outside the hotel to watch for the northern lights. Hopefully, the lights have been our lovely companions in the past week and now it’s time to say goodbye. We whistle towards the sky, thus encouraging the northern lights to flutter a little extra. It usually does.

     

    image
    info View from the settlement of Ilimanaq to the Disco Bay. Notice the whale. (Photo: World of Greenland)
  • Day 8 Flight from Ilulissat to Copenhagen via Kangerlussuaq

    With your minds filled with experiences from the land of the fantastic northern lights, we fly via Kangerlussuaq to Copenhagen where we arrive in the evening. We can guarantee you that you go home with your heart filled with memories that will stay with you longer than other holiday memories. At least, that's what our other guests usually tell us afterward.

    On the flight from Ilulissat to Kangerlussuaq, you will see Ilulissat Icefjord from above. The flight lasts about 45 minutes and you can see parts of the route that you sailed earlier this week.

    In Kangerlussuaq, there is a brief stay before you board Air Greenland’s Airbus and fly to Denmark.

    Copenhagen

    You arrive late in the evening i Copenhagen and for those living outside of Copenhagen we recommend an overnight stay. Copenhagen is a wonderful place to visit. It is easy travel betwen the airport and the town center. Please do not hesitate to contact us for accomodation in Copenhagen. 

     

    image
    info Boat tour to Ilulissat Icefjord. (Photo: Visit Greenland)

Dates & prices

Departure Accommodation Guaranteed departure Price pr. person Availability
26-09-2019 Double room Guaranteed departure 2.910 EUR 1 Room Book tour
26-09-2019 Double room, Superior PLUS Guaranteed departure 2.975 EUR 3 Rooms Book tour
26-09-2019 Single room Guaranteed departure 3.220 EUR 1 Room Book tour
26-09-2019 Singleroom, Superior PLUS Guaranteed departure 3.380 EUR Sold out
03-10-2019 Double room Guaranteed departure 2.910 EUR 3 Rooms Book tour
03-10-2019 Double room, Superior PLUS Guaranteed departure 2.975 EUR 4 Rooms Book tour
03-10-2019 Single room Guaranteed departure 3.220 EUR 1 Room Book tour
03-10-2019 Singleroom, Superior PLUS Guaranteed departure 3.380 EUR 1 Room Book tour
10-10-2019 Double room 2.910 EUR 3 Rooms Book tour
10-10-2019 Double room, Superior PLUS 2.975 EUR 4 Rooms Book tour
10-10-2019 Single room 3.220 EUR 1 Room Book tour
10-10-2019 Singleroom, Superior PLUS 3.380 EUR 1 Room Book tour
More info about accommodation
Info Flight schedule (local times): br> Departure from Copenhagen 11.00 (GL781)
Return flights arrive in Copenhagen 21.30 (GL782)
Please note that departure times are subject to change by the airline.
Tour guide speaks: English/Danish on departure October 3. On departures September 26 and October 10, the guide speaks German/Danish.

Excursion packages and add ons

Excursion package

Excursion package

Our excursion packages consist of the most popular excursions and are adapted to the day program. 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.

  • Excursion to the ice cap with bus, point 660 (5 hours)
  • Boat tour to settlement Ilimanaq, incl. lunch pack (5 hours)
  • Northern Lights tour in Kangerlussuaq (2 hours)
  • Sailing at Ilulissat Icefjord (2,5 hours)
  • Inuit Legends in Ilulissat (3 hours)
Price pr. adult 455 EUR
Price pr. child (2-11) 255 EUR

Included in tour

Included

  • fly
    Flights and Transportation

    Flight Copenhagen - Kangerlussuaq
    Flight Kangerlussuaq - Copenhagen
    Flight Kangerlussuaq - Nuuk
    Flight Ilulissat - Kangerlussuaq
    Coastal ship Nuuk - Ilulissat with MS Sarfaq Ittuk
    Transfers to/from hotels and excursions
    20 kg of checked baggage and 8 kg of cabin baggage

  • overnatning
    Accommodation

    2 nights in a cabin on the coastal ship with private bath/toilet
    1 night at Hotel Kangerlussuaq with private bath/toilet
    4 nights at Hotel Arctic with private bath/toilet

    More info about accommodation
  • måltider
    Meals

    Breakfast
    Full board at coastal ship from Saturday morning to Sunday lunch (excl. beverages)
    Welcome dinner in Kangerlussuaq (excl. beverages)
    Farewell dinner in Ilulissat (excl. beverages)
    Sandwich on excursion to Sermermiut at Ilulissat Icefjord
    Food and beverages on board the flight from Copenhagen to Kangerlussuaq and the return flight

  • andet
    Other

    Guided city tours in Nuuk, Sisimiut and Ilulissat*
    Guided hike to Sermermiut by the Icefiord incl. sandwich*
    Dog show in Ilulissat
    Admission to the National Museum in Greenland
    Tour guide**
    All taxes

    * Local tour guides are English speaking
    ** Tour guide speaks:
    Danish/English on departure October 3
    and German/Danish on departures September 26 and October 10.

Not included

Meals not listed above
Travel Insurance
Beverages except on flight to and from Greenland-Copenhagen

 

Practical information

Flight times:
Departure from Copenhagen 11.00 (GL781)
Return to Copenhagen 21.30 (GL782)
Please note that departure times are subject to change by the airline.
Flight times are local times.

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

Please note
This tour is guaranteed departure with a minimum of 8 participants.

Guaranteed
departure
  • Contact your Travel Specialist

    Ulf Klüppel

    Ulf has spent 20 years of his adult life in Greenland. He started out as a student in Nuuk. Most of the years, however, Ulf has worked with tourism in Ilulissat where his passion for dogsledding has made him familiar with every inch of the area.

  • 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.