Ilimanaq Lodge indefra

NEW: Round trip in the Disco Bay - now including Ilimanaq Lodge!

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NEW: Round trip in the Disco Bay - now including Ilimanaq Lodge!

NEW! On this tour you will get the opportunity to visit the newly built cabins at Ilimanaq Lodge, situated with a fantastic view just south of the Icefjord.

Qeqertarsuaq Island is the biggest island in Greenland and it offers a spectacular terrain with tall, basalt hills and vegetation not found anywhere else in Greenland. Ilulissat is known far and wide for the Ilulissat Icefjord, the most productive glacier in the northern hemisphere. Ilimanaq is a small settlement just south of the Icefjord. We explore these places on this active tour to the heart of the Disco Bay in Greenland.

The journey starts in Kangerlussuaq where you will take a tour to the Greenland Ice Sheet in a custom-built vehicle. You will even get to feel the ice beneath your feet! The journey continues to Qeqertarsuaq on the Disco Island, and, as you approach, you will see the beautiful basalt hills in the horizon. The surrounding area is one of the preferred habitats to the bowhead whale, so keep your camera and binoculars at hand.

You will be spending 3 days on the island where you can go on some lovely hikes. After 3 days filled with wonderful experiences, you will continue the journey to Ilulissat. Here you will get the chance of a close encounter with the ice as you sail among icebergs in the UNESCO listed Ilulissat Icefjord.

More than 5,000 sled dogs live in Ilulissat, and you can both see and hear them while you experience the busy small town life in Ilulissat, which is the centre of education, culture, transport and administration of Northern Greenland. You will also be visiting the small settlement of Ilimanaq with its totally new cabins. All in all it is a lovely journey around the Disco Bay which will offer you an abundance of fantastic experiences to take home.

English speaking tour guides on many departures

English/Danish speaking tour guides on departures June 27, July 11 and July 25. 
English/German speaking guides on departures June 20 and July 18.
Danish/German speaking guides on departure July 4.

NEW: Round trip in the Disco Bay - now including Ilimanaq Lodge!

Itinerary

The trip aims to give you the best experiences in pristine nature and regions. At the same time, you will have time for classical excursions, which are essential on a trip to Greenland. You have the option of adapting your trip according to weather, wind and further exciting activities. Many excursions are included, except for a dog sleigh ride since the tours strongly depend on current snow conditions at the Lyngmarks glacier. Also, the boat tour to the Icefjord and the whale safari in Ilulissat are not included and nor are the Qajaa excursion in Ilimanaq.

  • Day 1 Flight Copenhagen - Kangerlussuaq and excursion to the Greenland Ice Sheet

    After 4 hours of flying from Copenhagen to Kangerlussuaq with Air Greenland, you can enjoy the spectacular sight of Greenland from the air, and if the weather is clear, the approach to Kangerlussuaq and the 160-kilometre long fjord is just stunning.

    In Kangerlussuaq, you will check in at a youth hostel. Afterwards you will be going on an excursion to the Ice Cap, driving in a custom-built vehicle. 

    In the evening, it is possible to eat at the Rowing Club, a restaurant located outside the town at Lake Fergusson. Here you can enjoy today's special or eat a la carte. The food is based on the tasty indigenous food present in the area, such as musk oxen, caribou and fish.

    It is also possible to cook at our hostel or eat in the airport cafeteria. Most people usually go to bed early on their first day in Greenland because of the time difference. Greenland is four hours behind Central European Time, so when it 9:00 PM local time, it is the equivalent 01:00 AM Central European Time.

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    info The Ice Cap is only a few hours' drive from Kangerlussuaq. As your flight approaches Greenland, you get a great view of the Ice Cap from above.
  • Day 2 Flight Kangerlussuaq - Aasiaat/boat trip to Qeqertarsuaq

    We will continue our journey to Aasiaat and Qeqertarsuaq. We have little time in Aasiaat before moving on to Qeqertarsuaq, so we wil go for a walk and pay a visit to the town’s assembly hall which is adorned with paintings by the famous Danish painter Per Kirkeby.

    The we continue to the harbor and further on by boat to the Disco Island through an area, which is a playground for seals and whales. Approaching the Disco Island, you will see the characteristic basalt hills in the horizon and the beautiful harbour. Qeqertarsuaq was former known as “the good harbour”, because of its secure location sheltered from the ice and the beating of the waves.

    In Qeqertarsuaq, we will check in at Hotel Disko & Annex, which is located in the town centre, but still right next to the amazing nature. The colourful houses are placed near the water, where giant icebergs drift by.

     

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    info View from the Lyngmark Glacier across the Disco Bay.
  • Day 3 Town walk and the Vantage Point

    Today we will go sightseeing in the town. Qeqertarsuaq has about 970 inhabitants. The town is situated on a peninsula and the main trade is fishing. The museum used to be the doctor's house, and it has also been the head office of the governor of Northern Greenland. In the town, you can also find a supermarket, a post office, a school and a church, "The Lord's Inkpot".  

    Hiking to Qaqqaliaq (The Vantage Point)

    The Vantage point, also named Qaqqaliaq, is a place south of the town on the coast. From here there is a completely magnificent view of the southern part of Disko Bay. Whalers - both in historic times as well as the present - scouted for whales here. Today’s hunters use it but so do others who wish to enjoy the view of the sea and the animals.

    Dog sledding in the summer

    Summer dog sledding at the Lyngmark Glacier is also an option when you visit the Disco Island. For many years it has been popular for people with dog sledding dreams to visit the Lyngmark Glacier. However, the condition of the snow at the glacier has been so poor that we at Greenland Travel no longer recommend or sell this tour. If you want to go anyway, you can enquire about the conditions at the local turist information. If the snow is good, you can book the trip while on the Disco Island. Regardless, the walk to the glacier is very beautiful - but also quite strenuous. 

    Note: Sledding is not part of the tour package and cannot be purchased in advance. If it’s possible to go, it must be booked and paid in Qeqertarsuaq.

     

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    info Summer dog sledding at the Lyngmark Glacier is an option when you visit the Disco Island - if the snow is ok.
  • Day 4 Hiking at Qeqertarsuaq/Disco Island

    The landscape of Qeqertarsuaq is characterised by volcanic activity and steep basalt hills. The Apostle Hill, the Lyngmark Glacier and the Cormorant Hill outlines Qeqertarsuaq.

    The area is made for hiking, and this day you will set the course towards the Red River and hike along the coast towards Kuannit. Kuannit is a very fertile area where locals find wild growing angelica. The landscape along the coast is adorned by formations in columnar basalt where burning hot lava has been cooled down by breaking waves, resulting in organic sculptures resembling anything from a camel to an elephant.

    The hike continues towards the Cormorant Hill and across Peterson's lateral moraine overlooking the “Blæsedal” (the Windy Valley). On your way back, you will follow the mouth of the Red River with small and large waterfalls. Energetic hikers can climb the Cormorant Hill and enjoy the fantastic view of Ilulissat in the east, Kronprinsens Ejland in the south and the town at the foot of the hill. 

     

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    info The landscape of Qeqertarsuaq is characterised by volcanic activity and steep basalt hills.
  • Day 5 Boat trip to Ilulissat - Walk along the Icefjord

    Today, a fantastic sailing tour eastwards to the mainland and Ilulissat awaits you. Ilulissat is the center of tourism in the Disko Bay and the birthplace of a lot of the giant icebergs that Greenland is so well known for. Huge icebergs in droves show up when we cross the bay. We are approaching the Ilulissat Icefjord and the mouth of the fjord where we will sail along the icebergs. Ilulissat Icefjord is the most productive glacier in the northern hemisphere.

    We arrive at 11:20 to Ilulissat after a few hours of sailing. In Ilulissat we will check in at Hotel Hvide Falk. The hotel has a stunning view of the Ilulissat Icefjord and the city. And now it’s time to do some hiking.

    Hike along the Icefjord 

    At the outskirts of town we will walk to Sermermiut from where you have an incredible view of the mouth of the Icefjord where giant icebergs struggle to get out into the Disco Bay. When ice breaks off, it sounds almost like an explosion in the otherwise silent surroundings. Sermermiut is a protected area with old ruins and its Inuit history. Then we continue on along the water to get a good feel of the wonderful Icefjord.

     

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    info Beautiful icebergs provide the setting for the old settlement of Sermermiut 1.5 kilometres south of Ilulissat.
  • Day 6 Explore Ilulissat on your own and Sailing among the icebergs

    Ilulissat is an exciting town with a lot of activities. “Brættet” – the local fish market – offers different kinds of local specialties, including seal, whale, fish and birds. The wide selection of souvenir shops is located in the town centre as well, and the workshop where the souvenirs are created is open most of the time. The town museum displays both the history of the town as well as the story of Arctic explorer Knud Rasmussen. Ilulissat also has an art gallery with modern Greenlandic art, and there is a dressmaker's workroom producing fine fur coats, mittens and bags made of sealskin.

    Sailing among Icebergs

    Late in the afternoon, you will go on a boat trip to the Ice Fjord. You will get close to the enormous icebergs, allowing you to experience the different shapes and colours in detail. Holes, crevices and melting water provide the icebergs with new dimensions, and if you are lucky, you get to see seals and whales who share your interest in these stunning phenomena of nature.  

     

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    info The evening boat trip offers an amazing sight of the Disco Island and the Icefiord.
  • Day 7 On your own and Whale safari in the Disco Bay

    Today we will go sailing, looking for whales.

    Whale safari

    It is a great experience to get really close to large animals like whales. There are 15 species of whale in Greenland; three of these stay in Greenland during winter, the narwhal, the beluga and the bow-head whale (also known as the Greenland right whale). The blue whale and the killer whale are only rarely seen. 

    During summer, we usually get to see the humpback, the common minke whale and the fin whale. The whales swim the entire Disco Bay during summer – sometimes close to the town, sometimes in the Ice Fjord or up north by the island Arveprinsens Ejland. 

    We are in constant radio contact with fishermen and hunters, who are our source of information about the whales and their whereabouts. The humpback with its characteristic fin is the most commonly witnessed on these safaris.
    The boat trip takes 4 hours, and we use the fast boat Targa to cover more ground.  

     

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    info The whales swim the entire Disco Bay during summer.
  • Day 8 Boat to Ilimanaq. Walking in the settelement and hiking to ”Nordre Huse”

    Now the time has come for us to try the big news in the world of Greenlandic tourism: A stay for two days at the Ilimanaq Lodges.

    Ilimanaq is a settlement located 15 kilometers south of Ilulissat and has approximately 50 inhabitants. In the small settlement near Ilulissat Ice Fjord our subsidiary World of Greenland has just built 15 new luxury cabins with an incredible view. The cottages were built in the summer of 2016 and will open in 2017. 

    Two listed buildings are also restored so that they may contain the reception and restaurant, respectively, but also a museum and conference facilities. The municipality has improved the village's infrastructure, port access and sanitation, so it is a good example of local cooperation. There has been a close collaboration with the residents of the settlement who are very positive about the project as it creates jobs in the village, something that does not come easily in remote places in Greenland.

    After we have checked in we will go on a walk.

    Settlement walk in Ilimanaq

    The Disco Bay's third smallest village is rich in history - and friendly people. Ilimanaq actually means 'expectation place’ and on this trip, you can expect a lot of stories about the hunting culture, as the locals are significant examples of this. Hunting culture is still a big part of the Greenlandic daily life.

    We start at the restaurant and move then past the harbor, the shop, the dogs, the school, the lake and then church. We then come back to the restaurant where we can visit the small museum. The tour is easy going and requires nothing more than a desire for knowledge, a good mood and clothing for the conditions.

    However, we are not done with the hiking of the day. Indeed, we will also walk to the Icefjord:

    Nordre Houses (Northern Houses) and a UNESCO view - hiking to the Ilulissat Icefjord and the old cemeteries

    We have a few more hours of good walking ahead of us and start by going up on the hill north of the city. There is a magnificent view of the terrain, The Disco Bay and Ilimanaq’s colored houses. We are now looking straight ahead to the icebergs that are waiting for us.

    It will not be long before the guide can show us the old house sites from the ancient Thule culture, and suddenly we stand beside one of the many hidden graves, which still have skulls and bone pieces in them among the rocks. We walk on and watch for animals.

    A more modern cemetery lies in the middle of the countryside, but the surrounding houses have disappeared long ago. Now we go up to a cairn on a hilltop and then stand in front of the largest icebergs in the Icefiord. In good weather, we can see all the way to the glacier front 65 kilometers away. Then we head back home to Ilimanaq and an evening of relaxation.

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    info The UNESCO listed Ice Fjord is so incredible that we actually dare claim that you cannot get enough of it. The giant icebergs come from the edge of the Ice Cap – more specifically from Sermeq Kujalleq, which is the most productive glacier in the world with a daily yield of 40 metres of glacier brook. We will see it again on our boat trip and when we hike in Ilimanaq.
  • Day 9 Quiet day in the settlement or an optional trip to Qajaa OR a Glacier hike

    On your ninth day in Greenland you have the opportunity to relax completely and enjoy life in a quiet village. However, there are also two alternatives to this: an excursion to the ancient relics of the Saqqaq culture by Qajaa or a ride on ATV’s where you also get up to walk on a glacier. Please note that you can only do the glacier trek OR the Qajaa tour. There’s not time enough for both.

    Qajaa - the untouched former settlement (optional)

    When the first missionaries arrived in the Disco Bay, they found that the vast majority of settlements were on the Icefjord’s inland shores. Sermermiut at Ilulissat is located on the northern shore of the fjord, and hidden on the south bank is the almost secret place Qajaa where one of Greenland's best-kept dunghills is located by the water. It contains traces and remnants of the Saqqaq culture, who lived here 4000 years ago.

    So far, the area has been difficult to access for tourists, but we will take you on a trip by sea and land to get deep into the Icefjord hinterland and explore the area. It is a perfect mix of fjord sailing, incredible vistas and exciting cultural phenomena.

    Glacier Hiking - ATV and glacier trekking (optional)

    From Ilimanaq we go on large ATV’s from the restaurant up past the cemetery and along the coast before we turn up the mountain to get the excellent views of the sandy plain south of Ilimanaq. After 10 minutes, where we've looked at the hunters’ old fox traps, we drive out onto the plain until we reach the Tasiusaq Fjord.

    Tasiusaq Fjord has been a popular fishing area for thousands of years. From here, we now sail into the the fjord. On the southern bank, we are once again on land and will hike to the edge of the ice, where the guide teach us about safety procedures for glacier trekking. All equipment is checked thoroughly before we go into the crevices on one of the many glacier tongues emanating from the Greenland Ice Sheet.

    It is time for the obligatory group photo, and then we climb around like the old expedition leaders used to do to find the right path through the ice. We have lunch somewhere around here when you get hungry.

    And then we will return to Ilimanaq to meet the rest of the team.

    The excursions today require a minimum of 6 and a maximum of 12 participants. Should the rare occasion occur that we cannot go through with an excursion, we will find something else to do.

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    info The lodges in Ilimanaq are newly built and offer a wonderful view.
  • Day 10 Boat to Ilulissat. Flight Ilulissat via Kangerlussuaq to Copenhagen

    Unfortunately, it is time to say goodbye to the Disco Bay and Greenland.

    In the morning we take a boat from Ilimanaq to Ilulissat. Then you fly from Ilulissat via Kangerlussuaq to Copenhagen where you arrive in the evening.  

     

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    info It is time to say goodbye to the Disco Bay and Greenland.

Dates & prices

%departureDatesListItems%
Departure Accommodation Guaranteed departure Price pr. person Availability
More info about accommodation
Info Small groups with maximum 11 persons. On non-guaranteed departures a min. of 6 participant is required.
English/Danish speaking tour guides on departures June 27, July 11 and July 25.
English/German speaking guides on departures June 20 and July 18.
Danish/German speaking guides on departure July 4.
Flight schedule (local times): Normal departure from Copenhagen at 11.00 a.m. Return flights normally arrive in Copenhagen at 09.30 p.m.
Please note that departure times are subject to change by the airline.

Included in tour

Included

  • fly
    Flights and Transportation

    Return flight Copenhagen–Kangerlussuaq
    Flight Kangerlussuaq - Aasiaat
    Flight Ilulissat – Kangerlussuaq
    Ship Aasiaat - Qeqertarsuaq
    Ship Qeqertarsuaq - Ilulissat
    Return boat Ilulissat – Ilimanaq

  • overnatning
    Accommodation

    1 night at Polar Lodge (on July 11 and 18: 1 night at Old Camp instead)
    3 nights at Hotel Disko & Annex
    3 nights at Hotel Hvide Falk
    2 nights at Ilimanaq Lodge

    More info about accommodation
  • måltider
    Meals

    Breakfast
    Full board in Ilimanaq
    Food and beverages on board the Air Greenland flight Kopenhagen - Kangerlussuaq

  • andet
    Other

    Hiking tours and sightseings with guide in Qeqertarsuaq, Ilulissat and Ilimanaq
    Excursion to the Inland Ice Cap (point 660)
    Boat tour to the Icefjord
    Whale safari
    Greenland Travel tour guide (English speaking)
    All taxes

Not included

Lunch and dinner
Travel Insurance
Optional dogsled on the Lyngmark Glacier
Optional excursions to Qajaa at Ilimanaq
We recommend that you book the excursion when you book your trip. By booking later, a handling fee of EUR 30 will be added and the excursion might be sold out.

 

Practical information

English/Danish speaking tour guides on departures June 27, July 11 and July 25.
English/German speaking guides on departures June 20 and July 18.
Danish/German speaking guides on departure July 4.

Flight times:
Departure: Copenhagen 11:00 AM
Return: Copenhagen 09:30 PM
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).

  • 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

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