Kirke i Ilulissat

White Christmas in the Land of Icebergs

View larger gallery full arrow
  • Destination Greenland
  • Travel Category Individual tour
  • Departure from Copenhagen
  • Duration 6 days
  • Price pr. person from 2.190 EUR
Add to favourites

White Christmas in the Land of Icebergs

Christmas in Greenland is a uniquely beautiful and peaceful experience and, on top of that, it’s covered in white. You can relax and reload your batteries, but also experience the magic of Christmas with the traditional, orange, Greenlandic Christmas stars, the northern lights, dog sledding, and some nice walks and hikes.

You can plan your own Greenland vacation, or you can purchase our excursion package. We have collected six incomparable experiences for you in this package, including a boat trip to the huge icebergs at the mouth of the llulissat lce Fjord, a ride on a dog sled, and hiking.

Christmas Eve in Greenland

On December 24th, the restaurant at Hotel lcefiord will serve a traditional Scandinavian Christmas Eve dinner with pork and duck. Greenlanders, like Scandinavians and the Germans, celebrate Christmas on the 24th and not on December 25th.

The icebergs beneath the northern lights

Everyone is fond of the Icefjord and the northern lights. It may seem that we are flaunting, but we have never met anyone who has not been impressed by both. When you go outside on a frosty evening and watch the amazing northern lights move across the sky with the big icebergs bathed in the night light, you will be close to tears from the beauty.

Winter in Greenland in December

On this trip, you will get a unique chance to go above the Arctic Circle during the Polar Night. The Polar Night is the opposite of its famous "sister", the Midnight Sun. During the Polar Night, the sun does not rise above the horizon. However, your days will not be pitch black, of course. In the middle of the day, you will get a dusk-like light in the sky. Inside the town, the streets are also lit and there is an orange glow from the many Christmas stars displayed in the windows of the homes of the Greenlanders.

Books and games

You will get a lot of outdoor experiences on this trip, but there will also be a lot of time to relax. Bring the books that you didn't get to read this year, yourt crosswords and possibly some easily transportable games. There might be some of your co-travelers who are up for a fun game of cards or checkers.

Please note:
English/Danish speaking guide

"Now we have traveled with Greenland Travel twice, and both times we chose a package tour with excursions booked in advance. It works perfectly. It can only be recommended!" L. Hansen, 2016, on Trustpilot
White Christmas in the Land of Icebergs

Itinerary

We have made the following program description based on our excursion package. This package allows you to get close to the Greenlandic nature via six exciting extra activities. NOTE: The program is not set in stone. You may not get to go dogsledding on the day mentioned, but then you will get to go on another day. This goes for all excursions in the tour package.

  • Day 1 Flights Copenhagen - Kangerlussuaq - llulissat. Information Meeting and Town Walk

    In Copenhagen, we board Air Greenland's airplane Norsaq, flying us to Kangerlussuaq in Greenland, a trip of 4.5 hours. After landing, we transfer to a smaller plane that is taking us to Ilulissat. Along the way, you can look down on Greenland's beautiful coastline, and we also fly over the world-famous Ilulissat Icefjord just before reaching the airport in Ilulissat.

    You will be picked up by Hotel lcefiord’s busses and driven to the cozy hotel, located on the waterfront in llulissat town. Our guide now gives an information meeting, and you will hear about the town, the surrounding area, and the excursion opportunities. Note that there may be changes in the days when you are going on a certain excursion. Daylight is limited at this time of year. We may not be able to get all people on the same boat trip as the boat only takes 12 passengers. But the guide will ensure that things will work out for all of those who are going on the excursions.

    After the information meeting, it is time for a guided town walk for all visitors.

    Guided Town Walk

    Ilulissat is Greenland's third largest town and is considered one of the four main cities in Greenland, together with Nuuk, Qaqortoq, and Sisimiut. In the area of Ilulissat, people have lived for 4,500 years, but the town itself was founded in 1727, and in 1741 the Icelandic merchant Jacob Severin established the Jacobshavn trade station. You will see many buildings from colonial times. 

    Look forward to an exciting town walk where you will get lots of information that you can use in the coming days. Enjoy the twilight in the town; at this time of the year, there is no sun in Ilulissat. Thhe sun does not rise until January 13, but do not worry: You will experience dusk in the daytime because of the glare of the snow from the stars and street lights.

    Knud Rasmussen, the world-famous polar explorer, grew up in the building, which is now the Museum of Cultural History in Ilulissat. 

    In the evening, there is a nice welcome dinner at Hotel Icefiord (excluding drinks). Since Greenland is three hours behind Greenwich Mean Time, there are probably some who would like to go to bed early. Others can then enjoy a small walk on the streets of Ilulissat and count the orange Christmas stars. If your count is under 100, you didn’t walk far enough for almost all houses, and apartments have a star in the window.

    image
    info The northern lights are part of the nature experiences in the wintertime
  • Day 2 Ilulissat on your own (Option: Hike to Sermermiut and Northern Lights Excursion)

    There is plenty to do on your own in Ilulissat, and the guide already told you about this on the first day. Today, you can immerse yourself in these experiences. If you have bought the excursion package, you are will go on hikes to the former settlement of Sermermiut and, later on, to see the Northern Lights.

    Hiking to the Former Inuit Settlement of Sermermiut at the Ice Fjord (optional)

    Today you are going to the former settlement of Sermermiut, which has been inhabited for millennia because of its great location on the lce Fjord. Even though the view is astonishing, this was not the reason why the Inuit settled here. There are excellent hunting opportunities in the area as the lce Fjord still provides food for both fish and seals, which in turn has created the basis for human dwellings.

    It is December in Greenland, so on this trip it is likely that there will be snow en route. We drive from the World of Greenland office to the outskirts of the town. From here, we now have to walk  towards the Isfjorden. This walk is approx. one kilometer along a path most likely covered by snow. Since it is winter, you cannot see the remains of the settlement, as it is also covered by snow, but the guide will tell you about life in a Greenlandic settlement in the old days. On this hike you also get a fantastic view of the Isfjorden.

    Northern Light Safari (optional)

    After dinner, we go for an evening walk, where we hope to see the northern lights. On evenings with clear winter skies, you can experience the beautiful northern lights above Ilulissat. We will drive away from the lights of the town and start walking. Your guide will tell you about the phenomenon and also about the Greenlandic legends about the northern light. The guide will also provide tips on how to get the best pictures of the colored curtains in the night sky.

    Be aware that northern lights can only be seen on clear winter evenings and not when it's overcast. There is a risk that we will go look for the northern lights on one of the other evenings instead.

    Making Christmas Decorations

    Before dinner, we will have fun, making traditional Christmas clippings. Of course, it’s not mandatory to participate in this. Some people love doing this, others not so much.

    Christmas closing hours and alcohol

    Greenland has restrictive alcohol legislation, which means that alcohol must not be served in public places on December 25. Also, most cafes, restaurants, and bars are also closed during the Christmas days from December 24 to December 26, so buying supplies for the next few days may be a good idea. In the local supermarkets, you can buy candy, cookies, or alcoholic beverages. It is also possible to buy tax-free sweets and alcohol on arrival in Kangerlussuaq before flying on to Ilulissat.

     

    image
    info Winter at Sermermiut. However, at Christmas time, you will experience twilight (photo: Mads Pihl - Visit Greenland)
  • Day 3 Christmas Eve (Optional: lce Fjord Boat Trip)

    Christmas has arrived! There are Christmas church services several times during the coming days, so feel free to see if there is room for you in the church. Be aware that it might be completely crowded.

    If you bought the excursion package, you are going sailing today. Let it be a wonderful Christmas gift to yourself!

    Sailing to the lce Fjord (optional)

    This may very well be one of the highlights of your life! A boat trip to the Ice Fjord is unforgettable. You will sail among the huge icebergs stranded here at the mouth of the fjord. Here, the huge icebergs have created an underwater sand bank where the largest icebergs get stuck. When the pressure becomes too high from ice in the fjord or because of meltdown, the larger icebergs can finally get unstuck and proceed into the Disco Bay.

    We recommended that you bring sea sickness tablets if you already know that you are at risk of getting seasick.

    Christmas Dinner

    Christmas Eve is approaching, and tonight you will be served a traditional Scandinavian Christmas dinner at Hotel Icefiord. We will enjoy the traditional duck and pork and, of course, a healthy serving of the indispensable red cabbage. Perhaps you can persuade the guide to dance with you around the Christmas tree, another local Christmas tradition.

    After dinner, it's up to you how to enjoy Christmas Eve. You may want to go for a walk to see if children are singing Christmas carols outside the houses. They often do this on Christmas Eve, and then they get a little candy for their efforts (please note that Christmas in Greenland is celebrated as the Scandinavians and Germans do. Our main event is the dinner on Christmas Eve and not on Christmas Morning the 25th  - feel free to also celebrate on the morning of the 25th if that is how you do it).

    Read more about Christmas in Greenland here.
     

    image
    info Christmas tree at the church in Ilulissat
  • Day 4-5 Ilulissat on your own (Optional: Inuit Legends, Dog Sledding or Snowshoeing)

    On December 24 and 25, you can relax and enjoy the Christmas atmosphere of the town. If you have bought the excursion package, you will go on a dog sled trip today or tomorrow. On the day that you are not going dog sledding, you will experience Inuit Legends instead.

    2-hour Dog Sledding Trip (optional)

    You're should look forward to trying a 2-hour dog sledding trip. The ice fjord is an impressive sight all year round, and we will experience it again on today's dog sledding trip. We drive across the small hill Akinnaq and, seven kilometers later, we reach a super-good viewpoint of the area. The trip goes through hilly terrain, and you will experience the dogs both in front of and behind the sled. This is because the dogs act as brakes when you go down. You will be two people on the sled in addition to the sled driver.

    Inuit Legends - Tales and Myths

    On this excursion you will go to a turf hut or a heated tent in the mountains where you can wrap yourself in blankets and hides from the Greenlandic fauna. The guide will introduce you to the legends and myths that have been told through generations. We will also keep an eye on the sky in the hope that the northern lights will dance across it.

    Culture, myths and the Inuit's relationship to nature's phenomena are the focus of this trip. You will also get a taste of different local specialities.

    You can also go snowshoe hiking.

    Snowshoe Hiking (Optional) 

    The winter landscape is covered by beautiful snow, which also makes it difficult to explore the World Heritage Site outside the path. Markings on the longer hiking routes are often covered by snow but if you go with a local guide and wear snowshoes, it becomes easier.

    On this hike, you will follow the so-called yellow route that starts at the power plant and you will walk along the coast. You will have the opportunity to photograph the area and enjoy the panoramic view of the Sermermiut Valley, the icebergs and the Disko Bay. 

    The tour ends at the heliport where you will be picked up. You don't need experience using snowshoes, because everyone can learn how to move safely through the landscape with these. But you should be aware that this hike is not as easy as the regular Sermermiut hike.

    image
    info On day 4 or 5 you can go on dog sledding (photo: Mads Pihl - Visit Greenland)
  • Day 6 Flights from llulissat via Kangerlussuaq to Copenhagen

    On the sixth day, you fly back to Kangerlussuaq and later on to Denmark. With Air Greenland's Dash 8, we leave Ilulissat Airport behind and head for Kangerlussuaq.

    From Kangerlussuaq you fly on to Copenhagen, where you arrive in the evening.

     

    image
    info Photo: Per Arnesen - Visit Greenland

Dates & prices

Departure Accommodation Guaranteed departure Price pr. person Availability
22-12-2019 Double room 2.190 EUR 12 Rooms Book tour
22-12-2019 Single room 2.295 EUR 11 Rooms Book tour
22-12-2019 Suite Double room 2.290 EUR 6 Rooms Book tour
More info about accommodation
Info Flight schedule (local times)
Departure from Copenhagen 11:00 AM. Return flights arrive in Copenhagen 8:00 PM.
Please note that departure times are subject to change by the airline.
Minimum of 20 participants.
Guide languages:
English and Danish.

Excursion packages and add ons

Hiking with Snowshoes (Optional)

Hiking with Snowshoes (Optional)
Winter

On this snowshoe hike, you will start at the power plant and walk along the water. You will have time to take photos and enjoy the view of the Sermermiut Valley, the icebergs and the Disko Bay. You don't need experience using snowshoes. You should be aware that this hike is not as easy as the regular Sermermiut hike.


  • Transfer from World of Greenland to the power plant
  • Transfer from the heliport to World of Greenland
  • Snowshoe rental
  • Tea and coffee
  • Duration: 3 hours
  • Difficulty: 3
Price pr. adult 65 EUR
Price pr. child (2-11) 65 EUR
Excursion Package

Excursion Package
December

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:

  • Northern Lights tour in Ilulissat (1,5 timer)
  • 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)
  • Inuit Legends (3 hours)
Price pr. adult 455 EUR
Price pr. child (2-11) 335 EUR

Included in tour

Included

  • fly
    Flights and Transportation

    Flight Copenhagen - Kangerlussuaq return
    Flight Kangerlussuaq - Ilulissat return
    Transfers
    20 kilos of checked baggage and 8 kilos of cabin baggage
    Accommodation

  • overnatning
    Accommodation

    5 nights at Hotel Icefiord with private facilities

    More info about accommodation
  • måltider
    Meals

    Breakfast
    Welcome dinner in Ilulissat at Hotel Icefiord, excl. drinks
    Scandinavian Christmas Dinner on December 24 at Hotel Icefiord, excl. drinks
    Food and beverages on board the Air Greenland flight Copenhagen - Kangerlussuaq return

  • andet
    Other

    Information meetings
    Sightseeing in Ilulissat
    All taxes and handling fees

Not included

Lunch and dinner other than mentioned above
Extra excursions
Insurances

 

Practical information

Flight schedule (local times)
Departure from Copenhagen 11:00 AM.
Return flights arrive in Copenhagen 8:00 PM.
Please note that departure times are subject to change by the airline.

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

Travelers with reduced mobility and wheelchair users
Unfortunately, this trip is not suitable for people with reduced mobility and wheelchair users. Greenland Travel's difficulty level advise on the excursions are intended for travelers who are not disabled. Of course, we are happy to provide you with information on the suitability of the trip, taking into account the needs you have. Please note that if you choose this trip on the basis of a conversation with Greenland Travel, it is on your responsibility, as we do not have medical competence for advice.

  • 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.