Spring Time in the Arctic

8 days around Kangerlussuaq and Ilulissat

Spring in Greenland is a short, intense experience. Between April to May, Greenland turns from Arctic winter to Arctic summer and the midnight sun turns the dark nights into 24-hour days. The snow is melting fast as the days turn warmer, and a summer filled with promise beckons.

If you are looking for a Greenland tour that combines spring, impressive nature, and pioneering culture, this is the tour for you.

We start in Kangerlussuaq, the gateway to Greenland. The hinterland boasts fantastic nature where the huge Ice Sheet with its own dramatic life, sounds, and ice is impossible to ignore.

You then continue to the town of Ilulissat in the Disko Bay. Ilulissat means “icebergs” , a name which needs no further explanation once you see the beautiful Ice Fjord and the numerous icebergs, floating majestically into the fjord, with almost magical light and the reflections from the sun.

Hiking opportunities are great in both areas, and at this time of year, there are no mosquitoes. If winter has been long and hard, you might even be able to go on a dog sled tour. At this time of year, sailing in the fjord and bay is possible, and we strongly recommend a sailing tour to the small settlements in Disko Bay and, of course, a tour among the huge icebergs.

Highlights

  • Walk ON the Inland Ice Cap
  • Go in search of Arctic wildlife
  • See the UNESCO World Heritage Site Ilulissat Ice Fjord up close
  • Go for walks in the charming town of Ilulissat
  • Join an unforgettable cruise among the icebergs
  • Get a feel for real life in a small settlement

Included

  • Return flight Copenhagen – Kangerlussuaq – Ilulissat with Air Greenland
  • Transfers
  • 2 nights at Hotel Kangerlussuaq
  • 5 nights at Hotel Arctic
  • Breakfast
  • Welcome dinner at Hotel Arctic (drinks and beverages are not included)
  • Food and beverages onboard the Air Greenland flight Copenhagen – Kangerlussuaq
  • Welcome meetings in both towns with local English-speaking guides
  • Sightseeing in Kangerlussuaq with local English-speaking guides
  • Towels and bed linen at hotels and hostels
  • All flight/transportation taxes and fees known to Greenland Travel at the time of publishing
  • 20 kg of checked baggage and 8 kg of cabin baggage

Not included

  • Lunch and dinner
  • Excursions (we recommend pre-booking our Excursion Package)
  • Travel Insurance

Day program

Day 1:
Flight Copenhagen-Kangerlussuaq, welcome meeting, sightseeing and optional tundra tour

We fly with Air Greenland from Copenhagen to Kangerlussuaq. The flight is approximately 4½ hours and followed by an eight-day adventure.

A guide from the local tour office welcomes you upon arrival and assists you with check in at Hotel Kangerlussuaq. The hotel is situated in the airport building, so all you have to do is take your baggage and carry it to the reception.

From the hotel, there is a direct view of the landing strip where several smaller planes and helicopters connect Greenland’s towns and settlements with the rest of the world. Dut look carefully and you may well spot a little hare hiding in the gray-brown rocks. After an information meeting, where the guide will give you practical advice about the area and the excursions, you have the option of buying a guided sightseeing tour of Kangerlussuaq.

Sightseeing in Kangerlussuaq

The area around Kangerlussuaq has Greenland’s longest road, and here we will see several interesting places and encounter the great Greenlandic nature.

We will drive to the harbor to enjoy views of the beautiful fjord. The drive also takes us by Kellyville, a small research settlement, 12 kilometers from the airport and through the old base area. We will also visit the local kennel where you will get better acquainted with Greenlandic sled dogs. The scenic drive offers ample opportunity to take in the stunning nature.

If you bought the excursion package, it is now time for the tundra and wildlife tour.

Tundra and wildlife tour (optional)

Kangerlussuaq has incredibly beautiful nature and is home to the pre-historic looking musk oxen. We drive through the stunning tundra landscape in a 4×4 bus, as the guide tells us about the wildlife in this area. Maybe you’ll have the chance to spot musk oxen and learn more about these incredible creatures.

Musk oxen roam wildly in the area around Kangerlussuaq. Whether we can come close to these shy animals, or simply look at them from a distance, is not predictable. The guide always brings binoculars, so there is a very good chance of seeing these amazing animals and other wildlife in the area.

Don’t miss this exciting opportunity to explore the stunning nature and wildlife around Kangerlussuaq. Today, a part of the Kangerlussuaq area is UNESCO World Heritage.

Day 2:
Free time in Kangerlussuaq. Why not join an optional excursion to the Greenland Ice Sheet

Today is for exploring  the area, either at your own pace or perhaps join an excursion to the beautiful hinterland? If you bought the excursion package, you will go to the Greenland Ice Sheet at Point 660.

Greenland Ice Sheet, Point 660 (optional)

Kangerlussuaq is known as the gateway to the Inland Ice Cap, and this is a guided tour to the immense ice sheet the size of Western Europe. We drive in a 4×4 bus through stunning and varied Arctic terrain.

As the road comes to an end, we will approach the Ice Sheet itself by Point 660 on foot – a unique experience. We will spend some time in this enormous world of ice before returning to our vehicles. The trip also offers a chance to spot reindeer, musk oxen and, depending on the season, many different species of birds and, possibly, some hares. Go on this trip for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to stand on the Inland Ice Cap. It is quite a humbling experience to feel the extreme cold and let your eyes wander across the vast ice surface.

Day 3:
Flight Kangerlussuaq-Ilulissat, welcome meeting and optional guided sightseeing tour. Welcome dinner in the evening.

Today we head towards Ilulissat. It is a beautiful 45-minute flight, giving you a perfect chance to really enjoy the beautiful landscape, the desolate expanse and grandeur of  the ice. During the approach to Ilulissat, the town seemingly pops up in the middle of nowhere. The coloured houses vie for attention among the snow-covered peaks and as the small aircraft lands, you can look forward to the next few days full of ice, early welcome signs of spring and dog sleds which have been retired until next winter – combined with cultural highlights from a very traditional, Greenlandic town.

We check in at the cozy Hotel Arctic before an information meeting, where you will hear more about the town and the many optional excursions. The first adventure in the excursion package is a guided tour of the town. For those of you not joining the sightseeing, there are numerous possibilities. We recommend that you take a walk around the town and the area and breathe in the fresh air and atmosphere.

Cultural Town Walk (optional)

The best way to start your stay in Ilulissat. Learn about the town’s history and see how life is lived north of the Polar Circle. Ilulissat was founded in 1741 and, today, it is the third largest town in Greenland with more than 4,500 inhabitants.

Seeing and especially hearing some of the many thousands of sled dogs living here is unavoidable. Unless out on a trip, most of the dogs are kept outside town in large dog areas.

Tonight we invite you for dinner at the hotel.

Day 4:
Day free at leisure in Ilulissat. We recommend an optional guided hike to Sermermiut

The Disko Bay is one of Greenland’s most popular tourist destinations. First and foremost because of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Ilulissat Ice Fjord, but also because of its beauty, its many cultural attractions and the interaction between the traditional lifestyle and modern urban life.

If you bought the excursion package, it is time for an easy hike promising amazing views.

Hike to the deserted Sermermiut settlement (optional)

Beautiful icebergs provide the setting for the old settlement of Sermermiut 1.5 kilometers south of Ilulissat. For 4,000 years, different Inuit cultures lived in the settlement. Hear the story about the life of the Inuit people and their traditions before the Europeans came to Greenland. Depending on the time of the year you arrive, you may be able to see the ruins and touch the permafrost with your own hands.

Day 5:
Free time in Ilulissat. Optional boat trip to the Ice Fjord

Another day in Ilulissat filled with opportunities! You can visit one of the traditional handicraft workshops and look for souvenirs in sealskin, tusk and bone. If you have bought the excursion package, you can look forward to our most popular excursion tonight.

Sailing among the icebergs (optional)

Almost every visitor to Ilulissat chooses to go on this boat trip among the icebergs at least once. Every day, more than 40 million tons of ice flow out into the fjord. The floating icebergs are gigantic, sometimes measuring more than 100 meters wide and long – and with a height of up to 100 meters above the water surface as well. These giants gather at the end of the fjord, providing you with a great opportunity to sail among them. You should not miss out on this exceptional experience when visiting Ilulissat.

The icebergs are beautiful in every type of weather; in the sunshine, the contrasts are very clear, the blue shades stunning when it is cloudy, and the midnight sun casts a unique glow on the ice sculptures during the night. The boat trip on a bright night is an extraordinary experience. Remember to bring warm clothes, or you can rent a suit of sealskin.

Day 6:
Day free at leisure in Ilulissat.

Today you may want to walk in the footsteps of history and learn about the rich past at the museum that was Knud Rasmussen’s place of birth. Fishers and hunters at the open market can show you a variety of exciting Greenlandic food products – it does not get any fresher than this.

Once your eyes have feasted on the many views and impressions, it is time to enjoy lunch! At the restaurants in Ilulissat, you can try local specialties such as Greenlandic sushi, deep-fried “ammassats” (small fish), whale and seal, and the cafés offer freshly-baked cakes. All your senses will get a work-out on this trip!

Day 7:
On your own in Ilulissat or optional boat trip to the settlement of Ilimanaq

If you bought the excursion package, you will visit a small settlement today.

Daytrip to Ilimanaq

Only one generation back, most Greenlanders lived in small settlements, which were located like pearls on a string along the coast. Today you will find that most live in towns, though Ilulissat still has four thriving settlements. One of these is Ilimanaq located just south of the Icefjord.

Ilimanaq, which means “The place for expectations”, was once a traditional hunting settlement. Today it has a unique mix of nature, fishing, culture, tourism and sustainability. This development has happened thanks to Ilimanaqs location south of the Ilulissat Icefjord, combined with the restoration of the old colonial buildings and of course the construction of  Ilimanaq Lodge. Ilimanaq is today seen as a good example for future sustainable tourism developments in settlements all over Greenland.

We sail through the Icefjord to Ilimanaq, which is almost 15 kilometres south of Ilulissat. When we get there the guide will take you on a tour of the settlement, with stories of life throughout the centuries. The trip is about 5 hours, where 2-3 hours will be in Ilimanaq and includes refreshments.

Day 8:
Flight from Ilulissat to Copenhagen via Kangerlussuaq.

Enjoy the last view of the Ilulissat Ice Fjord from the plane on the way to Kangerlussuaq, where the Airbus will fly you to Copenhagen with arrival in the evening.

Map

Kangerlussuaq

Ilulissat

Kangerlussuaq

Hotels on this tour

Hotel Kangerlussuaq

The Hotel Kangerlussuaq is located as centrally as possible, in the airport building itself, so you have to pick up your luggage and carry it to the reception to check in. All rooms are spacious and have a view of the so-called Kitchen Mountain or views of the town and the surroundings.

The hotel has a restaurant and a very famous cafeteria, which is the meeting place for all the inhabitants of the area and the 220,000 passengers who pass through Kangerlussuaq every year.

Hotel Kangerlussuaq

Tankeqarfiup aqq.

3910 Kangerlussuaq

Hotel Arctic

Greenland’s most famous hotel is Hotel Arctic in Ilulissat. It is located with a fantastic view of Ilulissat town, Ilulissat Ice Fjord, and Disko Bay. Hotel Arctic is the world’s northernmost 4-star hotel, and on top of that, the hotel features a 5-star conference center. The hotel is located just outside the town, approximately a 15-minute walk from the town center (app. 1.5 km from the central intersection in town).

The hotel has two great restaurants, and the large terrace outside the restaurant is the perfect place to enjoy a glass of wine while the sun shines its golden glow at midnight over the icebergs at Ilulissat Ice Fjord.

NOTE: The hotel offers airport transfers, but there are not transfers in connection with excursions or such.

Hotel Arctic

Mittarfimmut Aqq. B-1128

3952 Ilulissat

Optional Extras

On this trip it is not possible to buy mealpackages.

Spring Time in the Arctic

8 days around Kangerlussuaq and Ilulissat

Do you want to experience the icebergs of Ilulissat and stop over in Kangerlussuaq with the Greenland Ice Sheet? Enjoy Arctic spring and huge icebergs bathed in golden sun in Disko Bay.

from
2.210 EUR
per person in double room
Apr 2021 - May 2022   | 8 days  | 7 nights Tour no: 7041 Departure from Copenhagen Guaranteed departure

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Practical information

Flight schedule: (local times)

  • Departure from Copenhagen 09:00 AM
  • Return to Copenhagen 08:00 PM

Please note that departure times are subject to change by the airline.

Packing list

Find the packing list for your trip here.

Baggage included

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

Travelers with reduced mobility and wheelchair users

We do not recommend this tour for people with reduced mobility and wheelchair users. Greenland Travel’s advice regarding difficulty levels on our excursions is intended for travelers who are not disabled. We are always happy to provide you with information on the suitability of the trip, taking into account the specific needs you may have. Please note that our advice is not based on medical knowledge, and ultimately it is YOUR responsibility to decide if a tour is right for you.

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Do you need help?

You are always welcome to contact us if you have any questions regarding your trip or if you need advice or guidance.

We strive to respond to inquiries within 24 hours on weekdays.

You can call us at: +45 3313 1011