As the coastal ship approaches Ilulissat, there’s every reason to enjoy the sight of the icebergs if you’re a morning person. Some are just large-scale lumps of ice while others are almost towering over you. What a welcome and a fitting introduction to the magnificent Disko Bay.
We arrive in Ilulissat at 6:30 am. From the harbor, we are transported to Hotel Arctic where we check in (unless you arrive on the tour with departure from Denmark on August 29; in that case, you will stay at Hotel Ilulissat). At the following briefing, you can hear more about the town and the many excursions into the interesting area. Ilulissat means icebergs, which is rather self-explanatory once you get to see the beautiful Ice Fjord and the numerous icebergs majestically floating around in the fjord lit up by an almost magical light caused by reflections of the sun.
Lead by the guide, we tour the town, allowing you to get more familiar with Ilulissat. You will be given an introduction to the history and culture of the city and will pass the museum, the old colonial houses, the beautiful and simple Zion’s Church, and the lively harbor.
Hike to the old settlement Sermermiut by the Icefiord and walks in the town
Consider joining a hike to Sermermiut, an old settlement right at the mouth of the icefjord where giant icebergs have stranded on an old moraine. Along the way, we also visit the wonderfully beautiful Icefjord Center with exhibitions about ice and the UNESCO World Heritage area.
Alternatively, you can walk around on your own, drink a caffé latte at a cozy café, and find a quiet place where you can enjoy the view of the omnipresent icebergs.
Out here in the beautiful area, we enjoy a sandwich for lunch.
Whale safari among icebergs (optional)
Most people are surprised how great an experience it is to get up close to such a large animal as the whale. In the waters of Greenland, 15 species of whale are seen.
In the afternoon, you can get a closer look at some of these whales.
During summer, we normally get to see the humpback whale, minke whale, and fin whale. The whales swim around the entire Disko Bay throughout the summer, sometimes near the town, other times in the Ice Fjord or up north by the Crown Prince Islands. We have radio contact with the fishermen and sealers of the town, who are our sources to information about whales in the bay. This way, we almost always spot them. The humpback whale, with its characteristic tail, is the one we see most often.