Bestseller: Summer, Sun and Huge Icebergs in Greenland

8 Days around Kangerlussuaq and Ilulissat

This is our summer bestseller. Get close to the Greenland Ice Sheet and the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Ilulissat Ice Fjord, famous for its enormous icebergs – and experience all of it in the magical glow of the midnight sun.

This is a unique opportunity to experience how life in the Arctic is lived almost entirely on nature’s terms, and on this eight-day visit, you will get up close and personal with nature.

Starting moments after arriving in Kangerlussuaq, you will travel to the Greenland Ice Sheet through a rugged tundra landscape, where wild musk oxen and reindeer roam freely.

Your first hours in Greenland, marveling at the vast landscape and breathing in the fresh Arctic air, is an impression you will never forget.

Our next stop and main base is Ilulissat, the home of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Ilulissat Icefjord.

Situated far beyond the Polar Circle, Ilulissat is also the largest dog sledding district in Greenland, and during your stay in the town, you will both see and hear the more than 2500 dogs as they spend the summer relaxing and perhaps howling in unison a few times a day.

In Kangerlussuaq and Ilulissat, our knowledgeable local guides are ready to welcome you and ensure you have the best possible stay in our fantastic country.

On this tour, you can purchase an additional stay in Glacier Lodge Eqi, situated by the impressive Eqip Sermia Glacier, 80 kilometers north of Ilulissat. The lodge boasts undisturbed views of the entire glacier front – imagine sitting in the midnight sun and seeing the ice break off the glacier and start life as icebergs in the fjord!

The contrasts in Greenland are best experienced during the summer when bright sunlight can suddenly be replaced by a dense mist. Brown mountains with hints of green versus icebergs in shades ranging from pale opaque to turquoise. Deserted, pristine areas right next to towns with characteristically brightly colored houses. The light is also unique – especially with the midnight sun’s soft glow around the clock.

Highlights

  • Walk ON the Greenland Ice Sheet
  • Stay in the Town of Icebergs, Ilulissat
  • Sail among giant icebergs
  • Experience a dramatic, calving glacier
  • Delve into authentic town and settlement living
  • Go in search of Arctic wildlife by boat or on foot
  • See the UNESCO World Heritage Site Ilulissat Ice Fjord up close
  • Enhance your trip with overnight stays at Glacier Lodge Eqi

Included

  • Return flight Copenhagen – Kangerlussuaq
  • Return flight Kangerlussuaq – Ilulissat
  • All Transfers in Greenland
  • 1 night at Hotel Kangerlussuaq
  • 6 nights at Hotel Arctic with a private bath/toilet
  • Breakfast
  • Food and beverages onboard the Air Greenland flight Copenhagen – Kangerlussuaq
  • Welcome dinner on Day 1 at Hotel Arctic (drinks and beverages NOT included)
  • Information meetings with local English-speaking tour guides
  • All flight/transportation taxes and fees known to Greenland Travel at the time of publishing
  • 20 kg baggage and 8 kg hand luggage

Not included

  • Lunch and dinner
  • Cancellation and travel insurance
  • Excursion packages

Day program

Day 1:
Flight Copenhagen – Kangerlussuaq, welcome meeting and an optional excursion to the Greenland Ice Sheet

Air Greenland flies from Copenhagen to Kangerlussuaq, giving you 4½ hours to prepare for your encounter with a truly unique world. During the flight, you can enjoy a meal, a movie, and the first sight of nunataks (mountain tops that break through the surface of the Greenland Ice Sheet).

Upon arrival, a guide from our local partner will welcome you and assist with check-in. You stay at the centrally located Hotel Kangerlussuaq, yet still on the doorstep of the fascinating Arctic nature. At the information meeting, the guide will tell you about the area and the excursions available.

Kangerlussuaq is beautifully situated between soft hills and close to the Ice Sheet and is, therefore, the perfect place to see and step onto the legendary Ice Sheet, which covers more than 80 % of Greenland. This afternoon’s trip is included if you have purchased any of our Excursion Packages.

Greenland Ice Sheet, Point 660 (optional)

Powerful 4×4 vehicles will take us, via 25 kilometers of gravel road, into the Arctic backcountry, through a stunning landscape, between mountains, plains, and semi-desert valleys. Near the Ice Sheet, we drive through a fantastic moraine landscape.

At the end of the road, we walk to the Ice Sheet and onto the enormous ice cap. We explore the world of ice before returning to our vehicles. There are good chances of spotting reindeer, musk oxen, and, depending on the season, many species of birds and flowers.

Day 2:
Flight Kangerlussuaq – Ilulissat, check-in, and optional guided town walk 

The tour continues by plane, flying to Ilulissat at a low altitude over the Arctic landscape. Ilulissat means icebergs, and once you approach the town before landing, it is easy to see why: the beautiful Ice Fjord and the numerous icebergs that majestically float around in the fjord is a sight that never fails to impress.

Upon arrival, you will travel by minibus to Hotel Arctic, beautifully situated with a view across Disko Bay. Even the most experienced traveler is blown away by the views from the balcony of the main building. A guide will tell you about Ilulissat at the subsequent information meeting and the wide range of available excursions. You are now prepared for the next couple of days filled with adventures.

Ideas for guided excursions and activities  on your own

There are many excursion possibilities in Ilulissat, either arranged by our partners or some you can do on your own. If you like to hike, there are many opportunities. However, we recommend that you join some of the guided boat tours, where you will experience the huge icebergs and the stunning surroundings of  Disko Bay. We offer several comprehensible excursion packages, which include the ideal excursions for your time of visit  – and you can book it all with Greenland Travel before departure.

Our daughter company, Arctic Excursions, is available at the hotel. They offer several excursions that will give an impression of the fascinating authentic culture which permeates all parts of everyday life. Nature, traditional survival skills, and modern technology coexist in the Arctic.

You are always welcome to visit Arctic Excursion’s office to enquire about activities, but you can also book additional excursions in the hotel lobby.

Cultural, historical guided tour (included in ALL excursions packages)

On this guided tour, you get an enhanced understanding of Greenlandic culture and history, which will put all your other experiences in Greenland into a greater perspective.

Ilulissat was founded in 1741, and today it is the third-largest town in Greenland, with more than 4,500 inhabitants and 2,500 sled dogs. The guide will tell you about the town’s history, Greenlandic culture, and contemporary life 300 kilometers north of the Polar Circle. We will visit the fishermen at the harbor and the hunters at the local market. We also see the church and the famous Polar explorer Knud Rasmussen’s birthplace.

This evening, you will enjoy a lovely welcome dinner in the hotel’s amazing restaurant (drinks not included).

Day 3:
Ilulissat on your own or Hike to Ilulissat Ice Fjord and Sailing on the Ice Fjord 

Ilulissat is the Greenlandic word for ‘place of icebergs’. The town lies at the mouth of the 50-kilometer-long and world-famous Ilulissat Ice Fjord, which in 2004 was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The ice is enthralling and can be experienced from the sea, land, and air.

Hike to Sermermiut, the old settlement by the Ice Fjord (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, and today, you can still see some of the remains, which indicate their former presence.

Hear the story about the life of the Inuit people and their traditions before the Europeans came to Greenland. See the ruins and touch the permafrost with your own hands. On this hike, we pass “Kællingekløften (Old Women’s Gorge),” where you can enjoy the magnificent Ice Fjord view before heading back towards town. During the hike, there will be time to talk about flora, fauna, geology, and, not least, the story behind the omnipresent ice.

We find that many of our guests prefer the safety of having a guide the first time they venture into Arctic nature. As a bonus, the guide will point out the historical places which can otherwise be difficult to spot.

As part of the Sermermiut Hike, we recommend you pay a visit to the Icefjord Centre, which is located where the boardwalk through the valley begins.

The building is a stunning architectural feat, which blends beautifully with the surrounding nature. The Centre, which Dorthe Mandrup designed, opened in 2021 and features thought-provoking exhibits about the ice fjord, the Arctic, and climate change.

Sailing among icebergs (Included in all Excursion Packages)

The midnight sun makes the icebergs glow in a unique play of colors that people return to experience repeatedly.

Sailing at night with the sun still shining is a fantastic and unusual experience. Almost every visitor to Ilulissat goes on this leisurely iceberg cruise at least once. More than 40 million tons of ice daily 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 70 meters above the water’s surface. These giants run aground at the mouth of the fjord, providing you with a great opportunity to sail among them.

Remember warm clothing – or rent a polar suit, because even in the summer, it is cold on the water when you sail among the icebergs, especially in the evening.

Day 4:
Ilulissat on your own or optional whale safari or kayaking among the icebergs

Whale Safari (Included in all Excursion Packages )

It is always a great experience to get close to large animals like whales. There are 15 species of whale in Greenland. It is usually the humpback, the common minke whale, and the fin whale we see during the summer. The whales travel around the entire Disko Bay during the summer, sometimes close to the town, sometimes in the ice fjord, or up north by the island of Arveprinsens Ejland.

We cruise the bay in Targa boats, which are speedy, allowing us to travel further in search of the gentle giants. We are in radio contact with the fishermen and the hunters, so we know the whereabouts of the whales. The humpback, with its characteristic fin, is the one we see most often.

Today you also have the opportunity to try kayaking in the country that invented the kayaks.

Kayak Experience in Ilulissat (optional)

Inuit have kayaked in Greenlandic waters for over a thousand years, and now you can try it, too. As the kayak glides silently through the water, you see the huge icebergs rising around you. The midnight sun gives the ice a unique hue. In cloudy weather, the beautiful blue colors of the icebergs will be very clear. With a little luck, we may even meet whales. All tours take place in stable double kayaks, and a boat follows close by. The excursion takes about 3½-4 hours, and we will be at sea for at least two hours. This excursion is not included in any excursion packages but can be booked separately.

Please note: The Kayak Experience cannot be booked on the tour departing on May 24, 2024.

Jette Schwarz
Day 5:
Adventures on your own in Ilulissat or a boat trip to the Eqi Glacier

Today the program varies depending on which excursion package you have bought (if any).

Day tour to Eqi Glacier – the calving glacier (Included in the small Excursion Package)

Only a few places in Greenland are as beautiful as the Eqi Glacier, which spills into the fjord 80 kilometers north of Ilulissat. It is possible to get very close to the glacier by boat and experience huge pieces of ice breaking off. The sounds are thunderous, and the sight of ice crashing into the water is astonishing.

We sail in modern boats, which are safe for sailing in ice-filled waters, and spend approximately two hours in front of the glacier front, waiting for calvings to happen. Lunch is served in fron of the glacier.

The journey length to and from Eqi Glacier depends on the boat type and can vary between two and five hours one way. After our time in front of the glacier, we dock at Port Victor around 2:00 PM, which is the landing at Glacier Lodge Eqi. Some people will get off, others will get on, and then we will return to Ilulissat.

If you have bought an overnight package at Glacier Lodge Eqi, you will disembark at Port Victor.

Overnight Stay in Glacier Lodge Eqi (included in the Luxury Excursion Package)

You have the option of staying overnight in Glacier Lodge Eqi. Accommodation is in Comfort Cabins with excellent views. Dinner, breakfast, and lunch are included in the price.

Please note that we cannot guarantee availability, so contact us directly to check available dates. Glacier Lodge Eqi is a very popular option and usually books out quickly, so the sooner you book, the better! Please note that you do NOT have to check out of your room in Ilulissat, even if you choose to book an overnight in Glacier Lodge Eqi.

At approximately 2:00 PM, the boat will arrive at Port Victor,  the ‘harbor’ at Glacier Lodge Eqi. Only those staying at Glacier Lodge Eqi will get off the boat; the rest remain on board. On land, the camp guides will greet you and show you to your cabin. During an information meeting, coffee and cake will be served, after which the rest of the day is free for leisure.

All meals are served in Cafe Victor. The café also sells beverages such as soft drinks, beer, wine, and sweets.

Day 6:
Ilulissat on your own. Guests who have bought the Luxury Excursion Package return from Glacier Lodge Eqi

Today’s program depends on which (if any) Excursion Package you have purchased.

Day at leisure in Ilulissat for those with the Standard Excursion Package (or no excursion package). You can stroll around town and feel the atmosphere; there are museums to explore, gentle strolls, or shops to help you find souvenirs. Whatever you decide, sit and marvel at the unforgettable Ice Fjord views!

If you have purchased the Luxury Excursion Package, you will spend the day at Eqi and return to Ilulissat later this afternoon.

Hike to the Eqi Glacier and sail to Ilulissat (Luxury Excursion Package)

As you wake up in the middle of Arctic nature, you can look forward to a hearty breakfast before you have the option of joining a guided hike around the small lagoon at the southern end of the glacier. There are often large flocks of geese in the lagoon in the breeding season. The trip goes further up the moraine, where we can look down into the enormous glacier cracks only a few meters away. From here, we will also get an overview of the glacier front and hopefully see more impressive calvings from the glacier.

Departure from Port Victor is at approximately 2:15 PM. You will sail back to Ilulissat via the same route we took yesterday. Coffee/tea and cake will be served in the late afternoon. The estimated return to Ilulissat is around 7:00 PM. Seals and whales are often spotted during the trip.

Day 7:
Ilulissat on your own or an optional cruise to Oqaatsut, including lunch

There is much to see and do in Ilulissat, and some of our guests take the opportunity, on Day 7, to relax and enjoy the serene calmness of the views offered from the hotel.

If you wish to keep exploring, head to Arctic Excursions for ideas. They sell day trips for many smaller local operators, which you can book online or in the lobby of Hotel Arctic.

One of the popular choices is a day trip to the small settlement of Oqaatsut, which is 20 kilometers north of Ilulissat.

Day cruise to Oqaatsut (Optional excursion)

We sail from Ilulissat and enjoy a 30-minute cruise on the iceberg-filled waters to Oqaatsut. Upon arrival, your guide will take you on an exploratory walk around the settlement, where we stop by the church, the primary school, and the small fish factory.

You will learn about everyday life in a tiny settlement, the local community, and Oqaatsut’s heritage as a former Dutch whaling station (Oqaatsut is also known as Rodebay, a name given to the place by the Dutch whalers).

We end our walk by the small Restaurant H8 Explorer, where we will enjoy lunch made with local ingredients. After lunch, you may wish to walk around the area some more or enjoy the peaceful quiet, which can only be found in small communities such as Oqaatsut. The surroundings are breathtakingly beautiful, and we return to Ilulissat with bellies full of local delicacies and our minds brimming with memories.

Please note: This excursion cannot be booked on the tour departing on May 24, 2024.

Day 8:
Flight Ilulissat - Copenhagen via Kangerlussuaq

Offering one final view of the Ice Fjord and the captivating icebergs, the flight will take you back to Kangerlussuaq and onwards to Copenhagen, where you will arrive in the evening.

We guarantee you that you return home with memories that will last a lifetime and impressions that will stay with you longer than any other holiday you have been on – at least, that is what other travelers tell us.

Map

Kangerlussuaq

Ilulissat

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

Excursions (Optional purchases)

Practical information

Flight schedule (local times)

  • Departure from Copenhagen 09:00 AM.
  • Return flights arrive in Copenhagen 8:15 PM.

Departure times are subject to change by the airline.

Please note: The luxury excursion package for Glacier Lodge Eqi cannot be booked online, as it is a so-called “inquiry booking.” This means that we can only check availability when you book. Please indicate in the comments field if you want this package.

Please also note:

  • The kayak excursion is unavailable on May 24, 2024.
  • The Oqaatsut excursion is unavailable on May 24 and September 13, 2024

Packing list

Find the packing list for your trip here.

Baggage included

20 kilos of checked baggage
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.

Bestseller: Summer, Sun and Huge Icebergs in Greenland

8 Days around Kangerlussuaq and Ilulissat

Our summer bestseller with 1 night in Kangerlussuaq and 6 nights in Ilulissat in Disko Bay! Experience the ice sheet, icebergs, summer sun, and the animal life  – and enjoy the silence!

From
2.825 EUR
per person in double room
Jun-Aug  | 8 days  | 7 nights Travel id: 7032 Departure from Copenhagen Guaranteed departure
Optional experiences
Ice SheetIcebergsWhale SafariCulture

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Can we help you?

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