New Year’s Eve in Greenland

5 days around Ilulissat

New Year’s Eve in Greenland is a unique experience. Not just because of the beautiful fireworks lighting up the polar night, but also because you get to celebrate the New Year twice: At 9:00 pm for Denmark (and other CET countries) and at midnight for Greenland!

Greenland’s nature is beautiful all year, not least in the wintertime. It is wonderful when it is covered by a blanket of snow and ice, which i turn creates a myriad of opportunities under the northern lights. On this 5-day trip to Ilulissat, you will experience fireworks, northern lights, sled dogs, huge icebergs, and snow-covered rocks.

We offered this trip for the first time for the New Year of 2017/18, and it was a great success. Our guests loved the unique light you experience even though this is during the polar darkness of winter – and they were very impressed with the fireworks on New Year’s Eve.

New Year’s Eve in Greenland
On December 31, we invite you to attend a gala dinner in the restaurant at Hotel Arctic. Enjoy a lovely dinner with good food and entertainment – and some breaks at the right moments, so we can get to go outside to enjoy the fireworks several times during the evening.

Ilulissat lce Fjord is a UNESCO World Heritage Site
Ilulissat is located by the world-famous Ilulissat lce Fjord. The Ice Fjord was included on the UNESCO World Heritage Site List in 2004, and that is not a coincidence. The icebergs can tower up to 100 meters into the air, and they are a sight you will never forget.

It’s going to be warm inside
This being midwinter, it’s going to be dusk most of the day and dark at night. Inside the hotel, we will have time to enjoy the central heating – and the guide will entertain with small informal talks and quizzes about Greenland, and we will also have time to play games.

Guide languages
English and Danish


  • Celebrate New Year’s Eve in Greenland
  • Stay in the Town of Icebergs, Ilulissat
  • See the UNESCO World Heritage Site Ilulissat Ice Fjord up close
  • Sail among gigantic icebergs
  • Watch the Northern Lights dance across the night sky


  • Flight Copenhagen – Nuuk return
  • Flight Nuuk – Ilulissat return
  • Transfers
  • 4 nights at Hotel Arctic with private facilities
  • Breakfast
  • Welcome dinner in Ilulissat, excl. drinks
  • Gala Dinner on New Year’s Eve at Hotel Arctic, excl. drinks except for a glass of champagne
  • Food and beverages onboard the Air Greenland flight Copenhagen – Nuuk return
  • Information meetings
  • English and Danish speaking Greenland Travel Tour Leader
  • Sightseeing in Ilulissat
  • 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 other than mentioned above
  • Excursions (we recommend you pre-book the Excursion Package)
  • Insurances

Day program

Beate Ulich
Day 1:
Flights Copenhagen - Nuuk - Ilulissat, information meeting and tour of the town

We board Air Greenland’s red plane in Copenhagen and fly to Nuuk in Greenland. It is a trip of 4½ hours. Ahead of us are five exciting days around New Year’s in Ilulissat, but there is still one more flight to get there.

After a short stop-over in Nuuk where we change planes, we continue towards Ilulissat. After flying over the wonderful Ilulissat Icefjord, we land in Ilulissat Airport. You will be picked by bus and driven to the cozy Hotel Arctic which lies by the waterfront . Here, you will meet a guide from our local tour office, “World of Greenland.”

After check-in, the guide will organize an information meeting, telling you about the town, the area, and possible excursions. Note that there may be changes to the order in which the excursion are run. This is because daylight hours are limited, as are the availability of tours boats, so we may have to split the group into smaller parties on some days e.g. while some people go sailing, others will go dogsledding. World of Greenland are experts at logistics like this so no one will be missing out.

Then it’s time for a guided city tour for everybody

Ilulissat is Greenland’s third largest town and considered one of the four main towns along with Nuuk, Qaqortoq, and Sisimiut. People have lived in the area surrounding Ilulissat for 4,500 years, but the town itself was established as a village in 1727 and, in 1741, the Icelandic merchant Jacob Severin established a trading post called Jacobshavn (Jacob’s Harbour). Later on, the town changed its name to Jakobshavn (now with ‘k’). You will see many buildings that are linked to this time. Knud Rasmussen, the world-famous polar explorer, grew up in Ilulissat in the building that now houses the historical museum. You can look forward to an exciting tour and get lots of information that you can use in the coming days.

At night, you will have a lovely welcome dinner in the hotel’s amazing restaurant (drinks not included).

Christina Lundbye
Day 2:
Ilulissat on your own or optional hiking and dog sledding

There are many things to do in Ilulissat on your own. The guide will tell you all about this on your first day. Today, you can explore it on your own.

If you have bought our excursion package, today’s program is a hike to the former settlement of Sermermiut, and later you will go dog sledding

Hiking to the former Inuit settlement of Sermermiut by the Ice Fjord (part of the excursion package)

Today, you will hike to the former settlement of Sermermiut that has been inhabited for thousands of years because of its amazing location at the Ice Fjord. Although the view here is incredible, it was not the scenery that brought the Inuit here. There are excellent hunting opportunities in the area since the Ice Fjord provides food for both fish and seals, which in turn has created a basis for human settlements for millennia.

1 ½-hour dog sled ride (part of the excursion package)

Today, you can look forward to a 1 ½-hour dog sled ride. The dog sled is one of the most famous Greenlandic icons and a thousand-year-old tradition for the Inuit. Not many vehicles have survived such a long period without changes in appearance and technology: a pack of happy dogs in harnesses tied to a simply constructed wooden sled. The experience can not be explained – it must be tried.

This trip usually takes place in flat terrain on a plain near Ilulissat. In addition to the sled driver, you are two participants on each of the sleds, so if you have booked the excursion on your own, you may share a sled with another person. However, all dogs are different, so if you are out with family and friends, we can not guarantee that you will be riding together on the entire trip as some dogs are fast, and others are not. This trip is recommended for those with neck or back problems or if you are immobile. Participants must be 12 years and older.

Jesper Kunuk Egede
Day 3:
Ilulissat on your own or optional excursion: Sailing on Ilulissat Ice Fjord. New Year's Dinner.

Tonight it’s New Year’s Eve! However, before we get to the evening’s festivities, you will go sailing on the Ice Fjord if you bought our excursion package.

The Disko Bay is Greenland’s most popular tourist destination. This is because of the ice, but also because the place holds a special beauty and many cultural attractions. One of the great gems in the area – and certainly the most famous – is Ilulissat lce Fjord.

Sailing to Ilulissat Ice Fjord (part of the excursion package)

You will end the year with one of your life’s highlights, a trip to the mouth of Ilulissat Ice Fjord.  You will cruise around some of the huge icebergs that are created when they break of the glacier front. At the mouth of the fjord, through millennia, icebergs have pushed a sandbank forward, and now the enormous icebergs get stuck here. When the pressure from behind gets too high because of new icebergs being produced by the glacier, or because some of the big icebergs melt in the summer, the icebergs finally pass the sandbank and float out into the Disko Bay.

You could also consider going on a Snowmobile excursion.

Snowmobile tour with 1 or 2 people on the snowmobile (optional excursion)

This tour takes you into the hinterland of Ilulissat to experience the Arctic winter landscape up close. First, you’ll drive up through a gorge on a narrow track that cuts through the mountains behind Ilulissat. You’ll get a fantastic view of Ilulissat and Disko Bay from the top. Then, you continue over frozen lakes and the rugged mountain landscape as a group. You’ll stop at the best viewpoints for photos and hot drinks. You can purchase the tour so that another person can accompany you on the snowmobile, or you can go solo on a snowmobile.

Gala Dinner at Hotel Arctic

The New Year is now fast approaching, and tonight you will attend a gala dinner at Hotel Arctic. It’s a five-course dinner. There will be a break at 9:00 pm because, at that time, almost the entire population of Greenland go outside and celebrate the CET New Year and send up fireworks in honor of all their friends and family in Denmark (there are about 15,000 Greenlanders living in Denmark and numerous people who have lived in Greenland).

After this, you go back to the dinner table and, when the clock strikes midnight, it’s out in the snow again, this time to celebrate the ‘real’ New Year. Then you go back in and enjoy a glass of bubbly. When you want the night to end is totally up to you.

Mads Pihl - Visit Greenland
Day 4:
Ilulissat on your own and potential northern lights safari

You will have January 1 on your own to relax. If you have bought the excursion package, you will go looking for Northern Lights at night.

Northern Lights Safari (part of the excursion package)

When the sky is clear on winter nights, you can see the most beautiful northern lights over Ilulissat. Aurora Borealis is, without a doubt, the night sky’s most spectacular phenomenon. We are going to drive away from the lights of the town and go to where the darkness is at its most intense. The guide will tell us all about the causes of the phenomenon. You will also get tips and tricks to enable you to take the best pictures of the colored lights as they cross the night sky.

Per Arild Struksnes
Day 5:
Flights from Ilulissat via Nuuk to Copenhagen

Today, we head back towards Denmark. With one of Air Greenland’s Dash 8’s, you leave Ilulissat Airport for Nuuk and then fly on to Copenhagen, where you will arrive in the evening.





Hotels on this tour

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 Disco 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 center of town (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 at 08:20 am
  • Return flights arrive in Copenhagen at 10:00 pm

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

This tour is guaranteed with a minimum of 20 participants.

Guide languages
English and Danish

Packing Lists
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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New Year’s Eve in Greenland

5 days around Ilulissat

New Year’s Eve in Greenland is something quite special. The beautiful fireworks are a dazzling contrast in the polar night and, on the days around New Year’s Eve, you get to experience the winter wonderland at Ilulissat.

2.765 EUR
per person in double room
December  | 5 days  | 4 nights Travel id: 9017 Departure from Copenhagen
Optional experiences
Northern lightDogsledCulture

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

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You can call us at: +45 3313 1011