White Christmas in Greenland

5 days around Ilulissat

Christmas in Greenland is a uniquely beautiful and peaceful experience and, on top of that, it’s covered in snow. You can relax and recharge 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.

Christmas Eve in Greenland

On December 24th, the restaurant at Hotel Arctic 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.

Winter in Greenland in December

On this trip, you will get a unique chance to travel north of 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 for several months. However, your days will not be pitch black, of course. In the middle of the day, you will see 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 local homes.

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, your 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 and Danish-speaking Greenland Travel Tour Leader

Highlights

  • Experience the lovely atmosphere surrounding Christmas in Greenland
  • Stay in the Town of Icebergs
  • See the UNESCO World Heritage Site Ilulissat Ice Fjord up close
  • Sail among gigantic icebergs
  • Try authentic dogsledding
  • Marvel at the Northern Lights

Included

  • Return flights Copenhagen – Kangerlussuaq – Ilulissat
  • Transfers
  • 5 nights at Hotel Arctic with private facilities
  • Breakfast
  • Welcome dinner in Ilulissat at Hotel Arctic, excl. drinks
  • Scandinavian Christmas Dinner on December 24 at Hotel Arctic, excl. drinks
  • Food and beverages onboard the Air Greenland flight Copenhagen – Kangerlussuaq return
  • Information meetings
  • 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
  • Extra excursions (we recommend pre-booking our excursion package)
  • Insurances

Day program

Day 1:
Flights Copenhagen-Kangerlussuaq-Ilulissat. Information meeting and sightseeing

In Copenhagen, we board Air Greenland’s airplane Norsaq, flying us to Kangerlussuaq in Greenland, a journey of 4½ hours. After landing, we transfer to a smaller plane 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 Ice Fjord just before reaching the airport in Ilulissat.

You will be picked up by Hotel Arctic’s bus and driven to the cozy hotel, located on the waterfront in llulissat town. Our guide gives an information meeting, and you will hear about the town, the surrounding area, and the excursion opportunities. Note that there may be changes to the days each excursion is operated as daylight is limited as is the availability of tour boats.

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

Guided sightseeing

Ilulissat is Greenland’s third largest town and is considered one of the four main cities in Greenland, together with Nuuk, Qaqortoq, and Sisimiut. People have lived in the Ilulissat area for 4,500 years, but the town itself was only founded in 1741. You will see many buildings from colonial times.

Look forward to an exciting town walk where you will get lots of information which will be handy in the coming days. Enjoy the twilight in the town; at this time of the year, there is no sun in Ilulissat. The sun does not rise until January 13, but do not worry: You will experience still have a dusk-like light 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 and you should make time to pay a visit.

In the evening, since Greenland is three hours behind Greenwich Mean Time, there are probably some who would like to go to bed early. Others can enjoy a small walk in 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.

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

Day 2:
Ilulissat on your own or optional excursions: Hike to Sermermiut and a northern lights excursion

There is plenty to do on your own in Ilulissat so today, you can immerse yourself in these experiences. If you have bought the excursion package, you 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 Ice 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 everywhere. We drive from the World of Greenland office to the outskirts of the town. From here, we now have to walk towards the Ice Fjord. This walk is approximately one kilometer, along a path likely to be covered in 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 Ice Fjord.

Northern Light Safari (optional)

Everyone is fond of the Ice Fjord and the northern lights. If we seem to be bragging about these things it is because 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.

Northern lights excursion (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.

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 look for the northern lights on one of the other evenings instead.

Making Christmas Decorations

Before dinner, we will have fun, making traditional Christmas ornaments. Of course, it’s not mandatory to participate in this, but it is a great way to get to know your travel companions and also get into the Christmas spirit, even if your ornaments may look a bit dishevelled!

Christmas closing hours and alcohol

Greenland has a very restrictive alcohol legislation, which means that alcohol must not be served in public places on December 25. Also, most cafes, restaurants, and bars are 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.

Day 3:
Christmas Eve and optional lce Fjord Boat Trip

Christmas is here! There are Christmas church services several times during the coming days (in Greenlandic of course), so feel free to see if there is room for you in the church. Church is very important to many Greenlanders so don’t be surprised if several services are a bit crowded!

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

Sailing on 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 sandbank where the largest icebergs get stuck. When the pressure becomes too high from ice in the fjord or because of melting, 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 Arctic. 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  – but feel free to also celebrate on the morning of the 25th if that is how you do it).

Day 4:
Day 4-5, Ilulissat on your own or optional excursions: Inuit legends and dog sledding.

On December 24th and 25th, 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.

Two-hour dog sledding trip (optional)

You should look forward to trying a two-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 spectacular 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 (optional)

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 winter. 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 specialties.

Day 5:
Day 4-5, Ilulissat on your own or optional excursions: Inuit legends or dog sledding

On December 24th and 25th, 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.

Two-hour dog sledding trip (optional)

You should look forward to trying a two-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 spectacular 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 (optional)

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 winter. 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 specialties.

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 will arrive in the evening.

Map

Kangerlussuaq

Ilulissat

Kangerlussuaq

White Christmas in Greenland

6 dage i Ilulissat

Celebrate Christmas in Ilulissat in Greenland. The beautiful, white landscape welcomes you. On this 6-day trip, you have the chance to go sailing, dog sledding, and looking for northern lights.

from
2.485 EUR
per person in double room
Dec 2020 - Dec 2021   | 6 days  | 5 nights Tour no: 9018 Departure from Copenhagen | incl. tour guide

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Practical information

Flight schedule (local times)

  • Departure from Copenhagen 10:45 AM
  • Return flights arrive in Copenhagen 9:30 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 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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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