Focus on Ice and Snow

8 days around Kangerlussuaq and Ilulissat

This is our winter bestseller. You will never forget the first time you breathe in the crisp, frosty air as you emerge from the plane in Kangerlussuaq. It is a unique experience that is reinforced by the sight of the snow-covered rocky landscape – this is a tour, which will blow you away.

The ideal months for a winter vacation in Greenland are from late January to early May. The cold is inevitable at these latitudes. Temperatures range from approximately 5-30 Celsius below zero, but because of the dry air, the coldness does not feel so penetrating. Another appealing feature of winter is the northern lights – lie down in the snow, listen to the silence, and enjoy the greenish hue of the northern lights flickering across the night sky.

Nuuk is a modern Arctic capital with lots of culture, history, sailing, and nature. There are many experiences to be had both in the city center and the beautiful fjords in Nuuk’s hinterland. You get to try a little bit of everything!

If you are looking for a trip that combines winter, great nature, and culture, you have chosen the right one. In addition to that, you will also have an infinite amount of motifs to be captured by your camera as you visit Ilulissat. Here is ample opportunity to marvel at icebergs, the fascinating Ice Fjord, and thousands of sled dogs.

Highlights

  • Experience one of the world’s northernmost capitals, Nuuk
  • Stay in the Town of Icebergs, Ilulissat
  • Enjoy an authentic dog sledding trip
  • Marvel at the Northern Lights
  • Experience local life and the colorful houses of Ilulissat.
  • See the UNESCO World Heritage Site Ilulissat Ice Fjord up close
  • Sail among gigantic icebergs

Included

  • Return flight Copenhagen – Nuuk with Air Greenland
  • Return flight Nuuk – Ilulissat with Air Greenland
  • Transfers
  • 2 nights at Hotel Hans Egede Express with private facilities
  • 5 nights at Hotel Arctic with private facilities
  • Breakfast
  • Welcome dinner at Hotel Arctic (drinks and beverages are not included)
  • Food and beverages onboard the Air Greenland flight Copenhagen – Nuuk
  • Two information meetings with local English-speaking guides
  • All flight/transportation taxes and fees known to Greenland Travel at the time of publishing
  • 20 kilos of checked baggage and 8 kilos of cabin baggage

Not included

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

Day program

Et par nyder en dejlig udsigt over Sermitsiaq bjerget og Nuuk fjord i Grønland - Fotograf:
Rebecca Gustafsson - Visit Greenland
Day 1:
Copenhagen-Nuuk. Welcome meeting. Optional Fjord Adventure.

We fly with Air Greenland from Copenhagen to Nuuk. Ahead awaits a 4,5-hour flight and an 8-day winter adventure.

After you check in and unpack in your room at Hotel Hans Egede Express, the guide will hold an information meeting. At the meeting, you’ll get information about experiences in Nuuk, dining, and excursion options, and can confirm the excursions you’ve already booked from home. It is also possible to book excursions at the meeting.

After the meeting, it’s time to get to know Nuuk at your own pace and get ideas for what to do today and tomorrow.

Nuuk has only 19,500 inhabitants, but you’ll experience a vibrant “big city” as it is a government city with many cultural and educational institutions. Nuuk is growing constantly and is now about 10 kilometers from end to end. You’ll find concerts, theater, museums, and exhibitions. Sports are central to many, so you can go hiking, skiing, sailing, running, strength training, yoga, and even swimming. Since it’s winter, the ski lift is a favorite spot for the city’s citizens.

You can read more about Nuuk here.

If you’ve purchased the excursion package, it’s time for a boat trip on Nuuk Fjord.

Fjord adventure (optional)

You’ll soon experience Greenland from the sea. It’s a wonderful boat trip, and we’ll have plenty of time to enjoy the views of some of the most beautiful mountains in the Nuuk Fjord.

We sail out of Nuuk and into the large fjord system, the second largest in the world. The mountains in the Nuuk Fjord are beautiful and rugged, many towering above the sea. On our way into the fjord, we sail past the city of Nuuk itself, and from the water, you get a sense of how big Nuuk really is.

We may also pass some beautiful icebergs. In the Nuuk area, they are not as big as in Disko Bay, but they are still beautiful and impressive.

After enjoying a cup of coffee or tea, we sail on, and, who knows, we might be lucky enough to see some wildlife. Out here in the fjord, we’re also closer to Sermitsiaq, the beautiful mountain that is one of Nuuk’s most famous landmarks.

 

Try one of the many wonderful restaurants Nuuk has to offer in the evening.

Mads Pihl - Visit Greenland
Day 2:
Nuuk on your own or city sightseeing and a northern lights tour (optional)

Today is at your own pace, and the beautifully situated capital city offers many exciting experiences.

If you have purchased the excursion package, you can look forward to a city tour and tonight, the highlight of your day, a Northern Lights boat trip.

Sightseeing in Nuuk (part of the excursion package)

The city tour, a unique part of your excursion package, includes a visit to the Greenland National Museum. Here, you’ll have the privilege of seeing finds from all time periods and civilizations in Greenland. After about 30 minutes at the museum, we continue around the area called Kolonihavnen. This is where most of the original houses from the 17th and 18th centuries still stand. On the way we pass Hans Egede’s house, the sculpture of the Mother of the Sea and the controversial statue of Hans Egede at the Greenland Cathedral.

We then head to ‘Kalaaliaraq,’ the traditional market where locally caught fish, seals, and reindeer are sold.

Now, we head towards Greenland’s government buildings and then the Greenland’s Cultural Center Katuaq, where our tour ends. You’re now as central as you can be, with great shopping opportunities. And many other exciting things to do.

The next program item in the excursion package is a Northern Lights tour starting at 8:00 p.m. It’s a good idea to get some dinner before you leave. Nuuk offers many places to eat, so look around, ask your guide, or visit the hotel reception.

Northern Lights boat tour (part of the excursion package)

You’ll get a completely different experience of the Northern Lights when you see them from a boat. It’s a phenomenon that has always been fascinating, also to us people in the Arctic.

We set sail from Nuuk and head towards Akia, also known as the Northland. Here, we have a great view of the Nuuk skyline without the distracting light around us. From here, we head further into the Nuuk fjord, where the boat produces the only artificial light. We stop the boat several times, turn off the engine, and enjoy the night sky and, not least, the silence (often broken by various oohs and aahs as the Northern Lights dance above us).

The Northern Lights are a natural phenomenon, so it’s hard to predict if they’ll appear. We have to take our chances when the sky is clear and dark enough. Therefore, there is no guarantee that the Northern Lights will appear—it’s nature that controls life up here.

Beate Ulich
Day 3:
Nuuk-Ilulissat. Welcome meeting and optional guided tour of the town

We now head towards Ilulissat. It is a beautiful 45-minute flight giving you a perfect chance of really enjoying the beautiful icy landscape, the desolate expanse and grandeur.

During the approach to Ilulissat, the town seemingly pops up in the middle of nowhere. The colored houses vie for attention among the snow-covered peaks and you can look forward to the next few days full of ice, winter, and dogsleds – combined with cultural highlights from a very traditional Greenlandic town.

We check in at the beautifully situated Hotel Arctic, and at the following information meeting, we get to hear more about the town and the many excursions available.

The first excursion in the Excursion Package is a guided tour of the town:

Guided tour of the town (optional)

Ilulissat was founded in 1741 and, today, it is the third largest town in Greenland with more than 4,500 inhabitants. The guide will tell you about the history of the town, and you will experience the town’s many exciting facets. Seeing and especially hearing some of the many thousands of sled dogs is unavoidable. Most of them live on the outskirts of the town in large dog spaces – unchained puppies play under supervision by their mother, while the rest of the pack cannot wait to take you on a sled trip.

We will visit the fishermen at the harbor and the hunters at their trading post “Brættet.” We will show you the church and the birthplace of the famous Polar explorer Knud Rasmussen.

Per Arild Struksnes
Day 4:
Exploring Ilulissat or hiking to Sermermiut and dog sledding (optional)

Disko Bay is one of Greenland’s most popular tourist destinations. First and foremost because of the ice, but also because of its beauty, its many cultural attractions and the interaction between the traditional lifestyle and modern urban life. Racks with kayaks jostle for space with satellite dishes.

Hike to the Sermermiut Settlement (included in excursion package)

Beautiful iceberg vistas 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 life of the indigenous people and their traditions before the Europeans arrived in Greenland. See the ruins and touch the permafrost with your own hands. On this hike, we will pass “Kællingekløften” where you can enjoy the magnificent view of the Ice Fjord, before heading back again.

Dog sled ride (included in excursion package)

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.

Erick Cummings & Trevor Traynor
Day 5:
Sailing among icebergs or Igloo Lodge (optional)

If you purchased the Excursion Package you can look forward to an amazing boat trip:

Sailing among iceberg (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 ton 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 more than 100 meters above the water surface as well. These giants gather at the end of the fjord, providing you with a great opportunity to cruise among them. You should not miss out on this exceptional experience when visiting Ilulissat.

Igloo Lodge (optional)

On days 5-6, you can experience a real igloo where you will spend the night and, from here, go on some unique excursions.

Our subsidiary in Ilulissat, World of Greenland, has been very successful with their summer lodges at the Eqi Glacier and in the settlement of Ilimanaq. Now, they also offer winter lodges in the shape of igloos.

Here, at the foot of the mountains, you will spend the night in an igloo (with the possibility of staying in a heated cabin, if you prefer). Igloo Lodge consists of five spacious igloos, each of which accommodates two people. Reindeer pelts and warm winter sleeping bags are covering the beds. There are also candles on the bedside table, which means that the temperature is around the freezing point inside the igloo. It is a stark contrast to the estimated minus 20 degrees Celsius outside. The wooden cabin by the lodge is where we will eat our meals. In the wooden cabin, there is also an outhouse type restroom.

The trip to Igloo Lodge itself is also exciting. You are driven in a snowcat for about an hour into the Ilulissat hinterland with amazing views along the way. You will be met at the cabin with coffee and lunch. Afterward, you will have afternoon coffee with cake, dinner, and evening coffee followed by a look outside to see if the northern lights are out. Then you can retire to your igloo, and, in the morning, breakfast is served and, finally, there’s the snowcat trip back to civilization.

Please notice: If you’ve purchased the outdoor package, you’ll ride on a dog sled at Igloo Lodge instead of in town. It’s a bigger sled, so there are three of you on the sled instead of two.

Please notice: If you are interested in our outdoor package, please contact us by phone or email, so we can check if there is availability when you want to go. As mentioned, the other excursions are also included in the outdoor package. However, if you choose the outdoor package, some of these other excursions will be moved to other days than mentioned in this day-to-day program.

Beate Ulich
Day 6:
Explore Ilulissat on your own

Spend the day exploring Ilulissat on your own. If you like, you can visit one of the traditional arts and crafts workshops to look for souvenirs made from seal or tooth and bone.

There are also many hikes to go on. You can, for example, walk along the road to the airport, where you pass a typical, Greenlandic cemetery. There are also opportunities for tours in the mountains, but it can be a little difficult to walk here because the snow can be deep. You can also rent snowshoes.

Please note: If you’ve stayed at the Igloo Lodge, you’ll go sailing on the Icefjord tonight.

 

A Snowmobile Ride in The Ilulissat Backcountry In Greenland - Photographer: Mads Pihl, Visit Greenland
Mads Pihl - Visit Greenland
Day 7:
Explore Ilulissat on your own or Smnowmobile tour (optional)

Spend the last day in Ilulissat experiencing the atmosphere and life in the town. Step back in time and learn about the rich history at the museum that originally was Knud Rasmussen’s place of birth. Fishermen and hunters at the open market give you an idea of the many exciting Greenlandic food products – it does not get any fresher than this.

Once your eyes have feasted on the fresh catch of the day, your tummy will probably rumble!  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!

And you will never get tired of looking out across the Ice Fjord.

But there’s room for more fun, too:

Snowmobile tour with 1 or 2 people on the snowmobile

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.

Day 8:
Flight Ilulissat - Nuuk - Copenhagen

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

Map

Kangerlussuaq

Ilulissat

Kangerlussuaq

Hotels on this tour

Hotel HHE Express

Hotel HHE Express is located in the heart of Nuuk, in the area called Tuujuk. The Hotel is close to a shopping area and sightseeing options. The Hotel is a sister hotel to Hotel Hans Egede, which is also located in the central part of Nuuk. There is access to wifi in all areas of the hotel, the reception will be open 24 hours a day, and there is a café/coffee shop, where you can sit down and enjoy good food and get something to drink.

Please note: It is not possible to have two twin beds at Hotel Hans Egede Express.

Hotel HHE Express
Aqqusinersuaq 16
3900 Nuuk

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 10:45 am
  • Return to Copenhagen 10:00 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.

 

Focus on Ice and Snow

8 days around Kangerlussuaq and Ilulissat

Get in touch with the marvelous Greenlandic nature in winter. Dog sledding, northern lights, and icebergs are only some of the many keywords. You will never forget it!

From
2.375 EUR
per person in double room
January to April  | 8 days  | 7 nights Travel id: 7040 Departure from Copenhagen
Optional experiences
IcebergsDogsledNorthern LightInuit Culture

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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