Southern Greenland: On the Trail of the Vikings

Reykjavik - Toronto

Greenland
August
13 Nights

Choose Your Departure Date

Reykjavik - Toronto
Aug 04 2025 - Aug 17 2025
13 Nights

Price from per person

£10,476

Cruise Overview

Discover the vastness of Greenland, the largest island on the planet, where sharp mountain peaks reach up to clear blue skies and an array of glaciers stretch toward the coastline.

 Embark on Zodiac cruises through fjords, where you may spot ringed seals resting on sea ice broken off from Greenland’s massive ice sheets—the most extensive in the Arctic—and possibly encounter whales feeding in the nutrient-rich waters. Navigate Prince Christian Sound, framed by towering mountains. In southern Greenland, lush green pastures hint at human habitation, where the Viking ruins of Erik the Red remain at Hvalsey. As we weave through the fjords and channels, we reach western Greenland, the country's most developed region and home to the capital, Nuuk, the northernmost capital in the world.

Throughout this journey, we will visit isolated Inuit hamlets and settlements, where the local Inuit people continue to practice traditional hunting methods, including whaling, which some may find distressing. If you feel upset or disturbed by these practices, please inform a member of the expedition team immediately. They will do their best to address your concerns and take appropriate action to mitigate the issue, whenever possible.

Southern Greenland: On the Trail of the Vikings map

Cruise Highlights

Cruise Highlights

  • Navigate through Prince Christian Sound, flanked by imposing mountains with glaciers calving directly into the ocean.
  • Experience exhilarating Zodiac excursions to glacier fronts and look out for the tail flukes of diving whales.
  • Visit the National Museum in Nuuk to explore the captivating exhibit of the Qilakitsoq mummies, which are over 545 years old.

Itinerary

Itinerary

Immerse yourself in the vastness of Greenland, the largest island on Earth.

Reykjavik Iceland
Day 1

Arrive in Reykjavik

Upon your arrival in Reykjavik, a representative will greet you and arrange your transfer to our group hotel. Once at the hotel, please stop by the hospitality area. If you arrive before 4pm, you can leave your luggage here and enjoy some refreshments. You can also pick up your cabin luggage tags and talk to our ground operations team, who can provide pre-embarkation details and offer advice on dining options, cash withdrawal locations, and where to find last-minute essentials at nearby pharmacies or supermarkets.

The rest of the day is yours to spend as you wish. All meals today are at your own expense.

Accommodation: Fosshotel Reykjavik (or similar)

Day 2

Embarkation

This morning, please ensure your cabin luggage is labeled with your name and cabin number. Your luggage will be picked up from the hotel, transported to the port for clearance, and delivered to your cabin before your arrival on board. Remember to keep any valuables or personal items with you throughout the day.

After breakfast and check-out, join us for an insightful tour of the Golden Circle and Iceland's geothermal energy sites. Iceland stands out with 85% of its electricity generated from renewable sources, showcasing exceptional sustainable energy practices.

Our excursion takes us to the renowned Golden Circle landmarks: the majestic Gullfoss waterfall, the erupting geysers at Geysir, and the historically significant Thingvellir National Park. Additionally, we'll explore sustainable energy production at the Geothermal Energy Exhibition and Ljósafossvirkjun Power Station, one of the world's largest geothermal power plants.

In the evening, mingle with your fellow travelers, expedition team, and crew at the Welcome Dinner, celebrating the start of our exciting adventure.

Day 3

At Sea

As we traverse the Greenland Sea, we navigate the nutrient-rich waters of the Polar Basin, on the lookout for encroaching pack ice, fin whales, and seabirds. Our team of experts will engage us with insightful talks on sea ice, glaciers, European Arctic flora and fauna, and the legendary adventures of early explorers like Nansen, Andrée, and Scoresby.

Day 4

Kangertitivatsiaq Fjord 

Kangertitivatsiaq Fjord, located on Greenland’s remote east coast, is a breathtaking natural wonder characterized by its dramatic landscapes and pristine wilderness. This fjord, with its steep, rugged cliffs and deep, narrow waterways, offers a striking contrast between the dark rock faces and the vibrant blue waters.

 

Day 5

 Skjoldungen Island

Skjoldungen Island, situated off the southeastern coast of Greenland, is a stunning and remote destination known for its dramatic scenery and untouched natural beauty. The island is characterized by its rugged terrain, featuring steep mountains, deep fjords, and expansive glaciers that carve their way through the landscape. The coastlines are dotted with icebergs of varying sizes, creating a picturesque and ever-changing seascape.

Prince Christian Sound
Day 6

Prince Christian Sound 

Prince Christian Sound, located in southern Greenland, is a spectacular waterway renowned for its awe-inspiring beauty and dramatic landscapes. This narrow, fjord-like channel is flanked by towering mountains, some of which rise over 1,200 meters, creating a majestic backdrop. The sound is dotted with numerous glaciers that extend down to the water, frequently calving icebergs into the sea. 

Aappilattoq
Day 7

Aappilattoq, Tasermiut Fjord, Klosterdal

Aappilattoq is a quaint settlement located in the southern section of a sound. Its name means "red" in Greenlandic, a nod to the striking red mountains that rise above the town. Known throughout Greenland for its sharp, jagged peaks, Aappilattoq is a paradise for photographers seeking dramatic landscapes.

Tasermiut Fjord, often dubbed the 'Patagonia of the North', is surrounded by towering, jagged mountains. In Klosterdal, three giant peaks—Napasorsuaq, Ketil, and Nalumasortoq—dominate the skyline. Visitors can explore a Norse ruin, hike along the picturesque valley, or paddle through the bay by kayak, immersing themselves in the area's rugged natural beauty.

Summer time of Nanortalik in Greenland
Day 8

Nanortalik, Uunartoq

Journey onward to Nanortalik, the southernmost town in Greenland, situated on an island of the same name. The town's name comes from the West Greenlandic word ‘Nanoq,’ meaning ‘the place where bears pass through,’ a reference to the polar bears once seen drifting by on sea ice. Enthusiastic climbers from around the world are drawn to Nanortalik’s deep fjords, woodlands, grasslands, and rugged mountain cliffs, some soaring over 1,000 meters (3,280 feet).

Upon arrival, the local community will warmly welcome you, inviting you to explore their town. Known for their love of singing, the residents of Nanortalik will treat you to a delightful choir performance.

One of the town's highlights is Nanortalik Church, a wooden Danish Lutheran church built in 1916, and currently the sole church serving the Nanortalik congregation. Located in the old colonial quarter, the church stands next to the 'Knud Rasmussen Stone,' a landmark boulder named after Greenland’s renowned explorer and ethnologist, Dr. Knud Rasmussen.

Qaqortoq
Day 9

Hvalsey, Qaqortoq

Hvalsey Church stands as the best-preserved Norse ruin in Greenland. The name ‘Hvalsey’ translates to ‘Whale Island’ in Old Norse. Christianity made its way to Greenland around 1000 AD, leading to the gradual construction of churches. Historical documents from the late medieval period indicate that up to 14 parish churches existed in the Eastern Settlement. Hvalsey Church itself was built in the early 14th century, although it wasn't the first church on this site.

After exploring the Hvalsey ruins, we head to Qaqortoq, the capital of South Greenland, where Zodiacs will shuttle us ashore. Qaqortoq, with a history dating back to 1775, offers a variety of cultural activities and attractions, including the outdoor art project “Man and Stone,” which showcases stone carvings by local artists scattered throughout the town. As the southernmost town in Greenland and the administrative center of South Greenland, Qaqortoq is rich in history and culture. The Qaqortoq Museum, housed in a yellow stone building dating back to 1804, was originally the town’s blacksmith shop. Another notable landmark is the Church of Our Saviour, also known as the ‘Red Church.’ This large wooden Lutheran church is located in the historic part of town near the harbor.

Day 10

Igaliku

Nestled in Tunulliarfik Fjord, Igaliku welcomes visitors with its lush valleys and tall grass, marking Greenland’s earliest sheep farming settlement. This idyllic village not only offers access to remarkably preserved Norse ruins but also beckons adventurers to explore UNESCO World Heritage-listed landscapes. Embark on hikes amidst lakes, mountains, and secluded Norse remnants, soaking in the breathtaking scenery that defines Igaliku.

Narsarsuaq Greenland
Day 11

Narsarsuaq, Qassiarssuk

Narsarsuaq serves as the gateway to exploring lush valleys and ancient Norse ruins scattered along Tunulliarfik Fjord.

With deep historical roots, Narsarsuaq was settled by Norse Vikings in the 12th century. They named the area to suggest an Arctic forest once covered the vast plain, inspiring the name "Greenland" from the lush landscapes they encountered. Today, well-marked trails lead hikers through breathtaking scenery, including a popular route offering panoramic views of icebergs in Tunulliarfik Fjord and the impressive Qooroq Glacier.

Across Tunulliarfik Fjord lies Qassiarssuk, where Erik the Red once called home. Explore the remains of a church, stables, halls, and other structures that echo the Viking era. A prominent statue of Leif Erikson, Erik the Red's son, stands sentinel over the town and fjord, a reminder of Greenland's rich Viking heritage.

Sailing between Hvalsey, Igaliku, and Qassiarssuk offers a voyage through Greenland's Viking history, tracing the footsteps of these early settlers across its stunning landscapes.

Sylvia Earle X Bow Lounge
Day 12

At Sea

As we voyage towards Nuuk, take the opportunity to unwind with some leisure time or participate in a presentation hosted by our expedition team. Later this evening, come together with fellow adventurers to share stories and commemorate our journey at the Captain’s Farewell Dinner. It’s a chance to reflect on our experiences and celebrate the memories made during our expedition.

Greg Mortimer small expedition cruise ship in the sea ice
Day 13

Disembark and fly to Toronto

Bid farewell to the crew and expedition team in Nuuk, Greenland's capital, before transferring to the airport for our charter flight to Toronto, where we will stay overnight at the Westin Toronto Airport Hotel (or a similar accommodation).

Toronto city skyline at dusk in Canda
Day 14 

Depart Toronto

Enjoy breakfast and continue your journey.

 

Activities

Activities

Zodiac Cruising

Take advantage of zodiac cruises included in your voyage enabling us to visit secluded shorelines, navigate shallow inlets, and discover rare wildlife.

Kayaking

Greg Mortimer expedition cruise ship activity platform

Our program is designed to help you develop and enhance your skills while fostering connections with our expert guides and fellow expeditioners. By traveling with a small group, you'll minimize time spent on briefings and equipment checks, allowing you to maximize your time on the water and fully immerse yourself in the experience.

Your Ship

Your Ship

Sylvia Earle

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