Greenland (East): Arctic Sights & Northern Lights
Vast, unspoiled, virtually uninhabited—East Greenland’s Scoresby Sund is an Arctic wilderness of transcendent quality.
This memorable northern lights cruise starts and finishes in Reykjavík, Iceland. Across the Denmark Strait we explore the stunning Scoresby Sund fjord complex in East Greenland. Here we discover unbelievable scenery, historical sites, massive icebergs, a contemporary Inuit village, and of course the mesmerizing northern lights.
On our cruise to Greenland we visit the town of Ísafjörður in the Westfjords of Iceland. On our way back we explore Iceland’s picturesque Snæfellsnes peninsula. Every night on this voyage brings another excellent chance to experience the northern lights in a beautiful setting.
Length of Travel: 11 days
Itinerary in Brief
Day 1 – Reykjavík, Iceland (hotel night)
Day 2 – Embarkation
Day 3 – Across Denmark Strait
Day 4-8 – Exploration of Scoresby Sund, Greenland
Day 9 – Back across Denmark Strait
Day 10- Westfjords, Iceland
Day 11 – Disembarkation in Reykjavík, Iceland
* Special Notes
Starts & Ends in Reykjavik (Iceland)
Day 1 - Reykjavík, Iceland (hotel night)
Welcome to Reykjavík, the capital of Iceland and starting point of our expedition. After arriving via scheduled commercial flight service, you are free to explore this fascinating city. Reykjavík is home to a wealth of cultural institutions including museums, galleries, and the Hallgrímskirkja church. Leisure possibilities inside the city include parks, gardens, and thermal baths. You can also take advantage of Reykjavík’s wide range of shopping possibilities, excellent dining options, and famous nightlife. Your hotel for the night has been arranged by us and is included in the price of the voyage.
Day 2 - Embarkation
In the afternoon we welcome you aboard the luxury expedition ship M/V Sea Spirit. Explore the ship and get comfortable in your home away from home for the extraordinary adventure to come. Savor the anticipation of your Arctic dreams coming true as we slip our moorings and sail out of the harbor into the bay of Faxaflói, where it is possible to encounter our first whales.
Day 3 - Across Denmark Strait
From Iceland we head across Denmark Strait toward Scoresby Sund in East Greenland, crossing the Arctic Circle on the way. There is a good possibility of whale sightings in this stretch of water. After nightfall, we have our first opportunity to see the aurora borealis.
Day 4-8 - Exploration of Scoresby Sund, Greenland
Scoresby Sund is a true Arctic wilderness and this part of the voyage is a real expedition. Our route and exploration opportunities here are heavily dependent on the weather and sea ice conditions we encounter. Our experienced captain and expedition leader decide the itinerary and continually adjust plans as conditions and opportunities warrant. You can be sure that the best possible advantage will be taken of the circumstances presented to us by Nature in this wild and remote corner of the Arctic.
Scoresby Sund is the largest and longest fjord system in the world. This area contains some of the Arctic’s most impressive scenery. Deep fjords and narrow channels, flanked by ice-clad peaks up to 2000 meters high, reach deep into the mountainous heart of Greenland. Tidewater glaciers create colossal icebergs that float with wind and tide throughout the fjord system. On shore, fields of multicolored tundra are home to musk oxen and Arctic hare. The landscape—vast, open, and seemingly untouched since the beginning of time—is a hikers’ paradise.
Throughout this area we also find ancient Thule archeological sites, historical trappers’ huts, and modern Inuit hunters’ cabins.
The Inuit village of Ittoqqortoormiit is the only permanent settlement in the region. The community boasts an excellent museum, a gift shop, a post office, an abundance of Greenlandic sled dogs, and of course the opportunity to meet Inuit people.
The days are filled with memorable excursions, sumptuous meals, presentations by our experts, and enough stunning scenery to fill your camera and overwhelm your emotions. Each night brings new possibilities for incredible displays of aurora borealis—the Northern Lights. This is the perfect time and one of the world’s best places to experience this otherworldly celestial phenomenon.
Day 9 - Back across Denmark Strait
After our amazing time in Scoresby Sund we head back across Denmark Strait toward Iceland. Presentations and workshops by our expert staff, as well as our range of onboard recreation facilities, ensure that this day at sea is not idly spent. Seabird viewing and whale sightings can be enjoyed from panoramic open decks as well as exterior stateroom windows and balconies. Nighttime offers still more possibilities for aurora borealis!
Day 10 - Westfjords, Iceland
Our expedition day in the Westfjords area reveals the rare beauty of the part of Iceland where mass tourism disappears – only about 10% of Iceland’s visitors ever see the region. Taking advantage of every weather favorable condition, we choose the best places to discover breathtaking coastal fjords, jagged bird cliffs, and tiny fishing villages embracing traditional ways of life
Day 11 - Disembarkation in Reykjavík, Iceland
After breakfast we say farewell in Reykjavík, the capital of Iceland and ending point of our expedition. We provide a transfer to the international airport or to the city center if you wish to spend another day or more in Iceland before flying home. From Reykjavík the entire country is accessible through day tours or longer journeys by rental car. The options for additional adventures are endless!