Greenland Pioneer: The Ultimate Greenland Expedition Cruise
The Greenland Pioneer is the ultimate in slow travel. Join us on a one of a kind expedition that offers the most in-depth exploration of Greenland’s west coast. Travelling on a local expedition vessel, over the next 30 days, we will explore the entire coast from Narsarsuaq in the south to Disko Bay in the north. The trip contains many highlights from sailing through Prins Christian Sound to exploring remote settlements in Disko Bay. Each day we will stop to go ashore and explore the fantastic wilderness, nature and culture that Greenland has to offer.
Led by our local captain and guides you will experience the beautiful wilderness of West Greenland through the eyes of the locals. The travel pace is unhurried and every day we will use the Zodiacs to go ashore and spend time in nature and do short hikes.
This voyage offers the only way to see the entire coast of West Greenland from the coast without going on a large ship. Travelling with our local guide will give you a rare chance to experience local Greenlandic culture free from the mass tourism of larger cruise ships.
Greenland Tour Highlights
- Experience the real Greenland with the locals in a small group free from mass tourism on a local expedition vessel.
- Local captain and guide who will take you exploring.
- Experience hikes ashore with your expedition leader in the untouched wilderness.
- Sail through Prince Christian Sound, the most beautiful sailing passage in Southern Greenland.
- Enjoy a hot spring at Uunartoq.
- Explore the Tasermiut Fjord with its stunning mountainous scenery known as the Patagonia of Greenland with its 2000m high peaks, icebergs and glaciers.
- Visit the villages and remote settlements of Qaqortoq, Igaliku, Narsaq and Nanortalik and get a glimpse of Greenlandic life.
- Witness the gigantic icebergs Disko Bay is famous for.
- Explore the Fjord of eternity (Evighedsfjorden).
- Explore and hike in the stunning nature of the Nuuk Fjord.
- Encounter fascinating local culture.
Day 1 Welcome aboard! Depart Narsarsuaq pm
Day 2-3 Explore the fjords around Narsarsuaq
Day 4 Sail through Prince Christian Sound
Day 5-6 Explore the Tasermiut Fjord
Day 7 Uunartoq
Day 8 – 14 Exploring remote fjords and settlements of southern Greenland
Day 15 – 18 Nukk and Exploring the Nuuk Fjord system
Day 19 – 22 Sail North inland route from Nuuk to Maniitsoq, The Hamborger sound and Fjord of eternity
Day 23 – 26 Exploring Disko Bay
Day 27 Qullissat
Day 28 – 29 Disko Island
Day 30 Disembark Ilulissat am
Greenland Cruise Day by Day
Day 1 to 4
Narsarsuaq, surrounding fjords and sailing through Prince Christian Sound
Our expedition departs from Narsarsuaq, a small settlement with just 123 inhabitants with an airport with international connections to Iceland. You will be welcomed on board by your local captain Taatsi and our Greenlandic expedition leader. We will set sail and spend the next 2 days exploring the natural beauty of the fjords around the Narsarsuaq area. We will use the Zodiacs to go exploring ashore and see some less visited places. Next, we will sail through the Prince Christian Sound which is a narrow steep-sided fjord that connects east Greenland to West Greenland. It’s a great time to spend some time on deck taking in the breathtaking scenery with mountains that reach over 1,2000 framing the fjord, with countless glaciers that create many icebergs which we will likely encounter.
Day 5 – 7
Explore the Tasermiut Fjord and Uunartoq
We will sail along the Tasermiut fjord towards the “Big Walls” of South Greenland and make shore landings to hike in this wonderful scenery. This area is known as the Patagonia of Greenland for its sheer mountains. From Kisaq we will see the Ulamertorsuaq (1,830 meters, Greenland’s equivalent of El Capitan in Yosemite), the Nalumasortoq, and the gargantuan granite pyramid of the Ketil. We will also get a view of the hanging Tasermiut glacier, which extends over 1,400 meters in height at a length of 3km. After Tasermiut we will sail to Uunartoq and enjoy a bath in a hot spring surrounded by nature.
Day 8 – 14
Sailing North and exploring remote places
Travelling by a small expedition vessel allows us flexibility and depending on the weather conditions we may opt to spend more time exploring the southern areas before we head north. As we sail north we will explore fjords and visit some of Southern Greenland’s lesser-known places under the guidance of our local captain and expedition leader. Our aim is to let you experience the very finest that Southern Greenland has to offer. We will go ashore on a daily basis and do hikes in outstanding nature and explore lots of interesting places.
Day 15 -18
Nuuk Fjord and Nuuk
As we head north we aim to spend 2 days exploring the fjord system around Nuuk which is the 2nd largest in Greenland, and home to remote settlements and dramatic scenery. It is a great space to spend the final 2 days exploring with lots of opportunities to hike ashore. We will stop in Nuuk for a day to exchange guests that have joined us for the shorter legs of this voyage which will give you some time to explore. We will then set off and explore the fantastic nature of the Nuuk Fjord.
Day 19 – 21
Maniitsoq, Hamborger Sound and the Fjord of Eternity
The plan is to sail the inland route from Nuuk to Maniitsoq where our local Captain will sail us through lots of narrow places, and we will explore a small remote village. We will pass through The Hamborger Sound, one of the most beautiful sailing passages in the west coast. After visiting Maniitsoq we will arrive at the stunning Fjord of eternity (Evighedsfjorden) famous for its glaciers and history where we will spend a couple of days exploring.
Day 22 – 25
Aasiaat and Disko Bay
As we sail north we will start to encounter the towering icebergs that Disko Bay is famous for. At the entrance to Disko Bay we will visit the town of Aasiaat, home to 3,000 people. From here we will set and spend the next week exploring the natural wonders of Disko Bay, its glaciers, remote villages and whale watching with daily shore landings.
Day 26 – 28
Qullissat, Disko Island and return to Ilulissat
We aim to make several landings on Disko island including Qullissat, a former mining settlement. Here you will see an abandoned mine and village that hasn’t had a population since 1972. We will enjoy hikes in the surrounding area which are considered to be some of the most scenic in Greenland.
After our epic 30-day Greenland cruise, we arrive in the town of Ilulissat. After breakfast and final goodbye, you will depart the vessel for your onward travel. Ilulissat airport has internal connections and international flights to Iceland.
Our exact route will depend on ice, weather conditions and wildlife. The places mentioned are just examples of some of the many sites this region of Greenland has to offer. We always strive to maximize your experience. Please remember that flexibility is the key to a successful expedition.
Inside This trip
Our trips are aimed at anyone with a passion for exploring the Arctic with a small group of like minded individuals on a comfortable small ship cruise and include :
Expedition Vessel With 12 Guests
With the average expedition cruise ship now taking over 300 passengers, we believe smaller is better. When visiting small Greenlandic communities, you will get a far more authentic experience in a small group than a large group.
Expedition Leader and Local Guide
On this tour, we will be accompanied by an expedition leader and a local guide who will share their passion and knowledge of Greenland throughout the trip. We offer the best guide to guest ratio available.
Zodiac landing craft for shore landings
Shore landings are the essence of every expedition and your guides will take you exploring to photograph ashore. The vessel is equipped with a landing craft and there is room for all guests so no waiting to go ashore. It offers the perfect opportunity to get close to icebergs, wildlife and glaciers.
Included in the cost of this trip is carbon offsetting. At Secret Atlas, we do everything we can to minimise the impact of our trips both on the environment and local cultures.
Expedition Motor Vessel Kisaq
Step aboard M/V Kisaq an iconic expedition vessel.
Kisaq was originally built as a passenger ferry that was built to operate all year round in the harsh Greenlandic winters. One of Greenland’s most iconic expedition vessels, today she has been converted to a comfortable liveaboard vessel that spends her time exploring the west coast of Greenland.
Kisaq is skippered by local captain Taatsi who has decades of experience navigating Greenlandic waters, and plenty of stories to tell about the local area. The vessel is extremely well maintained and Danish Maritime Authority (DMA) certificated standards of safety and seaworthiness.
We love Kisaq as she is a very robust and capable vessel that provides us with the ideal platform to explore from. From a guest experience she is warm and comfortable, and whilst not luxurious, she offers an authentic experience in comparison to large cruise ships. She has 6 twin cabins with comfortable bunk beds, shared facilities, a warm saloon and large decks to enjoy the view from.
She is equipped with a Zodiac landing craft for shore landings.
A small group size of 12 ensures an intimate experience.
Local Greenlandic captain with years of experience exploring the local waters.
Warm and comfortable accommodation in twin cabins with bunk beds and shared facilities.
- Equipped with a Zodiacs for shore landings
Large deck space for photography
Ice-strengthened hull for travel in the polar regions
Full safety gear
Greenland Cruise Dates and Prices
The prices quoted are per person. Twin are based on double occupancy
A comfortable cabin that sleeps 2 in twin bunk beds with a sink located on the lower deck. Shared facilities with WC and shower are located on the deck above.
Peace Of Mind Coronavirus Booking Guarantee
We understand that there is a lot of uncertainty with travel due to the coronavirus so we have added a peace of mind guarantee for all bookings made for 2021. If your trip is interrupted due to coronavirus travel restrictions you will be able to move your trip to a future booking free of charge. At this point, we believe that all our trips will be able to operate normally in 2021, and we have put this in place as an added reassurance so you can have full confidence when booking. You can read our full statement here.
Payment Options & Information
We offer payment via the following methods:
- Credit card
- Payment by bank transfer
- Monthly installments to spread the cost of payments
Please let us know at the time of booking your preferred method.
A 30% deposit is taken at the time of booking with the final 70% payable 90 days prior to departure.
We highly recommend you take out comprehensive travel insurance at the time of booking that also covers cancellation.
Single travellers are welcome on all our voyages. We often host single travellers, particularly on our photo voyages so the chances are you won’t be the only single traveller. We offer the following accommodation options for single travellers:
- Option to share a twin cabin with another traveller of the same sex.
- Option to have your own cabin for an additional supplement. Please contact us for this option as the price varies depending on trip and availability.
This trip is operated by a trusted Secret Atlas partner to our partners’ terms and conditions of travel. You can read the full booking terms here.
Trip notes and what’s included / excluded
|Departure Location||Narsarsuaq, Greenland|
|Arrival Location||Ilulissat, Greenland|
|Maximum Group Size||12|
|Accommodation||Comfortable twin cabins with bunk beds and shared facilities|
|Time of Year||July|
If you have any questions about this Greenland cruise
please get in touch
What Our Customers Say
On each journey we welcome customers from all corner of the globe, with a variety of different ages and backgrounds all united in their passion to experience what the Arctic has to offer
Pan – Business Executive from Italy
‘This is the closest you can come to a real expedition. We saw glaciers seals, whales, walruses and polar bears’
From an early age Pan dreamed of visiting the Arctic. At the age of 42 he made that dream come true by joining Secret Atlas on an expedition micro cruise.
Annie – Interior Designer from the USA
‘The micro cruise experience felt like being on your own private boat. The crew were fantastic’
Annie had always wanted to go an expedition in Svalbard and joined us as a solo traveler.