White day boat cruises calm water in morning light as red & white fishing boats troll beside large icebergs & rocky cliffs.
Iceberg sits in blue water on a windy day beside green shores & dark, rocky mountains partly covered in snow, seen in Greenland.
Bearded seal in Greenland with long whiskers, brown snout & beige skin, seen on an Expedition to the Edge of the Ice Sheet cruise.
2 men sit on a wooden dog sled in a snow field beside green house with hanging laundry, looking down onto an icy bay in Greenland.
Red church with white trim & gray steeple sits among green & rocky rolling hills & larger town on a cloudy day in Greenland.
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Polar Regions Arctic Cruise

Expedition to the Edge of the Ice Sheet

Follow the Vikings’ route, in the steps of Erik the Red. From Reykjavik, touch the east coast of Greenland in Tasiilaq, a city on the edge of an inlet with a breathtaking view of glittering blue icebergs. Watch for abundant and varied fauna: seals, whales, orcas and many species of seabirds. Sail down the narrow Prins Christian Sund passage, connecting the southeast of Greenland to the southwest.

Jagged mountains, rocky cliffs, waterfalls and floating ice form a wonderful wild landscape that hosts colonies of bearded seals. Sail amid the blue icebergs of the Narsaq region, and among the largest icebergs in the Northern Hemisphere in Disko Bay before disembarking in Kangerlussuaq.

Cruise the icy waters of the Arctic on this once-in-a-lifetime expedition aboard 244-guest Le Lyrial, with up to 200 guests aboard her Arctic cruises. Be joined on board by an experienced team of naturalist guides, anthropologists, ornithologists and marine mammal specialists. Travel in style aboard this luxury French expedition ship that offers refined and attentive service, a plethora of onboard activities and unrivaled elegance. Appreciate understated sophistication, an international feel and top-notch guides aboard this ship on her Iceland cruises.

Read on for details about this luxury cruise in the Northwest Passage, or learn more about AdventureSmith’s Arctic cruisesArctic expedition trips and Greenland small ship cruises.



Itinerary

Expedition to The Edge of The Ice Sheet Itinerary

The Expedition to The Edge of The Ice Sheet cruise operates from Reykjavik, Iceland to Kangerlussuaq, Greenland, ending with a flight connecting to Paris, France. This itinerary visits some of the largest icebergs in the Northern Hemisphere, in Disko Bay.

Route map of Expedition to The Ice Edge cruise from Reykjavik, Iceland to Kangerlussuaq, Greenland, ending with a flight to Paris, France.
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Days 1 - 2
Embark Reykjavik, Iceland & Depart Iceland

Iceland’s capital stretches along the edge of a vast bay in the west of the country. Perlan, the “Pearl of Reykjavík,” a museum located on ’Oskjuhlið hill, offers a panoramic view of the lush, green landscapes. A little further, one can easily spot the signpost showing the way to the evangelical Hallgrímskirkja church, and to the historical center where one can stroll along the Skólavördustígur and the Laugavegur, two lively streets with charming small shops. For some relaxation just outside of the city, take the opportunity to visit the Reykjanes peninsula and its famous thermal lagoons of the Blue Lagoon. Embark the ship in the late afternoon of Day 1 and depart from Iceland at midnight.

Accommodations

Le Lyrial

Meals

dinner

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Day 3
At Sea

During your journey at sea, make the most of the many services and activities on board. Treat yourself to a moment of relaxation in the spa or stay in shape in the fitness center. Depending on the season, let yourself be tempted by the swimming pool or a spot of sunbathing. This journey without a port of call will also be an opportunity to enjoy the conferences or shows proposed on board, depending on the activities offered, or to do some shopping in the boutique or to meet the onboard photographers in their dedicated space. As for lovers of the open sea, they will be able to visit the ship’s upper deck to admire the spectacle of the waves and perhaps be lucky enough to observe marine species. A truly enchanted interlude, combining comfort, rest and entertainment.

Accommodations

Le Lyrial

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 4
Tasiilaq & Sermilik Fjord, Greenland

In Tasiilaq, on Ammassalik Island, follow in the wake of Captain Jean-Baptiste Charcot’s famous ship, the Pourquoi Pas ?, which set off with its crew in 1935 to discover this small island of primitive and wild beauty that remained unexplored until the end of the 19th century. Along with Ittoqqortoormiit, a village with 500 inhabitants located at the entrance of the Scoresby Sound, the village of Tasiilaq and its surroundings, 500 miles farther north, are the only inhabited areas on the east coast of Greenland. The name of this island is a reference to the capelin, a small flamboyant silver-colored fish whose presence in the thousands announces to inhabitants the return of spring. A surprising discovery in a spectacular setting.

Be captivated by the spectacular scenery of the Sermilik Fjord, the largest in the southeast of Greenland. To the north, above the glacial valleys, the Schweitzerland Alps and their peaks that rise to an altitude of more than 10,000 feet stretch out in the distance, while in the south, where it opens onto the Irminger Sea, heavy erosion has carved the landscape. Three main glaciers calve a multitude of dazzling icebergs that drift serenely along the indigo waters of this majestic fjord. It owes its name to the Inuit word Sermilik, which generally refers to a fjord into which a glacier flows. It was mapped in 1884 by the Danish explorer Gustav Holm and his crew, while they wintered in the Ammassalik region.

Accommodations

Le Lyrial

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 5
Skjoldungen

Discover Skjoldungen Island on the southeast coast of Greenland. This uninhabited land boasts magnificent landscapes that are sure to dazzle. The island is surrounded by a stunning fjord, a distinctive feature of which is its double entrance: it forms a bend before joining the sea on the other side. Mountains, glacial valleys, rocky outcrops, tundra and willow forests make up the beautiful scenery which can be admired more closely when landing here. At this port of call, surrounded by wild and pristine nature, it is quite common to see bearded seals, orcas, but also birds such as the common redpoll, the northern wheatear or the common raven.

Accommodations

Le Lyrial

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 6
Aappilattoq (Augpilatok)

Aappilattoq (Augpilatok) is a small Inuit village of around one hundred inhabitants, whose name means “sea anemone” in Greenlandic. Located in a mountainous region inaccessible by road, its picturesque, colorful houses stretch out to the southern tip of Greenland, on the banks of the spectacular Prince Christian Sound. Some 62 miles long, the sound connects the Labrador Sea to the Irminger Sea, meandering through stunning landscapes such as majestic glaciers, craggy peaks, and rocky cliffs with waterfalls fed by the ice sheet. This region was uninhabited in the 19th century. The village was created in the 1920s and the main activities revolve around hunting, fishing and livestock farming.

Accommodations

Le Lyrial

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 7
Hvalso & Narsaq Fjord

A grassy meadow filled with flowers stretches out, dotted with imposing granite rocks. A few semi-wild sheep and horses greet all; they are the only inhabitants of this place surrounded by beautiful mountains. Welcome to Hvalsø, in the heart of the fertile lands in Greenland’s south. During the 10th century, this site was colonized by the Vikings, who established a large community here. When the ship calls at these lands brimming with history, see the ruins of a church whose remains are still very well preserved. It was most likely built in the 14th century. It has lost its timber roof, but its four stone walls continue to stand proudly as a moving relic of a long-gone era.

From the ship, discover the town of Narsaq. Be dazzled by the beauty of the surrounding icebergslarge masses of ice in different shapes and shifting colors. Dominated by lush mountains, this small town is typical of Greenland and is located in the heart of a wonderful natural landscape. The multicolored house facades and the glaciers with their myriad shades of blue offer a magical setting, conducive to wonderment.

Accommodations

Le Lyrial

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 8
Ivigtut OR Ikka Fjord

Ivigtut: Located in the Arsuk Fjord, Ivigtut, now called Ivittuut, is a small town in southwestern Greenland known for being rich in cryolite, a very rare mineral used in the ceramics industry and to extract aluminum from bauxite. The open-pit mine was once a major economic resource for Greenland: a prosperous mining activity developed there in the 19th century until 1963 when the mine was closed. In the 22-mile-long fjord that runs along the small town surrounded by tundra landscapes, possibly be fortunate enough to see whales or rorquals swimming nonchalantly in the cold water.

Ikka Fjord: As you sail through the majestic Ikka Fjord in southwest Greenland, you will discover over 10,000 years of underwater geology, for mysterious columns up to 65 feet high, formed several millennia ago, rise up from the seabed. Their material, ikaite, gives the fjord its name. Truly magical! You glide over calm, clear waters amidst breathtaking mountains in the endlessly wild, huge area of Greenland.

Accommodations

Le Lyrial

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 9
Nuuk

When Erik the Red, the exiled Norse chief, landed on the coast of Nuuk, he found a fertile and welcoming land dotted with fjords. He settled there with a group of his former countrymen, and the Norse remained the principal inhabitants until, over a period of 500 years, their population declined and gave way to the Inuit. Nuuk is situated at the mouth of one of the largest networks of fjords in the world, where the waters never freeze. The town spreads gently out towards the Davis Strait and enjoys an historic center that is particularly rich in national heritage. The vivid reds, blues, greens and yellows of the houses are a lively contrast to the somber waters of Greenland and serve to lift the spirits of the locals during the winter months.

Accommodations

Le Lyrial

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 10
Sisimiut

Discover Sisimiut, founded in 1756 and the second largest town in Greenland. This small town is typical of Greenland, boasting bewitching panoramas: here and there, colorful stilt houses dot the undulating landscape, and the small fishing port stands as the gateway to an icy realm. As for the town center, it is home to a number of historic buildings, a small church and a museum which retraces the history of the Inuit people, as well as many craft shops. When the ship drops anchor here, set out to meet the locals in a typically arctic atmosphere.

Accommodations

Le Lyrial

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 11
Paul-Emile Victor Base Camp, Eqi Glacier

“The most beautiful place in the Arctic” is how Paul-Émile Victor described Greenland, a land of great icebergs and of towering ice formations calved by the giant glaciers of the polar ice cap. The Eqi Glacier is one of the region’s most impressive sights. Here, the silence is broken only by the roaring and cracking of the ice. It is impossible to know if one is shivering from cold or from the sheer thrill of being here… Imagine the vast outline of a glacier, its translucent crystals glowing with an ice-blue fire in the sunlight. Paul-Émile Victor’s shelter cannot be overlooked; it was from here that the French Polar Expeditions’ anthropological and geographic explorations set off in the 1950s.

Accommodations

Le Lyrial

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 12
Disko Bay

To the east of Baffin Bay, discover Disko Bay, scattered with countless icebergs produced by the Ilulissat Icefjord, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. From the ship, admire the majestic ballet of these ice giants as they slowly drift across the dark waters. This site is a natural marvel of Greenland, and is also renowned as an observation point for the region’s many humpback whales. The encounters with wild fauna and stunning landscapes in the heart of this spectacular and fragile nature will provide pure moments of wonder.

Accommodations

Le Lyrial

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 13
Itilleq

Itilleq is a tiny island lying within the Arctic Circle, 28 miles south of Sisimiut. This is home to barely 100 people who mainly earn a living from fishing and hunting in their brightly colored traditional clothing and Greenlandic village. Perhaps have the pleasure of playing a game of football with them, enjoying a “kaffemik” (a coffee break) or a moment of contemplation when the gentle light of the midnight sun dapples the horizon.

Accommodations

Le Lyrial

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 14
Disembark Kangerlussuaq, Greenland, Fly to Paris, France & Depart

From 1941 to 1992, the town of Kangerlussuaq in Greenland was home to an American military base. Nowadays, thanks to its international airport, it has become a transit point for travelers seeking adventure in the Far North. Located to the north of the Arctic Circle, this town is the starting point of magnificent discoveries surrounded by unspoiled nature. Indeed, just a couple dozen miles from there it is possible to get close to the Greenland ice sheet, the largest body of ice in the Northern Hemisphere. From Kangerlussuaq, admire also the superb landscapes of tundra in autumnal colors, where arctic hares, musk oxen, arctic foxes, reindeer, falcons and eagles live.

Accommodations

n/a

Meals

breakfast

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Details
Inclusions, Terms & Notes

Included

All meals while on board the ship; captain’s welcome cocktail and gala dinner; “open bar” (pouring wines, house champagne, alcohol except premium brands); evening entertainment and events; room service; highly qualified bilingual French/English expedition team; lectures presented by the expedition team; Zodiac and shore excursions; park entry fees into protected areas; complimentary unlimited Wifi on board; port fees and taxes (except for child passengers–see Families & Children); gratuities.

Exclusions

Optional add-on excursions or packages; ground services before or after the cruise; visa expenses; possible immigration reciprocity taxes; luggage handling; beverages beyond those in Inclusions; laundry, hair salon, spa treatments, onboard medical consultations and other personal charges; cancellation, luggage, assistance, repatriation, medical and insurance of any kind.

Payment & Cancellation

In order to confirm this trip, a deposit of 25% of the total trip cost is required per person at time of booking. The balance of the trip price is due 90 days before the departure date. Special holiday payment and cancellation terms may apply. Guests who must cancel their trip for any reason must do so in writing. Standard cancellations beyond 14 days after booking confirmation are subject to the following per-person penalties, based on number of days prior to departure:
365 days or more – $250
364 to 211 days – 10% of total trip cost
210 to 91 days – 100% of deposit
90 to 0 days – 100% of total trip cost

Terms & Conditions

This trip is subject to AdventureSmith Explorations Terms and Conditions. Please read this information carefully and call us if you have any questions. A Traveler Information Form, which includes a release of liability, must be completed and signed by all travelers. Your Adventure Specialist will send you a unique link to complete this form along with a packing list and extensive pre-departure and travel insurance information upon booking confirmation.

Arrival & Departure

The Expedition to The Edge of The Ice Sheet cruise begins in Reykjavik, Iceland (KEF) and ends in Paris, France (CDG). We highly recommend arriving one day prior to your trip start date in case of any flight delay, cancellation or lost luggage issues. Recommended flight arrival and departure times are specific to each voyage; consult your Adventure Specialist for guidelines relating to your departure. If you would like assistance with international flights, please visit our Booking Flights resource page.

Internal Flights

An Economy class group charter flight between Kangerlussuaq, Greenland and Paris, France is included with this trip’s itinerary. The charter flights are unique per departure and details will be confirmed in advance. There is a luggage limit of 50 lbs (23 kg) checked luggage and 18 lbs (8 kg) cabin baggage for Economy class. Additional Economy class baggage allotment can be requested and purchased and is based on availability. Business Class seating is available upon request and may incur an additional charge. The luggage limit for business class is two 50 lbs (23 kg) checked luggage and 22 lbs (10 kg) cabin baggage.

Activities

Optional activities on your Expedition to The Edge of The Ice Sheet cruise include practicing photography, Zodiac cruising, walking, hiking and museum visits. Optional added-cost excursions are available on certain days and may be pre-booked from two months to one week prior to departure, or booked on board; these excursions may require a minimum group size. In addition to these off-ship excursions, a multitude of onboard activities keep guests engaged, including live music, dance and theater; spa treatments; exercise and stretching classes; specialty food, wine and cocktail tastings; organized games; and lectures by guides and possible special guests.

Room Configuration

Select double-occupancy cabins may be available for single occupancy with a single supplement fee. This supplement may vary depending on cabin category and remaining capacity per departure. A willing-to-share program is not available. Triple and quadruple rates may be available in select cabin categories; contact AdventureSmith for details.

Families & Children

Children 6 years and older at time of travel are welcomed on this expedition. Children under 18 years old at time of travel may receive special discounts when sharing a cabin with two full-fare adults. A child sharing a cabin with a single adult is considered to be a paying adult. Contact AdventureSmith for details.

Travel Insurance

A medical form for all travelers is required for every departure. Travelers are also highly encouraged to have full and adequate travel insurance covering the risks of cancellation, assistance being required, emergency medical evacuation and repatriation, damages to and loss of baggage, and medical expenses. In addition, we highly recommend our travelers protect their investment with travel insurance that includes trip cancellation and other benefits. Our partners at Travelex Insurance offer a variety of plans and policies to fit every trip and budget. Coverage for a pre-existing medical condition is also available if you purchase the Travel Select plan within 15 days of the initial trip payment; refer to plan details. Learn more about travel insurance or get a free quote.

Itinerary Notes

Use the itinerary as a guide only. Itineraries may be altered due to weather, wildlife, national park regulation or at the captain’s discretion. The ability to be flexible makes this type of small ship cruising unique.

Rates & Dates

Cruise Rates & Dates

Rates are variable per remaining availability and are subject to change.

Aug 12 - Aug 25, 2024
Le Lyrial • 14 days
From $12700USD
Per Person
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Aug 08 - Aug 21, 2025
Le Lyrial • 14 days
From $12870USD
Per Person
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Accommodation

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Expedition Ship
Le Lyrial

The 200-to-244-guest Le Lyrial is a refined, luxury expedition ship cruising Antarctica, the Arctic & the East Coast. Enjoy her private yacht atmosphere, understated elegance and culinary delights, paired with an engaging program of lectures, onboard entertainment and off-ship adventures.

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