Small group of hikers walk up brown, columnar, rocky outcrop at water's edge as Zodiac boat sits below, in West Greenland.
Group of expedition staff members in bright red jackets stand on fast ice in front of pointy bow of white expedition ship.
Iceberg bits with white surface & blue undercarriage float in dark arctic water on a cloudy day in west Greenland.
Natural iceberg sculptures of varying shades of blue rise out of arctic sea as a Zodiac with West Greenland travelers cruises by.
Sylvia Earle small expedition ship with dark blue hull & white upper decks sits in calm sea with small iceberg bits floating by.
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Polar Regions Arctic Cruise

Wild Landscapes of West Greenland

Sail aboard modern polar vessel Sylvia Earle to explore the awe-inspiring landscapes of West Greenland on this 15-day expedition cruise. The west coast of Greenland may be the most inhabited part of the world’s largest island but you’re unlikely to encounter many people outside of the capital of Nuuk. With no road to connect the townships, flying or sea travel are the only options available.

The further north you venture along the west coast, the smaller and more isolated the settlements become. Experience your ship push through the sea ice, calved from the enormous Greenland ice sheet, to access where few tourists venture. Explore hidden bays with glittering icebergs and possible sheltering whales. Experience the Ilulissat Icefjord, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Witness the remarkable geology of Disko Island, featuring some of the oldest geological features on the planet. Watch for possible northern lights in the night sky. And discover life in Nuuk, the world’s northernmost capital.

One alternative itinerary pairs back-to-back polar cruises for an ultimate adventure. The 26-day Greenland In Depth combines the main Wild Landscapes of West Greenland + Southern Greenland: On the Trail of the Vikings, adding time exploring southern Greenland, “Patagonia of the North.”

Adventure-ready polar expedition ship Sylvia Earle offers state-of-the-art design and technology, plus excursion-minded preparation rooms and multiple boarding platforms for efficient embarkation and disembarkation. This small ship averages 132 guests, with an educational and engaged team of expedition guides providing programming aimed at immersion into the surrounding polar wilds.

Read on for details about this trip, or learn more about AdventureSmith’s Greenland cruises and other Arctic cruises and Arctic trips.



Itinerary

Wild Landscapes of West Greenland Itinerary

This 15-day expedition cruise operates round-trip from Nuuk, Greenland, with bookend charter flights to start and end in Toronto, Canada.

Route map of Wild Landscapes of West Greenland cruise, round-trip from Nuuk, Greenland, with bookend flights to start & end in Toronto, Canada.
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Day 1
Arrive Toronto, Canada

Having made your way to Toronto, check in at the group hotel located near the airport for an overnight stay. At your welcome briefing this evening, enjoy a drink and meet fellow expeditioners. Please visit the hospitality desk to collect your luggage cabin tags and to speak with the ground operations team, who may have information to share with you about pre-embarkation procedures and also the charter flight to Nuuk tomorrow. You will receive cabin tags for your luggage. Please clearly label the tags with your name and ship cabin number.

Accommodations

Westin Toronto Airport Hotel (or similar)

Meals

n/a

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Day 2
Fly to Nuuk, Greenland & Embark

Please ensure that your luggage is fitted with cabin tags clearly labelled with your name and cabin number. Any valuables or personal items should be kept on you throughout the day. Your luggage will be delivered to your cabin ahead of your arrival on board. After breakfast at the hotel, board your charter flight to Nuuk, where the ship awaits. After boarding, there is time to settle into your cabin before important safety briefings. This evening, meet your expedition team and crew.

Accommodations

Sylvia Earle

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 3
Sisimiut

Greenland’s second largest town, Sisimiut is located approximately 33.5 miles north of the Arctic Circle, meaning that during summer, you can experience the midnight sun here. The town is famous for the old blue church with the gate made of whale bone. In the cozy museum next door to the church, you will find an excellent reconstruction of an Inuit turf house as well as exhibits of local history and early life in Greenland.

Sisimiut offers hiking trails with various degrees of difficulty. The easier trails take you through the town itself, its outskirts and into the mountains, where you will find spectacular vantage points.

Approximately 4,500 years ago, the Saqqaq culture arrived from Canada and settled in the area. They lived here for approximately 2,000 years, after which they mysteriously disappeared from the area. The Dorset culture arrived around 500 CE and stayed until the 1200s until they were replaced by the Thule culture, and today, the majority of the population of Sisimiut are descendants of the Thule culture.

Accommodations

Sylvia Earle

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 4
Qeqertarsuaq (Disko Island)

This compelling island seems to have more in common with Iceland than Greenland. While most of the interior is mountainous and glaciated, its beautiful shorelines boast black sandy beaches, unusual basalt columns, hot springs and dramatic lava formations. Plan to appreciate the colorful flowers on the Kuannit Hike, where you can walk stunning landscapes, see ancient basalt columns and perhaps spot whales in Disko Bay.

Accommodations

Sylvia Earle

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Days 5 - 7
Expedition Cruising

No two departures are the same. Each expedition is crafted by experienced captains and expedition leaders around weather, sea ice and community requirements. Below is a selection of the key destinations visited.

Uummannaq
Set on an island of the same name, Uummannaq is located 600 km (373 mi) above the Arctic Circle and is famous for its heart-shaped mountain. It’s also well-known for the Qilakitsoq mummies, Greenland’s oldest, that were discovered nearby. The center of town is compact and easy for you to explore independently, and there are several marked hiking trails, many of which lead to mountain lakes, for those who want to stretch their legs. Kayakers can enjoy paddling among the icebergs and keeping watch for whales that frequent the area.

Upernavik
Set amid a labyrinth of small islands, Upernavik is home to traditional settlements and enormous icebergs that Greenland is famous for. Kayakers can paddle in the serene bay among the glittering icebergs while other expeditioners can discover the town on walks or hikes in the surrounding area. Upernavik is the world’s northernmost open-air museum. A walk through the old part of town, which encompasses the original colonial buildings, tells the cultural history of the area, including the colonial and Viking periods. Keep a look out for a traditional old kayak and umiaq boat, which highlights the main mode of transport used by locals to navigate the archipelago during summer. The shy and elusive narwhal is also known to visit the area, and at nearby Apparsuit, bird enthusiasts will be thrilled to find one of the world’s largest bird cliffs.

Accommodations

Sylvia Earle

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 8
At Sea

Find a spot in one of the ship’s many observation lounges and enjoy the spectacular surrounding landscapes. Your talented and knowledgeable expedition members will present informative and entertaining talks about the region that you’re travelling through.

Accommodations

Sylvia Earle

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 9
Qeqertarsuaq, Disko Island

In Qeqertarsuaq, enjoy a Zodiac excursion in Disko Bay that’s often filled with icebergs and is a hotspot for marine life including humpback, fin, minke and bowhead whales. Enjoy a walk through the settlement, perhaps try some local tea made from fresh local herbs, learn about the history of Qeqertarsuaq at the museum before walking along the black-sand beach towards the colorful colonial buildings.

Accommodations

Sylvia Earle

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Days 10 - 11
Ataa Sund, Ilulissat & Optional Helicopter Flight

Known as the ‘birthplace of icebergs,’ this region produces some of the most dazzling icebergs found anywhere on earth. Explore ice-filled Ataa Sund and hope to experience a few of the active glaciers from a safe distance. In Ilulissat, visit the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Icefjord and stand in awe at its immensity. Sermeq Kujalleq, also known as Jakobshavn Glacier, is the most productive glacier – not only in Greenland but the entire Northern Hemisphere. It produces 20 million tons of ice each day, all floating into the Ilulissat Icefjord and Disko Bay.

An optional, added-cost 90-minute helicopter flight over the icefjord is a truly once-in-a-lifetime experience here. This excursion is the only way you can get close to the gigantic glacier. The 12-seater helicopter departs from Ilulissat Airport and sweeps over hills, lakes and ice fjords. Land on the mountain at Kangia, in the middle of the preserved area, where you can revel in the incredible surroundings. On the return flight to Ilulissat, fly above the edge of the glacier with breathtaking views of the massive icebergs drifting in the fjord. The views of some of the largest icebergs that become stranded on a moraine underneath the water, just outside the town, offers a wonderful finale to this excursion. Please note that this excursion requires a minimum of 8 passengers to operate.

Accommodations

Sylvia Earle

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 12
Aasivissuit-Nipisat UNESCO World Heritage Site

Hope to visit a Greenlandic settlement located near the Aasivissuit-Nipisat UNESCO World Heritage Site, a place where the local inhabitants live a traditional fishing and hunting lifestyle that dates back 4,000 years. The settlement also features the remarkable Qaammat Pavilion, built on the ridge at the top overlooking the Ikeertoq fjord. This stunning architecturally designed and award-winning crystal structure was created by Swedish architect, Konstantin Ikonomidis, in cooperation with the local community and the UNESCO team. It is a tribute to nature, the land and cultural traditions of the indigenous Inuit people.

Accommodations

Sylvia Earle

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 13
Eternity Fjord

Evighedsfjorden, or Eternity Fjord, is one of the more spectacular fjord complexes in west Greenland due to its forested landscape. Hike through a forested valley, witness hills become towering snow-capped mountains as countless glaciers pour down from sheer cliff walls. Occasionally, the thunderous sound of a calving glacier breaks the silence in a place where you are unlikely to see another soul.

Accommodations

Sylvia Earle

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 14
Disembark Nuuk, Greenland, Fly to Toronto, Canada & Overnight

In Nuuk, the capital of Greenland, farewell the crew and expedition team, and transfer to the airport for your charter flight to Toronto for an overnight stay.

Accommodations

Westin Toronto Airport Hotel (or similar)

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 15
Depart Toronto, Canada

After breakfast, check out of your room and continue your journey with a transfer to the airport.

Accommodations

n/a

Meals

breakfast

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Details
Inclusions, Terms & Notes

Included

All transfers mentioned in itinerary; one night’s hotel accommodation in Toronto on Day 1 (including breakfast on Day 2); charter flight from Toronto to Nuuk on Day 2; group transfer from the pier to airport on Day 14; charter flight from Nuuk to Toronto on Day 14; one night’s hotel accommodation in Toronto on Day 14 (including breakfast on Day 15); onboard accommodation during voyage including daily cabin service; all meals, snacks, tea and coffee during voyage; beer, house wine and soft drinks with dinner; Captain’s Welcome & Farewell reception including four-course dinner, house cocktails, house beer and wine, and non-alcoholic beverages; all shore excursions & Zodiac cruises; educational lectures and guiding services from expedition team; complimentary access to onboard expedition doctor and medical clinic (initial consult); a 3-in-1 waterproof polar expedition jacket; complimentary use of muck boots during the voyage; comprehensive pre-departure information; port surcharges, permits and landing fees; crew gratuities (suite guests only).

Exclusions

International or domestic flights, unless specified in the itinerary; transfers not mentioned in the itinerary; airport arrival or departure taxes; passport, visa and vaccination charges; travel insurance, emergency evacuation charges or personal insurance (required); hotels and meals not included in itinerary; optional excursions not included in the itinerary; optional activity surcharges; all items of a personal nature including but not limited to: alcoholic beverages and soft drinks (outside of dinner service), laundry services, personal clothing, medical expenses, WiFi, email or phone charges; automatic crew gratuities of $15 per person, per day (non-suite guests) which may be removed or amended at the end of the cruise.

Payment & Cancellation

In order to confirm this trip, a nonrefundable deposit of $2,500 is required per person at time of booking (additional nonrefundable $250 deposit is required for optional activities). 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 are subject to the following per-person penalties, based on number of days prior to departure:
91 days or more – 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 Wild Landscapes of West Greenland cruise begins and ends in Toronto, Canada (YYZ). Plan flights to arrive to Toronto any time on Day 1, but we highly recommend arriving one day prior to your trip start date in case of any flight delay, cancellation or lost luggage issues. Plan flights to depart Toronto any time on the final day. An airport shuttle is available at the hotel. If you would like assistance with international flights, please visit our Booking Flights resource page.

Internal Flights

Group charter flights between Toronto, Canada and Nuuk, Greenland are required on this trip’s itinerary and are included in the listed per-person cabin rates. All transfers between the ship, airport and hotel for this charter flight are included. Luggage weight limits for the charter flights is 50lbs for a checked bag, carry-on bags must be under 10 inches by 18 inches by 22 inches (26 cm x 46 cm x 56 cm) with a max weight of 22lbs/10kg.

Activities

Birdwatching, walking, Zodiac cruising, photography tips, lectures, a polar plunge & all trips ashore are included in the rate. Add on kayaking ($830 in 2025) to join 20 like-minded paddlers (in small groups of 10 per guide) to fully experience nature at its wildest. The optional, added-cost, 90-minute helicopter ride in Ilulissat requires a minimum of 8 people to operate. Please contact AdventureSmith for further details and to reserve space with your booking.

Room Configuration

Single travelers wishing to book a double-occupancy cabin may do so at a 50% supplement of the per-person listed rate in select cabins upon availability. Solo travelers willing to share may be matched with a person of the same gender, and if the other cabin berth goes unsold, will only pay the standard double-occupancy rate. 

Families & Children

Kids 8 years and older are welcomed aboard all departure dates. Children between 8-17 years of age must pay the adult price of the expedition.

Travel Insurance

A medical form for all travelers, signed by their doctor, is required for every departure. Comprehensive travel insurance is mandatory for this trip, with a minimum required coverage of $250,000 USD per person, covering medical, accident and repatriation/emergency evacuation, as well as baggage loss and cancellation or curtailment of holiday. 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

Read this itinerary as a guide only; the exact route and program varies according to ice, weather conditions, wildlife encountered and the captain’s discretion. Flexibility is the key to the success of any Arctic expedition.

Greenland In Depth Itinerary

This comprehensive, 26-day Ultimate Adventure (a combination of the main Wild Landscapes of West Greenland itinerary + Southern Greenland: On the Trail of the Vikings) begins with a pre-cruise overnight before embarking in Reykjavik, Iceland and sailing along Iceland, plus east, south and west Greenland, ending with a charter flight to Toronto for a post-cruise overnight. This itinerary adds time sailing along Greenland’s south coast.

Route map of Greenland in Depth cruise from Reykjavik, Iceland to Nuuk, Greenland, with a flight to end in Toronto, Canada.
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Day 1
Arrive Reykjavik, Iceland

Having made your way to Reykjavik, be met by a ship representative of and transferred to the group hotel. Upon arrival at your included hotel, please visit the hospitality desk to collect your luggage cabin tags and to speak with the ground operations team, who may have information to share with you about pre-embarkation or to provide you with information about where to dine, withdraw cash or purchase last-minute items from a local pharmacy or supermarket. The remainder of your time is at leisure. All meals today are at your own expense.

Accommodations

Fosshotel Reykjavik (or similar)

Meals

n/a

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Day 2
Embark Reykjavik

Enjoy breakfast and then check out. Join your guided Golden Circle and Geothermal Energy tour. With 85% of its electricity sourced from renewable sources, Iceland sets an outstanding example when it comes to sustainable energy.

Your journey takes you to the famous seismic sights of the Golden Circle route – Gullfoss waterfall, geysir, and history-rich Thingvellir National Park, before you’ll experience first-hand how green, sustainable energy is produced at one of the largest single-site geothermal power plants on the planet at the Geothermal Energy Exhibition and Ljósafossvirkjun Power Station.

You’ll also spend time at a true eco-village. Powered with thermal and solar energy, Sólheimar is fully sustainable, boasting greenhouses and forestry programmes, while its sustainable workshops are dedicated to candle-making, carpentry, weaving and soap-making.

In the late afternoon, return to Reykjavik for embarkation. This evening, get to know your fellow expeditioners, expedition team and crew.

Accommodations

Sylvia Earle

Meals

breakfast, dinner

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Day 3
At Sea

Crossing the Greenland Sea, sail through the Polar Basin’s nutrient-rich waters, searching for encroaching pack ice, fin whales and seabirds. Your team of experts entertains with informative talks about sea ice, glaciers, European arctic plants and animals and epic tales of early explorers such as Nansen, Andreé and Scoresby.

Accommodations

Sylvia Earle

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 4
Kangertitivatsiaq Fjord, Greenland

Popular among skilled rock climbers, Kangertitivatsiaq Fjord is home to spectacular mountain peaks and essential big walls that attract daring climbers. A new discovery for your cruise operator in 2022, the 26-kilometre (16-mile) fjord is filled with glaciers including the Glacier of France. It’s an ideal place for ship cruising, Zodiac excursions and discovery hikes.

Accommodations

Sylvia Earle

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 5
Skjoldungen Island

Continue south along Greenland’s King Frederik VI Coast, always on the lookout for whales, especially the rare sperm whale that is occasionally seen here. Weaving through the narrow channels of Skjoldungen Fjord, land at the end of the fjord for a walk along a glacial river, across a tundra valley covered in northern willow and blooming pink wildflowers. Kayakers can paddle across the front of a tidewater glacier, search for harp seals, ivory gulls and whales. Back on board, enjoy the stunning surrounds with a drink in hand basked in the soft light of the setting sun.

Accommodations

Sylvia Earle

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 6
Prince Christian Sound

Prince Christian Sound connects the Labrador Sea with the Irminger Sea. Approximately 100 km / 60 mi long and, in parts, as narrow as 500-m (600-ft) wide, the fjord is flanked by jagged mountain peaks, some reaching over 2,200 m (7,200 ft) high, with countless glaciers coming all the way down to the sea. Slow-cruise through the sound to enjoy the spectacular scenery. Icebergs sculpted into fantastic shapes often block the entrance to the sound, a great spectacle for photography.

Accommodations

Sylvia Earle

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 7
Aappilattoq, Tasermiut Fjord, Klosterdal

Aappilattoq is a small settlement that lies in the southern section of a sound. Aappilattoq means red in Greenlandic, and the town is named after the red mountains rising above it. Aappilattoq is well known in Greenland for the jagged mountain peaks that surround it—a delight for photographers. The towering, jagged mountains that surround Tasermiut Fjord is why it’s often referred to as the ‘Patagonia of the north’. At Klosterdal, you are surrounded by three giant mountains – Napasorsuaq, Ketil and Nalumasortoq. Here you can walk to a Norse ruin, hike along the valley, or explore the bay by kayak.

Accommodations

Sylvia Earle

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 8
Nanortalik, Uunartoq

Continue to Nanortalik, the southernmost town in Greenland, located on an island of the same name. Its name derives from the West Greenlandic word ‘Nanoq’ meaning ‘the place where bears pass through,’ describing the polar bears that were once seen floating past on sea ice. Deep fjords, woodlands and grasslands, and rugged mountainside cliffs, some over 1,000 m /3,280 ft, attract enthusiastic climbers from around the world.

On arrival, you’ll receive a warm welcome from the local community who have opened up their town for you to explore. Nanortalik is a town that’s known for their love of singing and you’ll be treated to a choir performance. Visit Nanortalik Church, a wooden, Danish Lutheran church built in 1916 that is currently the only church serving the Nanortalik congregation. The church is in the old colonial quarter of the town. Next to the church is a landmark boulder called the Knud Rasmussen Stone, named after Greenland’s most famous citizen, Dr Knud Rasmussen, an explorer and ethnologist.

Accommodations

Sylvia Earle

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 9
Hvalsey, Qaqortoq

Hvalsey Church is the best-preserved Norse ruin in Greenland. ‘Hvalsey’ is old Norse for ‘Whale Island.’ Christianity arrived in Greenland around 1,000 AD and gradually churches began to be built. Late medieval documents indicate there were up to 14 parish churches in the Eastern Settlement. Hvalsey itself was built in the early 14th century, but it was not the first church built on this site.

After exploring Hvalsey ruins, continue to Qaqortoq, where Zodiacs shuttle you ashore. Qaqortoq is the capital of South Greenland. With a history dating back to 1775, the town offers various cultural activities and attractions including an outdoor art project called “Man and Stone,’ which features stone carvings scattered throughout the town created by local artists. Qaqortoq is Greenland’s southernmost town and is the administrative center of the south Greenland. Built from yellow stone, and dating back to 1804, the building that now houses the Qaqortoq Museum originally belonged to the town’s blacksmith. Qaqortoq’s landmark building is the Church of our Savior. This large wooden Lutheran church, known as the Red Church, is in the historic part of town, near the harbor.

Accommodations

Sylvia Earle

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 10
Itilleq, Igaliku

Nestled on the shores of Davis Strait, the town of Itilleq is located on a small island only 2 km (1.2 mi) north, close to the Arctic Circle. The island has no freshwater, so they have to make their own freshwater from a desalinization facility. The Davis Strait is Itilleq’s major geographical feature. As a northern arm of the Labrador Sea, it stretches from the middle of Greenland to parts of Nunavut, Canada in the High Arctic. The numerous glaciers along the Davis Strait are an impressive sight, and while they may not be as impressive in size as the larger glaciers found in other parts of Greenland, the sheer volume of them here is impressive.

A self-guided hike through town reveals the beautiful colored houses, colors which in the past represented the profession of its owner. Continue your walk just outside of town to see the picturesque mountain ranges surrounding the town. At Igaliku in Tunulliarfik Fjord, lush valleys filled with tall grass hints at Greenland’s first sheep farming settlement. Igaliku also guards the entrance to the well-preserved remains of Norse ruins allowing visitors to explore Norse history, hike within the UNESCO World Heritage-listed surroundings to discover lakes, mountains and hidden Norse ruins.

Accommodations

Sylvia Earle

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 11
Narsarsuaq, Qassiarssuk

Narsarsuaq is the gateway to hiking trails through lush valleys and Norse ruins spotted along Tunulliarfik Fjord. Narsarsuaq holds historical significance to Greenland’s history. The Norse Vikings settled in this area in the 12th century and gave Narsarsuaq a name to suggest that an Arctic forest covered the large plain. Taking home stories of lush valleys and plains nestled in deep fjord, the Vikings called this country Greenland. Marked trails allow hikers to enjoy the superb scenery, with the one of the most popular hikes leading to the spectacular lookout over icebergs in the Tunulliarfik Fjord and the Qooroq Glacier.

At Qassiarssuk, located directly across the Tunulliarfik Fjord, follow in the footsteps of Erik the Red and discover why he made it his home. The remains of a church, stables, hall and other buildings can still be seen. Visit the tall statue of Leif Erikson (son of Erik the Red) overlooking the town and fjord. Sailing between Hvalsey, Igaliku and Qassiarssuk allows you to connect the dots of Viking history in Greenland.

Accommodations

Sylvia Earle

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 12
At Sea

As you sail towards Nuuk, enjoy some free time relaxing or attending a presentation from your expedition team. This evening, share stories and celebrate with fellow expeditioners at the captain’s farewell dinner.

Accommodations

Sylvia Earle

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 13
Turnaround in Nuuk

In Nuuk, your crew and expedition team prepare to welcome expeditioners joining on the Wild Landscapes of West Greenland voyage, while you enjoy an excursion exploring Greenland’s capital. In the late afternoon, reboard the vessel and meet your fellow expeditioners to begin the next part of your arctic adventure to North Greenland.

Accommodations

Sylvia Earle

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 14
Sisimiut

Greenland’s second largest town, Sisimiut is located approximately 54 kilometres (33.5 miles) north of the Arctic Circle, meaning that during summer, you can experience the midnight sun here. The town is famous for the old blue church with the gate made of whale bone. In the cozy museum next door to the church, you will find an excellent reconstruction of an Inuit turf house as well as exhibits of local history and early life in Greenland.  Sisimiut offers hiking trails with various degrees of difficulty. The easier trails take you through the town itself, its outskirts and into the mountains, where you will find spectacular vantage points.

Some 4,500 years ago, the Saqqaq culture arrived from Canada and settled in the area. They lived here for approximately 2,000 years, after which they mysteriously disappeared from the area.  The Dorset culture arrived around 500 CE and stayed until the 1200s until they were replaced by the Thule culture, and today, most of the population of Sisimiut are descendants of the Thule culture.

Accommodations

Sylvia Earle

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 15
Qeqertarsuaq (Disko Island)

This compelling island seems to have more in common with Iceland than Greenland. While most of the interior is mountainous and glaciated, its beautiful shorelines boast black sandy beaches, unusual basalt columns, hot springs and dramatic lava formations. Plan to appreciate the colorful flowers on the Kuannit Hike, where you can walk stunning landscapes, see ancient basalt columns and perhaps spot whales in Disko Bay.

Accommodations

Sylvia Earle

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Days 16 - 18
Expedition Cruising

No two departures are the same. Each expedition is crafted by experienced captains and expedition leaders around weather, sea ice and community requirements. Below is a selection of the key destinations visited.

Uummannaq
Set on an island of the same name, Uummannaq is located 600 km (373 mi) above the Arctic Circle and is famous for its heart-shaped mountain. It’s also well-known for the Qilakitsoq mummies, Greenland’s oldest, that were discovered nearby. The center of town is compact and easy for you to explore independently, and there are several marked hiking trails, many of which lead to mountain lakes, for those who want to stretch their legs. Kayakers can enjoy paddling among the icebergs and keeping watch for whales that frequent the area.

Upernavik
Set amid a labyrinth of small islands, Upernavik is home to traditional settlements and enormous icebergs that Greenland is famous for. Kayakers can paddle in the serene bay among the glittering icebergs while other expeditioners can discover the town on walks or hikes in the surrounding area. Upernavik is the world’s northernmost open-air museum. A walk through the old part of town, which encompasses the original colonial buildings, tells the cultural history of the area, including the colonial and Viking periods. Keep a look out for a traditional old kayak and umiaq boat, which highlights the main mode of transport used by locals to navigate the archipelago during summer. The shy and elusive narwhal is also known to visit the area, and at nearby Apparsuit, bird enthusiasts will be thrilled to find one of the world’s largest bird cliffs.

Accommodations

Sylvia Earle

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 19
At Sea

Find a spot in one of the ship’s many observation lounges and enjoy the spectacular surrounding landscapes. Your talented and knowledgeable expedition members will present informative and entertaining talks about the region that you’re travelling through.

Accommodations

Sylvia Earle

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Day 20
Qeqertarsuaq, Disko Island

In Qeqertarsuaq, enjoy a Zodiac excursion in Disko Bay that’s often filled with icebergs and is a hotspot for marine life including humpback, fin, minke and bowhead whales. Enjoy a walk through the settlement, perhaps try some local tea made from fresh local herbs, learn about the history of Qeqertarsuaq at the museum before walking along the black sand beach towards the colorful colonial buildings.

Accommodations

Sylvia Earle

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

Read More
Days 21 - 22
Ataa Sund, Ilulissat & Optional Helicopter Flight

Known as the ‘birthplace of icebergs,’ this region produces some of the most dazzling icebergs found anywhere on earth. Explore ice-filled Ataa Sund and hope to experience a few of the active glaciers from a safe distance. In Ilulissat, visit the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Icefjord and stand in awe at its immensity. Sermeq Kujalleq, also known as Jakobshavn Glacier, is the most productive glacier – not only in Greenland but the entire Northern Hemisphere. It produces 20 million tons of ice each day, all floating into the Ilulissat Icefjord and Disko Bay.

An optional, added-cost 90-minute helicopter flight over the icefjord is a truly once-in-a-lifetime experience here. This excursion is the only way you can get close to the gigantic glacier. The 12-seater helicopter departs from Ilulissat Airport and sweeps over hills, lakes and ice fjords. Land on the mountain at Kangia, in the middle of the preserved area, where you can revel in the incredible surroundings. On the return flight to Ilulissat, fly above the edge of the glacier with breathtaking views of the massive icebergs drifting in the fjord. The views of some of the largest icebergs that become stranded on a moraine underneath the water, just outside the town, offers a wonderful finale to this excursion. Please note that this excursion requires a minimum of 8 passengers to operate.

Accommodations

Sylvia Earle

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 23
Aasivissuit-Nipisat UNESCO World Heritage Site

Hope to visit a Greenlandic settlement located near the Aasivissuit-Nipisat UNESCO World Heritage Site, a place where the local inhabitants live a traditional fishing and hunting lifestyle that dates back 4,000 years. The settlement also features the remarkable Qaammat Pavilion, built on the ridge at the top overlooking the Ikeertoq fjord. This stunning architecturally designed and award-winning crystal structure was created by Swedish architect, Konstantin Ikonomidis, in cooperation with the local community and the UNESCO team. It is a tribute to nature, the land and cultural traditions of the indigenous Inuit people.

Accommodations

Sylvia Earle

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 24
Eternity Fjord

Evighedsfjorden, or Eternity Fjord, is one of the more spectacular fjord complexes in west Greenland due to its forested landscape. Hike through a forested valley, witness hills become towering snow-capped mountains as countless glaciers pour down from sheer cliff walls. Occasionally, the thunderous sound of a calving glacier breaks the silence in a place where you are unlikely to see another soul.

Accommodations

Sylvia Earle

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 25
Disembark Nuuk, Greenland, Fly to Toronto, Canada & Overnight

In Nuuk, the capital of Greenland, farewell the crew and expedition team, and transfer to the airport for your charter flight to Toronto for an overnight stay.

Accommodations

Westin Toronto Airport Hotel (or similar)

Meals

breakfast, lunch, dinner

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Day 26
Depart Toronto, Canada

Enjoy a leisurely breakfast and check-out of your room, before continuing your onward journey.

Accommodations

n/a

Meals

breakfast

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Details
Inclusions, Terms & Notes

Included

All transfers mentioned in itinerary; one night’s hotel accommodation in Reykjavik on Day 1 (including breakfast on Day 2); group tour to visit Iceland’s famous Golden Circle, on Day 2; group transfer from the pier to airport on Day 25; charter flight from Nuuk to Toronto on Day 25; one night’s hotel accommodation in Toronto on Day 25 (including breakfast on Day 26); onboard accommodation during voyage including daily cabin service; all meals, snacks, tea and coffee during voyage; beer, house wine and soft drinks with dinner; Captain’s Welcome & Farewell reception including four-course dinner, house cocktails, house beer and wine, and non-alcoholic beverages; all shore excursions & Zodiac cruises; educational lectures and guiding services from expedition team; complimentary access to onboard expedition doctor and medical clinic (initial consult); a 3-in-1 waterproof polar expedition jacket; complimentary use of muck boots during the voyage; comprehensive pre-departure information; port surcharges, permits and landing fees; crew gratuities (suite guests only).

Exclusions

International or domestic flights, unless specified in the itinerary; transfers not mentioned in the itinerary; airport arrival or departure taxes; passport, visa and vaccination charges; travel insurance, emergency evacuation charges or personal insurance (required); hotels and meals not included in itinerary; optional excursions not included in the itinerary; optional activity surcharges; all items of a personal nature including but not limited to: alcoholic beverages and soft drinks (outside of dinner service), laundry services, personal clothing, medical expenses, WiFi, email or phone charges; automatic crew gratuities of $15 per person, per day (non-suite guests) which may be removed or amended at the end of the cruise.

Payment & Cancellation

In order to confirm this trip, a nonrefundable deposit of $2,500 is required per person at time of booking (additional nonrefundable $250 deposit is required for optional activities). 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 are subject to the following per-person penalties, based on number of days prior to departure:
91 days or more – 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 Greenland In Depth cruise begins in Reykjavik, Iceland (KEF), and ends in Toronto, Canada (YYZ). Plan flights to arrive to Reykjavik any time on Day 1, but we highly recommend arriving one day prior to your trip start date in case of any flight delay, cancellation or lost luggage issues. Plan flights to depart Toronto any time on the final day. An airport shuttle is available at the hotel. If you would like assistance with international flights, please visit our Booking Flights resource page.

Internal Flights

A group charter flight from Nuuk, Greenland to Toronto, Canada is required on this trip’s itinerary and is included in the listed per-person cabin rates. All transfers between the ship, airport and hotel for this charter flight is included. Luggage weight limits for the charter flight is 50lbs for a checked bag, carry-on bags must be under 10 inches by 18 inches by 22 inches (26 cm x 46 cm x 56 cm) with a max weight of 22lbs/10kg.

Activities

Birdwatching, walking, Zodiac cruising, photography tips, lectures, a polar plunge & all trips ashore are included in the rate. Add on kayaking ($1,800 in 2025) to join 20 like-minded paddlers (in small groups of 10 per guide) to fully experience nature at its wildest. The optional, added-cost, 90-minute helicopter ride in Ilulissat requires a minimum of 8 people to operate. Please contact AdventureSmith for further details and to reserve space with your booking.

Room Configuration

Single travelers wishing to book a double-occupancy cabin may do so at a 50% supplement of the per-person listed rate in select cabins upon availability. Solo travelers willing to share may be matched with a person of the same gender, and if the other cabin berth goes unsold, will only pay the standard double-occupancy rate. 

Families & Children

Kids 8 years and older are welcomed aboard all departure dates. Children between 8-17 years of age must pay the adult price of the expedition.

Travel Insurance

A medical form for all travelers, signed by their doctor, is required for every departure. Comprehensive travel insurance is mandatory for this trip, with a minimum required coverage of $250,000 USD per person, covering medical, accident and repatriation/emergency evacuation, as well as baggage loss and cancellation or curtailment of holiday. 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

Read this itinerary as a guide only; the exact route and program varies according to ice, weather conditions, wildlife encountered and the captain’s discretion. Flexibility is the key to the success of any Arctic expedition.

Rates & Dates

Cruise Rates & Dates

Aug 04 - Aug 29, 2025
Sylvia Earle • 26 days
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From $35795USD
Per Person
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Aug 15 - Aug 29, 2025
Sylvia Earle • 15 days
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From $21695USD
Per Person
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brown helicopter icon depicting flightseeing activity Helicopter Activity
brown kayaking icon depicting offered kayaking activity Kayaking
Accommodation

Learn About the Small Ship on Your Itinerary

Expedition Ship
Sylvia Earle

Sylvia Earle offers a robust menu of adventure activities from kayaking and polar diving to mountaineering and backcountry skiing and snowboarding. Cruise responsibly knowing this brand new icebreaker polar expedition ship was built with cutting edge nautical technology including one of the lowest polluting marine engines in the world.

Deal

Current Deals on This Trip

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Offer expires June 30th, 2024
Save Up to 25% On 2025 Arctic & Northern Europe Expedition Cruises

Save up to 25% per person when you book your 2025 Arctic or Northern Europe expedition cruise aboard the Greg Mortimer or Sylvia Earle.

Expert Review

Reviews from Our Experts So You Know What to Expect

Todd Smith • January 19th, 2021
Expert Aboard: Sylvia Earle & Greg Mortimer Ship Review

Read a detailed ship review about the identical polar sister ships Greg Mortimer & Sylvia Earle and what they offer travelers. Our expert has been aboard and writes this from his firsthand experience.

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Extend Your Trip

Additional Travel Options Before or After Your Cruise

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12 Day Cruise
Svalbard Odyssey

A flexible itinerary allows the 132-guest Greg Mortimer to follow the best weather and wildlife-spotting opportunities. The option to add on scuba diving and kayaking is particularly unique for expeditions in this region.

Special Offer
From $12695USD
Jun Jul Aug
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10 Day Land Tour
East Greenland Arctic Adventure

Discover Greenland like never before! The safari-style Base Camp Greenland offers an eye-level vantage point of Arctic icebergs, whales and seals in frigid waters. Kayak, hike and meet local Inuit who live in harmony with nature.

From $12995USD
Jul Aug Sep
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16 - 17 Day Cruise
Northwest Passage Expedition

Sail the Northwest Passage in part aboard 132-guest Sylvia Earle or Greg Mortimer. Highlights include visiting Ilulissat Icefjord, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, where you can add on a helicopter flightsee, and the ease of trip-end charter flights to Calgary, Toronto or Anchorage.

Special Offer
From $21095USD
Jul Aug Sep
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