All our voyages to Greenland start or end in Iceland where there are numerous possibilities for extending your stay, so do ask us about options we can suggest for you.
East Greenland is one of the most fascinating and remote areas of the High Arctic and is one of the least visited parts of the territory since permission to land on the coast of the vast National Park is granted to very few operators. Our voyages there cover the beautiful fjord system of Scoresby Sund and the scenically spectacular south east coast. Since they take place towards the end of the Arctic summer when the ice has receded, the autumn colours should brighten the tundra and there is an excellent possibility of seeing the Northern Lights.
Much has changed over the past century and modern amenities have become part of daily life in Ittoqqortoormiit, the region’s main settlement. However, it is nature that determines the living conditions and traditional hunting methods are still the only means of survival for many families - where seal, musk ox, narwhal and polar bear are the primary sources of food and income.
During early summer large numbers of arctic char appear near the coast where melting water from the surrounding mountains gushes into the fjord. They feed here for less than two months and then swim back to the freshwater lakes before the ice returns. During this short period the hunters and others set out their nets to catch this delicious trout-like fish.
Our sailing voyages visit the more populated but visually stunning west coast of Greenland including locations such as the Jakobshavn Glacier, Hunde Eijland, the Kronprinsens Ejland archipelago and Disko Island.
Fiona’s travel tipsWHAT TO WEAR: Dress in layers with a wind and waterproof outer layer. Fleeces are great underneath. It can still be cold sailing in the middle of summer so a hat, scarf and gloves are sensible if you feel the cold.
BRING WITH YOU: Insect repellent and antihistamine as mosquitoes are around in summer.
“I had a wonderful holiday. We saw the expected multitude of icebergs, plenty of glaciers, a couple of distant polar bears, several foxes including a blue, and some musk oxen and we visited a couple of little auk colonies and a kittiwake cliff. The food on board was very good although there was no choice. Shore excursions usually lasted for three hours and there was a long walk and a so-called shorter walk. When we were in the far north the two guides each carried a rifle (in case of polar bears) and we were required to keep up with them and stay together. This was not always easy, the terrain was often difficult and some of us, including me, were not in the first flush of youth! As to future holidays, I will certainly recommend Arcturus and Greenland. I had been to East Greenland on three occasions and it was interesting to contrast East with West, they are certainly very different, both very interesting in their different ways.”
Elizabeth Lonkhurst, Sail West Greenland
“Just a brief note to say thank you for your efforts. The travel arrangements went very smoothly. My cabin was midships on the lowest deck, and was exactly where I would have chosen for myself. The first two days were the roughest weather I have ever encountered, with winds 45-50 knots. There were only about twenty other passengers in the dining room with me (out of 106), during that time! Very congenial company on board. Plenty of activity, usually two shore trips per day, with choices of charging and grades between, right down to a gentle saunter.”
“Ship was very comfortable, lovely food, waiters and cabin stewards did a grand job. Good selection of talks and entertainment. It was a privilege to be welcomed into the Inuit and Newfoundland communities. A unique, once in a lifetime experience that I’ll look back on with great pleasure.”
Christine Lord, Wild Labrador and Greenland, September 2011
“The holiday was fantastic. Favourite aspects were the wonder of the Scoresby Sund fjord under clear blue skies, the northern lights and the icebergs. In Iceland the bus drivers, both male and female, were all very courteous. The B&B was excellent, very clean and friendly staff. I chose you as you offered en route accommodation and return flights – definitely a point in your favour.”
Sandy Lawson, Scoresby Sund, September 2011
“Pre-departure the service was very helpful and friendly. The whole trip was wonderful and friendly and everything went like clockwork. We enjoyed it all.”Pat Gellion and Margaret Moore, Scoresby Sund (Professor Molchanov)
“Thank you for arranging our trip to the Arctic. We found Fiona to be extremely helpful and very knowledgeable about the destination. We had a fantastic time and really enjoyed the Arctic experience. We wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to friends and would certainly use Arcturus again.”
Gillian and Neville Ham, Spitsbergen and NE Greenland
“I had a splendid holiday, I liked the Polar Star very much. Nansen Fjord was superb, at last we had sunshine. That night there was a good display of the aurora, the first time I had seen it. I had never been to the Westmann Islands and I found the harbour at Heimaey delightful. The arrangements you made for me were very good and I recommend Arcturus to all.”
Elizabeth Lonkhurst, Steam to Ice (Polar Star)