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Narsarsuaq to Tasiilaq – Hot springs, Mordor mountains and iceberg parade 2022

As we travel from South Greenland to East Greenland, our journey begins in Narsarsuaq and an area that offers both history and culture as well as natural wonders and wildlife – with Norse explorers, Inuit culture, hot springs, whales and amazing landscapes. We then explore the Mordor mountains of Prince Christian Sound and continue along the wild, beautiful and unchartered eastern coastline. Our final destinations, the Sermilik fjord area and the town of Tasiilaq, treat us with the aftermath of an ice explosion – and icebergs in all shapes – as well as stories and myths of the local Tunumiit culture.

Travelling with a small group of merely 12 passengers gives us more flexibility, more unique itineraries and more time ashore. Also, the footprints we leave behind are a lot smaller! We get to visit remote settlements, meet the welcoming people living here and in a personal way learn more about their fascinating culture. The M/S Balto has a lot of experience of and is designed to explore the most remote fjord systems and take you to secret anchorages. This is true micro cruising. 

  • Small group of 12 passengers
  • Inuit culture & norse history
  • Hot springs & icebergs
  • The large Sermilik fjord system
  • Great chance of seeing whales
  • The wild and unchartered eastern coast
  • The trip is climate compensated
Accommodation: Cabin on board the expedition ship M/S Balto. Transport: Expedition ship, Zodiac. Ship: M/S Balto. Passengers: 12 passengers. Languages: English & Swedish . Length: 8 days, 7 nights on ship. Price: From USD 8 490. Departure: 2 August 2022

Itinerary

Day 1: Flight to Narsarsuaq and embarkation

We fly into the airport in Narsarsuaq and embark the M/S Balto. We sail out through Eriksfjord, named after Erik the Red, a Norse explorer believed to have founded the first settlement in Greenland around year 980, after being banished from Iceland for manslaughter. We plan to go ashore at Brattahlid, the estate he established at the end of the 10th century. We are now on a true expedition cruise. Our exact route is depending on weather and ice and the itinerary must be kept flexible!

Day 2 – 7: Expedition in depth

We make stop in Qaqortoq, the largest city in Southern Greenland with approximately 3200 inhabitants. It is beautifully situated on the mountain slopes and surrounded by magnificent fjords. 

This area has many stories to tell. We learn more about the Inuit cultures and their great respect of and symbiotic relationship with environment and animals. During periods of weather change and animal numbers declining, amulets and fishing or hunting artefact became objects of great beauty and artistry. Of respect and love for the animals, who give themselves to sustain the Inuit life and culture, offerings are made to the Sea Goddess Sedna, to release the animals’ souls. Still today, Inuit carry a small jug of fresh water when hunting seal. After a seal is killed it is given fresh water, so its spirit will not go thirsty. We will have many opportunities to learn about stories and legends, different eras and people that migrated to Greenland, the conflicts and ultimate demise of the once powerful Norse civilisation.

But this part of Greenland offers much more than history and culture! It also invites us to natural hot springs, bird cliffs, remote islands and deep fjords characterized by high mountain peaks and playful whales. We explore the hot springs of Uunarteq and enjoy a bath in these warm-tempered natural bathtubs, with breath-taking views of mountain peaks and drifting icebergs.

We continue south towards Prince Christian Sound. We travel into this extraordinary and narrow fjord system through its rugged western entrance. A mountainous landscape surrounds us with steep cliffs plunging into the fjord and peaks rising up to 2000 meters. And when it is time to exit the fjord in the east, the resemblance to Mordor, in Lord of the rings, is striking.


When entering East Greenland, we sail along a wild and uncharted coastline. A lot of our time the next couple of days will be at sea. The strong currents are carrying a parade of icebergs south. Glacier faces goes straight into the ocean and there are many unexplored fjords. Weather and ice decides our course of exploration. We aim to visit Umivik bay, which was chosen as the launching point for westward overland crossings, including the pioneering 1888 Greenland venture by Fridtjof Nansen.

As we reach the large Sermelik Fjord system near Tasiilaq we are greeted by icebergs of all shapes and sizes, in a never-ending spectrum of blue and we collect some glacier ice for our drinks. This fjord system is awe-inspiring and could be explored for days. We make several remote anchorages and are constantly on the lookout for humpback whales!

We continue to the town of Tasiilaq via a secret passage. With its 2000 inhabitants it is the largest settlement in East Greenland. It is home to an older and different Inuit culture, where shamanism and native culture is much more vibrant and alive than in other parts of Greenland. During our expedition here, we will try to organise story telling of local myths and legends, as the one about tupilaqs. In Greenlandic Inuit religion, a tupilaq was an avenging monster fabricated by a practitioner of witchcraft or shamanism by using various objects such as animal bone, skin, hair or sinew. If lucky we get to witness some ritual or singing.

Day 8: Disembarkation

In the morning we disembark at Kulusuk airport for homebound flights.


Please note: Our exact route will depend on ice, weather conditions and wildlife as well as permissions and restrictions from local authorities. 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!

 

The Package Travel Directive – protects the traveller’s rights

When you have booked a trip with PolarQuest, you are protected by the Package Travel Directive. This includes that you have the right to rebook your trip or cancel and receive a full refund, if your Government, or other relevant authorities, have implemented restrictions against travelling. This includes documented quarantine requirements in the country you are travelling to. However, free cancellation is only possible when it is less than 30 days to departure, provided the travel restrictions are still in place and clearly will affect your trip. You are also entitled to a full refund, should PolarQuest cancel the trip for any reason whatsoever.

Be inspired by our webinar about Greenland!

A trip to Greenland is an unforgettable adventure! But what is it like to be on an expedition cruise in Greenland with a small, unique 12-passenger ship? Maybe you are wondering which places you can visit or what separates the east coast from the west coast? We believe that this recorded webinar from 2 November 2021 will give you a lot of answers and inspiration about our expeditions to Greenland. The presentation will be given by our knowledgeable and popular expedition leader, Christian Engelke.

 

Flying to Greenland

Greenland is an enormous island, wild, and remote and offers a fascinating culture and history. Most airports are very small, the airlines flying there are few and flights do not arrive daily. For these reasons you will most likely find it necessary to add extra hotel nights in connection to your outbound and/or inbound flights. Flight tickets to Greenland are also rather high-priced, comparing to many other destinations. But even if flying here is a little bit of a challenge, the grand nature experience that awaits you is incomparable and worth every effort.

 

The ship M/S Balto

  • Bar
  • Dining room
  • Salon
  • Sauna
  • Bathroom
  • Double cabin
  • Owner's cabin
  • Owner's cabin
  • Superior cabin
  • Single cabin
  • Crew mess
  • Kitchen

M/S Balto is named after the leading sled dog of 1925 Nome serum run. She was built for the highest ice class in Rauma, Finland, to serve as a government service vessel in the Baltic sea. During 2019-2020, she has been totally refurbished and is now one of the roomiest and most elegant small polar expedition yachts in service. M/S Balto offers a relaxed luxury accommodation for 12 guests in 7 outside cabins, all with private facilities and lower beds. The spacious cabins include 1 Owner’s cabin, 1 superior cabin, 3 double cabins and 2 single cabins. The Owner’s cabin is 30m2, has 6 windows and a queen bed, the superior cabin has two twin beds while the double cabins has a queen bed. The Owner's and superior cabin also offer a separate seating area. In all cabins you find a desk with a chair and a closet for storage.

On the guest deck you also find a cider lined sauna, accommodating 4-6 persons, with a cold shower and a small changing room. The richly appointed saloon and the beautiful dining messroom feature crotch-mahogany panelling, a bar, a card table, a library, coffee and tea stations. She offers a large restaurant style open galley, where you can check on the marvels of our chefs and sample freshly baked bread. 

 

There are several open and semi enclosed deck spaces from where you can enjoy the stunning Arctic sceneries. You are welcomed by an international crew and the bridge is open for visitors.

The ship has been fitted with an electric diesel propulsion capable of maintaining versatile manoeuvring and survey speeds with no vibration. It is therefore ideal as film and photo platform. There is also a mud room for expedition gear and two Zodiacs for wilderness cruises and offshore experiences. M/S Balto is truly one of a kind when it comes to small polar expedition ships. Travelling with this unique 12-passenger ship offers a completely different and much more intimate experience of Greenland compared to a larger expedition ship. 

A small group of merely 12 passengers gives us more flexibility, unique itineraries and more time ashore. Also, the footprints we leave behind are a lot smaller!

The M/S Balto is designed to explore the most remote fjord systems, visit isolated Inuit settlements, take you to secret anchorages and maximise each guest’s experience in the unspoiled wilderness. This is true micro cruising. 

 

Cabins & prices

Cabin category Price per person
Double cabin Double bed USD 8 490
Superior cabin Twin beds USD 9 190
Owner's cabin Double bed USD 10 290
Single cabin Single bed USD 10 490

Price includes

  • 7 nights on board M/S Balto
  • All meals on board
  • Coffee and tea
  • 1 Expedition Leader and 1 guide
  • Guiding ashore and talks on board
  • All excursions and activities
  • Comprehensive information material before the expedition
  • The trip is climate compensated

Not included

  • Flights to and from Greenland
  • Travel and cancellation insurance
  • The customary gratuity to the ship’s crew
  • Personal expenses such as bar and shop charges

Departures & booking

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or wish to make a reservation.

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Departure Return
2 August 2022 9 August 2022

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    To sail along Greenland’s spectacular coastline offers some of the most remarkable nature experiences. The Arctic landscape is dominated by ice-filled fjords, majestic peaks and vast tundra. But what is it like to be on an expedition cruise in Greenland with a small, unique 12-passenger ship? Maybe you are wondering which places you can visit or what separates the east coast from the west coast?

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