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Narsarsuaq to Tasiilaq – Hot springs, history and iceberg parade 2025

Our journey from South Greenland to East Greenland begins in Narsarsuaq and an area that is as rich in history and culture as it is in natural wonders - with Norse explorers, Inuit culture, hot springs, whales and amazing scenery. We then explore the pointy mountains of Prince Christian Sound and continue along the wild, beautiful and unexplored eastern coastline.Our final destinations, the Sermilik Fjord area and the town of Tasiilaq, will treat us to icebergs in all shapes and sizes - as well as the 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. 

  • Small group of 12 passengers
  • Inuit culture and Norse history
  • Hot springs and icebergs
  • The large Sermilik fjord system
  • Chance of seeing whales
  • The wild and unchartered East coast
Accommodation: Cabin on board the expedition ship M/S Balto, one hotel night in Iceland. Transport: Expedition ship, Zodiac. Ship: M/S Balto. Passengers: 12 passengers. Languages: English & Swedish . Length: 12 days, 10 nights on ship. Price: From USD 13 590. Departure: 5 August 2025

Itinerary

Day 1: Flight to Narsarsuaq and embarkation

We fly to Narsarsuaq and embark the M/S Balto. 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 – 10: Expedition in depth

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 also aim to visit Hvalsey Church, one of the best-preserved Norse ruins in Greenland.  

We stop in Qaqortoq, the largest town in South Greenland with a population of around 3200. Qaqortoq is beautifully situated on a mountainside and surrounded by magnificent fjords. This part of Greenland has many stories to tell. We learn about the Inuit culture and their great respect and symbiotic relationship with the environment and animals. 
Many of the stories originate from times of great weather changes and declining animal numbers, and they used objects from hunting and fishing to create artistic objects and amulets. There is great respect and love for animals, which are sacrificed, and the sea goddess Sedna is worshipped for releasing the souls of animals. Even today, the Inuit carry a small jug of fresh water with them when they hunt seals. After killing a seal, they give it fresh water to keep its soul from going thirsty. We will have the opportunity to hear many stories and legends, and to learn about different eras and the people who have migrated to Greenland.

This part of Greenland offers much more than history and culture. We will set foot on rarely visited islands and watch for playful whales. We also hope to visit one of the many sheep farms in southern Greenland. In Uunartoq we will have the opportunity to relax in one of the natural hot springs, while admiring the breathtaking views of mountain ranges and drifting icebergs. 

We then continue our journey south. Through the western mouth of Prince Christian Sound, we slowly make our way into this extraordinary fjord system. Here we are surrounded by a mountainous landscape with peaks of up to 2000 metres and steep cliffs plunging into the fjord, and we see the similarity to the fictional landscape of Mordor from Lord of the Rings. We look out for harbour seals, ringed seals and whales. 

We have now reached East Greenland and are travelling along a wild and unspoilt coastline. We are very dependent on the weather and ice conditions, and our itinerary will be adapted accordingly. A couple of days will be spent mostly at sea. We are likely to see a parade of icebergs drifting south on the strong currents, and we marvel at mighty glacier walls plunging straight into the sea. Along the coast we hope to explore one of the rarely visited fjords. Perhaps we stop at Umivik Bay, from where Fridtjof Nansen began his East to West trek across Greenland in 1888. 

When we arrive in the vast Sermilik fjord system, we are greeted by icebergs of all shapes and sizes. Most of these come from the Helheim glacier in the centre of the fjord, which produces some of the largest icebergs in Greenland. Sermilik Fjord is 90 kilometres long and cuts through a rugged landscape of towering glaciers and jagged peaks. The beauty around us is stunning! We anchor in beautiful spots and keep an eye out for whales. Perhaps the ice will let us through to the small village of Tiilerilaaq. The wooden houses are beautifully situated, with the great Sermilik Fjord in the background. Here the local Inuit culture and traditional hunting and fishing activities play an important role in the way of life. Here we have the chance to go on a nice hike to get an overview of the Sermilik Fjord and its icebergs! 

We visit the town of Tasiilaq. With a population of just under 2000 it is the largest settlement in East Greenland. There is an older and different Inuit culture here, where shamanism and indigenous culture are much more alive than in other parts of Greenland. During our expedition here we will learn more about local myths and legends, such as that of the Tupilaqs. In Greenlandic Inuit religion, a tupilaq was a vengeful monster created by a witch doctor using various objects such as animal bones, skin, hair or tendons. Tasiilaq is also known for its art scene, where local artists create prints, sculptures and textiles, usually depicting animals, landscapes and traditional stories from the region. 

Day 11: Kulusuk – Keflavik

We disembark in Kulusuk and head to the airport for our flight to Keflavik, and check into our hotel. (Included in the flight and hotel package.)

Day 12: Homeward bound

Today we bid our farewells and return home or onwards for new adventures.

Please note: Our exact route will depend on ice, weather conditions and wildlife. The places mentioned are just examples of some of the 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!

Kulusuk from above. Photo: Mads Pihl - Visit Greenland

Why mandatory flight and hotel package?

East Greenland is a truly remote wilderness. Sailing from here to Iceland by small ship means approx. three days in the Denmark Strait, a passage that can be quite rough for a small ship like M/S Balto. In order to offer you a more comfortable experience and to focus on Greenland's spectacular nature, we have chosen to book flights from Kulusuk (Greenland) to Keflavik (Iceland). We have also included one night's hotel accommodation in Iceland. This is to allow for possible flight delays.

The flight to Narsarsuaq, where the trip starts, is self-booked. It is highly recommended to book changeable tickets and remember to book your flight tickets well in advance.

 

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 2019-2022, 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 three 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 small sauna with a cold shower. The richly appointed saloon and the beautiful dining messroom feature crotch-mahogany panelling, a bar, a library, coffee and tea stations. 

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.

With our two Zodiacs, we will explore the wilderness and go ashore in the settlements and in the middle of the breathtaking nature.

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 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 Inuit settlements, take you to remote anchorages and maximise each guest’s experience in the unspoiled wilderness. 

Cabins & prices

Cabin category Price per person
Double cabin Double bed USD 13 590
Superior cabin Twin beds USD 14 490
Owner's cabin Double bed USD 16 390
Single cabin Single bed USD 16 990

MANDATORY FLIGHT & HOTEL PACKAGE

This mandatory package includes:

  • Flight from Kulusuk (Greenland) to Keflavik (Iceland)
  • One hotel night in Iceland
  • Transfers in connection with flight mentioned above, from airport to hotel.

Price: USD 1 290 per person. Please note that this cost will be added to the cabin prices listed above.

Price includes

  • 10 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
  • All passenger taxes and harbour fees

Not included

  • Mandatory flight & hotel package (See details above)
  • Flights to Narsarsuaq and home from Keflavik
  • Travel and cancellation insurance
  • Gratuity to the ship’s crew
  • Personal expenses such as bar 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
5 August 2025 16 August 2025

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