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West and Southern Greenland to Iceland - M/S Fram tour

West and Southern Greenland to Iceland - M/S Fram

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4.6 . Excellent
93%
Travel Style: N/A
Physical Level: Minimal walking. Motor vehicles for all major parts of trip. Wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Most cruises. Very Easy
Lodging Level: Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
18 days
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Overview

Highlights

  • Experience true wilderness - enjoy amazing birdlife on Iceland
  • Greenland scenery - explore some of the most spectacular and unspoilt scenery on Earth
  • Visit historical sites - from the Viking era
  • Discover the heart of Greenland - villages, islands and spectacular fjords
  • Visit - Iceland Southern Greenland and Disko Bay in one voyage

Short Description

Join us for a very exciting expedition in polar waters and experience Arctic highlights as well as the heart of Greenland – in the area of Disko Bay. From Iceland, we continue to rarely visited southern Greenland, and then onwards to the highlights of Disko Bay. Greenland’s arctic wilderness offers some of the most spectacular and unspoilt scenery found on earth. It is the largest island on the planet, and its frozen coastline has witnessed the birth of some of nature’s most breathtaking creations. Here the struggle for survival has imbued local culture with a healthy respect for the environment. See this unique interaction of man and nature first hand, as we sail through a landscape rich in culture, history and spectacular wildlife, towards the northern lands of the midnight sun. This expedition was designed to introduce you to the amazing variety of Greenland; from wonders of nature, to small villages and larger towns. Experience Greenland’s fascinating culture, historical sites from the Viking era, and enjoy the beautiful Ilulissat Icefjord.

Small groups are usually defined as between 10 and 24 travelers, often less. If you're the kind of person who enjoys more intimate experiences and personal service this is a good choice. All else being equal you will pay a premium for this style vs a larger group tour.
Trip Type Small Group Tour
Array
Itinerary Focus N/A
Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels.
Lodging Level Value - 3 star
Flights & Transport N/A
Start City N/A
End City Copenhagen

Destinations

Arctic Iceland Greenland

Cities & Attractions

N/A

Activities

N/A

N/A
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Itinerary

Day 1 - Reykjavik

Description

Reykjavik is the world's northernmost capital city. Norwegian settlers named the place Reykjavik, meaning Smoky Bay, after the columns of steam that rose from the hot springs in the area. The surroundings offer fantastic natural beauty with geysers, mountains, glaciers and geothermal baths, that are well worth exploring before embarking on the MS Fram.

Included Meals : Dinner

Day 2 - Stykkisholmur

Description

As we reach the west region of Iceland, you will understand why this area is known as The Sagaland. Take your time to explore Stykkishólmur's diversity with lava and rock formations, glaciers, volcanic activity and hot and cold springs. Participate in a range of exciting excursions such as kayaking and hiking.

Included Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3 - Denmark Strait

Description

We leave Iceland behind and sail across the Denmark Strait to reach Greenland. The Denmark Strait connects the Greenland Sea to the Erminger Sea and this crossing was used by the Vikings to migrate from Iceland to South Greenland some 1,000 years ago. The Denmark Strait was also a WWII battleground, the British naval ship - the HMS Prince of Whales - fought the largest German battle ship, the Bismarck, which was attempting to reach the North Atlantic in order to attack the allied merchant marine.

Included Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4 - Denmark Strait

Description

We use our time at sea for our informative lectures and to learn more about the history, wildlife and geology of the areas we will be exploring.

Included Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5 - Prins Christian Sound

Description

Prince Christian Sound, located nearly at the tip of the huge island, separates mainland Greenland with Sangmissoq and other islands of the Cape Farewell Archipelago. We sail through this narrow channel and enjoy some spectacular scenery. The sound itself is around 100 km long and very narrow, sometimes only 500 metres wide. This long fjord system is surrounded by steep mountains, some of which are more than 1,200 metres high. Enjoy the sight of glaciers calving icebergs straight into the ocean from the deck. If the channel is blocked with ice, we will sail around Nunap Isua, more commonly known as Cape Farewell.

Included Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6 - Uunartoq and Qaqortoq

Description

Come ashore on the uninhabited island of Uunartoq. This small island is blessed with natural hot springs warm enough to bathe in. Scattered around the island are a number of pools fed by hot springs bubbling up from the ground below, keeping the water temperature at a balmy 34-38 degrees, even during the freezing winter. The springs are set in a completely natural environment in the middle of a grassy field, surrounded by mountain peaks and drifting icebergs. Soak in the warm water and enjoy the beautiful natural surroundings. Many consider Qaqortoq to be one of the most beautiful towns in Greenland with its array of colourful houses. The excursions on offer here include an informative visit to the only tannery in Greenland, a guided city walk, or a kaffemik which will involve meeting the locals and sharing a traditional open-house coffee.

Included Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7 - Igaliku and Hvalsey

Description

Igaliku is one of the most beautiful villages in Greenland and is the oldest sheep farming settlement on the island. Here, you will find tall mountains covered by snow during summer, lush flower-filled valleys and of course, sheep! Sandstone houses give a distinct character to the area, as does the stunning view to the Igaliku fjord. Experience the tranquillity and peace of this historic settlement. Christianity was introduced to Greenland at the turn of the last millennium, with the first bishop being appointed in 1124. The impressive episcopal residence Garðar was established shortly after that date in Igaliku. A cathedral was built, the biggest of all churches in Greenland in the Middle Ages. For many years, the bishop's palace was a focal point for the Norsemen and visitors from Iceland and Norway. The ruins of the cathedral and the bishop's palace have been renovated during recent years and today make up an attractive relic of the Viking period. Igaliku's 27 inhabitants are very proud of their community and are eager to guide you through the village.
In Hvalsey, you will find some of the best-preserved ruins from the Norse period; Hvalsey Church was probably built in the 14th century. Erik the Red's relatives established the farmstead late in the 10th century. In 1408, a wedding at the site's church is the last documented event to occur during the Norse settlement of Greenland. We use our PolarCirkel boats to go ashore, to give you the chance to explore the area for yourself.

Included Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8 - Qassiarsuk

Description

In Qassiarsuk you will find green fields dotted with white sheep, lush vegetation and busy farmsteads; all this forms a colourful contrast to the icescapes at sea. Qassiarsuk is also where Viking Erik the Red built his Brattahlíð estate in 982 A.D. He was banished from Iceland and escaped to the land he called Greenland. Erik settled in Qassiarsuk because the area was considered the most fertile place in Greenland when he arrived. Join a guided walk through the settlement, where you will learn more about the history of the region. You can visit the reconstruction of Erik's longhouse and the church that Erik's wife Tjodhildur made him build. The walk will include a visit at the town´s current church. This is also a great area to try optional activities such as kayaking, hiking, or exploring the town on foot.

Included Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9 - Ivittuut

Description

The abandoned mining town of Ivittuut is a stronghold for musk oxen. The settlement was built on top of the so-called Norse Middle settlement. More than a thousand years ago, Vikings settled the area with about twenty farms. It is the smallest and least well known of the Norse settlements on Greenland and no written records of its residents have been found. This is why archaeologists believe it was the last one established, and the first to be abandoned. We might meet some of the hunters who return to seek shelter in the old houses by the sea.

Included Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10 - Nuuk Fjord

Description

Nuuk Fjord is sometimes overlooked in favour of its more glacial neighbours to the north, but this intricate water system is the second largest in the world, packed with inlets and islands open for exploration by ship. As we cruise this fjord, refreshing waterfalls and probable summer sightings of faithful humpback whales keep eyes and cameras entertained. The solitude and scenery provide a perfect backdrop for hiking. The deep waters of the fjord teem with flavourful cod and redfish, delivering a bounty for both fishing and eating. Like a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow, the Narsap Sermia glacier flows directly into the fjord, filling the headwaters with much sought-after icebergs, while wildflowers and herbs coloured in rich orange, yellow, purple and green tones, paint the idyllic landscape.

Included Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 11 - Nuuk

Description

Nuuk is the oldest town in Greenland and is situated at the mouth of one of the largest and most spectacular fjord systems in the world. Today this is where old and new traditions meet. Being the capital, Nuuk houses a university, a teachers training college, churches and the Greenland National Museum - home to the mummies from Qilakilsoq. City tours and hikes are amongst the optional excursions offered on this day.

Included Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 12 - Itilleq

Description

Itilleq means the hollow and as its name suggests, this small settlement is situated in a hollow, majestically surrounded by high mountains and glaciers. Around 130 people live here, mainly engaged in hunting and fishing. The island has no freshwater and for this reason, Itilleq makes use of a facility for creating freshwater from seawater. The church here has an interesting history - it was built in Thule in 1930 and was moved to Itilleq in 1963. Itilleq can truthfully be called the Arctic Circle Village, as the Arctic Circle is indeed found only 200 metres to the south.

Included Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 13 - Camp Frieda

Description

Today, we will visit a location near Saqqaq situated approximately 70°N, that was without an official name until 2013. The place has special significance to Friederike Bronny, one of the Expedition leaders who works on board the ship. As a young geology student, she spent a year in a tent in this small valley and also visited the spot several times later as an Expedition Leader. A few years ago, the MS Fram was planning to land here and the captain needed to inform the local authorities. Unfortunately, this particular site didn't have a name, so the on-board captain announced over the radio that on their ship they refer to this location as 'Camp Frieda' after their Expedition leader. Soon after, the local authorities confirmed that from that moment on, Camp Frieda would be the official name of this position.

Included Meals : None

Day 14 - Ilulissat

Description

Ilulissat is set in the stunning scenery of the Ilulissat Icefjord and was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2004. Just outside of the town, at the mouth of the fjord, you can often see enormous icebergs that have run aground. They originate from the Jakobshavn Glacier, one of the most productive glaciers in the Northern Hemisphere. These mighty icebergs are unique, no two are alike and their colours are astonishing, with mixtures of white and blue to shades of orange and red, when the iceberg surface is struck by the midnight sun. The sounds of crackling and rumbling echo from one end of Ilulissat to the other, as the icebergs move through the water. Optional shore excursions include hikes, an historic town walk, or a boat tour to the Icefjord.

Included Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 15 - Disko Bay

Description

Qeqertarsuaq is the only town situated on the volcanic island of Disko. Take a stroll around the settlement on your own, or explore the region further on one of our optional excursions; enjoy a guided tour of the town, a spot of kayaking, or cruise amongst the ice on a boat tour. If you like archaeology and history, a visit to the local museum is a must.

Included Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 16 - Sisimiut

Description

Sisimiut is situated 40 km north of the Arctic Circle and the name translates as the people living in a place where there are fox dens. This is the second largest town in Greenland, a modern settlement that maintains ancient traditions. Our optional shore excursions include hikes, boat trips and sightseeing. You can also watch local artists sculpt jewellery and crafts from bone, leather and metal, or taste Greenlandic specialities in a local restaurant.

Included Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 17 - Kangerlussuaq

Description

As we reach Kangerlussuaq, your expedition comes to an end. After debarkation, you will be able to enjoy a final excursion to the Greenland Ice Sheet. This vast icy wasteland stretches 1,500 miles north and reaches heights of up to 3,200 metres above sea level. The road to the edge of the Ice Sheet boasts beautiful natural scenery ranging from Arctic desert and tundra, with low growing shrubs, to hilly terrain, offering breath-taking views over the landscape. You will be transferred to the airport for your flight to Copenhagen which departs late in the evening.

Included Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 18 - Copenhagen

Description

You arrive in the Danish capital early in the morning and may even have the time to explore wonderful Copenhagen, before your onward flight home.

Included Meals : None

Availability

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Stride Featured in

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30 Explore! Travel Reviews & Ratings

93%
4.6 out of 5 (100+ reviews)
Excellent 24
Great 3
Average 1
Disappointing 1
Terrible 1
Value
4.6
Guide
4.6
Activities
4.6
Lodging
4.5
Transportation
4.6
Meals
4.5

West and Southern Greenland to Iceland - M/S Fram

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Company Reviews

Wonderful

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
I was grateful to Explore with my booking as I was forced to cancel at a late date and then was enabled to rebook which meant the difference between having no summer holiday and a wonderful one. All of the administration seemed to be very efficient, friendly and professional.
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Wonderful holiday memories

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
We have travelled all over the world with explore on their family adventure holidays. We have an only child and she benefited so much with instant friendships, and has some wonderful holiday memories. Explore has always been very helpful with the booking process, and we have found most of the tour leaders they use to be professional, committed, really good at their jobs.
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Extremely enjoyable

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
I have travelled with Explore on several occasions. Each experience has been positive and every trip extremely enjoyable. The itinerary’s are excellent ensuring a full and varied experience and the use of local guides is hugely beneficial.
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It's fantastic trip

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
It's fantastic trip for me..just not very happy for accommodation. And the trip leader .If he can make more time with us.and make more interesting and funny when he was talking. It is should be good..other way he is good..
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wonderful

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
Danijela, our tour guide, was wonderful. She shared plenty of facts about Croatia with us and managed all the arrangements really well. One of our group had a birthday while we were away and Danijela gave her a present and we celebrated. Transfers to and from the airport went well. Prior to going, the staff on the phones were really helpful with any questions.
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Great experiences

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
This was our third family adventure with Explore, all have been great experiences. Kids bond immediately and adults can melt into the background and relax. The size of the groups makes mixing manageable and the guides and crews have been first rate throughout.
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Details

Ship Description

The M/S Fram is a comfortable vessel for your polar exploration with modern amenities such as a fitness room, Jacuzzi and sauna. The ample indoor and outdoor public spaces are designed to ensure you enjoy the passing scenery and wildlife sightings; each table in the restaurant has scenic views and the observation lounge has panoramic windows. There’s also a selection of shore excursions to choose from, allowing you to experience as much of the polar wilderness as possible.

Optional Activities

Optional Excursions

Whilst landings are included in the cost of your trip as per the outline itinerary, there are many optional excursions available on your voyage that can be pre-booked with the ship operator directly. These will be charged at an additional fee, depending on the excursion, and we recommend booking these in advance to ensure availability. Please speak to a member of our Polar team who will advise you on the booking process.

Guides

Tour Staff

Expedition Crew, Naturalist(s)

Trip ID#:

explore-FRGI

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