Greenland's Ice, Whales and Culture

Greenland's Ice, Whales and Culture

8 Nights: 1 x Copenhagen, 1 x Ilulissat, 2 x Qasigianniguit, 2 x Ilulissat, 1 x Kangerlussuaaq, 1 x Copenhagen

Ilulissat is a modern Greenlandic town, north of the Arctic Circle, with the unique Disko Bay and magnificent Ilulissat Ice Fjord (A UNESCO World Heritage Site) right on the doorstep.  Here you will find calving glaciers, gigantic and majestic icebergs and remote, isolated settlements where Greenlandic hunters still live very much according to ancient traditions.  Here you will meet the Greenlanders chief working companion, the Greenlandic dog; there are around 3500 of them in Ilulissat and the four villages which surround it!

Qasigiannguit is located in the eastern part of the Disko Bay approximately 3 hours south of Ilulissat by boat.  It is one of the oldest towns in Greenland and only here do you get a unique chance to experience the old Thule culture.  The Thule people were a group of highly specialised and adaptable nomads who settled along the ice free coastline of Greenland around 1300 AD.  They were whale and seal hunters and were most likely the first people to bring dogs into Greenland.  Your holiday experience includes travelling by kayak to a project living settlement where you will spend the afternoon experiencing life the way the Inuit people did during the 1700s.

A great holiday for those who want to experience the Greenland of today and yesterday.

The title of this holiday really says it all and features two of west Greenland's contrasting destinations; Ilulissat and Qasigiannguit.

For prices please contact us on:

01274 875 199

or Tailor your Holiday with a Booking Enquiry

Request A Callback

Day 1 - Copenhagen

Fly from UK to Copenhagen Airport. If you would like enough time to visit Copenhagen you can request an early flight.

1 night COPENHAGEN - Clarion Hotel Kastrup Airport (BB)

Day 2 - Fly to Ilulissat, Greenland

Flight from Copenhagen to Kangerlussuaq. In Kangerlussuaq you change to a smaller aircraft for the magnificent 'sightseeing' flight to Ilulissat. This journey provides glorious views of the Ilulissat Icefjord. Have your camera ready if you want but our recommendation would be to just look at it, and look at it......  On arrival in Ilulissat you will be transferred to your hotel for check-in. You will then have an information meeting with a member of the Arctic Adventure team who will go through your itinerary with you. They will have been watching the weather forecast and may have moved your activities around to ensure the best possible experience for you - this is normal and is all part of the adventure. Following your meeting you will have a guided familiarisation tour of Ilulissat settlement on foot. Take your camera with you!

In the evening relax and enjoy a welcome dinner at Hotel Arctic, a hotel with a repuation for high-quality food. We know, we've tried it for you......

1 night ILULISSAT - Hotel Arctic (HB)

Day 3 - By boat to Qasigiannguit with whale watching

Enjoy your buffet breakfast at the hotel before transferring to Ililussat harbour. Journey southwards by boat for approximately 3 hours to Qasigiannguit.  During your boat transfer you may have the opportunity to see whales. In the summer time humpback whales come to the Disko Bay to feed on capelin, a small herring-like fish. As the humpback whales are a protected species they are very trusting and can often be enjoyed at close range.

Met on arrival and transfeerred to your hotel for check-in, information meeting and a guided walk around the settlement.

Dinner is included during the evening at your hotel.

2 nights QASIGIANNGUIT - Hotel Disko Bay (BB) 

Day 4 - Hike in the Arctic Landscape

After breakfast you will be met by your guide at your hotel for a guided hike in the Arctic landscape which lies behind the settlement.  Why not visit the museum near the harbour later in the day?  It is famous for its great archaeological collection from the Saqqaq Inuit Culture (2000 BC).

Dinner is served at the hotel during the evening.

Day 5 - A journey back in time

After breakfast you will have time to visit the local museum before transferring to the harbour and travel by boat back to Ilulissat.  Transfer to your hotel.  Dinner is served at the hotel during the evening.

2 nights ILULISSAT - Hotel Arctic (HB)

Day 6 - Free day in Ilulissat

Today you have a free day to relax in Ilulissat and perhaps join one of our optional excursions.

Dinner is served at your hotel during the evening.

Day 7 - Fly to Kangerlussuaq

Breakfast at your hotel before a farewell coffee at the hotel with your guide.  Transfer to the airport followed by your Air Greenland flight from Ilulissat to Kangerlussuaq.  Check-in at your hotel before meeting with your local guide for an information meeting.

1 night KANGERLUSSUAQ - Hotel Kangerlussuaq (HB)

Day 8 - Return to Copenhagen

Have a leisurely breakfast at Hotel Arctic before saying farewell to Greenland. Transfer to the airport for your flight to Copenhagen via Kangerlussuaq.

1 night COPENHAGEN - Clarion Hotel Kastrup Airport (BB)

Day 9 - Homeward bound

Return to Copenhagen Airport for your return flight to the UK.  Note that a selection of flights are available according to how much extra time you may want to spend sightseeing in Denmark's wonderful capital city.  Ask a member of our Reservations Team for flight schedules.

Departure Day:  Sundays and Thursdays
Departure Dates:  June - September 
Duration:  8 nights
Prices:  Prices are based on two people travelling together and sharing a double/twin room. Single supplement as shown.

Dep. Date Price from
per person
Single supp.
Jun - Sep  £3920 £595

Price includes:

  • Scheduled return flight with SAS in SAS Go class from Heathrow to Copenhagen including taxes.
  • 2 nights (in total) at the Park Inn Copenhagen Airport Hotel including breakfast.
  • Return Air Greenland flight from Copenhagen to Ilulissat (via Kangerlussuaq) including taxes.
  • Meet and Greet service on arrival at Ilulissat Airport with transfer to Hotel Arctic.
  • 3 nights (in total) at Hotel Arctic in Ilulissat including dinner and breakfast.
  • Guided familiarisation tour of Ilulissat settlement.
  • Return boat transfer from Ilulissat to Qasigiannguit including transfers to the quay.
  • 2 nights at the Hotel Disko Bay in Qasigiannguit including dinner and breakfast.
  • Guided familiarisation tour of Qasigiannguit settlement.
  • Guided hike in the Arctic landscape from Qasigiannguit.
  • Transfer from Hotel Arctic to Ilulissat Airport.
  • 1 night at Hotel Kangerlussuaq including dinner and breakfast.

HOTEL ARCTIC (4 star) - Ilulissat

Without a doubt Hotel Arctic offers the highest standard of accommodation in Ilulissat, perhaps even in the whole of Greenland, but it is important to bear in mind that a 4 star hotel in Ilulissat is not quite the same as a 4 star hotel in Copenhagen. That said, Hotel Arctic is a very nice hotel, with an excellent kitchen, very comfortable rooms and a truly poetic location with a panoramic view over the Icefjord. The hotel is located just 1.5 km from the airport and approx 2-3 kms from the city centre with the hotel operating a shuttle bus service several times a day to and from the city centre.

It seems odd to call Hotel Arctic a 4 star hotel, not because the standard is not good but because star ratings just seem silly and out of place in Greenland.  Best to describe the hotel in terms of what it provides for you. Nice comfortable rooms with fabulous beds and quilts, all rooms with shower and WC, TV, mini-bar, telephone, desk and plenty of room for your outdoor clothing and luggage.  There is an iron and ironing board and hairdryer in the bathroom.  Standard and superior rooms have pretty much the same decor and facilities, however, superior rooms have a view of the Icefjord plus coffee and tea making facilities and a mini-bar. It is possible to make an extra bed up in superior rooms for a third adult or child. The hotel does not offer free WiFi (this is incredibly expensive to have in Greenland so the hotel have to charge for it) but you can pay the reception directly by the hour or daily - beware though, connections can be poor and intermittent.  The hotel also has a sauna, solarium and work out facilities for those who want to fill any spare moment in between activities. There is a large a la carte restaurant where the Welcome and Farewell dinners are served and a brasserie and bar on the second floor with a panoramic view over the Ilulissat Icefjord.

In the hotel's gardens, inbetween the hotel and the Icefjord, you will find numerous dog houses with their occupants, Greenlandic dogs, secured by chained leads. It doesn't matter how much you love and trust dogs (and no-one does more than we do!) you must not approach the dogs to pet them. They are working dogs and would much rather you kept your distance - particularly if they are eating.

There is a boardwalk which takes you past the dogs and down to the very edge of the Icefjord for glorious views of bizarre icebergs just floating by. Here you will also find the hotel's 'Igloos' - if you really want to stay in one we can request it but in our opinion they are a novelty item which doesn't really add anything extra to your overall holiday experience.

Clarion Hotel Kastrup Airport

Located just 2 minutes' walk from Terminal 3, Copenhagen's international hub, you can certainly save valuable time when you stay here. The hotel is also within walking distance of Terminal 2 and offers an excellent metro service to and from Copenhagen city centre. You'll therefore be ideally situated to explore copenhagen should you wish. All rooms feature soundproof floor-to-ceiling windows, a double bed or two single beds, a desk, armchair and a large bathroom with a shower and bath. 

The restaurant will eventually become an outpost of Marcus Samuelsson's Kitchen & Table group, serving Copenhagen-meets-Manhattan food and cocktails. In the meantime, there's the choice of an à la carte menu or an eat-your-fill buffet, with several counters of salads, cold cuts, cheeses and desserts and one of hot food. Breakfast is a Scandinavian buffet, with a small station of gluten and lactose-free items and a chef cooking omelettes to order.


By bus as far as the road goes. Then a beautiful guided walk along the UNESCO World Heritage designated Ilulissat Ice Fjord to Sermermiut where traces from the 3 old Inuit cultures can still be found. Sermermiut is a fertile valley next to the Ice Fjord; here you can enjoy the flowers as well as the fantastic icebergs. Great photo opportunities! Light refreshments included.
Price:  £47 per person

Guided tour by boat to the small settlement Oqaitsut/Rodebay with a local population of approx. 40 people totally dependent on fishing and hunting - a quite different world compared to the nearby town of Ilulissat. Tour includes lunch.
Price:  £170 per person

The midnight sun and the warm red colours reflecting in the gigantic icebergs is a fantastic sight. Cruise between the icebergs and enjoy a late drink on "the real rocks" ! This tour is guided and includes light refreshments.
Price:  £88 per person

Guided tour by boat to the settlement of Ilimanaq, which is situated just south of the Kangia Ice Fjord. Ilimanaq has a population of approx. 40 people mainly depending upon fishing and hunting. A completely different world compared to the town of Ilulissat. Lunch included.
Price:  £170 per person

Come join a local family for a cup of coffee. The Greenlanders are famous for welcoming visitors into their homes, inviting everyone over for a cup of coffee and a piece of cake. The latest gossip is shared and it will also be possible to see the national costume and learn about life so very isolated from the rest of the world.
Price:  £32 per person

We cruise in front of the 5-km wide glacier for approx. one hour and hope for the unique sight of an iceberg “delivery”. Afterwards we continue to the former trading station and Inuit settlement Ataa where we will enjoy a delicious 2 course lunch including a glass of wine.
Price:  £295 per person

We sail to the fishing spot of the day, most probably near Bredebugt or the mouth of the Ilulissat Ice Fjord. While waiting for our catch we have time to enjoy the beautiful surroundings. By the end of the day we will hopefully bring home different sorts of fish like cod, halibut, redfish and catfish. Packed lunch included.
Price:  £153 per person

Ilulissat is a dogsledge area and the dogs in town are still used for both work and play every winter. We invite you to join in the feeding of a family of dogs. You can see, feel and certainly hear the howling of 20 hungry dogs. The owner will demonstrate the equipment and tell about life as a sledge dog in Greenland. Sturdy shoes advised!
Price:  £23 per person

We cruise by boat into the Disko Bay to spot whales. In the summer time humpback whales come to the Disko Bay to feed on capelin, a small herring-like fish. As the humpback whales are a protected species they are very trusting and can often be enjoyed at close range. Please be aware that we are not visiting a zoo and therefore we cannot guarantee that the whales will 'visit' our boat! Packed lunch included.
Price:  £147 per person

Arctic Adventure, together with AirZafari Greenland, offer sightseeing flights and photo safaris in a 5-seat aircraft. Fly in low altitude to the very end of Ilulissat Ice Fjord and enjoy breathtaking views of huge icebergs and sky-blue lakes on the top of them. Window seat guaranteed. Minimum 4 pax.
Price:  £315 per person

Arctic Adventure, together with AirZafari Greenland, offer sightseeing flights and photo safaris in a 5-seat aircraft. This unforgettable shorter tour offers a flight in low altitude to the outer area of Ilulissat town and the underwater moraine at the mouth of Ilulissat Ice Fjord. Window seat is guaranteed. Minimum 4 pax.
Price:  £210 per person

Arctic Adventure, together with AirZafari Greenland, offer sightseeing flights and photo safaris in a 5-seat quiet and comfortable aircraft. Fly in low altitude along the Ilulissat Ice Fjord to the northern glacier. On the way back you will see the underwater moraine, where huge Icebergs are stranded. Window seat is guaranteed. Minimum 4 pax.
Price:  £258 per person

Discover different Arctic plants and beautiful icebergs floating in the Disko Bay on this guided full-day hike along the coast. Your guide tells you about the Cecily trail, named after an annual run from Rodebay to Ilulissat. It is commonly used both by locals and tourists for dog sledding in winter and trekking tours in summer. Packed lunch included. Please note: You have to be in good physical shape to participate in this tour.
Price:  £118 per person




We really want you to enjoy your holiday to Greenland and come home having experienced something amazing.  Here are a few bits of information and tips to help you along the way:

Who is this holiday suitable for?
Basically anyone who has always wanted to visit Greenland, the truly serious Arctic.  We say this because we have many travellers who want to visit ‘Arctic Scandinavia’ or 'Lapland' but don't really mind which of the countries they visit as long as they have the experience.  Greenland is for people who only want Greenland.

You do not need to be of any particular level of fitness, however, bear in mind that you will be climbing on and off boats and walking over uneven ground, often uphill, so you should be reasonably steady on your feet.

This holiday is not really suitable for very young children. We are not saying this because we do not like children, but because we do.  They are likely to find it boring as they do not always appreciate magnificent scenery and nature at this age.  However, you know your child/children best and if you are sure they will be happy then we will be delighted to introduce them to one of our favourite destinations at such an impressionable age!  An environmentalist in the making - perfect!

What sort of clothing do I need?
For many people the idea of travelling in the Arctic conjures up images of grizzly looking explorers with frozen beards, weathered faces and exhausted expressions. Whilst we love the idea that these people were more than prepared to suffer for their dream journey we really would rather those travelling with Taber Holidays did not!  It simply isn’t necessary.

We recommend that you dress according to the layer-to-layer principle. The outermost layer should be wind and waterproof, and underneath you should wear items such as synthetic fibre and/or wool. Even in the middle of summer, when it can be warm on land, sailing trips can be cold as the temperature of the water is only one or two degrees Celsius (33-36 degrees Fahrenheit). So bring a hat, scarf and gloves with you on a sailing trip.

The Nordic countries do not have a dress code and the general rule of thumb is comfort and practicability.  If you are dining in a restaurant, having a drink in a bar or a cup of coffee in a cafe you will be expected to leave your outdoor clothing i.e. heavy coat, scarf and hat in the cloakroom and not wear them inside or leave them hanging over the back of your chair.  But you will not be expected to wear a tie and jacket for dinner in the evening – though if you want to then go ahead!

What language is spoken in Greenland?
The real language of Greenland is Greenlandic.  Greenlandic is an Eskimo-Aleut language spoken by about 57,000 people in Greenland (Kalaallit Nunaat) and Denmark. There are three main dialects: West Greenlandic (Kalaallisut), East Greenlandic (Tunumiisut) and North Greenlandic (Inuktun).  You will also find Danish widely spoken as Greenland is part of the Kingdom of Denmark and there are a significant number of Danes living and working in Greenland.  All of your guides will speak English and you will find staff in the hotels, restaurants and cafes will usually understand enough English to be able to help you.

Greenlanders are always delighted when visitors try to speak at least a few words of the local language. To make it easy, you can start by learning the words "hello", which is 'aluu', or 'goodbye', which is simply "baaj".  These words are loan words that were probably introduced when the Americans came to Greenland during the Second World War.

What is the currency of Greenland?
As Greenland is part of the Kingdom of Denmark the currency is Danish kroner.  Credit cards can be used at ATMs to withdraw Danish kroner (DKK). The following credit cards are accepted:

VISA Electron

Credit cards can be used at many hotels, restaurants and shops, but it is recommended that you take a small amount of Danish kroner with you to Greenland, as some ATMs may not be in service at the weekend.

Are there any specific customs I should know about before travelling?
It may seem quite brutal to say this but we believe the first thing all travellers should take with them is good manners!  Greenland has a rich history and culture, its nature is second to nowhere else in the world and there is a mystic and exoticism about it that attracts visitors from all over the world.  But please remember Greenland is not a safari park for tourists; these are real people, living real lives and you need to respect that their culture may not always be akin to your culture.  The following may seem obvious to many people but we would just like to remind you anyway:

  • Do not take photographs of people or their personal belongings without asking.  This is very rude and it is worth imagining how you would feel if someone from abroad did it to you at home.
  • Greenlandic dogs are not to be cuddled.  In Greenland they are one of man’s ‘tools’ and, though valued and respected enormously for their contribution, they are not pets and are revered only so long as they are useful.  You have to accept this.  DO NOT try to stroke or cuddle them.  You will see puppies walking around freely, this is because they live wild until they are 6 months old and are then kept chained up outside their pen with other dogs and used as working animals.  They are fed by been given chunks of raw meat, often seal and whale, and they covet it so do not pick it up in the hope of getting their attention for a better photograph...
  • Whale and seal meat are important for Greenlanders.  They are a very rich source of vitamin C, something that is not easy to come by in such a harsh environment.  We think this is a perfect example of nature providing.  The Greenlanders are the only people allowed to hunt the whale and seal as they use it for food, clothing, furniture - in fact they use it for everything.  Be no more shocked to find it on the menu than you would to find beef or pork at home.
  • PLEASE do not buy bottled water!  Plastic bottles of water are flown in to Greenland primarily for visitors and it is UNNECESSARY and terrible for the environment.  Take a water bottle with you in your luggage and fill it from the tap - it's the purest on the planet and free!
  • There is a very well known word in Greenlandic - 'immaga'.  It means 'maybe'. 'Maybe the weather will be good today...', 'Maybe I will fish today...', 'Maybe the boat will depart on time today...'.  Greenlanders are notoriously laid-back as things in Greenland are generally dictated by the weather, the sea conditions, the movement of the ice, how you feel when you wake up in the morning - and not so much by the clock!  Be patient and go with the flow.
  • Take the opportunity to engage as much as possible directly with the Greenlanders rather than always having your guide (usually Danish) doing it for you.  Greenlanders love visitors but they don't want to feel like specimens.

What sort of equipment should I take with me?
Pretty much all of the equipment you will need for activities will be provided for you, however there are a few things we would really recommend you take:

  • Sunglasses!  When the sun hits those white, white icebergs the glare can be considerable...
  • Suncream!  When the sun is shining, and you're out on the water, you will be developing an unexpected suntan!  We would just rather you don't burn first.
  • Binoculars - great for spotting all types of whales, calving glaciers, Arctic fox and hare, seals, Musk Ox, walruses, reindeer, wolves, hundreds of types of birds or maybe just something in the distance you can't quite make out.
  • Water bottle - take a reusable one with you and fill it from the tap at your hotel.  Please do not buy bottled water and if you are offered it in your hotel ask them to fill a jug instead.
  • Hiking boots - you will be walking over a lot of uneven ground, climbing on and off boats and possibly wearing crampons if walking on glaciers.  Trainers are not sturdy enough for this.  If you buy a new pair for the trip make sure you break them in before travelling!
  • Camera - use it but don't overuse it!!  Sometimes it is better to just watch a whale than it is to try and capture it on camera... Use your camera with consideration of other people (see above).
  • A small back-pack for day trips - it is much easier to have a bag with extra clothing, binoculars, camera etc on your back than it is on your shoulder, especially when climbing on and off boats or helicopters.
  • Mosquito repellent - during July and August when the weather is warmer mosquitos can be around!  Take a repellent with you and an antihistamine if you are allergic to insect bites.
  • A travel journal!  We would never go away without one - it's a great way to remind yourself of your experiences later - and let us know about them...

Will there be WiFi?
Hmm, 'immaga'...  WiFi is extremely expensive for the supplier in Greenland and therefore they do need to pass the cost on - so it is not free - but it can also be hit and miss.  The same can be said for mobile phone coverage.  We would suggest that if you receive both, with good reception, you should consider it a bonus.

Am I safe to go hiking on my own in Greenland?
Well this all depends...  Are you an experienced hiker or a novice?  Have you travelled to Greenland before and are familiar with the terrain or not?  The majority of Greenland's nature is actual wilderness, with few or no paths, numerous mountains, rivers and glaciers. The very clear air means that it can be hard to judge distances; it is often a lot further to a given point than you might think. The terrain's degree of difficulty varies from the very easy to the very challenging. The following information is taken from recommendations made by, the tourist association for Greenland, based on their advanced knowledge and experience:

  • Everyone should be aware that help can be a long way away and that mobile phone coverage is rare when you are out in the heart of the wilderness. The weather is generally stable in the summer, but sudden weather changes can also occur. Thorough preparation is essential, as is having the right equipment and listening to the advice of those with local knowledge. Making and keeping agreements about expected news and return is equally important.
  • There are paths close to most towns and settlements that lead out in the mountains. Some of these are marked as hiking routes, but many of the paths disappear once you move slightly away from built-up areas. It is therefore important to always keep track of where you are, and a map, compass and GPS (including spare batteries) are essential. There are a number of 1:100.000 hiking maps that are very accurate, but many areas are only covered by 1:250.000 maps, which are not particularly well suited as hiking maps.
  • When straying from paths into open terrain, it is always tempting to take the shortest route. But the shortest route can sometimes prove to be the hardest. You can unintentionally find yourself in a place that you can neither leave nor get to - while it is much easier to walk and semi-climb upwards, it is also much harder to walk downwards. If you are hiking over the top of somewhere and need to start using your hands to go further, then your hike has in fact turned into a climb, and it can suddenly prove difficult to get back down. So always make sure a retreat is possible.
  • When walking in Greenland you will most certainly have to cross a stream or a river. Few hikers avoid getting their feet wet at one time or another. The water flow in Greenland's rivers can vary enormously. A small stream can swell to a gushing river if it starts to rain. The rivers born of glaciers vary significantly in intensity depending on the temperature. The water flow in these rivers is typically calmest in the mornings and roughest late in the afternoon. If you cannot walk across dry-foot, then you will have to wade through the water. Keep your hiking boots on, but take your socks off first. A good rule of thumb is that gushing water should never reach higher than your knees - otherwise you risk getting knocked over. A pair of hiking sticks/ski batons really help keep the balance. If you feel unsure then turn around.
  • If it is very important to cross a river or stream, and you are unsure whether you can, then tie a rope to the person crossing. Should he/she fall in, they can be pulled to safety by someone else in the group - you need to be at least three in your group to do this. The rope should be doubled up so that everyone can use it to get across. If you have the slightest doubt, don't do it.
  • All glaciers have crevices. A glacier with snow has hidden crevices and you should therefore avoid walking on a snow-covered glacier unless you have at least three people in your group with complete glacier equipment (braces, rope, ice axes, crampons and equipment for glacier crevice rescue). If there is no snow on the glacier, which is the case with the lower lying glaciers in the summer, then you can sometimes walk quite safely on them. You should however be equipped with crampons or smaller crampons that can be fitted to hiking shoes and boots as well as have a hiking stick. The ice is slippery with many sharp stones scattered on the surface, so it is easy to get cuts and bruises, - wear gloves, long trousers and long sleeves. NEVER walk without a rope on snow-covered areas of a glacier!

Request A Callback

This field is required
This field is required
This field is required
(please be as specific as possible and state which magazine, newspaper, event, or website it was)
jeFZC Invalid Captcha. Please try again.
Find Your Perfect Holiday