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22nd February 2018
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.
Day 1 - Copenhagen
Fly from UK to Copenhagen Airport. Your hotel is only one stop away on the Metro from the airport (3 minutes). If you would like enough time to visit Copenhagen you can request an early flight.
1 night COPENHAGEN (airport hotel) - Park Inn by Radisson (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 (airport hotel) - Park Inn by Radisson (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 2017
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
|Jun - Sep 2017||£3920||£595|
Park Inn by Radisson, Copenhagen Airport ***
As a rule we wouldn't normally use a hotel whose location is so close to an airport, indeed only 2 stops or 5 minutes away by Metro. However with this hotel we are more than happy to make an exception as it fits in perfectly for those who want to spend time in Copenhagen city but who also have an early flight departure or late flight arrival. Plus it happens to be a really, really nice hotel.
The hotel is actually at Femøren and the Metro station is situated directly next door therefore really handy. Femøren is also just 10-12 minutes on the Metro from the centre of Copenhagen and during peak hours travels every 5 minutes and then every 10 minutes outside of this time. And this is 24 hours a day so it doesn't matter what time you come home from Copenhagen or what time your flight is the following morning!
The reception area is bright and welcoming with a stylish bar to the right as you approach the desk and a restaurant to the left. Standard rooms are double/twin rooms - the beds can be together or separated and all have TV, telephone, mini-bar, hair-dryer and free WiFi - yippee! The hotel also has a free indoor swimming pool, saunas in each of the changing rooms and a gym. It is also approximately 150 metres from a man-made beach which is suitable for swimming and sunbathing. Superior rooms are available which are a bit bigger and include tea and coffee making facilities and Business Class rooms which include the same as the superior rooms but also have air-conditioning. There are family rooms too - actually Junior Suites with a sofa bed but plenty of room in an entrance vestibule for extra luggage so they do not feel crowded even when the bed is made up.
OK, so you don't walk straight out of the hotel directly into the airport and you don't walk out directly into central Copenhagen but you do get an awful lot more for your money than you would for the same price in either of those locations.
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.
GREENLAND'S ICE, WHALES AND CULTURE
HIKE TO SERMERMIUT | 3 HOURS
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
HUNTERS' SETTLEMENT - RODEBAY | 6 HOURS
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
MIDNIGHT CRUISE TO THE ICE FJORD | 3 HOURS
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
HUNTERS SETTLEMENT ILIMANAQ | 6 HOURS
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
HOME VISIT | 2 HOURS
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
THE CALVING GLACIER EQI AND ATAA | 6-7 HOURS
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
FISHING TOUR | 6 HOURS
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
FEED THE HUSKIES | 1 HOUR
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
WHALE SAFARI | 5 HOURS
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
DE LUXE FLIGHT OVER THE ICE FJORD | 1 HOUR
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
ICE FJORD PHOTO SIGHTSEEING | 35 MIN
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
NORTHERN GLACIER PHOTO SIGHTSEEING | 45 MIN
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
HIKE ON THE CECILY TRAIL | 8 HOURS
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:
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:
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:
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 greenland.com, the tourist association for Greenland, based on their advanced knowledge and experience: