Discover Greenland’s magnificent natural beauty as you cruise the rugged eastern coast aboard the Silver Explorer. Travel into deep fjords with massive glaciers and spectacular icebergs, explore by Zodiac to look for whales, and soak in a hot spring amid floating icebergs. You’ll also learn about the ancient cultures of Greenland as you visit Norse and Viking sites and remote Greenlandic towns with vibrant Inuit communities.
Note: This cruise is not exclusive to, nor operated by, Wilderness Travel, who acts solely as agent in booking your reservation with the ship operator. The itinerary, lecturers, and all other arrangements are subject to change at the discretion of the cruise line.
Day 1, Aug 22, 2017
Embark the Silver Explorer and depart on your exciting 9-day expedition. After settling into your suite and attending a safety drill, you'll set sail. Meet the members of your Expedition Team in The Theatre and attend the first of many memorable dinners in The Restaurant.
Day 2, Aug 23, 2017
At Sea Crossing the Denmark Strait
Spend the day crossing the Denmark Strait, which connects the Arctic and Atlantic oceans. Meet some of your fellow explorers, attend a Zodiac briefing, and learn about the rules and regulations for going ashore in the Arctic. Above all, relax and become acquainted with the luxurious amenities found on board the Silver Explorer. Tonight, attend a special Welcome Aboard cocktail party where the Captain will introduce his senior officers.
Day 3, Aug 24, 2017
Skoldungen Fjord (Thrym Glacier)
Cruising along Greenland’s rugged eastern coast, the Silver Explorer explores the Skoldungen Fjord. You will spend much of the day out on deck to take in the enchanting scenery: towering mountains tipped with snow, ice-scraped valley sides, and sculptured icebergs in shades of white and blue. Upon arriving at the top of the fjord where you can easily see the retreating state of the Thrym Glacier, you will have your first Zodiac cruise of the journey, allowing you to explore this picturesque setting from a unique, up-close perspective.
On your return journey exiting this U-shaped fjord, join your Expedition Team out on deck to marvel at the spectacular scenery and to look for humpback whales and orcas, frequently seen at the entrance of the fjord.
Day 4, Aug 25, 2017
Cruise & Explore Prince Christian Sound, Greenland
Your plan for today is to explore one of South Greenland’s most dramatic natural features: Prince Christian Sound. The water is placid and the crisp scent of ice fills the air. On either side of you, waterfalls stream down sharp, wrinkled mountainsides as we navigate the fjord through a sea of icebergs that glitter in the sun. Born of compacted ancient snows that calve into the sound at the glacier’s edge, each iceberg is different from the next. Time and weather conditions permitting, we set out via the Zodiacs to explore even more.
Day 5, Aug 26, 2017
Nanortalik / Uunartoq Island
Nanortalik lies in a scenic area surrounded by steep mountainsides and is Greenland’s most southerly town. The town’s name means the “place of polar bears,” which refers to the polar bears that used to be seen floating offshore on summer’s ice floes. Nanortalik has an excellent open-air museum that gives a broad picture of the region from Inuit times to today. At the summer hunting camp, Inuit in traditional clothing will describe aspects of their ancestor’s customs and lifestyle including an impressive kayak demonstration. Time permitting, you will enjoy the tradition of kaffe-mik (coffee and cake) and a folk dancing presentation at the Cultural Center.
In the afternoon, the Silver Explorer will drop anchor at Uunartoq. Since the days of the Norse, the hot springs here have been renowned for their healing effects. Take this opportunity to relax and unwind in steaming waters. It is quite an experience to be in the hot spring and see icebergs float by. Remember to pack swimwear! Conditions permitting, we will offer a Zodiac cruise past some of the icebergs north of Uunartoq.
Day 6, Aug 27, 2017
Qaqortoq / Hvalsey
This morning, arrive at the picturesque harbor town of Qaqortoq. The town’s name translates to “white place,” but today, instead of snow, you will admire the hillsides of colorful houses painted in bright primary shades. Your local guides will take you to the charming town square, home to Greenland’s oldest fountain, built in 1928. Surrounding it are two churches, one old and one new, an open-air fish and meat market, and the Qaqortoq Museum. This modest museum houses a superb collection of historical artifacts associated with Inuit hunting and fishing, a whaler’s gun, and a collection of contemporary artwork.
In the afternoon the Silver Explorer anchors off Hvalsey. Once ashore, you will learn how Christianity spread its influence throughout Europe and eventually reached remote Greenland, where it established itself in the country in 1000 AD. Hvalsey Church, built in the 14th century, is the best preserved of the churches in Greenland from that period. Together you will visit the church and other historical ruins from the time of the Vikings.
Days 7, Aug 28, 2017
Gather in The Theatre to learn more about Greenland’s endemic wildlife and remarkable nature. Your Expedition Team members will present their informative topics to prepare you for Nuuk, its museum, and the special treasures it houses. Binoculars and camera in hand, head out on deck to watch for marine mammals and to identify the seabirds that might follow our passage.
Day 8, Aug 29, 2017
This morning you arrive in Greenland’s first town (1728) and current capital, Nuuk, which means “the heartland.” When it was decided that small coastal populations should leave and be relocated to Nuuk in the 1950s and 1960s, the largest residential building in all of Denmark (to which Greenland belonged) was built in Nuuk, housing what was considered almost 1% of Greenland’s population. The building proved to be impractical and unpopular, but was somewhat of an attraction before it was demolished in 2013. Your leisurely walk through this picturesque harbor town allows you to take in Nuuk’s natural beauty, and also to see Inuit ruins, Hans Egede’s home, parliament, and the Church of our Savior.
At the Greenlandic National Museum you have the fantastic opportunity to see the famous Qilakitsoq mummies. If you are in the mood for a postcard to Santa Claus, just opposite the museum is a gigantic post-box meant for his mail.
Day 9, Aug 30, 2017
With a name that literally translates to “the rugged place,” you can expect dramatic landscapes with tall, jagged mountains and deep, narrow fjords. You will walk through the little town to see the local museum and picturesque cemetery. Before leaving the harbor we might get to see a kayak demonstration. Slightly north of Maniitsoq is the famous abandoned cryolite mine of Ivittuut. This afternoon your on-board photographer/videographer is going to show the voyage-DVD, highlighting the many aspects of our voyage along Greenland’s east and west coasts. Before turning in for the night, take a stroll on deck to take in the solitude of the vast sea and sky, hopefully glimpsing the Aurora Borealis.
Day 10, Aug 31, 2017
After breakfast, disembark the Silver Explorer in Kangerlussuaq and transfer to the airport for your flight home.