Discover the ethereal beauty of Greenland and Iceland—sculpted landscapes, mighty glaciers, and geothermal hotspots—while offshore, rock pinnacles serve as the seasonal home for thousands of nesting seabirds. In Greenland, search for the wildlife that lives among the glittering icebergs or on the wildflower-carpeted tundra. Explore coves and inlets of the pristine coast by Zodiac and visit millennia-old Norse sites and thriving local villages. Prins Christian Sund is a photographer’s heaven with cliff-hugging frozen waterfalls and towering volcanoes. And, as you sail the length of Skjoldungen Fjord, witness the breathtaking scenery, and possibly humpback whales. Making your way to Iceland, you'll meet the residents of colorful fishing villages, cruise by Zodiac beneath emerald hillsides laced with waterfalls, and walk among ruins that recall the heyday of Viking exploration. In the capital of Reykjavík, explore the fabled Golden Circle—Thingvellir National Park, Gullfoss Waterfall, and the Geysir Center.
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, Jun 24, 2018
Board your independent flight to Iceland.
Day 2, Jun 25, 2018
Arrive in the Icelandic capital this morning and transfer to your hotel. Lunch and the remainder of the day are at leisure to enjoy this fascinating and colorful city. Gather this evening for a welcome reception followed by dinner and overnight at your hotel.
Day 3, Jun 26, 2018
Narsarsuaq, Greenland / Embark Hebridean Sky
After breakfast, board your charter flight to Greenland. Board the Hebridean Sky in time for lunch. Enjoy an afternoon exploring the town, or take a hike for beautiful views over the fjord.
Day 4, Jun 27, 2018
Narsaq / Brattahlid
This morning visit Narsaq, built on a beautiful plain on the Narsaq Peninsula, and surrounded by waters rich with seals, salmon, Arctic char, and minke whales. Explore the small town with its brightly painted houses, museum, and local handicrafts market, and visit the remains of an old Norse settlement. Attend a performance by the local choir before lunch on board. In Brattahlid, visit the historic Norse site, named after Eric the Red’s wife who built the first Christian church in the New World.
Day 5, Jun 28, 2018
This morning cruise along beautiful Arsuk Fjord, home to one of Greenland’s largest bird cliffs where thousands of kittiwakes, gulls, and guillemots breed. Zodiac excursions bring you close to the edges of the rugged cliffs, where in addition to the birds, you may also spot whales and seals. Ashore, nature hikes along the beach and to a nearby waterfall showcase the natural beauty of the area.
Day 6, Jun 29, 2018
Prins Christian Sund
The 55-mile-long channel near the southern tip of Greenland offers breathtaking vistas as you cruise among a flotilla of ice. Volcanoes rise from the barren landscape, and icebergs, like tiny atolls, sit in pools of aquamarine waters. Steep, glacier-cut cliffs border the fjord with frozen waterfalls clinging to their edges like freeze-framed photographs. By Zodiac and aboard the ship, cruise the bays and finger-like offshoots of this truly spectacular display of geology and geography.
Day 7, Jun 30, 2018
Today, cruise along the southeastern coast of Greenland. Now uninhabited, the region recalls its past civilization in skeletal sites of old Scandinavian and Inuit camps and settlements. Watch for seals, whales, and polar bears and, conditions permitting, go ashore in Napassorssuaq Fjord via Zodiac to explore this remote expanse of shoreline. Farther south, witness the portion of Greenland that fully lives up to its name. This is the most fertile part of the country; unlike the northern hunting and fishing villages, agriculture and farming are an important part of economic life.
Day 8, Jul 1, 2018
This horse-shoe-shaped inlet offers breathtaking scenery and an abundance of wildlife. Humpback whales are often found feeding in the nutrient-rich waters and ringed and harp seals haul out on the rocky shores.
Day 9, Jul 2, 2018
The small settlement of Ammassalik is part of the municipality of the same name which covers an area five times the size of Denmark. Ashore, enjoy a cultural performance and stroll through the town’s brightly-colored buildings to visit the excellent local museum. After this, there is free time to browse handicraft shops, or take a stroll around town. Those who wish may continue on a hike to Flower Valley, accompanied by naturalists who point out the varieties of local vegetation enjoying their brief seasonal bloom.
Day 10, Jul 3, 2018
Cruise among enormous icebergs, calved by the numerous glaciers in this huge U-shaped fjord. Conditions permitting, hike along beaches littered with glacial moraine and observe interesting geological formations, including the Skargaard Intrusion, where magma was forced through the earth’s crust.
Day 11, Jul 4, 2018
Spectacular mountains surround Nansen Fjord, clad in tundra dotted with seasonal wildflowers. By Zodiac, cruise among glittering icebergs, sculpted by wind and sea into fantastical shapes, watching for harbor, harp, and hooded seals on the ice floes. Conditions permitting, take walks along pristine beaches and across tundra-carpeted landscapes, keeping an eye out for musk oxen, collared lemmings, and Arctic foxes.
Day 12, Jul 5, 2018
Join naturalists on deck to search for seabirds and marine mammals. Lectures recap your time in Greenland and prepare you for the wonders you’ll witness in Iceland.
Day 13, Jul 6, 2018
Vigur Island, Iceland / Ísafjördur
After breakfast take a walking tour of small, verdant Vigur, the summer home to vast numbers of puffins, black guillemots, Arctic terns, and eiders. The tiny community dates back to the late 1800s and boasts Iceland’s only windmill. During lunch on board, cruise northward to Ísafjördur, the trading and cultural center of the West Fjords. A cultural tour reveals the history and daily life of one of Iceland’s oldest fishing settlements and visits the region’s scenic highlights. This afternoon, enjoy free time in town to browse the local shops.
Day 14, Jul 7, 2018
Látrabjarg / Flatey Island
This morning sail past Iceland’s westernmost cape, the Látrabjarg cliff, a breeding ground for millions of seabirds including puffins, kittiwakes, northern fulmars, and thick-billed murres. By Zodiac, trace the coastline of Flatey Island before going ashore for a walking tour of the village. View the uniquely painted island church and the restored houses of islanders who earn a living fishing for cod and lumpfish.
Day 15, Jul 8, 2018
Reykjavik / Disembark / USA
After breakfast, disembark the Hebridean Sky and set out to explore Iceland’s classic scenic wonders known as the Golden Circle. Begin with Thingvellir National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site surrounded by mountains and encompassing a vast lava plain of green moss and wildflowers. Continue to Gullfoss Waterfall where the Hvita River drops 96 feet in two voluminous cascades. The Geysir Center is a huge geothermal field of both boiling and tranquil multi-hued hot springs and bubbling mud pools. After lunch, visit Fridheimar Farm, which produces tomatoes and cucumbers year-round in their impressive greenhouses and breeds Icelandic horses.
Transfer to the airport this afternoon for your independent homeward flight, arriving in the USA the same day.