Antarctica & Arctic
Like the Vikings of old, we sail west from Reykjavík. There lies a region of mountains, glaciers, fjords, and icebergs. The icy realm of Greenland awaits.
Destinations > Arctic > In the Wake of the Vikings
11 nights cruise accommodation, meals as indicated, sightseeing and activities as specified, one charter flight.
14 Jul '19
Greenland’s east coast is just a short voyage from Reykjavík. Breathtaking fjords define this seldom-seen region. Aboard the Ocean Endeavour, we’ll explore in comfort—and Zodiacs will be standing by for scenic excursion opportunities.
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Visit the Norse ruins at Hvalsey, abandoned in the 1400s
Follow the Viking route across Denmark Strait to Greenland
Get close to stunning glaciers
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Depart Reykjavík in the evening aboard the Ocean Endeavour.
Vestmannaeyjar lies off the south coast of Iceland and comprises fourteen islands, numerous rocks and skerries. Only the largest island, Heimaey, is inhabited. Numerous species of seabirds, including the famous puffins, nest in the steep rock faces along the ocean cliffs.
Sailing west from Iceland, we are in the wake of the Vikings. Norse explorers set out from Iceland a millennium ago in open longboats. Their destination: Greenland. Later they would also reach Baffin Island, Labrador, and Newfoundland.
An expedition day on Greenland’s east coast means that we’ll be cruising in the ice, looking for opportunities for Zodiac exploration. As ever, our expedition team will be on deck looking for bears, seals, and humpback whales as we navigate a coastline traced with innumerable fjords and dotted with pack ice.
We’ll be scouting for wildlife and vistas as we approach Ikerasassuaq through ice. This remote and stunning body of water joins the Irminger and Labrador seas.
South Greenland lives up to its namesake; here, the land is fertile and agriculture thrives. Farms and vegetable husbandry contrast with the barren ice that covers so much of the country. Jagged mountains rise from beyond green pastures, with sheep farms directly bordering icefjords. Here, Norse settlement history intersects with contemporary Greenland life.
Further explore the South of Greenland.
Hvalsey Church is the best-preserved Norse ruin in Greenland. The last known official record from the original Norse colony is of a wedding held here in September 1408! Nearby Qaaqortoq is the largest town in South Greenland. The area has been inhabited for over 4,000 years, beginning with the Saqqaq culture.
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Brattahlid—meaning “steep slope,”—lies at the head of Tunulliarfik Fjord. In this location, the famous Viking explorer Erik the Red had his estate. His descendants made their homes here until the mid-1400s. This area features the best farming conditions in Greenland.
Greenland’s capital bridges old and new. The old harbour region of town includes many buildings dating from the Danish colonial days. The modern downtown core includes shopping, cafes and restaurants, and public institutions with a European flair.
The west Greenland coastline is a rich mixture of fishing communities, many islands and complex coastal waterways. The waters are relatively warm here, due to the West Greenland Current and the sub-Arctic location—making for more lush vegetation. We will be making an expedition stop here to explore the landscape of wild Greenland.
Here we will disembark the Ocean Endeavour and transfer to the airport for our return charter flight to Toronto.
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