Sail East Greenland on board an expedition sailboat, enjoying guided walks, land excursions and sea kayaks amongst the Arctic fjords.
This sail East Greenland trip is suitable for anyone interested in experiencing the magic of late summer or early autumn in East Greenland’s awesome wilderness. Only 3,500 people, scattered among small towns and settlements, inhabit its 2,600 kilometres of stunning coastline. This is the Arctic with all its breathtaking beauty and striking scenery.
Cruising in the sheltered ice-filled fjords of the Ammassalik area onboard a fantastic expedition sailing yacht, the crew welcomes people of all ages and with varying interests. Some like to explore by kayak or on foot while others simply prefer to observe nature from the yacht or immerse themselves in the culture of the local Inuit people.
This is an exploration trip where the final itinerary only gets decided upon after setting sail from the Kulusuk harbour. The captain will take into account weather and sea-ice conditions and always look for the best possible option. What is assured is that each trip will be a little bit different and we will try to visit at least one “new“ place every trip.
This is early autumn in the Arctic and the northern lights will likely light up the night sky. Expect to feel the winter approaching and it will be quite possible to see a sprinkle of fresh snow on the mountaintops.
The expedition sailboat is your movable ‘backcountry hut’ and awaits at the end of every day with delicious meals, warm and comfortable bunks, and friendly conversation.
Why We Love This Adventure
- The yacht is the perfect movable ‘backcountry hut’ enabling you to get to otherwise inaccessible spots
- Good options for hikes ashore or paddles on sea kayaks in the fjords
- See huge calving glaciers and large icebergs
Starting and finishing in Kulusuk, the trip will focus on the sheltered ice-filled fjords of the Ammassalik area.
The final itinerary only gets decided upon after setting sail from the Kulusuk harbour, but the boat will aim to cruise in the sheltered ice-filled fjords of the Ammassalik area with the option to explore by foot or kayak. What is assured is that each trip will be a little bit different and the crew will try to visit at least one “new“ place every trip.
Arrive onboard our sturdy expedition sailboat Aurora at noon in Kulusuk. We will leave our anchorage around 2pm and sail out of the Torssut Sound and into Ammassalik Fjord where we will immediately view our first large icebergs. Continuing on to Kong Oscar ́s Harbour and the town of Tasiilaq. This is the largest town on the east coast with almost 2000 inhabitants and centre for culture and administration. We will go ashore and explore the colourful town and perhaps hike into ‘Flower Valley’ and the stunning hills surrounding Tasiilaq. In the late afternoon we will move to our first anchorage a short distance from Tasiilaq for a satisfying dinner and our first night onboard the Aurora.
We continue our journey past Ammassalik Island and into the great Sermilik Fjord passing the abandoned village of Ikateq and the Erit Skerries (made famous when Bill Tilman lost his boat Sea Breeze there in 1972). We sail across Sermilik and into Johan Petersen Fjord where we will anchor. This majestic landscape offers numerous calving glaciers which cascade directly off the inland icecap creating gigantic icebergs that fill the fjords. Option for a paddle or hike in the afternoon.
A day spent hiking and/or kayaking in Johan Petersen Fjord with captivating views over the inland icecap from the nearby mountains. We hope to see whales and seals, frequent visitors to this fjord. Second night will be spent at the same anchorage.
Sail back across Sermilik Fjord and anchor in a good sheltered spot with a great view of this spectacular ice-fjord. Again there are good options for hikes ashore or paddle on sea kayaks. Note that none of our hikes are on established trails. We may follow traditional routes but we will be walking on un-marked terrain.
We will continue onwards to the village of Tiniteqilaq. This tiny settlement with approximately 120 inhabitants is situated on a small promontory with spectacular views over Sermilik Fjord.
Hunting, fishing and tourism are the main sources of income for the population of Tiniteqilaq. Seals are hunted throughout the year together with a restricted number of polar bears and narwhals. We ́visit the village and hike in the neighbouring hills before spending the night at anchor adjacent to the village.
Our expedition continues through the stunning Ikasagtivaq Sound to Ammassalik Fjord. Here we have a an option of heading inland towards the village of Kummiut and the Ikasak sound or to continue exploring Ammassalik island. Option for hiking and/or kayaking in the afternoon.
Today we explore the Sammileq, Tasiilaq or Imiilaa fjords with great hiking along mountain lakes with small calving glaciers and abundance of wild flowers. Another option may be to sail into Ikasak Sound and continue onwards to Ikateq Sound where we visit the abandoned US airbase – Bluie East 2. The remains from the US operations during WWII are still there to be seen and explored.
Our last full day will be spent exploring in the Ammassalik fjord with options of hiking or paddling. The day will end when we return to the neighbourhood of Kulusuk where we will anchore for our last night.
Our journey concludes as we return by sail to Kulusuk for return flights to Iceland. We will go ashore in the village in the morning to have a little walk around before making our way to the airport.
- 8 days (7 nights) on a yacht
- Sailing instruction
- Services of guides and crew
- Guided walks and land excursions
- Guided paddling in sea kayaks amongst the fjords
- Use of stand up paddle boards (SUP)
- Use of wet weather sailing clothing
- All meals for the duration of the trip.
What's Not included
- Alcohol is not included.
- Flights to Greenland are not included (the tour operator can help with arranging accommodation and transfers in Iceland or Greenland, please enquire for more details).
Trip Duration8 days
Start LocationKulusuk, Greenland
End LocationKulusuk, Greenland
Average Group Size8
The boat is a former race yacht and has been around the world four times in the Clipper yacht race.
Accommodation is seamanlike — simple and utilitarian — but the vessel is very sturdy and spacious. There are ten single berths and she accommodates 2 crew and 8 guests.
The sailboat has good heaters, hot and cold water, good galley and spacious communal areas, two heads (toilets) and one shower. There is 220V electricity to charge batteries and other electronic devices. The boat is equipped according to strict Icelandic regulations in regards to emergency equipment.
The crew take great pride in the food they serve on board and use local produce and ingredients as much as they can. Arctic char, cod, lamb and berries and rhubarb pies for desserts are common. They can cater for vegetarians and guests with dietary restrictions. Please let the crew know in advance. Its a good idea to take some of your own dietary substitutes if you have a specialist diet.
During the trip you’ll be based on board the expedition yacht. The tour operator can help with arranging accommodation and transfers in Iceland or Greenland before or after the trip if necessary, please enquire.
This Trip is Suitable For
All travellers need to be in good physical health in order to participate fully in the group travel experience. Be prepared for some physical activity. This may be treks of up to 6 hours per day in wild terrain, or sea kayaking in mostly flat water. As with all trips off the beaten track, you’ll enjoy the trip more if you’re in reasonably good shape. Sailing experience is not required and the crew will sail the boat.
Dates & Availability
- 31 Aug 2019 – 07 Sep 2019
- 05 Sep 2019 – 12 Sep 2019
- 12 Sep 2019 – 19 Sep 2019
The company grew out of a passion for playing outdoors, a love for the wild and beautiful lands of the Arctic and the North Atlantic and a desire to explore further on foot, on skis, by kayak and under sail. They're dedicated to sharing these experiences by allowing other people to encounter the same thrills and pleasures through exciting but fun and safe adventure holidays.
We love their core values of silent travel, protection of the natural environment and respect of the local cultures.
Using expedition sailboats as motherships or mobile backcountry huts, offers a unique opportunity to explore otherwise inaccessible parts of the Arctic across Iceland, Greenland and Jan Mayen.
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