Greenland Kayak & Ice Hike

Using soundless kayaks, without a support boat to disturb the harmony of the trip, we will have the exclusive privilege of exploring several fiords amid a spectacular scenery of dispersed icebergs and glacier fronts. Our goal: a mystery tour onto the ice cap at the very same place where all major crossings from south to north of the ice cap occur.

Greenland kayak and ice hike trip map

As expedition highlights:

  • Singular kayaking navigation (open to beginners) among icebergs and glaciers in an environment that is in complete harmony with untamed Nature thanks to isolation and self-sustained freedom.
  • Glacier hike on the inland ice, the second largest glacier in the world.
  • Camping facing the Qaleraliq Glacier front.
  • Sighting of local fauna such as eagles, seals, caribou, foxes and arctic hares, or even whales.
  • Witnessing the northern lights or “dance of the sky”, from one of the world’s most appropriate areas. Since mid August onwards.
  • Fishing for salmon and cod, mushroom and cranberry picking.
  • Visiting of Narsaq. Inuit town of 1500 inhabitants.
  • Visiting of Manitsuarsuk and its inuit settlement ruins

 

Day 1. Flight from Keflavik (Iceland) or Copenhagen to Narsarsuaq

Three-hour flight from Keflavik (Iceland) or Copenhagen to Narsarsuaq (Greenland) with breathtaking views of Cap Farvel and the huge southern Greenland ice sheet… I ‘m having the window seat! Welcome at the airport by our English speaking guide and transfer to the port of Narsarsuaq. An hours crossing by high-powered zodiac to the city of Narsaq, our last contact with civilization for a week. Once settled in the hostel off we go to our supply store to get kitted out with kayaks, paddles, clothing and navigation accessories. If conditions permit, we make first contact with water to get familiar with the use of the rudder. Overnight stay at the Kayak Hostel.

kayaking trips in greenland narsaq storage

Day 2. Nuulussuaq

Tranfer by zodiac boat to Qingaarsup island (one of many strange names we’ll hear!) where we will start the kayak expedition. We will follow the coast along the ice covered fiord among the icebergs coming from Eqalorutsit glacier. In this area, full of ringed seals, there is usually a greater density of ice, slowing down the kayak and sometimes even blocking access at certain locations. When we start the crossing to Nuulussuaq peninsula through we get the first views of the Inlandis, the polar cap. Once we arrive to Nulussuaq, we will install our camp and have a spot which was one of the Viking settlements in South Greenland. Night in tents.

kayaking trips in greenland group rest

Days 3. Naajaat Sermiat, first glacier front

Protected by a network of channels between small islands and peninsulas, the route today is longer than the day before but with three breaks on land before reaching the glacial front at Naajaat Sermiat. We are now touching the Greenlandic ice cap for the first time, the legendary Inlandis, and next to it we pitch our tents. In a day spent enjoying nature’s extremes we have toured the entire Maniitsup Tunua fjord. Night in tents.

kayaking trips in greenland glacier front

Days 4. Qaleraliq Fjord

Paddling south from early morning, we are quickly sandwiched between two large islands, one of them called Caribou for their presence on the island. The first break after a good 12 kilometers paddle is just before turning into the channel and heading northwest along the Qaleraliq fjord (which translates as halibut). Sailing along the coast under cliffs for about 7 kilometers and just before reaching the three glacier tongues that make up the Qaleraliq glaciers, we cross the fjord to pitch camp on the beach which faces this colossal amphitheater which hangs from the Inlandis. By now we are used to the thunder claps of ice exploding, either from within the glacial cracks or the seracs that collapse into the sea… how small I feel in my kayak! After a break, we trek to Lake Tasersuatsiaq, climbing to where the fisherman finds trout and the observer a privileged vista of the infinite Inlandis or the inland ice sheet of Greenland. Night in tents.

kayaking trips in greenland qaleraliq glacier

Day 5. Ice hike

After breakfast and packing the tents, we sail to the end of the fjord (4 km), disembarking to enter the perpetual Inlandis ice sheet. It is a steady and easy climb along the last glacier tongue, enjoying the sights of the rimayas or large transverse cracks, as we approach the great moraine (mixture of ice and sediment) that leads to the 2,500 kilometers of icy plateau to the north of the island. In the afternoon we are sailing again, this time passing three glaciers in the direction Akulariuseq (Caribou Island), where we set up camp after having paddled about 10 kilometers. Camping overnight.

kayaking in greenland trips ice hiking

Day 6. Ikerssuaq Fjord

We are about 25 kilometers and two rest stops from Qingaarsuup Island, where we began the journey and where we are heading to today. To do this, after going around Maniitsoq Island (meaning rough terrain), we take a new route to the large northeasterly Ikersuaq fjord, facing again the colossal icebergs of the Eqaloruutsit glacier. This is also a seal area and where the chances of seeing whales are greatest… Pay close attention to the guide’s instructions! Night in tents.

kayaking trips in greenland whale

Day 7. Manitsuarsuk settlement and Narsaq City

We start the final day with diagonally crossing the 8 km of the Ikersuaq fjord towards the big island of Tuttutooq where we shelter in Stephensens Bay and visit the inuit ruins of Manitsuarsuk (settlement of fishermen and hunters, inhabited until the eighteenth century). Our kayaking will continue towards Narsaq or we might be ending here and be transferred by boat to Narsaq... Where we will find being back in civilization almost exotic! Once settled in the hostel off we can do some shopping or visit the museum, the fish market, the church, etc. Dinner the last night in Narsaq, usually in a restaurant, is not included in the tour price but, of course, it is possible to use the hostel kitchen. Overnight stay at the Kayak Hostel.

Day 8. Transfer to Narsarsuaq and Flight

In the morning we take the zodiac to Narsarsuaq, where after checking-in at the airport, you can visit the Bluie West One Museum, former US militay base frozen in time since the second world war.

Optional: Qooroq ice fjord excursion. The Qooroq is one of the most active glaciers that can be found in southern Greenland. We will navigate to the area where iceberg density will make it impossible to carry on, and which is without doubt one of Greenland’s best images (566 DKK or 76 € per person, 6 participants minimum).

Flight from Narsarsuaq to Keflavik (Iceland’s international airport) or Copenhagen.

Prices:

2,095 €  from Keflavik, Iceland  (round-trip ticket included)

2,395 €  from Copenhagen, Denmark  (round-trip ticket included)

June departures: special  discount 100 € off

Send a enquiry  to check available dates in 2018 for this trip

From (date) To (date) Departure Price in Euros Availability
Jun 16, 2018Sep 04, 2018From Iceland€2095Available
Jun 26, 2018Aug 28, 2018From Copenhagen€2395Available

Physical requirements

This trip has been planned so that anyone in reasonably good physical condition can participate.  The stages include 3 to 5 hours of rowing (15 to 20 km a day) with frequent stops and rest periods. However, it is recommended that exercises for strengthening arms and building endurance are done for at least one month before the trip.  

In the two-person kayaks, those in better shape will be paired with those who are a little less fit, so that the group can be balanced. The trip is not recommended only for those with serious back problems, due to the difficulties that can result from carrying the kayaks from the beach to the water and back.

The ice trek is organised to be suitable for all travellers.

Difficulty

The kayaks are stable, wide and safe, so it is not necessary to have had prior kayaking experience in order to participate in our trip.  Those participants with prior experience in kayaking may choose to do the trip in an individual kayak (ask Greenland Net before the trip).

The expedition is carried out in direct contact with Nature, without any contact with civilisation from the time we leave Narsaq until our return.

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Ready to travel?

Call + 00299 52 28 22
info@greenland.net

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Our commitments

Environmental sustainability. We believe in a responsible tourism with unspoilt nature of Greenland, so all our trips are planned to have the least possible impact on the environment.

Safety. All our guides are expert about Greenland and know when either it is or it is not convinient to carry out an activity. Our safety records are unmatchable.

Local population. Our Inuit Climate Change Patrol   ensures the maintanance of Inuit traditions by involving local people in utilization of a sustainable tourism.

Inuit Windsled 

To collaborate in the deepest knowledge of the most unfamiliar places on the planet and do so without affecting ecosystems. This is the philosophy that marks the Inuit Windsled Project, the only totally ecological vehicle designed for research in Polar lands.

Based on the ancient knowledge of the Inuit peoples, the Windsled developers have managed to create a means of transportation that combines tradition with modern means through kites that harness aeolian energy.

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Inuit Climate Change Patrol;

In Thule today sled dogs are still used and the inhabitants go in search of their livelihood in cloth-lined kayaks, but we are witnessing the last generation of true Inuit hunters. Most of these people are between 45 and 60 years old and the next generation aren’t continuing in these traditions… Are we witnessing  the last dynasty of the Kings of Thule?  

This fear is the germ of the Inuit Climate Change Patrol, current project led by Ramon Larramendi (founder of Greenland.net)

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