Kayak and Ice Hike 15 days

Using soundless kayaks in total autonomy, we can enjoy about 100 miles of independent kayaking in an almost unexplored wilderness with a maze of islands and jutting headlands, before moving on to the Qaleraliq glacier, an amphitheater comparable only to the Perito Moreno in Patagonia. From there, we climb to the vicinity of the mythical Inlandis plateau, the second largest glacier in the world.

Greenland kayaking route map

As expedition highlights:

  • Enticing navigation among ice, icebergs and glaciers amid an environment that is in complete harmony with untamed nature, thanks to isolation and self-reliant independence.
  • A chance to climb up to the Inlandis, the second largest glacier in the world. All of this surrounded by a lunar-type landscape and majestic views of glacier tongues and Nunataks.
  • Sighting of local fauna such as eagles, caribou, foxes, arctic hares, seals and even whales.
  • Witnessing the northern lights, the “dance of the sky”, from one of the world’s most special areas. Since mid August onwards.
  • Visit to some Greenland Inuit settlements and Viking historical places.
  • Fishing for salmon and cod, mushroom and cranberry picking in July/August (especially during the second half of August), and mussel gathering for the group to eat.
  • The expedition is carried out in touch with nature; no contact with civilisation will be made from the time we leave Narsaq until our return to this settlement.

Day 1. Narsaq city, South Greenland

Three-hour flight from Keflavik (Iceland’s international airport) or from Copenhagen to Narsarsuaq (Greenland) with spectacular views of the glacier tongues and the huge southern Greenland ice-sheet… We are in the Arctic now! Welcome at the airport by our English speaking guide and an hours crossing by high-powered zodiac to the city of Narsaq. 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.

Greenland kayaking trip, Narsaq kayak store

Days 2 to 4. Nice Tuttutooq Island

After leaving the Narsaq peninsula behind, we will travel through a setting of low-slung islands, with waterfalls and alongside leafy tundra which deeply contrasts with the blue and white of the icebergs. We travel parallel to the coast with the constant presence of seals, doing some hiking and sheltered by the islands until we reach the cabin of Ujaraq, a local fisherman. We will then gather mussels for the group to eat. Longer route around Tuttutooq or shorter crossing through the island will be decided depending on weather and ice conditions. Nights spent in a tent. Opportunity of observing the northern lights in the peacefulness of the night (since mid of August).

Greenland kayaking trip, Tuttutooq island and icebergs

Greenland kayaking trip, camp at night

Days 5 and 6. Torsukattak fjord zone

Today we challenge the crossing of the great Ikerssuaq fjord... We are in shape now! The Ikerssuaq is often plagued by ice and, with luck, visited by whales. We spend two days skirting the coast in a northeast direction through an area relatively unchartered by kayakers, approaching the mouth of the Torsukattak fjord and its islands until we reach the Qaleraliq Fjord. Nights spent in a tent.

Greenland kayaking Ikerssuaq fjord

South Greenland kayaking trip, whale in Ikerssuaq fjord

Day 7. Head towards Qaleraliq glacier fronts

Navigation through Qaleraliq Fjord is a beautiful 9 miles (15 km) sail along the cliffs before reaching the Qaleraliq Glacier with its three glacier tongues nearly 10 kilometers wide and, clearly,  the most impressive in all Southern Greenland. It goes without saying that the spectacle, seen and heard from our silent kayaks, is awesome… Still surprised by the intermittent roar of cracking or seracs collapsing into the sea, we set up camp on a sandy beach. After a break, we trek up to Lake Tasersuatsiaq, where we have a privileged view point of the infinite Inlandis or Greenlandic ice-cap. We are in caribou, arctic fox and hare country. Night spent in a tent.

Greenland kayaking trip, reaching Qaleraliq glacier

Day 8. Ice exploration: just ice beneath us

After breakfast and dismantling the tents, we sail to the end of the fjord, disembarking to enter the perpetual Inlandis ice-sheet. It is about four hours of hiking, enjoying the sights of the rimayas or large transverse cracks, as we reach the great moraine (mixture of ice and sediment) following our guide’s instructions. The return journey will take us back to our kayaks, where we set camp for the night. Night spent in a tent.  

Greenland kayaking trip, ice hike on the Qaleraliq glacier

Days 9 and 10. Qaleraliq glacier Fronts and Sermiat Naajaat

The nine is probably the most spectacular day: we travel by kayak around all the Qaleraliq glaciers to set up camp on nearby Caribou Island. Once we backtrack Qaleraliq Fjord, we set sail in a north-eastern direction, circumnavigating the Caribou island (Akuliaruseq) to visit the two Naajaat   Sermiat area glaciers. The ten is the day we cover the most ground but by now our muscles are up to the challenge! Nights spent in a tent.

Greenland kayaking trip, Qaleraliq glacier fronts

Day 12. Qingaarsuup Island

Today we head towards Qingaarsuup Island, our second last objective. We camp next to a cabin and have an easy hike up to get a unique view of the Inlandis and much of the route traveled during the previous days. By now we are already expert salmon fishermen and gatherers of mussels, mushrooms and wild blueberries (from August), tasty and rich in vitamin C. Night spent in a tent.

Greenland kayaking trip, eating mussels

Day 13. Stephensen Havn and Narsaq town

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). After eating we head off to Narsaq town, where we will find being back in civilization almost exotic! 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.

Kayaking Greenland, Narsaq area

Day 14.  Stay in Narsaq or Optional Excursion to Qaqortoq and Hvalsoy Church

Free time to visit Narsaq town: the museum, the inuit market, the church or the leather shop. Option of a small hike to nearby mountains.

Optional: Excursion to Qaqortoq town (125 €) and the norse ruins of Hvalsoy Church (180 €)

Boat transfer to Qaqortoq, described as the most charming town in all Greenland. Time to take a stroll around the city, while you enjoy the beauty of its colourful buildings and the awe-inspiring landscapes. Explore on your own the museum, the fur shops, the traditional kayak club, the church or the only fountain in the country. Then, we will pursue our sailing from Qaqortoq to visit the best preserved norse ruins in Greenland. We sail past the large island of Arpatsivik, the norse “Hvalsey” or Whale Island, and into the Hvalseyfjördur, where the church ruins stand in a quiet and peaceful setting. In the afternoon, boat transfer way back to Narsaq.

Overnight stay at the Kayak Hostel in Narsaq.

Day 15. Boat transfer to Narsarsuaq. Optional Helicopter Excursion before flight.

Boat transfer from Narsaq to Narsarsuaq, where we have time to walk around in the area or visit the Bluie West One museum, US militay base frozen in time since the Second World War. Also it is possible to enjoy a unforgettable helicopter flight over viewing the South Greenland’s fjord system surrounded by the polar ice cap. This is a 32 minutes flight with a 30 minutes ground stop on a fantastic and unique view point, very close to the ice cap. Price: 2.980 DKK (400 €) per person (minimum 4 participants). The helicopter trip depends upon availability of air craft. Need to be reserved with some days in advance.

Flight Narsarsuaq-Keflavik (Iceland’s international airport) or Copenhaguen.

Prices:

2,395 €  from Keflavik, Iceland  (round-trip ticket included)

2,695 €  from Copenhagen, Denmark  (round-trip ticket included)

From (date) To (date) Departure Price in Euros Availability
Jun 27, 2017Jul 11, 2017From Iceland€2395Available
Jun 27, 2017Jul 11, 2017From Copenhagen€2695Available
Jul 13, 2017Jul 27, 2017From Iceland€2395Available
Jul 13, 2017Jul 27, 2017From Copenhagen€2695Available
Aug 01, 2017Aug 15, 2017From Iceland€2395Available
Aug 01, 2017Aug 15, 2017From Copenhagen€2695Available
Aug 17, 2017Aug 31, 2017From Iceland€2395Available
Aug 17, 2017Aug 31, 2017From Copenhagen€2695Available
Aug 29, 2017Sep 12, 2017From Iceland€2395Available
Aug 29, 2017Sep 12, 2017From Copenhagen€2695Available

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.

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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