Thule Dogsled Expedition

The Thule region is the northernmost inhabited area in the world and  the last place that still conserves the Inuit traditional way of life: dog sledding and the use of traditional kayak. This expedition will provide you the exclusive opportunity to share with Inuit this traditional way of life. Once you leave the modern and comfortable accommodation of Thule town, you will travel a century back: a really traditional Inuit trip to the past!

Dog sled route in Thule, Greenland

As Trip Highlights:

  • Experiment a traditional dog sled expedition in one of the most remote areas of the Arctic:  the breathtaking Avanarssuaq area.  The route will pass through the irregular surface and sometimes chaotic sea ice, with numerous icebergs trapped within. All flanked by mountains crowned by huge flat glaciers, from which ice tongues encased between rock cliffs flow to  the sea​​.
  • Explore the breathtaking Avanarssuaq area in spring season, full of mountains, glaciers, and ice-floes full of icebergs, one of the most exclusive and least visited regions in the world.
  • This trip is a unique opportunity to experience the eternal Arctic from the turn  of the century in which man with dogs and hunting skills had to face hostile nature in daily living.  

Day 1: Flight Copenhagen-Ilulissat.

Arrival in Ilulissat. Transfer to the hotel and check-in.  Guided City tour:  Ilulissat is the capital of dog sledding in Greenland and he activity will be notably seen in all around the city as there is no house without dogs or sledges.  In Greenlandic, its name means “icebergs”; this is why you will be impressed by the infinity of ice surrounding the Ilulissat coast and sometimes blocking the access to its harbor.  Time to discover Ilulissat by your own.  Overnight at hotel.

Ilulissat visit before reach Thule

Day 2: Flight from Ilulissat to Thule (Qaanaaq)

Arrival to Thule and transfer to the hotel for check-in.  Time to discover Qaanaaq by your own, town with around  500 people and which is the most relevant in the district.  Briefing meeting with Inuit hunters and preparation of the equipment for the start of dog sledding expedition on the following day.  Night at hotel.

Thule Greenland expedition Qaanaaq

Days 3 to 6: Dog sledding and kayaking expedition – Narwhal hunting

During the route each participant will be accompanied by an Inuit guide on dogsled. The group shall consist of between 5 and 9 dog strips, with over 100 dogs for the group. The journey will be in absolute autonomy without snowmobile support, progressing mainly as they used to 100 years ago.  The itinerary will take us first to Ice cap in front of Qaanaaq town, exactly in Qaanaaq Peninsula’s coast. Every traveller will share with the Greenlandic hunter a traditional sledge in which is tied the kayak to be used for narwhal catching.  Our destination is Siorapaluk town, the northernmost Inuit settlement nowadays inhabited by no more than 50 Greenlandic settlers.

Thule Greenland dogsled expedition start

In our way from Siorapaluk town to Kiatak island  we will be looking for the area in which we can distinguish the limit between the Ice and the sea. Is in that area where we will be able to see and find the big marine mammals such as walrus and narwhal.  In order to choose the spot with the best visibility to localize these mammals, hunters move with their sledges from one area to another and look over all around from blocked icebergs and also from the coast of bay’s islands.

Thule Greenland inuit

This expedition is held in North Greenland with latitude between 81º and 82º. This means that there is a total of 24 hours sunny days! Mid sun night is seen every day; however, the group will be able to rest in the tents that should be installed over the sledges and sustained by harpoons. Tents used to be heated with camping stoves that are used to cook too.

Inuit hunters used to go hunting in group and help each other while catching for walrus or narwhal.  Once they find a group of Narwhals, immediately they try to anticipate their trajectory, leave the sledges and tie up the dogs. They wear their kayak clothing and get in the water.  Once on board of their kayaks built by themselves, they try stealthily to simulate an ice block.  Once they approach, hunters go paddling quickly and try to catch them throwing their harpoons.  Sometimes, it takes several hours to immobilise these mammals.

Thule greenland narwhals hunting

During these days, you will be surprised by the contrast between this ancient World and ours.  This will be really an opportunity to be surrounded by an overwhelming nature in which adventurers, inuit hunters and dogs, are exploring the ice-floes looking to survive: this is a translation to a world which is already almost extinguished! Greenland.net  aim is to conserve this traditional way of life through adventure.

Thule Greenland resting time during the crossing

Day 7: Way back to Qaanaaq (Thule)

After a whole 5 days dog sledding,  we will go back to the modern and comfortable life. Overnight stay in hotel.

Thule Greenlann dog resting

Day 8: Qaanaaq city visit

Free time to discover the town, his history and visit the museum. You will discover almost all infrastructure that ensure the best operation of this polar town.  Optional activity:  Possibility to get an excursion to the Inlandis.  Overnight stay in hotel.

Thule Greenland way back to Qaanaaq

Day 9: Flight way back to Ilulissat

Return to Ilulissat and check-in the hotel. Free time to visit  the town beautifully situated at the mouth of the almost 60 km long ice fjord, filled with enormous icebergs from the most productive glacier in the northern hemisphere, Sermeq Kujalleq.  Overnight stay in hotel.

Day 10: Arrival to Copenhagen

Transfer to the airport for departure flight back to Copenhagen.

IMPORTANT   NOTICE

The route may be subject to modifications due to changing ice conditions at this time of the year. Therefore, the itinerary is merely indicative.  

Due to severe weight limitations on airplanes, aircrafts and dogsleds, it is important not to carry personal luggage weighing over 15 kilos (33 lbs) per person.

April and May 2018.

Send a enquiry  to check available dates  for this trip 

From (date) To (date) Departure Price in Euros Availability
Apr 03, 2018May 08, 2018From Copenhagen€5495Available

Physical Condition

This trip, considered as “active”, is physically challenging but it is designed so that it is suitable for anyone who enjoys the outdoors, who doesn’t mind sleeping in a tent and goes skiing, hiking or trekking on a regular basis.  Adventurers should be prepared for long dog sled daily itinerary and sometimes go running just close to sledges.  The daily itinerary includes between 3-4 to 6-7 effective dog sled activity.

Difficulty

It is not necessary to have had prior experience in dog sled in order to participate in the trip as Inuit hunter will be in charge of the sledges.  However, the cold and possible changes in the weather conditions, may convert the tour difficult.

Ready to travel?

Request a reservation or more information about this experience

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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.

learn more

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)

learn more