Greenland Arctic Fjordscapes
The east coast of Greenland is a rugged wilderness. Only 3,500 people, scattered among small villages and settlements, inhabit its 2,600 kilometres of striking coastline. This is the Arctic with all its breath-taking beauty and iconic scenery, the domain of some of the world’s greatest arctic expeditions of the previous century. Join the expedition sailing yacht the Aurora and its crew on a spectacular journey along this stunning and pristine wilderness coast.
The following description gives an idea of how a day-to-day plan might materialize:
This trip is suitable for anyone interested in experiencing the magic of late summer in Greenland onboard our expedition sailing yacht the Aurora. We will visit the big Sermilik ice-fjord, walk the streets of Tasiilaq and cruise the sounds and channels between the villages of Tiniteqilaq, Kummiut and Sermiligaq.
We may visit the abandoned WWII military base (Bluie East 2) and spend nights in spectacular, remote anchorages.This is early autumn in the Arctic and the northern lights will surely light up the night sky for us. We will feel the winter approaching and it will be quite possible to see a sprinkle of fresh snow on the mountaintops. The trip will start and end in the village of Kulusuk, from which there are daily flights to Iceland and other parts of Greenland.
This is not a “sailing trip”. We will of course cruise under sail whenever conditions allow but the Expedition sailboat Aurora primarily serves as our movable backcountry hut, the best option to access interesting and exciting destinations and enjoy great activities on land and at sea. At the end of the day she will await us with gourmet meals, warm and comfortable bunks, and friendly conversation.
Dates and prices for 2021
- Yacht costs
- Services of guides and crew
- All food whilst onboard, except alcohol
- Use of wet weather sailing clothing
- Use of sea kayaks
- International and domestic flights to Iceland and Greenland
- Accommodation in Kulusuk
- Personal clothing
- Personal insurance
- Any costs incurred through missed or delayed flights
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´ll 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
- Thermal underwear, at least two sets of shirts.
- Wool/fleece thermal mid layer.
- Hiking pants. We recommend no cottons as they take long to dry if wet.
- Waterproof and breathable pants and jacket for hiking onshore. We also have heavy duty sailing pants and jackets that you are free to use.
- Non marking sailing boots or regular boots. Fine thread will grip the deck better when wet than deep thread. No need to buy something expensive here. You can find nice boots/wellingtons in gardening stores or boat chandleries that don´t cost too much. Just make sure you can wear thick socks.
- One pair of gloves and one pair of warm mittens.
- 3 to 4 pairs thick wool/synthetic socks.
- Down or synthetic jacket is nice to have for the afternoon chill.
- Casual clothes to wear ashore.
- Boat shoes or slippers for below decks.
- Hiking boots (Vibram sole). Need to be high up on the ancle for support.
- Summer rated sleeping bag.
- Soft travel bag (no hard suitcases).
- Dark sun glasses.
- Sunscreen/after sun cream.
- About 30L backpack for day walks.
- Personal medical kit to include personal medication and i.e. band aids, throat lozenges, lip salves, sea-sickness tablets etc. Don't forget regular medication you may need (e.g. Asthma, bring your inhaler, even if you do not always need it).
- 1 litre water bottle.
- Don't forget your camera!