East Greenland Explorer

Greg Mortimer Luxury Expidition Cruise Ship
Greg Mortimer
120 Passengers
Adventure Options

East Greenland is one of the most isolated habitations in the world. Along the more than 12,430 miles (20,000 km) of coastline you’ll only encounter two towns and 5 small settlements, inhabited by no more than 3,500 people. An awesome wilderness of more than 563,000 sq mi (1,457,000 km²) including the world's largest national park, East Greenland offers fantastic possibilities for great adventures. In East Greenland, steep mountains rise from the sea and giant white and blue icebergs float in deep fjords. Only 120 years ago, there was no connection between East and West Greenland. Therefore, the culture, traditions, and even language are different between inhabitants of the east and west.

Discover the world’s largest fjord system in East Greenland. Zodiac cruise and kayak along sounds filled with spectacular icebergs calved from glaciers of Greenland’s enormous ice cap. Rock-climbers will thrill to the adventure of scaling some of the world’s least explored and dazzling mountain ranges. On shore, encounter colorful tundra on hikes and meet friendly Inuit locals who still practice a traditional hunting and fishing lifestyle.

Expedition Highlights
• Zodiac cruise amongst colorful and giant sculptured icebergs in the world’s largest fjord system, Scoresbysund
• Meet Inuit locals at Ittoqqortoormiit, Greenland’s remotest and northernmost inhabited settlement
• Kayak in waters teeming with whales and ringed, harp and hooded seals
• Encounter muskox and perhaps arctic foxes on hikes through colorful tundra
• Listen out for the crackling and popping of sea ice and the thunderous roar of calving glaciers
• Summit majestic and untouched mountains climbed by privileged few (additional cost)

Brief Itinerary

Day 1 Reykjavik, Iceland
Day 2 Drive Reykjavik to Akureyri
Day 3 At Sea
Days 4 to 11 East Greenland
Day 12 Denmark Strait
Day 13 Disembark in Akureyri, transfer to Reykjavik

Day 1 — Reykjavik, Iceland

Arrive in Reykjavik, Iceland, and make your own way to our group hotel.

Day 2 — Drive Reykjavik to Akureyri

After a leisurely breakfast, check-out of your room and board your comfortable coach for your drive on the ring road north to Akureyri, Iceland’s second largest town, where your ship the Greg Mortimer awaits. Whatever the time of year, Akureyri is a lively and energetic town, and home to around 20,000 inhabitants. It is by far the most densely populated community outside the Reykjavík area, and is the center of trade, culture and services for the north of Iceland. It is a town closely associated with educational institutions and cultural events, all of those having strong traditional roots.

The 250 mile (400 km) journey to Akureyri takes approximately six hours and you will get a glimpse of Iceland’s dramatic landscape along the way. Upon embarkation, you’ll have time to settle into your cabin before our important briefings. Spend some time out on the observation decks and say goodbye to Iceland as we sail across the Denmark Strait to Greenland.

Day 3 — At Sea

As we cross the Denmark Strait to Greenland, enjoy informative and entertaining lectures from our expert expedition team including naturalists, historians and geologists.

Days 4 to 11 — East Greenland

As we approach East Greenland we may encounter more pack ice where we may see seals and a variety of seabirds, including northern fulmar and migratory Brunnichs guillemots. This stretch of coastline is ripe for exploration, with its many secrets locked in place by drift ice for up to eight months each year. Home to polar bear, snowy owl and musk ox, it's the world's largest national park, covering 375,000 sq mi (972,000km2) most of which is inland ice and the rest a composite fjord landscape

Over the next seven days a host of choices are open to us, and depending on ice and weather conditions, the east coast of Greenland is ours to explore. Our experienced expedition team, who have made countless journeys to this area, will use their expertise to design our voyage from day to day. This allows us to make best use of the prevailing weather, ice conditions and wildlife opportunities. We will generally make up to two landings or Zodiac excursions per day; cruising along spectacular ice cliffs, following whales that are feeding near the surface.

Over the coming days, be prepared to experience ice, lots of it. East Greenland contains some of the Arctic's most impressive scenery. Deep fjords and narrow channels, flanked by sharp ice-clad peaks up to 6,560 feet (2,000 m) high. Glaciers create gigantic icebergs that drift throughout the fjord system creating breath-taking scenes. The landscape is filled with multicolored tundra home to musk oxen and Arctic hare. Throughout the area are ancient Thule archaeological sites, historical trappers' huts, and modern Inuit hunters' cabins. A highlight is a visit to the Inuit village of Ittoqqortoormiit, the most isolated and northernmost permanent settlement in the region, with approximately 450 inhabitants. The community boasts an excellent museum, gift shop, an abundance of Greenlandic sled dogs, and the opportunity to meet Inuit people.

Explore Scoresbysund, the largest fjord system in the world – a spectacular place that simply needs to be seen to be believed. North of Scoresbysund are, Kong Oscar and Kaizer Franz Josef fjords, two of the most significant fjord systems in all of Greenland, each one encompassing several smaller fjords and sounds. Thanks to the fertile volcanic soil and mountains that protects areas from the strong winds, the area is rich in wildlife. You may spot everything from muskox and arctic foxes to mountain hares and even reindeer near the fjord. Look skyward and you could catch a glimpse of birds including glaucous gull, black-legged kittiwake, northern fulmar, common raven and common eider.

We will attempt to enter Kaiser Franz Josef Fjord, a remote and rarely visited fjord system with countless opportunities for exploration within the Northeast Greenland National Park. Cruising through Kong Oskar Fjord we will marvel at the geological beauty of the mountains. We will then head south along the coast of Liverpool Land, with our passage dependent on ice conditions. We aim to reach Scoresbysund, the world’s biggest fjord and a favorite hunting ground of the local Inuit. Massive glaciers dump into this fjord, the birthplace of the famous big Greenland icebergs.

We plan to visit the remote Inuit community of Ittoqqortoormiit (Scoresby Town) and to hike across the tundra in search of ancient graveyards and summer villages occupied 3,000 years ago by Eskimos. This area provides excellent opportunities for sea kayaking in its maze of calm, interconnecting waterways. If we are lucky we may see musk oxen, Arctic hare and seals, and maybe if we are extremely lucky even a polar bear or narwhal, although due to the local hunting traditions, these sightings are often very rare.

Places we may along the east coast include:

Cape Humboldt is a beautiful bay on Ymer Island. There is a good chance to take a tundra walk and see musk oxen graze. We will also keep a lookout for Arctic fox and ptarmigan. A lone trapper's hut looks over the bay and magnificent icebergs.

Sefstrom Glacier adorns the narrow peaked waterway in Alpefjord. Enjoy Zodiac cruising and kayaking in this pretty area, where colorful Arctic flora adorns the tundra ground.

Ittoqqortoormiit is Scoresbysund’s colorful Inuit community of approximately 500 people. Here you can explore the village, the fascinating museum or sit in the beautiful Lutheran Church. The locals are friendly and from underneath their arctic fox-fur jackets, the shy young children are keen to say hello and practice their English.

Sydkap in Scoresbysund offers good walking and delightful views across the sound. Kayakers will have good opportunities to explore the lonely beaches. We may explore the ancient gravesites on the island, or the lakes with green tunnels and giant icebergs offer hours of enjoyment for kayak and Zodiac rides.

Rømerfjord
Rømer Fjord with its narrow channels and towering peaks is simply stunning, and lies roughly 100 miles (167 km) south of Scoresbysund. There are great hiking options in the fjord where flowering tundra plants, scattered bones of whales and muskox from centuries of hunting by the Inuit, and fumaroles can be found. These are areas where heated groundwater boil to the surface creating bubbling pools and mineral formations as the water reacts with the atmosphere.

Rode Ø
Rode Ø island is a glorious place for Zodiac cruising, hiking and kayaking, with its rich red Devonian sandstone geology. Discover the impressive mafic dyke that runs through the east side of Rode Ø. Glaucous gulls find perfect perches and nesting sites along the top of the basalt extrusions. Kayak along the maze of icebergs - pillars and arches, caves and peaks that look as though an artist had sculpted them.

Hare Fjord
The scenery here is breathtaking. Walk across the tundra alongside a ravine or Zodiac cruise where you might find musk ox, along with flitting shore birds, seals and a variety of colors in the lush Arctic tundra. Kayakers can enjoy sublime paddling in one of the most remote fjords in the world. Nearby is the spectacular and impressive Ø Fjord, a perfect place for small ship cruising.

Nordvest Fjord
If mountains rising 4,000 ft (1,200 m) straight out of the water wasn’t enough, how about the fjord itself, descending to 5,000 ft (1,500 m)? There are also countless icebergs pouring out of the Daugård-Gensen Glacier. A great place for kayaking and Zodiac cruising with plenty of gorgeous bergs while the glacier itself, seemingly small from a distance, proved to be a formidable river of ice snaking down the valley.

Eskimobugt
No one can state the exact age of the neo-Eskimo site at Eskimobugt, but it may only be a few hundred years old. Subterranean winter houses designed with a tunnel that faces the sea where occupants would crawl through to the stand-up living chamber; at the opposite end is the sleeping platform. The walls were erected with carefully laid stones while the roof structure would be built from whatever material was available - driftwood, walrus bone, and available skin covering. Fire hearths were created by laying rocks in a circle with a bed of white quartzite stones. Learn from our historian about the incredible resourcefulness of the Inuit people whose men travelled formidable distances by kayak to hunt, and whose women crafted sophisticated garments from animal skins and fur – a people for whom survival in such extremes was paramount. Hiking here offers panoramic views, sightings of musk ox and, occasionally, Arctic hare.

Skipperdalen
See some of the most striking sedimentary sandstone, shale and siltstone formations imaginable. The alternating colors and patterns in the layers of rocks defied belief, and the layers of sediment here are estimated to have taken about 4,000 years to be laid down. You can also find the remains of a simple but highly effective wooden fox trap in use by Norwegian trappers in both Greenland and Svalbard from the early 1900s to 1960s. Skippendalen is also a marvelous place to hike and paddle in kayaks.

Other possible landing points in the area include:
Rypefjord • Nordenskjöld glacier & Blomsterbugten • Alpenfjorden • FjordFonfjord • Bjorn Oya • Milne Land • Hekla Havn • Denmark Island

Day 12 — Denmark Strait

In the Denmark Strait, we sail back towards Iceland. Keep a lookout for whale blows and the many seabirds that trail our ship in the ever present Arctic winds. Enjoy the time to reflect on your recent adventures, share and exchange photos, and breathe in the fresh ocean air. As we near Iceland, we re-enter an inhabited world as we encounter fishing vessels working the coastal waters.

Day 13 — Disembark in Akureyri, transfer to Reykjavik

During the early morning we arrive into the northern Icelandic town of Akureyri. Upon disembarkation, farewell your expedition team, crew and fellow expeditioners as our buses will be waiting to transfer us back to downtown Reykjavik or to the airport.

* Itinerary may be subject to change

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International Airfare Not Included. Rates are per person, based on twin-share. Single costs are 1.7 times the twin rate in all cabin categories. Twin share, with no supplement, is available in Aurora Stateroom and Balcony Stateroom categories.

Adventure options must be pre-booked and paid for prior to start of the trip. Space is subject to availability. Some activities require experience.

Optional Activities: Kayaking $940 (Svalbard), $1,090 (FJL Explorer, Jewels of the Arctic, Arctic Discovery & Inuit Arctic and Beyond), $1,560 (High Arctic Adventure & Arctic Complete), $900 (West Greenland & Iceland Circumnavigation), Photography Free, Climbing $1,090 (Jewels of the Arctic & Arctic Complete), Snorkeling $600 (Jun 22nd & Jul 2nd).

Note: "Inuit Arctic and Beyond" is open for 160 passengers instead of the usual 120.

A $15 per person per day gratuity for the crew is automatically added to your onboard account. It is at your discretion if you would like to remove the tip (or increase/decrease the amount) when you settle your account. It is not necessary to tip the expedition team members.

Mandatory Emergency Evacuation Insurance Required. All trips subject to possible fuel surcharge.

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No trips meet your criteria. Please increase the budget above to view more results.
Click on the tour dates in the left column to view a trip itinerary. Point MOUSE at Cabin Category to view DETAILED description.

International Airfare Not Included. Rates are per person, based on twin-share. Single costs are 1.7 times the twin rate in all cabin categories. Twin share, with no supplement, is available in Aurora Stateroom and Balcony Stateroom categories.

Adventure options must be pre-booked and paid for prior to start of the trip. Space is subject to availability. Some activities require experience.

Optional Activities: Kayaking $1,150 ('Svalbard Odyssey', 'Jewels of the Arctic', 'East Greenland Explorer'), $1,190 ('Orkneys, Faroes, Jan Mayen & Svalbard', 'FJL Explorer'), $1,830 ('Arctic Complete'), $1,270 ('Inuit Arctic and Beyond'), Photography Free, Climbing $1,050 ('Jewels of the Arctic', 'East Greenland Explorer' & 'Arctic Complete'), Standup Paddleboarding $500 (('Jewels of the Arctic', 'East Greenland Explorer' & 'Arctic Complete'), Snorkeling $590 (Aug 18th, 30th & Sep 10th).

Note: "Inuit Arctic and Beyond" is open for 160 passengers instead of the usual 120.

A $15 per person per day gratuity for the crew is automatically added to your onboard account. It is at your discretion if you would like to remove the tip (or increase/decrease the amount) when you settle your account. It is not necessary to tip the expedition team members.

Mandatory Emergency Evacuation Insurance Required. All trips subject to possible fuel surcharge.

DeckPlan_GregMortimer-ship
DeckPlan_GregMortimer

         Captain's Suite *
480 Sq Ft / 44.5 m² including balcony
Deck 4
Twin or double bed • Private en-suite • Full size window • Desk area • Closet space • Private balcony • Room-controlled thermostat • Safe for storing valuables • Separate lounge area • 42" flat-screen TV
         Junior Suite *
420 Sq Ft / 38.9 m² including balcony
Deck 7
Twin or double bed • Private en-suite • Full size window • Desk area • Closet space • Private balcony • Room-controlled thermostat • Safe for storing valuables • 42" flat-screen TV • Separate lounge area
         Balcony Suite *
328-433 Sq Ft / 30.5-40.2 m² including balcony
Deck 4
Twin or double bed • Private en-suite • Full size window • Desk area • Closet space • Private balcony • Room-controlled thermostat • Safe for storing valuables • 42" flat-screen TV
         Balcony Stateroom-A, Balcony Stateroom-B, Balcony Stateroom-C
225-337 Sq Ft / 20.9--31.3 m² including balcony
Decks 4 & 6
Twin or double bed • Private En-suite • Floor to ceiling window • Desk area • Closet space • Private balcony • Room-controlled thermostat • Safe for storing valuables • 42" flat-screen TV
Many "B" staterooms are fitted with interconnecting features making them great for families or groups
         Aurora Stateroom  Twin & Triple (on select voyages)
170-245 Sq Ft / 15.8-22.8 m²
Deck 3
Twin or double bed (Three twin beds in Triple) • Private En-suite • Porthole window • Desk area • Closet space • Room-controlled thermostat • Safe for storing valuables • 42" flat-screen TV

*

      Suite benefits include:
• One free pair of binoculars per suite
• 1-hour spa treatment (per person)
• Free stocked mini bar (Balcony & Junior stocked once, Captain’s replenished as needed)
• Gratuities/tips for crew included to the value of $15 per person per day
• 1 free bottle of champagne per suite