(The following text is copied from my travel partner’s website; not my words.)
DAY 1: Your Arctic expedition begins in Reykjavik, Iceland. Meet us at the airport to take our private charter flight from the Icelandic capital to Narsarsuaq, Greenland, where you’ll embark on your ship. A scenic village deep in the Tunulliarfik Fjord, Narsarsuaq is the gateway to South Greenland, surrounded by several Norse sites and hiking trails. Get ready for a great adventure ahead!
DAYS 2-7: Nicknamed “Arctic Patagonia,” South Greenland is a region as rich in spectacular scenery as it is in history. Here, it’s easy to see why Erik the Red gave Greenland its name: Everywhere you look rewards with vistas of icy blue waters set against a breathtaking backdrop of dramatic peaks, winding coastline, crystal-clear waterfalls, and lush, verdant valleys and pastures bursting with blooms. Boasting the greatest variety of landscapes in the country, coupled with the most serene, sheltered waterways surrounded by soaring, snow-capped mountains, Greenland’s southern tip is an adventure seeker’s paradise, whether you’re a newbie kayaker or hardcore hiker.
Cruising in sublime comfort aboard the newest ship in our fleet, Ultramarine, we’ll base ourselves in and around the majestic fjords that dominate the southern and southeastern coasts, sailing deeper and exploring farther than ever before. Designed to give Polar adventurers unprecedented access to the hardest-to-reach places on the planet—and equipped with kayaks, mountain bikes and two onboard twin-engine helicopters for unparalleled access to areas only Quark Expeditions can bring you—this one-of-a-kind ship, will take you beyond the familiar in polar exploration for an ultra-immersive, ultra-adventurous Greenland experience.
A first in Polar adventure travel, this expedition has been developed sustainably in collaboration with municipal, regional and national partners to offer you the most extensive array of adventure activities (many of which are included), allowing you to curate an active adventure in Greenland that best suits you! Imagine checking off immersive bucket-list activities like paddle excursions, shore landings and Zodiac cruising in such spectacular surroundings. And thanks to our onboard helicopters, you’ll also discover the ultimate Polar expedition experience. As stunning as Polar landscapes are from your ship, they’re even more striking from the air. Conditions permitting, you may have opportunities for a heli-landing on the Greenland ice sheet and heli-hiking (flying to places we could not otherwise access for hikes suitable for all skill levels), exciting included options that are unique to Ultramarine and give you an awe-inspiring Polar experience like no other.
Since each expedition presents new opportunities and different weather and ice conditions, no two Polar voyages are alike. This voyage in particular has no fixed itinerary, which will allow your Expedition Team and our local partners to craft a voyage that provides you with the best experiences that South Greenland can offer by closely monitoring the local weather and ice conditions. Each day, your Expedition Team will plan excursions deep in the southern fjord systems. With the expertise of local partners, we will be able to showcase lesser-visited areas and take advantage of all that this Polar paradise has to offer. Your ship will continually be on the move as your Expedition Team searches for the most ideal places to venture ashore, dip our kayaks and Zodiacs in the water, or deploy our helicopters for more in-depth exploration.
Every day will be a new adventure, exploring a new fjord. Throughout your journey, you’ll head out in small, intimate groups with similar interests, multiple times a day, to some of the most remote, isolated areas of South Greenland. Here, you’ll truly unplug, recharge and experience the transformative power of travel, at your own pace. One day, you may hop in a helicopter to hike around the scenic alpine areas while quietly around the corner your shipmates are enjoying a peaceful paddle in a sheltered inlet. The next, you may be cruising along a glacier face deep in an icy fjord while others enjoy a challenging alpine hike. And the next, you may fly up to the epic Greenland ice sheet, discovering a new appreciation of the natural environment (it’s the largest ice mass in the northern hemisphere, and the second largest in the world, after Antarctica), while your shipmates leisurely stroll amid the beckoning green hills and valleys (as always, there are hiking options for all levels).
If you’re feeling extra-adventurous, our onboard helicopters will have you taking your activities up a notch, way up! They’ll drop off your small group at the start of the most scenic mountain biking trails in the world or at isolated glacial lakes high in the mountains, then pick you up wherever your explorations take you, so you’re always discovering new scenery while enjoying the tranquility of your surroundings—whether you’re exploring by kayak or on two wheels. Be sure to book your Adventure Options (extra cost) in advance, as they fill up fast. You may even opt to camp overnight in the picturesque Tasermiut Fjord for a truly immersive experience, hiking the tundra, chatting with your local hosts, even joining the camp chef to forage for dinner ingredients and, if you’re lucky, viewing the dazzling colors of the Polar twilight in the evening (extra cost).
However you decide to explore—by sea, land or air—Ultramarine gives you unrivaled access to the unbelievably breathtaking beauty that is South Greenland. Meals included: breakfast lunch dinner
DAY 8: Before you depart on your charter flight back to Reykjavik in the early evening, we hope to spend the day visiting the sites surrounding Narsarsuaq. Possible destinations include the villages of Igaliku, where you can wander the ruins of the Gardar cathedral, the largest church in Greenland in the Middle Ages. We may also stop at Brattahlíð to explore the remains of Erik the Red’s estate. Upon landing back at Reykjavik’s international airport, you will be transferred to a hotel in nearby Keflavik. Meals included: breakfast lunch dinner
DAY 9: Today, you can make your way home at your leisure or continue your independent explorations of Iceland. Meals included: breakfast
Our twin-engine helicopters will transfer you to the start of the most scenic hiking routes of Southern Greenland and then pick you up at the end point of the route. Each heli-hiking departure will be tailored to your personal needs and level of interests. You may choose to join one of our fast walking groups who will go for exploration and distance, one of our medium hiking routes where there will be plenty of time to stop for photography and reflection, or explore at a slower pace with ample time to enjoy the scenery and immerse yourself in your surroundings.
Ice Sheet Experience:
Ascend high above the cascading coastal glaciers onto the immense polar plateau of the Greenland Ice Sheet (the second-largest ice mass in the world) and take in the immensity of this overwhelming landscape. An excursion on one of Ultramarine’s two twin-engine helicopters means you’ll have a view of the Ice Sheet that very few other humans have ever experienced. You’ll learn about the dynamics of this environment from our team of glaciologists while you explore this vast, seldom-visited body of ice.
Sign up for a one-time paddle on our stable sit-on-top kayaks—perfect for anyone with minimal or no kayaking experience. Rotating groups of passengers will be taken out on calm days, with our expert guides always present to provide instruction and help connect you with the Polar sea.
Optional Adventures (extra cost):
Our expert kayak guides will take you beyond to remote glacial lakes high in the upper alpine zones of Southern Greenland. Find yourself in complete tranquility as you pioneer the untouched and raw beauty of these isolated lakes. Once deployed by our helicopters, you will find yourself immersed in the most remote corners of this area of Greenland.
Feeling like a more active adventure? Our team has joined with local partners to identify incredible mountain biking routes through the stunning scenery of South Greenland. Ultramarine’s twin- engine helicopters will take you to the best terrain to start your adventure and be there to pick you up at the end of your route so you’re always covering new terrain along the way. Heli-Mountain Biking outings last 4 to 6 hours with approximately 2 to 3 hours of pedal time. Participants must be fit, and intermediate to intermediate-strong mountain bikers. Riders should expect a combination of singletrack and remote gravel roads. Riders should be able to roll over small obstacles (like roots or rocks), and shift gears comfortably when anticipating and responding to changing terrain.
Greenland Camp Experience:
Join local hosts at Tasermiut Camp, one of the most exclusive camps in Greenland. Our local guides will lead you on an immersive experience through the wonders of their homeland. Spend ample time, in intimate groups, walking through the beautiful landscapes and pristine valleys, roam the tundra with a local chef who will show you fresh ingredients and then prepare an incredible meal together. Overnight at the camp and, if conditions are right, experience the magnificent colors of the polar twilight which will bring the beautiful mountainous surroundings into full effect.
9 Days, from $7,995 (2021 pricing); does NOT include the roundtrip private charter flight between Reykjavik, Iceland and Narsarsuaq, Greenland.