Southern Greenland: On the Trail of the Vikings - 14 Days

Onboard Sylvia Earle – 132 passengers

Experience the enormity of Greenland – the world’s largest island – where jagged peaks pierce azure skies, and countless glaciers snake their way towards the coast. Delight in hikes across tundra in search of arctic fox and reindeer, tasting delicious wild berries along the way. Zodiac-cruise along fjords where you might glimpse ringed seals lazing on sea ice calved from Greenland’s enormous ice sheets—the largest in the Arctic, and perhaps encounter whales feeding in the nutrient-rich waters. Green pastures in south Greenland signal the presence of human settlement, and where Viking ruins of Erik the Red still stand at Hvalsey. Weaving through the fjords and channels, we enter west Greenland, the country’s most developed region, home to the nation’s capital, Nuuk and the world’s northernmost capital.

Voyage Highlights:

  • Venture deep into Kangertitivatsiaq Fjord on Greenland’s remote east coast
  • Sail along Prince Christian Sound, surrounded by towering mountains with glaciers that calve directly into the sea
  • Enjoy thrilling Zodiac excursions to glacier fronts and watch for tail flukes from diving whales
  • At the National Museum in Nuuk, see the fascinating exhibit of the Qilakitsoq mummies dating back 545 years

Tour Dates


Day 1: Arrive in Reykjavik, Iceland
Having made your way to Reykjavik, you will be met by a representative and transferred to our group hotel. The remainder of your time is at leisure. All meals today are at your own expense. Accommodation: Fosshotel Reykjavik (or similar)

Day 2: Embarkation
Breakfast and check-out. Join our guided Golden Circle and Geothermal Energy tour. With 85% of it’s electricity sourced from renewable sources, Iceland sets an outstanding example when it comes to sustainable energy. Our journey takes us to the famous seismic sights of the Golden Circle route – Gullfoss waterfall, Geysir, and history-rich Thingvellir National Park, before we experience first-hand how green, sustainable energy is produced at one of the largest single-site geothermal power plants on the planet at the Geothermal Energy Exhibition and Ljósafossvirkjun Power Station. We’ll also spend time at a true eco-village. Powered with thermal and solar energy, Sólheimar is fully sustainable, boasting greenhouses and forestry programmes, while it’s sustainable workshops are dedicated to candle-making, carpentry, weaving and soap-making. Late afternoon we return to Reykjavik for embarkation.

Day 3: At Sea
Crossing the Greenland Sea, we sail through the Polar Basin’s nutrient-rich waters, searching for encroaching pack ice, fin whales and seabirds. Our team of experts entertains us with informative talks about sea ice, glaciers, European arctic plants and animals and epic tales of early explorers such as Nansen, Andreé and Scoresby.

Day 4: Kangertitivatsiaq Fjord
Popular among skilled rock climbers, Kangertitivatsiaq Fjord is home to spectacular mountain peaks and essential big walls that attract daring climbers. A new discovery for Aurora Expeditions in 2022, the 26-kilometre (16-mile) fjord is filled with glaciers including the Glacier of France. It’s an ideal place for ship cruising, Zodiac excursions and discovery hikes. 

Day 5: Skjoldungen Island
Continue south along Greenland’s King Frederik VI Coast, always on the lookout for whales, especially the rare sperm whale that is occasionally seen here. Weaving through the narrow channels of Skjoldungen Fjord we land at the end of the fjord for a walk along a glacial river, across a tundra valley covered in northern willow and blooming pink wildflowers. Kayakers can paddle across the front of a tidewater glacier, search for harp seals, ivory gulls and whales. Back on board, enjoy the stunning surrounds with a drink in hand basked in the soft light of the setting sun.

Day 6: Prince Christian Sound
Prince Christian Sound connects the Labrador Sea with the Irminger Sea. Approximately 100 km / 60 mi long, and, in parts, as narrow as 500-m (600-ft) wide, the fjord is flanked by jagged mountain peaks, some reaching over 2,200 m (7,200 ft) high, with countless glaciers coming all the way down to the sea. We slow-cruise through the sound to enjoy the spectacular scenery. Icebergs sculpted into fantastic shapes often block the entrance to the sound, a great spectacle for photography.

Day 7: Aappilattoq, Tasermiut Fjord, Klosterdal
Aappilattoq is a small settlement that lies in the southern section of a sound. Aappilattoq means red in Greenlandic, and the town is named after the red mountains rising above it. Aappilattoq is well-known in Greenland for the jagged mountain peaks that surround it—a delight for photographers. The towering, jagged mountains that surround Tasermiut Fjord is why it’s often referred to as the ‘Patagonia of the north’. At Klosterdal, we are surrounded by three giant mountains – Napasorsuaq, Ketil and Nalumasortoq. Here we can walk to a Norse ruin, hike along the valley, or explore the bay by kayak.

Day 8: Nanortalik, Uunartoq
Continue to Nanortalik, the southernmost town in Greenland, located on an island of the same name. Its name derives from the West Greenlandic word ‘Nanoq’ meaning ‘the place where bears pass through,’ describing the polar bears that were once seen floating past on sea ice. Deep fjords, woodlands and grasslands, and rugged mountainside cliffs, some over 1,000 m /3,280 ft, attract enthusiastic climbers from around the world.

On arrival, you’ll receive a warm welcome from the local community who have opened up their town for you to explore. Nanortalik is a town that’s known for their love of singing and you’ll be treated to choir performance. Visit Nanortalik Church, a wooden, Danish Lutheran church built in 1916 and is currently the only church serving the Nanortalik congregation. The church is in the old colonial quarter of the town. Next to the church is a landmark boulder called the ‘Knud Rasmussen Stone,’ named after Greenland’s most famous citizen, Dr Knud Rasmussen, an explorer and ethnologist.

Day 9: Hvalsey, Qaqortoq
Hvalsey Church is the best-preserved Norse ruin in Greenland. ‘Hvalsey’ is old Norse for ‘Whale Island.’ Christianity arrived in Greenland around 1,000 AD and gradually churches began to be built. Late medieval documents indicate there were up to 14 parish churches in the Eastern Settlement. Hvalsey itself was built in the early 14th century, but it was not the first church built on this site.

After exploring Hvalsey ruins, continue to Qaqortoq, where our Zodiacs shuttle us ashore. Qaqortoq is the capital of South Greenland. With a history dating back to 1775, the town offers various cultural activities and attractions including an outdoor art project called “Man and Stone,’ which features stone carvings scattered throughout the town created by local artists. Qaqortoq is Greenland’s southernmost town and is the administrative centre of the south Greenland. Built from yellow stone, and dating back to 1804, the building that now houses the Qaqortoq Museum originally belonged to the town’s blacksmith. Qaqortoq’s landmark building is the Church of our Saviour. This large wooden Lutheran church, known as the ‘Red Church’, is in the historic part of town, near the harbour.

Day 10: Itilleq, Igaliku
Nestled on the shores of Davis Strait, the town of Itilleq is located on a small island only 2 km (1.2 mi) north close to the Arctic Circle. The island has no freshwater, so they have to make their own freshwater from a desalinisation facility. The Davis Strait is Itilleq’s major geographical feature. As a northern arm of the Labrador Sea, it stretches from the middle of Greenland to parts of Nunavut, Canada in the High Arctic. The numerous glaciers along the Davis Strait are an impressive sight, and while they may not be as impressive in size as the larger glaciers found in other parts of Greenland, the sheer volume of them here is impressive. A self-guided hike through town reveals the beautiful, coloured houses, colours which in the past represented the profession of its owner. Continue your walk just outside of town to see the picturesque mountain ranges surrounding the town.

At Igaliku in Tunulliarfik Fjord, lush valleys filled with tall grass hints at Greenland’s first sheep farming settlement. Igaliku also guards the entrance to the well-preserved remains of Norse ruins allowing visitors to explore Norse history, hike within the UNESCO World Heritage-listed surroundings to discover lakes, mountains and hidden Norse ruins.

Day 11: Narsarsuaq, Qassiarssuk
Narsarsuaq is the gateway to hiking trails through lush valleys and Norse ruins spotted along Tunulliarfik Fjord. Narsarsuaq holds historical significance to Greenland’s history. The Norse Vikings settled in this area in the 12th century and gave Narsarsuaq a name to suggest that an Arctic forest covered the large plain. Taking home stories of lush valleys and plains nestled in deep fjord, the Vikings called this country Greenland. Marked trails allow hikers to enjoy the superb scenery, with the one of the most popular hikes leading to the spectacular lookout over icebergs in the Tunulliarfik Fjord and the Qooroq Glacier.

At Qassiarssuk, located directly across the Tunulliarfik Fjord, follow in the footsteps of Erik the Red and discover why he made it his home. The remains of a church, stables, hall and other buildings can still be seen. Visit the tall statue of Leif Erikson (son of Erik the Red) overlooking the town and fjord.

Sailing between Hvalsey, Igaliku and Qassiarssuk allows you to connect the dots of Viking history in Greenland.

Day 12: At sea
As we sail towards Nuuk, enjoy some free time relaxing or attending a presentation from our expedition team. This evening, share stories and celebrate with fellow expeditioners at Captain’s Farewell Dinner.

Day 13: Disembark in Nuuk, fly to Toronto
Disembark in Nuuk, Greenland’s capital, where you farewell the crew and expedition team before transferring to the airport for our charter flight to Toronto. Accommodation: Westin Toronto Airport Hotel (or similar)

Day 14: Depart Toronto
After breakfast, check out of your room and continue your journey with a transfer to the airport.

In true expedition style we encourage exploration and adventure, offering flexibility in challenging environments in a way that puts you among the action to see and do as much as possible. This itinerary is only a guide and subject to change due to ice and weather conditions. On this voyage, we visit remote Inuit hamlets and settlements, where the local Inuit people still practice traditional hunting methods including whaling that some people may find confronting. If you find yourself feeling upset and disturbed by what you see, please alert a member of the expedition team immediately, who will do their best to address your concerns and take action to mitigate the problem, wherever possible.

Route Map

Trips and Rates

Please note, rates are Per Person in USD
Aurora Stateroom Triple
Save 20%
$1500 Air Credit
Aurora Stateroom Superior
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$1500 Air Credit
Balcony Stateroom C
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$1500 Air Credit
Balcony Stateroom B
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$1500 Air Credit
Balcony Stateroom A
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$1500 Air Credit
Balcony Stateroom Superior
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$1500 Air Credit
Junior Suite
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$1500 Air Credit
Captain's Suite
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$1500 Air Credit

Single Travelers:

  • If willing to share a cabin, we can match you with another or other passengers of the same gender to avoid a single supplement.
  • Single occupancy price is 1.5x the per person share price

Adventure Options:

  • Kayaking Program – requires previous kayaking experience and an intermediate paddling level:
    • $680/person on Spitsbergen: Realm of the Ice Bear (8 days)
    • $830/person on Wild Landscapes of West Greenland
    • $870/person on Jewels of the Arctic (12 day trips)
    • $980/person on Svalbard Odyssey, Jewels of the Arctic (15 Days), Greenland Odyssey, Southern Greenland
    • $1,190/person on Svalbard in Depth, Northwest Passage (16-17 day trips) & Northern Lights Explorer
    • $1,660/person on Arctic Complete & Traversing the Northwest Passage

Single Travelers:

  • If willing to share a cabin, we can match you with another or other passenger of the same gender to avoid a single supplement.
  • Single occupancy price is 1.5x the per person share price.

Antarctic Adventure Options:

  • Kayaking Program: $1,330/person on 12-15 day Antarctica voyages, $1,745/person on 20+ day Antarctica & South Georgia voyages and $1,030/person on 9 day Express trip. Requires previous kayaking experience and an intermediate paddling level.
  • Paddling: $640/person
  • Camping: $165/person
  • Snorkeling: $675/person on 12-14 day Antarctica voyages, $835/person on 20+ day Antarctica & South Georgia voyages and $515/person on 9 day Express trip.
  • Alpine Trekking: $1260/person
  • Snowshoeing: $370/person on 12-15 day Antarctica voyages and $440/person on 20+ day Antarctica & South Georgia voyages
  • Ski/Snowboard Touring: $1395/person – experience required
  • Shackleton Crossing on Skis: $2,220/person – experience required

Availability & prices are subject to change at anytime. Please contact us for the real time availability & prices.

Cabin Descriptions

Captain Suite

The largest of all the cabins, the singular Captain’s Suite will take you to the polar regions in ultimate style and comfort. Complete with large lounge area, balcony, walk-in wardrobe and en-suite, you’ll need to book early to secure this suite. The Captain’s Suite features additional amenities including 1 free pair of binoculars per suite, free stocked mini bar (replenished as needed) and 1 free bottle of champagne.

Cabin & balcony combined size: 471.5 sq. ft. (43.8m2)

Junior Suite

The four Junior Suites take in some impressive scenery from their vantage points on Deck 7. When you aren’t enjoying a landing, you can relax in the suites’ separate lounge area, or just watch the world float by from the private balcony. The Junior Suite features additional amenities including 1 free pair of binoculars per suite, free stocked mini bar (stocked once only) and 1 free bottle of champagne.

Cabin & balcony combined size: Up to 448 sq. ft. (41.6m2)

Balcony Stateroom Superior

With a bit more room to stretch the legs, the Balcony Stateroom Superior cabins are perfect for polar adventurers who travel with plenty of gear. Located on Deck 4 and 6, the Staterooms feature floor to ceiling windows, en-suite bathrooms and a comfortable desk area. Some of these rooms are equipped with wheelchair accessible bathrooms.

Cabin & balcony combined size: 314 – 379 sq. ft. (29.2 – 35.2m2)

Balcony Stateroom A

The 23 Balcony Stateroom  A cabins are a premium cabin and the most abundant on board. These cabins are located in preferred positions on Deck 4 and 6 which provides easy access between Decks via the internal stairs or elevator.

Cabin & balcony combined size: 210 – 309 sq. ft. (19.5 – 28.7m2)

Balcony Stateroom B

The 17 Balcony Stateroom  B Cabins are located at the fore and aft of Deck 4 & 6. Many are fitted with interconnecting features making them great for families or groups.

Cabin & balcony combined size: 210 – 309 sq. ft. (19.5 – 28.7m2)

Balcony Stateroom C

The 11 Balcony Stateroom C cabins are the most economical balcony stateroom, fitted with all the necessities and comfortable for up to 2 people. These cabins are on Deck 4 & 6, either in the most forward or aft location or in a mid-ship location with a smaller cabin size. 

Cabin & balcony combined size: 210- 309 sq. ft. (19.5 – 28.7m2)

Aurora Stateroom Superior

With a bit more room to stretch the legs, the Aurora Stateroom Superior are perfect for polar adventurers who travel with plenty of gear. Located on Deck 7, the Staterooms feature french balconies, floor to ceiling windows, en-suite bathrooms and a comfortable desk area.

Cabin size: 214 – 224 sq. ft. (19.9 – 20.8m2)  

Aurora Stateroom Triple

There are two Aurora Stateroom Triple cabins featuring portholes, all with private en-suites. Located on Deck 3, they’re close to the mudroom and loading platforms.

Cabin size: 244 sq. ft. (22.67m2)

Deck Plan

Inclusions & Exclusions


  • All transfers mentioned in the itinerary.
  • One night’s hotel accommodation including breakfast, in Reykjavik on Day 1.
  • Full-day Golden Circle tour on Day 2.
  • Charter flight: Nuuk-Toronto on Day 13.
  • One night’s hotel accommodation with breakfast, in Toronto on Day 13.
  • Onboard accommodation during voyage, including daily cabin service.
  • All meals, snacks, tea and coffee during voyage.
  • Beer, house wine and soft drinks with dinner.
  • Captain’s Farewell reception including four-course dinner, house cocktails, house beer and wine, non-alcoholic beverages.
  • All shore excursions and Zodiac cruises.
  • Educational lectures and guiding services provided by Expedition Team.
  • Complimentary access to onboard expedition doctor and medical clinic (initial consultation).
  • One 3-in-1 waterproof, polar expedition jacket.
  • Complimentary use of Muck Boots during the voyage.
  • Comprehensive pre-departure information.
  • Port surcharges, permits and landing fees.


  • International or domestic flights not mentioned in the itinerary, unless specified in the itinerary.
  • Transfers – unless specified in the itinerary.
  • Airport arrival or departure taxes.
  • Passport, visa, reciprocity and vaccination fees and charges.
  • Travel insurance or emergency evacuation charges.
  • Hotel accommodation and meals unless specified in the itinerary.
  • Optional excursions and optional activity surcharges.
  • All items of a personal nature including but not limited to alcoholic beverages and soft drinks (outside of dinner service), gratuities, laundry services, personal clothing, medical expenses, or phone charges.

Note: A $15 USD 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 adjust the amount) when you settle your bill. It is not necessary to tip the expedition team members. This gratuity amount is included for suites as part of their ‘Suite Benefits’.