From: June 16 to June 25, 2017

Destination: South Greenland

  • Hiking and Kayaking in Greenland - FULL

    Greenland is the least populated, wildest country in the world. Most of it is covered by a huge ice cap and the population of 56,000 clings to the green fringe along the coast. It is spectacularly beautiful: soaring mountains tower over fjords choked with blue-tinged icebergs, sheep graze in deep green meadows, Viking ruins remind us of the population that survived here for 400 years. We'll spend time camped across from a huge glacier, listening to its creaks and groans and exploring a small part on crampons. We'll hike to the top of a mountain from where we can look across to Inlandis, the ice cap. We'll kayak in a bay off of Sermilik Fjord among icebergs that come off the huge Egaloruutsit glacier. We'll visit Viking ruins and learn about the population that carved out a living for 400 years and then disappeared. This trip offers a rare combination of experiencing Greenland's wilderness and still having shelter if the weather turns. Maximum group size: 11 

    THIS TRIP IS FULL. To get on a waitlist, register for the trip (no deposit required)
  • Friday, June 16
    Arrive Reykjavik anytime today. Flights from North America typically arrive early in the morning and transportation into the city on dedicated buses is simple (we'll provide instructions). We'll meet as a group in the lobby of our hotel at 10 am and start getting to know each other. Our guide will then take us on a walking tour of the surrounding area, helping us to get oriented to this compact and walkable city, and pointing out things of particular interest you might want to visit on your own. There will be some free time in the afternoon for you to make any final preparations or wander as you choose before we meet back as a group and go out for a Welcome Dinner together. Overnight in Reykjavik.

    Saturday, June 17
    Depending on the flight schedule, we may have free time to continue exploring Reykjavik (lunch is on your own) before departing for the airport. The landing strip in Greenland is at Narsarsuaq, an old WWII US Army base. If the weather is clear, we'll see the mountains that will soon be surrounding us and the fjords we will be traveling by boat. We'll meet our guide at the airport and transfer to the harbor where we get into the RIB (rigid inflatable boat) that we'll become familiar with over the next week. Navigating along the Tunulliarfik fjord among numerous icebergs, we set off for our home for the next three nights: Qaleraliq Glacier Camp, which is likely as remote and as quiet as you've ever experienced. Set up on a bluff overlooking the fjord and across to huge glaciers, it is an enchanting place. Depending on timing we may also have time to visit Narsaq, the third most populated town in South Greenland with 1500 people.

    Sunday, June 18
    Today we'll hike up along the stream that rushes down from Tasersuatsiaq Lake and supplies both our drinking and washing water. Our hike goes up through a glacial valley, scoured out centuries ago, and then up a lateral moraine to a vast dry plain. This was once part of the lake that we will shortly be hiking along but the shrinking of the glaciers has resulted in a shrinking lake. Our path then becomes considerably rougher as we follow an uneven track up 1200 feet to the top of a small mountain with a commanding view of the Inlandis, the ice cap that covers almost all of Greenland, the lake below, and the fjord up which we traveled. We'll eat lunch here before returning by the same way. Caribou can often be seen here. We'll have free time when we return, to relax, walk along the beach, or perhaps wash off in the stream.

    Monday, June 19
    We've been watching and listening to the glacier across the bay and today we finally get to see it up close. The RIB boat will pick us up and transport us across the bay, looking at the different glacier fronts that were once all part of the same edge and admiring their vertical blue walls. As the glacier has receded, the fronts have become dramatically distinct. We'll land in a flat area and after a short walk we'll reach a barrel where helmets and crampons are stored. After we have put these on for our glacier walk, our guide will give us instruction in how to use them to walk up and down safely on the glacier, part of one of the oldest masses of ice on earth. We'll head up the glacier, seeing its crevasses, drains, caves, seracs, and other ice formations. Our expert mountain guide will explain how the glaciers are formed and the special characteristics of Greenland glaciers. It is truly a unique and magical experience. This will be our final night here and even the prospect of hot showers will not make us want to leave.

    Tuesday, June 20
    Leaving Glacier Camp behind, we're off to our next adventure. Our RIB takes us back down Tunulliarfik Fjord to Itilleq, more a name than an actual town. From here we walk over a high point on a dirt road called "The Path of the Kings" to the beautiful little village of Igaliku, a small Inuit settlement of not more than 40 people situated on another fjord. Regarded by some as the most beautiful settlement in Greenland, it is home to the remains of Gardar, the religious capital of Viking Greenland. Retracing our steps, we'll be met by the RIB and transported to the small town of Qassiarsuk. From here we'll walk across to Tasiusaq, site of a one-family sheep farm and the launch point for our kayak expedition on Sermilik Fjord. If there's time, we'll have an instructional session in kayaking before dinner. We'll spend tonight at the Tasiusaq Hostel.

    Wednesday, June 21
    We'll start with some basic kayak instruction and packing up and stowing our gear in our kayaks. We'll spend today kayaking in a bay of Nordre Sermilik Fjord among icebergs that vary wildly in shape, size, and color. Both the bay itself and the main fjord are always filled with icebergs as they calve directly from Eqaloruutsit Glacier. This is an area in which the kayak is the only possible means of navigation at this time of the year, so we won't see any other boats, or people. Our kayak is leisurely, allowing us time to take pictures, soak in the scenery, or just sit and gaze in awe.

    This afternoon we'll set up our tents on the shores of the fjord, really out in the middle of nowhere. Once camp is settled we'll go for a hike through the tundra, up to a viewpoint from where we can see the main part of the Fjord and the impressive Eqaloruutsit glacier. A short hike through the tundra, until we arrive at the point where we can admire the impressive Eqaloruutsit glacier. Today is Summer Solstice and the day is long indeed.

    Thursday, June 22
    Today is much like yesterday, a leisurely kayak back down the bay, weaving our way around icebergs of all different sizes. Depending on ice, we may be able to get close to the area of Kangerdlua, which is blocked by ice year round. We'll return to Tasiusaq in the afternoon. Depending on our timing and the weather, we may have time to walk to the ruins of Nunataaq farm, which was a Viking settlement. There may also be the opportunity to go arctic salmon fishing or for a walk in the region. We'll spend tonight at Tasiusaq Hostel.

    Friday, June 23
    We'll get an early start today because its our last full day in Greenland and we still have a lot to pack in! We'll start with walking back to Qassiarsuk along a dirt road (with very occasional or no traffic). From there we cross to Narsarsuaq on our RIB boat for a hike through Flower Valley which was formed during an old glacial retreat; the consequent glacial sedimentation has made it the perfect place for flowers to grow and thus its name. We will walk until we can see Kiattut glacier and the landscape around it, with a superb panoramic view of the ice sheet and its Nunataks. This is probably one of the most beautiful hikes in Greenland - but our day isn't over yet!

    On the way back to Qassiarsuk, we will visit the Qooroq Ice Fjord. Qooroq is one of the most active glaciers in southern Greenland and our boat will nose its way up this ice-choked fjord as far we can go. Surrounded by green leafy tundra and rocky-mountains, we are completely surrounded by this Polar landscape. As many icebergs as we've seen, this may be the most amazing yet. Back at Qassiarsuk hostel we'll enjoy a final farewell dinner of typical Inuit products, including whale, seal, caribou, and mattak.

    Saturday, June 24
    This morning we'll learn more about Viking history and culture as we walk through Qassiarsuk, a village of about 50 inhabitants. Eric the Red settled here in 985 and founded the village of Brattahlid, which was the capital of Viking Greenland. They were mostly sheep farmers then and though the breed has changed, the Inuit people who live here still are (this area, including Narsaq, has more sheep farms than any other part of Greenland). During our walk we'll visit some Brattahlid reconstructions, including a replica of the original chapel and longhouse, as well as the original ruins from Erik the Red.

    Depending on flight schedules, in the afternoon we'll return to Narsarsuaq by RIB boat. There will be some time to walk around the area and perhaps visit the local museum and cafe (dinner is not included tonight). Our flight to Keflavik will take us back over some of the area we've traveled through in the last week. It's amazing just how much more civilized Iceland looks after a week in Greenland. We'll be spending the final night at a hotel near the airport.

    Sunday, June 25

    If you're staying on to visit Iceland, you can return by bus to Reykjavik this morning. Otherwise, you're free to fly out anytime this morning.
  • $3695 Aside from the discount for paying the balance by check, no other discounts are being offered. $400 deposit. Single supplements are not available. You can read our standard cancellation policies here. Once your tickets from Iceland to Greenland have been purchased, they are not refundable.

    Trip Includes

    • One English-speaking guide and an Adventures in Good Company leader
    • 9 nights accommodation as described
    • Round trip airfare between Iceland and Greenland
    • All meals from dinner on the 16th through breakfast on the 24th with the exception of one lunch and dinner the last night
    • Transfer by RIB boats
    • Kayaks and group camping equipment
    • Warm insulated jacket for boat transfers

    Not included: airfare to Iceland, alcoholic beverages, sleeping bag and pad (can be rented), 1 lunch, guide gratuities, mandatory travel insurance, unexpected expenses as a result of weather conditions (including difficulties or cancellations due to ice or weather conditions) or flight or boat delays

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  • Common Questions

    If you’ve never traveled with us before, you may have some questions about how we do things and what you can expect. We’ve answered the most common ones below and are always available by phone or email to answer any others.

    How do I pay for my trip?

    You can make the deposit by submitting a secure form with your credit card information after filling out the registration form or calling us with your card information. We will send you an invoice for the balance due with your Predeparture Information 4 months before an International trip and 3 months before a domestic trip. You can get a 3% discount for paying the balance by check.

    What if I’m coming alone?

    The majority of women who travel with us come by themselves. If you want to pay a single supplement to guarantee your own room, or if you want to share a room with someone with whom you are traveling, you can indicate that on the registration form. Otherwise we randomly assign roommates and rotate every time we change lodging – it’s a great way to get to know different women on the trip.

    Can you accommodate special diets?

    It depends on both the trip and on your specific needs. With advance notice, we can accommodate most dietary restrictions or allergies on our domestic trips, including vegetarian, vegan, and gluten intolerant. This is not always true on international trips, so please contact us in advance if you have specific dietary needs. We've found that if you are willing to bring some of your own snacks and a couple of items to supplement what is on the menu (peanut butter is always good!) and possibly have less variety than you are used to at home, then dietary needs usually are no obstacle. If in doubt about your specific dietary needs, especially if you have Celiac disease, please give us a call (877/439-4042) or send us an email.

    What if I have to cancel my trip?

    The amount of your refund depends on how close to the trip you cancel and whether it is a domestic or an international trip. You can read our cancellation policies here. We highly recommend travel insurance because cancellations are always unexpected; we will send you additional information about insurance when you register.

    Will my family be able to get in touch with me in case of an emergency?

    Yes, we always send out emergency contact information. On a few trips, because of limitations in communication, the best approach is to give them the office number and let us make the contact.

    What other information will you send me?

    When you register, we’ll send you a Trip Summary that includes the itinerary, travel information, and a packing list. Three to four months before your trip we’ll send you Pre-Departure information that includes detailed information on how to get to the trip starting point, pre- or post-trip lodging suggestions, suggested books and websites etc. Four to six weeks before the trip, we’ll send you a list of everyone who is registered along with their travel plans; and a Pre-Trip letter with the name of your guide(s) and how to contact them if your arrival is delayed as well as any other important updates.

    Do you help with pre-trip and/or post-trip hotel reservations?

    For international trips, if you want to stay at the hotel where we’re staying the first night before the trip, or at the hotel we’re staying the last night after the trip, we’re happy to make a reservation for you. Otherwise our PreDeparture Information will have hotel suggestions. Our travel agent is also happy to help you with this.

    How does the waitlist process work and how often do people cancel?

    If you are interested in a trip that is full, you should sign up here. If there is a cancellation, we send out an email to everyone who has expressed interest and ask them to respond within 24 hours. If more than one person is interested, we give the space to the person who has traveled with us before or in the order of being put on the waitlist. Frequently, even when we have a long wait list, it is the last person to sign up who is still available to go. Whether or not there will be a cancellation is completely unpredictable, although not uncommon.

    What is the role of the guide(s)?

    On every trip, the primary roles of the guide(s) are to ensure your safety and to make sure that, to the extent possible, you are having the trip you want. The guide(s) will also make sure that you know what is happening each day and what you need to bring to be prepared. On domestic trips the guide(s) will also likely be driving, preparing picnic lunches and sometimes other meals, providing skills instruction, and giving you information about the natural history of the area. On any trip where we partner with another company (which is most international trips and some trips that require special equipment), the AGC guide will work with the local guide to make sure that the trip is conducted in accordance with the AGC philosophy.

    What if I have more questions?

    Give us a call (877/439-4042) or send us an email. A Program Manager is assigned to each trip. Once you have registered, she will send you a registration confirmation letter that includes her name and email, and she will be your primary contact. Her job is to make sure that you get all your questions answered and that you feel completely prepared for your adventure.

    What if I'm the oldest/youngest/heaviest/least in shape/only single woman/only mom on the trip?

    You might be. Someone has to be the oldest/youngest/heaviest/least in shape person on the trip. And while the great majority of our trips have both single and non-single women, and moms and non-moms, sometimes they don't. But it doesn't matter if you're "different" in any of those ways - what you will share with everyone else is a desire to experience adventure in your life, and an appreciation of the joy and camaraderie of being in an all women's group.

Trip highlights

  • Being immersed in Greenland's wild remote beauty on foot and by boat
  • Navigating among icebergs in kayak and RIB boat
  • Learning about Viking history and current Inuit culture
  • Walking on a glacier and learning how glaciers are formed and seeing how they retreat
  • Experiencing almost constant daylight as we are close to the arctic circle at midsummer

Register for this trip today

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