Embark the Silver Cloud and depart on your exciting 9-day expedition – “In the Wake of Viking Longships”.
Meet the members of your expedition team in the lecture theatre and attend the first of many memorable dinners in one of the restaurants.
Spend the day crossing the Denmark Strait, which connects the Arctic and Atlantic oceans. Meet some of your fellow explorers, relax and become acquainted with the luxurious amenities found on board the Silver Cloud. Tonight, we invite you to attend a special Welcome Aboard cocktail party where the captain will introduce his senior officers.
Cruising along Greenland’s rugged eastern coast, the Silver Cloud explores the Skoldungen Fjord. We will spend much of the day out on deck to take in the scenery: towering mountains tipped with snow, ice-scraped valley sides and sculptured icebergs in shades of white and blue. Upon arriving at the top of the fjord where we can easily see the retreating state of the Thrym Glacier, we will have our first Zodiac cruise of the journey, allowing us to explore this picturesque setting from a unique, up-close perspective.
On our return journey, exiting this U-shaped fjord, join the expedition team out on deck to marvel at the spectacular scenery and to look for humpback whales and orcas, frequently seen at the entrance of the fjord.
Our plan for today is to explore one of South Greenland’s most dramatic natural features: Prince Christian Sund. On either side of the Silver Cloud waterfalls stream down sharp, wrinkled mountainsides as we navigate the fjord through a sea of icebergs that glitter in the sun. Born of compacted ancient snows that calve into the sound at the glacier’s edge, each iceberg is different from the next. Time and weather conditions permitting, we plan to set out via the Zodiacs to explore even more.
In the afternoon, and shortly before leaving the sound, we will visit the small settlement of Aappilattoq. You can walk through the village and climb a nearby hill for excellent views of the sound and the mountains.
Nanortalik lies in a scenic area surrounded by steep mountainsides and is Greenland’s most southerly town. The town’s name means the “place of polar bears”, which refers to the polar bears that used to be seen floating offshore on summer’s ice floes. Nanortalik has an excellent open-air museum that gives a broad picture of the region from Inuit times to today. At the summer hunting camp, Inuit in traditional clothing will describe aspects of their ancestor’s customs and lifestyle including an impressive kayak demonstration. Time permitting we will enjoy the tradition of kaffe-mik (coffee and cake) and a folk dancing presentation at the Cultural Center.
In the afternoon, the Silver Cloud will drop anchor at Uunartoq. Since the days of the Norse, the hot springs here have been renowned for their healing effects. Take this opportunity to relax and unwind in steaming waters. It is quite an experience to be in the hot spring and see icebergs float by. Remember to pack swimwear! Conditions permitting we will offer a Zodiac cruise past some of the icebergs north of Uunartoq.
This morning we arrive at the picturesque harbor town of Qaqortoq. The town’s name translates to ‘white place’, but today, instead of snow, we will admire the hillsides of colorful houses painted in bright primary shades. Our local guides will take us to the charming town square, home to Greenland’s oldest fountain built in 1928. Surrounding it are two churches, one old and one new, an open-air fish and meat market, and the Qaqortoq Museum. This modest museum houses a superb collection of historical artefacts associated with Inuit hunting and fishing, a whaler’s gun and a collection of contemporary artwork.
In the afternoon the Silver Cloud anchors off Hvalsey. Once ashore, we will learn how Christianity spread its influence throughout Europe and eventually reached remote Greenland, where it established itself in the country in 1000 AD. Hvalsey Church was built in the 14th century and is the best preserved of the churches in Greenland from that period. Together we will visit the church and other historical ruins from the time of the Vikings.
Encircled by a wealth of Norse ruins, Qassiarsuk (or Brattahlid) is where we begin our day. Qassiarsuk is the newer, Greenlandic name for this small village. Brattahlid is the older, Norse name. Here we tour the foundation remains of the manor house of Erik the Red, who found Greenland after being banished from Iceland and Norway for murder. We will also visit the site of the first Christian church ever built in North America (physiographically speaking), see a recently unearthed Norse graveyard that contains remains of 144 Norse colonists, and have a chance to admire Hans Lynge’s remarkable bronze sculpture of Erik the Red.
Back aboard the Silver Cloud, we enjoy lunch as the ship cruises to Ittileq. From our landing site, we will walk the 2.5 miles to Igaliku where we will meet up with the 30 inhabitants, who are very proud of their beautiful village. With our local guides we will visit the ruins of Garðar, which was once the religious heart of 12th-century Norse Greenland.
Our expedition team members will present informative topics to prepare you for Nuuk, its museum and the special treasures it houses.
Binoculars and camera in hand, you can also head out on deck to watch and to identify the seabirds that might follow our passage. Relax in the spa or try the gym for some exercises.
This morning we arrive in Greenland’s first town (1728) and current capital, Nuuk, which means “the heartland”.
Our leisurely walk through this picturesque harbor town allows us to take in Nuuk’s natural beauty, and also to see Inuit ruins, Hans Egede’s home, parliament, and the Church of our Savior. At the Greenlandic National Museum we have the fantastic opportunity to see the famous Qilakitsoq mummies.
This afternoon our onboard photographer/videographer is going to show the Voyage-DVD, highlighting the many aspects of our voyage along Greenland’s East and West coast. Before turning in for the night, take a stroll on deck to take in the solitude of the vast sea and sky, hopefully glimpsing the Aurora Borealis.
After breakfast, disembark the Silver Cloud and transfer to the airport for your flight home.
Note: Expedition highlights and wildlife listed here are possible experiences only and cannot be guaranteed. Your expedition leader and captain will work together to ensure opportunities for adventure and exploration are the best possible, taking into account the prevailing weather and wildlife activity.
* Itinerary may be subject to change