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Highlights of Greenland and Iceland

This tour will introduce you to the Greenland Highlights; Ice and Icefjords, impressive glaciers, an insight in the Inuit way of life in an East Greenlandic town and village and maybe even the sound and sight of a whale. In Iceland the tour takes us to the extraordinary Glacier Lagoon Jokulsarlon, on the borders of Vatnajokull National Park. You'll see icebergs in a variety of styles - from white streaked with charcoal-black soot, to translucent formations resembling glass and gorgeous chunks of powder blue. Our total glacier encounter reaches its climax in a glacier hike in Skaftafell.

Duration: 8 Nights

Price: From $3,453 per person

Highlights

  • Spectacular Icebergs & Calving Glaciers.
  • Inuit Culture & History.
  • Arctic Wildlife.
  • The Specatular Landscapes of South Iceland.

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Included:
    Return transfer to hotel in Reykjavík
    Afternoon Golden Circle Tour
    Hotel in Reykjavik 3 nights (day 1, 6 and 8) in a 3 star like centrally located hotel, incl. breakfast and private bathroom
    Greenland tour 4 nights and 5 days
         (Included: Helicopter or boat between Kulusuk and Tasiilaq, excursions according to itinerary, accommodation in guesthouse in double room, full board.)
    Tour to South Coast of Iceland, one night accommodation in the countryside.
    Private transfer from Reykjavík hotel to Keflavík International Airport.

 Not Included:
    International flights
    Travel insurance
    Transfer from hotel in Reykjavik to domestic airport, (ca. 5 min. Taxi drive)
    Airfare between Iceland and Kulusuk

Optional Add on:
    Blue Lagoon and transfer on the way to airport,
    Extra nights and tours

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Day 1

Arrival and Afternoon Golden Circle Tour

On Arrival at Keflavík International Airport, you get private transfer to your hotel in Reykjavík city center.

In the afternoon you take a guided tour on the famous Golden Circle.

The Golden Circle is a fascinating experience. You can walk around the world-famous Geysir geothermal area, a geothermal field where hot springs are in abundance.  You can choose to do the Golden Circle tour in a Super Jeep and add on a snowmobile trip.  You also stop by the magnificent Gullfoss waterfall and visit Þingvellir National Park, the original site of the oldest existing parliament in the world, and where the Mid-Atlantic rift is clearly visible; a rift that is slowly pulling Iceland apart along tectonic plates. In Thingvellir, you can stand on a bluff and see the Mid-Atlantic ridge as it carves its way north and east into the island’s interior.

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Day 2

Flight to Greenland: Kulusuk - Tasiilaq

You take the flight from Reykjavík Airport to Kulusuk in Greenland (not included).  Shortly after arrival in Kulusuk you will either go by boat or by helicopter to Tasiilaq - the main town on the East coast of Greenland with about 2,000 inhabitants.

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Day 3

Boat Excursion to the Knud Rasmussen Glacier (7-8 hours)

The excursion starts at the harbour of Tasiilaq, heading towards northwest into the broad Ammassalik Fjord. After about an hour sailing we will turn into narrow and steep fjords with breathtaking mountain peaks.
We will make a stop at Ikateq and look at some remnants of World War 2. It was here the Americans ran an airfield from 1942 – 47, in wartime code-names called “Blue East Two”. It was built in order to facilitate transatlantic air traffic, navigation, search-and-rescue operations and weather forecast. You can still see the airfield, and rusted fuel drums, vehicles and ruins.
We will continue our journey and arrive in Sermiligaaq Fjord, which means “The Beautiful Glacier Fjord”. The name will not disappoint you. At some point you will be able to have the view of two calving glaciers simultaneously, Karale Glacier on your left side, and Knud Rasmussen Glacier right ahead of you. We will sail as close as the situation allows to Knud Rasmussen Glacier, go ashore and enjoy lunch here. After about 1-2 hours, we will head back to Tasiilaq.
Note: Bring some warm clothes with you, but in case you are freezing, we will have a down cover for you.

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Day 4

Boat Excursion to Johann Pedersens Fjord (7-8 hours)

We start in the harbor in Tasiilaq and sail around the southern part of Ammassalik Island, before we will enter Sermilik Fjord. The name of the fjord means “Icefjord”; as it announces we will sail among huge icebergs that will make you feel small and humble.

After about an hour we will make a stop at an abandoned settlement called Ikkatteq. You can visit the old church and school, and enjoy the beautiful view from the hillside.

We will continue our journey into Johann Pedersen Fjord. You will be surrounded by a magical landscape: Big ice sculptures are floating in the water, and steep outlet glaciers dive down from the eternal Greenland Ice Sheet calving into the fjord. We will sail to one of the calving glaciers. Going ashore at the Hann Glacier we will enjoy lunch overlooking the front of the glacier. There will be time to hike to the ice and have a look around. After about 2 hours, we will sail back to Tasiilaq.

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Day 5

City Walk and Flower Valley (4-5 hours)

The city walk will take us to a workshop where local artists make beautiful and renowned handicraft. Then towards the harbor and visit the museum, which is the old church built in 1903. The museum has many historical treasures, and you can learn about the life and history of East Greenland.

The walk continues along the shore to the Hospital and up to the new church. Above the church, you will enjoy a beautiful view over the town. In this area, you will be able to see the oldest houses of the town where the first colony manager Johann Pedersen or the polar explorer Ejnar Mikkelsen lived.

Before heading to the Flower Valley, you can visit the tourist office Skæven where it is possible to buy handicraft of all kinds, maps, etc. As the name of the valley indicates, you will be able to see many different flowers, such as arctic thyme, arctic bluebell, arctic dandelion, the national flower broad-leafed willow herb, and many more.

We continue the small curved path along the river for a few kilometers, until we reach a small waterfall. Here we will spend some time to enjoy the beautiful landscape and peacefulness, before heading back to Tasiilaq.

Note: It is an easy walk through town, but we recommend sturdy shoes for the walk in the Flower Valley. We recommend you to bring some refreshments with you.

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Day 6

Goodbye East Greenland

Today is a traveling day. In the morning you will take the helicopter or the boat back to Kulusuk where your flight to Iceland (not included) will be waiting for you.

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Day 7

Iceland South Coast Marvels

Todays tour takes us along the beautiful south shore of Iceland. Our first stop is at Seljalandsfoss, a very photogenic waterfall that plunges from ancient sea cliffs down over 60 m to a shallow pool. It is possible to take a walk behind the waterfall and enjoy the beautiful scenery from there. The water comes from the infamous volcano and glacier Eyjafjallajökull.
Our next stop will be at Skógar where we will see the Skógafoss Waterfall. It's also 60 m in height and is considered by many to be one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Iceland. Make note of another secret keeper: Mýrdalsjokull Glacier is hiding Katla. It is an active volcano.
Our next stop will be at the village of Vik where you will find a black sand beach with some fantastic sights such as the picturesque basalt column formations and the magnificent Reynisdrangar sea stacks.
The longest bridge in Iceland (900 m) is over one of those areas of glacial floods. After that we go to Skaftafell Nature Reserve in the Vatnajökull National Park, where we'll have a short stop. The glacier tongues there give the national park a majestic fairy tale scenery.
Jökulsárlón has been the film location of many Hollywood movies. It is located at the end of an outlet glacier of the great Vatnajökull Glacier. Huge pieces of ice calve from the glacier and end up floating in the lagoon and out to sea.
After we have enjoyed the lagoon with its icebergs we will drive to our accommodation in the Country Hotel Gerði. The rooms all have bathroom. Free WiFi is available in the dining room, and the restaurant uses mainly local products on the menu.

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Day 8

Total Glacier Encounter

After breakfast we spend more time at Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon. It's possible to enjoy an optional 40-minute boat ride among icebergs of all shapes. We also take a walk alongside the lake and on the black sand shores and look for seals which may be spotted in the lagoon.
One of the highlights of the trip is awaiting us. We're going to get up close and personal with the glacier. It's made up of fallen snow, not frozen water, as some might think. But how does it turn into ice then? Simply by compression due to the weight of the snow as it keeps accumulating. It's just like taking a handful of fluffy snow and squeezing into a hard snowball, and keep doing so for hundreds of years.
The ice eventually gets so compact that most of the air is forced out of it. This is the reason why glacial ice alone can have that fascinating crystal blue color - and the older the ice, the better.
We pull out the crampons for one hour long glacier hike in the Skaftafell area - enjoying fabulous views all the way. In order to join the glacier hike you will need to have good hiking shoes. The crampons cannot be fitted onto sneakers or other light walking shoes.
At locations where the glacier flows more rapidly, giant cracks called crevasses are formed. So this is why it would be so dangerous to walk on a glacier without a specialized tour guide - the crevasses can get covered over by snow.

We travel back to Reykjavík, where you spend the last night, before your trip back to the US.

 

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Day 9

Reykjavík and Departure

You have a private transfer to Keflavík International Airport, where you take your flight back to the US.

You can optionally stop and enjoy a spa experience at the Blue Lagoon on the way to the airport.

 

Departure Dates 2017:
June 27.
July 1, 4, 8, 11, 15, 18, 22, 25 and 29.
August 1, 5, 8 and 12.

Price is $3,453  per person for 2 persons sharing a double room.

 

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Views from Highlights of Greenland and Iceland

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Highlights

  • Spectacular Icebergs & Calving Glaciers.
  • Inuit Culture & History.
  • Arctic Wildlife.
  • The Specatular Landscapes of South Iceland.

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