Simple statistics point to an essential mode of transportation in and around Ilulissat, third-largest settlement in Greenland and a prime tourist destination. Population is around 4,500; sled dog population is at least 4,000.
Greenland is home to about 60,000 residents. It’s a land of giant icebergs, wide fjords and colorful villages where friendly Greenlanders greet guests with warm hospitality. Popular pursuits are hiking, sailing, kayaking, viewing wildlife and soaking up the culture of the Inuit, who have lived in this ancient land through the millennia.
This coming summer, The Great Canadian Travel Company is offering a sea voyage on board a ship of the Arctic Umiaq Line. You will sail the length of the west coast of Greenland, and be offered an opportunity to witness Greenlandic village life during en route stops. This 10-day, 9-night “Classic Greenland Coastal Voyage” is priced at $3659 per person, double occupancy, with 12 departures during June, July and August 2012.
You begin this adventure with a flight to Reykjavik, Iceland, where you spend two nights. During your stay, a full day Golden Circle tour is featured, visiting some of Iceland’s iconic sights — the ancient parliament site of Thingvellir, the waterfall at Gullfoss and the dramatic hot springs at Geysir. You will also have a free day to explore Reykjavik, or perhaps book one of the many day tours that are available.
Then it’s off to Greenland, where you spend three nights in Ilulissat , north of the Arctic Circle, situated in Disko Bay. Magnificent icebergs fill the fjord right outside of town and can be best seen on an optional full day excursion to the Eqi glacier, to experience the sights and sounds of a calving glacier at close range.
You can also hike to small and remote settlements where “old world” Greenlandic traditions live on. Other options include boat cruises among the icebergs and a helicopter tour to the ice cap. Active options include fishing and whale-watching.
After your stay in Ilulissat, you board the 249-passenger M/S Sarfaq Ittuk for the sailing south to Nuuk. This ship, a vital link for the Greenlandic coast, will be your home for the next 36 hours. While not extravagant, the on-board restaurant and lounge offer good food, and the chance to mix with both local
travelers and others touring this remote land.
The ship stops en route at Aasiat, Manitsoq and Sisimiut, offering you the chance to disembark and explore these tiny communities, and catch a glimpse into the daily life of Greenlanders.
Arriving in Nuuk, the Greenlandic capital, in the morning, you transfer to your hotel and have the balance of the day to explore the town. You may want to visit the Greenland National Museum, with its interesting collection of art and
archaeological artifacts. The next afternoon you will fly to Reykjavik where you connect to your homeward flight to North America.
The Classic Greenland Coastal Voyage includes round trip airfare between Iceland and Greenland, three nights’ accommodation with breakfast in Reykjavik and Ilulissat, one night’s accommodation with breakfast in Nuuk, arrival transfer and one local tour in Iceland, and accommodation on board the ship in a twin berth cabin. Airfare from North America to Iceland and meals other than breakfast daily are not included.
Reservations and additional information available from The Great Canadian Travel Company, 800-661-3830, www.greatcanadiantravel.com.