Discover the immense scenic and cultural variety of the world’s largest island from the beautiful and fertile south with its fascinating Viking history and the modern capital of Nuuk in a traditional Inuit society, to the town of Ilulissat with its floating icebergs and UNESCO World Heritage site, Ilulissat Ice Fjord.
Kangerlussuaq is a settlement in western Greenland in the Qeqqata municipality located at the head of the fjord of the same name (Danish: Søndre Strømfjord). It is Greenland’s main air transport hub and the site of Greenland’s largest commercial airport. The airport dates from American settlement during and after World War II, when the site was known as Bluie West-8 and Sondrestrom Air Base. The Kangerlussuaq area is also home to Greenland’s most diverse terrestrial fauna, including muskoxen, caribou, and gyrfalcons. The settlement’s economy and population of 512 is almost entirely reliant on the airport and tourist industry. Board the Ocean Diamond
With approx. 5,600 inhabitants, Sisimiut is the second largest town in Greenland. It is a modern settlement that maintains ancient traditions. The fishing industry still plays an important role. The natural harbor remains ice-free throughout the year which made it an attractive location for European whalers in former times.
This morning you will visit Ilulissat village in the fabled Disko Bay. Ilulissat is located beside the Ilulissat Icefjord. Delight in the thunderous spectacle when icebergs break off from Sermeq Kujalleq glacier and plunge into the fjord. Sermeq Kujalleq is one of the most productive glaciers in the northern hemisphere. You will spend the evening at the beautiful Eqip Glacier.
Uummannaq is considered one of the most beautiful towns in Greenland. Located on a small island about 483 km north of the Arctic Circle, this tiny, picturesque village lies at the foot of a heart-shaped mountain.
The small settlement of Qeqertarsuaq is located on the South Coast off Disko Island. In 1773 the first whaling base was founded. Whaling has been of great importance to the town over the past two centuries. Hunting and fishing are still the primary occupations for the island’s inhabitants.
With 16,000 inhabitants Nuuk is both the capital and the biggest city of Greenland. It combines Arctic traditions with European urbanity. Visit the city sights on a walking tour that ends at the National Museum, which exhibits the famous mummies of Qilakitsoq.
Very close to the town of Narsarsuaq lies the small settlement of Qassiarsuk, founded by the legendary Viking rebel and leader Erik the Red. He named this area “green land” because the landscape around Qassiarsuk is characterized by inviting fjords and green, fertile valleys. During this stop you have the opportunity to learn more about the lives of the early Norse settlers and visit the reconstructions of a Viking longhouse and a small turf church.
When conditions are favorable the ship will travel along the 112 km long Prins Christian Sound which connects the Labrador and Irminger Seas. In this narrow, often ice-choked channel, you come so close to icebergs you can almost reach out and touch one. The force of Greenland’s massive, inland ice cap pushes glaciers towards the sea, where large hunks of ice break off and become floating icebergs.
Today the Ocean Diamond will sail across the Denmark Strait towards Iceland, following the same maritime route used by Norse settlers more than 900 years ago. En-route you can attend fascinating presentations by our Expedition Team members to prepare for your visit to Iceland. Or of course, you can choose to just relax and watch whales, dolphins and seabirds from the deck of your cabin.
Sprawling Reykjavík, the nation’s nerve center and government seat, is home to half the island’s population. On a bay overlooked by proud Mt. Esja (pronounced eh-shyuh) Reykjavík presents a colourful sight-its concrete houses painted in light colours and topped by vibrant red, blue, and green roofs. In contrast to the almost treeless countryside, Reykjavík has many tall, native birches, rowans, and willows, as well as imported aspen, pines, and spruces. Reykjavík’s name comes from the Icelandic words for smoke, reykur, and bay, vík. After breakfast disembark the Ocean Diamond for your onward journey.