September 2012: As part of a three-week trip that also included Svalbard and Iceland, I visited Greenland on an icebreaker adventure boat manned by a Norwegian crew. The boat was operated by G-Adventures and would take me and about 70 other travelers and crew from Svalbard to northeastern Greenland where the boat would explore one of the many fjords, kayak and hike across the mountains in search of polar bears, muskoxen, marine life and adventure. Northeastern Greenland, where muskoxen outnumber people, and the only people are Inuit, is the Greenland I hoped to see but the only economically feasible way to reach t was via an adventure boat trip and even, so it wasn’t cheap.

 

Route

This was the general itinerary of my weeklong trip in Greenland:

Day 1/2: Cross the Greenland Sea from northern Svalbard to northeastern Greenland in the Arctic Ocean in a southwest current along the coast of Northeast Greenland. Often, drifting pack ice is pushed along the coast. We will attempt to approach and follow the pack ice edge to explore the polar seascape. Keep a lookout for sea mammals like seals and whales and also sea birds such as kittiwakes and fulmars. 

Day 3-6: Sail through and land in some of the most spectacular fjord country in the world along down the coast of Greenland, while exploring rarely visited glaciers, bays and inlets. This is the largest national park in the world, nearly impossible to reach except on expedition ships. Spectacular geology combined with glacial features create steep mountains raising directly from the sea. Look out for picturesque scenery, wildlife and other interesting landing sites in this unspoiled wilderness. Depending on ice, spend these days exploring the massive fjord system of Northeast Greenland National Park, which includes portions of Scoresbysund. These intricate fjord systems are everything from wide and unimaginable to narrow and steeply spectacular with some of the best mountain scenery in the world. Walking over lush stands of colorful autumn tundra may lead to opportunities to see musk oxen grazing nearby.

Day 7/8: Enjoy the lecture series while watching the seas for whales. Head towards Iceland and the steaming hot springs of Reykjavík. The view is often complemented by soaring fulmars, kittiwakes, gannets, guillemots, and razorbills.  Once in Reykivic, disembark and explore Iceland independantly. 

 

Size of my boat at bottom in comparison to giant icebergs that broke of from the Greenland ice shield that covers most of its territory. I took this photo from a hike over the mountain.

Midnight from our boat

Me on the right and some friends I met on the boat

Northern lights

Greenland fjords

Entering a glacial bay

Kayaking

Me and a friend from the boat kayaking

Me kayaking

Kayaking among icebergs

Under an iceberg that flipped an hour later

Muskoxen

Muskoxen

Muskoxen

Muskoxen

Snowhare

Me on a hike overlooking the valley

A ruined Nazi spy outpost from WWII

More scenery

More scenery

My boat next to a huge iceberg below

Iceberg

Glacial Valley

Glacial Valley

Glacial Valley

Incredible scenery

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Once the boat completed the journey in Iceland, I said goodbye to new friends I met and rented a car to explore as much of Iceland as I could in one day before flying home.

 

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