Northern Lights Tour
27 Oct | 2 hours
The town of Kangerlussuaq is sheltered between the Greenland Ice Sheet, the fjord, and mountains, which all contribute to a stable climate with minimal cloud cover - they have roughly 300 clear nights per year. Adding to this, Kangerlussuaq utilizes artificial lighting sparingly and the backcountry’s cloak of darkness lies just a short drive away.
To begin our Northern Lights tour, we set off into the backcountry by bus. We'll quickly find ourselves in total darkness beneath Kangerlussuaq’s starry skies. Gazing upward, you will hopefully be able to see brilliant, green bands or flapping curtains of color waving across the celestial sphere. Shades of red, blue and violet are possible as well. This ethereal light display is the result of a scientific phenomenon where gaseous protons and electrons from solar wind collide with molecules in Earth’s atmosphere.
Color variations are due to the type of gas particles that collide, as well as the altitude at which they collide. Oxygen molecules at lower altitudes of up to 241 km (150 mi) produce the most common color, a yellowy green; then deepen to shades of red above 241 km (150 mi) high. Nitrogen produces blue hues at altitudes up to 96.5 km (60 miles); and vivid purples above 96.5 km (60 miles).
About the Tour
Duration: 2 hours
Disclaimer: Please note that the Northern Lights tour is weather dependent. In case of cloudy weather, the tour will be canceled and a full refund given. And because the Northern Lights is a natural phenomenon, we cannot guarantee its presence.
Departures: The Northern Lights tour is an evening tour - typically it will run from 20:00-22:00, but it may be pushed an hour later if the chances of seeing the Northern Lights are better later. Also, note that the date shown is only an indication. We will do the excursion when the forecast is best, so it could be the evening of any of the days that we are in Kangerlussuaq. Your tour leader and the staff will keep you updated once we are in Greenland.
Tundra Safari and Kangerlussuaq Sightseeing
26 Oct, 28 Oct | 3.5 hours
Present-day Kangerlussuaq is a former American air base that has transformed into the main airport of Greenland. On this tour, we will do some sightseeing while our guide shares exciting stories - telling us about everything from primitive Kangerlussuaq to the origins of the base (from the Second World War to the Cold War) and its subsequent transformation into a modern international airport and small settlement. It is also interesting to learn about Greenland's culture and the ways in which its people have adapted to the harsh environment.
The area around Kangerlussuaq has Greenland's longest road, and using this we will embark on a roadtrip to meet the great Greenlandic nature. We will drive to the harbour to enjoy views of the beautiful Kangerlussuaq Fjord. We'll also drive past Kellyville, a small town 12 km from the airport that is centered on a research facility, and tour the old base area. We will visit the village kennel, where we'll get better acquainted with Greenlandic sled dogs (as the season is not open in Kangerlussuaq in October, we will not be able to go dog sledding) and their unique instincts. We'll have ample opportunity to take in the stunning nature along the way, and, if we are very lucky, spot musk oxen during this scenic 3.5-hour drive.
About the Tour
Duration: 3.5 hours
Departures: This excursion runs Thursday and Saturday. Participants will be allocated a date according to where they are staying, what distance they are running, who they are travelling with etc. Your race pack will indicate the date and time of your excursion (if booked).
- English-speaking tour guide
- 3.5 hour drive
26 Oct, 29 Oct | 4 hours
Kangerlussuaq enjoys the unique pleasure of being the only place in Greenland where you can drive to the Ice Sheet. We will board a tundra coach - a special 4WD vehicle designed to handle ice, rocks, and uneven ground- and then drive partially off-road on the fascinating route to the magnificent Russell Glacier. The drive will take approximately 1.5 hours, and along the way we'll be on the lookout for wildlife such as reindeer and musk oxen.
The glacier is an impressive sight, with vertical walls of ice that rise as high as 60 meters. We will not walk on the glacier itself, but you'll have a chance to hike along the glacier's edge to truly appreciate its immense power. We'll get close enough for some great photo and video opportunities before heading back to Kangerlussuaq.
About the Tour
Duration: 4 hours
Departures: This excursion runs Thursday and Sunday. Participants will be allocated a date according to where they are staying, what distance they are running, who they are travelling with etc. Your race pack will indicate the date and time of your excursion (if booked).
- English-speaking guide
- Transport from Kangerlussuaq to Russell Glacier and back
30-2 Nov | 4 days
Ilulissat, also known as the Iceberg Capital, is a true Greenlandic gem. With a wide range of attractions, including the UNESCO-accredited Icefjord, Ilulissat offers natural wonder mixed with cultural immersion.
What makes Greenland a truly unique destination is the combination of wild nature and the Inuit culture that has adapted to it through generations. It is along the coast the people of Greenland live and it is in the towns and settlements that we find the "real" Greenland. Small colourful houses cling to mountainsides, culture and architecture are both enriched and limited by nature, and if you take just a few steps outside the town you’ll find yourself almost completely isolated, surrounded by one of the world’s last and largest wildernesses. With any luck, we'll be treated to a display of the amazing northern lights on one or more evenings.
Ilulissat is the third largest town in Greenland with just under 5000 residents, and offers a variety of tour possibilities. If we are lucky with the weather, there might be snow enough for the dog sleds to operate. Otherwise, a helicopter or small plane flight over the Iulissat Icefjord is a stunning experience. These extra excursions can be booked upon arrival to Ilulissat. Please note all optional tours are permitted by weather and/or number of participants and therefore cannot be guaranteed in advance.
We'll check in for Air Greenland’s flight to Ilulissat. Upon arrival and transfer to the town, we check in at Hotel Hvide Falk. The hotel is situated at the waterfront with an impressive view over the Disco Bay where stray icebergs from the Icefjord, located just south of town, float by the windows. Restaurants, museums, shops and the harbour are all within walking distance.
The town of Ilulissat is picturesque, lively, and inviting. By Greenlandic standards it offers many cultural sights that - apart from the birthplace and museum of arctic explorer Knud Rasmussen - include a hunting and fishing museum and a fine collection of paintings of Emanuel A. Petersen. Since Ilulissat was founded more than 250 years ago, it has steadily grown and is today Greenland’s third largest city with more than 4000 inhabitants. Our tour leader will guide us on a walking tour through the town, showing us iconic sights such as the Zion Church and the fish market, and giving us an overall introduction to the town and all the possible activities to be done in the area.
Ilulissat is rightfully called the Capital of Icebergs. South of the city, the enormous Icefjord cuts its way through the landscape. It starts 32km further inland, where the huge Sermeq Kujalleq Glacier is calving icebergs with a speed of 25 meters per day. It is responsible for the production of 10% of all of Greeenland's icebergs, making it the most productive glacier outside of Antarctica. These icebergs float down the fjord and out into Disco Bay, where the icy giants linger.
Its importance to glacial science and the stunning natural settings have put the Icefjord on UNESCO’s World Heritage list. After breakfast, we will walk to the harbour and embark on a 2½ hours boat trip on the Icefjord where we will get an up close and personal view of the impressive “floating mountains.” This is a good chance to get some stunning photos and an experience you will never forget. Remember warm clothes! The afternoon is free to shop, or walk to one of the nearby hilltops overlooking the Icefjord. Alternatively, you can go on some of the optional excursions if weather permits.
This morning, after breakfast at your hotel, we will go for a walk to the Sermermiut Valley. The hike is a must-do activity in the region and will take us approximately 2 kilometers south of Ilulissat, beginning at the old heliport. From there, we enter the UNESCO-area on a wooden path toward the famous ruins of Sermermiut. Sermermiut is an ancient settlement that has been home to many different Inuit people for more than 4000 years. The stone ruins of old turf houses are scattered on various hilltops that we will be able to see as we walk. We continue through the old settlement to Nakkaavik, a cliff whose name means 'the place to fall.' You can ask your guide about the origin of this haunted name. From here, we are treated to a breathtaking view of the Kangia, another name for the famous Ilulissat Icefjord with its many massive icebergs.
The rest of the day is at your own leisure, and you have the opportunity to book one of the optional tours (weather permitting).
In the morning, we will head to the airport and take a domestic flight to Kangerlussuaq. From there, we board a flight to Copenhagen, where we will arrive in the evening (CET). Due to connection times, we do not recommend booking a same day flight home. Post-nights can be booked at the Hebron Hotel in central Copenhagen.
Meals: Breakfast and a flight meal