16 nights onboard Sylvia Earle

Greenland Odyssey

Winners 2022 Best Expedition Cruise Line

Experience the enormity of Greenland, the world’s largest island, where jagged peaks pierce azure skies, and countless glaciers snake their way towards the coast. Discover ancient rocks at Skaergaard Peninsula dating back some 55 million years. Hike across the arctic tundra in search of arctic fox, reindeer and muskox, tasting delicious wild berries along the way. Zodiac-cruise along spectacular sounds where ringed, harp and hooded seals laze on the sea ice. Watch icebergs form as Greenland’s enormous ice sheets – the largest in the Arctic – calve into the fjords, and encounter humpback and minke whales feeding in the nutrient-rich waters. Sail Prince Christian Sound, flanked by imposing mountains, as it carves its way through south Greenland where green pastures signal the presence of human settlement, and where the Viking ruins of Erik the Red still stand at Hvalsey. Weaving through the fjords and channels, we enter west Greenland, the country’s most developed region, home to the nation’s capital, Nuuk, and the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Ilulissat Icefjord.

Leaving from: Reykjavík
Cruise ship: Sylvia Earle
Visiting: Reykjavík Reykjavík Kangerlussuatsiaq Fjord Tasiilaq
AE Expeditions Logo
AE Expeditions

AE Expeditions is a small Australian cruise line which specialises in off-the-beaten-track voyages led by remote area experts.

The company’s adventurous co-founders, Greg and Margaret Mortimer, established AE Expeditions in 1991 and had by the following year, already begun running voyages to Antarctica

132
Passengers
74
Crew
2021
Launched
7400t
Tonnage
104.4m
Length
18.2m
Width
12kts
Speed
8
Decks
USD
Currency
Cruise Itinerary
Days 1 - 2
Reykjavík, Iceland
Day 3
River travel
Day 4
Kangerlussuatsiaq Fjord, Greenland
Day 5
Tasiilaq, Greenland
Day 6
Skjoldungen, Greenland
Day 7
Prince Christian Sound, Greenland
Day 7
Kangersuneq Qinngorleq, Greenland
Day 8
Tasermiut Fjord, Klostertal, Greenland
Day 8
Nanortalik, Greenland
Day 9
Hvalsey, Greenland
Day 9
Qaqortoq (Julianehaab), Greenland
Day 10
Paamiut (Fredrikshaab), Greenland
Day 11
Nuuk (Godthaab), Greenland
Day 12
Sisimiut (Holsteinsborg), Greenland
Day 13
Ilulissat (Jakobshavn), Greenland
Day 14
Eqi Glacier, Greenland
Day 15
Evighedsfjorden, Greenland
Day 16
Kangerlussuaq Havn, Greenland
Day 17
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Reykjavík, Iceland image
Days 1 - 2
Reykjavík, Iceland
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), with its ever-changing hues, Reykjavík presents a colorful sight, its concrete houses painted in light colors 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. In AD 874, Norseman Ingólfur Arnarson saw Iceland rising out of the misty sea and came ashore at a bay eerily shrouded with plumes of steam from nearby hot springs. Today most of the houses in Reykjavík are heated by near-boiling water from the hot springs. Natural heating avoids air pollution; there's no smoke around. You may notice, however, that the hot water brings a slight sulfur smell to the bathroom.Prices are easily on a par with other major European cities. A practical option is to purchase a Reykjavík City Card at the Tourist Information Center or at the Reykjavík Youth Hostel. This card permits unlimited bus usage and admission to any of the city's seven pools, the Family Park and Zoo, and city museums. The cards are valid for one (ISK 3,300), two (ISK 4,400), or three days (ISK 4,900), and they pay for themselves after three or four uses a day. Even lacking the City Card, paying admission (ISK 500, or ISK 250 for seniors and people with disabilities) to one of the city art museums (Hafnarhús, Kjarvalsstaðir, or Ásmundarsafn) gets you free same-day admission to the other two.
River travel image
Day 3
River travel
Kangerlussuatsiaq Fjord, Greenland image
Day 4
Kangerlussuatsiaq Fjord, Greenland
Tasiilaq, Greenland image
Day 5
Tasiilaq, Greenland
Discover the east coast of Greenland, where the alpine mountains merge closely with the sea, and the fjords are adorned with high snow-capped peaks and drifting icebergs. Follow in the wake of Captain Jean-Baptiste Charcot’s famous ship, the Pourquoi Pas?, which set off with its crew to discover Ammassalik. The name of this island is a reference to the capelin, a small silver coloured fish, whose presence announces to inhabitants the return of spring. This small island offers a spectacular and wild setting where the Inuit people chose to live. Set off to meet the inhabitants of this remote region, with deep-rooted traditions, and discover the Inuit culture.
Skjoldungen, Greenland image
Day 6
Skjoldungen, Greenland
Located on Greenland’s relatively rarely visited rugged east coast, Skoldungen Fjord has enchanting scenery with towering mountains tipped with snow, ice-scraped valley sides and sculptured icebergs in shades of white and blue. At the top of the fjord one can easily see the retreating state of the Thrym Glacier. The U-shaped fjord offers spectacular scenery and as an extra perk, it is not uncommon to see whales in the fjord.
Prince Christian Sound, Greenland image
Day 7
Prince Christian Sound, Greenland
The transit through the Sound is one of this voyage’s highlights. Connecting the Labrador Sea with the Irminger Seat, Prince Christian Sound or “Prins Christian Sund” in Danish is named after Prince (later King) Christian VII (1749-1808). 100 km (60 miles ), long and at times just 500 m (1500 ft) wide, this majestic and spectacular fiord throws you back into a Viking era – flanked by soaring snow-topped mountains, rock-strewn cliffs and rolling hills, it is as if time has stood still and one easily forgets that this is the 21st century. As you marvel at the sheer size of the mountains that surround you, with the Arctic waters lapping deceptively at the hull, revel in the silence enveloping you. Icebergs float serenely by, carrying with them the ages of time. Be sure to wear warm clothing as this is one spectacle that you do not want to miss.
Kangersuneq Qinngorleq, Greenland image
Day 7
Kangersuneq Qinngorleq, Greenland
Tasermiut Fjord, Klostertal, Greenland image
Day 8
Tasermiut Fjord, Klostertal, Greenland
Nanortalik, Greenland image
Day 8
Nanortalik, Greenland
Nanortalik lies in a scenic area surrounded by steep mountainsides and is Greenland’s tenth-largest and most southerly town with less than 1500 inhabitants. The town’s name means the “place of polar bears”, which refers to the polar bears that used to be seen floating offshore on summer’s ice floes. Nanortalik has an excellent open-air museum that gives a broad picture of the region from Inuit times to today. Part of the exhibition is a summer hunting camp, where Inuit in traditional clothing describe aspects of their ancestor’s customs and lifestyle.
Hvalsey, Greenland image
Day 9
Hvalsey, Greenland
Northeast of Qaqortoq and at the end of a fjord, Hvalsey is one of the best examples of South Greenland’s many scattered ruins from the Norse period. Today the area is used for sheep-grazing, but until the 15th century the settlement at Hvalsey, and specifically Hvalsey’s church, played an important part. Christianity had spread its influence throughout Europe and eventually had reached remote Greenland, where it established itself in the country in 1000 AD. Hvalsey Church was built in the 14th century and is the best preserved of the churches in Greenland from that period. Apart from the church walls, historical ruins from the time of the Norse are just a few meters away.
Qaqortoq (Julianehaab), Greenland image
Day 9
Qaqortoq (Julianehaab), Greenland
The largest town in southern Greenland, Qaqortoq has been inhabited since prehistoric times. Upon arrival in this charming southern Greenland enclave, it's easy to see why. Qaqortoq rises quite steeply over the fjord system around the city, offering breath-taking panoramic vistas of the surrounding mountains, deep, blue sea, Lake Tasersuag, icebergs in the bay, and pastoral backcountry. Although the earliest signs of ancient civilization in Qaqortoq date back 4,300 years, Qaqortoq is known to have been inhabited by Norse and Inuit settlers in the 10th and 12th centuries, and the present-day town was founded in 1774. In the years since, Qaqortoq has evolved into a seaport and trading hub for fish and shrimp processing, tanning, fur production, and ship maintenance and repair.
Paamiut (Fredrikshaab), Greenland image
Day 10
Paamiut (Fredrikshaab), Greenland
Nuuk (Godthaab), Greenland image
Day 11
Nuuk (Godthaab), Greenland
Nuuk, meaning “the cape”, was Greenland’s first town (1728). Started as a fort and later mission and trading post some 240 kilometers south of the Arctic Circle, it is the current capital. Almost 30% of Greenland’s population lives in the town. Not only does Nuuk have great natural beauty in its vicinity, but there are Inuit ruins, Hans Egede’s home, the parliament, and the Church of our Saviour as well. The Greenlandic National Museum has an outstanding collection of Greenlandic traditional dresses, as well as the famous Qilakitsoq mummies. The Katuaq Cultural Center’s building was inspired by the undulating Northern Lights and can house 10% of Nuuk’s inhabitants.
Sisimiut (Holsteinsborg), Greenland image
Day 12
Sisimiut (Holsteinsborg), Greenland
Located just north of the Arctic Circle, Sisimiut is the northernmost town in Greenland where the port remains free of ice in the winter. Yet it is also the southernmost town where there is enough snow and ice to drive a dogsled in winter and spring. In Sisimiut, travelling by sled has been the primary means of winter transportation for centuries. In fact, the area has been inhabited for approximately 4,500 years. Modern Sisimiut is the largest business center in the north of Greenland, and is one of the fastest growing Greenlandic cities. Commercial fishing is the lead economy in the town‘s thriving industrial base.
Ilulissat (Jakobshavn), Greenland image
Day 13
Ilulissat (Jakobshavn), Greenland
Known as the birthplace of icebergs, the Ilulissat Icefjord produces nearly 20 million tons of ice each day. In fact, the word Ilulissat means “icebergs” in the Kalaallisut language. The town of Ilulissat is known for its long periods of calm and settled weather, but the climate tends to be cold due to its proximity to the fjord. Approximately 4,500 people live in Ilulissat, the third-largest town in Greenland after Nuuk and Sisimiut. Some people here estimate that there are nearly as many sled dogs as human beings living in the town that also boasts a local history museum located in the former home of Greenlandic folk hero and famed polar explorer Knud Rasmussen.
Eqi Glacier, Greenland image
Day 14
Eqi Glacier, Greenland
Evighedsfjorden, Greenland image
Day 15
Evighedsfjorden, Greenland
Kangerlussuaq Havn, Greenland image
Day 16
Kangerlussuaq Havn, Greenland
The name Kangerlussuaq means "Big Fjord" in the local Kalaallisut language. The settlement of about 500 people is located in western Greenland on flat land at the head of a fjord with the same name. Kangerlussuaq is the site of Greenland's largest commercial airport and most of the economy here is dependent on the air transportation hub and tourism. The rugged lands around the settlement support terrestrial Arctic fauna including muskoxen, caribou, and Gyrfalcons.
Toronto, Ontario, Canada image
Day 17
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
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Sylvia Earle

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