“Arctic Explorer, Greenland with Denmark” New small group
August 3-12, 2024
Price listed below the daily itinerary
Come channel your Viking spirit in the land of star beauty. Dominated by the world’s second largest sea cap, remote Greenland lends an epic vacation experience. Imagine entering a world of eternal ice and monumental icebergs under the Midnight Sun. Like a celebrity, you’ll need your sunglasses even at night. Summer in this arctic tundra bursts with vibrant colors in all shades of green and where the Northern Lights can be seen year-round. Witness majestic calving glaciers and massive icebergs floating in the deepest blue sea. Add the coolest wildlife like puffins, seals, whales, the rare “unicorn” narwhal, and polar bears, you’ve found the perfect vacation experience! Greenland, covered and 81% ice, has just one short magical season -Summer offers nfathomable beauty.
Greenland is ruled by its weather. Yes, it’s expensive destinations to visit due to the very short Taurus season. We dug deep to curate the best itinerary for you to see the greatest scenic sites located in West Greenland. (We discovered most tours and cruises go East with just visits to settlements or no tours included in prices.) Our new 9-day AFS trip includes plenty of activities and cruises around Disko Bay in a shorter time and then adding Scandi-cool Denmark to save you money.
We begin in Wonderful Copenhagen with fun activities and tours including a day in Sweden! Then we fly Air Greenland direct to the best region of the country where cruises don’t go. Our base in West Greenland is Ilulissat, a UNESCO World Heritage Site famous for its scenic wonders. In dramatic Disko Bay with the extraordinary Eqi Glacier Fjord, witness massive icebergs breaking off into the sea. Listen and gaze. It’s a dazzling display where ice moves
faster than anywhere else on earth, up to 130 feet in 24 hours. Then meet the huskies as we visit the kennels to play with a friendly sled dogs. Immerse yourself in the traditions of the friendly Inuit people. Enjoy a whale watching cruise in search of beluga, fin, humpback and orca whales. You can even opt for the helicopter ride or sea kayaking amidst the stunning ice fjords.
Greenland is so enchanting, a land where whales dance in the fjords and reindeer roam freely. Many of you asked for it and it won’t come around again. This one is for a small group of 18 AFS explorers. Experience the Midnight Sun at latitude 80°. Don’t miss this unique getaway into a mesmerizing white wilderness with a taste of Denmark and Sweden. It’s truly an adventure of a lifetime that should be at the top of your bucket list!
Our Glorious AFS Itinerary
Aug 3 – Fly USA round trip to Copenhagen
Aug 4 – Welcome to Wonderful Copenhagen!
Transfer to our hotel city center. (One common group transfer according to most flight times.) Our hotel is ideally set along the blue waves of Copenhagen Canal near the city center’s must-see attractions.
Lonely Planet says…Copenhagen is a city that embodies Scandi cool. It effortlessly combines modernist design with the timeless charm of the Nordic region. As you stroll through the streets, you’ll be mesmerized by the soft glow of modernist lamps illuminating the bustling city. New Nordic tables, adorned with minimalist elegance, invite you to indulge in a
culinary journey like no other.
Overnight Copenhagen Strand Hotel
Aug 5- Danish Delights City Tour
After breakfast, we meet our guide for a tour of the main sights that give Copenhagen its old-world charm. You’ll pass by Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, Tivoli Gardens, the world’s oldest Royal Stock Exchange, and Christiansborg Castle, which today houses the Danish Parliament and the Supreme Court.
Next, we’ll visit the charming harbor, Nyhavn, before reaching Amalienborg Castle, the prime residence of the Danish Royal family. We’ll also pass by Rosenborg Castle, where the Royal collections, including the Crown Jewels, are protected by the Royal Guard. And no tour of Copenhagen would be complete without visiting The Little Mermaid, inspired by Hans Christian Andersen’s fairytale! (If time permits it’s only $12 for entrance into Rosenberg castle to see the jewels, takes about two hours and worth it). Continue to see Amalien Castle, residence of the Prime Minister and Royal Family. . Then visit the exquisite Danish Cathedral. Entrance included at Roskilde Cathedral. The crème de la crème of Danish cathedrals, this twin-spired giant was started by Bishop Absalon in 1170, but has been rebuilt and tweaked so many times that it’s now a superb showcase of 850 years’ worth of Danish architecture. As the royal mausoleum, it contains the crypts of 37 Danish kings and queens and is now a Unesco World Heritage Site.
Rickshaw ride – Time for a unique experience this afternoon as we embark on a one-hour pedaled Rickshaw Ride into the back alleys of the city center. We end with a “coffee and cake like a Dane” with the locals called Kobenhavner for Danish pastries. Tonight, we gather for a Welcome Dinner at local restaurant with Danish delights to get to know our new AFS Travelers lovers.
Overnight Copenhagen Strand Hotel B, D
The Copenhagen Strand is a 4-star hotel situated on the waterfront of Copenhagen Harbour, offering breathtaking views of the serene blue waves. Conveniently located near all the major attractions and must-sees in the city, but also provides a tranquil and peaceful atmosphere for our guests. That’s why we consider Copenhagen Strand to be the perfect seaside hotel in the heart of the city. We can’t wait to give you a warm welcome and make your group tour travel experience truly unforgettable!
Aug 6 – Fly to Greenland
This morning transfer to airport for our flight on Air Greenland. (Flights are not in the system yet, times and cost TBA). It’s around a 5-hour flight from Copenhagen to Kangerlussuaq, Greenland’s main gateway. Then we transfer to 1-hour domestic flight to Ilulissat, the iceberg capital and coolest part of the country! (Some connections on Air Greenland will be on helicopters of 9 to 20 passengers. There are no roads connecting town.)
Check into our base – Ilulissat Best Western in the heart of town. This new hotel has the friendliest staff to assist you, free Wi-Fi and full hot breakfast. Enjoy the rooftop café with stunning views of the ice fjords here. It’s the perfect location to walk to nearby shops, museums, churches, cafés, etc. At night, always look to the sky for the possibility of seeing the summer northern lights.
Ilulissat is the third-largest city in Greenland and attracts many as it is home to the famous Ilulissat Icefjord. With a population of 4,905, it offers opportunities to experience stunning icebergs and is situated on the shores of Disko Bay, making it the largest town in the area. The name “Ilulissat” aptly translates to “Icebergs” in the Greenlandic language, which is fitting considering the towering icebergs that surround the town. Located on the west coast of Greenland, approximately 350km north of the Arctic Circle, Ilulissat enjoys continuous daylight during the summer months and perpetual darkness in winter. These extreme conditions make it a unique destination. The nutrient-rich waters of Disko Bay attract a diverse range of seals and whales, making it the prime location for whale watching in Greenland. – Lonely Planet
Overnight Best Western Hotel Ilulissat B
Aug 7 – Epic Eqi Glacier, Disko Bay
We head on the Disko Line ferry to Qeqertarsuaq, the only city on Disko Island known as the most beautiful place in Greenland. Basalt columns and hot springs are evidence of the volcanic history here. We board our boats 80 km north to what Greenlanders call “the naval of the world”, to witness the calving of glaciers. Few places on earth are as beautiful and active as Eqi. Our boat will get you up close to the glacier as possible. When it is calving, the sounds are deafening as icebergs of incredible colors and shapes break into the waters. See the enormous ice wall for breathtaking photos. Along the way of our cruise, look out for the legendary whales, seals and a multitude of marine life. Here we stop to enjoy a buffet lunch of local fish in front of the glacier. Special permits are given for those who may choose an optional helicopter flight and some incredible sea kayaking experiences among the ‘bergs. You’ll be shouting “torrak!”, Greeenlanders slang for “that’s awesome” by days enf.
(Shared tour – this means it’s not a private AFS tour. Others may join us.)
Best Western Hotel Ilulissat B,L
This morning we embark on a walking tour along a raised wooden walkway to the settlement of Sermermiut set along a beautiful world of ice. For 4000 years, different Inuit communities have lived here. Our guide will share stories about Inuit life and traditions before Europeans came to Greenland. Touch the permafrost ground to understand the challenging life they have here. See the historic turf houses from ancient times. The town receives 30,000 visitors each year and is now a UNESCO site.
Our afternoon adventure takes us on another boat cruise by icebergs into the famous Ilulissat Icefiord which is also a World Heritage Site. It is astonishing to look up at at ice sheets 100m in height around you as we sail towards the end of the fjord. In summer, they glitter in shiny white and a dozen shades of blue under the unique warm glow of the midnight sun. It’s a nature experience you’ll never forget. (Shared tour).
Best Western Hotel Ilulissat B
Aug 9 – Whale Safari & Huskies
This morning we head out again in boats in search of the humpback, blue, minke, and fin whales splashing in the waters of Disko Bay. The humpback, as big as 30 tons and 60 feet long, is the acrobat among them all. They are most active swimming in summer. See them hunt for fish, squid and krill. Also look for walruses, bearded seals, adorable white Beluga and the rare Narwhal or “unicorn” whales! It’s possible to spot polar bears. They are one of Greenland’s most iconic animals and the world’s largest land predator. 2200 polar bears live around the coast of West Greenland. (Now is the time to visit. Scientific studies reveal the ice sheets are melting faster now than ever in history. But they also discover a re-emerging population of polar bears despite rapid climate change.) Our captain is in radio contact with the local fishermen and other boat operators to alert us of sightings near for our best WOW moments. (Shared tour)
Afternoon tour to meet the Huskies! For six months a year here, it’s sled time for 1800 dogs that reside here. Not just for recreation and tourism, but these sled dogs are used to work. They are mainly used for transportation and hauling halibut from the ice fiords to Ilulissat. In summer, it’s delightful to visit the sociable dogs at their kennel homes. You’ll hear their yapping as we approach. Look into their blue eyes under the midnight sunshine, pet their soft fur and get your best “selfie” with them. The playful interactions and joy of these unique huskies lend a heartfelt experience. Tonight, a Farewell Dinner is included at our hotel to cheer a fabulous adventure in Greenland! Best Western Hotel Ilulissat link B, D
Aug 10 – WEST GREENLAND – COPENHAGEN
We check out and transfer to airport for our return flight to Copenhagen. (Time around 7 hours.). On arrival transfer to hotel. Depending on flight times, you may have time to explore more of this royal city. In the evening, consider a canal dinner cruise or fabulous Tivoli Gardens. This famous old-world amusement park, set in stunning gardens, is loved by adults and children alike with dozens of fun lively outdoor cafés and restaurants to choose.
Overnight Copenhagen Strand Hotel B
Aug 11: Visit Sweden
We added a full day tour for you to add another stamp your passport. By private coach, we drive over the beautiful Oresund Bridge, the longest in Europe, over to Sweden. Our guide leads us on a walking tour of historic Lund, a city dating back to the Viking age. Walk its cobbled streets and visit the 12th-century Lund Cathedral. Then we travel to Sweden’s third largest city, the cultural capital and university city of Malmo. From the large square of Stortorget, see Malmo’s Castle, Scandinavia’s oldest pharmacy, the old graveyard and St Peiti Church, and other hidden local spots located in Gamla Stan. There are many enticements. It has a Parisian feel with pedestrian-only streets lined with great Swedish cafés. Free time to visit the museums and many specialty shops with great prices. Later we meet our guide at the Torso, Scandinavia’s tallest building and return to Copenhagen.
Overnight Copenhagen Strand Hotel B
Aug 12: Departure – After breakfast, transfer to airport for a flights home.
Land Price: $4995 per person twin occupancy, based on 20 participants
Includes – 4 nights first class hotel Copenhagen, 4 nights hotel Ilulissat, breakfast daily, 2 lunches, welcome and farewell dinners, private coach transfers with tour guide, daily tours with entrance fees as stated, rickshaw tour, Eqi glacier, whale safari, Sermermuit, huskies, iceberg cruise, day visit Sweden.
Not included: Gratuities, round-trip air USA to Copenhagen, internal air round-trip Denmark to Greenland.
Air Greenland is the only airline into Greenland. There are no ferrys or transport from other countries. Seats are limited with only 10 flights a week in summer to Ilulissat on small aircraft. Because seats are extremely limited on small aircraft, the internal flights are part of the group package. We must all be on the same charter flight. We hold 24 seats for AFS. Total price with taxes is $1560. Full payment is due January 10 for airline ticket with strict restrictions as nonrefundable. (AFS will be billing you Jan 5.). 20kg or 40lbs limit for checked bags. Understand that Greenland welcomes over 100,000 international tourists annually. It’s all worth it if this once in a lifetime destination is on your bucket list!
- Aug 6. #781, CPH-SFJ 10-10:40AM (5 hour flight less 4 hour time change)
- Connect to #534 SFJ – JAV 12:25-2PM
- Aug 10 #533 JAV-SFJ 9:45 -11:20AM
- Connect to #780 SFJ-CPH 11:55AM-8:15PM
Itineraries are prepared up to a year ahead and things can change. Modifications may be made. All rooms are run of house.
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