From Iceland to Greenland’s mountainous south tip!

Iceland to South Greenland - Expedition Greenland 25
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The south coast of Greenland contains some of the most stunning landscapes in the whole world.  Where massive granite walls and numerous alpine peaks tower 2000 meter above the fjords. This adventure is a great combination between ocean sailing across the Denmark straight and coastal cruising on the south coast of Greenland.  An expedition where we will explore the peaks, mountains and fjords of the Greenlandic south coast. Where you will enjoy ocean sailing, hiking and peak climbing, fishing, good food, secluded anchorages and magnificent landscapes. Join the first leg of our great West-Greenland expedition, from Iceland to South Greenland!

From Ísafjörður (Iceland) to Narsarsuaq (Greenland):

We start with a propper ocean crossing of the Denmark straight from Iceland to South Greenland. Where we get to feel the forces of nature on our bodies! Though in summer this is often a pleassant crossing. The sea ice conditions on the east-Greenland coast will decide where we can first have landfall. And we aim to sail through Prins Christianssund around 4-5 days after leaving Iceland.

In South Greenland we are met with a fantastic playground for all mountain lovers. With towering peaks, sharp ridges, glaciers, fjords and icebergs until your eyes can’t reach any further. Safely on the coast and in the fjords, we will spend our days hiking, fishing eating good food and visiting the cute villages here, like Nanortalik and Qaqortoq. Where colorfull houses cling on to the green hill sides in between the mountains and icecap in the east and north, and the ocean in the south and west. Before we end our journey all the way into Eriksonsfjord with airport-shuttle with the dinghy in Narsarsuaq.

Mountain hikes and summit climbing!

This leg is largely dedicated to the incredibly beautiful alpine landscape we find on the south coast of Greenland. The days at our disposal in these fjords, we’ll go hiking in this totally deserted landscape. Where we find exciting ridge lines, vertical granitt cliffs, green meadows and definitely no roads, cars or civilization for miles and miles. In this stunning landscape will do summit treks and hiking trips. Both in the area around Prins Christiandssund, and the UNESCO World Heritage fjord Tasermiut.

In the wake of the Vikings

The area we are sailing in, in South Greenland was called Austerbygd when the Vikings had their settlements here. And we find remains of their settlements along the way. Like the church ruins at Hvalsey church and the house foundations at Brattahild, which was Eirik Raudes (Eirik the Red) farm. Its astonishing to imagine how our Norse ancestors managed to make a living in these desolate and abandoned surroundings.

This is also a leg we do in the footsteps of Hans Engebrigtsen and Alf Granviken, who in the autumn of 1940 fled from Norway to Canada to become pilots in “Little Norway”, Canada.

Join as part of the crew on board

From SeilNorge we will be skipper, co-skipper and crew/guide onboard. All good sailors, at least one of whom will have solid sailing time and experience from similar expeditions. The guide and remaining crew on board also take responsibility for being polar bear watch when we are on land, where needed. En route for sail or motor, we include everyone on board in the sailing. We will mostly sail around the clock, and divides everyone into watch teams. We rotate between the duty shifts and go 4 hours on and 8 hours off. In addition, we include a couple of shorter shifts in the rotation in the afternoon, so that we also rotate the night shifts between the different watch teams.

Our expedition vessel, Valiente

It’s not just any sailboat we’re using on this trip, but our 70-foot expedition boat Valiente. She is a very stable and comfortable boat built in steel for sailing in arctic waters. The boat is well equipped and has large outdoor areas, and a wheelhouse and a saloon with a 360-degree view. For pictures and more information about the vessel Valiente, see this link.

The great Greenland expedition 2025

This expedition, like our other longer trips, is primarily a great voyage of discovery, but also an excellent opportunity to learn a lot about sailing and navigation. And not least using a boat as a starting point for discoveries and experiences on land. Are you ready for our big expedition from Greenland?

We recommend all participants stay a few extra days in Greenland, there is a lot to see and do here. We will send out tips and information about activities and accommodation to all participants. This is also part of our big Greenland expedition in 2025, where we will go all the way up to Disco Bay and back. If you want to join several of the stages up/down the west coast of Greenland, you are also most welcome!

Environment and sustainability

The Arctic is a vulnerable area under pressure from people and the climate. However in SeilNorge, we are concerned with taking care of the environment to the greatest extent possible. We believe that small boats with fewer people and little pollution and waste are much less harmful to the environment, climate and local wildlife, than larger boats and cruise ships. In the places we visit, we also try to clean up litter rather than leaving anything behind, so we leave a positive handprint. In Svalbard and Greenland, we follow AECO’s guidelines for encounters with wildlife, beach cleaning, cultural heritage sites and for visitors and operators in the Arctic. You can read more about AECO’s guidelines here.

Itinerary

Day 1: Welcome onboard in Ísafjörður

We meet at the dock in Isafjordur at 16.00 this first day. Here we get to know each other and the boat, go through safety routines on board and the plan for the leg. When our expedition ship is seaworthy, we plan to leave the quay already this first evening. We will become a close-knit team and spend the evening practicing various maneuvers as we sail out into the Westfjords here on the north-west tip of Iceland.

Day 2-5: Ocean crossing to Greenlands east coast and Prins Christianssund

Now we cross the Denmark Strait and sail with the southern current down along the east coast of Greenland. We expect to spend around 3 days before we see land, and 1-2 days south along the coast before we reach the entrance of Prins Christianssund in the south. The seaice condition of the summer decides. It will anyways be a great experience across the ocean.

Day 6: Aapilatoq til Nanortalik

Aapilatoq is the first settlement we come to through Prins Christianssund. This is also the place where Hans and Alf in the autumn of 1940, after 10 days of rowing, got help to get on towards Canada. We are going ashore to find out if this story is still alive with the oldest of the residents. We then sail to Nanortalik, the largest of the villages furthest south.

Day 7-8: UNESCO området Tasermiut-fjorden

We spend 1-2 full days in this most famous fjord in South Greenland; Tasermiut. Where we find both lush hills and meadows, and hugh mountains up to the 2,000 masl with steep walls straight from sea level.

Day 9: Hiking and hot springs in Uunartoq

This will be our spa day. After the mountain hikes on land, we will find the hot springs in Uunartoq, and take a real and well-deserved bath. In the evening we sail to Qaqortoq.

Day 10: Qaqortoq and Eiriksfjord

We wake up this morning in Qaqortoq, where some of our Greenlandic crew in SeilNorge grew up. This was also a place Hans and Alf visited on their trip to Canada in 1940. From Qaqortoq we head north into Eriksfjord for a quick hike up the “iron” from Ipiutaq. Alternatively, we go on a longer climb up the 1,752 m high mountain Illerfissalik right by Igaliku. This peak supposedly offers the best view in South Greenland. But the trip takes 10-12 hours. If you instead want to wander around the village, there are plenty of historical and cultural places to explore. In the night we continue towards the ed of Eriksfjord.

Day 11: Trip end in Narsarsuaq

We sail all the way to the bottom of Eriksfjord towards the inland ice cap. Here we both find Brattahild, Erik Raude’s farm, and Narsarsuaq airport. If we have time before the flight leaves, there is a lot to do also straight from the airport; you can fish on the beach, go for a walk up to the ice cap or rent a mountain bike and ride the grassy paths into the ancient landscape.

What is included?

  • A trip experience with sailboat – experienced skipper with local knowledge on board
  • Co-skipper and crew/guide on board
  • All food we eat on board during the trip
  • Our Comfort Package, which consists of accommodation onboard in a shared double cabin (bunk or double bed) with a ready-made bed (warm and nice duvets and pillows!)
  • An environmentally friendly, local, sustainable, unique, exotic and exclusive Norwegian adventure holiday
  • A shared experience and friendship with like-minded adventurers from around the world
  • A lot of time outdoors – raw and honest nature experiences
  • Use of our shared equipment: dinghies, kayaks, fishing equipment, etc. when possible
  • All boat-related costs such as diesel, propane and harbor fees
  • Personal safety equipment; Helly Hansen inflatable lifejacket
  • Survival suit and Search and Rescue (SAR) Insurance for everyone onboard
  • Instruction, advice, guidance and practical training in boating and sailing

What is not included?

  • Travel to and from the start/end location
  • Optional meals at a cafes/restaurants during the trip
  • Entrance to galleries, museums, or other alternative activities that you/we may come up with
  • Rental of equipment and/or activities from external operators, ex. paddling, glacier hiking or surfing where possible
  • Drinks such as wine, beer or exclusive apple juice and other luxuries (yes, we drink beer and wine on board, bring your own)
  • Travel insurance and/or cancellation insurance – (up to you, but recommended!)

Important info

Departure and arrival

This trip start in Isafjordur, Iceland and ends in Narsarsuaq, Greenland.

You find more information on travel, equipment and other tips under Practical info.

Safety and risk on our expeditions

As mentioned, we take safety very seriously. Even more so on our expeditions, as we then explore really remote waters and terrain, cross open oceans and sail into areas with additional risk factors such as sea ice or poor charts and uncharted waters. We deal with this by having an extra focus on the situations we may encounter among everyone onboard, for each expedition. We sail in these remote areas only in the most optimal seasons; and we use larger and very solid boats for our expeditions. Which are both equipped and sized to cope with this type of expedition trips and waters very well.

We are absolutely certain that sailing is the safest and most accessible way to visit these very inaccessible places we go on our expeditions. However, all sailing in general, and particularly sailing in arctic regions and over open seas, involves a certain risk that you must be aware of when joining.

Level of the expedition

Some have their first sailing experience ever, joining us on an ocean crossing! Please note that our expeditions require a certain physical health and mobility level.

The boats we sail on our expeditions are larger, robust and sit well in the sea. On our sailing expeditions we both sail in more coastal, sheltered waters, and cross open stretches of waters. On some of our expeditions even ocean crossings over several days at sea. An incredibly wonderful and special experience!

Weather dictates our journey, and we adapt each expedition’s program accordingly, often allowing extra days for flexibility in assessing and choosing optimal weather windows. Despite planning and preparations, we can’t control the weather, so be prepared for various conditions. The proximity to nature’s forces on such expeditions is a rare and rewarding experience.

On expeditions, we sail with many participants, forming watch teams for a solid onboard team spirit. Rotating watches around the clock ensures active involvement without overwhelming fatigue.

As everyone participates actively during the week or more onboard, seasickness is rare. If you anticipate seasickness, consider bringing remedies, such as seasickness plasters, often effective for longer expeditions. Consult your doctor for advice on seasickness and any necessary medications. Feel free to ask us about seasickness as well.

Any questions? Need travel tips? Practical information?


You'll probably find the answer here, in our collection of questions and answers and practical information.

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