From Greenland’s mountainous south tip to Iceland!

South Greenland to Iceland - Expedition Greenland 25
SKU: 8265 Category:

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 coastal cruising on the south coast of Greenland and ocean sailing across the Denmark straight.  An expedition where we will explore the peaks, mountains and fjords of the Greenlandic south coast. Where you will enjoy ocean sailing, hiking, fishing, good food, secluded anchorages and magnificent landscapes. Join the last leg of our great West-Greenland expedition, from South Greenland to Iceland!

From to Narssarsuaq (Greenland) to Ísafjörður (Iceland):

We start this adventure in South Greenland, where we are met by an outstanding 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 charming villages here, like Nanortalik and Qaqortoq. Where colourful houses cling on to the green hill sides, between the mountains and icecap in the east and north, and the ocean in the south and west. Before we end our time in Greenland for now, we explore the magnificent area of Prince Christian Sound.

The last part of our journey is a proper ocean crossing of the Denmark straight from South Greenland to Iceland, where we really get to feel the forces of nature on our bodies! We are now sailing in September, which probably means there is less sea ice on our way. On the high seas we can face both stronger winds and light breezes.

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 will go hiking in this totally deserted landscape. With no roads, cars or civilization, we enjoy exciting ridge lines, vertical granite cliffs and green meadows. In this stunning landscape will do summit treks and hiking trips. Our journeys lead us through the UNESCO World Heritage fjord Tasermiut and Prince Christian Sound.

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. We will find remains of their settlements along the way; like the ruins of Hvalsey Church and the house foundations at Brattahild, which was Eirik Raude’s (Eirik the Red) farm. It’s astonishing to imagine how our Norse ancestors managed to make a living in these desolate and abandoned surroundings.

Join as part of the crew on board

Onboard from SeilNorge there will be a skipper, co-skipper and crew/guide. All trained sailors, and at least one of whom will have solid sailing time and experience from similar expeditions. The guide and remaining crew will be responsible for polar bear safety while ashore, where needed. En route for sail or motor, we include everyone on board in the boat handling. We will mostly sail around the clock, and divide everyone into watch teams. We rotate between the shifts and do 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, a wheelhouse and a saloon with a 360-degree window view. Click here for pictures and more information about Valiente.

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 your big expedition from Greenland?

We recommend all participants stay a few extra days in Greenland as there is a lot to see and do here. We will send out tips and information about activities and accommodation to all participants. This leg is 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 legs in the west coast of Greenland, you are most welcome!

Environment and sustainability

The Arctic is a vulnerable area under pressure from people and the climate. 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 is much less harmful to the environment, climate and local wildlife, than larger boats and cruise ships. In the places we visit, we try to clean up litter and not leave anything behind. 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 Narsarsuaq

We meet up in Narsarsuaq at 10.00 this first day. Where our dinghy will be the airport express! 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 leave for our adventure already this first evening. We will become a close-knit team and spend the day practicing various manoeuvres on board as we sail out of Eriksfjord

Day 2: Eriksfjord and Qaqartoq

Today we might start the day with a quick hike up the “iron” from Ipiutaq. As we reach this as we sail out of Eriksfjord. 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. We visit the largest town on the south coast of Greenland today; Qaqartoq. A charming little place in between big mountains.

Day 3-4: UNESCO World Heritage area; Tasermiut fjord, and Nanortalik

We spend 1-2 full days in this most famous fjord in South Greenland; Tasermiut. Where we find both lush hills and meadows, and huge mountains up to the 2,000 masl with steep walls straight from sea level.
Here is also the cozy town of Nanortalik situated. And we pay this little gem a visit as we enter the Tasermiut area.

Day 5-6: Aapilatoq and Prins Christiandssund

Aapilatoq is the last settlement we will visit in Greenland. Situated among huge mountains on the very southern tip of this world’s largest island. The terrain in Prins Christianssund is a mecca for mountain lovers. And we will spend our last days exploring the mountains and fjords here. Maybe we even get to a peak above 2000masl! A long hike when we always start at sea level.

Day 7-10: Ocean sail across the Denmark Straight

Finally we’ll have to leave Greenland and cross the Denmark Strait to Iceland. When we leave Greenland exactly is truly dependant on the weather forcast. And it might be even a day or two earlier if storms are coming our way later. We aim for Reykjavik on the south west tip of Iceland, and will spend around 4-5 days on the crossing. Depending how favourable the wind is for us!

Day 11: Bye for now in Reykjavik

We aim to be in port in Reykjavik the last night of our expedition. So we can celebrate a well done expedition with a proper meal on land. We will anyhow aim for port by latest 10.00 this last morning. Where we say goodbye after having packed, cleaned and tidied the boat after ourselves. Though it’s a good idea to have some extra time before your further travels after an expedition like this. Thanks for a wonderful experience together!

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 Narsarsuaq, Greenland and ends in Reykjavik, Iceland.

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

Deposit and payment

You only pay a deposit (NOK 6000) upon registration, the remainder of the payment is due 60 days prior to departure.

Safety and risk onboard

We are all about people, and so we also take safety very seriously. On our trips we practice sail- and boat handling also for safety, and we spend time going through various situations that can arise at sea, how to handle them and how to avoid them.

Onboard a boat everyone must know what to do in critical situations and in the event of an emergency. Our philosophy is that partaking and participation builds safety. It is important for the safety of the whole boat that you are a participant onboard, not just a passenger.

Therefore all our trips are to be considered sailing courses in addition to being great  holidays and adventures: You are trained to make up the crew onboard and so we build a capable team onboard.

Feel free to contact us for a chat about safety and risk on our adventures.

Level of the trip

No sailing experience? No problem! Our sailing adventures welcome both novices and seasoned sailors for an inclusive and enjoyable experience. Whether you’re new to sailing or a salty sea dog, our trips cater to all levels.

We aim to transform beginners into sailors quickly while offering experienced participants greater responsibilities and challenges. Our mainland sailing journeys involve 44-50 feet boats navigating coastal and protected waters, occasionally crossing open stretches for excitement. Route adjustments based on weather and conditions ensure a safe and adaptable voyage.

Trips are not overly strenuous; with rotating positions, participants can balance sailing and relaxation. Active engagement minimizes seasickness, and if it occurs, it passes swiftly. Weather, however, is unpredictable, with the potential for stronger winds and various conditions in northern Norway and the Arctic, making each trip a true sailing adventure. Be prepared for calm winds and rough weather—embracing the elements for an unforgettable experience.

What we expect from you

Our trips require a little effort from you who are joining – everyone on board must be ready to contribute and to give of themselves also socially; the more you open up, share and interest yourself in the others onboard, the more enjoyable it gets. 

When you’re sailing with us you are invited to take part in the running of the ship and all that comes with it. You will be sailing, docking, navigating, looking out for whales and icebergs, but also making food, serving others, doing dishes and helping clean the boat during the trip, and contributing in other ways when needed. Onboard we are all in the same boat and when all help out, the ship is most happy. 

Our experience is that doing things together with others out in nature, and not least cooperating and doing activities with new people and different personalities than you might have around you normally, is what creates the best, most interesting and memorable moments and stories:)

Equipment and packing

As with all activities, there is plenty of special equipment and clothing for sailing. If you don’t have any of this, you will get very far with normal hiking/outdoor equipment. You do not need to buy a lot of new equipment to join our trips. Use what you have, borrow what you need from a friend, purchase used equipment, and if you have to invest in new equipment – buy quality items that will last! What you need is something waterproof and windproof on the outside, and layered warm clothing underneath.

Some jackets may not be waterproof “enough”, or might not perform too well in salt water, so you can consider a set of oilskin for the wettest days (available for rent or purchase onboard). A pair of higher rubber boots for disembarking from the dinghy is very good to have, as well as indoor shoes below deck. Out at sea and in the Arctic it can be cold even in summer, so bring both swimwear and plenty of warm clothes. Well before departure, we will send you a detailed recommended packing list.

Read more and see our packing tips here:

PS: In a sailboat, you pack in a bag or sack, not in a rigid suitcase. 🙂

Food & cooking onboard

On our trips, you will be part of the crew onboard and get the chance to participate in all tasks for the operation of the boat. This includes cooking and preparing food – everyone take turns in the galley! Skippers and crew assist as much as they can along the way.

We have great menus with tasty, healthy and “boat-friendly” food, and for each trip we order provisions for all meals onboard. If you have allergies or preferences, let us know in the registration form and we will take that into account as best as we can. You are also most welcome to bring any special food or drink with you. Why not bring some specialities from your country or region for the boat to enjoy? 

During a weeklong trip we often sail by a good restaurant or two where we can have dinner on land. Some places we need to pre-book and we will then need to choose a menu before we arrive. More about all of this when you come onboard!

Life onboard & accommodation

Life on a sailboat is super social and fun, but it might feel a bit intimate at first. No worries though, that vibe usually fades after the first hour. Everyone chips in to run the boat, and we’re all part of the crew, which means quick bonding.

We’re keen to get to know you and hope you’ll connect with the rest of the crew. It takes some patience, generosity, and an open mind to thrive, but soon you’ll be focused on making new friends and enjoying raw nature experiences once sea life feels like home.

Sleeping arrangements in shared cabins with double or bunk beds can be a bit of a puzzle, but we’re pretty good at figuring it out. Let us know if you have preferences. You’re on your own for land accommodations before or after the trip.

The boat provides heating and good food, but fresh water isn’t always abundant. Water conservation means not showering every day, but when near freshwater sources, we make the most of it. But nothing beats a morning sea swim for that fresh feeling.

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.

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