A true Greenland expedition from Nuuk to Disko Bay

Nuuk to Disko Bay - Expedition Greenland 2025
SKU: 7717 Category: Tag:

We’re nearing the heart of West Greenland: Disko Bay! Our journey from Nuuk to our northernmost destination on this Greenland expedition will take us through stunning fjords and breathtaking landscapes. Along the way, we’ll make stops ashore at several must-see spots. Finally, we’ll conclude this leg with a glimpse into the famous UNESCO World Heritage site, Ilulissat Icefjord. Where the Sermeq Kujalleq glacier calves into the fjord and creates the world’s largest icebergs, sourced directly from the expansive inland ice sheet.

From Nuuk to Ilulissat

We start this leg in the capital of Greenland, Nuuk (or Godthåp as the Danes call it). A vibrant arctic city and clearly the cultural and political centre of this huge country! From here we work our way north along the rugged and scenic coast of western Greenland.

We will spend quite some part of this week inshore, among the fjords, mountains and islands. However, we’ll also venture further offshore for longer stretches sailing, through some of the bright nights. Imagine yourself on night watch in the wheelhouse bathed in the glow of the midnight sun..

Inuit villages and UNESCO fjords

On our way north we will pass along some small cosy villages. Where colourful houses cling onto the mountain sides among green fields by the deep blue sea. Some of the villages on this leg include Maniitsoq, Kangaamiut, Sisimut and Aasiaat. We will visit in several of these villages, aiming to get some new friends and learn about the local Inuit heritage and traditions. The trip ends at our most northern goal for this whole expedition; Disko Bay, in the charming little fishing village of Ilulissat. Here we also find the Ilulissat Icefjord, which is declared a UNESCO World heritage site!

Join as part of the crew on board

From SeilNorge we will be skipper, co-skipper and crew/guide on board. Which are all good sailors, and 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 your big Greenland adventure?

This is also part of our big Greenland expedition in 2025, where we will sail all the way up to Disko Bay and back. If you want to join several of the legs up/down the west coast of Greenland, you are most welcome! Check out the full program here.
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.

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.

This is a dream we’ve had for a long time and finally the time is here; in 2025 we set sail for new adventures and expeditions to Greenland! We know there are a lot of adventures out there, waiting to explore the wonders of Greenland with us!

Emil, founder SeilNorge


Day 1: Welcome on board in Nuuk

We meet in the habour in Nuuk at 16:00 this first day. Where we start with getting to know the boat and the other expedition participants. We walk through how life is on board, safety briefs and basics about sailing and navigation. When we are all ready we hoist sails for our adventure already this first afternoon and sail into the midnight sun! Maybe the fjords north of Nuuk, with Qingaq island (Storø) will be our first stop on our way north.

Day 2: Hiking in Nuup Kangerlua and nightsailing northwards

We wake up the first day at our adventure to an impressive scenery; with peaks rising 1000 and 1500 vertical meters up from the deep blue fjord. We kick of our adventure with a hike on land this morning. Hopefully with some good views from an accessible peak we find here around our anchorage. Towards the evening we sail out of the Nuuk fjord (Nuup Kangerlua) and head north during the night.

Day 3: Sailing day to Maniitsoq

During summer we can often have all clear weather and good visibility in the fjords of West Greenland, but as soon as we get out at sea it can get foggy. This is due to the big difference in sea and air temperature at these latitudes during this season with a cold polar sea in the Davis Strait. Sailing through the night we rotate the night shifts among the watch teams, and enjoy the peace of mind you only get while underway during night. We probably reach Maniitsoq sometime during this day, and look around and stretch our legs when we get there.

Day 4: Eternity Fjord and sailing to Sisimiut

Maniitsoq with Eternity Fjord, is said to have some of the most scenic mountains of the whole West Greenland coast. Where glaciers tumble down steep mountain sides into the greenish fjord. So we need to explore this stunning fjord landscape for a day before we set sail further north. Maybe some want to climb a mountain here, try our fishing luck or just sail around the icebergs. For the evening we sail out offshore again and head further north.

Day 5: Sailing to Sisimiut

We step into the over-night sailing rhythm again, on our way north towards Sisimiut. Where we probably arrive during the afternoon this day. Sisimiut is one of our favourite towns in Greenland. Very cute and picturesque, also the second largest town in the country.

Day 6: Kayak, SUP or biking in Sisimiut and sailing further north.

Sisimiut has a wide variety of activities to offer. From Kayak and SUP to biking or dog-yard visits. We spend the morning here today, and spread out on the different activities each of us want to do!
After a late lunch on land we again make our expedition vessel ready for the last long sailing leg on this journey, towards Disko Bay!

Day 7: Full sailing day to Disko Bay and Illulissat ice fjord

This will be the longest sailing leg of this journey. Depending on wind and conditions of course, but it will last around 24h. As we get closer into Disko Bay we see larger and larger ice bergs. And this afternoon we reach the UNESCO World Heritage site; Ilulissat Icefjord. Here the fjord itself is around 1000m deep, and the vast inland ice is calving enormous ice bergs into the fjord. At the entrance of this fjord though, its only a few hundred meters deep. Which make all the huge ice bergs run aground and form an ice dam. Therefore, this whole fjord is packed with ice bergs, large as skyscrapers. A super impressive sight. For the evening we anchor at Ilimanaq, south of the ice fjord. Having dinner by the bonfire on the beach and enjoying our last night!

Day 8: Goodbye for now, in Ilulissat

Last day we spend sailing around the huge ice bergs at the entrance of the ice fjord. Before we head to our final destination of this leg, the port of Ilulissat. A vibrant little city, with outdoor activities, local restaurants mixed with international flavours and influences. Worth staying for some extra days to explore on land, after our adventure to get here. Well in port we pack together our stuff together, clean the boat and say goodbye by 16.00 this last afternoon. Thanks for a wonderful experience together!

Changes to the program

The program should be seen as a rough itinerary that we can adapt to the weather and conditions. We also reserve the right to change and improve our itineraries. We will have a dinghy for beach trips and small expeditions, fishing gear for cod, and gear to hike or make bonfires on the beach on all our trips – we are ready for adventure! Are you?

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 on board 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 if available: dinghies, kayaks, fishing equipment, etc.
  • 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 on board
  • 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. kayak, 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 Nuuk, and end in Ilulissat, Greenland.

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 on board

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.

On board 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 on board, 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 on board and so we build a capable team on board.

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 on board, 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. On board 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 on board). 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 on board

On our trips, you will be part of the crew on board 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 on board. 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 on board!

Life on board & 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 on board, 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 on board team spirit. Rotating watches around the clock ensures active involvement without overwhelming fatigue.

As everyone participates actively during the week or more on board, 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.

Practical information →