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Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis) Holidays
|Greenland is huge, isolated and difficult to imagine, with the Greenland ice cap covering around 85% of the entire land surface. It is the world's largest island, magnificent, dramatic and unspoilt by modern human trappings. Home to the largest National Park in the World, the northeast hosts steep coastal mountains, sweeping glaciers and colossal icebergs. Northeast Greenland is also home to the world's deepest and most spectacular fjord of Scoresby Sund. Meanwhile, western Greenland is home to Jakobshavn Glacier, the world's fastest moving tide-water glacier, which produces around 10% of Greenland's icebergs.
As Aqua-Firma marine scientist and polar guide, Charlotte Caffrey, describes: "Icebergs often litter the horizon, whose size and magnificence rival what you might see at the Antarctic Peninsula".
In addition to icebergs and scenery, Greenland can be a rich part of the Arctic for marine life encounters. In eastern Greenland which we explore on motorised Ice Ship Voyages, we have seen as many as 150 Humpback Whales moving together. Acrobatic white beaked dolphins sometimes provide welcome displays amongst the waves and sea spray.
We often experience good summer sightings of humpback whales in western Greenland, whilst in May and June we go in search of aggregations of Bowhead Whales (also known as Greenland Right Whales) on Greenland Tallship Voyages. These tallship voyages continue to the remote northwest of Greenland as the Arctic ice recedes, taking us to dramatic coastal glacier, iceberg and mountain scenery and amongst isolated Thule communities. By September, we have high hopes of seeing the Northern Lights (Aurora borealis) on voyages to east and west Greenland.
Of terrestrial wildlife, the very large large and hairy musk oxen is an animal we might encounter in the east, as well as Greenland reindeer and Arctic hare. Polar bears can sometimes be spotted too, particularly on the Arctic sea ice on voyages which link Greenland and Spitsbergen. Seals are often seen; and during the midsummer months when the sun never sets, thousands of migratory birds can be witnessed, including kittiwake colonies, long tailed skuas, turnstones, grey phalaropes, guillemots, ducks, geese, wildfowl.
Our selection of Greenland Voyages operates from May to October, last between 8 and 15 days and cover many different sections of coastline. Each voyage has a different focus, so please Contact Us to discuss the different options and activities. These can that include extended Hiking, historical and cultural sites, coastal cruising aboard rigid inflatable boats (RIBs), Polar Kayaking and those with the inclination and relevant experience, Polar Diving.
All of our Greenland Voyages require at least one stop in Iceland - a country with its own varied and spectacular volcanic scenery. If you can manage even just one full day in Iceland, we can take you to experience some of the country's glaciers, mountains, waterfalls, hot springs and shooting geysers. This can all be seen with only a moderate level of activity; but equally, this can involve a high level of adventure. For details please click HERE to view our Iceland homepage.
Photographs kindly provided by Troels Jacobsen and Charlotte Caffrey