Aqua-Firma's Arctic dive guides and professionally trained divers see this Greenland expedition as one of a kind. It offers exploration above and below water within the World’s largest National Park, home to Scoresby Sund the longest fjord in the World. Antarctic sized icebergs choke these calm, clear, avenues of ice water, sheltered by 2000m high mountains and crowned by the impressive Greenland ice sheet.
This is a magnificent and tranquil area where you can witness the Greenland Ice Sheet pouring seawards in a series of stunning glaciers, the icebergs beautifully sculpted beneath the water in hues of tropical turquoise. Some stand up to 100 metres high and at up to a kilometre in length, rival only those of Antarctica. Besides diving this experience offers divers and non diving partners the chance to explore by kayak in ice choked Greenland fjords, zodiac cruise around bergs, hike on expansive tundra in search of wildlife and with luck marvel at the incredible northern lights.
Another advantage is that your journey starts in Iceland where can arrange extensions to explore its spectacles and dive the mid Atlantic trench at Silfra or Strytan- the only geothermal cone in the world you can scuba dive. This unique feature pumps out over 1000year old freshwater and is home to wonderful creatures including wolf fish. Boarding your ice strengthened ship at Reykjavik, the journey across the Denmark Strait from Iceland is an experience in its own rite and in the past White Beaked Dolphins and Humpback Whales have escorted our passage.
The fjords of East Greenland will be your diving grounds. Expert guides will use dedicated zodiacs to dive around icebergs and explore the steep sided fjords in search of arctic macro life. You will also have the opportunity to explore on foot, and seek out wildlife opportunities including Musk Oxen, Arctic hare and even the elusive polar bear has been spotted on these shores!
Those keen on trekking can enjoy memorable scenic walks in East Greenland, with groups often split between those who want to scale higher up the island’s dramatic coastal mountains and those who want to take a more leisurely stroll closer to the shore. Looking back out to sea, the ship will look incredibly small and the sea usually devoid of any sign of another visitor.
Greenland is a sparsely inhabited island and on this voyage we will aim to visit the modern Inuit settlement of Illoqqortoormiut. You will also visit sites where humans have tried to live in the past, but have long since abandoned their settlements. At Danmarksø you can find a well preserved village some 200 years old. A rich cultural heritage remains here and we will have the chance to visit local Inuit hunting communities.
A team of expert polar divers alongside natural history guides and lecturers will make this a very memorable experience. With just one departure each year, this is a very exciting way to enjoy diving in an otherwise wild, inaccessible and breathtakingly scenic part of the Arctic where few have dived before.
Diving in East Greenland is pioneering and its remote location means few have dived here before. The dive group will be led by highly experienced polar divemasters and you will have the chance to explore around deeply grounded icebergs, exquisitely sculpted and second only those of Antarctica for size. The slopes of the outer fjords are blanketed by kelp and home to a macro fauna including anemones, urchins, starfish and life yet to be discovered. Important plankton species live here including the beautiful Clione limacina - the sea angel pteropod which feeds on the winged snail Limacina spp.
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If you are trying to decide which polar voyage to consider, call one of our polar guides and experts who describe to you in more detail the differences in voyaging to different polar locations.
8 Day Sample Itinerary
Please note that the following itinerary is draft only, designed to provide you with a flavour of this Arctic and sub-Arctic voyage. All polar voyages are expeditionary in nature and the actual route will depend upon sea and weather conditions, seasonal opportunities to sea wildlife, birdlife and scenery, decisions made by the expedition crew, Captain and local authorities - and in particular ice conditions which can vary considerably year by year.
Day 1: On the Iceland Road
Your journey begins in the morning, where by request you can transfer via chartered bus from Radhus Reykjavikur / city hall in Vonarstraeti in Reykjavik (the meeting point) to the ship in Akureyri (the embarkation point). You arrive in the afternoon after a six-hour drive through northern Iceland. PLEASE NOTE: This transfer is supplemented, and must be booked and paid for in advance. In the early evening the ship departs from the port of Akureyri, sailing north toward the Denmark Strait.
Day 2: Sea Life on the Move
While sailing north you likely see fulmars, kittiwakes, gannets, and common guillemots. You then cross the Arctic Circle, possibly spotting whales. By evening the first icebergs flash into sight with the approach of the east Greenland coast, near Brewster.
Day 3: Inuit Neighbourhood of Yesteryear
Today you reach Scoresbysund, sailing along the glaciated Volquart Boons Kyst. You may also enjoy a Zodiac cruise along one of the glacier fronts, along with a visit to the basalt columns and ice formations of Vikingebugt. Later you land on Danmark Island, where you find the remains of an Inuit settlement abandoned around 200 years ago. The circular stone tent rings indicate the summer houses, while the winter houses can be seen closer to a small cape. The sites are well preserved, with easy identifiable entrances, bear-proof meat caches, and grave sites. In the evening you continue sailing the berg-crowded fjords to the west.
Day 4: Colours of the Cape
The goal is a Zodiac cruise near Røde Ø, one of the world’s most cherished iceberg attractions: The austere blue-white of the icebergs sets sharp against the brooding red backdrop of the sediment slopes. The afternoon plan is to sail through the northern parts of Røde Fjord, with the chance to see musk oxen and warm autumnal foliage.
Day 5: Enormous Bergs, Arctic Haress
In the morning you encounter colossal icebergs, some over 100 meters (328 feet) high and more than a kilometer (.62 mile) long. Most of them are grounded, as the fjord is only about 400 meters (1,312 feet) deep. You then land near Sydkap, with fine views of Hall Bredning and a good shot of seeing Arctic hares.
Day 6: Scoresbysund Settlement
Stopping at a lagoon on the south coast of Jameson Land, you encounter waders and geese gathering for the autumn migration. Musk oxen and collared lemming survive on the sparse vegetation here. Later in the day you visit Ittoqqortoormiit, the largest settlement near Scoresbysund – about five hundred inhabitants. At the post office you can buy stamps for your postcards, or just stroll around to see the sled dogs and drying skins of seals and musk oxen.
Day 7: Under the Northern Lights
A day at sea grants you winning opportunities to spot whales and seabirds – and at night, the magical northern lights.
Day 8: Disembarkation in Akureyri
Every adventure, no matter how grand, must eventually come to an end. You disembark in Akureyri, where on request you can transfer by chartered bus – a six-hour drive that you must book in advance – to Radhus Reykjavikur / city hall in Vonarstraeti in Reykjavik. The memories made on this voyage will accompany you wherever your next adventure lies.
- Voyage as indicated in draft itinerary
- All meals, snacks, coffee and tea
- All shore excursions and zodiac activities
- Group airport transfers to & from the vessel (when arriving/departing on
recommended group flight)
- Program of lectures by noted naturalists and leadership by experienced
- All miscellaneous services taxes and port charges throughout the programme
- Comprehensive pre-departure material
- Aqua-Firma automatically offsets the Carbon Emissions of your polar voyage
and flights booked through us in getting to and from your voyage.
- International flights
- Fuel surcharge where applicable*
- Optional activities (e.g. kayaking, diving) unless stated
- Land based accommodation
- Pre and post land arrangements
- Travel insurance.
- Passports and visas.
- Arrival and departure tax.
- Meals ashore.
- Excess baggage on flights.
- Items of a personal nature (alcohol, laundry etc).
Activity Level: Low to Medium
There is no single supplement to pay if you are willing to share your cabin with someone of the same gender. For a cabin to yourself the supplement is between 1.5x - 2x the per person rate
The cost of fuel is currently volatile, so a fuel surcharge may be applied by the ship without notice. We will let you know if this applies to your booking and send you an updated invoice.