Small ship voyages to Greenland
Greenland 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 2000m high mountains which support the World's second largest icesheet. It is also home to the World's deepest and most spectacular fjord: Scoresby Sund. Here, stunning glaciers spill from the icesheet giving birth to icebergs which are second in size only to the colossal bergs of Antarctica. We access this majestic coast either as part of a trip combining Spitsbergen and Greenland or on a dedicated East Greenland voyage which starts and ends in Iceland.
By September, we have high hopes of seeing the Northern Lights (Aurora borealis) on our voyages to both East and West Greenland.
Small ice strengthened vessels
Aqua-Firma offer a broad portfolio of the highest quality small ship voyages; from comfortable, informal 12 guest expedition cruises to elegant small ships carrying between 50-189 passengers, exploring the polar wilderness within an intimate setting of like minded people. Our insider knowledge of ships derives from experience onboard as guides and explorers at both poles.
Each voyages aims to maximise your contact with the Arctic itself, immersing your senses by expert led daily landings, zodiac cruising, hiking on land ,snow shoeing and for those seeking a little adventure, by kayak or even scuba diving. Onboard you may enjoy the freedom of the ship- standing beside the captain as he navigates or finding your own space in the bar or library. For information our Arctic voyages onboard sailing yachts of 12-32 passengers please click here.
Exploring on land
Whichever your vessel of choice, a small ship will help you get closer to the land and offer greater opportunity and flexibility to explore the environment you have come to visit. The trip objective is to offer an intimate experience of the coast and onshore. Rigid inflatable boats serve as landing craft, perfect for guided twice daily landings to impressive glacier fronts, majestic icebergs and providing an essential platform for close up observations of the truly incredible wildlife of the polar regions.
Exceptional guiding and expertise
Our polar guides are amongst the most professional and personable in their field. These include in-house Aqua-Firma marine scientists, former staff of the British Antarctic Survey, former Director of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, wildlife experts, historians, geologists and professional photographers, all primed to inform and inspire.
Daily guided programme
Throughout our sailing voyages, we land by zodiac to make twice daily hikes and explore glaciers, tundra and historic sites on foot. There is no such thing as a typical day, but usually after breakfast our expedition leader / guide provides a briefing on the day's schedule. All guests are then invited to prepare themselves for a walking trip ashore, transferred by zodiac. Depending on numbers, the group may be split according to interests or length of walk desired. After the morning's on-shore activities we return to the ship for lunch and then explore further in the afternoon, with wildlife opportunities or weather often being the deciding factors. Expert natural history guidance is an essential ingredient for sailing in the Arctic and our guides share their knowledge of wildlife, history and culture both on land and through a series of onboard lectures and discussions. Safety is also key in the Realm of the Polar Bear, so groups necessarily need to stick close to their armed guide whenever on land.
Whilst we cater for those who desire a relaxing polar experience in style and comfort, we are also experts in a range of adventure activities, many of which we are professionally qualified in an passionate about: sea kayaking in the company of whales, polar sailing, snow shoe walking, dog sledding, snowmobiling, cross country skiing and even expert led scuba diving. Aqua-Firma adventure specialists are professional divers, yacht masters and keen kayakers all with first hand, on location experience at both poles and more than happy to discuss your activity options.
Where and when to explore North and East Greenland
Our voyages to explore North and East Greenland start around mid to late August when the ice within Greenland's fjords has sufficiently melted to gain access to these narrow often ice-choked passages. Although this late season timing often means that many of the migratory birds have left the area, by September and into October you have the advantage of possible sightings of the stunning Aurora Borealis from the deck of the ship - far, far from the nearest artificial light.
Our promise and your protection
Polar voyages are a major commitment for most travellers. Aqua-Firma is a fully ATOL bonded and protected travel operator with the knowledge and experience to arrange flights, hotels, and further extensions to your Arctic trip. Our polar consultants deliver a personal and professional service with 24 hours direct telephone support both before you depart and whilst you are away. Finally, we realise that polar experiences can be an expensive undertaking and we promise that for any experience which is directly comparable we will not be beaten on price.
For details about our inspiring polar experiences please click on a selected destination below or give us a call on 00 44 1428 620012 to help decide which of our many experience options might best deliver the experience you are seeking.