GREENLAND

Greenland Base Camp

Fjord kayaking, Sermilik, East Greenland
from £9449 8 nights | Jul - Sep Exc. flights See price details
  • Departs:
  • Jul - Sep

Overview

Stay in comfort and seclusion in a safari-style camp, surrounded by the breathtaking scenery of East Greenland’s Sermilik Fjord. Search for whales, kayak through brash ice and hike across glaciers on this small-group adventure in the heart of the wilderness.

Immerse yourself in the cultural traditions and spectacular scenery of East Greenland with a stay at this brand new luxury eco-lodge on the edge of the Greenland ice sheet.

Highlights

  • Cruise or paddle amongst mighty icebergs in search of whales and other wildlife
  • Hike through wildflowers, over glaciers and alongside deep fjords
  • Sleep in an isolated Arctic safari-camp for a true sense of life in the wilderness

Situated on the shores of Sermilik Fjord, Base Camp Greenland offers the chance to sleep in the heart of the Arctic wilderness, exploring by kayak, zodiac or on foot each day and returning to the surprising comfort of camp for gourmet meals and informative presentations each evening. Sitting on your cabin’s private deck you will be surrounded by towering mountains, deep fjords, glittering icebergs and glaciers and swathes of vivid wildflowers – spectacular views exclusive only to you and your fellow guests at Base Camp.

This expedition is designed with a flexible set of activities to accommodate personal preferences and physical ability levels. With a maximum of just 12 guests, it is possible to adapt each activity to suit individual guests' desires and capabilities. Guests who desire more activity have a multitude of options, including longer hikes and sea kayaking excursions, whilst others can experience their spectacular surroundings with less exertion on shorter or less demanding outings. All activities from camp are optional and weather-dependent, however, a reasonable degree of fitness and mobility is a safety requirement in this remote region, and will also enhance enjoyment of your trip.

Typical daily activities will include hiking, kayaking and/or Zodiac excursions of varying durations. Hikes will take place near sea level, walking cross-country over trail-less terrain, perhaps with the opportunity to hike onto glaciers (under expert guidance). Sea kayaking excursions will be offered both for the adventurous paddler who wishes to explore further afield and for those who prefer shorter outings along the coastline near camp. All kayaking excursions are accompanied by an expert sea kayaking guide. Your excursions will take in scenic highlights, wildlife sightings and visits to isolated Inuit communities, offering a comprehensive introduction to Greenland and the Arctic.

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Itinerary & Accommodation

Day 1: Arrive in Reykjavik and overnight
You will be met on arrival at Keflavik International Airport and transferred to your hotel in Iceland's capital of Reykjavik, about a 45-minute drive (transfer provided in connection with restricted flights only). If you arrive very early, you may store your bags at the hotel while you enjoy exploring the compact city. This evening, learn about all that lies ahead in Greenland during a welcome presentation and dinner with the Expedition Leader.
Day 2: Reykjavik - Kulusuk - Tasiilaq
Drive the short distance to Iceland's domestic airport and board the flight to Kulusuk, Greenland. From Kulusuk, make a scenic transfer by helicopter to Ammassalik Island, landing in Tasiilaq, the small administrative centre of East Greenland. Though it's just a 10-minute flight, it offers a preview of the magnificent scenery to come, with icebergs drifting below and perhaps even a chance to spot a whale from the air.

Tasiilaq's charming collection of brightly painted wooden houses hugs King Oscar’s Bay, surrounded by pointed peaks iced with glaciers. The town of 2,000 is a hub for outdoor adventure, from hiking and kayaking in summer to dog sledding and glacier skiing in winter. Most of East Greenland is uninhabited however, except for a handful of small subsistence hunting communities. Your introduction to Greenland begins here where arctic wilderness and traditional lifestyles meet. On arrival, convene at the hotel for a briefing before exploring the area around Tasiilaq on foot, hiking into the Valley of Flowers above the scenic bay that fronts the town. Bring your camera: the ice-clad gneiss and granite peaks provide a backdrop for waterfalls and small lakes fringed by arctic wildflowers in season.
Day 3: Tasiilaq - Iceberg Cruise & Hiking
Though the interior of Greenland is covered by a massive ice cap, a few habitable areas exist around the bays and coastal islands. This region enjoys a surprisingly mild and dry summer climate, earning it the nickname “Arctic Riviera.” The exploration starts with a half-day excursion by enclosed private motorboat in the open waters of the Greenland Sea, for close-up views of icebergs. In addition to large chunks of ice calved from glaciers that feed the fjords in this region, you will also see tabular icebergs—these are ocean-going slabs of ice, some of which have been drifting for months or even years, driven down the coast by the strong East Greenland Current. Glaciologists believe that some have even come from northern Canada, hundreds of miles away. Once they reach the outer edge of Greenland's fjords, they collide with ice that has broken off the Greenland ice sheet to form gigantic composites, sometimes mingling with brash ice to create frozen mosaics.

Whales are also found seasonally in these waters, when ice conditions permit, so look out for fin, minke and humpback whales, as well as seals. Back on shore, explore the coastline on a scenic walk and visit Tasiilaq's small history museum to learn about the culture and traditions of the Inuit, at home in this region for centuries.
Day 4: Tasiilaq - Base Camp Greenland
Depart via boat or helicopter (variable due to weather and other factors) for the wilderness Base Camp, located on the east side of Sermilik Fjord. Your destination is near the tiny hamlet of Tinit. The village is one of the most picturesque outposts in East Greenland, surveying a panorama of Sermilik Fjord, littered with huge icebergs, and the ice sheet beyond. Behind the town, glaciated peaks rise over a mile high, jutting up like sharp black teeth through the ice. Tinit is home to fewer than a hundred hardy people who craft a subsistence fishing and hunting existence around challenging weather and constantly shifting ice conditions.

Keep an eye out for whales, as they are frequently seen in these waters when ice conditions permit. The area is filled with evidence of ancient habitation, including graves and ruins of old Inuit sod house foundations, and it is an evocative place to learn more about Inuit history and lore. Reaching Base Camp Greenland, you will be in one the most remote places on Earth. After settling in to your deluxe cabin, sit down for coffee, tea and lunch. Later convene for an orientation, followed by dinner and a lecture to acquaint you with the remarkable natural history of the region. Through presentations and cultural visits during your stay, you will also learn about Greenland’s cultural heritage and aspects of modern life.
Days 5–7: Base Camp Greenland - Exploring Sermilik Fjord
The landscape along Greenland’s isolated and rarely visited east coast is dramatic. Great fjords indent the coastline, penetrating far into sheer-sided mountains capped by the world’s second-largest ice sheet—and Sermilik Fjord is the mightiest of them all. The Base Camp provides a safe and comfortable outpost from which to explore this vast expanse of wild terrain just below the Arctic Circle.

On Zodiac excursions, navigate among a flotilla of icebergs in an array of wild shapes, some as big as buildings. Look for whales and seals, both of which are present depending on the ice. Guided sea kayaking is also an option for an eye-level view on the frigid waters. You will spend plenty of time ashore, too, with hikes for varying ability levels. Traverse the mountainsides and wander near glaciers that wind down from the Greenland ice sheet. This huge ice mass—second in size only to Antarctica—stretches more than 1,500 miles from north to south, is nearly 2 miles deep at its thickest point and covers 80 percent of the island. Learn about the crucial role it plays in regulating Earth’s climate and see how rapidly it is being affected by climate change. Amid fields of Arctic cotton grass, look for Arctic fox and birdlife, including eiders, loons and possibly peregrine falcons.

The long hours of summer daylight allow for extensive exploration. Each evening, retreat to the Base Camp for creative meals prepared by an accomplished chef. After dinner, gather for interpretive presentations by the naturalist Expedition Leaders, who share their extensive knowledge of Greenland's geology, glaciology and human history. And, though the sun gleams in the sky much of the night near the Arctic Circle, a good night's sleep is in order to refuel for the next day's adventures. Guests on later-season departures may even have a chance to glimpse the northern lights, if the aurora is active in the darkening night sky.
Day 8: Base Camp Greenland - Kulusuk
This morning, make your way back to Kulusuk. Weather and ice conditions dictate which transportation mode will be taken, but both offer spectacular views. By helicopter, survey jagged peaks and huge U-shaped valleys gouged by glaciers. By boat, navigate the imposing fjord system, keeping an eye out for whales and seals among the ever-shifting tableau of drifting ice. On arrival in Kulusuk, check in to the hotel, drinking in the surrounding views. Celebrate an extraordinary adventure of discovery, wild beauty and camaraderie over a farewell dinner on your last night in Greenland.
Day 9: Kulusuk - Reykjavik
Though today is devoted to journeying back to the urban world, it is filled with magnificent Arctic scenery on view from the air. Meet the plane for the return flight to Reykjavik's domestic airport where the adventure ends. From here, a transfer is included to the group hotel or Keflavik International Airport for homeward flights.
Notes

Please note that the above itinerary is intended as a guideline only and all activities are dependent on weather conditions. A degree of flexibility is essential in the Arctic!

Prices & Dates

2018 Season

Departures

Standard Tour
20, 26, 31 July 2018
05, 10, 16, 21, 31 August 2018
05 September 2018

Photo Special
26 August 2018


Prices From, (May vary)
Twin share £9,449 per person
Single room £10,676 per person


All dates are provisional and the prices above are a guideline only. This tour uses a dynamic pricing policy which means that the price may change according to the time of booking and popularity of the tour - early booking is therefore highly recommended to secure the best possible price. Please contact our team for up to date prices and departure dates.

Price includes return flights from Reykjavik, Iceland to Kulusuk, Greenland • 8 nights accommodation (1 night at a hotel in Reykjavik; 2 nights Hotel Ammassalik, Tasiilaq; 4 nights Base Camp Greenland; 1 night at a hotel in Kulusuk) • all meals from lunch on Day 1 to breakfast on Day 9 • beer/wine/soft drinks with meals while at Base Camp • services of Natural Habitat Adventures' professional Expedition Leader(s), boat and camp crews • all activities and excursions as detailed in the itinerary including whale watching, optional kayaking and hiking, Tasiilaq city tour and museum admission  • all transportation as per the itinerary by boat, helicopter and transfer buses • survival suit loan for boat trip excursions

Price excludes international flights to Keflavik • some gratuities (guidance will be given) • personal expenses • Travel insurance

 
Group size max 12

Other Information

Where to stay

Base Camp Greenland
Base Camp Greenland offers a taste of luxury in the Arctic, surrounded by the raw wilderness of East Greenland’s Sermilik Fjord. More expedition lodge than ‘camp’, Base Camp Greenland features individual safari-style tent cabins that house two persons each. Each spacious cabin is warmed by an individual heater, though long summer days here are typically mild, sunny and dry. Cabins have twin beds outfitted with cosy duvets and comfortable pillows, writing desks with chairs, a carpet runner and an en suite dry toilet and sink. Showers are taken in separate bathhouses segregated by gender. Each cabin also has a large private veranda where guests can relax and enjoy a panorama of the Greenland wilderness as they sip drinks chilled with chips of 10,000-year-old ice straight from the Greenland Ice Cap. Socialising takes place in the lodge common room, which houses the kitchen and dining area and serves as a lecture space for presentations. Excellent meals are created by the camp chef, with fresh and varied ingredients arriving regularly.

A hallmark of Base Camp Greenland is its eco-friendly construction and operation. In such a pristine environment, every care is taken to ensure that footprints are minimal. A true eco-camp, lodge facilities are set up for two months in the summer and taken down each year, to reduce impact. In order to accomplish this, water piping and plumbing systems must be relatively simple and located in only one building, hence the shared shower block. Camp solid waste is disposed of in a biodegradable manner at the municipal dump in Tasiilaq – nothing whatsoever is left on site. Only biodegradable soap is used in the kitchen and showers. Although the Arctic summer offers nearly 24-hour daylight, cabins also have interior lights powered by small individual solar panels.

Hotel Ammassalik
Renowned for its spectacular views over the ice-filled fjords and high mountains, this 30 room hotel is the most established hotel in east Greenland. Set in the picturesque town of Tasiilaq, whose photogenic houses dash the whites and browns of this stunning countryside with colour, the hotel offers modern amenities with a friendly and informal atmosphere.

From Tasiilaq, there are a number of excellent hiking opportunities on which to enjoy the incredible landscapes. There are three different choices of room, including the comfortable, but simple Standard Room, without en suite facilities, the larger Twin/Triple, which is en suite and perfect for families, and the Panorama Room, which, as the name suggests, offers magnificent views over the town. The hotel also offers its own lounge and bar in which to relax and catch up with other travellers.

Icelandair Hotel Reykjavik Marina (subject to availability this hotel may be substituted for an alternative)
Located in Reykjavik's up and coming harbour district, this hotel offers high quality accommodation in an ideal spot from which to explore the Icelandic capital.

Physical Requirements

Moderate
The Base Camp Greenland adventure is a genuine wilderness experience. The camp, accessed via long boat transfers, is located in an exceptionally remote area far from medical facilities. Guests should have adequate fitness and mobility and be in good health to participate in this adventure. At minimum, all guests must be able to walk two miles over an uneven, sometimes rocky, landscape in order to reach the Base Camp. That said, the itinerary is designed with a flexible set of activities to accommodate individual preferences and varying physical levels of ability.

Guests who desire more activity have a multitude of options, including longer hikes and sea kayaking excursions, while less-active guests can experience the spectacular surroundings with less exertion on briefer and/or less demanding outings, including short nature walks and plenty of Zodiac excursions. However, Base Camp Greenland is located in a remote wilderness area, and all guests must be prepared for typical activities that take place in such a setting, in unpredictable weather and temperatures. While all activities from camp are optional and weather-dependent, a good level of fitness and mobility will enhance your enjoyment of your trip. Please note, too, that stepping into and out of the Zodiacs can be unstable.

Typical daily activities include hiking and Zodiac excursions of varying durations. Hikes will take place near sea level, with opportunities to also hike atop relatively flat glaciers with expert guidance to safely avoid crevasses. Optional sea kayaking excursions are also offered, with varied itineraries for individual desires and capacities. The intention is to paddle in largely calm seas, though the water conditions can change with little notice. All kayaking excursions are accompanied by a guide and a safety boat.

Zodiac and motorboat excursions in the nearby fjords generally last a maximum of 4-5 hours, with opportunities for whale watching and stops ashore should wildlife appear, and to explore geological and historic sights. Again, these will hopefully operate in generally calm seas, but conditions can change quickly. The camp expedition staff has arranged each day's itinerary to ensure that options exist to suit varying preferences

In Tasiilaq, the hotel is located up a very steep hill about 15-20 minutes walk from the town. While transportation is provided to and from the hotel for group activities, should you wish to explore town on your own, you should be able to manage the uphill climb, or take a taxi.

Additional Important Information About This Trip

There are important factors to consider when traveling to Base Camp Greenland. The camp is located in a truly wild setting meaning that guests must be prepared for all the vagaries that come with travel to such an isolated destination. This is especially so in such a northern location, where inclement weather and varying ice conditions can dictate operations. Add to that the scarcity of operational materials and a journey to Base Camp Greenland embodies "adventure" in the truest sense. Guests must be prepared for this type of travel, knowing that, at times, flights may be canceled due to poor weather, routes will be closed due to changing ice conditions, and amenities may become unavailable until a new shipment arrives. There are times when the itineraries will change, perhaps substantially, potentially also involving a change to the planned accommodation. The itineraries are built with reasonable 'buffers', based upon historical knowledge of typical conditions in the region. In short, be prepared for anything, but know that you will be in expert hands!

It is recommended that you add one or two days in Iceland before and after the tour to in case of last minute itinerary changes.

Mosquitos and tiny black flies can be quite prevalent and a real nuisance at camp and during outings on shore, particularly at the height of the summer season. For your convenience, guests are provided with head nets, but if you have allergies or are particularly sensitive to mosquito bites, please come prepared with proper clothing, adequate skin protection and anti-itch cream for bites.

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Tailor Made


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Our team of Travel Specialists have extensive first-hand knowledge of our destinations and are passionate about travel.

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Speak to a specialist:
01737 214 250

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