Discovering the Untouched Beauty of Greenland and Arctic Canada

Copenhagen, Denmark - Halifax, Canada

Explore Greenland’s grand, spectacular, unspoiled scenery. Discover Newfoundland and Labrador's towering mountains, massive rock faces, deep forests and infinite supply of lakes and rivers. On this expedition you get a taste of the historical settlements, the fishing villages, and the wilderness and natural beauty to be found along the North Atlantic coast.

  • Explore the spectacular landscape of Greenland, Newfoundland, and Labrador
  • Visit remote settlements that are steeped in history
  • Sight rare wildlife, on land and at sea
  • Discover UNESCO sites Gros Morne National Park, Red Bay, and L’Anse aux Meadows


Greenland and Canada are both known for extreme nature, beautiful scenery, and amazing wildlife. Greenland is also on top of the list of the world’s least densely populated territory, and the part of Canada visited on this expedition is sparsely populated as well. Although these areas are wild and remote, you’ll be surprised by their rich history. Learn about the fascinating tribes who lived here in the past, and about the people living here today.

The World’s Biggest Island

Starting in Greenland you have an opportunity to discover this rugged, mountainous land with the enormous ice sheet at its center and welcoming people at its core. We will visit lush settlements in the south so you can experience the culture and way of life firsthand. Then we cross the North Atlantic to explore the coastline of Newfoundland and Labrador in Canada. Visit a national park, several settlements, and some intriguing cities.

Wonderfully Wild

Charming Battle Harbour is a wilderness adventure destination with lots of history, icebergs, and wildlife. Immerse yourself in whaling history and great natural beauty in Red Bay after seeing St. Anthony and remains from the 1,000-year-old Viking settlement in L’Anse aux Meadows. Bonne Bay and Gros Morne National Park are two of the highlights of a visit to Newfoundland. The landscape of deep valleys, steep cliffs, sandy beaches, and a spectacular fjord system is now a UNESCO World Heritage site. Moose, caribou, fox, black bears, ptarmigans, and eagles are a commonly seen here. This ancient landscape is simply unforgettable.

A Taste of France

Then you will visit a little bit of France – in Canada! The islands of St. Pierre and Miquelon are only 16 miles off the coast of Newfoundland, but they are part of the French Republic. Enjoy the typical French way of life with nice bistros and cafés, as well as delicious wines, cheeses, baguettes, chocolates, and pastries. Then go back in time to experience what life was like in the bustling French-fortified town of Louisbourg in 1744. The expedition concludes in the capital of Nova Scotia – Halifax.

Price includes: 

  • Hurtigruten expedition in cabin grade of your choice on a full-board basis
  • Economy-class flight from Copenhagen to Kangerlussuaq
  • Transfer from the airport to the ship in Kangerlussuaq
  • Wind- and water-resistant jacket
  • Landings with small boats and activities on board and ashore
  • Professional English-speaking Expedition Team that gives lectures and accompanies landings and activities
  • Complimentary tea and coffee
  • Complimentary use of Muck Boot rubber boots

Not included: 

  • International flights
  • Travel insurance
  • Luggage handling
  • Optional excursions and gratuities

Cruise Itinerary

This is an expedition where the elements rule, and the weather, wind and ice conditions will determine our final schedule. Safety is paramount and the captain will decide the sailing itinerary during the voyage. Therefore, this itinerary is just an indication of what you can experience, and why every expedition with Hurtigruten is unique.

September 22, 2018

Departs from Copenhagen/Kangerlussuaq
Day 1

The Gateway to Greenland

Location : Copenhagen/Kangerlussuaq

This expedition starts with a flight from Copenhagen. Less than five hours later, you will reach the settlement of Kangerlussuaq in Greenland. With the mouth of the fjord on the far western horizon and the ice sheet knocking at the door, this small airstrip is the scenic main gateway to Greenland. Upon arrival, your transfer to the MS Fram will be waiting for you.

Day 2

The Venice of Greenland

Location : Maniitsoq

Since Maniitsoq is situated in an archipelago, intersected by small natural canals, the locals have dubbed the town the 'Venice of Greenland'. Situated between the rugged peaks of the Eternity Fjord and huge glaciers, this is where all comparisons to Venice ends. The town name means 'the uneven place' and refers to the many rocky knolls and small mountains that shape the structural layout of the town. Small roads and wooden stairs connect the colorful houses. The exhibitions at the Maniitsoq Museum provide a good introduction to the town's local culture and history. The town also has a supermarket, Brugseni, and a few smaller convenience stores. But it is the surrounding landscape that impresses the most, and the area is perfect for kayaking. In the ocean waters nearby, humpback whales are particularly playful and love to show off with aerial acrobatics and tail whips. Enjoy a day exploring this tiny town set in majestic nature.

Day 3

The Well-Kept Secret of the Capital Region

Location : Paamiut

Continuing south, we enjoy the Greenlandic scenery as we head for Paamiut, an area where people have been living since around 1500 B.C. The name Paamiut means 'the people who live at the mouth', a reference to its location at the mouth of the Kuannersooq Fjord. Strolling around Paamiut is about appreciating the beauty in simple experiences and meeting the friendly locals. Make sure you visit the church, one of the finest in Greenland, built in 1909 from wood in the Norwegian style. Stop along the colorful bridge in the town center. Tour the old neighborhood to observe picturesque buildings. Paamiut is known for its soapstone artists and their extraordinary national costumes of sealskin and thousands of beads. You can still see examples of these art forms as you walk around the settlement. There are many white-tailed eagles in Paamiut, and the townspeople feel a strong connection with this eagle. It is said that good luck will come to anyone who sets eyes on this 'king of the sky'. Join the expedition team for a hike to the mountain peaks. On the way back to the ship, stop to pick the angelica flower that grows wild on the hillside.

Day 4

The Religious Heart and Ruins of Norse Greenland

Location : Igaliku And Hvalsey

Igaliku is one of the most beautiful villages in Greenland. It is the oldest sheep farming settlement on the island, and upon arrival you will see its tall mountains with peaks covered by snow during summer, lush valleys with flowers, and, of course, sheep. Sandstone houses give a distinct flavor to the area, as does the stunning view to the Igaliku Fjord. Experience the tranquillity and peace of this historic settlement. Christianity was introduced to Greenland at the turn of the last millennium, with the first bishop being appointed way back in 1124. The impressive Episcopal residence of Garðar was established shortly after that date in Igaliku. A cathedral was built, the biggest of all churches in Greenland, during the Middle Ages. For many years, the bishop’s palace was a focal point for the Norsemen and visitors from Iceland and Norway. The ruins of the cathedral and the bishop's palace have been renovated during recent years and today make up an attractive relic of the Viking period. Igaliku's 27 inhabitants are very proud of their community and are eager to guide you through the village. In Hvalsey, you will find some of the best-preserved ruins from the Norse period. Erik the Red’s relatives established the farmstead late in the 10th century. Hvalsey Church was probably built during the 14th century. In 1408, a wedding at the site's church is the last documented event to occur during the Norse settlement of Greenland. We use our small boats to go ashore to give you the opportunity to explore the area on your own.

Day 5

Colorful Houses and Icebergs

Location : Qassiarsuq

In Qassiarsuk you will find green fields dotted with white sheep, lush vegetation, and busy farmsteads. Qassiarsuk is where Viking Erik the Red built his Brattahlíð estate in 982 A.D. He was banished from Iceland and escaped to the land he called 'Greenland'. Erik the Red settled in Qassiarsuk because the area seemed to him the richest and best site in Greenland when he arrived. Join a guided walk through the settlement, where you will learn more about the history of the region. You can visit the reconstruction of Erik’s longhouse and the church that Erik’s wife Tjodhildur had him build. The walk will include a visit to the church used today. This is also a great area to try optional activities such as kayaking, hiking, or exploring the town on foot.

Day 6

Crossing the North Atlantic Ocean

Location : Expedition Day

Leaving the coast of Greenland behind, we set course for Canada. Ahead lies roughly 1,300 nautical miles of open water across a stretch of the North Atlantic. Thousand before us have crossed these waters. In early times, the ships were small and ill-equipped and their destinations were unknown. Today, you can sit back and relax as modern navigational systems will guide us to our desired destination and inform us of potential obstacles. It doesn’t get any less exciting, just safer. This 'Expedition Day' will be filled with lectures, and you’ll have time to chat with fellow travelers, perhaps to share what you have seen and done so far. Take this opportunity to be out on our open decks. Breathe in the salty air, feel the wind, and look for birds, mammals, and icebergs.

Day 7-9

Cruising the Coast of Labrador

Location : Coast of Labrador

We will spend three days sailing along the coast of Labrador and exploring this area. Outdoor enthusiasts will enjoy hiking trails and countless miles of wilderness to explore, and others will appreciate learning more about the history, cultures, and traditions at the numerous historic sites and places we will visit. Nain is one of the settlements we plan to see. This is a community with long-established traditions and a strong Inuit identity. It is the most northern and largest community in Nunatsiavut. Founded in 1771 by Moravian Missionaries, Nain was an important outpost for the missionary efforts of the Moravians. Beautiful artifacts and buildings built by Moravians remain in the community to this day. Nain is surrounded by ancient geology and ancient history. Another place we might visit is Rigolet. This picturesque town has a population of only 300, and is the southernmost Inuit community in the world. There are no roads that lead out of this town, but it is accessible by ship all year round, and in wintertime by snowmobile. We offer several outings here. Explore the beautiful waters in a speedboat, or go fishing or whale-watching. We might also visit Hopedale, founded as an Inuit settlement named Agvituk, meaning 'place of the whales', and Hebron, a former Moravian mission that was the northernmost settlement in Labrador.

Day 10

History in the Midst of Wild Nature

Location : Battle Harbour

Located on the edge of the Labrador Sea, Battle Harbour is a nature lover’s paradise. The waters here are teeming with life and drama, ancient ice and icebergs carved by nature. On shore you will find beautiful historic buildings in the middle of the wild nature. Once, Battle Harbour was the bustling salt fish capital of Labrador. Today, the houses, stores, fishery buildings, and churches have been restored and filled with historic original items. Soak up the atmosphere and fully experience the sounds of the ocean and the simple pleasures of times past. A great wilderness-adventure destination, this area is where you can encounter whales, dolphins, seabirds, Arctic foxes, icebergs, and spectacular island scenery on one of our hikes or boat tours.

Day 11

Vast Wilderness And A Viking Settlement

Location : St. Anthony

Continuing on our adventure, we arrive in St. Anthony, a remote town set in a perfect natural harbor. The ocean here contains an astonishing number of icebergs and serves as feeding grounds for a large number of whales. Seals, dolphins, and porpoises are also commonly seen here. Just outside the town border is a vast wilderness of pristine valleys and lake-dotted mountains, with perhaps the highest density of moose and woodland caribou in the world. Other wildlife found here include the black bear, coyote, wolf, snowshoe hare, and Arctic hare. Go ashore to visit the town, and see the Fishing Point Municipal Park. The Grenfell Museum depicts the life and times of Sir Wilfred Grenfell, a medical missionary who devoted his life's work to northern Newfoundland and Labrador. For the best view of the area, hike up the Tea House Hill Trail to the viewing platform or try the Whale Watching Trail. For some Viking history, you can join the excursion to L’Anse aux Meadows. At the tip of Newfoundland’s Great Northern Peninsula, you find the first known evidence of European presence in America. This is where a Norse expedition sailed from Greenland and found a beautiful land with rugged cliffs and marshlands over 1,000 years ago and built a small camp. In 1960 two Norwegian archeologists started excavating and discovered the fascinating remains of this Viking encampment. In 1979 L'Anse aux Meadows became a UNESCO World Heritage site. On the recreated camp you will find original artifacts from this internationally renowned archaeological find.

Day 12

The Essence of Labrador Coastal Living

Location : Red Bay

Red Bay embodies the essence of modern Labrador coastal living amid a tapestry of rich culture and history. From 1530, Red Bay was a center for Basque whaling operations. For more than 70 years, these whalers made the dangerous, month-long journey across the Atlantic to hunt whales and produce the oil that lit the lamps of Europe. At its peak, some 2,500 whalers on 50 ships from France and Spain came to hunt right and bowhead whales for blubber. The discovery of sunken galleons and chalupas used for whale hunting has made Red Bay one of the most exquisite underwater archaeological sites in America, and the Red Bay Basque Whaling Station is now a UNESCO World Heritage site. Today, you can wander around this former whaling town and immerse yourself in its history. The Tracey Hill Trail is a boardwalk consisting of 689 steps, descriptive panels, rest stops, and 2 coin-operated telescopes, and has breathtaking views of Red Bay. Walk along the Bone Shore Trail, which leads to where the whalers discarded whalebones. Take a hike along the beach and step into the interpretation center to see an 26-foot chalupa, which whalers used on the ocean to harpoon their giant catch. To get a full appreciation of the size of these whales, compare the chalupa to the assembled collections of whalebones displayed. These showcase a time of prosperity and dangerous adventure, and illustrate a long-ago way of life. Take a kayak trip to Saddle Island Trail where you can see the remnants of the ovens where whale blubber was rendered into oil and the graves of some 130 men who died here. And if you feel like going treasure hunting while we are here, local legend has it that the infamous pirate Captain Kidd hid a treasure in the Pond on the Hill.

Day 13

Gros Morne National Park

Location : Bonne Bay

Scenic Bonne Bay is among Newfoundland’s most beautiful bays, a deep mountainous fjord located on Newfoundland’s stunning west coast that divides Gros Morne National Park in two. Gros Morne is a combination of a protected area and small coastal communities with a rich culture and tradition of fishing and logging. From our deck, you can see the Tablelands Mountains – flat-topped rock outcroppings that are usually found deep in the Earth’s mantle. Their geological uniqueness is the main reason the park has been named a UNESCO World Heritage site. It took Mother Nature millions of years to mould the mountains into what we see today, and the sight is truly beautiful and awe-inspiring. Woody Point, in the south of the park, is a charming community of old houses and imported Lombardy poplars. Moose, caribou, fox, black bears, ptarmigans, and eagles are all commonly seen here. A visit to the higher regions of this ancient landscape will be unforgettable.

Day 14

Cruising the Gulf of St. Lawrence

Location : Expedition Day

After leaving Bonne Bay, we head out into the Gulf of St. Lawrence, a huge body of water at the mouth of the St. Lawrence River. It fringes the shores of half the provinces of Canada and is more of a semi-enclosed sea than simply a river mouth. This large, roughly triangular area is connected to the Atlantic by the Strait of Belle Isle to the northeast and Cabot Strait at the southeast corners. The average depth is barely 490 feet. The historically important gulf provided a historically important food for indigenous, nomadic tribes who came here seasonally to fish. French explorer Jaques Cartier arrived in 1534 on the first documented voyage to the gulf, but was likely preceded in the area by Basque fishermen. Cartier however, named the shores of the St. Lawrence River the 'Country of Canadas', after an indigenous word meaning 'village' or 'settlement', and wound up naming the world’s second largest country.

Day 15

Where France Meets North America

Location : St. Pierre and Miquelon

Even though Paris is some 2,500 miles away, the people living here are fiercely proud of being French. This is North America's often forgotten French enclave, and is actually France's oldest overseas territory. Peugeots and Renaults line the streets. And just as in France, people leave the boulangerie with baguettes tucked under their arms, and the patisserie carrying white boxes tied up with string. Get a taste of this slice of France at the Guillard Gourmandise bakery, where you can indulge in cream-filled chocolate éclairs, macarons, piping-hot pastries, and gateaux. And you pay with Euros, just as you would in France. Visit L’Arche Museum and learn about the islands' history, including the Prohibition era. The showstopper here is the guillotine - the only one ever used in North America. Islanders dropped the 'timbers of justice' only once, in 1889, on a murderer. The museum also offers bilingual architectural walking tours. Birdwatchers should also look forward to visiting the tiny island of Grand Colombier, with its steep cliffs, rocky outcrops, and hilly grounds serving as an important bird island with more than 100,000 breeding pairs of Leach's storm petrels.

Day 16

The Past Is Present

Location : Louisbourg, Canada

Sailing along the eastern shores of Nova Scotia, we head for the rather large island of Cape Breton. Then we reach Louisbourg, Canada, home to a historic jewel, the Fortress of Louisbourg, a National Historic Site of Canada. Here, you can experience what life was like in the bustling, French-fortified town of Louisbourg, Canada, in 1744. Or you can choose to spend the day combing a secluded beach or going scuba diving among shipwrecks. As you might expect, the rugged coastal setting offers up plenty of outdoor adventure, with brilliant hiking and biking trails. As one of the busiest crab and lobster fishing villages in the Maritimes, Louisbourg's wharf is the perfect place to watch the day’s catch coming in, and maybe even sample some fresh seafood.

Day 17

The End of the Expedition

Location : Halifax, Nova Scotia

It was Halifax's natural harbor that first drew the British here in 1749. Today most major sites are located along the harbor or in the Citadel-crowned hill overlooking the harbor. The 260-year-old provincial capital presents Nova Scotia’s strikingly modern face wrapped around a historic heart. Halifax is both hip and historic, andwell worth spending an extra day or two  after you disembark MS Fram.

October 8, 2018

Location Halifax, Nova Scotia
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