WINTER EXPERIENCE - 5 days

from EUR 2880

Travel to West Greenland and become a pioneer and explorer. Experience a dog sledge tour, a winter hike to the Icefiord, a visit to a Greenlandic home, a cruise between giant icebergs and a trip to a remote Inuit settlement. 

Tour Code: GJ-WGR-15AA
  • Tour Availability: Tue
  • Seasons: February, March & April
  • Duration: 5 days
  • Min. nr of Participants: 1

Ilulissat Winter (15)-001.jpgWinter Experience West Greenland - 5 days / 4 nights

Guaranteed departures from Reykjavik every Tuesday from 20 February until 14 April 2018. This is a fully escorted tour to West Greenland and includes 6 guided excursions.

Experience everything the Arctic has to offer in the winter months. The town of Ilulissat, 300 km north of the Polar Circle is THE place to explore winter pursuits such as dog sledging and iceberg cruising – all while staying at the comfortable 4-star Hotel Arctic.

Highlights and Experiences

  • Two-hour dog sledge adventure
  • Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis)
  • Home visit
  • Icefiord cruise
  • Boat trip to Inuit village "Rodebay"
  • Easy hike
  • Guided tour through the historic centre of Ilulissat

Aurora Borealis

As soon as the sky turns dark in Greenland, you have good chances of experiencing the Northern Lights. This magical natural phenomenon can be seen in the Arctic from September to the beginning of April; thus we cannot guarantee that you will see them during your trip. When staying at Hotel Arctic, we suggest walking along a wooden boardwalk towards the ocean and metal-igloos (250 m). From there you have a fantastic view over the fjord and of the Aurora if the weather conditions are suitable.

Tour Code: GJ-WGR-15AA

Ilulissat Winter (8)-001.jpgWinter Experience West Greenland - 5 days / 4 nights

Guaranteed departures from Reykjavik every Tuesday from 20 February until 14 April 2018. This is a fully escorted tour to West Greenland and includes 6 guided excursions.

Ilulissat

When visiting Greenland, most people want to see the icebergs, and the destination to see icebergs is without doubt Ilulissat. Due to the town's location north of the Polar Circle, there is also a good chance of seeing Northern Lights in Ilulissat.

Scenic flight

The Arctic winter landscape opens up beneath you just before the flight lands in Ilulissat, and even before you have set foot in the small Greenlandic town, you will understand why the Ilulissat Icefiord is a UNESCO world heritage site.

Excursions

Travelling by dog sledge with your Inuit hunter to isolated villages or the fishing grounds on the frozen fjords is a journey into the world of the old polar explorers. Iceberg cruises on the Ilulissat Icefiord provide the perfect opportunity to get close to these gigantic sculptures created by nature.

Itinerary

Day 1, Tuesday: Arrival in Greenland, Ilulissat City Walk, Welcome Dinner
Air Iceland flight from Reykjavík domestic airport to Ilulissat in West Greenland, about 3 hours. Meet and greet and transfer to the hotel for an information meeting and guided city walk. You have some time to explore the town, visit the local museum and observe Greenlandic life at the always busy harbour. After a welcome dinner, you should step into the darkness and check if the Northern Lights are visible. These spectacular sky-light shows are also known as the Aurora Borealis and are frequently seen in Greenland from September through April on clear and crisp nights. White and green are usually the dominant colours of Northern Lights, but sometimes there are considerable colour variations. They are ephemeral; however, sightings are not guaranteed.

Included meals: Welcome dinner at Hotel Arctic
Accommodation: Hotel Arctic

Day 2, Wednesday: Dog Sledge Adventure
We leave the civilised world and enter the Arctic wonderland of low passes, ice-covered fjords where icebergs raise like sculptures. We travel back in time into the world of the old polar explorers - all you hear is the sound of the sledge moving over the ice and the shouts of encouragement your driver makes to control his dogs. The route will depend on actual snow and ice conditions. Only operated when there is snow - expected from early/mid-December to late March. Rent of fur clothes included. You have to be in a good physical shape to join a dog sled tour. Duration: 2 hours - Only operates with two persons per sledge.

Be careful not to go to bed too soon in this remote and quiet location, or you may just miss out one more chance of seeing the Northern Lights shimmering and dancing across the night sky.

Day 3, Thursday: Home Visit & Iceberg Cruise 
Join a local family for a cup of coffee. The Greenlanders are famous for welcoming visitors into their homes, inviting everyone over for a cup of coffee and a piece of cake. The latest gossip is shared, and it will also be possible to see the national costume and learn about life so very isolated from the rest of the world.

Ilulissat is world famous for its icebergs, and a cruise provides the perfect opportunity to get close to these gigantic sculptures created by nature. Only operated when there is open water. Duration: 2½ hours (approx.) incl. refreshments. The rest of the day is free at leisure to explore Ilulissat or book an optional sightseeing flight. After the farewell dinner, don't forget to keep an eye out for the Northern Lights. The rest of the day is free at leisure to explore Ilulissat or book an optional sightseeing flight.

In the evening, if conditions look good, take a little walk along a wooden boardwalk towards the ocean and metal-igloos (250 m) to search for the Northern Lights. From there you have a fantastic view over the fjord and of a possible aurora light show.

Included meals: Breakfast

Day 4, Friday: Hunter's Settlement Rodebay & Farewell Dinner
By boat to the small settlement of Rodebay (Oqaitsut), which is only accessible by boat or dog sledge. The settlement has approx. 40 inhabitants who are entirely dependent on fishing and hunting - a different world compared to the nearby town of Ilulissat. Lunch at a local restaurant and time to stroll around in the village before returning to Ilulissat. (In some periods packed lunch from the hotel). Operated by boat when there is open water. When the fjord is frozen, the village is only accessible by dog sledge. Duration: 6 hours (approx.) including lunch. After the farewell dinner, don't forget to keep an eye out for the Northern Lights.

Included meals: Breakfast, lunch and farewell dinner at Hotel Arctic

Day 5, Saturday: Hike to the Icefiord & Travel back to Iceland
By car as far as the road goes followed by an easy hike to a viewpoint from where the icebergs at the mouth of the Icefiord can be seen. Air Iceland flight to Reykjavik around noon.

Included meals: Breakfast.

Tour Code: GJ-WGR-15AA

Time Difference: Please note there is a 3-hour time difference between Iceland and West Greenland in the winter and a 2-hour time difference in the summer.

Airport Transfer in Reykjavik: not included

Airport Transfer in Ilulissat: included and Hotel Arctic is only five minutes drive from the airport.

Currency and credit cards:
Important to bring Danish Krona to Greenland. Foreign currency is not everywhere accepted. Credit cards are accepted only at few locations. i.e., at the hotels and larger stores. Using credit and debit card, a PIN-code is required.

Important: Trips to Greenland are always subject to weather conditions. Delays and flight cancellations can happen. Therefore we strongly recommend you to buy a travel insurance in the country of residence that would cover any additional travel expenses, should your flights be delayed or cancelled due to weather. We recommend not to book any international flight directly after a trip from West Greenland.

Hotel Arctic, Ilulissat

We are confident that your day will begin with rather more inspired view on life when you gaze across the beautiful Icefiord that faces the hotel and see drifting icebergs that are in constant motion. Hotel Arctic has 87 rooms - all of which have a view of the Icefiord, Disko Bay or Ilulissat town. Rooms in all categories naturally have all the comfort our guests expect. There are disabled-friendly rooms and facilities, so the unbelievable Arctic experience is available for everybody. For these packages, we use standard rooms in the Puisi Wing. Hotel Arctic has 32 standard rooms, the majority of which have views of the sea and the icebergs. We prepare the room according to your wishes either with two single beds or a double bed and draw your attention to the available facilities which include a television and radio, two video channels, a telephone and a hairdryer. This wing takes its name from the Greenlandic word for "seal". All standard rooms will have views towards the town and the Icefiord. The hotel features a gourmet restaurant and a coffee house and is famous for its summer BBQ's on the panorama terrace.

Room Category, Room Size, View and Bed Types

Standard Puisi:
15m2 with two single beds, the rest with a mixture of double and twin beds.
Puisi room has primarily views of the city, but if you look to the right, you can see the ocean.
Puisi Suite 32-34m2

Superior Kayak:
23m2 only with twin beds which turned into double beds on request.
Kayak rooms overlook the sea and the city.

Superior Plus Umiaq:
24m2 with a mixture of double and twin beds. Umiaq Rooms are overlooking the sea.
Umiaq Deluxe 30m2
Umiaq Suites 31m2 (has a bathtub instead of shower)

Tour Code: GJ-WGR-15AA

Winter Experience West Greenland - 5 days / 4 nights

Guaranteed departures from Reykjavik every Tuesday from 20 February to 14 April 2018. This is a fully escorted tour to West Greenland and includes 5 guided excursions.

Winter 2018 departures dates from Reykjavik:

  • Every Saturday from Reykjavik to Ilulissat: first departure 17.02.18 and last return flight 10.04.18
  • Every Tuesday from Ilulissat to Reykjavik: first departure 20.02.18 and last return flight 14.04.18

This program is not available for the rest of the year due to flights.

Flights: by Air Iceland, Dash 8 aircraft, 37 seats, about flight time 3 hours.

Flight schedule for Winter 2018: (subject to change)

Date 
Weekdays 
Reykjavik departure   
Ilulissat arrival   
Ilulissat departure   
Reykjavik arrival   
17.02.-14.04.18   Tuesday & Saturday     11:45 12:00 12:45 19:00

Please note that return flight has a fuel stop in Søndre Strømfjord

Tour Code: GJ-WGR-15AA

2018 Winter Prices - with departures from 20.02.-14.04.2018:

Price per person in Double room standard:
EUR 2.880 per person* / Single-supplement: EUR 324   ...... DKK 20.600 per person* / Single room supplement: DKK 2.310  

*Depending on availability flight supplements up to EUR 500/DKK 3700 per person might apply

Included

  • Return flight Reykjavik-Ilulissat-Reykjavik including airport taxes
  • Hotel/airport transfer in Greenland
  • 4 nights at 4-star Hotel Arctic in standard rooms
  • Welcome & farewell dinner at Hotel Arctic
  • Welcome meeting with local guide at the hotel
  • All taxes and fees
  • 1-2 hours guided city walk Ilulissat
  • 2-hour dog sledge adventure (2 persons per sledge)
  • Home visit
  • Icefiord cruise
  • Boat trip to Rodebay incl. lunch
  • Easy hike

Note: Excursion days may alter depending on weather and a minimum number of participants.

Important: Trips to Greenland are always subject to weather conditions. Delays and flight cancellations can happen. Therefore we strongly recommend you to buy a travel insurance in the country of residence that would cover any additional travel expenses, should your flights be delayed or cancelled due to weather. We recommend not to book any international flight directly after a trip from Greenland.

Bookings to be sent to email: Either via our international tour operator network -see here 

or directly by email gjtravel@gjtravel.is and we process your booking by personal email communication. All bookings are on request. We need full names of all travellers to Greenland, nationality and travel dates to/from Greenland. After we receive your reservation by email, you will get a short reconfirmation from us that we will work on your booking. The final confirmation will be sent within 2-4 working days after booking receipt. Unfortunately for Greenland packages, there is no instant availability system and online booking & payment system. Payment is due latest 8 weeks before arrival; we accept international bank transfer or payment by Visa or MasterCard. Vouchers and detailed itinerary will be sent after receipt of final payment. We provide you also with practical information in regards to your stay in Greenland and how to prepare for a trip to Greenland.

Cancellation policy for Greenland

  • 72 hours after booking and up to 8 weeks before departure: Changes (of ANY kind) will cost 10% of the tour package price. Cancellation will cost 20% of tour package price. To finalise a booking and issue the flight ticket, a deposit of DKK 7000 (EUR 1000) per person is required within 72 hours of booking confirmation.
  • If the reservation is cancelled within 8 weeks before departure, there will be a charge of 40% of the tour package price.
  • If the reservation is cancelled within 6 weeks before departure, there will be a charge of 60% of the tour package price.
  • If the reservation is cancelled within 4 weeks before departure, there will be a charge of 80 % of the tour package price.
  • If the reservation is cancelled within 2 weeks before departure, there will be a charge of 100% of the tour package price.
  • If the reservation is cancelled on the day of departure or in case of no-show, there will be a charge of 100% of the tour package price (no refund at all).
Tour Code: GJ-WGR-15AA

Dear travellers to Greenland, please don't visit until you understand these 8 things:

1. Respect and appreciate the nature.

Greenland is a country of mountains and ice. Greenlanders live for nature and want to preserve it the way it is. Animals live free and remain wild. Sled dogs are for transport and, unlike pet dogs, they are bred to be strong enough to pull a sledge carrying a person and the hunt of the day. Do not go petting them or come close to them without permission of the owner. If you hike and camp, do not litter. Leave Greenland as beautiful and pure as you found it.

2. Respect that we hunt and fish.

Vegetarianism and veganism are becoming more and more common in the world; therefore, activists who are against slaughtering animals are growing in numbers. But know this, the Inuit have hunted for food for thousands of years. The animals we hunt live free in the wild. We do not club baby seals; we actually prefer big and fat ones. Do not come to Greenland if you're going to judge our way of life.

3. Everything is locally-owned.

You will not find any chain stores in Greenland. There are no Starbucks, McDonald's, or Ikea. The country might be massive, but the population is only 60,000 and the culture is still very traditional and has not been fully affected by Western influence. So, if you can't live without your frappuccino or cheeseburger, don't come here.

4. We're not big on public transportation.

When you go travelling in Europe or Southeast Asia, you can catch a bus easily to travel from town to town. Well, here you can't. Due to mountainous coasts where the towns are located — and the fact that towns are quite far away from each other — there is not yet any road between them. That's what makes Greenland such a unique destination.

If you want to go hiking, research everything you need to know about the area before you set off. You will not find any signs to lead you to places. And most places don't have cell phone coverage, so don't rely on Google Maps.

5. Be aware of the climate.

If you want to visit during summer, don't bring bikinis or shorts. The average temperature in the summer is 10-20°C (50-70 F), and with the dry air and cold wind from the icebergs and ocean, it really doesn't get hot.

If you visit during winter, be prepared. Bring reliable winter clothes such as Canada Goose jackets or any brand that has a wind stopper and sells waterproof items. The weather can get as low as minus 20°C (-4 F) in most towns — and in the most northern settlements, it can be minus 40°C (-40 F).

In any of the seasons, the wind is inevitable, and it can be brutal. During snowstorms, the wind can be up to 180 km/h (111 mph).

6. It ain't cheap here.

Greenland is an island, and the neighbouring countries are at least a 3-hour flight away. And there are only two airlines that do scheduled flights, one of which is only seasonal. The tickets aren't cheap.

Think about this, most products in the supermarket are imported from another country. In most cases, they are from Denmark. The price is most likely to be double or more in Greenland than in Denmark. Get this, and the further you travel north, the more expensive the prices are. A yoghurt that would cost $1 in Denmark can cost up to $5 in Greenland. If you want fresh veggies or fruit, well, expect it to cost a lot. Or just do what locals do, buy the frozen vegetables and canned fruit.

7. Liquor stores have closing hours.

If you want to include alcohol on your shopping list, go to the store before 6 PM on weekdays, because after that, beer, wine, and any other liquor won't be available. And remember that on Saturdays, the liquor stores are open only from 9 AM to 1 PM. No sales on Sundays.

8. Above all, be kind.

We Greenlanders are happy people. We enjoy nature, and we live a simple life. We love seeing foreigners coming to visit our beautiful country, and if you happen to greet one of us, there's a big chance we will invite you over to dinner. It doesn't often happen where a foreigner is bold enough to visit Greenland, so we take advantage of the company when it's here. In return, please be kind to the locals.

Tour Code: GJ-WGR-15AA