fram greenland cruise to Thule

Midnight Sun Exploration to Thule

  • Overview
    Stand at the precipice of the gigantic Inland Ice Sheet, and then sail up to the edge of the Arctic sea ice Greenland’s arctic wilderness offers some of the most spectacular and unspoilt scenery on earth. This is the largest island on the planet, and its frozen coastline has witnessed the birth of some of nature’s most breath taking creations. Here, the struggle for survival has created a healthy respect for the environment among the locals, and we witness the unique interaction of man and nature as we sail through a landscape rich in culture, history and wildlife, into the extreme northern lands of the Midnight Sun. The Inuit Hunting Culture Sense the power of nature and learn more about the remarkable people that inhabit the area. In Greenland, hunting and fishing have been a crucial part of life for over 4,000 years. Throughout the generations, the Inuit people have created and refined unique products, including kayaks, harpoons, bird spears and high-quality clothing made of animal hide and fur. The fact that even compacted snow, in the form of an igloo, can be used as a temporary shelter, demonstrates this culture's extraordinary ability to utilise materials found in nature. Wild and Majestic Nature Explore rarely visited settlements in the high north, such as Upernavik and Siorapaluk. See Greenland’s colossal icebergs calve into the sea, explore long fjords, lush meadows and a variety of animal life. Greenland’s distinctive animals, the musk ox, reindeer, narwhal and walrus, are among those that you will have the greatest chance of seeing, especially when we are close to the expedition’s starting point, Kangerlussuaq. With daily landings and excursions, including kayaking, hiking and other activities, you will discover the authentic Greenland and meet the people who call it home.
    Duration: 17 days
    Passengers: 318 passengers
    Embarkation Point: Copenhagen, Denmark
    Disembarkation Point: Copenhagen, Denmark
    Physical rating: Expedition
    Fly/Cruise: Mandatory extra flight
    Single Supplement: 0.0x - 2.0x twin rate or share options
  • Itinerary
    • Day 1 - Copenhagen/ Kangerlussuaq; Flying north

      This expedition starts with a flight from Denmark's charming capital Copenhagen. Less than five hours later you reach the settlement of Kangerlussuaq in Greenland. This small airstrip is the main gateway to Greenland, and on arrival your transfer to the MS Fram.

    • Day 2 - Sisimiut; Discover Disco Bay

      The Disco Bay area offers fantastic sailing with wildlife and spectacular nature. Colourful villages cling to rough, rocky hills at the feet of the mountains surrounding the inland ice. Join excursions such as kayaking, hiking or other activities. In Sisimiut you can watch the artists make jewellery and crafts from bone, leather and metal. Join a sightseeing tour or hike, and taste Greenlandic specialities in a local restaurant.

    • Day 3 - Qeqertarsuaq; Fjords, volcanic history and lush meadows

      Qeqertarsuaq on Disco Island has many natural features including a deep fjord for kayaking, mountains up to 1919 meters, hot springs, and columnar basalt rocks that evidence a volcanic history. The natural environment around Qeqertarsuaq is so fertile with angelica and diverse species that it is literally like no other place in North Greenland. Join optional excursions like a town walk, kayaking or an ice cruising boat tour. If you like archaeology and history you should definitely pay a visit to the local museum. Alternatively, you can stroll around the settlement on your own.

    • Day 4 - Uummannaq/ Ukkusissat; Leave a piece of you heart in the town by the heart shaped mountain

      It is said that when you visit Uummannaq, a piece of your heart remains on the island forever. Whether it is the magic of the heart-shaped mountain, or the sound of children singing as you go ashore, you will find plenty of things to charm you. And you will have opportunities to learn about Inuit culture and to experience the vast landscape with all senses. In Ukkusissat, the small houses are huddled together in the enormity of nature. Our optional excursions in these settlements include meeting the locals or taking a tender boat excursion to a landing at Qilakitsoq where mummies from the Thule era were found.

    • Day 5 - At sea; Sailing north

      As we sail northwest along the Davis Straits towards the Lauge Koch coast, from 71° to 76° North, we pass some of the northernmost settlements in Greenland. In these harsh and remote areas, life is a constant battle against the elements, and you can learn more about this in one of the informative lectures given by our Expedition Team.

    • Day 6 - Dundas; Old Thule

      There is evidence of people living in the settlement now known as Dundas up to 900 years ago. Just north of Mount Dundas, there are a number of archaeological excavation sites, including Comer’s Midden, where several ruins and rubbish heaps containing shells, animal bones and other refuse have been found. In 1910, Danish explorer Knud Rasmussen established a trading post in northwest Greenland and named it after the mythical island of Thule. Rasmussen undertook several expeditions from Thule into the Arctic, where he investigated various Eskimo tribes and researched their myths and legends. The U.S. air base (Dundas) was set up on the site of the old trading post during WW2 and remains to this Day.

    • Day 7 - Siorapaluk; The last outpost of civilisation

      Siorapaluk means “little Sands” and was named after the small sandy beach in front of the village. Tall sandstone mountains surround the village in tones of red and purple, ending at the sea in a narrow sand track. You will also see a glacier in the bottom of the small Robertson fjord. This is the world's northernmost inhabited settlement, and as far as you can go north in Greenland and still have electricity, toilets and a shop. It is basically the last outpost of civilisation, only 1362 km from the North Pole. Many of the inhabitants are direct descendants of the last migration of Inuit from Canada in the past century. The main source of income here comes from nature - there is good fishing in the area, and hunting for birds, foxes and hares, seals and walruses. Come ashore to explore this unique Arctic outpost.

    • Day 8/9 - At sea; Trying to reach 80° N

      We sail to the fringe of the ice, in the wake of pioneers and explorers who sailed here to explore the high north and beyond. We will sail the waterway called Kane Basin, situated between Greenland and Canada's northernmost Island, Ellesmere Island. We will even try to reach 80° North. This area is known as the North Water Polynya, and most of the aquatic life of the Baffin Bay is concentrated near this region.

    • Day 10 - Qaanaaq (or Thule); Top of the world

      Qaanaaq (or Thule) was the first part of Greenland to be colonised by Inuits from the west more than 4500 years ago. Ancient philosophers called it Ultima Thule, or the edge of known territory. Greenlanders called the area Avanersuaq, the great north. And it really is the extreme north, as it the northernmost town in Greenland, just 30 km from Canada. In 1953 the original village was moved 200 kilometres north to Murchison Sound because the noise of aircrafts from the American airbase nearby disturbed the wildlife on which the Inuit depend. Hunting for seals, whales and polar bears in the traditional way is the main occupation in the town.

      The people living here are crucial to the Inuit identity as a powerful and pioneering people, and they are often considered proud to be the real people behind the classic associations like making handicrafts and hunting by kayak or dog sled. Visit the Ultima Thule souvenir shop to buy genuine and original artwork and crafts from the Qaanaaq district.

    • Day 11 - At sea; Sailing south

      Enjoy a Day at sea as we sail along the remote north-western coast of Greenland. Stay on deck to spot wildlife or attend a lecture given by our Expedition Team.

    • Day 12 - Upernavik; The bay of islands and ice

      The Upernavik archipelago has islands as far as the eye can see; the Upernavik Icefjord to the north, and the world's largest bird cliff (Apparsuit) to the south. For centuries, the locals have migrated to Upernavik during the spring to take advantage of the rich hunting grounds. Many of the locals still go hunting and fishing, and in August you can witness the muskox-hunting season in the backcountry.

      This small settlement lies at 72° 47' N and 56° 10' W, 800 km north of the Arctic Circle, and everything is within walking distance. The town is also home to the world’s northernmost open-air museum, where you can learn more about colonial and Viking histories. When you explore the waters in a kayak you may be surprised to discover that a distant island turns out to be a massive iceberg instead.

    • Day 13 - Eqip Sermia; Witness the true power of nature

      Today, you will have a unique opportunity to witness the true power of nature on a visit to the Eqip Sermia Glacier, which calves icebergs into the open ocean. We will use the ship’s tender boats to go ashore in this beautiful area. If you're feeling more active, you can take a short hike on your own in the area. Everybody who goes ashore is invited to a barbecue dinner with a great view of the glacier.

    • Day 14 - Ilulissat: All about the ice

      Ilulissat is set in the stunning scenery of the Ilulissat Icefjord. The area was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2004. Just outside the town, at the mouth of the fjord, you can often see enormous icebergs that have run aground. They originate from the Jakobshavn Glacier, one of the most productive glaciers in the Northern Hemisphere. It runs directly from the Greenland Ice Cap, and it produces 10 % of all icebergs in Greenland. The icebergs float out into the open sea just outside the town before they begin their journey northwards, later becoming part of the Atlantic Ocean. These mighty icebergs are by nature unique and no two are alike. Marvel at how the icebergs change from white and blue to shades of orange and red when struck by the Midnight Sun, and hear the icebergs’ soundtrack of cracking and rumbling echoes from one end of Ilulissat to the other. We offer a variety of optional shore excursions such as hikes, historic town walks and a boat tour to the Icefjord.

    • Day 15 - Itilleq; The Arctic Circle Village

      Itilleq means "the hollow", and as its name suggests, this small settlement is situated in a hollow, majestically surrounded by high mountains and glaciers. With the Arctic Circle passing just 200 metres south of the village centre, Itilleq can rightly claim the title of ‘the Arctic Circle Village’. The 130 people who live here are mainly engaged in hunting and fishing activities. The island has no fresh water, so its inhabitants have to use a facility that makes fresh water from seawater. The town's church has an interesting history: It was built in Thule (Umanak, North Greenland) in 1930 and was moved to Itilleq in 1963.

    • Day 16 - Kangerlussuaq; The end of the expedition

      As we reach Kangerlussuaq, your expedition with MS Fram has come to an end. Take the opportunity to join a final excursion to the Greenland Ice Sheet. This vast icy wasteland stretches 1,500 miles north and reaches heights of up to 3,200 metres above sea level. The road to the edge of the Ice Sheet boasts beautiful natural scenery, ranging from Arctic desert and tundra with low-growing shrubs to hilly terrain offering breath-taking views over the landscape. Your plane to Copenhagen leaves late in the evening.

    • Day 17 - Copenhagen; Wonderful, wonderful

      You arrive in the Danish capital early in the morning and may even have time to explore "Wonderful, Wonderful Copenhagen" before you head home.

    Please consider that our voyages are expeditionary in nature. This means, that there are no concrete itineraries, your captain and expedition leader will utilise their vast experience to chart the best course for your expedition depending on the climatic and environmental conditions. Mentioned highlights and wildlife cannot be guaranteed.

  • Highlights & Activities

    Inspiring Inuit communities

    Sense the power of nature and learn more about the remarkable people that inhabit the area. In Greenland, hunting and fishing have been a crucial part of life for over 4,000 years. Throughout the generations, the Inuit people have created and refined unique products, including kayaks, harpoons, bird spears and high-quality clothing made of animal hide and fur. The fact that even compacted snow, in the form of an igloo, can be used as a temporary shelter, demonstrates this culture's extraordinary ability to utilise materials found in nature.

    Wild and Majestic Nature

    See Greenland’s colossal icebergs calve into the sea, explore long fjords, lush meadows and a variety of animal life. Greenland’s distinctive animals, the musk ox, reindeer, narwhal and walrus, are among those that you will have the greatest chance of seeing, especially when we are close to the expedition’s starting point, Kangerlussuaq. With daily landings and excursions, including kayaking, hiking and other activities, you will discover the authentic Greenland and meet the people who call it home.

  • Inclusions

    Dynamic Cabin Pricing

    Cabin prices on board the Fram are dynamic, that is the cabin pricing fluctuates with changes in bookings and exchange rates. Cabin prices below are not guaranteed and are subject to change and availability at the operators discretion. Please feel free to contact us for the most accurate pricing on this voyage.

    Expedition Gear

    Expedition boots and a specially designed high quality polar expedition jacket are provided on board.

    Inclusions / Exclusions

    Included in your Expedition

    - Transfers where stated in the itinerary
    - Excursion a shore and lectures
    - Expedition jacket
    - Flights where stated in the itinerary
    - One night hotel pre-cruise
    - Accommodation while on board
    - Hot beverages

    Not included in your Expedition

    - Optional excursions and activities.
    - Luggage handling
    - Mandatory waterproof gear not provided
    - Baggage / cancellation / interruption and medical travel insurance
    - International flights
  • Map
    Screen shot 2017 07 05 at 2.17.45 pm
  • Gallery
  • Vessel

    FRAM

    The ship is purpose-built as an expedition vessel with a higher ice-class, chart drawing tools,ship depth sounding database, extractable forward sounding sonar, iceberg search lights, autonomous tracking system, oversized oil retention system for self-sufficiency, and a full ‘expedition tools-deck’ equivalent to a car-deck that holds 25 vehicles. We believe that as an explorer you need an ‘expedition base-camp’ that is comfortable – something that combines ‘all oceans capabilities’ with safety, flexibility and environmental friendliness. That’s Fram – simply the best expedition ship imaginable. The observation lounge, with comfortable sitting areas at the top of the ship and large panoramic windows, gives you incredible views of nature. A pair of binoculars is installed for spotting wildlife and details of the ever changing landscape. In the restaurant on deck 5, you can enjoy the finest cuisine. The floor has different levels, so no matter where your table is placed; there are views to the outdoors. The restaurant is located in the aft of the ship, on your way there you walk through an exhibition of original artefacts from the historic expeditions of Amundsen and Nansen. At the far end of the restaurant there is a balcony for taking pictures when wildlife show up during a meal. On deck 7 you will find a well-equipped fitness room, with its panoramic ocean view there is no better place to exercise. On top of the ship you can get warm and cosy in the sauna or bathe in one of the outdoor Jacuzzis. Let the warm water surround you while the icebergs float silently past the side of the ship. With 127 cabins on Fram, you have a choice of comfortable cabins and a number of superior suites to choose from. Our suites are named after Norwegian polar heroes, MS Fram travels in the wake of these great explorers. We are very proud of the art commissioned for MS Fram – local artists from the Arctic have contributed to making her a modern masterpiece. The ‘tender pit’ is where we embark, fully dressed in suitable expedition and excursion gear, on our sturdy Polarcirkel boats to take you safely from ship to shore. The original Fram was a ship for broadening the understanding of the world – let the new MS Fram do the same for you.

    Features & Facilities
    • Enhanced expedition vessel
    • Superior accommodation
    • Observation lounge with panoramic windows
    • Restaraunt
    • Gym with panoramic windows
    • Sauna
    • Outdoor Jacuzzies
    • Internet/Wifi
    Key Facts
    Luxury star rating: 4
    Guests #: 318
    Crew #: 75
    Ice Class: 1B
    Speed: 16
    Refurbished:
    Technical Specs
    Year built:
    Length: 113m
    Width: 20
    Draft:
    Tonnage: 11647
    Registry: Norway
    Elec Outlets: 220V / 2 Round Pin
Check Voyage Dates, Pricing and Availability
All available dates

Expedition Grand Suite

30 Jul 2018 - 15 Aug 2018
Twin cabin, private facilities, sitting room, some with double bed, bathtub, private balcony, and/or bay window.
AUD $POA
AUD $POA

Expedition Suite

30 Jul 2018 - 15 Aug 2018
Twin cabin on upper deck, sitting room, private facilities, most with double beds.
AUD $POA
AUD $POA

Arctic Superior - Middle Deck Twin

30 Jul 2018 - 15 Aug 2018
Twin cabin on upper or middle deck, private facilities, some with double beds.
AUD $POA
AUD $POA

Arctic Superior - Upper Deck Twin

30 Jul 2018 - 15 Aug 2018
Top/upper deck twin cabin, private facilities, some with double beds.
AUD $POA
AUD $POA

Polar Inside Middle Deck - Twin

30 Jul 2018 - 15 Aug 2018
Twin cabin, private facilities, some with double bed.
AUD $POA
AUD $POA

Polar Inside Middle Deck - Quad

30 Jul 2018 - 15 Aug 2018
Quad cabin, private facilities, some with double bed.
AUD $POA
AUD $POA

Polar Outside Middle Deck - Twin

30 Jul 2018 - 15 Aug 2018
Twin cabin, private facilities, some with double bed.
AUD $POA
AUD $POA

Polar Outside Upper Deck

30 Jul 2018 - 15 Aug 2018
Twin cabin, private facilities, with a limited view.
AUD $POA
AUD $POA

Polar Outside Middle Deck - Quad

30 Jul 2018 - 15 Aug 2018
Quad cabin, private facilities, with limited view.
AUD $POA
AUD $POA