Expedition East Greenland | M/S Balto | IExpedition

East Greenland and the mighty fjords around Sermilik 2024

  • Overview

    In the heart of the Greenlandic wilderness lies a hidden gem waiting to be explored – the grand Sermilik fjord and its surrounding areas, full of beautiful hiking opportunities. In many terms these parts of the world are still undiscovered. We are greeted by towering mountain chains, calving glaciers, icebergs of all shapes and crystal-clear waters. The nutritious waters provide feeding ground for both humpbacks and fin whales and if lucky we will encounter these giants of the sea. We also get unique insight into the Inuit culture, their way of life, traditional practices, and cultural heritage. This natural wonder of East Greenland is so much more than a destination, it’s a true experience of a lifetime!

    Expedition Highlights

    • Small group of 12 passengers

    • The impressive Sermilik fjord

    • Remote and unexplored

    • Magnificent icebergs

    • Chance of seeing whales

    • Fascinating Inuit culture

    Duration: 10 days
    Passengers: 12 passengers
    Embarkation Point: Reykjavik
    Disembarkation Point: Reykjavik
    Physical rating: Soft Adventure
    Fly/Cruise: Cruise only
    Single Supplement: 2.0x twin rate or share options
  • Itinerary
    • Day 1 - Reykjavik

      We arrive individually to Reykjavik and check in to our hotel (included in the flight and hotel package described below).

    • Day 2 - Reykjavik & flight to Kulusuk, Greenland

      Explore the lovely city of Reykjavik on your own. In the afternoon we transfer to Keflavik and our flight to Kulusuk, and the airport built by the US Air Force in 1956. Kulusuk means “the village with the mountain that looks like the breast of a bird” in the Greenlandic, referring to the Isikajia Mountain located directly behind the airport. In the evening we board our expedition ship and begin our great exploration.

    • Day 3/10 - Expedition cruising

      We are now on an expedition cruise and our exact route will be decided by weather and ice. Some areas can be filled with ice and therefore not always reachable. Please note that the places mentioned below are just examples of places we can visit on this true expedition cruise.

      We visit the town of Tasiilaq. With just under 2000 inhabitants, it is the largest settlement in East Greenland. It is home to an older and different Inuit culture, where shamanism and native culture is much more vibrant than in other parts of Greenland. During our expedition here, we will learn more of local myths and legends, as the one about tupilaqs. In Greenlandic Inuit religion, a tupilaq was an avenging monster fabricated by a practitioner of witchcraft or shamanism by using various objects such as animal bone, skin, hair, or sinew. Tasiilaq is also known for a its art scene, where local artists create prints, sculptures and textiles mostly portraying the animals, landscapes and traditional stories of the area.

      We venture into the serenity of the Ammassalik fjord system and the small settlement of Kuummiut. This is a relatively unknown pearl of east Greenland, nestled within the Ammassalik Island group. The surrounding fjords – lined by tall mountain tops offer perfect hiking opportunities, with hidden waterfalls and spectacular views. Kuummiut has a rich Inuit heritage, and we hope to get the opportunity to learn about the traditional practices.

      Further up north is the Ikateq fjord, where we might make a landing at the abandoned military base from World War II, Bluie East Two. It played an important role in serving as a refuelling and maintenance stop for aircrafts travelling between north America and Europe. Today it is no longer in operation, but some remnants still exist, such as abandoned fuel drums, buildings and vehicles.

      Further east is two impressive glaciers: Karale and Knud Rasmussen. When sailing in this area we will most likely hear and see thundering calvings of these two very active glaciers.

      We continue into the mighty Sermilik fjord. It stretches over 90 kilometres and cuts through a rugged landscape of towering glaciers and jagged peaks, and we find ourselves amongst a myriad of icebergs of all shapes and sizes. Most of them originating from the impressive Helheim glacier at the deep end of the fjord, which produces some of the largest icebergs in all of Greenland. The beauty around us is stunning!

      On the southern shores of Sermilik fjord is the tiny village of Tiilerilaaq. The wooden houses are beautifully situated on a hill, with the grand Sermilik fjord in the background. The local Inuit culture and the traditional hunting and fishing activities play a significant role in the way of life here. Before we wave goodbye, we head out on a nice hike to overview the surrounding landscapes and the many icebergs!

      If the ice allows, we enter Johan Peterson fjord. On the northern side of the entrance of the fjord is Qeertartivatsiaq Island, where we find Inuit ruins on the southern shore of the island. At the head of the fjord are some outlet glaciers from the inland ice coming straight down to the sea. This is one of few places you can catch sight of the actual inland ice, although please know that it is often blocked by beautyful icebergs.

      We are continuously looking for Arctic foxes, seals and different species of whale.

    • Day 11 - Kulusuk – Reykjavik

      After a long, nice breakfast, we disembark in Kulusuk. We head out on one final Greenland excursion: a glacier hike to an ice cave - it is a truly unique experience to lose yourself in this surreal world of blue and to take in all of the cave's incredible details. After an early dinner in Kulusuk, we head to the airport and our flight to Reykjavik, where we check into our hotel for a good night sleep.

    • Day 13 - Homeward bound

      Today we bid our farewells and return home or onwards for new adventures.

    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.

  • Adventure Activities
  • Inclusions
    Inclusions / Exclusions

    Included in your Expedition

    - All excursions and activities
    - Guiding ashore and talks on board
    - Coffee and tea
    - All meals on board

    Not included in your Expedition

    - International flights to and from Iceland
    - Mandatory flight & hotel package
    - Gratuity to the ship’s crew
    - Travel and Cancellation insurance
    - Personal expenses
  • Map
    Screenshot 2023 12 18 at 15.43.47
  • Gallery
  • Vessel

    M/S Balto is named after the leading sled dog of 1925 Nome serum run. She was built for the highest ice class in Rauma, Finland, to serve as a government service vessel in the Baltic sea. During 2019-2022, she has been totally refurbished and is now one of the roomiest and most elegant small polar expedition yachts in service. 

    The M/S Balto is designed to explore the most remote fjord systems, visit isolated Inuit settlements, take you to secret anchorages and maximise each guest’s experience in the unspoiled wilderness. This is true micro cruising. 

    Features & Facilities
    Key Facts
    Luxury star rating:
    Guests #: 12
    Crew #:
    Ice Class: 1A
    Technical Specs
    Year built:
    Length: 40m
    Width: 9
    Tonnage: 422
    Elec Outlets:
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Ready to book your expedition?

We understand that the trip of a lifetime takes planning, so we make the financial commitments easy to manage.

  • Confirm your booking today with just USD$ 1,000 per passenger.
  • Pay your 25% deposit 5 day later.
  • Final payment due 120 days prior to departure.

Double cabin

10 Sep 2024 - 19 Sep 2024
Double bed
USD$ 8,990pp
USD$ 8,990pp

Superior cabin

10 Sep 2024 - 19 Sep 2024
Twin beds
USD$ 9,690pp
USD$ 9,690pp

Owner's cabin

10 Sep 2024 - 19 Sep 2024
Double bed
USD$ 10,790pp
USD$ 10,790pp

Single cabin

10 Sep 2024 - 19 Sep 2024
Single bed
USD$ 11,190pp
USD$ 11,190pp