I'm a Naval Architect and Ocean Yachtmaster and have been skippering Aurora since 2006. My work and play have taken me all over the world: from skiing in Canada, climbing in the Alps, kayaking in Greenland to sailing in Antarctica. My passion for the lands and cultures of the North Atlantic and the Arctic is second only to my enthusiasm about sharing this with new friends.
Depart from Isafjordur at 7pm on our expedition sailboat AURORA. Weather permitting; we will commence crossing the Denmark Strait, which should take approximately 32 hours. If the weather is not in our favor or the sea ice conditions are difficult, we will delay our crossing and shelter in the beautiful fjords of the Hornstrandir Nature Reserve where we will do some hiking and/or kayaking.
We will be at sea and should start glimpsing the mountains of Greenland during the afternoon. We will keep a watchful eye for icebergs that are always present in this area. Dolphins and whales are likely to be riding our bow wake.
Arrive in Greenland in the early morning. We will attempt landfall at Søkongen Island on the south side of Nansen Fjord. The great Christian IV Glacier calves into Nansen Fjord, which is often full of icebergs. This is prime area for polar bears, and we will keep a vigilant eye out for them. The Watkins Mountains and the highest peak in the Arctic, Gunnbjornsfjeld (3693 m) line the horizon. Depending on the ice conditions we will attempt to find an anchorage here for the night.read more
We will sail to Mikis Fjord and anchor. Here is an option to hike into the flower-filled Sødalen Valley and perhaps search for gold and platinum in the creeks and rivers of the Skærgård intrusion (only discovered a few years ago by a geological expedition). In Mikis Fjord are long-abandoned Inuit ruins that allude to a time when the Dorset culture populated the northeast coast.
An additional day to explore this natural wonder.
Continue our journey to the great Kangerlugssuaq Fjord (‘big fjord'). The AURORA will anchor in SuhailiBugt. This is a very sheltered anchorage where Sir Robin Knox-Johnston and Sir Chris Bonington anchored the Suhaili on their attempt to climb the Cathedral Peak in 1991. This will be our base camp for the following few days.
In Kangerdlussuaq Fjord we have plenty of options for hikes and kayak-tours over the next three days. We can paddle over to the abandoned Skærgård Inuit settlement and explore the Uttendal Sound towards the ice-filled Watkins Fjord. We can also hike in the hills of Kræmer Island where there are fantastic vistas of the surrounding fjords, mountains and glaciers.
The Kangerdlugssuaq Fjord is bar-none the wildest coastal landscape in Greenland. The Lemon Mountain Range - one of Greenland's highest, lies just north of the fjord. This vast mountain range with compact alpine peaks offers endless opportunities for mountaineering, with many unclimbed peaks towering to 2,600 meters. In addition, just 50 to 80km north and east of Södalen is the Lindbergh Range, with unclimbed peaks rising 3,200 meters and magnificent views over the immense Greenland Ice Cap. Further west are the Kangerdlugssuaq Mountains, an expansive realm of alpine granite and gneiss peaks rising to 2,600 meters. This range comprises of the single largest region of unclimbed summits in Greenland. To the northeast are the Watkins Mountains with GunnbjornsFjeld (3,693m), the highest peak in the Arctic. In all, this range consists of the 10 tallest mountains in the High Arctic - a stunning collection of peaks virtually unknown to the outside world.read more
We will leave Kangerdlugssuaq Fjord and make our passage south. This area is thus described in the British Admiralty Arctic Pilot: ‘The stretch of coast between Kap SM Jørgensen and KapDechmann, 90 miles NE, is considered one of the most difficult in Greenland; the mountains rise almost vertically from the sea to form a narrow bulwark, with rifts through which active glaciers discharge quantities of ice, while numerous off-lying islets and rocks make navigation hazardous'.read more
On our route south, we will explore new areas before entering Nigertuluk Fjord. Here are two spectacular calving glaciers, a sandy beach and a tranquil mountain lake. All in all, this is a fantastic playground for hiking and kayaking.
Today we sail across Kangertigtivatsiaq Fjord, which has thus been described by Chapman of the British Arctic Air Route expedition of 1930-1931: ‘The scenery here was magnificent. A short branch fjord to the N terminated in a huge glacier, while the longer main fjord was flanked by great needle-peaked mountains, between 1800 - 2000 m high. There are hanging glaciers precariously balanced on the steep hillsides and other glaciers coming right down to the sea. At the head of the fjord, away in the distance, was a superb pinnacled mountain, reminiscent of St. Paul´s Cathedral; this was Ingolfsfjeld.'read more
Our journey continues as we sail further south into the remote and little-explored territory of Depot Sound. We pass the Idrac Glacier, Fladøerne Island and Smalsund. We will anchor overnight in Sermiligaq.
We will sail further into Sermiligaq Fjord and enter the stunning Ikasaq Sound. We will make a short stop at the abandoned WWII military base of Bluie East 2. From here we will continue our passage to Angmagssalik Fjord and anchor adjacent to Kulusuk village in the afternoon.
We will go ashore and visit the village of Kulusuk.
Here our expedition concludes and guests will leave us to catch their flight back to Iceland or continue with their own further exploration of Greenland.
- All lodging is provided upon arrival in Greenland on the Aurora Arktika. Please not this will involve bunk accommodation (due to the nature of this trip and this vessel, participants will have individual bunks in a communal space — no private accommodations are available)
All meals — homemade and locally-sourced — are provided during the journey.
All transportation is provided by the masterpiece that is the Aurora Arktika, providing access to parts of the Greenland coast that few people ever get to see!
If you're satisfied, tips for Captain and Crew are much appreciated
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