10 Day Disko Bay Cross Country Skiing Expedition

This expedition can be done on snowshoes instead of skis.
A unique chance to experience Greenlands truly remarkable winter wilderness and to discover the highlights of the iconic Disko Bay area. How would you like to experience nine days of autonomy in one of the most remote and magical places in the world? Join us on a snowy adventure in a land of ice and granite peaks where the silence is interupted only by the occcassional passing  local fisherman dog sledding past us...

Itinerary

  • Day 1 Ilulissat

    Ilulissat Welcome to Greenland! We will greet you at the airport and escort you to your accommodation in the centre of Ilulissat. Located approximately 220 miles north of the Arctic Circle Ilulissat is an interesting place - it is home to as many sled dogs as people! Discover more about the local culture, history and traditions on a walking tour of this iconic Greenlandic city. Every night we will have the opportunity to observe the northern lights if conditions permit.

    Activities: Free walking tour of Ilulissat
    Accommodation: Guesthouse or youth hostel

  • Day 2 Ski touring along the Icefjord

    Ski touring along the Icefjord Pulks loaded; snow-shoes or skis and harnesses on, poles in hand, it is time to set off… we will find ourselves alone in the wilderness weaving our pulks between tall granite columns and ice features. Tonight we will set up camp in a sheltered spot on the north coast of Kangia Fjord with views of icebergs floating towards the sea from Sermeq Kujalleq glacier. This is the largest outlet glacier in West Greenland and it produces around 10% of all of Greenlands icebergs – not a bad camping spot!

    Activities: 5-6 hours of snow-shoeing or nordic ski touring
    Accommodation: Camping

  • Days 3 to 5 Sikuiusuitsoq Fjord and Avannarleq Clacier Ice Front

    Sikuiusuitsoq Fjord and Avannarleq Clacier Ice Front Over the next few days our adventure will lead us deep in the heart of Greenlands remote wilderness past Navdluarsupp Tsia and its chain of lakes and we will follow sled dog tracks to Sikuiusuitsoq Fjord. The ice sheet completely covers the fjord and icebergs get trapped here. Each night we find different sheltered spots to set up camp near the ice floe and the ice cap. A unique opportunity to immerse ourselves in this magical winter wilderness and explore this rugged, untouched area without distractions.

    Distance: around 20 miles in 3 days
    Altitude: +120m / -420m
    Activities: 5-6 hours of snow-shoeing or nordic ski touring
    Accommodation: Camping

  • Day 6 Greenlands Ice Sheet

    Greenlands Ice Sheet Greenlands ice sheet is the largest ice surface in the northern hemisphere, today we have the chance to explore one of the most mysterious and inhospitable places on the planet. Today, providing the ice conditions are safe,we will leave your pulks at camp and ski on the ice cap with spectacular views of Greenlands vast wilderness.

    Distance: around 8 miles
    Altitude: +340m / -340m
    Activities: 5-6 hours of nordic ski touring
    Accommodation: Camping

  • Days 7 to 8 The Iviangernarsuit range and the Inuit Village of Oqaatsut

    The Iviangernarsuit range and the Inuit Village of Oqaatsut Over the next two days we will journey west to Disko Bay through the stunning Iviangernarsuit mountain range towards the traditional Inuit Village of Oqaatsut. About 50 fishermen live in this tiny picturesque settlement, in coloured wooden houses perched on rocks in the sheltered bay.

    Distance: around 17 miles over 2 days
    Altitude: +400m on one day then -400m the next
    Activities: 5-6 hours of snow-shoeing or nordic ski touring
    Accommodation: Camping

  • Day 9 Cultural immersion, Oqaatsut

    Cultural immersion, Oqaatsut Now we have the opportunity to immerse ourselves in traditional Inuit culture and enjoy a day in the charming village of Oqaatsut. Today is a chance to rest a little and to observe the Inuit’s traditional hunting and fishing techniques, it is also a safety day in case of delays in the journey. From here we can hike a few hours around the coast towards Disko bay and uncover views of its famous icebergs.

    Distance: around 3 miles
    Altitude: little change
    Activities: 5-6 hours of snow-shoeing or nordic ski touring
    Accommodation: Camping

  • Days 10 to 11 Icebergs of Disko Bay

    Icebergs of Disko Bay Time to load up the pulks for the last time, today we set of around Disko Bay, towards Ilulissat. This famous ice filled bay makes a stunning back drop for the last leg of our journey.

    Distance: around 9 miles in two days
    Altitude: +180m/-160m and +150m/-140m
    Activities: 5-6 hours of snow-shoeing or nordic ski touring
    Accommodation: Camping and guesthouse in Ilulissat

  • Day 12 Ilulissat & transfer

    Ilulissat & transfer Our final morning in Greenland and a chance to explore the vibrant, cultural town of Ilulissat at leisure. You can stroll through the town, visit a museum and discover local artists with their iconic sculptures before your flight home. We have lots of suggestions for your last morning in Greenland.

    Optional activities: Museum visit

Please note that this itinerary, including walking distances and times, is indicative. Our guides aim to provide the adventure that is best suited to the weather, your interests and the demands of the group. Please be aware that in order to achieve this, changes to the program may be made.

Other trips you may like

snowmobiling as the sun sets in Greenland
The Full Greenlandic Winter Adventure: hunt for the Northern Lights every night in an area renowned for its isolation and dancing light displays and try a different winter activity each day... Join us dog sledding on the frozen fjord, snowmobiling through the wilderness and snowshoeing on Greenlands ice sheet on this 7 day winter adventure...

Dates & prices

Departures for English-speaking groups:

From To Price per person Guaranteed Booking
€2,490 No Book now!
€2,490 No Book now!
€2,490 Yes Book now!

Trip code: GROSKD

Included

  • All in country transfers as detailed in itinerary
  • Accommodation (2 nights in guesthouse/youth hostel; other nights camping)
  • Full board
  • Full supervision by a qualified Altaï Guide for the duration of the expedition
  • Equipment hire - all shared and technical equipment (see 'practicial info' - 'equipment'  for more information)

Not included

  • Registration fee €18 (free for under 12s)
  • International flights

Optional activities
Please let us know if you would like to reserve any of the following optional activities:
  • Ilulissat Museum: from €8

Notes

THIS EXPEDITION CAN BE DONE ON SNOWSHOES OR SKIS
- Please let us know your preferences when booking.
Comfort: 1/5 Camping
We provide a 3 man dome tent per 2 people for maximum space and comfort. For our basecamps we set up a fully equipped mess tent for meal times, including a table and stools. We are proud of our high quality camping equipment and take care to monitor and store everything correctly.
Level: 5/5 Extreme
Our extreme adventures are only for those in in very good physical shape. Experience in the chosen activity/activities is mandatory as is a positive attitude. Please note that our difficulty ratings may vary depending on the weather.

Terms and conditions

Booking conditions

Booking a trip with us implies acceptance of the terms and conditions of sale. Each customer is required to complete a registration form and, subject to availability at the time of registration, travellers are expected to pay a deposit of 30% of the total price to complete their booking. Payments can be made online or by bank transfer. You will receive an e-mail with your booking confirmation.

Invoice procedure

Once your booking is confirmed you will receive an invoice by e-mail. The full balance of the trip must be received at least 35 days before your departure date.
For Polar Cruises, we require a deposit on the day of registration, 30% of the balance 3 months before departure and the full amount at least 45 days before departure. If registration is less than 35 days before departure then an invoice will be attached to this travel contract and the full amount must be paid upon registration. If registration is less than 15 days before departure, payment is only accepted by credit card or cash. If registration is less than 8 days before departure you may be charged an additional free for sending your ticket. If the full balance of the trip has not arrived 35 days before departure, Altaï Greenland reserves the right to cancel your registration without compensation.

Cancellation policy

If for any reason you have to cancel your trip we require a written confirmation of your decision so please contact us by e-mail, fax or letter.The money you have paid will then be refunded according to the following deductions:
  • Cancellation received more than 30 days before the departure date: 15% of trip price will be retained
  • Cancellation received 30 to 21 days before the departure date: 45% of trip price will be retained
  • Cancellation  received within 20 days of the departure date: 100% of trip price will be retained
If we have to cancel a departure due to an insufficient number of participants, you will be informed no later than 21 days before departure and a full refund will be issued, you will not be entitled to further compensation. We reserve the rights to cancel departures due to exceptional circumstances which may impact the safety of participants. Such circumstances may include those amounting to 'force majeure' in which case participants will receive a full refund but they will not be entitled to any compensation.

Changes to travel contract

If you wish to make a change to your booking please contact us in writing. If your change is requested after our confirmation has been issued and more than 30 days prior to the departure date, your change will be subject to an amendment fee of 45€. If you request a change within 30 days of departure it will be treated as a cancellation of the original booking and will be subject to cancellation charges.

Pricing

The prices on our website are updated regularly and all of the prices we advertise are accurate when published. We reserve the rights to make changes to any of these prices. Before you make a booking we will give you the up-to-date price of your chosen holiday including any supplements, upgrades or additional activities you may have requested. If the number of travellers is fewer than the indicated number of participants on the website, a small group surcharge may be applied. For all of our trips we include details of services, prices and what is/is not included but please be aware that changes to the prices may be necessary in accordance with exchange rates or price changes of various components of the journey.

Contract transfer

If you are unable to travel for any reason, you can transfer your booking to another person, subject to the following conditions:
a) you must notify us in writing
b) the transferee must fulfil any conditions that apply to the booking
c) Change and cancellation fees apply
Both the transferor and transferee will be jointly and severally liable for payment of the total holiday price and other associated expenses. Some airline carriers treat name changes as cancellations and you may be required to pay for the cost of a new ticket.

Insurance

We strongly recommend that you take out personal travel insurance for your trip with Altaï Greenland as soon as your booking is confirmed. We advice you to purchase a travel insurance policy which covers flight cancellations, luggage loss and emergency health care. Please look carefully at which activities are covered by your insurer and do not forget to bring all necessary documents and information with you (name of the company, name of the contract, insurance policy number, telephone number...)

Practical info

Staff

You will be welcomed at the airport by a representative from our friendly team and accompanied for the duration of your holiday. Armed with an abundance of experience and a wealth of expert knowledge our professional Greenland team know the country inside out. All activities are lead by our qualified guides. They are all English speaking outdoor practitioners with a passion for everything Greenlandic. Please note that this adventure takes place in an isolated polar environment which can be hostile - your guide will explain safety rules which must be followed.

Food

This trip includes full board. Each person is responsible for their own equipment, including food and will carry everything on pulks therefore light and easy to cook meals are favoured. Given the conditions, we are proud of the varied and balanced diet we manage to provide. Please let us know about any dietary requirements when you book the trip and we will work with you to cater for your needs.Please be aware that this is a participatory trip, your help cooking and setting up camp is expected. We want you to be a member of our team; not a sheep! You should also have the opportunity to try Greenlandic delicacies such as musk-ox, arctic char and mussels during this adventure.

Accommodation

You will have the chance to stay in typical Greenlandic accomodation in Ilulissat at the beginning and end of this trip. The youth hostels and guesthouses here are all well equipped with shared facilities, heating and hot showers.

The majority of this adventure will be spent camping in Greenlands remote wilderness in different spots along our expedition route. We will provide you with state of the art 3 man tents, 1 per 2 people for maximum space and comfort plus a spacious mess tent for meals when appropriate.
Camping under the Northern Lights
Camping under the Northern Lights


Transportation

In Greenland we travel mainly by skis or snowshoes, weather dependent in country transfers will include snowmobile, dog-sledding and 4x4 transfers!

Budget & exchange

The currency in Greenland is the Danish Krone (DKK)
Please budget for meals in Ilulissat from €25 / 200DKK

Tips

Alcohol is very expensive in Greenland, if you want to enjoy an evening drink after your days adventures, we recommend buying Duty Free alcohol in the airport but please be aware that you will have to carry whatever you buy with you for the duration of the trip.

Supplied equipment

We provide you with all of the technical equipment you will need for this adventure including:
  • A warm sleeping bag
    • Mountain Hardwear Lamina (-34°C) made from high performance synthetic material
  • A polar condition sleeping bag liner
  • A warm jacket
    • GEOLOGIC Sibir 500 (comfort -25°C, extreme -40°C)
  • Warm snow boots
    • Sorel glacier boots
  • A pulk
    • Polyethylene pulk with bag and ropes - please note that pulka chest harnesses do not come in different sizes and that the lighter your pulka, the easier it will be to pull
  • A pair of Nordic skis
    • Hagan touring skis with  X-Trace binding, skins and standard semi-automatic attachment
  • A pair of Nordic ski touring boots
    • Madshus Glittertind BC or Fischer BCX6 boots with high ankle cuffs and Thinsulate™ and MemBrain® Softshell technology lace covers 
  • A pair of Black Diamond ski poles
  • 3 man dome tents (1 per 2 people for maximum space and comfort)
    • Mountain Hardwear Trango 3.1 expedition tent


Vital equipment

Please remember that your clothes will be redistributed into waterproof bags with limited capacity to load onto pulks - try not to over-pack!
  • Waterproof jacket (with a hood)
  • Waterproof trousers/salopettes
  • A balaclava (fleece)
  • Appropriate warm neck wear
  • A warm hat (wool)
  • A warm jacket (synthetic down)
  • 3 sets of thermal underwear (long johns & long sleeved tops)
  • 1 or 2 pairs of thin socks
  • 3 or 4 pairs of thick socks
  • Two pairs of good gloves
  • Sunglasses (UV 400)
  • A ski mask
  • Sun cream and protective lipsal (not water-based - water freezes)
  • Any personal medication
  • Mini toiletary kit and toilet roll
  • A 1L thermos flask
  • Head torch & spare batteries

Material

We prefer that you do not wear cotton clothing, including underwear, when participating in activities. When cotton gets wet from water or sweat it ceases to insulate and it does not dry fast. The best materials for outdoor activities are fast drying materials like polyester or materials which are warm when wet like wool. The most powerful materials against the wind and rain are 'breathable' materials like Gore-Tex or Nikwax.

Our advice for keeping warm
Winter in Greenland can be very cold, please think carefully about what clothes you bring, although we will provide warm outer layers, the layers you wear next to your skin make the biggest difference. We recommend:
  • No cotton
  • Bring dry spares of everything, even underwear and gloves
  • Wear multiple layers including:
    1. A warm breathable base layer
    2. A second thermal layer
    3. Wind and waterproof protective out layer (we provide an additional quality jacket and over trousers)

Helpful equipment

You may also consider packing
  • A pair of warm comfortable boots for the evenings (in addition to the boots provided)
  • Overgloves
  • An extra jumper/fleece jacket
  • Energy bars
  • Wet wipes
  • Blister plasters
  • A suitable camera
  • Plastic bags for wet/dirty clothing
  • A small inflatable pillow

Luggage

Please bring a small rucksack to use as a day bag. You can bring this as hand luggage on the aeroplane. You will carry your lunch, water, spare layers and any personal medication with you each day in this bag. You will also need a larger bag to store your other clothes and belongings in, please ensure that this is a soft bag like a ruckack or holdall rather than a hard cased suitcase because it is more practical. We recommend packing all of your clothes in plastic bags so that they stay dry in the event of bad weather.

Medicine

Your guide is a trained first-aider and will carry a full first aid kit at all times during the trip. We recommend that you bring a small personal first aid kit containing any medication you may need such as inhalers, plasters, antiseptic and painkillers.

Passport

Most travellers require a passport that is valid for at least three months after the return date. It is your responsibility to confirm your specific passport requirements and please be aware that proof of onwards travel may be required.

Visa

Most travelers do not need a VISA to travel to Greenland but proof of onwards travel may be required. It is your responsibility to confirm your specific visa requirements.

Mandatory vaccines

There are no specific health risks.

Health information & recommendations

It is your responsibility to check that your personal health insurance covers everything in this trip. A consultation with your doctor is a prerequisite for any trip. Polar bears are rare in this area of Greenland but your guide will carry a gun to alarm/repel any potential visitors.

Weather

This trip runs during March and April when temperatures normally range from -30°C to -10°C (-22°F - 14°F). Generally speaking Greenland is not very windy and we can anticipate calm weather with snow showers and perhaps sleet. Near the ice sheet temperatures can be very cold and there can be gusts of wind of up to 15 miles per hour. The air is low in humidity which means that the temperatures do not feel as cold as you might imagine and that the views are amazing, it appears that you can see further.

The length of the day varies significantly throughout the year. The shortest day of the year is 21st December with no sunlight! The longest day, with 24 hours of sunlight, is 20th June. During March and April we can expect 16-20 hours of daylight. You can see the midnight sun from May - July and the Northern Lights year round when is is dark. 

Electricity

Greenland uses Northern European electrical standards (50Hz/220 volts)  and the standard Europlug socket with two round prongs.

Local time

Most of Greenland uses Coordinated Universal Time (UTC)/ Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) -3; most areas use Daylight Saving Time (DST).

Topography

Area: 836,300 mi²
Population: 56,186 inhabitants (2016)
Capital: Nuuk
Languages: Kalaallisut or West Greenlandic, Danish is also widely used
Regime: Part of the Kingdom of Denmark but politically autonomous

Part of the continent of North America, Greenland is the largest island on Earth and it is covered by the largest ice sheet in the world outside of antarctica.

Sustainable tourism

As adventure and wilderness travel experts who run trips to some of the most remote parts of the world, we take responsible tourism very seriously.

We respect the ‘Leave No Trace’ outdoor ethical code and try to explore this beautiful location whilst causing minimal environmental damage.

The Leave No Trace policy can be summarized in 7 simple steps which we hope you will follow during ourtrip...
  1. Be prepared
  2. Stick to trails and camp overnight right
  3. Stash your trash and pick up waste
  4. Leave it as you find it
  5. Be careful with fire
  6. Respect wildlife
  7. Be considerate of other visitors

Over the years we have built up good relations with our local suppliers and we are keen to support local businesses as much as possible. We are a small company and we pay our local partners and suppliers directly insuring fair rates.

Our small group sizes not only provide a more intimate adventure but also cause less impact on the environment and local communities.

We expect all who travel with us to support and uphold our Sustainable Tourism philosophies.
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Isabelle

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Isabelle

  • Outdoor activities enthusiast
  • Adventure travel expert
  • Graduated with a UK First Class Honours Degree in Outdoor Leadership
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Region
Disko Bay
Activity
Cross Country Skiing Snowshoeing The Northern Lights Winter
Duration
12 days
Group
4 to 8 people
Code
GROSKD
Price
From €2,490
Level
5/5
Comfort
1/5
Language(s)
English

Strengths

  • Our experienced professional guides and state of the art equipment will keep you warm and safe
  • Chance to observe the northern lights every night depending on the conditions
  • Go skiing/snowshoeing on the ice sheet and explore Ilulissats UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Immersion in remote Greenland - a chance to be autonomous in this land of snow, icebergs and dancing lights

Required level

Whether you choose to ski or snowshoe, this trip is for people in very good physical health who are mentally prepared for the challenge. Each group member will pull a pulk (40kg plus) and we will spend 5-7 hours skiing or snowshoeing per day. The daily altitude does not exceed 300m a day but the mountainous terrain can present some steep passages. The difficulty of this trip may vary according to the weather and snow conditions and please note that your help with tasks such as cooking and setting up camp is much appreciated and expected - we want you to become a part of our expedition team; not just a sheep!
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