Don’t let the name fool you. Greenland is a breathtaking landscape of wild, glacial extremes.
Laying claim to being the world’s largest island, Greenland is home to a staggering coast-to-coast ice sheet that covers 80% of its land and reaches depths of three kilometres. For many people, holidays to Greenland are the ultimate in Polar adventures. Discover dramatic landscapes where towns cling to rocky coastline, gaping fjords plunge into valleys and enormous glaciers slowly carve their way through the mountainous scenery.
In the short summer season, the Midnight Sun floods the island with 24-hours of daylight, making Greenland an incredible destination for spotting wildlife. Go in search of polar bears, humpback whales, musk oxen, walruses, reindeer and sea eagles. But also, due to the country’s remote northerly location, our Greenland trips offer opportunities to hunt for the elusive Northern Lights during the winter months.
Holidays to Greenland are packed with adventures that introduce you to the nature, culture and history of the country. Embark on a thrilling helicopter ride for a unique perspective or explore the icy waters with alpine kayaking. If you prefer to stay on the ground, there are also trips that include mountain biking across the diverse terrain.
Our Quark Expeditions are among some of the most exciting trips in the world, led by experts that guide you on an adventure of a lifetime. Step on board the Polar ship, Ultramarine, and sail among immense fjords and to areas that other boats cannot reach. Walking out onto giant glaciers and exploring by Zodiacs offer once-in-a lifetime experiences you’ll never forget.
Eager to learn more about our adventure holidays in Greenland? Read on, visit our blog or contact us if you have any questions.
Be led by expert polar teams Chosen for their knowledge and expertise, our Greenland tour teams train at the Quark Academy and are guided by the most experienced expedition leaders in the industry.
See the world’s most remote corners Redefining what’s possible in the polar regions, our incredible Greenland expeditions go where others can’t – by kayak, Zodiac boat, helicopter or even hot-air balloon.
Stay on custom-built ships Our vessels are custom-built for polar expeditions – for example, Ultramarine, the newest ship in our fleet, is equipped with two twin-engine helicopters, spacious suites and plentiful outdoor viewing space.
Enjoy an unrivalled range of polar activities The real Greenland adventure happens off-ship where you can experience the landscape your way: camping, paddle-boarding, mountain biking and more.
Greenland tours: Our highlights
Glaciers: Northern Greenland beholds some of the fastest-moving glaciers in the world, including the most productive glacier outside of Antarctica, the Sermeq Kujalleq. At 10km wide and 1,000m thick, it’s enormous. On the west coast, the UNESCO World Heritage-listed glacier Ilulissat Icefjord stretches out to the sea and produces more than 10% of the icebergs in Greenland, corresponding to 20 million tonnes of ice per day.
Wildlife: On holiday in Greenland, you’ll get the opportunity to see some native wildlife. A few of the most frequently sighted animals include the musk ox, reindeer and arctic fox. If you’re lucky, you might catch a glimpse of some polar bears. Through the summer months, several species of whale appear in the ice-free waters. Only three stay all year and these include the beluga, the narwhal and the bowhead whale.
Northern lights: No matter which region you visit, trips to Greenland promise the chance of seeing the enchanting aurora borealis, known as the Northern Lights. On our Iceland & East Greenland tour, you’ll get the chance to watch lights dancing above you above the rugged coastline and cobalt waters.
Heritage: Eastern Greenland is the island’s most isolated region, home to remote coastal communities still demonstrating traditional ways of life now forgotten in other areas of the country. Here, you can explore the remains of Thule winter houses, once inhabited by the ancestors of Greenland’s indigenous people.
Fjords: The eastern region is also preserves the world’s largest fjord complex, Ittoqqortoormiit (formerly known as Scoresbysund). This rugged landscape is juxtaposed with clusters of brightly coloured houses in a settlement home to just 450 people. On our Greenland tours, you can also venture into Iceberg Alley, where majestic icebergs tower above sea level.
Greenland tours FAQs
How long are your tours to Greenland?
We’ve carefully crafted our selection of Greenland holidays to include a trip for almost every type of adventurer. Whether you’re looking for an intense polar expedition or something with a slightly more laid-back pace, you’ll find the right tour here.
On our shortest Greenland Adventure, you’ll stay for eight nights in total: seven on the ship, and one night in the hotel in Reykjavik. This is our most leisurely trip to Greenland, allowing you to create an adventure that suits you.
Will I be staying with a group?
Many of our adventure holidays in Greenland are based on our custom-built ship, the Ultramarine. You’ll stay in a private double room or suite, depending on the option you choose when you book – but you’ll take part in group activities during the daytime and evenings, led by our professional polar guides. Some tours are aboard the Ocean Adventurer, which has a mix of single- and multiple-occupancy cabins.
All group activities are included in the price of your tour but we’ll never pressure you into an activity if you’ve changed your mind or are feeling unsure. Simply chat to a member of the team and we’ll help you straight away.
When is the best time to visit Greenland?
Greenland’s extreme northerly position gives it an incredibly cold winter climate, with temperatures often falling as low as -40°C. For this reason, we run our Greenland tours once the warmer temperatures melt the snow between July and September.
The mild summer months also present an opportunity to discover the beautiful foliage, fauna and wildlife in Greenland. On our Northwest Passage expedition, you’ll pave your way through icy channels and hike the vibrant tundra – all through the summer months.
What should I pack for a trip to Greenland?
Before deciding what to wear in Greenland, it’s a good idea to think about the terrain that you’ll be crossing. If you’re joining us on thrilling hikes through glacial terrain, you should pack light, breathable layers along with fleeces, plus insulated and waterproof jackets in case of unpredictable conditions.
You should also pack a comfortable pair of walking boots, preferably waterproof, along with a hat and sunglasses to shield you from the UV rays on the boat deck.
Are your Greenland tours suitable for children?
If you’re planning a winter holiday with young children, we’d be delighted to welcome you on our Finnish Winter Adventure. Alternatively, you’ll find a wide array of inspiring destinations and activities in our broader selection of family adventure holidays.
Is Greenland a nice place to visit as a couple?
From gentle hiking to traversing glaciers, rugged mountains to verdant valleys, the spectacular scenes to discover on all of our Greenland holidays will appeal to anyone seeking thrilling adventure.
In this sociable, adult-only environment, many of our Greenland tour guests stay with their partner. However, our trips are just as popular for solo travellers, family members and long-time friends – so no matter with whom you travel, you’ll enjoy an unforgettable experience.
Are your Greenland holidays sustainable?
No matter your tour destination, we’re extremely conscious of our presence and impact on local communities and landscapes. On every Greenland trip, we encourage our guests to support local businesses and facilities. Our expedition guides are extensively trained on responsible tourism, from passenger safety to environmental sustainability.
All of our Arctic holidays have been developed to operate in line with The Association of Arctic Expedition Cruise Operators. This organisation sets out guidelines to protect and preserve the fragile polar environment. We always emphasise the ‘leave no trace’ policy and strictly adhere to waste-disposal policies at sea.
You can learn more about our sustainable travel ethos and practice here – including our focus on key UN Sustainable Development Goals.
What are the best polar trips?
The two most popular destinations for polar trips are Antarctica and the Arctic Circle. Made up of countries which include Sweden, Norway, Greenland, Finland, Russia and Iceland, the Arctic Circle is great for learning about unique culture and history as well as exploring the magnificent natural landscapes. Greenland has it all, from frozen regions covered by ice and snow to traditional Inuit villages. It’s also a great place to go whale watching and experience wildlife encounters with polar bears, walrus and reindeer.
What kind of wildlife will I see on a polar trip?
Depending on whether you visit Antarctica or the Arctic, the wildlife that you’ll see will vary. If you want to see penguins on your trip, then head to Antarctica but if its polar bears that pique your interest then the Arctic is the place to go. While you’re likely to spot animals such as brown bears, moose, caribou and beavers in the Arctic, you could see various species of seal, penguins and a whole host of other seabirds in Antarctica.
What kind of activities can you do on polar holidays?
Because of the diverse landscapes and extreme weather conditions, polar regions provide a vast outdoor playground for thrill seekers. While one day you could be zipping through snow-covered pine forests on a snowmobile, the next you might be heading off on a dog sledding tour in search of the Northern Lights. If you enjoy being out on the water, whale watching boat trips and kayaking are a great way to explore and get up close to the marine life.
How cold is it in polar regions?
Typically, polar regions see very short winter days that are extremely cold with temperatures dropping below freezing. The summers tend to be cool, unlike many other countries, with long hours of daylight. Some Arctic regions have year-round ice or snow with winter temperatures that can fall to a staggering −50 °C! In the summer months, the temperatures can rise to between −10 to 10 °. Antarctica, however, has the coldest temperatures on Earth with the coldest ever recorded at −89 °C.
When is the best time to see the Northern Lights?
Also known as the Aurora Borealis, the Northern Lights are a natural phenomenon that can be seen gracing the Arctic skies with billowing ribbons of neon green, pink and yellow. They are best seen from remote locations where there is no light pollution. The lights are usually seen between the months of September to March in clear night-time conditions when the skies are at their darkest. Because the aurora is a natural wonder, sightings can’t be guaranteed so by finding the best vantage points and travelling during the times mentioned above, you will optimise your chances of witnessing them.
What should I wear on a polar trip?
Even though our polar trips only operate in the summer months, the weather can be very unpredictable, so you need to prepare in advance for extreme temperatures. We recommend taking the following essentials to make your trip as comfortable as it can be.
Merino wool base layers that provide insulation and are easy to add or take off depending on the weather.
Two pairs of gloves to provide extra protection for your fingers.
Thermal headwear with a balaclava and scarf as most of our heat is lost through our head in cold temperatures.
Waterproof jacket and trousers, preferably made from breathable fabric.
Lots of pairs of socks so you can wear two pairs at a time and also have spares.
When is the best time to visit the Arctic?
The summer months are usually when you can book tours to the Arctic. Depending on what you want to see while you’re there, each month has its own draws. From June to July is the best time to enjoy the snow and ice-covered landscapes and watch the polar bears as they hunt for food. Animals and tundra flowers are in abundance from July to August, making it a great time for wildlife lovers to visit. If you prefer to explore remote areas or go in search of the Northern Lights, then September is an excellent time to travel as the days grow shorter and the night skies become darker.
Join us, and let Exodus be ‘Your Guide to Greenland’
The best guides in the business. Awarded GOLD by Wanderlust