Greenland to Newfoundland & Labrador
Greenland to Newfoundland & Labrador 17 Days aboard MS Fram
Explore Greenland’s grand, spectacular and unspoilt scenery. Discover Newfoundland and Labrador´s towering mountains, massive rock faces, deep forests and infinite supply of lakes and rivers. On this expedition you get a taste of the historical settlements, the fishing villages, the wilderness and natural beauty along the North Atlantic coast.
- Explore the spectacular landscape of Greenland, Newfoundland and Labrador
- Visit remote settlements that are steeped in history
- Sight rare wildlife, on land and at sea
- Discover UNESCO sites Gros Morne National Park, Red Bay and L’Anse aux Meadows
- Expedition in cabin grade of your choice on a full board basis
- Return economy flight Copenhagen to Kangerlussuaq
- Transfer airport to ship to airport in Kangerlussuaq
- Wind and water-resistant jacket
- Landings with small boats and activities on board and ashore
- Professional English-speaking Expedition team that gives lectures as well as accompany landings and activities
- Free tea and coffee
ITINERARY16 Nights 17 Days
- Day 1 | Copenhagen/Kangerlussuaq
- Day 2 | Maniitsoq
- Day 3 | Paamiut
- Day 4 | Igaliku and Hvalsey
- Day 5 | Qassiarsuq
- Day 6 | At Sea
- Days 7 - 9 | Coast of Labrador
- Day 10 | Battle Harbour
- Day 11 | St. Anthony
- Day 12 | Red Bay
- Day 13 | Gros Morne National Park
- Day 14 | Gulf of St. Lawrence
- Day 15 | St. Pierre and Miquelon
- Day 16 | Louisbourg
- Day 17 | Halifax
This expedition starts with a flight from Copenhagen. Less than five hours later, you reach the settlement of Kangerlussuaq in Greenland. With the mouth of the fjord on the far western horizon and the ice cap knocking at the door, this small airstrip is the scenic main gateway to Greenland. On arrival your transfer to MS Fram will be waiting for you.
Since Maniitsoq is situated in an archipelago, intersected by small natural canals, the locals have dubbed the town the “Venice of Greenland”. Still, situated between the rugged peaks of the Eternity Fjord and huge glaciers, this is where all comparisons to Venice ends. The town name means “The uneven place” and refers to the many rocky knolls and small mountains shaping the structural layout of the town. Small roads and wooden stairs connect the colourful houses. The exhibitions at Maniitsoq Museum provide a good introduction to local culture and history. The town also has a supermarket, Brugseni, and a few smaller convenience stores. But it is the surrounding landscape that impresses the most, and the area is perfect for kayaking. In the ocean waters nearby, humpback whales are particularly playful and love to show off with aerial acrobatics and tail whips. Enjoy a day exploring this tiny town set in majestic nature.
Continuing south, we enjoy the Greenlandic scenery as we head for Paamiut, an area where people have been living since around 1500 BC. The name Paamiut means “the people who live at the mouth”, a reference to its location at the mouth of the Kuannersooq Fjord. Strolling around in Paamiut is about appreciating the beauty in simple experiences, and meeting the friendly locals. Make sure you visit the church, one of the finest in Greenland, built in 1909 from wood in the Norwegian style. Stop along the colourful bridge in the town centre. Tour the old neighbourhood to observe picturesque buildings. Paamiut is known for its soapstone artists and their extraordinary national costumes of sealskin and thousands of beads. You can still see examples of these art forms as you walk around in the settlement. The white-tailed eagle is plentiful in Paamiut, and the townspeople feel a strong connection with it. It is said that good luck will come to anyone who sets eyes on this king of the sky. Join the Expedition team for a hike to the mountain peaks. On the way back to the ship, stop to pick the angelica that grows wild on the hillside.
Igaliku and Hvalsey
Igaliku is one of the most beautiful villages in Greenland. This is the oldest sheep farming settlement on the island, and on arrival you will see tall mountains with peaks covered by snow during summer, lush valleys with flowers and, of course, sheep. Sandstone houses give a distinct flavour to the area, as does the stunning view to the Igaliku fjord.
Experience the tranquillity and peace of this historic settlement. Christianity was introduced to Greenland at the turn of the last millennium, with the first bishop being appointed way back in 1124. The impressive episcopal residence Garðar was established shortly after that date in Igaliku. A cathedral was built, the biggest of all churches in Greenland in the Middle Ages. For many years, the bishop’s palace was a focal point for the Norsemen and visitors from Iceland and Norway. The ruins of the cathedral and the bishop's palace have been renovated during recent years and today make up an attractive relic of the Viking period. Igaliku's 27 inhabitants are very proud of their community and are eager to guide you through the village. In Hvalsey, you will find some of the best-preserved ruins from the Norse period; Hvalsey Church was probably built in the 14th century. Erik the Red’s relatives established the farmstead late in the 10th century. In 1408, a wedding at the site's church is the last documented event to occur during the Norse settlement of Greenland. We use our PolarCirkel boats to come ashore to give you the chance to explore the area for yourself.
In Qassiarsuk you will find green fields dotted with white sheep, lush vegetation and busy farmsteads; this forms a colourful contrast to the icescapes at sea. Qassiarsuk is also where Viking Erik the Red built his Brattahlíð estate in 982 A.D. He was banished from Iceland and escaped to the land he called Greenland. Erik settled in Qassiarsuk because the area seemed to him the richest and best site in Greenland when he arrived. Join a guided walk through the settlement, where you will learn more about the history of the region. You can visit the reconstruction of Erik’s longhouse and the church that Erik’s wife Tjodhildur made him build. The walk will include a visit of the church used today. This is also a great area to try optional activities such as kayaking, hiking, or exploring the town on foot.
Leaving the coast of Greenland behind, we head out at sea, and set course for Canada. Ahead lies roughly 1300 nautical miles of open water across a stretch of the North Atlantic. Thousand before us have crossed these waters. In early times, the ships were small and ill equipped and their destinations were unknown. Today, you can sit back and relax as modern navigational systems will guide us to our desired destination and inform us of potential obstacles en route. It doesn’t get any less exciting, just safer. The days at sea will be filled with lectures and you’ll have time to chat with fellow travellers, perhaps to share what you have seen and done so far. Take your time to be out on our open decks. Breathe in the salt air, feel the wind and look for birds, mammals and icebergs.
Coast of Labrador
We will spend three days sailing along the coast of Labrador and exploring this area. Outdoor enthusiasts will enjoy hiking trails and countless kilometres of wilderness to explore, while others will appreciate learning more about the history, cultures and traditions at the numerous historic sites and places we will visit.
Nain is one of the settlements we plan to see. This is a community with long traditions and a strong Inuit identity. It is the most northern and largest community in Nunatsiavut. Founded in 1771 by Moravian Missionaries, Nain was an important outpost for the missionary efforts of the Moravians. Beautiful artefacts and buildings built by Moravians remain in the community to this day. Nain is surrounded by ancient geology and ancient history.
Another place we might visit is Rigolet. This picturesque town has a population of 300, and is the southernmost Inuit community in the world. There are no roads that lead out of this town, but it is accessible by ship all year around, and in wintertime by snowmobile. We offer several outings here: explore the beautiful waters in a speedboat, try fishing, riding or go whale watching. We might also visit Hopedale, founded as an Inuit settlement named Agvituk, meaning "place of the whales" and Hebron, a former Moravian mission that was the northernmost settlement in Labrador.
Located on the edge of the Labrador Sea, Battle Harbour is a nature lover’s paradise. The waters here are teeming with life and drama, ancient ice and icebergs carved by nature. On shore you will find beautiful historic buildings in the middle of the wild nature. Once, Battle Harbour was the bustling salt fish capital of Labrador. Today, the houses, stores, fishery buildings and churches have been restored and filled with historic original items. Soak up the atmosphere and fully experience the sounds of the ocean and the simple pleasures of times past. A great wilderness adventure destination, this area is where you can encounter whales, dolphins, seabirds, Arctic foxes, icebergs and spectacular island scenery on one of our hikes or boat tours.
Continuing on our adventure, we arrive in St. Anthony, a remote town set in a perfect natural harbour. The oceans here contain an astonishing number of icebergs and serve as feeding grounds for large numbers of whales. Seals, dolphins and porpoises are not uncommon sights either. Just outside the town border is a vast wilderness of pristine valleys and lake-dotted mountains, with maybe the highest density of moose and woodland caribou in the world. Other wildlife include the enormous black bear, coyote, wolf, snowshoe hare and Arctic hare.
Come ashore to visit the town, and see the Fishing Point Municipal Park. The Grenfell museum depicts the life and times of Sir Wilfred Grenfell, a medical missionary who devoted his life's work to Northern Newfoundland and Labrador. For the best view of the area, hike up the Tea House Hill trail to the viewing platform or try the Whale Watching trail. For some Viking history, you can join the excursion to L’Anse aux Meadows. At the tip of Newfoundland’s Great Northern Peninsula, you find the first known evidence of European presence in America. This is where a Norse expedition sailed from Greenland and found a beautiful land with rugged cliffs and marshlands over a thousand years ago. They built a small camp, and in 1960 two Norwegian archeologists started the excavation and discovered the fascinating remains of this Viking encampment. In 1979 L´Anse aux Meadows became a UNESCO World Heritage Site. On the recreated camp you will find original artifacts from this internationally renowned archaeological find.
Red Bay embodies the essence of modern Labrador coastal living amid a tapestry of rich culture and history. From 1530, Red Bay was a centre for Basque whaling operations. For more than 70 years, these whalers made the dangerous, month-long journey across the Atlantic to hunt whales and produce the oil that lit the lamps of Europe. At its peak, some 2500 whalers on 50 ships from France and Spain came to hunt right and bowhead whales for blubber. The discovery of galleons and chalupas used for this whale hunting made Red Bay one of the most exquisite underwater archaeological sites in America, and the Red Bay Basque Whaling Station is now on the UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Today, you can wander around this former whaling town and immerse yourself in history. Tracey Hill Trail is a boardwalk consisting of 689 steps, descriptive panels, rest stops and 2 coin-operated telescopes, with a breathtaking view of Red Bay. Walk along the Bone Shore Trail that leads to where the whalers discarded whalebones. Take a hike along the beach and step into the interpretation centre to see an eight-metre chalupa, which whalers used on the ocean to harpoon their giant catch. To get a full appreciation of the size of these whales, compare the chalupa to the assembled collections of whalebones displayed. These showcase a time of prosperity and dangerous adventure, illustrating a long-ago way of life. Take a kayak trip to Saddle Island Trail where you can see the remnants of the ovens where whale blubber was rendered into oil and the graves of some 130 men who died here. And if you feel like going treasure hunting while we are here, local legend has it that the infamous pirate Captain Kidd hid a treasure in the Pond on the Hill.
Gros Morne National Park
Scenic Bonne Bay is among Newfoundland’s most beautiful bays - a deep mountainous fjord located on Newfoundland’s stunning west coast, that divides the Gros Morne National Park in two. Gros Morne is a combination of a protected area and small coastal communities with a rich culture and tradition of fishing and logging. From our deck, you can see the Tablelands Mountains - flat-topped rock outcroppings that are usually found deep in the earth’s mantle. Their geological uniqueness is the main reason the park has been named a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It took Mother Nature millions of years to mould the mountains into what we can see today, and the sight is truly beautiful and awe-inspiring. Woody Point, in the south of the park, is a charming community of old houses and imported Lombardy poplars. Moose, caribou, fox, black bears, ptarmigans and eagles are all a common sight here. A visit to the higher regions of this ancient landscape will be unforgettable.
Gulf of St. Lawrence
After leaving Bonne Bay, we head out into the Gulf of St. Lawrence, a huge body of water at the mouth of the St. Lawrence River. It fringes the shores of half the provinces of Canada and is more of a semi-enclosed sea than simply a river mouth. This large, roughly triangular area is connected to the Atlantic by the Strait of Belle Isle at the northeast and Cabot Strait at the southeast corners. The average depth is barely 150 meters. The gulf has provided a historically important marine fishery for nomadic Indian tribes, who came seasonally to fish. French explorer Jaques Cartier arrived in 1534 on the first documented voyage to the gulf, but was likely preceded in the area by Basque fishermen. Cartier however, named the shores of the St. Lawrence River the “Country of Canadas”, after an indigenous word meaning “village” or “settlement”, and he wound up naming the world’s second largest country.
St. Pierre and Miquelon
It is said that good habits are hard to break, and St Pierre and Miquelon must be the living proof of this. Even though Paris is some 4000 km away, the people living here are fiercely proud of being French. This is North America's often forgotten French enclave, and is actually France's oldest overseas territory. Peugeots and Renaults line the streets. And just as in France, people leave the “boulangerie” with baguettes tucked under their arms, and the “patisserie” carrying white boxes tied up with string. Get a taste of this slice of la belle France at the Guillard Gourmandise bakery, where you can indulge in cream-plumped chocolate éclairs, macarons, piping-hot pastries and gateaux. And you pay with Euros, just as in France. Visit L’Arche Museum with exhibits about the islands' history, including Prohibition times. The showstopper is the guillotine - the only one to slice in North America. Islanders dropped the 'timbers of justice' just once, in 1889, on a murderer. The museum also offers bilingual architectural walking tours. Birdwatchers should also look forward to visiting the tiny island Grand Colombier, with its steep cliffs, rocky outcrops and the hilly grounds serving as an important bird island with more than 100.000 breeding pairs of Leach´s storm petrels.
Sailing along the eastern shores of Nova Scotia, we head for the rather large island of Cape Breton. Then we reach Louisbourg, home to the historic jewel, the Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site. Here, you can experience what life was like in the bustling French fortified town of Louisbourg in 1744. You can also choose to spend the day combing a secluded beach or go scuba diving among shipwrecks. As you might expect, the rugged coastal setting offers up plenty of outdoor adventure, with brilliant hiking and biking trails. As one of the busiest crab and lobster fishing villages in the Maritimes, Louisbourg Wharf is the perfect place to watch the day’s catch coming in, and maybe also sample some fresh seafood.
It was Halifax’s natural harbour that first drew the British here in 1749. Today most major sites are located along it or in the Citadel-crowned hill overlooking this harbour. The 260-year-old provincial capital presents Nova Scotia’s strikingly modern face wrapped around a historic heart. As Halifax is both hip and historic it is well worth spending an extra day or two here after you disembark MS Fram.
What Our Customers
Superlatives abound – a truly amazing experience...awesome. Thanks to all for making it such a memorable experience.
We have just returned from our Spitsbergen trip with Wildfoot and had to tell you what an amazing time we had! We saw 6 polar bears including a mother with 2 cubs as well as whales, walruses and lots of birds. The ship (Expedition) was really comfortable and the guides were so helpful and friendly. Thank you so much for making it all so easy.
I came to Wildfoot because a friend had booked with you when you were Antarctica Bound and they were right. Everything went perfectly, even when our flight was cancelled, you made sure we still made it to the ship with time to spare. L’Austral is a beautiful ship with first class service and food and the guides looked after us well. Very happy to recommend Wildfoot and L’Austral...
We had always wanted to see the Arctic and travelling all the way from Australia needed lots of information. After getting nowhere, we came across Wildfoot and found people who knew what they were talking about! Sara and John were so helpful and made the process easy, suggesting Iceland Greenland and Spitsbergen. This was perfect for us – amazing scenery and lots of wildlife, especially the polar bears in Spitsbergen. Thanks for everything. Ps, the ship was great too!
Just wanted to say thank you for suggesting a trip to Franz Josef Land as something different for the Arctic. We had a super trip and really enjoyed the Sea Spirit. Galapagos next!
Standing on the North Pole has been an ambition of mine since childhood and now I have done it! Thank you for making the process so easy - seeing polar bears and whales too was a real bonus.
The Sea Spirit expedition was excellent and the team organising it all were extremely good. 10 out of 10. Everything went very smoothly. The Iceland extension worked perfectly, all the organisation, connections etc. were excellent
The cruise was beyond my expectations. Got to see everything the captain wanted, even a polar bear mother with three cubs. Coal Miners Cabins were smashing. I did loads of birding and exploring over three days. All the people were great from the expedition leaders down to the passengers. So glad to have achieved my ambition of some 50 years standing and got amongst the ice of the Arctic, walked amongst it’s islands and witnessed the antics of its wonderful wildlife. What’s next??? I’ll need to speak with Sara again.
Thanks so much for enabling me to get to places I had always wanted to see from a very young age. “Ace” as my boys used to say!
Just wanted to send a quick note to say thank you very much for all your help in arranging our recent trip to Svalbard. Everything ran smoothly and the trip was a great success. Unfortunately I had to flew back a few days early and missed out on Isfjord Radio, which the rest of the team said was a brilliant place with amazing food, still the Basecamp Hotel and Nordenskiold Lodge were pretty amazing places, so I’m not complaining!
Writing back to tell you that the trip to the Arctic was all that it promised and more. It was a great wild-life sightseeing opportunity and the staff were really good.I had an excellent trip and have thousands of photos to go through.
I had an absolutely fabulous time won the Sergey Vavilov, it is an excellent ship. Sara was indeed right in her recommendation that they would be the most likely to push north into the ice to find the polar bears. We even circumnavigated Spitsbergen which was awesome and not o n the itinerary.It is such a wonderful way to take a trip when you are on your own – so if any of your potential single clients are unsure, definitely recommend it – I didn’t feel alone from the moment I stepped on board. I will be at the Birdfair next weekend and so will catch up with whoever is there – regarding this trip, and potentially my next!
Great cruise, staff and expedition team. Had a great trip.
Great cruise, staff and expedition team. Had a great trip.
We had a wonderful time, even though we didn't do all the places we were supposed to but we all felt were we went instead couldn't beaten. Saw animals I wanted to see. Bit worried what the food was like as some of the ships cooking leaves something to be desired, but food was very good. We thought all the guides were brilliant and informative, friendly and knowledgeable It was far better than we expected and even my husband thoroughly enjoyed it!
I wanted to let you know that I had a wonderful cruise in the Russian Far East. The landscape and destination were inspiring, we had some excellent wildlife sightings (sea otter, grey whale, Steller's sea eagle, snowy owl and Arctic fox were all firsts for me), and the Heritage team were superb. Rough seas forced a few changes to the itinerary but we also had some fabulous weather. All in all, a thrilling travel experience.Thanks once again for all your efforts
I thought you might like to know that this was an excellent holiday. Our guide, Brad, was absolutely wonderful, his enthusiasm and knowledge made the holiday even better. All in all the whole trip was excellent and we saw lots of bears, 24 on the first day. Fewer on the second and third days but still plenty, as well as arctic foxes,silver foxes and snowy owls. Even on the last day near the town we saw a bear on rocks by the beach.
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