Sail and Ski in West Greenland - RVR11



Ski and Sail from Nuuk-Maniitsoq aboard Rembrandt van Rijn

Price from:




Departures: April

Duration: 8 days

Note: Flights to/from Greenland are not included but can be added. Estimate minimum 140.000 ISK for flights. Prices may vary depending on route chosen

Ski and Sail from Nuuk-Maniitsoq aboard Rembrandt van Rijn

In partnership with Oceanwide Expeditions, Icelandic Mountain Guides offers unique Ski Mountaineering tours to the West coast of Greenland. Here you’ll find the region between Nuuk and Maniitsoq is the home of spectacular fjords and the steep snow covered alpine peaks. This place still resembles historical society as the locals residing in this region traditionally survive from fishing and hunting. As we tour the waters around the extensive fjord system, we often find whales and occasionally we get lucky enough to come across some seals. For those of you who get the rare chance to travel to West Greenland, a wonderful world of unique nature impressions await your discovery. Our primary mode of travel will consist of a boat that takes us between locations and eventually turns into a mobile base camp for our ski mountaineering activities that will be led by officially recognized mountain guides.

Total distance: 80 kilometers (50 miles)
Altitude: 0 up to 1600 m (may vary)
Maximum ascent: 1600 meters (3280 feet)

Included services in price

  • - All meals throughout the voyage aboard the ship including snacks, coffee and tea
  • - 7-night cruise aboard s/v Rembrandt van Rijn as indicated in the itinerary
  • - Daily ski trips guided by certified mountain guide
  • - Program of lectures by noted naturalists and leadership by experienced expedition staff
  • - Group transfer in Greenland: airport - ship – airport
  • - All fees, governmental taxes and port charges throughout the program
  • - Expedition logbook upon completion of the journey
  • - All shore excursions and activities including zodiac outings
  • - Comprehensive travel documents (boarding passes, travel information)
  • - Free rental of snowshoes and basic mountaineering kit (glacier travel)
  • - Rugged peaks, majestic mountains in a complex fjord system
  • - Diverse wildlife: Greenland Whales, Humpbacks, Sperm Whales, seals and seabirds
  • - Skiing mountaineering led by a certified ski mountain guides

Not included: Pre- and post-land arrangements; transfers outside Greenland; passport and visa expenses; meals ashore; baggage, cancellation and personal insurance (which is mandatory); excess baggage charges and all items of a personal nature such as laundry, bar, beverage charges and telecommunication charges; and the customary gratuity at the end of the voyages for stewards and other service personnel aboard (guidelines will be provided).

Please note that flights to/from Greenland are not included but can be added. Estimate minimum 175.000 ISK for flights. Prices may vary depending on route chosen.

Requirements for ski mountaineering: Previous experience is necessary, alpine skiing skills a must. Ski mountaineering is a technical and challenging activity for experienced ski mountaineers who aim at reaching the higher peaks. Under the guidance of a certified mountain and ski guide, participants move into sometimes steep, deep snow-covered, partly glaciated, and potentially dangerous alpine terrain. The ski mountain guide is in charge and responsible for the safety of the group. There is at least one certified mountain guide on board who is responsible for the overall management of the ski program. Experience in ski mountaineering, good physical condition and health are required as a prerequisite for participation in this program. Participants handle safely the basics of alpine skiing technique (ascending and descending off-piste terrain with potentially difficult snow conditions). Climbs are steep in places (35 degrees or more), the ability to make sharp turns in ascent is necessary. When registering, participants are kindly asked to submit a personal tour report with a review of already completed ski mountaineering tours. A questionnaire with space for the trip report is available upon request. The ratio of participants to guide is 6:1. Basic mountaineering equipment for glacier travel will be provided free of charge: ropes, karabiners, harnesses, ice axe and crampons. Each participant brings his/her personal ski equipment (skis with touring bindings, ski boots, crampons adjusted to the size of the ski boot, skins, poles, avalanche transceivers, shovel, probe) and personal functional outdoor clothing. An equipment list is available upon request.

About our partner Oceanwide Expeditions: Oceanwide Expeditions, based in the Netherlands, is specialized in polar expedition cruises with its own fleet of ice strengthened vessel operating in the High Arctic and Antarctica since the nineties. The main focus is set on polar voyages to explore the unique flora and diverse wildlife of the Polar Regions. The basic philosophy of the company is to keep the sea routes as short as needed to ensure as much time as possible for landings and boat excursions. Discoverers and active guests have the opportunity to participate in a broadly diversified activity program.

The ship: S/V ‘Rembrandt Van Rijn’ was built as a herring lugger early last century. The vessel was rebuilt as a three-mast passenger sailing schooner in The Netherlands in 1994 and sailed in Spitsbergen (1994 – 1996) and in Galápagos (1998 - 2001). The vessel underwent a complete rebuilding and refurbishment program in 2011. The communication and navigation equipment has been completely revamped according to the latest SOLAS regulations.

Ship details: The Rembrandt van Rijn measures 56 meters in length (168 ft.), 7 meters in width and has a draft of 2, 5 meters. The maximum engine speed is 9 knots. She has an experienced crew of 10 on board including two tour guides. The ship can accommodate a maximum of 34 passengers in 17 twin cabins (1 Twin Shared cabin with porthole (shared shower and toilet), 6 Twin Private Inside cabins (with shower and toilet, no porthole), 10 Twin Private cabins (with shower and toilet and porthole).  A spacious restaurant on board the vessel allows all passengers to have their meals at the same time. The vessel furthermore consists of a separate bar including a reading table. The ship is well suited for expedition cruising among small islands and offers good open deck viewing areas, even when under sail. The two inflatable rubber crafts (zodiacs) enable landing and wildlife viewing opportunities in otherwise inaccessible areas

Note: All promoted itineraries are for general guidance only. Programs may vary depending on local ice and weather conditions and ad hoc decisions by the Expedition Leader to take advantage of opportunities to see wildlife. Flexibility is paramount for expedition cruises. Landings are always subject to weather, local site availabilities and environmental regulations (AECO). Official sailing plans and landing slots will be scheduled with AECO prior to the start of the season. The final sailing plan will be determined by the Expedition Leader on board. The implementation of the sailing plan is subject to the capability of the vessel and the discretion of the Master.

Day 1: If you arrive from Reykjavik to Nuuk airport on the regularly scheduled evening flight  you will be transferred to the ship, which will depart late in the evening into the interior fjords of Nuuk. (Passengers who have arrived on earlier flights will have time to do some individual sightseeing. Nuuk (Godthåb), the capital of Greenland has a population of about 16.000 people. You could visit the museum which has a collection of Inuit mummies, from the 15th Century, which were found near Uummannaq. The Cultural Centre of Greenland - Katuak which has exhibitions of Greenlandic artists, is also worth visiting. There are historical buildings from colonial times and bookstores with books about Greenland.) The waters to the west of the town are a good place to see Humpback Whales. The night will be spent at anchor in the inner ford system of Nuuk.

Day 2: We spend the day in the magnificent fjord system East of Nuuk and will choose the best access point for a ski mountaineering excursion. Whilst the ski mountaineers climb up one of the local summits, the non-skiers can enjoy a leisurely walk with snowshoes. An interesting prospect for skiers is the mountain Qingaqat 1616 m a.s.l.. It is the second highest peak in the region. Back on the ship all passengers will visit a large seabird colony with Kittiwakes and will sail as close as possible to the glacier reaching down to the sea in Kangersuneq. The fjord will most likely be iced up at this time of the year and we will sail as far into the fjord until the sea ice will stop us.

Day 3: Another day in the stunning and weather protected fjord system East of Nuuk. Today, our guides will pick the best coastal access point for yet another ski mountaineering and snowshoe outing. The ski mountaineers may climb up to Mount Sermitsiaq (1210 m a.s.l.) The group will be shuttled back to the ship which will then depart North. In the evening we arrive near the settlement of Atammik.

Day 4: We set sail early in the morning and depart to Søndre Isortoq. In Søndre Isortoq at Ivnnarssuaq in the Maniitsoq area we visit a large seabird colony with Kittiwakes and Brünnich's Guillemots (if sea ice conditions allow). Depending on conditions we will find a ski and snowshoe tour there or near the Apussuit glacier. The rugged mountains tower from the sea and the views from up here are great. We anchor nearby or continue our voyage sailing towards Maniitsoq. The picturesque town is nestled on an island at the mouth of a fjord surrounded by stunning alpine peaks which rise above 2000 m a.s.l. The port of Maniitsoq is ice free from late spring to early winter. Humpback whales frequently surface throughout the summer.

Day 5: The Maniitsoq area offers the most rugged scenery on the West Coast and mountain tops are often flanked by spectacular glaciers reaching down to sea level. We have many choices out here and climb mountains from shore to the top. North facing slopes become our playground for great alpine descents. We will check the conditions at Mt Kistefjeld (800 m) and at the east side of Hamborgerland. After a great and adventurous day out we will spend the night in the fjord of Appamiut Kangerluarsuat. The next day we will climb a mountain which is near to the ship.  

Day 6: We have an early rise for a magic day out in the mountains. The Northern slopes of the mountains surrounding Kangerluarsuat will offer us best powder sensations. The snowshoe walkers can opt for an easy route whilst the ski mountaineers scale the higher peaks and pick the best downhill run from there. The ship will pick us up for a scenic evening sail into Evighedsfjorden (Eternity Fjord). We will visit a large seabird colony of Taateraat (Kittiwake) and anchor at the nearby glacier front.

Day 7:  We will go ashore after breakfast and ski into the interior of Taateraat glacier. The skiers will again reach higher grounds and climb a local 1000 m peak. Depending on the conditions ski mountaineers may even scale the highest mountain top in this area (1444 m). In the evening we will depart towards Maniitsoq and enjoy the time at sea. 

Day 8: We disembark in Maniitsoq and board the charter plane from Maniitsoq to Kangerlussuak. It is possible to book a flight out of Kangerlussuak to Copenhagen (not included), or travel to Reykjavík (not included).

Plese Note: All itineraries are for guidance only. Programs may vary depending on local ice and weather conditions and in order to take advantage of opportunities to see wildlife. Flexibility is paramount of expedition cruises.

Tour Dates Availability

For availability and more information about this tour please contact us.

  • Total price for all passengers: 0ISK

    Iceland's Most Awarded Adventure Tour Company

    Outside Travel Awards 2013 For best active Greenland Tour 2013

    2012 Conch Environmental Award - For being a leading company in nature friendly tourism in Iceland.

    Icelandic Travel Industry Association’s Innovation Award - For the innovation and development of Glacier Walks

    Icelandic Travel Industry Association’s annual Education Award - For the education and continuous training we provide for our guides

    Icelandic Tourist Board’s Environmental Award - For our environmental policy and awareness

    Icelandair Pioneer Award - For designing and developing Glacier Walks

    Outside Travel Awards 2014 For best polar trip 2014

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