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This PONANT itinerary is your chance to embark on a 14-day expedition cruise to Greenland. Aboard Le Lyrial, you will follow the Vikings' route, the first Europeans to discover eastern Greenland as far as Nuuk, in the steps of Erik the Red. You will also enjoy a combination of adventure and discovery in the company of an experienced team of naturalist guides, anthropologists, ornithologists and marine mammal specialists...
From Reykjavik, you will touch the east coast of Greenland in Tasiilaq, a city founded by the Danish explorer Gustav Holm. Located on Ammassalik island, on the edge of an inlet, it offers a breathtaking view of the icebergs whose thousand blue glittering reflections dot the horizon.
During your cruise and zodiac outings, you will have many opportunities to admire an abundant and varied fauna: seals, whales, orcas, not to mention the many species of seabirds.
Your ship will then sail down the narrow Prins Christian Sund passage, which connects the south-east of Greenland to the south-west. Jagged mountains, rocky cliffs, waterfalls and floating ice form a wonderful wild landscape in which frolic colonies of bearded seals.
To the country’s west, you will sail amid the blue icebergs of the Narsaq region, and among the largest icebergs in the Northern Hemisphere in Disko Bay.
We are privileged guests in these remote lands where we are at the mercy of weather, ice, tidal and current conditions. Landings on certain sites and the observation of certain wildlife cannot be guaranteed. They vary from day to day, making each PONANT cruise a unique experience. The Captain and the Expedition Leader will make every effort to ensure that your experience is as rich as possible, while complying with the safety rules and instructions imposed by the AECO.
Ref : RK195 - LY120824
Outings and shore visits in zodiac inflatables with a team of experienced naturalist guides. Hiking opportunity. UNESCO site: Ilulissat Icefjord. Visit traditional villages and meet the Inuit people and Visit...
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For more peace of mind, PONANT organizes your trip before or after the cruise. This package is included in the price of your cruise.
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*Price is per person, based on double occupancy, based on availability, and subject to change at any time. The category of stateroom to which this price applies may no longer be available.
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Important trip details
Boarding conditions and passenger travel abilities
We invite you to read our boarding conditions and passenger travel abilities by clicking here.
Any new reservation implies the acceptance of these conditions.
The evolving COVID-19 health formalities are available in real time by clicking here.
Given the particularly changing international sanitary context, this itinerary as well as the land programmes and shore excursions may have to evolve according to port authorisations and governmental regulations in force at the time of your trip.
Therefore, for even greater peace of mind, we strongly recommend that you book your land programmes before and after your cruise with PONANT.
Health formalities related to COVID-19 will be confirmed to you before your departure.
In this exceptional context, your safety remains our first priority. The effectiveness of our procedures, our cutting-edge medical equipment and the smaller scale of our ships means we can offer maximum safety so that you can relax and enjoy your cruise. The revised passenger circuit and our enhanced hygiene measures can be found on this page: https://us.ponant.com/sail-with-confidence.
The information below is current but subject to change at any time without advance notice from government authorities. Please consult your respective government agencies for visa and health information.
Passport valid for at least six (6) months beyond the completion of your trip. Passport must contain at least two completely clear, blank, unused visa pages for each visa required, not including any amendment pages. Visa pages with stains or ink from other pages in the passport are not usable. Guests who deviate from the scheduled embarkation or disembarkation port should research the foreign entry requirements for the port country. Due to government regulations, regrettably, Ponant will have to deny boarding to any guest who fails to obtain the appropriate travel documentation for this trip.
Warning about the use of drones: the use of drones aboard PONANT ships, whether they are sailing at sea, at a port of call or anchored, is strictly forbidden. The use of drones on land in the Arctic and Antarctic regions is also strictly forbidden by international polar regulations. In other regions, it may be possible to use drones on land if permission has been obtained from the relevant authorities of each country and each region travelled through, as well as a pilot’s licence that should be obtained from your home country. Passengers are responsible for obtaining these permits; they should be able to present them at all times. Passengers who do not obtain these authorisations expose themselves to the risk of legal proceedings.
Expedition programmes include activities such as zodiac outings and landings (sometimes with "wet landing"), moderate walks to more active hikes, all accompanied by your expedition team of naturalist guides.
Ports of call, visited sites, outings and landings will depend on weather conditions, position of ice, winds and the state of the sea. These can force a change of plans at any time. The Captain and the Expedition Leader may at any time cancel or stop any activity, or even modify the itinerary. The final itinerary will be confirmed by the Captain, who will take into account the touristic quality of the sites and above all, the safety of the passengers. His decision will be based on advice from experts and authorities.
Travelling to polar/isolated regions is an exhilarating experience in remote areas: please remember that you are far from modern hospitals with full medical facilities, thus evacuation is extremely expensive. Without adequate medical coverage, all expenses will have to be immediately paid with your personal funds. We urge you to subscribe to full coverage insurance, choose your insurance company very carefully, be extremely vigilant and ensure your insurance is fully comprehensive, especially if you are insured by your credit card. PONANT offers an insurance contract with extensive guarantees, please contact us for more information.
Ideal clothes for life on board:
During the days spent on board, you are advised to wear comfortable clothes or casual outfits. The entire ship is air-conditioned, so a light sweater, a light jacket or a shawl may be necessary. When moving about in the public areas of the ship and the decks, light but comfortable shoes are recommended.
In the evening, you are advised to wear smart-casual attire, especially when dining in our restaurants where wearing shorts and tee-shirts is not allowed.
For all cruises longer than 8 nights, an Officer’s Evening with a white dress code may be organized. Therefore, we encourage you to bring a stylish white outfit for the occasion (otherwise black and white).
During the cruise, two gala evenings will be organised on board. Thus, we recommend that you bring one or two formal outfits.
A small shop is available on board offering a wide range of outfits, jewellery, leather goods and many accessories.
A laundry service (washing/ironing) is available on board, but unfortunately there are no dry cleaning services. For safety reasons, your cabin is not equipped with an iron.
INSULATED BASE LAYER:
WATERPROOF OUTER LAYER:
OUTFITS ON BOARD:
*Subject to ice and weather conditions. The expedition highlights and itineraries described above illustrate possible experiences only and cannot be guaranteed.
Embarkation 8/12/2024 from 4:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Departure 8/13/2024 at 12:00 AM
Iceland’s capital stretches along the edge of a vast bay in the west of the country. Perlan, the “Pearl of Reykjavík”, a museum located on ’Oskjuhlið hill, offers a panoramic view of the lush, green landscapes. A little further, one can easily spot the signpost showing the way to the evangelical Hallgrímskirkja church, and to the historical centre where one can stroll along the Skólavördustígur and the Laugavegur, two lively streets with charming small shops. For some relaxation just outside of the city, visitors have the opportunity to visit the Reykjanes peninsula and its famous thermal lagoons of the Blue Lagoon.
During your journey at sea, make the most of the many services and activities on board. Treat yourself to a moment of relaxation in the spa or stay in shape in the fitness centre. Depending on the season, let yourself be tempted by the swimming pool or a spot of sunbathing. This journey without a port of call will also be an opportunity to enjoy the conferences or shows proposed on board, depending on the activities offered, or to do some shopping in the boutique or to meet the PONANT photographers in their dedicated space. As for lovers of the open sea, they will be able to visit the ship’s upper deck to admire the spectacle of the waves and perhaps be lucky enough to observe marine species. A truly enchanted interlude, combining comfort, rest and entertainment.
In Tasiilaq, on Ammassalik Island, follow in the wake of Captain Jean-Baptiste Charcot’s famous ship, the Pourquoi Pas ?, which set off with its crew in 1935 to discover this small island of primitive and wild beauty that remained unexplored until the end of the 19th century. Along with Ittoqqortoormiit, a village with 500 inhabitants located at the entrance of the Scoresby Sound, the village of Tasiilaq and its surroundings, 800 kilometres (500 miles) further north, are the only inhabited areas on the east coast of Greenland. The name of this island is a reference to the capelin, a small flamboyant silver-coloured fish whose presence in the thousands announces to inhabitants the return of spring. A surprising discovery in a spectacular setting.
You will be captivated by the spectacular scenery of the Sermilik Fjord, the largest in the south-east of Greenland. To the north, above the glacial valleys, the Schweitzerland Alps and their peaks that rise to an altitude of more than 3,000 metres (10,000 feet) stretch out in the distance, while in the south, where it opens onto the Irminger Sea, heavy erosion has carved the landscape. Three main glaciers calve a multitude of dazzling icebergs that drift serenely along the indigo waters of this majestic fjord. It owes its name to the Inuit word Sermilik, which generally refers to a fjord into which a glacier flows. It was mapped in 1884 by the Danish explorer Gustav Holm and his crew, while they wintered in the Ammassalik region.
Discover Skjoldungen Island on the south-east coast of Greenland. This uninhabited land boasts magnificent landscapes that are sure to dazzle you. The island is surrounded by a stunning fjord, a distinctive feature of which is its double entrance: it forms a bend before joining the sea on the other side. Mountains, glacial valleys, rocky outcrops, tundra and willow forests make up the beautiful scenery which you will be able to admire more closely when you land here. At this port of call, surrounded by wild and pristine nature, it is quite common to see bearded seals, orcas, but also birds such as the common redpoll, the northern wheatear, or the common raven.
Aappilattoq (Augpilatok), is a small Inuit village of around one hundred inhabitants, whose name means “sea anemone” in Greenlandic. Located in a mountainous region inaccessible by road, its picturesque, colourful houses stretch out to the southern tip of Greenland, on the banks of the spectacular Prince Christian Sound. Some one hundred kilometres long, the sound connects the Labrador Sea to the Irminger Sea, meandering through stunning landscapes such as majestic glaciers, craggy peaks, and rocky cliffs with waterfalls fed by the ice sheet. This region was uninhabited in the 19th century. The village was created in the 1920s and the main activities revolve around hunting, fishing and livestock farming.
Around you, a grassy meadow filled with flowers stretches out, dotted with imposing granite rocks. A few semi-wild sheep and horses greet you; they are the only inhabitants of this place surrounded by beautiful mountains. You are in Hvalsø, in the heart of the fertile lands in Greenland’s south. During the 10th century, this site was colonised by the Vikings, who established a large community here. When your ship calls at these lands brimming with history, you will see the ruins of a church whose remains are still very well preserved. It was most likely built in the 14th century. It has lost its timber roof, but its four stone walls continue to stand proudly as a moving relic of a long-gone era.
From your ship, discover the town of Narsaq. You will be dazzled by the beauty of the surrounding icebergs − large masses of ice in different shapes and shifting colours. Dominated by lush mountains, this small town is typical of Greenland and is located in the heart of a wonderful natural landscape. The multicoloured house facades and the glaciers with their myriad shades of blue offer a magical setting, conducive to wonderment.
Located in the Arsuk Fjord, Ivigtut, now called Ivittuut, is a small town in southwestern Greenland known for being rich in cryolite, a very rare mineral used in the ceramics industry and to extract aluminium from bauxite. The open-pit mine was a once major economic resource for Greenland: a prosperous mining activity developed there in the 19th century until 1963 when the mine was closed. In the 32 km-long (22 miles) fjord that runs along the small town surrounded by tundra landscapes, you might be fortunate enough to see whales or rorquals swimming nonchalantly in the cold water.
When Erik Le Rouge, the exiled Norse chief, landed on the coast of Nuuk, he found a fertile and welcoming land dotted with fjords. He settled there with a group of his former countrymen, and the Norse remained the principal inhabitants until, over a period of 500 years, their population declined and gave way to the Inuit. Nuuk is situated at the mouth of one of the largest networks of fjords in the world, where the waters never freeze. The town spreads gently out towards the Davis Strait and enjoys an historic center that is particularly rich in national heritage. The vivid reds, blues, greens and yellows of the houses are a lively contrast to the somber waters of Greenland and serve to lift the spirits of the locals during the Winter months.
During your cruise, we invite you to discover Sisimiut, founded in 1756 and the second largest town in Greenland. This small town is typical of Greenland, boasting bewitching panoramas: here and there, colourful stilt houses dot the undulating landscape, and the small fishing port stands as the gateway to an icy realm. As for the town centre, it is home to a number of historic buildings, a small church and a museum which retraces the history of the Inuit people, as well as many craft shops. When your ship drops anchor here, you will set out to meet the locals in a typically arctic atmosphere.
"The most beautiful place in the Arctic" is how Paul-Émile Victor described Greenland, a land of great icebergs and of towering ice formations calved by the giant glaciers of the polar ice cap. The Eqi Glacier is one of the region’s most impressive sights. Here, the silence is broken only by the roaring and cracking of the ice. It is impossible to know if one is shivering from cold or from the sheer thrill of being here... Imagine the vast outline of a glacier, its translucent crystals glowing with an ice-blue fire in the sunlight. Paul-Émile Victor’s shelter cannot be overlooked; it was from here that the French Polar Expeditions’ anthropological and geographic explorations set off in the 1950s.
To the east of Baffin Bay, discover Disko Bay, scattered with countless icebergs produced by the Ilulissat Icefjord, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. From your ship, admire the majestic ballet of these ice giants as they slowly drift across the dark waters. This site is a natural marvel of Greenland, and is also renowned as an observation point for the region’s many humpback whales. The encounters with wild fauna and stunning landscapes in the heart of this spectacular and fragile nature will be pure moments of wonder for you.
Itilleq is a tiny island lying within the Arctic Circle, 45 km south of Sisimiut. Home to barely 100 people, they mainly earn a living from fishing and hunting in their typical Greenlandic village, whose bright colours evoke those of their traditional clothing. During your visit, you will maybe have the pleasure of playing a game of football with them, enjoying a “kaffemik” (a coffee break) or a moment of contemplation when the gentle light of the midnight sun dapples the horizon.
Arrival 8/25/2024 at night
Disembarkation 8/25/2024 at 7:00 AM
From 1941 to 1992, the town of Kangerlussuaq in Greenland was home to an American military base. Nowadays, thanks to its international airport, it has become a transit point for travellers seeking adventure in the Far North. Located to the north of the Arctic Circle, this town is the starting point of magnificent discoveries surrounded by unspoiled nature. Indeed, just a few dozen kilometres from there it is possible to get close to the Greenland ice sheet, the largest body of ice in the Northern Hemisphere. From Kangerlussuaq, admire also the superb landscapes of tundra in autumnal colours, where Arctic hares, musk oxen, Arctic foxes, reindeer, falcons and eagles live.
For your serenity, PONANT selects a flight and organises the transfer between the port and the airport. This package is included in your cruise fare.
Disembarkation Day - Kangerlussuaq/Paris
Meet and greet at the port by our local English-speaking representative.
Transfer to the airport in time for check-in of flight Kangerlussuaq/Paris selected by PONANT.
Flight Kangerlussuaq/Paris selected by PONANT.
Approximate flight duration: 5 h.
We highly recommend you stay one night in Paris after this flight.
This programme includes:
This programme does not include:
Realise your dream of adventure in the polar regions ! Discover the icy vastness and the fauna of Antarctica (humpback whales, seals, penguins and more) or the Arctic's fjords, glaciers and icebergs in shifting colours, not to mention the polar bears, the variety of wildlife and the special moments shared with the locals. Our team of naturalist guides share their knowledge with you during varied lectures about the fauna, the flora, the history of great explorations, geology and climatology. Thanks to its conscientiousness and to the responsible approach that is its hallmark, PONANT has been a leader and expert in cruises to these destinations for more than 20 years.