Gigantic iceberg in Greenland
8-day adventure

Kayak to the Ice Sheet

Greenland
  • Kandoo Kayaking
  • Kandoo Trekking
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Code: GRKK

8 days
Moderate

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our UK team

Kandoo's view

Join us on an adventure of a lifetime, embark on a sea kayaking expedition into the untouched Greenlandic wilderness. This expedition connects normally inaccessible destinations that could not be any more 'off the beaten track’. An active hiking and sea kayaking trip in one of the most remote places on earth. Experience true quietness as you paddle silently through iceberg filled waters where whales roam. Discover the tiny Greenlandic settlement of Oqaatsut and wild camp in truly spectacular locations.

Trip highlights

  • View icebergs and whales from your kayak
  • Explore the Greenlandic village of Oqaatsut
  • Hike and wild camp in untouched wilderness

Experiences

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Gallery

Itinerary

  • Day 1

    WELCOME TO GREENLAND!

    Your guide will meet you in Ilulisaat and take you to your hotel. You will then have a relaxed start to the trip, with time to explore this quaint settlement and find somewhere for an evening meal. Ilulisaat has a distinct 'end of the world' feeling with its traditional Inuit culture and remote surroundings.

    • Accomodation: Hotel
  • Day 2

    THE ADVENTURE BEGINS

    This morning we take a scenic boat ride to Oqaatsut, a village further along the coast where we will begin our kayak. If there is time we will take a short hike up onto the nearby tundra for scenic views out over the bay before returning to the store ready to be kitted out. After an introduction to sea-kayaking techniques, navigation skills and an equipment check, we load up our boats and set off northwards. Our expedition begins with a calm day - you will be weaving in and out of Icebergs and paddling with confidence in no time!
    We set up camp in a sheltered bay and enjoy the chance to live like a traditional Inuit community - learn bushcraft skills and go foraging to add to our evening meal.

    • Activity time: 5 - 6 hours
    • Accomodation: Camping
    • Meals included: Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner
  • Days 3 to 4

    KAYAKING TO PAKITSOQ BAY

    The adventure continues - we pack up camp, load up our boats and head north to Pakitsoq Bay. Keep your eyes open for whales, seals and eagles as we head deeper into the wilderness...

    • Activity time: 5 - 6 hours
    • Accomodation: Camping
    • Meals included: Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner
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Please note

The details in this programme are regularly updated but unforeseeable and unpredictable circumstances may result in inaccuracies. In order to provide the adventure which is best suited to your demands, the weather and the operational conditions, changes to the itinerary may be made. For safety reasons, we reserve the rights to interrupt your participation at any time if your technical level or fitness is deemed unsuitable or if you are seen as a danger to yourself or to those around you. Under no circumstances would this give rise to a refund or compensation.

Trip information

Difficulty

Although the kayaking and hiking  in Greenland is not highly demanding, we have rated this trip as challenging due to the non-stop nature of the expedition.


Our trip consists mostly of kayaking. Previous kayaking experience, although beneficial, is not required as the stable, double sea kayaks we use are extremely difficult to capsize. As they are doubles, it also means weaker members of the group can be paired with stronger, more experienced members. Expect to kayak up to 20km in a day. The kayaking is pleasant in good weather conditions, however can become more challenging if the weather is particularly windy (not uncommon in Greenland).

The hikes in Greenland are not technically difficult but may venture off-trail on loose and uneven ground so care will be needed to avoid slips and trips. Adverse weather conditions can make hiking feel much more challenging. We would recommend heading out into your local hills in the months leading up to your trip to get used to being out on rough, mountainous terrain for 6-7 hours per day.

As well as kayaking and hiking you will also be packing away and putting up tents, assisting with cooking, loading and unloading kayaks and fetching water. There are no porters, cooks or waiters on this trip, you are part of the expedition and must do your share of the work. Although this makes the adventure more demanding, it also adds to the enormous sense of satisfaction and achievement at the end of your journey. 
As it never goes dark in Greenland in the summer months, some people may also find it difficult to sleep.  

If you have any questions about your suitability for this trip or would like more specific information about what to expect, please do not hesitate to contact us. 

Food & drink

This trip includes full board while kayaking but does not include evening meals in Ilulissat on Days 1 and 7.  We are proud of the varied, fresh and frankly delicious food we provide even when camping. Meals are based on a selection of local products and you will have the opportunity to try Greenlandic delicacies such as cod, arctic char and mussels.


Each day will start with a hearty breakfast accompanied by plenty of tea and coffee. You will prepare your own picnic lunch for the day from a buffet style array of options - everyday there will definitely be sandwiches, hot drinks and cakes among other ingredients. Each evening meal will be three courses- we try to offer fresh fruit and vegetables everyday but this is not always possible in Greenland!


Your help in the kitchen is expected and much appreciated, particularly in the evenings. Cooking is most enjoyable when the whole group work as a team to prepare dinner, it creates a pleasant atmosphere as we reflect on the days adventures together.


Please let us know about any dietary requirements when you book the trip and we will work with you to cater for your needs.

Accommodation

We will spend 2 nights in hotels, 4 nights camping and 1 night in a local guesthouse accommodation.


Whilst camping we will provide a 3 man dome tent per two people and inflatable sleeping mats per person.  There will be a dining tent for taking meals and for use as a communal space, tables, stools and eating utensils are all provided. As well as kayaking and hiking you will also be packing away and putting up tents, assisting with cooking, loading and unloading kayaks and fetching water. There are no porters, cooks or waiters on this trip, you are part of the expedition and must do your share of the work. Although this makes the adventure more demanding, it also adds to the enormous sense of satisfaction and achievement at the end of your journey. 

In guesthouse accommodation, you will be in dormitories of between 4 and 12 people with shared bathroom facilities.


In Ilulissat and Oqaatsut your accommodation will have flushing toilets. Whilst camping, the toilet situation will be a little less luxurious. It is a case of finding somewhere hidden, away from camp or the path and digging a hole. We can guarantee it will be the most scenic, exciting toilet break you've ever had! Please remember to bring toilet roll and a lighter to burn it after use. 

Luggage

You will need a 70-90L soft duffel or rucksack as your main luggage for this trip. During the expedition, your luggage will be repacked into a 13L waterproof bag which we provide; this includes your clothing, toiletries, torch and any other essential personal items. This is not an enormous amount of space so bringing clothing that packs down small is strongly recommended. We also recommend packing all of your clothes in plastic bags or dry bags within this as an extra precaution so that they stay dry. Your 13L bag will then be placed in one of the storage compartments within the kayaks to give additional waterproofing. Your sleeping bag will be repacked into a 22L drybag that will be shared with another participant, it is therefore worthwhile bringing a compression sack so you can make your sleeping bag as small as possible. This will be strapped onto the top of the boat. You can store any extra belongings in a safe place in our base camp. 

Please bring a small rucksack 20-30L to use as a day bag. A soft backed rucksack will allow you to fold it into a small space in your kayak. 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.

How do I get there?

You will need to arrive at Ilulissat Airport on day 1 of this adventure. The airport code is JAV.

You can fly to Ilulissat from either Iceland or Denmark. The easiest way to get there is to fly to Keflavik Airport (KEF) in Iceland and then catch your flight to Ilulissat from there. Iceland Air provide direct flights to Ilulissat from Keflavik International Airport. We recommend going directly to the Iceland Air website to check schedules and availability. 

From the UK, there are direct flights to Keflavik from London Heathrow (LHR) with British Airways and Icelandair. Easy Jet also offer direct flights from London Luton (LTN), Manchester (MAN) and Edinburgh (EDI).

For those traveling from the USA, Icelandair have direct flights to Keflavik from New York (JFK), Boston (BOS), Washington (IAD) and Seattle (SEA). Delta offer convenient flights via New York from San Francisco (SFO), Los Angeles (LAX), Phoenix (PHX) and Atlanta (ATL).

Flights from Denmark depart from Copenhagen and are operated by Air Greenland. You will stop in Kangerlussuaq before continuing to Ilulissat.

On arrival, after clearing immigration and collecting your luggage, please look out for a member of our team in the arrivals area. They will be holding a large “KANDOO” sign.

If you are changing airlines or re-checking your luggage at an airport on route, please ensure you leave a minimum of 3 hours between flights. This will account for any delays on arrival, travel time across airports (this can take longer than you think) and time taken to re-check baggage.

Budget & change

The currency is the Danish Krone (DKK).


In the larger towns, you can withdraw money and pay using most common credit or debit cards. We recommend carrying some cash to avoid disappointment when card facilities are not available. Please budget for drinks, tips, personal expenses and any meals not included in your trip. Expect to pay at least 200DKK (£23/$30) for a meal.

Tips

Tipping customs vary all over the world and can be very confusing when travelling to a new country. Tipping in Greenland is always appreciated, however it is not obligatory and should be left to the discretion of each individual. If you are satisfied with your guide’s services we recommend a tip between 250-350 DKK per person (equivalent to £30-40 per person). On the other hand, if you receive bad service or have not been treated well, you would not be expected to tip at all.

Formalities & health

Passport

Most travellers will require a passport valid for at least 6 months after your return date. It is your responsibility to confirm your specific requirements and please be aware that proof of onward travel may be required.

Visa

Travelling to Greenland is visa free for up to 90 days, for UK and US citizens

Vaccinations

No vaccinations are required.

Insurance

It is your responsibility to ensure that you are fully and adequately insured for the duration of your trip. Please ensure that all activities, excursions and destinations in your itinerary are included in your travel insurance policy, in addition to your regular cover for cancellation and medical expenses. We ask that you keep a copy of your policy summary (containing policy number and the emergency contact number for your insurer) in your day sack at all times, so that we can access this information should we need to contact the insurer on your behalf.

Medication

Your guide carries a first aid kit at all times but we recommend you carry the following items: - Painkillers - Sunscreen for lips and skin - Moisturising cream (for sunburn) - Elastic bandage, regular bandages and Blister bandages - Sanitary products

Equipment & clothing

Equipment supplied by Kandoo Adventures

  • 3 man dome tent per 2 people
  • Sleeping mat per person
  • Dining tent with tables, stools and eating utensils
  • Waterproof bags
  • Tandem sea kayak per 2 people
  • Gore-tex dry suit and boots
  • Kayak jacket
  • Life jacket

Clothing to bring

  • Walking boots
  • Waterproof and windproof hard shell jacket and trousers
  • Warm hat and gloves
  • Sun hat
  • Warm jumpers
  • Thermal base layers (top and leggings)
  • Fleece or soft shell jacket
  • Suitable underwear, t-shirts and walking trousers
  • Warm socks
  • Warm pyjamas, towel, toiletries
  • Sunglasses with high UV protection
  • Swimming costume/shorts (if you want to dip in the freezing ocean)

Equipment to bring

  • Sleeping bag with a minimum comfort rating of 0°C
  • Water bottle / thermos
  • Head torch with spare batteries
  • Daypack 30L to 40L
  • Duffel bag 80L to 100L or similar flexible bag for your main luggage. Not a suitcase.

OTHER USEFUL KIT

  • Camera
  • Insect repelant
  • Comfortable shoes / clothes for the evenings
  • Walking poles
  • Wet wipes
  • Plastic bags for wet/dirty clothing

Dates & prices

From To Price Availability Book Enquire
19/07/2024 26/07/2024 $3,895 £2,999
Available
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02/08/2024 09/08/2024 $3,895 £2,999
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16/08/2024 23/08/2024 $3,895 £2,999
Available
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18/07/2025 25/07/2025 $3,895 £2,999
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01/08/2025 08/08/2025 $3,895 £2,999
Available
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15/08/2025 22/08/2025 $3,895 £2,999
Available
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Want to ask us a question or book a private trip? Don't hesitate to contact us!

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Price includes

  • Airport transfers
  • An expert Kandoo Adventures guide
  • All transportation
  • All accommodation
  • Camping  equipment
  • Kayak and all safety equipment
  • Full board whilst kayaking (no meals included in Ilulisaat)

Price does not include

  • Flights and visas
  • Drinks, tips and personal expenses
  • Meals in Ilulisaat on days 1 and 7
  • Travel insurance