26/05/2024

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Quark Expeditions Greenland Cruise Review

24 min read
Quark Expeditions Greenland Cruise Review

We recently travelled on Quark Expeditions’ Greenland Adventure: Explore by Sea, Land and Air trip onboard their ship, the Ultramarine to experience just how incredible their latest, groundbreaking itinerary really is. In our Quark Expeditions Greenland cruise review we break down every aspect of the tour and help you decide whether this journey is for you.

Staring out the porthole window at Greenland’s vast expanse of glacial ice as our plane flew into the remote village of Narsarsuaq was one of those ‘pinch me’ moments.

Greenland had always seemed so distant, so exotic and so mystical that it just didn’t feel real to actually be there.

Disembarking the aircraft onto the runway still felt like a dream, and if it wasn’t for the smiling crew from Quark Expeditions greeting us inside the terminal with a fleet of buses waiting to transport us to our ship we would have been positive that we’d wake up at any moment.

Only a few hours later we were standing on the Panorama deck of our luxury ship, sparkling wine in hand, navigating out of the narrow Greenlandic fjords towards a shimmering Arctic sunset.

This wasn’t a dream. As surreal as it seemed, our Greenland adventure was just getting started.

Quark Expeditions Greenland Cruise Review Alesha Enjoying Views
Alesha enjoying the views on a still Greenlandic afternoon.

Travelling to the Arctic had been on our bucket list for as long as we could remember, and after multiple trips to Antarctica we knew that the next expedition for us had to be to the northern polar regions.

We had heard that it was a different world in the Arctic, and we couldn’t wait to experience it.

The landscapes were still epic, with towering peaks, enormous glaciers and jagged fjords to explore, but the Arctic had something the south lacked – culture and centuries’ worth of history.

Unlike the Antarctic, there were also entirely different ways to explore the Arctic, with multiple places to visit.

Svalbard, the Norwegian archipelago, was perhaps the most popular destination thanks in large part to its abundant polar bear population.

The northern tip of Alaska attracted thousands of people every year, who made the most of highway that crossed the Arctic Circle to drive to this distant location.

Canada’s Northwest Passage was another region that history buffs sought to see, with the tales of Franklin and indigenous culture featured heavily in tours that venture through its rugged channels.

For us though Greenland was to be our first foray into the Arctic, and it didn’t disappoint.

While it’s possible to make the most of the small airport connections that are dotted around the world’s largest island, we opted for an expedition cruise to properly explore the southern parts of Greenland.

No other company does polar cruises quite like Quark Expeditions, so we excitedly booked an entire month in the Arctic with them on two back-to-back journeys and made our way to the northern hemisphere to set sail on the trip of a lifetime.

What was it like going on a Greenland cruise with Quark? Read on to find out!

EXCLUSIVE – We have partnered with the world’s top polar tour operator, Quark Expeditions, to offer readers of NOMADasaurus a very special deal on any trip to Antarctica or the Arctic! Contact us ([email protected]) if you’d like to learn more.

Standing On Greenland Ice Sheet
If flying in a helicopter onto the Greenland Ice Sheet during a world-class expedition sounds like something you’d love to do, then you’re not going to want to miss this Quark Expeditions Greenland cruise review!

Greenland Adventure: Explore by Sea, Land and Air Review

Quark Expeditions have compiled one of the most unique itineraries in the Arctic with their revolutionary Greenland Adventure: Explore by Sea, Land and Air trip.

With their latest ship, the MV Ultramarine (check out our full review of the Ultramarine) boasting not one but two Airbus H145 helicopters, the Quark logistics team have worked closely with local communities and scouts to develop heli-access activities that no other polar operator can offer.

Having travelled on multiple small-group trips in both the Antarctic and Arctic we know just how exciting a polar adventure can be.

Trust us when we say very little compares with what Quark Expeditions have developed for this tour.

Hiking, kayaking, sightseeing, walking on the Ice Sheet, camping and even mountain biking are all on the cards, and it feels like every single minute of the voyage is jam-packed with activities.

Greenland Adventure Tour Quick Facts:

Here’s everything we did and the places we went on our Greenland cruise with Quark Expeditions.

Arrival Day and Safety Briefings

Our trip began in Reykjavik airport in Iceland, where guests came from far and wide with an excited smile on their faces.

A number of Quark employees were waiting in the terminal with signs, and we made our way to a special, dedicated check-in counter for the charter flight that would take us to Greenland.

The process went smoothly and with our boarding passes in hand we went through security and spent some time in a cafe waiting for departure.

Our flight was called, we lined up and soon boarded the charter set aside only for guests of Quark Expeditions.

Moments later we hit the air.

More than 100,000 flights happen around the world every single day, and while taking to the air over a popular metropolis is always a thrill, nothing will ever beat soaring above the world’s most remote locations.

The Greenland Ice Sheet is one of those legendary destinations that very few people will ever see in their lifetimes.

But on the flight from Reykjavik to Narsarsuaq, Quark’s charter plane flies directly over it.

Seeing the vast, sprawling ice with jagged, black peaks protruding from the depths of ancient glaciers is something we’ll never forget.

Greenland, you are already winning our hearts. 

Iceland Air In Narsarsuaq Greenland
Our Iceland Air charter flight touching down in Narsarsuaq, Greenland.

After landing in Narsarsuaq we jumped on some tourist buses and headed to our ship, the MV Ultramarine.

The boarding process was quick and painless, with the fantastic hotel staff showing us to our enormous cabin where we found our luggage already waiting for us, which had been transported directly from the aircraft.

READ MORE: Check out our full review of our Northwest Passage cruise with Quark Expeditions!

As nice as our cabin was, we were too excited to finally be on this Greenland adventure to kick back on the couch, so we quickly unpacked our bags, grabbed the cameras and made our way to the Panorama Lounge for a welcome cocktail and to mingle with the other guests.

The captain announced the mandatory safety briefing was about to take place, and we all gathered our life vests and went through the procedures in the unlikely event of an emergency.

Ali Expedition Leader Quark Greenland Safety Briefing
Ali giving our safety briefing once onboard the Ultramarine. As a note, face masks are no longer required onboard Quark Expeditions’ tours.

With the formalities out of the way it was time to get back to the adventure.

Ali, our expedition leader for the voyage, held an introductory session in the Ambassador Theatre where we were told what lay ahead of us for the next 7 days and met the rest of the expedition team.

As the meeting came to an end the Ultramarine set sail out of the harbour and into a gorgeous sunset, with icebergs floating by and mountains glowing in vibrant hues of red and pink.

The Balena Restaurant opened up for dinner, and once we had feasted on a truly delicious meal we headed up to the Panorama Lounge for one last drink before heading to bed for the night.

Tomorrow the adventure was about to officially begin.

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Helicopter Flights Over Greenland

Travelling on Quark Expeditions’ Ultramarine ship means having access to not one but two helicopters, and it was the expedition teams’ every intention to use them as much as possible.

Seeing Greenland from the ground and sea is of course spectacular in itself, but having the chance to witness the sprawling, majestic landscapes from the air is an entirely different beast.

Only a handful of polar expedition companies have access to helicopters, and their use is not taken lightly.

The entire operation is designed and managed by a dedicated UK helicopter firm separate to Quark Expeditions, and they treat each flight with the kind of professionalism and contingencies that you’d find in the army or navy.

Quark offers more than just helicopter scenic flights though. The team have spent years working closely with local councils, tourism boards and consultants to develop unique helicopter experiences such as hiking, mountain biking, alpine kayaking and camping.

Of course helicopter flights in the Arctic are never guaranteed, as the aircraft are entirely dependent on weather, which is ever-changing in the region.

Luckily for us we had a great few days of weather, and managed to take to the skies a number of times.

This meant being flexible with the itinerary, and there were days when we had no flights planned but a window of opportunity revealed itself.

Ali, our expedition leader, would change the entire morning or afternoon to get the helicopters in the air.

It’s all part of travelling to the polar regions, and a thrill when everything comes together.

Helicopter Flights Greenland Quark
One of Quark’s two Airbus H145 helicopters coming in to pick up our group.

Scenic Flights

Southern Greenland reminded us of Patagonia, and on our very first morning Ali saw a break in the weather and made the impromptu decision to get the helicopters in the air and give every single guest a 15-minute scenic flight over the fjords and glaciers.

On deck 8 we could hear the ex-military pilots and engineer warming up the choppers, and we all sped back to our cabins to ensure camera batteries were charged.

Once our group was called we headed upstairs to be weighed (the helicopters need to be evenly balanced), put on our special PFDs and waited to load.

With a signal from the flight deck the ship’s door opened and we were called one by one to the helicopter, climbing in under the guidance of the crew and buckled in.

Moments later we took off, slowly lifting from the Ultramarine and soared into the skies.

Our pilot Johnno expertly guided us over the metal-blue sea and down a nearby fjord.

Ultramarine Helicopter View
The Ultramarine from the helicopter.

The passengers all stared out the large windows with excited glee, snapping pics as we flew higher and higher towards the mountain peaks.

Johnno chatted away to us through the headsets, pointing out various landscapes and explaining how he was navigating the terrain.

He steered the helicopter towards a glacier and before we knew it we were flying above deep crevasses, looping around the shoulder and being offered our first view of the endless expanse of Greenland’s mountainous, snowy landscapes.

Our first flight was truly exceptional, and we were fortunate enough to have several scenic flights during our Greenland cruise with Quark Expeditions.

Some of the flights were dedicated to sightseeing, while others were an added bonus as we made our way to or from a particular activity.

The pilots, all ex-navy and ex-army and some of the best in the world, always maximised our time in the air wherever possible.

Staring at the deep blues of the water, lines in the mountains and layers in the glaciers from the air was an experience we’ll never forget.

Helicopter Flight Greenland Quark Expeditions
Seeing the glaciers and mountains of Greenland from the air is something else.

Heli-Hiking

On day 3 of our incredible Greenland adventure we kicked things off with a bang!

Ali, our expedition leader, checked the weather and saw an opportunity to get the helicopters back in the air.

But this time instead of going on a scenic flight, she decided to take the passengers and drop them off in the mountains of Greenland to go heli-hiking!!!

We loaded into the choppers and the pilots Neil and Johnno shuttled us to a remote location, where Quark’s experienced mountain guides took us for a hike to admire the landscapes.

We wandered around for about two hours, watching the clouds roll over the jagged peaks, learning about the flowers from the onboard nature experts and drinking water straight from the streams.

It’s not every day you get the opportunity to potentially be the first people ever to hike in a new destination, and we kept pinching ourselves the entire time. This Greenland cruise has some serious expedition vibes and we’re loving it.

Heli Hiking Greenland
Views while heli-hiking. We were potentially the first tourists to ever go trekking in this place.

Mountain Biking

Quark Expeditions also offers two different helicopter activities that we didn’t get a chance to try due to them being booked out well in advance.

The first one is heli-mountain biking.

This brand new high-impact activity is a world first, and has been carefully created with a team of professional mountain bikers, including Ben Haggar who we’ve had the pleasure of travelling with in Antarctica.

Ben and his team spent months camping in southern Greenland, scouting out potential tracks and terrain that could be offered as a product for non-professionals, and after finally determining the perfect route Quark Expeditions are now the only Arctic tour operator to have this on their itinerary.

The helicopters shuttle the mountain bikes and a small group of riders to the top of a peak, saving hours and hours of uphill pedalling, leaving the best part of the experience to come – downhill!

Ben will lead the way down the mountain, offering a mix of fun single track, wide runs and a few technical options for those with more experience, for one of the most unique and adventurous days you can ever have in the Arctic.

When you reach the base camp you’ll be treated to a very special local lunch before being picked up by helicopter and taken back to the ship.

Ben Haggar Mountain Biker
Jarryd and Ben Haggar, Quark Expeditions’ lead mountain bike guide and designer of the Greenland heli-mountain biking product.

Alpine Kayaking

Quark Expeditions already have an industry-leading kayaking and paddling add-on to their Arctic journeys, but if you really want to take things to new heights, literally, you can’t miss the helicopter alpine kayaking!

If weather conditions allow, the kayaking guides will head off on a scouting mission with the helicopter pilots to find a remote lake that suits a paddling activity – calm, protected from wind, easy to access for the choppers and of course exceptionally beautiful.

With a location found the helicopters load up with inflatable kayaks and take the intrepid paddlers up into the mountains.

The group spends a few hours paddling around the lake, more than likely being the first people ever to do so, and then are picked up again by the helicopters and taken back to the ship.

The guests we met who did this experience said it was truly mind-blowing. Numbers are strictly limited though, same with the mountain biking, so if it’s something you’d like to do make sure you pre-book it when you first sign up for your Greenland cruise with Quark Expeditions.

Alpine Kayaking Greenland Quark
Imagine this, except in a very remote alpine lake that can only be accessed by helicopter.

Walking on the Greenland Ice Sheet

This was one of the most surreal and incredible travel experiences we have ever had. And we don’t say that lightly.

On our last day on this voyage, we got to step foot on the Greenland Ice Sheet. 

We woke up to an absolutely gorgeous morning in Greenland. No wind, perfect visibility and sunny!

Our ship, the MV Ultramarine, set up position in a bay overlooking a huge glacier and the pilots and mountain guides flew the helicopters out to find a safe spot to land on the ice sheet.

With a landing site established Quark Expeditions flew the passengers over the glacier and onto a stable slab.

Seeing the ice sheet from the air was absolutely surreal (Alesha even got to sit in the co-pilot seat for this special flight!), but stepping out of the helicopter and onto the Greenland Ice Sheet simply took our breath away.

Greenland Ice Sheet Aerial View
Looking out over the Greenland Ice Sheet from the helicopter.

The Greenland Ice Sheet is a vast body of ice covering 80% of the country itself – a crazy 1,710,000 square kilometres. It is the second largest ice body in the world, Antarctica being the first.

Standing there looking over the ice sheet, we had mixed emotions. There was joy as we ran around, drinking water from streams and making snow angels, and wonder as we sat quietly and stared in awe at its vastness.

After a few hours we went back to the ship and celebrated the final adventure of what has been a mind blowing week.

It’s very hard to step foot on the ice sheet in the south of Greenland without some serious trekking, meaning the only way it can be safely accessed by the majority people is by helicopter.

Snow Angels Greenland Ice Sheet
Making snow angels on the Greenland Ice Sheet. Yep, we’re just big kids at heart.

Visiting Aappilattoq – A Greenlandic Town

One of the highlights of travelling the Arctic is learning about the local communities that live in this remote region.

So we were absolutely stoked when we found out we’d be visiting the small village of Aappilattoq in Southern Greenland.

Aappilattoq means “red mountain” in the Greenlandic language, and the place is named after the huge red peak that rises above the village.

Aappilattoq is surrounded by steep, inaccessible mountain terrain, and can only be accessed by water. 

There are about 100 people that live in the village. They have a small school, community centre, church, general store and a soccer field.

There’s lots of painted wooden houses scattered around the area. The colours do have reasons behind them.

In the past, red was for community buildings, blue was for government, black is for the police stations etc.

There are no street signs, so this is how visitors know which buildings are which. This tradition was used in the past and is continued today.

Hunting and fishing are the main industries here in the village. The men will go out for days on end to catch the food his family and the entire community need to survive. Sometimes it can be fish, seals or even polar bears.

Electricity is provided to the village by generators and fresh water comes from the lakes and streams in the mountains behind the village.

During our time in Aappilattoq we tried local coffee and cake, heard the church choir, wandered around the village and even played a football game against the regional champions.

The people were so kind and friendly, and stopped to chat with us everywhere we went.

It was so amazing to visit this village and learn about how these remote communities live.

Definitely added a whole new element to our adventures around Greenland.

On a side note, we also asked the expedition team at Quark about whether or not the village is compensated for our visit, and we were told that yes, Quark Expeditions pays the local council trust a per-passenger fee as a thank you for allowing us to visit them.

Aappilattoq Greenland
The village of Aappilattoq.

Herjolfsnes – A Viking Landing

Did you know that Greenland has a rich Viking history? It was a very important homeland for the Vikings while they travelled between Europe and North America, and we got to dive deep into their stories on two shore excursions.  

Our first stop was Herjolfsnes, which was a Norse settlement in southern Greenland. 

It was established by Herjolf Bardsson in the late 10th century and is believed to have lasted around 500 years.

Our Quark Expedition Guide Dagny (who is a legit Icelandic Viking) told us all about the area and pronounced those Greenlandic names we struggled with.

She told us that this area may have been a trading point as it is on the coast and not protected down the fjords. Vikings may have met here to do trades.

We spent a few hours walking around the site, which had remnants of old ruins and beautiful views all around the bay.

Viking Camp Cross 2
An old gravesite at Herjolfsnes in Greenland.

Hvalsey – The Famous Viking Church

Our next excursion was to the Hvalsey Church, which is one of the most famous historical landing sites on any Greenland small ship cruise.

This Catholic Church is the most well-preserved medieval church in Greenland. It was built in the 14th century entirely by stone.

It must have been heavy for the Vikings to move around! Which of course just leaves you wondering how they did it when you’re walking around.

Thorkel Farserk was the first person to settle here, who was the cousin of Eric the Red.

One of the last accounts in this church was a wedding between a man named Thorstien Olafsson and a lady called Sigrid Björnsdottir on the 16th September, 1408.

Why was it the last recorded event here? Some historians believe something very sinister happened at the wedding. Such a mysterious place! 

Hvalsey Church Greenland
The remains of the Hvalsey Church in Greenland.

Exploring Qassiarsuk and Meeting Locals

This gorgeous little village is located across the fjord from Narsarsuaq. It’s population is very small at just 39 people, and the locals are very welcoming.

Qassiarsuk is part of the Kujataa World Heritage Site, due to its historical importance as the homestead of Erik the Red and its unique testimony to Greenlandic farming.

We spent the morning of the day of departure here, where we were given free time to wander around at leisure.

We took the zodiac across the bay and landed in Qassiarsuk, then immediately went for a walk to the restored Viking settlement at the end of the ‘road’.

One of the local tour guides had setup there and was giving information and telling stories about the history and how the Vikings lived, which was very fascinating.

After our very successful tour to Antarctica, South Georgia and Falkland Islands this year, we are going to be running another exclusive adventure down to the Peninsula in 2024! Check out the tour page if you’d like to learn more.

Qassiarsuk Church
Exploring the history and sites of Qassiarsuk, just across the bay from Narsarsuaq.

Afterwards we climbed the hill for a beautiful view, tried some local food pre-organised by Quark Expeditions then found ourselves at the other end of the village.

A local family here had opened up their home and were offering anybody that came in delicious homemade cakes and fresh food.

The daughter spoke English and we sat and chatted with her and her family for quite a while, asking a lot of questions about what it was like to live there.

This was one of our favourite excursions on our Quark Expeditions Greenland Adventure cruise.

Friendly Locals Qassiarsuk
One of the friendly locals who invited us into her home to try cake and coffee in Qassiarsuk.

Camping in Greenland with Locals

Of all the things we did on this expedition, camping in Greenland was truly special and an experience that we’re so honoured one of us had the chance to do.

One of the optional activities offered by Quark Expeditions here in Southern Greenland is the opportunity to camp the night with some locals in a remote part of the island.

It was fully booked before we came onboard the Ultramarine, but when somebody decided not to camp last minute, the crew drew a lottery to see who would take their place – and my name came out!

Of course there was no way I was going to miss this chance, and luckily Alesha was super understanding and very excited for me to head out without her.

The Quark team dropped our small group of people off at the Tasermiut Camp, run by local entrepreneur Salik and his friends Erneeraq and Peter, and after we got settled in to our tents the guys took everyone fishing to try and catch dinner.

The nearby lake is full of Arctic char, and after an hour or two we caught enough fish to feed everybody.

Erneeraq Cooking Arctic Char
Erneeraq cooking up some Arctic char over an open fire.

The views were insane, and there were lots of laughs sprinkled between moments of peace and reflection while we watched the clouds roll over the enormous mountains.

Back at camp, Peter, a famous Greenlandic chef, and Erneeraq prepared dinner using ingredients they foraged around the area and vegetables sourced from a nearby farm.

The wood stove got fired up inside the teepee, which is used as the common room, and we all ate this special meal together, listening to stories from Greenland, hearing local folklore tales and being mesmerised by Greenlandic songs played on the guitar late into the night.

The following morning we went foraging together for lunch, and Salik taught us how they all live off the land, hunting, fishing and using what they find such as berries, mushrooms, seaweed, mussels and other plants for all their nutrients.

It was a truly magical experience. The landscapes here in Greenland have been mind blowing, but to have the opportunity to actually see how the locals live and be involved in their culture was something we’ll never forget.

One of the most incredible adventures imaginable.

Camping Greenland Views
The views while camping in Greenland were pretty next level.

Zodiac Cruises

The team at Quark Expeditions really make the most of any opportunity to get off the ship.

While landings are usually the part of the adventure most guests look forward to, often it’s the zodiac cruises that create the most memorable moments.

These durable and zippy inflatable boats are the transport of choice in the polar regions, and in Greenland it was no different.

Almost every single day during our Greenland adventure we had the chance to jump off Ultramarine and explore the fjords and bays, either on the way to a land excursion or simply as part of a cruise.

Zipping around near icebergs (did you know that only 10% of an iceberg sits above the water??) and up close to waterfalls tumbling into the sea is a truly mesmerising experience.

Zodiac Cruising Greenland
Zodiac cruising amongst giant icebergs.

Zodiac Landings – Waterfalls and Lakes

While Jarryd was having a great time camping, I went out and did one of the shore landings by zodiac.

We pulled up at a small, grassy area that was perfect for a zodiac landing and immediately hiked up to see a glacial lake and a gorgeous waterfall.

The valley was so beautiful, and you could almost picture the glacier carving it out over thousands of years.

The expedition guides were with us the entire time too, and they love sharing their knowledge about the region.

Quark Expeditions has biologists, glaciologists, ornithologists, Arctic explorers and other experts onboard, which really adds a whole other dimension to the trip.

Zodiac Landing Greenland
One of the gorgeous locations we visited on a zodiac landing.

Arctic Paddling – Kayaking in Greenland

Being the ‘Greenland Adventure: Explore by Land, Sea and Air’ expedition, the team at Quark really make an effort to blow everybody’s minds with every activity possible.

So in true Quark fashion, they give everybody on this journey the chance to go kayaking in the Arctic.

Having kayaked in Antarctica and South Georgia, there was no way we were going to miss this included offering. And boy are we glad we went out when we did!

There are two options for kayaking in Greenland with Quark Expeditions – the dedicated sea kayaking program, where you head out every single time the conditions allow, and the paddling program, which is a one-off excursion.

Views Kayaking Greenland
You can’t beat these views when kayaking around Greenland.

The paddling, which is what we did, is done on inflatable kayaks that are designed for open seas and much easier to handle for beginners.

After our safety briefing was completed we were given our special dry suits and transported by zodiac to our kayaking zone.

The water was dead flat but the weather was foggy at first, and you could not see anything more than 50m away.

It made for really moody paddling, which we thought was actually very cool.

Icebergs emerged from the fog up ahead and our experienced guides expertly navigated us around safely and slowly.

Suddenly the clouds lifted and all these stunning icebergs and little islands appeared around us. We were in one of the most beautiful places we had ever seen.

This is what it’s like to go kayaking in Greenland!!! 

Our kayak guide Mark (who coincidentally was also our kayaking guide in Antarctica and South Georgia) showed us around the bay, past magical icebergs and even into a little cave on one of the rock islands.

It was such an incredible experience, definitely one for the bucket list.

Kayaking In Greenland Quark Expeditions
One of the coolest days out on our entire Greenland cruise – kayaking around icebergs!

The Polar Plunge

Finally, no trip to the Arctic or Antartica would be complete without doing (or at least watching other people do) the infamous ‘Polar Plunge’.

This is a jump that a lot of people want to tick off the bucket list; Jumping into icy water and celebrating your achievement.

Would you jump into the freezing cold Arctic sea?

We did not hesitate when Quark asked if anyone wanted to do the polar plunge.

The way it works is Quark Expeditions offers this activity from the ship rather than running in from land.

They setup two zodiacs in the water – one next to the gangway where you jump off from with a photographer on board to capture the moment, and one sitting off the the ship ready to offer extra assistance in case anybody needs it.

For safety you have a harness and rope attached to you, which is tied to the ship and the expedition team have a hold of this at all times to pull you in if you’re unable to swim back yourself.

It’s always a huge thrill, and pretty painful to be honest, but the bragging rights are worth it.

Alesha Polar Plunge
Alesha doing the polar plunge in Greenland. Photo by David Jaffe.

The Staff

We can’t put together a Quark Expeditions Greenland cruise review without mentioning the people that make all this possible – the staff and crew.

The Expedition Team

The logistics, planning and safety that is involved in any trip to the polar regions already requires a tremendously skilled team to execute.

Throw in helicopters, high-impact optional activities and the unpredictable weather of Greenland, and you have a very stressful and potentially dangerous recipe.

Luckily Quark Expeditions have the best team in the industry to manage it all, and this adventure was no exception.

The experienced team, led by Ali and supported by some of the most professional people imaginable (special shout out to Adrian, Sam, Samantha, the two Ryan’s, Abbie, Tara, Laurie, Ken, Noah, Simon, Dave, Jodie and Mark) made sure that every single excursion was done safely and to the highest quality possible.

Their presentations were also remarkable, adding a much deeper element to the journey by sharing their knowledge on everything from glaciers to wildlife to history and beyond.

Not only that, but they did it all with smiles on their faces and constantly providing laughs at every moment.

A very big thank you to Wayne (an Inuit man) who gave us a fascinating insight to growing up in the region when he was young and the connection he still has with his people and land today.

Travelling to the Arctic includes the people and culture, not just wildlife and landscapes, and we’re so thankful to have had Wayne with us.

Quark Expeditions Greenland Adventure By Land, Sea And Air Tour
The crew looked after us superbly on this adventure.

The Ultramarine Staff

The unsung heroes of any Quark Expeditions tour is the staff and crew who keep the operations running, the guests fed and the vessel spotless.

With the MV Ultramarine being one of the newest luxury ships in the polar regions, Quark have done everything they can to attract the best crew on the seas to match the product.

The restaurant staff are front and centre, ensuring every meal is delectable, dietary requirements catered for and wine glasses filled.

We were fortunate enough to get to know quite a lot of the restaurant and hotel staff during our month on the Ultramarine.

Thank you to Greg, Halim, Harrison, Andre, Ruslan, Kristeo, Rudy, Roberto, John, Jorje, Marielle, Princess, Ryan, Justine, Rey, Rexie, Jayson, Euegene, Mario, Junrix and everyone else – you are all amazing people and we’re so lucky to have been on your ship.

Every morning and night we’d come back to a spotless cabin as well, complete with chocolates and towel animals.

A massive thank you to Nieves. She was our room attendant but became our friend by the end of the journey.

She is the sweetest lady, always going above and beyond to make our stay comfortable.

Thank you to every staff member from the engine room to the bar on the upper deck and everyone in between. We know we’ve forgotten lots of names but you were all superb. Can’t wait to meet you all again somewhere in the world.

Ali Expedition Leader Quark
Ali, our incredible expedition leader for the Greenland Adventure tour.

Final Thoughts on Our Greenland Cruise Review with Quark Expeditions – 8.5/10

Our 9-day trip on the Greenland Adventure: Explore by Land, Sea and Air tour with Quark Expeditions really was a dream come true.

As a first trip to the Arctic it was a wonderful introduction to the region.

So who is this trip for?

If you’re looking for the wildlife the Arctic is best known for – polar bears, walrus, beluga whales, etc – then in our opinion it is better to look for a different itinerary, such as one that visits Svalbard.

That is because southern Greenland doesn’t have a lot of wildlife. That’s not to say you won’t see the above, but it is rare.

If you’re looking for epic landscapes and true adventure though, with the possibility to do things very, very few people in the world get to do such as camping, helicopter sightseeing, mountain biking and alpine kayaking in Greenland, then this itinerary is for you.

And if you like luxury, then being onboard the Ultramarine is a real joy.

With a starting price of less than USD$8,000 per person too, it’s a pretty affordable way to go on Greenland adventure cruise with one of the world’s best polar exploration companies.

We give our Greenland cruise review with Quark Expeditions 8.5/10.

DISCLAIMER: Our Greenland cruise was made possible thanks to our partnership with Quark Expeditions. All thoughts, opinions and screams of joy made during the helicopter flights are, as always, our own.

Iceberg In Greenland
Greenland – where icebergs are born.

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