In the Wake of the Vikings: Iceland & Greenland Cruise (2016)
Aug 16 – 27, 2016
A&K’s 2016 Iceland & Greenland cruise departed on August 16, and we will be providing daily cruise updates on the blog. Check back often under A&K’s Trip Logs.
After assembling at Radisson 1919 Hotel in the attractive city center of Reykjavik, the capital of the Icelandic Republic. Our friendly A&K representatives checked us in before we were free to roam the small but quaint city center. The town also had a number of shops with a wide range of souvenirs, including beautiful Icelandic woolen jumpers. During the brief rain showers we were thankful to pack a rain jacket in our carry-ons (our main luggage had been collected earlier and taken directly to ‘Le Boreal’.
By lunchtime we were ready to dine in the wonderful restaurant in Hotel Borg, prior to an excellent walking tour throughout the historic city center, our local guides imparted much of the history and culture of Iceland.
Following this we boarded the coaches to transfer to the small port of Hafnarfjördur, on the outskirts of the capital where our stunning luxury vessel ‘Le Boreal’ lay in wait. After being welcomed by the Captain at the gangway we were shown to our cabins and then able to enjoy afternoon in the Grand Salon, greeting the other passengers. Our luggage, parkas and boots were already waiting for us in our cabins, distributed by the expedition staff whilst we had been enjoying the sights of Reykjavik.
Before setting sail, we participated in a life-boat drill which was shortly followed by an introduction to ‘Le Boreal’, and the A&K Expedition Staff with our Cruise Director Jannie Cloete, and our expedition leader Aaron Russ. Dinner was served soon after in both restaurants – La Licorne and La Boussole – which provided a fabulous menu to start our cruise. Most retired shortly after dinner, ready to rest for a full day of adventure on the remote Westman Islands the next morning.
This morning at 10am among the fog and mist ‘Le Boreal’ docked at Heimaey Island. Although only four miles in length, this island captured our attention in the form of expansive lava fields and rich history. As recently as 1973, Heimaey’s shape and size were dramatically altered by a volcanic flow. At the time of the eruption, luckily all of the island’s ships were in harbor due to a storm the night before. This allowed the town to safely evacuate the island. Despite American doubts, Icelanders used sea water to cool the encroaching lava flow and subsequently were able to save the fish factories and much of the town including the harbor. Today in town you can still see black poles that mark the height of the ash that settled during the eruption.
Promptly after a delicious lunch aboard `Le Boreal’, we set off on our first zodiac cruise of the expedition. Even through a slight drizzle we were still able to see a myriad of Icelandic wildlife amongst the spectacular basaltic sea cliffs. Despite coming to the close of the breeding season for sea birds, Atlantic Puffin, Black Guillemot, Great Skua, Black-backed Gull, Iceland Gull and Black-legged Kittiwake were still spotted in numbers. In addition, Icelandic Sheep could be seen precariously perched on the green pastures that adorned the summits of these isolated mountainsides.
Once all aboard, and having made the scenic passage out of Heimaey harbor, we continued south-westerly through the Westman Islands. Jason Hicks, our onboard geologist then gave his talk ‘Forming an Ocean: Birth of the Atlantic’. This talk presented a number of geological principles in a simple manner and then used these to explain the birth of the Atlantic Ocean, including the huge implications this had on Greenland and Iceland, which of course was highly topical!
As soon as Jason’s talk had finished there was an announcement that we had approached some isolated islets that were home to thousands of breeding pairs of Northern Gannet, an elegant seabird that specialises in steep flying dives. The rocky outcrops were awash with activity, with chicks stretching their wings, and a plethora of adults were flying very close to the ship. Soon after our Captain made a further excited public announcement to inform us that a number of Killer Whale had been spotted close to the ship, which included two large males and a calf of the year. The pod came extremely close to the ship and we were rewarded with many excellent photo opportunities, the maelstrom of diving Gannets added further to all the excitement.
This activity was so good that we were all (including the Captain) slightly delayed for the celebrations of the start of our voyage. However, it was not long until Captain Etienne Garcia’s welcome cocktail party and gala dinner was in full swing. First gathering in the theatre, where the captain introduced himself and the principal officers of the ship, before continuing with a delicious banquet in the main restaurant.
Sailing westward, the clocks went back an hour last night and we were treated to an extra hour in bed before breakfast. Our first enrichment lecture of the cruise was given by our Viking expert, Einar Karason, entitled ‘The Viking Age in General’. This provided all the basics we needed to understand how they came to reside on Iceland and then colonize Greenland. He also detailed the numerous impressive feats of the Vikings within this period and how they were revolutionary seafarers.
Following Einar’s talk the naturalists, along with the photo coaches, were out poolside on deck 6 watching for whales and observing the seabirds flying along with the ship in the warm sunshine. This provided great views and photographic opportunities of numerous seabirds, including Northern Fulmar, Black-legged Kittiwake, Greater Skua and for some lucky individuals a glimpse at a distant blow from an unseen whale.
Prior to lunch our marine mammal specialist, Sabina Leader-Mense, gave her talk ‘Marine Mammals: The Arctic Cast’. This provided an insight into their unique evolutionary adaptations that make them so suitable for such a harsh environment, along with a number of other quirky fun facts.
First to speak in the afternoon was our photo coach, Richard Harker, who gave his talk ‘Arctic Photography 1: Taking Charge’, which provided all the essential knowledge required to make the most out of whatever camera you had to capture the experience of being in the Arctic. We then had great opportunity to take advantage of these new tips and join the photo coaches and naturalists out on deck.
Freshly prepared crepes were available in the Grand Salon before our final talk of the day, given by our botanist, Dagmar Hagen. Her talk, entitled ‘Arctic Vegetation and Flora’ presented an overview to the types of ecozones and vegetation will have already seen and will see throughout our time in Iceland and Greenland, including some of the difficulties the Arctic flora faces in the future and the challenges of managing this.
Soon after Dagmar’s talk we gathered for our first recap and briefing of the cruise. Suzana Machado D’Oliveira quickly introduced the purpose of the recap and briefing. Richard Harker made sure we were all aware of the A&K photo competition. Our ornithologist, Patricia Silva, gave us more details about the Northern Gannets we saw the previous evening, including the impressive speed in which they hit the water and how they have evolved to cope with such stress. Dagmar Hagen detailed the biological succession of Surtsey and how it has been monitored from the very first plant to the developing community that currently exists. Finally, our expedition leader Aaron Russ gave the briefing on tomorrow before revealing that an optional kayaking tour had been arranged for one of our visits in south-east Greenland. Then as we were now entering the Arctic we went through the AECO briefing to ensure we have no negative effects on the environment we have all come to experience and enjoy.
The evening’s entertainment was a classical music recital with the talented pianist Elena Korevena playing in the Theatre as ‘Le Boreal’ continued across the Denmark Strait.
Due to the headwind we experienced the previous day we awoke to another morning at sea, enjoying the comfort of ‘Le Boreal’. However, another fascinating morning of talks were organised for our enjoyment. This began with our historian, Bob Burton, and his talk ‘The Slow Race to the North Pole’. This described a number of the expeditions from the earliest ventures into the Arctic Ocean to the more recent geopolitical interest in the pole itself. It also touched upon the often disastrous outcomes of a number of these expeditions.
The naturalists and photo coaches were out on deck again for much of the morning and from mid-morning the rugged and inhospitable coastline of south-east Greenland was clearly visible on the horizon. The bullion available in the Grand Salon was the perfect recipe for warming up cold hands and feet after having spent time on deck admiring the distant mountains and glaciers.
Next to speak was our resident ornithologist, Patricia Silva, with her lecture ‘All about Auks’. This provided an insight into the different species within this fascinating family of seabirds known as ‘the penguins of the North’; reminding us of the species we had seen in Iceland and building our excitement to observe more of these beautiful animals on the water.
Just prior to lunch there was an opportunity for those travelling solo to meet other like-minded travellers in the Observation Bar, however at this time a large pod of Long-finned Pilot whales was spotted from the bridge. At the same time a pod of White-Beaked Dolphins was also spotted, resulting in a fantastic opportunity to see these open sea marine mammals in action and a very exciting end to the morning.
After lunch our Norse specialist, Einar Karason, presented his talk ‘How Greenland was found and Settled’. He further discussed the movement of the Norse across from Norway to Iceland and then onwards to Greenland and explained why this movement occurred. The importance of walrus ivory to the Vikings was also highlighted, which would have contributed to the Norse settlement of Greenland.
After lunch ‘Le Boreal’ entered the Lindenow Fjord complex and we were welcomed to the Greenlandic coast by Humpback Whales which were pectoral fin slapping the water and even breaching! Jason Hicks, our geologist, described how the fjord was formed and why it was as deep as 800 m in places. Not long after this the Zodiacs were lowered and we embarked on our first landing on Greenland, the world’s largest island. After a long cruise amid towering mountains and spectacular glacial scenery we arrived at the head of a small side fjord. Here, were had the opportunity to observe plant succession between different moraines (ridges of sediment pushed-up by a glacier), which indicate different time periods, which our botanist Dagmar was all too pleased to point out. After a walk across undulating terrain we even able to walk up a valley glacier to a high point, which provided stunning 3D views all around.
Once all aboard we had our expedition recap. Bob Burton started with the harrowing story of the ill-fated Saloman Andrée and his hydrogen air balloon in which he attempted to reach the North Pole in 1897. He also detailed the heart-breaking story of one of the men, Nils Strindberg, who was never seen by his beloved fiancé again. Sabina Leader-Mense then discussed the various marine mammals we had seen on our voyage so far and pleaded for any photographs that may help scientists better understand Killer Whales. One of our naturalists, David Burton, then drew our attention to the BBC documentary being shown in the theatre later in the evening which was a long-term project that he worked on in Greenland the first time he visited the island. Finally, our expedition leader, Aaron Russ briefed us on the plans for tomorrow.
We awoke to bright sunshine and the placid waters of Prins Christian Sund, which provides a shortcut from the Irminger Sea to the Labrador Sea and avoids having to pass around Cape Farewell. The mountains towered on either side of the ship, reaching over 1200 m in height and shortly after breakfast ‘Le Boreal’ manoeuvred into one of the northerly trending offshoots with a steep tidewater glacier for a Zodiac cruise.
The cruise provided spectacular scenery and photographic opportunities, with the strong sunshine really bringing out the blue colour within the ice. In addition, we were treated to a rare interaction with a number of incredibly curious young Bearded Seals that would pop up on either side of the Zodiacs, taking a good look at us. The air escaping from the ice floating on the surface was clearly audible as it snapped, cracked and pop, releasing gases that had been trapped for hundreds, if not thousands, of years. To top it all off we were able to witness some large calving events, including the extraordinary large noise these create and the large waves that can be produced.
Following our mornings excursion, we continued our route along the very scenic Prins Christian Sund in more spectacular weather, with crystal blue fjord water, narrowing to just 500 m in width in places! The weather was so nice, many of us decided to take our lunch outside on Deck 6 aft and soak up some of the sun. As we continued westwards, we also passed our first Greenlandic village, Aappilattoq, which seemed so small and remote but at the same time beautiful and peaceful in the afternoon sun. Our on-board geologist, Jason Hicks, was in his element throughout the passage, providing commentary on the geological processes that had produced the surrounding mountains and highlighting some of the glacial features and processes that were evident in the many glaciers we passed.
After exiting out of the beautiful passages we emerged on the west coast of Greenland. As the sea fog enveloped ‘Le Boreal’ we were entertained by our ornithologist, Patricia Silva, with her talk ‘Birds of the Arctic: Greenland’. This provided an insight into the different species we could see during our time on and around Greenland, building our excitement to observe these animals on the water or potentially even a Gyrfalcon on land.
Next to speak was our photo coach, Richard Harker, on ‘Tips and Tricks of Arctic Photography: Going Beyond the Basics’ and how to make a good photo great. This talk included an informal workshop with a question and answer session. Michelle Valberg, the Nikon ambassador, followed on from this by giving a talk on Composition.
After dinner we had the chance for an evening stroll to the hot springs of Unnartoq. The Guest Relations and Spa Team on “le Boreal’ had done a beautiful job preparing the site for our visit. In the growing dusk candles lit our path up to the pools and many of us took the opportunity to strip off into our swimming costumes and, despite not being very hot, enjoy the comfortably warm baths. The towels were prepared for us and hot chocolate was waiting for when we plucked up enough courage to leave the warm pools, before we were quickly whisked away on the Zodiacs back to a well-lit ‘Le Boreal’. Having safely emerged out of the darkness many of took the opportunity to celebrate the unique evening with a drink at the bar.
After a slightly quicker breakfast than normal we were treated to a special guest lecture by local Norse expert Kenneth Hoegh, who gave a fascinating talk on the Norse who settled southern Greenland from 980 AD. He described the way of life for these perhaps not-so-isolated people and how they came to be able to build large churches on the wealthiest farms. Kenneth also put forward his own opinion on what caused the unknown disappearance of the Norse from Greenland seemingly prior to 1500 AD.
Following Kenneth’s talk we were able to change into our expedition parkas and boots before boarding the Zodiacs and heading ashore to the ruins of an old Norse farm that formed part of what was known as the Eastern Settlement. This farmstead is particularly notable because it has the impressive ruins of Hvalsey church, with 1.5 m thick walls that still in places reach up to 6 m in height. Over by the farm buildings there is also the ruin of a Feast Hall, one of only four in Greenland, and so there must have been a very important noble or chieftain living here at the roughly 500 years the farm operated. Kenneth continued to point out details and really made the site come alive for us. Dagmar and Patricia were additionally able to point out a number of plant and bird species respectively in the warmth of south Greenland.
Once back on-board we were treated to a splendid BBQ out on deck 6 aft. The warmth continued and many of us chose to sit on the outside seating to enjoy yet another great meal and effort by the galley team.
Before we knew it we had arrived at Qaqortoq, formerly Julianehåb. Using the ships tenders to disembark we were all rapidly ashore and relishing exploring the town in the warm sunshine. We had a walking tour through the town to see some of the key sites and hear a little about the history and way of life for the 3500 residents. We were able to explore museum that was open for us before having some free time to continue absorbing the town and its culture, for some of us this included tasting local Greenlandic beer at the pub in the small town square.
In the evening the recap and briefing started with our photographer, Richard Harker, whom presented a short talk on ‘iPhoneography’, explaining how to make the most out of all the options available on iPhone, iPad and other pieces of technology that we often have with us and thus often use to take their photos nowadays. Two special guests then introduced their exciting local cosmetic product InuaCare, inspired by Greenland, which we had the unique opportunity to purchase after the recap. Aaron Russ then briefed us on our planned visit to Brattahlid, a famous Norse site, and then Narsaq, with the exciting kayaking program that many of us had signed up for tomorrow afternoon.
To ensure we have the opportunity to maximize our time with the expedition team our botanist, Dagmar Hagen, presented her talk ‘Gone with the wind’, which examined the plant species in the Arctic and looked at the techniques they use for survival in such a harsh climate and the issues of managing and protecting this biodiversity.
We awoke to yet another day of splendid weather in southern Greenland. Temperatures were in excess of 10°C (52°F) and there was bright sunshine throughout the course of the day!
Our morning excursion was to the site where Eric the Red, remembered for being the first to found continuous settlements on Greenland in 985 AD. We were welcomed ashore by our friendly and knowledgeable local guide who took us around the settlement, that is now known as Brattahild. This included a look at a reconstructed church and longhouse. These were erected to celebrate 1000 years of Christianity in Greenland. The area was the oldest church that has been excavated within the old Norse settlements and was constructed for Eric the Red’s wife. In addition, we stopped at a viewpoint with a statue to Leif Ericsson, Eric the Red’s son and the first to ‘discover’ the Americas. At the local hostel we were also treated to samples of traditional Greenlandic gastronomy. The menu included the unique opportunity to try Arctic Char, seal, caribou, Minke Whale, Narwhal skin. Many of these dishes has mixed reviews but the slightly less daring were able to enjoy the fresh kaffemik carrot cake and enjoy watching the expressions of those sampling some of the odder dishes available. Once back on board the BBC Operation Iceberg: Part 2 was shown in the Theatre.
During lunch ‘Le Boreal’ re-positioned to the small town of Narsaq. We were welcomed by our local guides to this picturesque town and able to go for a walking tour to see the local sights and learn some of the history and culture. A Zodiac cruise amongst the iceberg-studded fjords surrounding the town was also offered and this provided magnificent views in the sunshine, with fantastic photographic opportunities of the ever-changing ice. The rich blue colours from the strong sunlight penetrating through the ice could be observed, as well as a number of other glacial and iceberg related features. Some groups were even fortunate enough to see icebergs that had particularly enchanting structures so as a large arch in the centre.
Those of us that decided to sign-up for the kayaking programme were also able to enjoy the unique opportunity to kayak amongst the icebergs. This was particularly fitting because the kayak was created by Inuit people and was one of the key pieces of equipment to establish a successful civilisation in the harsh Arctic regions.
Prior to dinner the expedition recap and briefing was given, with our expedition leader, Arron Russ, detailing our plans for the visit to the historical site of Ivigtut tomorrow morning. Then after another fabulous dinner we were treated to Bob Burton, our Historian, giving his talk ‘The Sad but Fascinating History of Whaling’. This examined the motivations and driving forces for such an industry. Bob then moved on to describe the various methods used and how these evolved over the centuries before briefly noting present day whaling practices and posing the question of what the future should hold for these magnificent animals of the ocean.
After a slightly later breakfast we were ready for our only excursion of the day. This was a unique opportunity to visit the abandoned cryolite mine of Ivigtût. It is also the site of the Middle Settlement of the Norse settlers, and thus again relevant to our voyage ‘In the Wake of the Vikings.
The array of buildings provided excellent photographic opportunities within the town itself and a number of Arctic Hare were spotted hopping around. Our geologist, Jason Hicks, was also in his element, examining the vast array of minerals present and sharing his knowledge to anyone who was interested. Four Muskox were also spotted high up on steep slopes that surround Ivigtût, and a number of us were able to walk up to high viewpoint for the best possible views of these rather elusive creatures. There was also an option for a walk through the tundra around the dammed lake, where a large amount of wild bilberries were on offer for any famished hikers to devour. In the distance the old US naval base, Bluie West 7.
As ‘Le Boreal’ made its way down the fjord towards open sea another herd of Muskox were discovered and our Captain skilfully guided ‘Le Boreal’ in providing a marvellous view. All eight Muskox were visible, including a smaller calf. We even were able to sail closer than many of us managed to get to the four at Ivigtût and they did not even seem too concerned. As we finished our lunch we continued sailing towards open sea.
By the time our geologist, Jason Hicks, was on stage for his talk ‘The Greenland Time Machine’, we could start to feel the motion of the ocean. He explained how ice sheets and glaciers across the globe respond sensitively to changes in climate, and that the current warming trend is reflected with extensive melting of the Greenland ice-sheet as well as the associated release of icebergs into the North Atlantic. Evidence for these changes in our climate is recorded in ice cores from the Greenland ice-sheet that date back over 100,000 years and even further from Antarctica.
During the afternoon our team of naturalists were out on deck looking for wildlife and viewing the rugged coastline of Greenland go past. As per usual afternoon tea was provided in the Grand Salon, however as a special treat it was supplemented with the sumptuous Laduree macaroons!
Our second enrichment lecture of the day was from our marine mammologist, Sabina Leader-Mesne, ‘Mammalia Martimus: The Evolution of Marine Mammals’. This explored the evolutionary biology of marine mammals and demonstrated how it is an exciting and dynamic field. The first terrestrial fossil links for cetaceans and pinnipeds was just uncovered in 2007, with acheaocete whale fossils date back 55 million years ago and archaic pinnipeds to 25 million years ago.
Prior to recap our Marco Polo members were welcomed to a cocktail party in La Licrone restaurant. Following this our recap started with naturalist David Burton giving a brief summary of Greenland’s role in World War II, this was followed by our historian Bob Burton, who gave an account of his personal experiences with muskox and the uses for their ultra-fine wool. Einar Karasson then described the last time he visited Ivigtût, 42 years ago! We were then given a briefing by Aaron Russ on the plans for visiting the sprawling metropolis of Nuuk tomorrow.
The after dinner entertainment was provided in another fantastic classical music recital with Elena Koreneva on piano.
During breakfast ‘Le Boreal’ docked alongside the bustling port of Nuuk, the sprawling capital of Greenland and home to around 17,000 inhabitants. Soon after arrival we were able to board our sightseeing buses for a tour of the world’s northernmost capital. Our first stop was on the outskirts of town at Qinngorput, the newest suburb. Our guides were proud to show how living conditions in the city were being improved and how these sleek new buildings were the sign of a better, although busier, future. Next we went through one of the suburbs that was built in the 70s and looked out over the colourful graveyard to a mountain with spiritual importance to the local Inuit. Finally, we stopped at the colonial harbour, the heart of old town Nuuk.
The tour also included a guided visit to the National Museum of Greenland. There were a number of fascinating displays from early settlement, including Palaeo-Eskimo, Norse settlers, Thule Inuit and Danish colonisers. It provided a view on daily life within the colony and examined traditional transportation with the umiaq and kayak vessels. However, the highlight for many were the unique Qilakitsoq Thule mummies on display that were preserved remarkably well for approximately 600 years by the cold dry environment.
Finally, we walked to the brand new cultural house, that was provided as a gift from the Nordic countries, to enjoy a lunch of Greenlandic Tapas. This included a caribou curry, whale with peas and onions, smoked Muskox, Greenlandic shrimp in a croissant, local scallops and seaweed, smoked fish. For those that were less inclined to try some of the local delicacies again they could easily catch the shuttle bus back to ‘Le Boreal’ and enjoy the fine French cuisine that we have been enjoying so much aboard. Following lunch, we had a few hours of free time to explore further the town centre, many of us also took this opportunity to examine the extraordinary National Museum.
Once all aboard we were able to watch our departure down the beautiful fjords away from Nuuk, with a number of us choosing to do so whilst enjoying the warm sunshine from our balconies or out on the open decks. There was also a fruit carving demonstration for our entertainment in the Grand Salon prior to an enrichment lecture. This was given by our photo coach, Richard Harker, and our Nikon ambassador, Michelle Valberg, and was entitled ‘Workflow and Processing – Turning Good Photos into Great Photos!’.
In the evening we were invited to Captain Etienne Garcia’s Farwell Cocktail Party in the Theatre. Despite it not being our last evening on board it was felt hosting everyone tonight would allow everyone to pack the following day. After a touching speech the Captain introduced a large amount of his crew so that we could show our appreciation to all their hard work throughout the course of our voyage. We then made our way downstairs to La Licorne restaurant for another exquisitely prepared meal in the form of the Captain’s Farwell Dinner. Again the talented crew of ‘Le Boreal’ provided fantastic evening entertainment with the Paris C’ Show Dancers and our singer Giliola in the Theatre.
This morning we cruised into the spectacular Kangerlussuaq fjord, a nice reprieve from the open water of the previous day. As a bid farewell to Greenland, we spent the morning and early afternoon exploring the flora and fauna of the longest fjord of western Greenland. The Arctic tundra landscape offered a unique diversity of geology to scramble over and streams to cross. Our landing site was complete with an awe inspiring glacier, hot chocolate and mimosas, served by our bar staff on the beach.
Following lunch, our cruise director Jannie Cloete gave the disembarkation briefing, during which the dispositions of luggage and guests continuing on our charter flight and the Saga Hotel in Reykjavik were clarified.
Jason Hicks gave the last enrichment lecture of the cruise with his talk ‘Climate Change – Ancient Records, Modern Reality’. Jason shared that the Earth’s geological and climatological records contain a rich story of climate change, spanning hundreds of millions of years. This record can help reveal many things about the scope of the challenges we face in the present and are likely to come to face in the future.
Soon after we gathered for one last time in the Theatre for our final expedition recap. The ‘Le Boreal’ crew welfare fund raffle was drawn, raising over 1600 Euros for a worthy cause. The money from the fund contributes to the needs of the hard working souls aboard. Sharon Caplin (501) was the lucky passenger to take home the uniquely painted navigational chart of our voyage. A brilliant slideshow of our expedition so far and our time aboard ‘Le Boreal’, from Reykjavik to Kangerlussuaq was presented by Richard Escanilla. Photos taken by guides and guests alike were included in this excellent last recap.
Soon after six o’clock ‘Le Boreal’ crossed the Arctic Circle and we all celebrated with a champagne toast and a group photo out on deck in spectacular sunshine. A giant French flag was also on display as Captain Etienne Garcia gave a speech and opened a bottle of champagne sabrage-style. The crew created a sign and this was put on display for any of those that liked to take a photograph with it, marking this momentous occasion.
The day started with an early wake-up call and, for those that had not already done so, placing the checked luggage outside of their cabins before going to breakfast. Soon after the check-in opened we were able to ensure our checked bags would be transferred to our charter flight, later in the day.
Once check-in was complete we were able to disembark ‘Le Boreal’ and continue on our day tours with peace of mind. There were two options for people to choose from. The first was towards the Greenland Ice Sheet, which covers the vast majority of Greenland. Despite a rather long journey in the tundra buggies the scenery was stunning and the journey was well worth it. Others chose for a less strenuous sight-seeing tour of the small community of Kangerlussuaq, which provided a number of scenic views.
After lunch in the scenic surrounds of the lakeside Rowing Club of Kangerlussuaq it became apparent that strikes in France were going to cause some delays with our flight to Reykjavik. To fill some of the time Einar Karrasson gave his last talk on the Norse in Greenland prior to our departure to the airport. Soon after it became apparent that the strikes in France were having significant consequences for our charter flight with Air Greenland. After much negotiation an agreement was made and we were able to board a plane that was to take us to Reykjavik before continuing to Copenhagen with regular passengers. We arrived significantly later than usual, however thanks to the hard work from A&K we were still all able to make our connecting flights and our eventful day can be remembered as an adventure in its own right!