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Iceland and Greenland excursions...?

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We're booked to go to Iceland and Greenland on the Marco Polo in July and was wondering if anyone has any advice/suggestions with regards excursions, especially in Greenland as we have already been to Iceland a couple of times so know what to do there, and where to go.

 

As with most cruises the excursions can be expensive, and in some cases not really worth the expense, you're better off "doing your own thing". 

 

We mainly like to explore locally but if there is anything that previous visitors to Greenland feel is perhaps a 'must do' item, we'd be interested to know, or if anyone thinks its just as well to explore ourselves we'd also appreciate your advice and/or suggestions for where to go and what to see......or alternatively, where not to go to save you the time and effort for no real reward.

 

Thanks

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We did Greenland with Fred about 3 years ago.  I see you are going further north than we did, but we did visit Narasrsuaq, Nanortalik and Qaqortoq.  I would definitely recommend doing The Ice Fjiord boat trip from Narsarsuaq.  It is only done by one company and all the boats were booked out to Fred, so no chance of booking independently - I assume it will be the same for you.  You do sail past the end of that fjiord to get to/from Narsarsuaq, so you see the grounded icebergs, but it is not the same as winding your way between them on a small boat.  We booked that as soon as the trips came on sale and got an earlish morning one, so that gave us time to go into the village and walk up a hill there for some great views later in the day.  They had sold out of that trip early, but did manage to secure more on the day so everyone who wanted to go on it did, though some people had poor timings, so they did not have time to go ashore on their own as well.

 

There were no trips in Nanortalik, but certain things were put on for us on that day, so we all want over by tender and saw what was on offer, which was very good indeed for a 'free' day.  We did a home visit trip (for tea and cakes) in Qaqortoq, again going off on our own afterwards and enjoyed our time there as well.  We managed all 3 ports + Prins Kristian Sund, which was brilliant.  It is a great place to visit and the ice pilot said we were very lucky getting into everywhere as often ports can be missed due to ice or other problems.

 

You will love Greenland,

 

Barbara

Edited by tring

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Thanks for the information Barbara. Much appreciated.

 

You're probably right about certain excursions being taken up by the cruise ship, or ships, should there be others there at the same time, given they all seem to play follow the leader most of the time, so more research is required to see if there's any real 'must do's' among them. However, as mentioned in another, related thread, we have seen similar sights elsewhere, and whilst I accept they each have their own special 'wow' factor, it remains to be seen whether we feel the need to be 'wowed' again, or whether we'll be happy to 'go local' and see how the locals live.....and eat..?

 

I know the weather can be a deciding factor in all these situations, and even the best laid plans of mice and men can often fall foul of mother nature....I guess its often a 'pays your money, takes your chance' thing. We've sadly had this experience a few times and know only too well how disappointed it can feel when you've set your heart on doing something special, only to be to told its not going to happen. Still we live in hope...!

 

I'm sure Greenland will surpass our expectations and we'll doubtless enjoy whatever we do, or don't, as the case maybe. 

 

Happy travels

 

  

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I’m also on the July Greenland cruise and hoping to do some independent touring. However, I know that opportunities will be limited, especially if tour operators are booked out by the cruise line. 

I think we just need to wait a few more weeks till the excursions become available. I like to plan ahead so the hanging on is a bit frustrating!

see you on board Cell2200

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19 minutes ago, Kristal Blade said:

I’m also on the July Greenland cruise and hoping to do some independent touring. However, I know that opportunities will be limited, especially if tour operators are booked out by the cruise line. 

I think we just need to wait a few more weeks till the excursions become available. I like to plan ahead so the hanging on is a bit frustrating!

see you on board Cell2200

I agree, it is a tad frustrating having to wait but as they say...."all good things come to those who wait"...at least that's what I'm hoping anyway.

 

Still doing a bit of holiday research but that's all part of the adventure I think. Planning back ups just in case the excursions we may want to go on are full. 

 

May well see you aboard....especially given that she's not a big ship.

 

Norm

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Hi Norm,

hopefully we will be able to meet on board, as you say, she is a small ship.

I have had a look on the CMV website, although the tours aren’t available for booking they do have descriptions of possible tours at each stop.

 

In Shetland I think it will be easy to use the local buses to get around. CM V has a tour to the town of Scalloway, but it is a 25 minute ride by local bus so an easy do on your own.

 

i was given a tip for a Greenland tour company recently so I am checking that out today and I will let you know if it is any good.

cheers,

Libby

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Hi Libby

 

Would certainly be interested in any recommendations, so look forward to hearing from you.

 

I'm sure that in small ports such as Scalloway it will be just as easy, and probably cheaper, to do it on your own. We've found this many times on bigger ships where it feels like you spend half the day just waiting to get off the ship in your allotted groups, whereas the independents are long gone...!

 

Personally, we do like to explore at our own pace, seeing what we want to see, but sometimes its also a fools errand and there's so little to do and see that you miss out altogether...been there, done that...!

 

Have a great day

 

Norm

 

 

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Not sure if anyone is interested in booking trips yet, but I have started looking and found this boat trip from Ilulissat....

 

 
3.500 DKK

Ilulissat is Greenlandic for "icebergs". And the icebergs is the experience of many tours. The beautiful ice is also why the Ilulissat Icefjord is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This cruise takes you to one of the most beautiful places in the area; the mouth of the icefiord, where a large submercial moraine beaches the large icebergs in rows - before they embark on their journey out into the Atlantic.

 

The glacier producing icebergs is called Sermeq Kujalleq. It is located approx. 70 km inside the ice fjord, where all sailing is impossible. It is the most productive glacier in the Northern Hemisphere and the world's fastest ice stream with 40 meters per day. Ice production is 46 cubic kilometres per year (equivalent to U.S. annual water consumption). The largest icebergs are 1.5 cubic kilometres.

 

There is only one thing to say - this natural phenomenon and these icebergs has to be seen.

 

Duration: 2 hours

Difficulty: Easy

Period: 1 May - 31 October

 

The price includes:

Two hours of sailing by  the icebergs (Start and end in Ilulissat) with guidance along the way.

 
The price is for 6 passengers, about £75 each I think. I did a conversion, but can’t remember the exact pricing.
 
i haven’t checked availability, just wanted to see if anyone would be interested in joining us. 
Also I have no idea how this price compares to the cost for a ship tour.
have a good weekend,
Libby
 
Edited by Kristal Blade

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7 hours ago, Kristal Blade said:

Not sure if anyone is interested in booking trips yet, but I have started looking and found this boat trip from Ilulissat....

 

 
3.500 DKK

Ilulissat is Greenlandic for "icebergs". And the icebergs is the experience of many tours. The beautiful ice is also why the Ilulissat Icefjord is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This cruise takes you to one of the most beautiful places in the area; the mouth of the icefiord, where a large submercial moraine beaches the large icebergs in rows - before they embark on their journey out into the Atlantic.

 

The glacier producing icebergs is called Sermeq Kujalleq. It is located approx. 70 km inside the ice fjord, where all sailing is impossible. It is the most productive glacier in the Northern Hemisphere and the world's fastest ice stream with 40 meters per day. Ice production is 46 cubic kilometres per year (equivalent to U.S. annual water consumption). The largest icebergs are 1.5 cubic kilometres.

 

There is only one thing to say - this natural phenomenon and these icebergs has to be seen.

 

Duration: 2 hours

Difficulty: Easy

Period: 1 May - 31 October

 

The price includes:

Two hours of sailing by  the icebergs (Start and end in Ilulissat) with guidance along the way.

 
The price is for 6 passengers, about £75 each I think. I did a conversion, but can’t remember the exact pricing.
 
i haven’t checked availability, just wanted to see if anyone would be interested in joining us. 
Also I have no idea how this price compares to the cost for a ship tour.
have a good weekend,
Libby
 

Hi Libby

 

Sounds like an interesting trip. Thanks for the information.

 

We could be interested but would like to see how it comperes with the ships excursion too.

 

Will keep in contact and see how things go nearer the time, if that's OK?

 

Thanks

 

Norm

 

 

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No problem Norm,

I’m not booking anything till I get ship prices for comparison.

Also have to get 6 people to go to split costs effectively and our roll call isn’t exactly busy!

Let’s just wait and see,

Libby

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Hi Libby and Norm,

 

You might want to post your inquiries and private shore excursion offers on the roll call for this cruise. The roll call activity will increase when the CMV shore excursions become available and the embarkation date approaches. I haven't studied the shore excursions yet, but I will be posting information to the roll call about a pre-cruise private tour to Bath, Stonehenge, and Windsor on Friday, 19 July. I doubt that any UK folks would be interested, but someone arriving early from a foreign country (very few of us) might be interested.

 

Regards,

Coco

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6 hours ago, CocoLocomotion said:

Hi Libby and Norm,

 

You might want to post your inquiries and private shore excursion offers on the roll call for this cruise. The roll call activity will increase when the CMV shore excursions become available and the embarkation date approaches. I haven't studied the shore excursions yet, but I will be posting information to the roll call about a pre-cruise private tour to Bath, Stonehenge, and Windsor on Friday, 19 July. I doubt that any UK folks would be interested, but someone arriving early from a foreign country (very few of us) might be interested.

 

Regards,

Coco

Okey dokey Coco,

 

I'm just hanging on now till our excursions are advertised. I have posted on the roll call, but it is a bit dead right now. Let’s hope the posting of excursions resurrects it!

 

cheers, Libby 

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8 hours ago, Kristal Blade said:

Okey dokey Coco,

 

I'm just hanging on now till our excursions are advertised. I have posted on the roll call, but it is a bit dead right now. Let’s hope the posting of excursions resurrects it!

 

cheers, Libby 

I did look at the Roll Call thingy and agree it is a bit spartan at the moment. Whether that will change the nearer we get to sail day remains to be seen I guess. I hope so as it would be nice to share information before we go.

 

As an aside, I do find navigating this site a tad confusing.....but that's just me.

 

It's a waiting game for us all.....!

 

As for pre-cruise tours Coco.....we'll be arriving from Sydney shortly before sail day but will be catching up with family prior to, and post cruise. Hopefully you'll have some interested parties looking to see the wonderful sights of good old Blighty and who will be only too keen to join you for a private tour.

 

Norm

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I agree Norm,

this site is no longer as easy to use as it once was. My app doesn’t work and logging in and out is a nuisance.

 

moaning over!

see you in a few months,

Libby

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7 hours ago, Kristal Blade said:

I agree Norm,

this site is no longer as easy to use as it once was. My app doesn’t work and logging in and out is a nuisance.

 

moaning over!

see you in a few months,

Libby

Strangely comforting to hear this Libby.....I thought it was just me and the ever fading grey cells....!

 

See you soon

 

Norm

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I agree about the changed access to the forums. I liked using the now-defunct app. I would pop into the forums daily and now it is closer to weekly.

 

The roll call for last year's Greenland cruise had a lot of activity. Some tour ideas may be useful.

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On 5/6/2019 at 10:04 PM, Cell2200 said:

Strangely comforting to hear this Libby.....I thought it was just me and the ever fading grey cells....!

 

See you soon

 

Norm

Hi again Norm,

 

over on the roll roll call I have posted the trip details and had interest from several people. I’m trying to put a trip together now. I’m not trying to force your hand, but if you want me to add you to the group please let me know.

 

thanks, Libby

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Excursions are available to book now on your CMV log in page.

 

i have pre booked about trip in Narsarsuaq for £100 each. Don’t fancy any of the others.

 

Libby

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We've just received the brochure and will be studying it over the weekend trying to decide what, if any of the excursions we may want to book.....providing of course they still have places.

 

I know it can be a bit of a race against time with these things, but even if we do miss out I'm sure we'll find other things to do.

 

Nice to see you've been proactive and booked your tour, and I'm sure you'll have a wonderful time. 

 

Getting a little closer now......!

 

See you all soon.

 

Norm

 

 

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On 5/10/2019 at 10:07 PM, Cell2200 said:

We've just received the brochure and will be studying it over the weekend trying to decide what, if any of the excursions we may want to book.....providing of course they still have places.

 

I know it can be a bit of a race against time with these things, but even if we do miss out I'm sure we'll find other things to do.

 

Nice to see you've been proactive and booked your tour, and I'm sure you'll have a wonderful time. 

 

Getting a little closer now......!

 

See you all soon.

 

Norm

 

 

You got a brochure? Well, I have just had to scroll through on my iPad! Brochure would be so much easier.

 

Never mind, I still managed to pre book a boat trip in Narsasqauq.

 

I see several Hopkins available but I think we can hike on our own without a guide. Just looking round the towns will be interesting for us.

 

see you in 10 weeks,

Libby

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8 minutes ago, Kristal Blade said:

You got a brochure? Well, I have just had to scroll through on my iPad! Brochure would be so much easier.

 

Never mind, I still managed to pre book a boat trip in Narsasqauq.

 

I see several Hopkins available but I think we can hike on our own without a guide. Just looking round the towns will be interesting for us.

 

see you in 10 weeks,

Libby

Hi Libby

 

Yes, got the brochure thanks and had a good squiz this afternoon...!

 

We have decided not to pre-book anything because, like you, we believe we can do most of the stuff ourselves, especially the hikes, without the need for guides. I'll do all the necessary research before we go and I'm sure we'll find all the information we'll need to make the most of the places we go to.

 

Of course things may change once we're on our way and we may decide we would like to do something in particular when we get there, but we'll take that chance and see what happens. It's a risk we're prepared to take though.

 

See you (relatively) soon...!

 

 

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On 5/10/2019 at 10:07 PM, Cell2200 said:

We've just received the brochure and will be studying it over the weekend trying to decide what, if any of the excursions we may want to book.....providing of course they still have places.

 

I know it can be a bit of a race against time with these things, but even if we do miss out I'm sure we'll find other things to do.

 

Nice to see you've been proactive and booked your tour, and I'm sure you'll have a wonderful time. 

 

Getting a little closer now......!

 

See you all soon.

 

Norm

 

 

You got a brochure? Well, I have just had to scroll through on my iPad! Brochure would be so much easier.

 

Never mind, I still managed to pre book a boat trip in Narsasqauq.

 

I see several Hikes available but I think we can hike on our own without a guide. Just looking round the towns will be interesting for us.

 

see you in 10 weeks,

Libby

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