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Down in Disco Bay



Glaciers & Ice - Southern Fjords & Disco Bay may be a great name for a cruise itinerary, but it only describes a small part of the sights and experiences to be had by guests aboard Hurtigruten's deluxe expedition ship MS Fram. Following the path of Norse settlers of 900 years ago, the new 12-day itinerary allows for visits to ancient Norse ruins and UNESCO World Heritage Sites, exploration of the island's capital city, Nuuk, as well as several of its smaller settlements, and views of some of the world's most glorious hours-long sunsets and sunrises during the midnight sun season. An added bonus is two days of exploring the Iceland city of Reykjavik, and a sailing into Grundarfjorður, one of Iceland's most diverse and scenic fjords.
 
Departing Reykjavik on June 4, after a near full day taking in the active city, the 276-guest MS Fram makes its way into Grundarfjorður before heading across the Denmark Strait, just as the great Norse settlers did 900 years earlier. The ship then makes its way around southern and eastern Greenland, stopping at a variety of ports. Examples include Qqqortoq, the largest of South Greenland’s municipalities with its 3,400 residents; Hvalsey, home to some of the best-preserved Norse ruins; Igaliku, best known for the ruins of Garðar, once the religious heart of Norse Greenland; Qassiarsuk, where Viking Erik Raude settled after being banished from Iceland in 982 - and named his new home Greenland; and Ilulissat, home to the one of the most productive glaciers in the northern hemisphere.
 
While aboard the MS Fram, experts will lecture and discuss various aspects of life in Greenland – like culture, climate change effects, and industry. When ashore, guests participate in excursions and local interactions. These include a 4km hike to Itilleq, a settlement of 20; an evening spent in Qassiarsuk; taking in Nuuk and its old buildings, churches, and national museum; a free day of exploration of Sisimiut with its cultural-historical museum and local handicraft workshops, and sharing a "kaffemik" in the home of a local Itilleq resident, where you can chat with the host and gain a first-person perspective of how it is to live in one of the world's most remote regions. There are also several optional excursions - some that include hiking - that can be purchased while on board.
 
The sailing ends in Kangerlussuaq, where a flight returns the guests to Reykjavik for a free day to explore and an overnight stay. The reverse sailing on July 5 has the same stops and inclusions.
 
Fares include wind and waterproof jackets, a variety of onboard and shore-based activities, professional English-speaking Expedition experts with advanced degrees, all meals on board, and flights between Reykjavik and Kangerlussuaq.

Hurtigruten is still offering early-booking savings on the June 4 and July 5 (reverse) sailings - up to 20 per cent off normal fares: US$7,425 to US$11,426 per person, twin share. www.hurtigruten.com






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