Greenland Travel Archives - TravelQuest International
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Greenland Cruises

Greenland is a fascinating and largely unexplored Arctic expanse. It is the largest island in the world not considered a continent. About 80 percent of it is covered by a single, thick sheet of ice. It is a land less traveled, as in recent years, more people have visited the Antarctic than this northern isle. And in 2026, the island hosts a total eclipse of the Sun.

TravelQuest invites you to join us on our 2026 Greenland & Iceland Total Solar Eclipse Cruise. Our travel to Greenland begins and ends in Iceland’s capital, Reykjavík. On our 12-day voyage, we cross the Denmark Strait to explore Northeast Greenland National Park. It’s the planet’s largest national park and is bigger than 85 percent of the world’s countries. Ice conditions permitting, we’ll also cruise into Scoresbysund, Earth’s largest fjord system, to spot wildlife and visit a remote Inuit community. And on August 12, 2026, we will witness (weather permitting) a total eclipse of the Sun from the deck of our world-class expedition ship. It’s an adventure to a land rarely visited by travelers.

Explore this and other types of eclipse travel

What’s in a Name?

While on our Greenland cruise, you might wonder if naming the region ‘Greenland’ was a marketing ploy, given the ice and rocky desolation we’ll see much of the time. But here’s the reality. In the summer of 982 A.D., when Erik the Red sailed from Iceland and landed in southwestern Greenland, the region was significantly greener than it is today. Ice core data suggests that between 800 and 1300 A.D., southern Greenland was much warmer than its current conditions. So when Erik arrived, his name “Greenland” was likely quite appropriate.

Meanwhile, according to legend, Iceland was discovered in the middle of the ninth century by a Norwegian sailor named Naddodd. He was blown off course while sailing from Norway to the Faroe Islands. Later, the Viking Floki Vilgerdarson decided to settle in this new land. After a very harsh winter, Floki climbed a nearby mountain and saw an ice-filled fjord on the other side. He called the fjord “Ísafjörður” (Ice fjord) and gave the country a new name: Ísland (Iceland).


Greenland Travel

Our cruise from Iceland to Greenland crosses the Denmark Strait, where the cold east Greenland current carries icebergs south. After our ship reaches eastern Greenland, we’ll cruise up the fjord-lined coast of the Northeast Greenland National Park, a designated park that protects 972,000 sq km (375,000 sq mi) of pristine wilderness. Our exact route, and how far north we sail, will be dictated by weather and ice conditions. The snow and ice that covers the coast each winter will have retreated considerably by August, giving us access to some of the countless bays and inlets that cut into its beautifully sculptured shoreline. As we explore, there should be opportunities to spot Arctic wildlife, including seals, whales, and polar bears.

Our Greenland cruise then takes us back down past the park’s southern boundary and into Scoresbysund, the largest and longest fjord system on Earth. Here more stunning vistas reveal themselves—from every railing and window on the ship—with each passing nautical mile. Then on August 12, the captain, coordinating with our TravelQuest eclipse astronomer, will seek out the very best position for watching the Moon’s shadow pass over the fjord in a total eclipse of the Sun.

NG Endurance
The National Geographic Endurance, launched in 2021, is a next-generation expedition ship that is purpose-built for polar navigation. Courtesy Lindblad Expeditions.
NG Endurance Lounge
The ship’s “Ice Lounge” is a state-of-the-art gathering area for daily talks and presentations. Courtesy Lindblad Expeditions.

Cruise to Greenland on the National Geographic Endurance

Our ship, the National Geographic Endurance, is named in honor of polar explorer Ernest Shackleton. It’s designed to navigate polar passages year-round while providing exceptional comfort. The Endurance accommodates 138 guests in 76 spacious cabins. All accommodations face outside and have large windows or balconies, individual climate control, Wi-Fi, and an expedition command center with tablets and USB/mobile device docking.

There is plenty to do onboard during our Greenland cruise, though you’ll want to always be on the lookout for marine life as we sail the Denmark Strait or cruise the coastlines of Greenland and Iceland. You can take a yoga class, unwind with a massage in the wellness center, relax in one of the twin infinity hot tubs, or curl up next to the fireplace in the library. At other times, visit the bridge and learn about navigation, discover more about Greenland and Iceland from our onboard historians, naturalists, and photographers, and learn what to expect during the total solar eclipse from our TravelQuest trip astronomer.

Greenland travel on our voyage is not limited to cruising. The ship carries a fleet of Zodiac motorized landing craft and kayaks that let us land in places that would otherwise be inaccessible. It also possesses sophisticated equipment that allows our undersea specialist unique access to the underwater world. Public areas on the Endurance include a lounge, infinity-style outdoor hot tubs, saunas with ocean views, a spa, a library, state-of-the-art facilities for films and presentations, a photo workshop area, and two restaurants featuring local, sustainable cuisine—plus a chef’s table for small-group dining. Services include a full-time doctor, a National Geographic photographer, a Lindblad-National Geographic-certified photo instructor and video chronicler, a wellness specialist, laundry service, and an internet café.

Total Solar Eclipse on August 12, 2026

Every now and then, Nature gives us a hidden spot where the weather and clouds seem to melt away, making a sunny oasis in the midst of a gray overcast. The poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge called such a place Xanadu, and the 2026 eclipse has its own Xanadu in the fjords of Greenland. Our solar eclipse cruise to Greenland takes us to Scoresbysund, a deep fjord that stretches all the way to the island’s eclipse centerline and beyond. Air flowing down from the Greenland Ice Cap into Scoresbysund dries and warms, forming an unusually sunny microclimate. Satellite observations from August 12 in past years show a better than 70 percent chance of seeing the eclipse from the fjord. This is among the best weather prospects along the whole of the eclipse track, with the bonus of a spectacular Greenland setting.

Endurance skiffs
The Endurance’s fleet of 14 expedition landing craft is used to land in places that would otherwise be inaccessible. Courtesy Lindblad Expeditions.
Endurance in Romer Fjord
Not all of Greenland is barren, as evidenced by this colorful display of flora in Romer Fjord. Courtesy Lindblad Expeditions.

A Visit to Iceland

We begin our travel to Greenland in Reykjavík, Iceland’s capital city. After arriving, you’ll enjoy a tour of Hallgrímskirkja Cathedral, a national monument that towers over the old city. We’ll also visit the National Museum, renowned for its Viking treasures. In the afternoon, we’ll board the National Geographic Endurance, our floating home base for the next 12 days, and set a course for Iceland’s Westfjords. Here, on Iceland’s rugged western coast, you’ll have many options for immersing yourself in the stunning scenery—paddling a deep fjord in a sea kayak, hiking inland to a remote waterfall, or spotting wildlife from a Zodiac speeding across a sheltered bay. Then the ship crosses the Denmark Strait as we continue our cruise to Greenland.

After the solar eclipse, we return to Iceland, stopping in Floki Vilgerdarson’s Ísafjörður, the largest town in the Westfjords. (Don’t worry. Floki’s “ice fjord” will be ice-free at this time of year.) Here you can walk around its natural harbor ringed by low mountains, admire timber-framed houses dating back to the 1700s, and sample traditional Icelandic seafood cuisine. We conclude our Greenland cruise in Reykjavík, marking the end of a great adventure with new friends and extraordinary memories. After disembarking, you have several choices: transfer to the airport for your flight homeward, extend your stay in Reykjavík and explore on your own, or take advantage of our options to visit either Iceland’s famed Blue Lagoon thermal baths or the Reykjanes Peninsula to view the Mid-Atlantic Ridge prior to your flight home.

Isafjordur PD
Ísafjörður, the largest town in the Westfjords, is at the base of a fjord that is ringed by mountains. Courtesy TQ/Paul Deans.

Join Us for A Remarkable Experience

A Greenland cruise is an unusual TravelQuest excursion; the extraordinary circumstance of a total eclipse of the Sun draws us there. In Scoresbysund on August 12, 2026, the Moon will hide the Sun for slightly more than two minutes. Those who have never seen a total solar eclipse are often completely unprepared for the range of emotions that engulf them when the Sun vanishes from the sky. This is not an event to be missed. Seeing totality from a ship offers many advantages, including the exceptional amenities on the Endurance and fascinating landscapes to explore—plus the ship’s ability to maneuver if clouds threaten to spoil the eclipse. It’s a combination that’s hard to beat.

If the idea of seeing a total eclipse of the Sun from an unusual location appeals to you, then join us on TravelQuest’s 2026 Greenland & Iceland Total Solar Eclipse Cruise. This unique eclipse cruise to Greenland and Iceland is a journey that will take you to places where few others have been before. Our ship, the National Geographic Endurance, carries only 138 passengers, so contact us today for what we expect will be a one-of-a-kind adventure.

Hallgrímskirkja PD
Hallgrímskirkja is the largest church in Iceland and towers over the center of Reykjavík’s old town. Courtesy TQ/Paul Deans.