Icefjord Midnight Marathon

7 June 2020

Package 2: Icefjord Midnight Marathon 7-Day (SOLD OUT)

Start your Greenlandic adventure with a trip to the Greenlandic Ice Cap and a night in Kangerlussuaq before heading off to explore Ilulissat.
4-10 Jun
7 days
3 100 EUR

SOLD OUT

The Icefjord Midnight Marathon takes place in Ilulissat, Greenland, where the UNESCO-accredited Ilulissat Icefjord provides a spectacular backdrop to this unique race. Runners will enjoy the magic of the midnight sun as they race over rocks and roads, against the colorful backdrop of Ilulissat and the Icefjord's towering icebergs. 

English

Itinerary

The itinerary is detailed below. This is what you'll be doing during your stay!

4 June 2020Copenhagen - Kangerlussuaq: Ice Cap & Russell Glacier BBQ

All participants will meet at Copenhagen Airport Terminal 2.
The flight to Greenland departs in the morning and Air Greenland does not cooperate with other airlines, meaning you must claim your luggage at Copenhagen Airport, clear customs, and check in again for the flight to Greenland. As check-in closes one hour before departure, we therefore strongly recommend that you do not book a same-day connection, but instead arrive in Copenhagen one or more days in advance. 

A 4.5 hour flight will bring us to Kangerlussuaq, where we arrive in the morning at 11:25 local time (GMT –3 hours). We will receive a meal aboard the flight. 

Upon arrival in Kangerlussuaq, we will kick-off our adventure in Greenland the proper way: with a trip to the famous Greenland Ice Cap. First we'll check in and drop our belongings off at the Polar Lodge, and we'll have time to purchase lunch. Then, we will board a bus that will drive out of Kangerlussuaq and into a stunning landscape of mountains, plains, and semi-desert valleys. The route winds along the beautiful valley of Sandflugtsdal and its equally impressive milky turquoise meltwater river.

Our destination is Point 660, where land meets ice. Kangerlussuaq offers the only road in Greenland that leads directly onto the ice, and here we will meet the Ice Sheet personally for the first time. We will have some time here to explore the surrounding area by foot and breathe in the ice sheet's one-of-a-kind atmosphere.

Please note: The surface of the ice can be slippery and uneven. To access the ice sheet you have to be able to ascend and descend icy hills via a curvy path that has been prepared for walking, but not everyone finds it easy. Some people might benefit from bringing hiking poles or wearing spikes/light crampons on your shoes. 

After an hour or so has been spent on the ice, we'll get back on the bus and drive to Russell Glacier, an imposing glacier whose walls rise up to 60 meters. We'll drive partially off-road until we stop to take in the spectacular surroundings. Our viewpoint offers excellent photo opportunities, and we'll enjoy a barbecue dinner here in view of the glacier, which creaks and groans as it advances. 

After dinner, we'll drive back to the hotel and rest up for the exciting adventures awaiting in Ilulissat. 

Meals: Plane meal and dinner 

5 June 2020Kangerlussuaq - Ilulissat: Icefjord Boating, Sermermiut Hike, & Race Briefing

Icefjord by Boat

In the morning, we'll head back to the airport and board a domestic flight for Ilulissat. 

We arrive in Ilulissat around 9:30, and we'll check into our hotels. After we've settled in, we'll meet up to take a guided walk around the town of Ilulissat. The tour will begin at the historical Hotel Hvide Falk, and we'll walk by the harbor, the local fish market, and the Zion Church. Along the way, enjoy interesting stories on a variety of topics, such as the origin of Ilulissat, how the city has developed over the years, and the importance of its fishing culture. 

We'll continue our tour by hiking south out of town toward the Ilulissat Icefjord, which has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its exceptionally beautiful nature and unique importance to glaciological science. 

The hike is a must-do activity in the region and will take us approx. 2 kilometers south of Ilulissat, beginning at the old heliport. From there, we enter the UNESCO-area on a wooden path toward the famous ruins of Sermermiut. Sermermiut is an ancient settlement that has been home to many different Inuit people for more than 4000 years. The stone ruins of old turf houses are scattered on various hilltops that we will be able to see as we walk. We continue through the old settlement to Nakkaavik, a cliff whose name means 'the place to fall.' You can ask your guide about the origin of this haunted name. From here, we are treated to a breathtaking view of the Kangia, the famous Ilulissat Icefjord with its many massive icebergs. While you explore the enchanting surroundings, your guide will prepare hot coffee and tea to keep you warm in the arctic wind. We will follow the same wooden path back to town. 

In the afternoon and the evening, you have the chance to experience the Icefjord by boat. We will embark on a boat trip with experienced guides who will give us information as we wind our way through the icy giants. No matter the weather, the icebergs make an impressive sight - they shimmer and shine with the sun, while clouds highlight the extraordinary blue colors hidden in the ice. The experience is much more exciting in small boats, so we will be using two 12-participant boats. This means there will be four departure times for this trip: two before dinner and two after dinner. 

In the evening, all participants will meet to enjoy a Greenlandic buffet and get the race briefing. Please note that the race briefing will be your last chance to change distances. You can also ask race officials any questions you might have. 

Meals: Breakfast and dinner

6 June 2020Explore Ilulissat with Excursion Options

Today, we will have a relaxed day in preparation for race day. You can choose to explore Ilulissat on your own, or join one of the optional excursions.

Today we offer a day trip to the immense Eqi Glacier, as well as small-plane "flightseeing," so you can truly get an all-around impression of the famous ice. And in addition to the morning kayak excursion, today there will be an evening excursion as well. 

Meals: Breakfast

7 June 2020Race Night

It's nearly time! You have the morning and afternoon to sleep, explore, and prepare yourself for the night to come. 

Around 17:30, all participants will meet for a pre-race pasta dinner so that we can carbo-load to our heart's content.

The marathon begins at 21:00, and the half-marathon will begin at 22:30 - all races will be done by 4:00 at the latest.

Meals: Breakfast and dinner 

8 June 2020Ilulissat Day - Optional Excursions & Celebration Dinner

Today is a justified relaxation and recovery day. Most of us will likely sleep the morning away, but the ambitious few can get up and paddle out among the icebergs. 

You may use the day to explore on your own, or join one of the optional excursions. On this day we will run a special excursion to Oqaatsut, a tiny, authentic village 20 kilometers north of Ilulissat. 

In the evening, all participants will gather for the celebration dinner. Together, we will revel in the prior night's victory, share stories, and enjoy the race video. 

Meals: Breakfast and dinner 

9 June 2020Ilulissat Day - Optional Excursions & Farewell BBQ

We have one final day to enjoy the charm of Ilulissat and its surroundings. Again, you may choose to explore on your own, or if you haven't been kayaking yet, we highly recommend it! 

Today there is an optional excursion that allows you to meet the renowned sled dogs and partake in a traditional Greenlandic "Kaffemik" at the home of a local woman.

This evening, we will gather one final time to enjoy a farewell barbecue. 

Meals: Breakfast and dinner 

10 June 2020Departure Day

This morning we bid goodbye to Ilulissat. We will fly first to Kangerlussuaq in the morning. 

Those that are staying for the Kangerlussuaq extension will depart for the Ice Camp, while the rest of the participants will board a flight back to Copenhagen that will arrive around 21:30. There will be a meal served aboard the flight. 

Guests are responsible for their own flights home from Copenhagen. Keep in mind that you will need time to collect your bags and check in for your new flights, and thus we don't recommend booking flights within three hours of arrival. Given the late time of our arrival, we strongly recommend booking a night in a hotel in Copenhagen and flying out the next day. 

Meals: Breakfast and plane meal 

Excursions

Kayak among Icebergs

6 Jun, 8 Jun, 9 Jun | 3 hours | 165 EUR
More
Less

Ilulissat is known as the capital of icebergs, and you will see why as we paddle our way through the gigantic ice fjord just south of the city. You can smoothly slice your way through the water while keeping your eyes open for whales - 15 species regularly inhabit Greenlandic waters in the summertime!

There will be morning guided kayak groups on several days. In the mornings, you can experience the serenity of the landscape as we calmly paddle our way among the “floating mountains.” On 6 June, we'll also offer an evening kayak excursion, where you can paddle out under the extraordinary midnight sun.

Whether it is sunny or cloudy, the icebergs offer beautiful reflections – the sun will emphasize their sparkle, while clouds evoke the deep blue color of the ice. Your guides will provide information on the ice sheet and its glaciers, as well as the story of the original kayak that was made from sealskin and wood and will answer any other questions you may have. 

Thanks to our certified kayak guides, modern equipment, and safety protocols, it is possible for you to paddle through this remarkable landscape. The tours are open to all levels, whether you are a master paddler or it’s your first time in a kayak. We take pride in providing a safe and comfortable experience for everybody, and want everyone to be able to experience the magic of floating among the largest collection of icebergs in Greenland. 
 

About the Tour: 

Duration: 3 hours total - 2 hours paddling time 

Departures: Please pick the day and time you prefer when booking, but please note that due to participant limitations and various excursion schedules, we cannot guarantee a specific day or time. 

Inclusions: 

- Certified guide  
- Kayaking gear (double sea kayak, paddle, thermal suit, dry suit, life-jacket, boots, and gloves)
- Pictures from the tour which can be downloaded 
- A bottle of water and a chocolate bar 

Less

Oqaatsut Settlement Visit

8 Jun | 7 hours | 375 EUR
More
Less

Twenty kilometers north of Ilulissat lies Oqaatsut. With less than 50 residents, Oqaatsut offers an ideal opportunity to experience authentic village culture and to learn the extraordinary history of this isolated gem. Formerly known as Rodebay (‘red bay’), it used to be a prime trading post for Dutch whalers in the 18th century. Whale hunting is rare now, but the fishing culture is alive and thriving. On this excursion, you can taste the local cuisine, learn about the Inuit culture, and kayak between icebergs. 

We begin the day by getting outfitted in our kayak gear before we get picked up by boat. The boat ride to the settlement offers magnificent views of icebergs and the stunning coastline. Upon arrival, we will cover the basics of kayaking before enjoying two hours of exploring blue icebergs and the small caves in the area by kayak. If we are lucky, we might even catch sight of a whale or two. The tour is open to all levels of kayak experience, and our certified kayak guides, modern equipment, and safety protocols make it a safe and comfortable experience. 

Once we finish paddling, we will change back into regular clothes and be treated to a traditional Greenlandic lunch at the restaurant H8. The guide will provide stories about life in Oqaatsut and answer any questions you may have. After lunch, we will take a small walk around the settlement so you can experience how it might be to live in such a small settlement. The history will come alive as you wander among the old, colorful houses and stand on top of the massive rocks that the whales used to be dragged onto. At the end of the day, we will return to Ilulissat by boat. 
 

About the Tour: 

Duration: 7 hours 

Inclusions: 

Boat trip to and from Oqaatsut 
- Kayak gear 
- Kayak guide 
- Restaurant lunch 

Less

Eqi Glacier Express

6 Jun | 6 hours | 310 EUR
More
Less

Only a few places in Greenland are as beautiful as the Eqi Glacier, which ends in the fjord 80 kilometers north of Ilulissat. By boat, it is possible to get very close to the glacier and experience huge pieces of ice breaking off (called 'calving'). The sounds are enormous and the sight of icebergs crashing into the water is breathtaking. 

We will sail on modern boats that will get us quickly to the glacier. The route heads north along the coast, passing Bredebugt, the settlement of Oqaatsut, and the big fjord system called Pakitsoq, where whales and seals are often seen. Further along we will pass through the Ataa Strait, which is surrounded by steep mountains and boasts waterfalls and a rich bird life. 

Upon reaching Eqi, we will anchor at a safe distance and idle for approximately an hour in front of the glacier. While we wait for the ice to calve, we will enjoy a packed lunch that we've brought with us from the hotel. After we've thoroughly enjoyed the sight of the glacier, we'll head back to Ilulissat. 

About the Tour: 

Duration: 6 hours

Inclusions: 

- Packed lunch from Hotel Hvide Falk 
- Boat trip to and from Eqi Glacier 

Less

Flight-seeing

6 Jun | 1 hour | 348 EUR
More
Less

To truly get a sense of how vast the ice really is one should take a small plane tour. Operated by Air Zafari, this excursion will take you in a 5-passenger plane that offers a guaranteed window seat and a safe and comfortable flight. The tours are flown at an ideal low altitude for the ultimate experience. 

We will begin our trip at the Ilulissat Airport. There, we will meet our pilot, and get a short introduction and briefing about the tour. You can also ask any questions you might have before we fly. We will then board the plane, and enjoy a 40-minute flight that will take us out over the Icefjord and above the famous Sermeq Kujalleq glacier. You will get an feeling for how massive the glacier is by observing the huge drop between it and the water below. The giant glacier is constantly feeding the Icefjord with newly-formed icebergs, which we will also pass as we fly along the fjord at the lowest permissable altitude. 

Please note that this excursion is dependent on the weather and minimum participant requirements. The excursion may be rescheduled or canceled - if it is canceled, you will be refunded. 

About the Tour: 

Duration: 1 hour 

Inclusions:

- 40-minute small plane flight 

Less

Kaffemik & Sled Dogs

9 Jun, 6 Jun | 2 hours | 40 EUR
More
Less

We'll begin our excursion at the home of Thrine, a local musher who will meet us outside next to her dogs. She will tell us about raising the pups, the expeditions she has been on, and mushing itself. We'll also be able to observe the dogs, but please remember that these are working animals and not pets - they are not meant for cuddling. 

After the explanation of the dogs, we'll head into Thrine's house for our kaffemik. The literal translation of ‘Kaffemik’ is ‘via coffee,’ and it has been the traditional way to celebrate everything from births to birthdays to first days of school – in other words, a celebration of life. 

For this Kaffemik, Thrine will serve us the traditional coffee, tea, and various homemade cakes. She will explain all about the tradition, including how long it takes to prepare – sometimes, weeks! 

Traditionally, the Kaffemik is an all-day affair at the home of the host. Friends, family, and acquaintances come and go throughout the day, often spending a relatively short time there. For our Kaffemik, we will linger a bit longer and have plenty of time to learn about Greenlandic traditions. This is the perfect opportunity to get a taste of Greenland’s authentic culture and to ask a real local any questions you may have. 

Please note that only 16 people can join in Thrine's house at one time. One excursion will run on 6 June and one will run on 9 June. This means a maximum of 32 people can sign up for this excursion, so first come first served! 

About the Tour: 

Duration: 2 hours 

Inclusions: 

- Sled dog lecture 
- Kaffemik in local home (incl. tea, coffee, and cakes) 

Less

Extensions

Ice Camp

10-12 Jun | 3 days | 560 EUR
More
Less
  • Day 1 - 10 June: Ilulissat - Kangerlussuaq - Ice Camp

    After a relaxed breakfast at our hotel in Ilulissat, we will head to the airport to catch our domestic flight to Kangerlussuaq. 

    We arrive in Kangerlussuaq in the early afternoon. Upon arrival, we will depart for the Ice Camp. With all-terrain vehicles, we will drive about an hour toward our destination: Point 660 on the edge of the ice cap. Here, we will have an important briefing on safety and the coming activities. 

    Following our experienced guide, we will then venture onto the Greenland Ice Sheet, following in the footsteps of legendary explorers. We will hike a few kilometers to our destination, where our first priority is setting up camp. After our accommodations are in order, it is time to relax with a warm beverage and enjoy the total silence that the ice sheet imposes. 

    Dinner will be wholesome, simple, and warm, consisting of freeze-dried food that is easy to carry on such an expedition. In an environment where no other food sources are availabe, this humble meal will feel like even more of a gift. 

    Meals: Breakfast and dinner

  • Day 2 - 11 June: Ice Camp - Kangerlussuaq

    Following a night spent snuggled in our warm sleeping bags and an energy-packed breakfast, we will head out on our hike. We will proceed with care over seemingly eternal fields of ice, following our guide and always being careful of any potential ice fissures. Throughout the duration of this expedition, we will maintain a safe distance from danger and plot a route across secure terrain. Crampons and trekking poles will provide each guest with extra stability. Ropes will not be used. 

    Please note: As a participant on this trip, we expect you are willing to pull a sled with your own/group equipment from the ice edge to the camp. This effort is considered by the majority of participants to be a fairly easy and natural task to perform, but be aware it is expected. 

    Depending on weather conditions, we will either enjoy our packed lunch whilst hiking or back at base camp. As our adventure concludes, we will break camp, pack up our goods and leave only our footprints behind. 

    We will then drive back to Kangerlussuaq to check into the Polar Lodge, where we will stay for the evening. Dinner will be at Roklubben. 

    Meals: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner

  • Day 3 - 12 June: Departure Day

    Unfortunately it is time to bid farewell to Greenland. We will depart from Kangerlussuaq shortly before midday, and arrive in Copenhagen around 20:00. 

    Guests are responsible for their own flights home from Copenhagen. Keep in mind that you will need time to collect your bags and check in for your new flights, and thus we don't recommend booking flights within three hours of arrival. Depending on your final destination and flight schedules, this may mean that it would be a good idea to spend the night at a hotel in Copenhagen.  

    Meals: Breakfast.

  • Price Information

    Shared double room/tent: 560 EUR
    Single room/tent supplement: +280 EUR

  • Inclusions
    • 1 night accommodation at the Ice Camp 
    • 1 night accommodation in Kangerlussuaq 
    • Meals as stated in the itinerary 
    • Transportation to/from Point 660
    • Guided Ice Cap hike 
    • Safety gear (crampons and trekking poles)
  • Exclusions
    • Personal Expenses 
    • Meals not mentioned in the itinerary 
    • Beverages 
    • Travel and health insurance 
    • Anything else not mentioned in "Inclusions"
Less

Important Info

Questions about Greenland?

For information on visas, currency, electricity, and more, please check our Destination Guide page. 

For information on weather and clothing, please check the our Climate & Weather page. 

If you're curious about the destinations that we'll be visiting or other background information on Greenland, you can read all about it on our Travel Destination page. 

SOLD OUT