Potential geological excursion to West Greenland

Iain Allison has provided the following prospectus for a proposed excursion to Greenland in summer 2020.

In 2018 I led a geological excursion to the Disko Bay area of West Greenland. We were a party of 12, mainly Open University Geological Society members and most from the west of Scotland. At the April evening meeting I, with 3 of the participants, talked about the excursion and I have offered to lead a similar excursion in 2020 for society members. Following the talk I have received two firm expressions of interest.

To allow this to go ahead I need another 9; and a commitment by mid July 2019.


Duration and timing. Thirteen nights and 14 days in Greenland in late June/early July

Cost. Greenland is not cheap, nor is Iceland where we fly from. The final cost will be determined once flights and some hotel bookings are in place. I estimate the cost from Reykjavik to Greenland and return to Reykjavik will be about £5000. In addition there will be overnight costs in Iceland in both directions. The accommodation costs in Greenland will be on a bed and breakfast basis so lunches and dinners will be extra.

Accommodation. We will stay in small hotels which can provide evening meals. In Nuuk and Ilulissat there are choices for evening meals but in Qeqertarsuaq and Qasigiannuit the hotel is the only option.

Itinerary. Fly from Reykjavik airport (not Keflavik, where you will arrive in Iceland) to Nuuk. We will take the coastal ferry north for 40 hours to Ilulissat which will be our base. From there we will spend a few days in each of Qeqertarsuq, on Disko Island, and Qasigiannuit in the SE corner of Disko Bay.

Activities. While the focus of the excursion is on the geology it will also be a Greenlandic experience with mammals, mainly marine, birds and plants as well as history and culture. There will be time to explore the communities and their museums. Some days we will spend the whole day walking but distances will not be great so we may cover 12 km in 8 hours. We shall take a whole day boat trip to get up close to the icebergs and see a calving glacier – and maybe a whale.

Logistics. Nonni Travel in Akureyri, Iceland, will deal with all bookings and it is to them that you will pay an initial deposit and final balance.

Expressions of interest or requests for more details should be sent to the society’s residential excursions secretary by Bastille Day, 14 July 2019.