Cruising around Iceland & Greenland

Visiting Iceland and Greenland on the same trip is not something that many Australians can say they have done. But recently AFF member bigpetebrown did just that, cruising from Iceland to Eastern Canada with a stop in Greenland along the way.

The trip to Iceland began with a flight to New York on Qantas. From there, our member connected to an Icelandair flight for the final leg to Keflavik, Iceland. The friendly service on Icelandair seems to have impressed.

Icelandair is cool. Really friendly crew, decent entertainment system and ok menu (you have to pay for food on basic economy fare but tea, coffee and soft drinks are free). I just don’t like 757s. They make lots of strange noises.

Iceland may not be a common destination for Australian travellers, but it’s unlikely to disappoint. The scenery is nothing short of spectacular. The ring road around the island offers diverse views of many different parts of the island, and the many towns and villages along the way are worth seeing as well. The capital Reykjavik is modern and a great destination too in its own right.

There’s no better word to describe the Icelandic scenery than epic. It really is. Everything about it is huge, and magnificent. We drove route 1 that runs right around the island, a great road with very little traffic. On each side are huge mountains, some with last winter’s snows clinging on. Long sweeping bends and endless straights. Speed limit is only 90kmh.

Although our member loved Iceland, it seems Greenland was even more exciting! By 9 o’clock in the morning on the first day, our member had already spotted polar bears and seals on the icebergs.

Nothing could have prepared us for Greenland. Nothing. If Iceland was EPIC, Greenland is EPIC x 10.

Scoresbysund. The icebergs, the humungous snow covered peaks, the sound of the ice rubbing along the side of the ship, the icebergs and then the… polar bear.

The names of the many villages in Greenland may be virtually impossible to pronounce, but there is a certain intrigue about them. The scenery is simply stunning, and the locals are friendly and welcoming. But these villages are so isolated that they receive just two supply ships each year. According to our member, school was cancelled and fireworks were released when the last supply ship came. In fact, tourists in some parts of the country are actually encouraged not to buy anything as there are barely enough supplies for the local residents.

After an incredible time in Greenland our member cruised onwards to Quebec in Canada. From there they completed the trip back to New York by rail. To top off an almost perfect trip, one final surprise awaited on the trip home: a bump up to Business class!

In this trip report, the photos really do speak for themselves. For the views alone, it really does seem that both Iceland and Greenland are worth visiting – as long as you’re prepared for the cooler weather!

View the full trip report HERE.


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Matt Graham
The editor of Australian Frequent Flyer, Matt's passion for travel has taken him to over 60 countries… with the help of frequent flyer points, of course!
Matt's favourite destinations (so far) are Germany, Brazil, New Zealand & Kazakhstan. His interests include economics, aviation & foreign languages, and he has a soft spot for good food and red wine.

You can contact Matt at [email protected]