The Great Russell Glacier | Kangerlussuaq
Join this adventure to the giant Russel Glacier, slowly descending from the Greenland Icecap. It is truthfully a grand sight and a unique experience to see the majestic glacier walls, and its surrounding meltwater rivers.
This tour is for you who would like to experience the wonders of the Arctic, from majestic mountains to the Greenland icecap.
Driving to the Glacier
The journey to the Russel Glacier will take you only 25 kilometers from Kangerlussuaq, where you will venture along dirt paths leading way to the majestic ice azure.
The glacier is not the only wonder of that arctic that you will experience, as you are driving towards the majestic ice azure, you will travel through the recently ice-free valleys. The valleys are shaped by Icecap and have become a photographer’s paradise with the deep valley veins.
Wildlife & Silence
Enroute spot one of the many wildlife herds inhabiting the landscape, but remember you are a guest in their home and you must respect the surrounding animal herds of musk ox, caribou, and arctic hares.
When arriving at the glacier, we will get as close as safety allows. It is a place that will let you escape with its absolute silence, only disturbed when the glacier calves.
Feeling and experiencing the soaring of a glacier calving is mesmerizing and enchanting.
This grand adventure is waiting for you to pull on your hiking boots and bring your camera! Check the booking availability by pressing ‘’Choose a date’’ above and book your trip today.
- Available: All year
- Duration: 3,5 hours
- Activities: Glacier Watching
- Difficulty: Easy
- Languages: English, Danish
Greenlands main entrance from the world. A unique place with easy access to plenty of adventures. Experience the amazing Greenlandic Ice Cap, glacier walks, musk ox safari and dogsled in the beautiful landscape.
History & Background
Kangerlussuaq is one of the biggest villages in Greenland with a population around 500 inhabitants. Because of the international airport the place is buzzing with life. Throughout the day many people pass by, arriving from abroad and with the many domestic flights. The International Airport is a former US airbase, which was in operation from 1941 to 1992.
Kangerlussuaq means “the big fjord”. It is located at the bottom of the approximately 171 kilometer deep fjord, being the only bigger settlement in Greenland not located on the coast. Historically the place has been used as summer settlement and hunting area for the inuit settlers in the old days.
Nature & Surroundings
If arriving by plane to Kangerlussuaq, you have probably already had a sneak peak of the area - when starting the descent over the vast white of the Greenlandic Ice Cap. Closing in above the soft rounded mountains you get a view of the airport then turning over the fjord, just before approaching the runway. The location is perfect for new adventures with plenty of options in winter and summer.
Kangerlussuaq has an inland climate, which can mean very cold but beautiful winters and warm summers. Kangerlussuaq is located just north of the Arctic Circle, thus you will experience the eternal daylight in the summer, due to the midnight sun. The winter is marked by winter-night, as the sun is low on the horizon. This might sound dark, but the snow-covered landscape combined with the vague daylight gives hours of very beautiful blue light.
Greenland Ice Cap
Only 30 kilometers from the airport lies one of the great wonders of this winterland - the Greenland Ice Cap. A few years ago this place could only be reached in your wildest fantasy. However times have changed and today it is possible for the traveler to experience this amazing place. This vast sheet of ice covers most of Greenland’s surface, a quiet place, which just has been there for a thousands of years. However the Ice Cap is very alive in constant change and movement. If you listen carefully you might hear the crackling sounds of the ice moving.
From Kangerlussuaq you can arrange different excursions to the Ice Cap. You can sightseeing by plane, seeing it from above or join a bus excursion taking you close enough so you set your own feet on the Ice Cap.
Musk Ox Safari
Kangerlussuaq is also known as a perfect place to experience Greenlandic wildlife - you can see one of Greenland’s biggest land-mammals, the musk ox - called “umimmak” in Greenlandic. The male musk ox can weigh up to 400 kg. They travel in big herds in the area around Kangerlussuaq, it is therefore not necessary to travel far from the airport to see them. There are many options for going on a Musk-ox-safari either by bus or from above with AirZafari. The inner layer of wool on the musk ox is very exclusive, soft and keeps you warm on cold winter days. This exclusive wool is used for clothing and is to be found in many of the shops in Kangerlussuaq.
From Kangerlussuaq you can go on a short or a longer dog sled adventure. There is something very special about experiencing Greenland from the perspective of a dog sled, quietly swishing over the majestic white winter-landscape. Dog sledding goes way back in the Greenlandic history and still is an important means of transport. It is an unique experience of man and dog working together as a team. Before heading out into the landscape you will experience the excitement of the dogs jumping and howling, eager to work. As soon as the break of the sled is up, you will only hear the soaring silence of nature and the paws quietly stomping away on the snow.
Thus Kangerlussuaq provides plenty of opportunities for the adventurous traveler, regardless of it is just in transit or for a longer time.
What to see & what to do in Kangerlussuaq
- Greenland Ice Cap
- Musk Ox Safari
- Arctic Circle Trail
- Midnight Sun
- Northern Lights
Pickup time : Flexible
Coffee & tea
Snacks and a sandwich
What to bring:
Good to know:
Dress after the weather conditions.
Kangerlussuaq is a mosquito paradise, therefore it is crucial you bring a mosquito net.
I feel lucky to be one of the few who had visited The Great Russell Glacier by bus from Kangerlussuaq ( Sondre ) the main Airport and gateway in Greenland for international flights I believe. We got a lot of interesting facts from the guide, and fine photo stops, but the most memorable for me, was just standing there and hear the cracking from the glacier, realizing that the wall of ice in front of me, actually are extremely larger and higher than most NY Blocks. Where to? Please take me to the "Glacier Block" on 81'st.... Surreal.