Eqi - The Calving Glacier
It rumbles like deep thunder, as the tonne-heavy pieces of ice break off, sending cascades of water and ice chunks down into the bay with giant splashes. The sight is fascinating, and the noise is deafening. Afterwards, there is absolute silence.
In Greenland, this phenomenon is unique to Eqi. The Eqi glacier, which in Greenlandic is called Eqip Sermia, is located approx. 70 kilometres as a crow flies, north of Ilulissat. It is one of the largest calving glaciers in Greenland – and without a doubt the most active. The glacier itself is almost 4 kilometres wide and towers just over 200 metres above the water.
You travel by boat. The cruise from Ilulissat takes you north through icy waters. Along the way you’ll be captivated by icebergs in fantastic shapes, mountains rising on both sides of the bay, numerous waterfalls and abundant bird life. Whether you choose to enjoy the fresh air from the boat’s viewing deck or sit sheltered in the cabin of the boat, you’ll hear the deafening bangs of the calving glacier, Eqip Sermia. If you’re lucky, you might also see whales and seals.
Many guests visit Eqi on a full day excursion, returning to Ilulissat the same day. Approaching Eqi, the captain manoeuvres the vessel to a favourable position and at a safe distance from the glacier front. The boat will stay for a while so you can observe the glacier calving and take lots of photos.
If you’d like to savour the calving glacier for longer, you can enjoy the view from the comfort of the wilderness lodge, Glacier Lodge Eqi Here you can spend the night in one of the lodge’s cabins or comfortable glamping tents.
Glacier Lodge Eqi
This place is a real wilderness gem! The lodge is located on a ridge 100 metres above the water, with a magnificent view over the calving glacier front on the other side of the fjord. The sight and sound of the glacier can thus be enjoyed from your accommodation. All cabins and glamping tents have a beautiful terrace, from which there is a view directly to the calving glacier.
Glacier Lodge Eqi was built in 2001 and is Greenland’s first sustainable eco-lodge in the wilderness. The lodge is under constant development with a view to saving CO2 and with great concern for the environment. Today it consists of 15 cabins, 5 large glamping tents and Café Victor, named after the famous polar explorer Paul-Émile Victor.
Explore the Ice and Surrounding Area
In addition to being a gem in its own right, Glacier Lodge Eqi is the perfect base for hiking and adventures in the surrounding Arctic wilderness. You can take part in guided walks around the lagoon and up the moraine edge or up to the lake behind the lodge. From the edge of the moraine is an indescribable view over the bay and the glacier front.
Keep your eyes and ears open! Eqi Glacier is surrounded by astonishing natural beauty, with many opportunities and sublime nature experiences waiting for you. The mountain surprises with a rich variety of flora in a breathtaking play of colours. If you’re lucky, you might spot ptarmigan, polar hare and polar fox while hiking in this area.
From the lodge there is easy access to the inland ice, from which the glacier empties. If you’re staying in the lodge and have plenty of time available, it’s only natural that you’ll hike to the legendary ice sheet. Easy access to the ice sheet has cemented a special place in history for Eqi, as the area was used by some of the earliest polar researchers in Greenland.
Eqi - Historic Base for Polar Exploration
From 1948 to 1953, French polar explorer Paul-Émile Victor (1907-1995) made a series of polar expeditions to the ice sheet using vehicles with tank tracks, from his headquarters in a cabin at Eqi. This cabin is now known as ‘The French Cabin’ and stands midway up the mountain. It served as the base for Victor during his exploration period. The cabin is no longer used but gives an impression of how scientists and researchers lived at the time.