21 Reasons to Cruise to Greenland
Once you get the travel bug, it's tough to ignore. There's nothing quite like seeing a massive iceberg for the first time, as you sail in one of the thousand fjords. Where can you do something so remarkable? Not only are there unique activities awaiting your arrival; but there is magnificent scenery around every corner, where nature can be experienced in its rawest form.
The destination: Greenland. This island is located between the Atlantic and Arctic oceans, and is simply one of earth's most beautiful treasures. This country is rich in cultural history, providing an exciting experience for any traveller. Let’s focus on some of the top reasons to take a Greenland trip. The following list will have you wondering why you haven't visited sooner.
1. Northern Lights
The Aurora Borealis is unlike any other phenomena on the planet. When visiting Greenland between the months of September-April, you can experience this phenomenon, as the sky provides a natural light show. These lights are described as having the ability to dance across the night sky.
Due to the clash of charged particles and the earth's atmosphere, you can experience swirling tones of light. Although green and yellow tones are most common, you can also experience tones of blue, red, and purple. It's as though the sky has been painted with the utmost vibrancy. One of the best places to views this phenomenon in Greenland, is in Scoresby Sund, East Greenland.
2. Glacier & Iceberg Sightings
Once you have the opportunity to see an iceberg or glacier in person, it will take your breathe away. You can view these large pieces throughout the country. In North Greenland, you'll find larger icebergs; while South Greenland provides the opportunity to see sites that are full of smaller glaciers and icebergs.
3. Hiking Trails in Greenland
Greenland is unique, in that you truly are surrounded by raw, powerful nature. You can hike for hours, without seeing other people. Due to these untouched areas, you will see mountains, lakes, and other landforms that are simply in pristine condition. We offer hiking opportunities for every level. These hiking trails can be accomplished within a day, as you breathe in the crisp Greenland air. As you hike you need to be respectful of both the people and the land.
4. Pristine Diving in Greenland
If you're an experienced, certified diver, then Greenland is the place for you. In Greenland's cold waters, a captivating world awaits. You will witness all sorts of creatures and marine life, as you experience one of the most biologically prolific areas. Not only will you see a range of cold water species, but there are icebergs to explore as well. See all Greenland diving cruises >>
5. Witness the Midnight Sun
The midnight sun is something to experience. For majority of us, we're used to the sun rising and setting each and every day. North of the Arctic Circle, the summer brings the midnight sun. Although the daylight turns into warmer hues for the evening hours, the sun remains in the sky.This remarkable occurrence will remind you that these exciting, natural elements do exist. As the sun reflects off icebergs, you will witness an array of colours.
6. Greenland's Ice Sheet
The destination of Greenland offers a unique claim to fame, one in which every traveller should experience. Greenland's Ice Sheet is an ice cap that spans from coast-to-coast. This ice sheet covers approximately 80% of Greenland's land surface, being one of only two ice sheets worldwide. There has been an ice sheet covering Greenland for an incredible 18 million years. Currently, Greenland's ice sheet is approximately 3 km thick, and over 100,000 years old. This experience will give you a whole new perspective and appreciation for nature.
7. Whale Watching in Greenland
Whether you have never been whale watching, or you have been ten times before, each time is a unique experience. This is especially true in Greenland, as you'll be exposed to numerous species of whales. With narwhals, belugas, and bowheads calling this area home all year round, you are bound to have a memorable experience.
The summer months also welcome fin, minke, humpback, and other species of whales, as they migrate to cooler waters, feeding off krill and other plentiful food sources.
8. Meeting the People of Greenland
Travelling is not just about experiencing the land, it's about meeting the people that call that region home. Inuit are known to be kind, hospitable people, but they're also culturally diverse and highly adaptable. Although Greenland is the 12th largest country by land mass, it is sparsely populated. Around 90% of the population is of Greenlandic descent, while the remaining 10% are immigrants, mainly from Denmark. It's refreshing to speak and interact with individuals who have such high respect for the outdoors, as well as the local wildlife.
9. The Wildlife
Speaking of wildlife, Greenland offers unique sightings. From polar bears and muskoxen, to walruses whales and birds; Greenland has it all. When you experience wildlife in it's natural habitat, it is simply a remarkable sight.
On land, there are more mammals than you would first believe (considering the concentration of ice and snow). You could potentially spot polar bears, musk oxen, caribou, and more. For those that like bird-watching, you will not be disappointed here. From eagles, to ptarmigans, to puffins, Greenland is home to diverse populations of birds.
You cannot visit Greenland without exploring its marine life. Whales are of course a sight-to-see, but there are also numerous species of seals, walrus, and a variety of fish and shellfish. The people of Greenland live in harmony with these species, providing a whole new outlook on free roaming wildlife.
10. Ilulissat Icefjord
This collection of massive ice sculptures, is a world wonder. It is not only an incredible sight, but it tells a profound tale of our planet's history. In order to fully grasp the grand scale of this iceberg collection, you must witness the Ilulissat Icefjord from a bird's eye view.
The experience does not stop there however. At the water's level, a massive vessel begins to feel quite small. Sailing through icebergs that are the size of skyscrapers, allows you to see this area in a whole new perspective. To top it all off, you can actually hike on this World Heritage Site.
11. The Stunning Aerial Views
Having the ability to see Greenland in all of its wonder, is a breathtaking experience. By experiencing Greenland from an aerial view, you gain a new perspective regarding life in the Arctic. When you experience panoramic views of the country, you see Greenland in all of its glory. You see how the country changes from oceans, to fiords, to ice, to mountains.
12. Variety of Informative Museums
Greenland's history is so rich and interesting, which is why museums offer travellers a true understanding of how their ancestors survived in such a harsh environment. Since each part of the country has their own story to tell, museums are highly localized, allowing for its own unique history to be told. When you have the opportunity to visit a museum during one of our landings, take the chance.
13. Extensive Coastline
If you're looking to explore the coastline, just as pioneers once did, Greenland is the place to be. With 44,000 km of coastline, the scenery is unlike any other.
14. Historic Cocktails
Visitors can reach into the water, obtaining free-floating pieces of ice that are up to 4,000 years old. Where else can you crush ice for your martini or whiskey, sampling a piece of history? It is simply one more unique experience that Greenland provides.
15. South Greenland’s Viking Trails
Around the 10th century, Vikings began to settle on Greenland’s South West coast. Once the Little Ice Age hit, Norse settlements disappeared. This left only Inuit populations for centuries. By exploring South Greenland, you will experience rolling landscapes and Viking ruins. This area is where the Icelandic Viking, known as Erik the Red stayed. Hiking this area, will allow you to take in the beautiful scenery, while you become more aware of this area’s fascinating history.
16. Scoresby Sund
Scoresby Sund is one of the best areas to view the Aurora Borealis. It is also the largest fjord system on the planet, reaching more than 350 km in length. Within this area, there is only around 500 inhabitants.
It’s a very neat area to visit, as you can wander around, viewing sledge dogs and the drying skin of various seals and polar bears. You can even pop into the post office to purchase stamps, allowing you to write home, expressing your unique experience to family and friends.
17. Snowshoeing in Greenland
Regardless of your experience level, we offer snowshoeing expeditions that will be sure to amaze. These guided walks will vary in terms of difficulty, length, and distance. This is an easy activity that allows you to try something new, as you explore parts of Greenland has to offer.
18. Visit the Town of Aasiaat
When you first visit the town of Aasiaat, you will be taken back by the unique, colourful homes. With approximately 3000 inhabitants, this area is becoming livelier each year. Although it is fairly flat, in terms of vertical heights, this area is known for incredible water activities. For those that are looking for history, culture, and art; Aasiaat will not disappoint you. This area is also the gateway to Disko Bukta.
19. The Small Town of Maniitsoq
This small town is surrounded by natural canals, which is why it’s often referred to as the Venice of Greenland. Although it has been given this nickname, its actual name means ‘uneven place.’ This is because Maniitsoq is situated amongst many small mountains.
20. Nuuk: The Capital of Greenland
Although many travellers flock to Greenland for the beautiful scenery and wildlife, there is a lot to discover in Greenland’s capital city; Nuuk. This city is still surrounded by natural beauty, but also incorporates old traditions, with modern influences. This city is constantly evolving, however, cultural traditions remain strong. You can explore Greenland’s vast history and culture here, at Greenland’s National Museum.
21. Guided Zodiac Tours
Zodiac shore excursions are so interesting and fun. By using zodiacs, you can get closer to wildlife than you ever thought possible. Although you will cruise in zodiacs, it does not stop there. You will spend as much time onshore as possible, continually exploring and increasing the level of adventure.
Visit Greenland Today
Greenland is a traveller's paradise. It offers some of the most unique experiences on the planet. Between the culture, history, wildlife, and raw nature; you will see why it is such an incredible destination.