Read ReviewsEverything about this adventure to Greenland was perfect! The expedition staff were so impressive - knowledgeable, friendly , immensely capable -just wonderful people working as a tight team, always patient, enthusiastic , supportive and good company. Couldn't recommend Greenland more highly...an unforgettable experience.
A voyage starting in Longyearbyen (Spitsbergen) sailing into Raudfjord and to Moffen Island on the North coast of West Spitsbergen, then sailing along the Northeast coast of Greenland and ending in Akureyri (Iceland).
Secluded coves, far-flung seaside villages, and awe-inspiring landscapes shaped by aeons of unforgiving Arctic winds and a harsh climate, denote what is arguably one of the most dramatically beautiful corners of our planet. Greenland is as visually stunning as it is hard-to-reach, most especially by road, hence the popularity and need of expedition cruises. If you dream of exploring it, …READ MORE
Dominated by an ice cap and with a rugged, dramatic landscape, Greenland is home to a rich and diverse wildlife. Common species include polar bears, whales (humpback, fin, minke, and narwhal), musk oxen, walruses, Arctic foxes and hares and reindeer. There are many species of birds found here including sea eagles. The island is dotted with nature reserves including one at Melville Bay that was established to protect breeding polar bears, beluga whales and narwhals and is also home to ringed seals.
Greenland’s marine mammals include the distinctive walrus with tusks that are over 50cm in length, whales (humpback, orca, narwhal, minke, beluga or white, blue, sperm, fin and Greenland) and seals including harbour, hooded, bearded, Greenland and ringed. The land is home to polar bears, caribou, Arctic foxes and hares. Arctic wolves are rare, but are found in the most northerly regions and lemmings are found in the north eastern part of Greenland. More than 10,000 musk oxen are found around Kangerlussuaq. Greenland’s reindeer migrate huge distances each year between the interior and the coast in search of food and to reach their summer calving grounds near the ice cap.
Bird life is prolific with over 235 species found in Greenland including white-tailed sea eagles and Greenland falcons. The list also includes buntings, siskins, fulmars, guillemots, auks, puffins, kittiwakes, terns, gulls, divers, Arctic skuas and owls and also the ptarmigan that changes the colour of its plumage depending on the season.
Accounting for around 90% of the population, the native Greenlanders or Kalaallit are Inuit descendants of nomads from northern Canada. At least 6 different Inuit cultures have survived over the centuries passing down their traditions of hunting, ice fishing, kayaking, dog sledding and their skills as craftsmen. Carving is a local speciality with soapstone and reindeer antler being used. Musk ox and sheep wool, sealskin, shells and fish skin are also used in the making of crafts.
The Thule people were the last to arrive in the 9th century and they live in the Thule region of northwest Greenland, the most northerly year-round community on Earth. They eat traditional foods such as seal, caribou, walrus and narwhal and make clothes and boots from polar bear and caribou skins.
Hunting is still of great cultural importance in Greenland, and although musk oxen provide four times as much meat as reindeer, reindeer is still the preferred meat. The majority of Greenland’s population is Lutheran, but the remote communities retain their traditional Inuit spiritual beliefs and practice many traditional rituals. The language of Greenland is Greenlandic and can be divided into 4 dialects - South, East and West Greenlandic and Thule.
Two important festivals are National Day and the Return of the Sun. National Day is celebrated on 21st June, the longest day of the year. The Return of the Sun celebrates the reappearance of the sun above the horizon after months of winter darkness.
Greenland is the largest non-continental island in the world, with over 40,000km of coastline and covering an area of over 2 million square kilometres. It lies between the Arctic and North Atlantic Oceans, to the northeast of Canada and to the northwest of Iceland. Greenland spreads across the Arctic Circle, two-thirds of the island lying within the Arctic Circle. Its northern extremity extends to within less than 800 kilometres of the North Pole.
Greenland possesses the 2nd largest ice sheet in the world (after Antarctica’s), 80% of the country being covered by the ice cap, leaving a narrow, rugged, mountainous and mostly barren coastline. The ice sheet averages 1,500m in thickness, reaching a maximum thickness of 3,000m. The highest point in Greenland and in fact the Arctic, is the summit of Gunnbjorn Fjeld at 3,694m. The rugged coastline is indented with numerous fjords including the iceberg-covered Ilulissat Icefjord on the west coast, designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Jakobshavn Glacier (or Sermeq Kujalleq) is one of the fastest moving glaciers in the world, with an average daily flow rate of 20-35m and calving over 35km3 of icebergs every year. These icebergs pass out of Ilulissat Icefjord and can measure up to a kilometre in height, often becoming stuck in the fjord for years.
The unit of currency in Greenland is the Danish Krone (DKK).
On all Arctic cruises meals are included but drinks and souvenirs need to be purchased separately. Most cruise ships accept Euros € and US $. Major credit cards, in particular Visa and MasterCard are also widely accepted on board.
The language of Greenland is Greenlandic of which there are 4 dialects - South, West and East Greenlandic and Thule. The official language is West Greenlandic.
A high level of fitness is not necessary for Arctic cruises to Greenland, but you need to be in good health as although there is generally a doctor on board the ship, you may be a long way from any other medical assistance. The majority of activities are focused around shore excursions and zodiac cruising and so you need to be agile and able-bodied enough to climb into and out of the inflatable zodiacs from both the ship and the shore. On shore landings you may need to negotiate uneven and slippery ground. Shore excursions generally involve some walking.
All of our tours are 100% tried and tested to ensure that when you travel with us, you’re doing so in a controlled and safe environment with trained experts. We consistently monitor weather conditions and will always provide you with the best possible adventure without risk of injury to you or the vessel. While some activities may need to be rescheduled or cancelled due to weather, every effort is made to have a contingency plan should such conditions become a reality during your expedition. We use our vast experience and knowledge when picking the vessels we sell to provide you with an adventure that’s unforgettable for all the right reasons.
Most Arctic cruises that include Greenland combined with other Arctic destinations such as Spitsbergen and Iceland, typically spend 4 to 8 days exploring Greenland. Those cruises that feature Greenland travel only generally spend between 8 and 10 days in the region.