The Sea Spirit rounds Cape Farewell, the southernmost point in Greenland, and calls in at Greenland’s most southerly town Nanortalik. The town lies at the mouth of beautiful Tasermiut Fjord surrounded by steep mountains that flank an intricate fjord system. The local open-air museum demonstrates the fascinating history from Viking and Inuit times to the present days.
The Uunartoq area is famous for its natural hot springs, where we can soak in the geothermal waters watching the icebergs pass by.
During the next few days, we head further north to visit some enchanting Greenlandic settlements and explore the beautiful fjords of Greenland’s western side.
Hvalsey, or "Whale Island", is the site of Greenland’s largest and best-preserved Norse ruins. It was originally settled by an ancestor of Erik the Red in the late 10th century. There’s time to wander and learn about the ancient farmstead that includes a granite stone Christian church, likely built in the early 14th century, and several adjacent buildings. The fells and fjord around the farmstead have not changed at all over the centuries, and the site is believed to have been a meeting place for festivals and banquets throughout the year.
Set amidst breathtaking scenery, our visit to Qaqortoq gives us some additional cultural and Viking background on the region. Placed on a beautiful hillside, the small settlement boasts colorful houses and a museum.
We continue north in the wake of the Vikings as our Sea Spirit navigates through the picturesque Eriksfjord to the settlement of Qassiarsuk. The town was founded back in the 10th century by Eric the Red following his exile from Iceland for murder. We will see the foundation remains of his manor house and other buildings. Nowadays, the area is known as a sheep farming settlement.
As we approach, Paamiut, there are good opportunities to see humpback and fin whales along the coastline. It is also an especially good place to spot white-tailed eagles. Inhabited by incredibly welcoming locals, Paamiut justifiably proud of their church that was built in 1909. The architecture reflects the Danish colonization of Greenland.
Nuuk, the capital of Greenland, is lively and surrounded by natural beauty. Here, old traditions meet modern change. Fashion shops and a cultural center represent the modern Greenland; the picturesque old port area, however, testifies to the island’s long history. The town was founded by the danish missionary Hans Egede in the early 18th century, and you’ll learn much more about the area on an included tour. In the National Museum, you’ll be fascinated by the mummies of Qilakotsoq – evidence of a bygone era.