During the night we cruise past the rugged peaks of the Liverpool Land peninsula and reach the mouth of King Oscar Fjord. We are now in the huge national park, established in 1974 and expanded in 1988. With an area of almost 1 mill. square kilometer, this is the world’s largest national park and largest protected land area. There are no permanent settlements in the area, but there have previously - most recently up to the middle of the 19th century - been various Inuit hunters here in the northeast corner of Greenland, including on Clavering Island further north.
The program for the next few days in the national park depends on the weather and ice conditions. The route and the landings are determined by the Captain and the Expedition Leader jointly and are typically announced the night before. Some of the interesting landings we strive to visit are:
After entering King Oscar Fjord, we sail along the impressive 1300-meter-high rock wall Bastionen on the Ella Island. A truly beautiful place on our route, and there is good reason why the "King of Northeast Greenland", the Danish geologist and polar researcher Lauge Koch, established his headquarters here before World War II. We hope to spend the morning on Ella Island if the military patrol “Sirius” – who has its summer base here – grants us permission.
Further north we pass the small Maria Island, where the Germans had a camp during World War II. The Germans' attempt to gain a foothold in Greenland during World War II is a fascinating story in itself. Look forward to learning more on our onboard lectures! We continue past Ruth Island and hope to make a landing on Ymer Island at Blomsterbugten, a small oasis in the national park. From the tiny hunting lodge Varghytten we can enjoy the formidable view of the characteristic, flat mountain Teufelsschloss, where the many rock layers in different colors testify to the area's exciting geological development.
On our way back towards open sea, we hope to make a landing at Myggbukta Hunting Station, which was the center of the Norwegian occupation of East Greenland in 1931. The occupation was found illegal by the International Court of Justice in Haag, and the Norwegian trappers had to leave. Cruising south along the coast, we aim for landings on Jameson Land, which is breeding ground for polar bears.