More and more tourists are choosing cruises - to sail along the coasts of Greenland. The most important reason for this is that cruise ship guests are seeking out different and exotic destinations. And Greenland fulfils all their notions and dreams with its breathtaking nature, unique local population and colourful culture.
The length of a cruise in Greenland, the route itself and the number of ports of call vary according to the type of ship and the company you choose to travel with. Coastal cruises typically last one week, whilst expedition cruises can last up to two weeks.
Encountering icebergs and whales
Those travelling by sea enjoy sailing along Greenland's coasts to see icebergs of different shapes and sizes; from small transparent ice floes to colossal 100-metre-high (330-foot high) icebergs. Do not forget that you only see about one tenth of the iceberg above the surface of the water - the rest has to be left to your imagination. You do not have to imagine the whales, however, because cruises in Greenland is almost always guaranteed to include an encounter with species such as the humpback whale, fin whale and minke whale.
Each point of disembarkation provides new possibilities
When disembarking in South Greenland's green fjords, there are good opportunities to visit the popular Viking ruins at Hvalsey and Qassiarsuk - the home of Erik the Red and Leif Ericsson from the Viking period. In the larger towns you can visit local urban museums and several towns can also present an extensive cultural programme with mask and drum dancing, kayak displays and choral singing. In the small settlement of Itilleq, close to Kangerlussuaq and Sisimiut, the local inhabitants are renowned for challenging cruise ship guests to a game of football at the settlement's somewhat primitive, but certainly usable clay pitch.
From culture to nature
In the capital, Nuuk, and at the UNESCO-protected ice fjord at Ilulissat, short boat trips and helicopter flights are popular excursions. In Ilulissat visitors also have the chance to write a card to Santa Claus and be photographed in front of Santa's huge mailbox. With its unique flora and fauna, the National Park in Northeast Greenland is another popular, though completely different, place to visit.
Delicious food and good chances of striking a bargain are essential elements of any holiday. On cruises in Greenland many companies make a point of serving locally inspired food of high quality and many ships purchase meat and fish locally while they are in Greenland.
Popular souvenirs for yourself or your loved ones include handicraft products crafted from bone and reindeer antlers, as well as soapstone figures. The same applies to Greenlandic minerals such as the pink 'tuttupit', which changes colour according to the light.
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