WHEN THE KAYAK ARRIVED IN GREENLAND

The kayak is a transportation and hunting tool that originated in the Arctic region and then spread east towards Greenland with the first wave of immigrants, who came to this country more than 4000 years ago.

In Greenland, people embraced the kayak to such an extent that it became the focal point of everyday life in a community of hunters, and even to this day the kayak is one of the strongest cultural symbols of our adaptability to the land that distinguishes us as a people.

“Kayaking in Ittoqqortoormiit was really fantastic! There are glaciers everywhere coming down into the fjords."

“We rented kayaks in Nuuk, and it was absolutely brilliant! The kayaking kit was absolutely fantastic! We got good information like really good maps and knowledge about currents.”

THE KAYAK IS FOUND EVERYWHERE IN GREENLAND

Tour operators, and rental companies, of glass fiber kayaks are located all over the country, testifying to the vessels popularity with the many visitors who come to Greenland. The traditional Greenlandic kayak of today, is mostly used for hunting in the most northerly regions of the country, while the modern glass fiber kayak is used for both short trips and long hauls all along the coast. 

We do acknowledge that this nearness to nature, the touch of the ocean surface, the rhythmic motion of the paddle through the water, the ability to propel a forward motion only by the use of the human body, are all, a compelling combination which fits well with our need for everyday excursions and adventurous expeditions.   

Adding to that, are the icebergs, the whales, seals, flocks of birds, small Greenlandic towns and settlements, and a jagged coast line that adds its own unique Arctic dimension to an activity which for many people is more about the fellowship with ones travel companions than the wilderness experience of the trip.

FROM EXTREME EXPEDITIONS TO COMMUTERS IN THE CAPITAL

The countryside in Greenland is accessible and open to everyone 24-7, weather permitting. You may go ashore and camp anywhere you choose, as long as you are considerate of the surroundings, and follow general rules when in mountainous terrain.

You will discover that in many places the mountain sides will be very steep and go down straight into the water, and that there is no one else around. One small linguistic saying is the phrase “close by”, which in this country is another sentence for “as far as the eye can see and then some”.

But kayaking in Greenland doesn’t have to be to a remote fiord or under extreme conditions in order to provide people some substance in their daily lives. We know of people who use the kayak as a commute, when going to work from the suburb Qinnorput and into Nuuk proper. We see kids every summer, in all the harbours in Greenland, frolicking about and practicing the kayak roll, and we enjoy watching a kayak show as much as the passengers do aboard the cruise ships.

  • Get advice from local kayakers regarding certain wind conditions, the tide, and more. Staying safe is far more important than getting a spectacular experience.