Greenland is truly a world apart – it’s beautiful, with glaciers and colossal blue icebergs, green meadows, hot springs, and clean air. It’s unlike any landscape you’re likely to have seen before.
In a place without a real road system, one of the best ways to get to know the island is by ship, which can bring you to places you never imagined you’d see and meet people you’d otherwise never meet. In Greenland, Inuit culture is thriving and adapting to the changing times, and Greenlanders are a famously friendly people.
Taking an excursion for the sole purpose of hiking around is a great idea in order to experience Greenland. There are also many other excursions available, such as dog sledding and kayaking where the kayak was invented. On your travels, you may see any one of a number of local animals ranging from seals and muskoxen to whales. You’ll certainly be exposed to the elements in ways that aren’t all too common back home. If you want exploration and new challenges on your vacation, Greenland is the perfect choice.
Best time to visit Greenland
Greenland is an ideal destination year-round. Whether you’re looking to escape the summer heat or experience some of the delights winter in Greenland brings, you’re in luck. There’s never a bad time to make the trip.
Summer in Greenland starts in June and lasts until early September, and this is the best time to visit the island due to the temperate climate. Most expedition cruises to Greenland take place in these months because the melting ice makes it possible to navigate the fjords and bays along the coast.
As snow and ice melt in the coastal areas in summer, a brand-new landscape is revealed. Flowers bloom, and the wild animals come out to enjoy the season too. Icebergs float in the ocean, which is filled with whales and other sea animals. And remember this far north, the summer days are very long – in fact, the sun never sets!
What to see in Greenland
There are lots of fantastic things to see in Greenland. Here’s a selection:
Animals in Greenland
An up-close whale encounter is at the top of the list for many visitors. Disko Bay is one of the best spots in Greenland for seeing these enormous creatures. Other animals you can expect to see are muskoxen, reindeer, seals, and the majestic sea eagle.
Photo: Andrea Klaussner and Karsten Bidstrup
The spectacular Ilulissat Icefjord is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is well worth exploring with one of our many excursions on offer. Not far away, you’ll find some of the island’s best hot springs. Immerse yourself in the natural warm water surrounded by icebergs and mountains.
Enjoy the capital city’s historic buildings and National Museum, home to the famed 500-year-old mummies of Qilakitsoq, hunting equipment, and Viking finds.
One of the most beautiful towns in Greenland, Qaqortoq is easy to explore on foot, or join one of our fascinating optional excursions in the area.
Viking ruins in the south of Greenland is a fascinating journey back in time. There are several thousand-year-old remains of the Norse colonies in the region.
Sisimiut is the second largest town in Greenland and is located 25 miles north of the Arctic Circle. Enjoy one of our exciting excursions to discover the highlights.
Photo: Camille Seaman, Thomas Haltner
and Hilde Foss
What to Expect
Greenland is a unique country and provides many opportunities for travelers. One of the things everyone should do is get serious about sampling local cuisine. Whether you go with an excursion from your cruise ship or on your own to explore restaurants, you'll find freshly caught fish - and Greenland is the only place you can try Greenland salmon - as well as wild game that has recently been hunted.
Photo: Andrea Klaussner
Greenlanders are a welcoming people, and it’s more than worth your time to get to know them. There are many families willing to open their homes to travelers for some coffee and conversation, and an excursion to speak to locals is also possible on many Greenland cruises.
Most people in Greenland are of Inuit descent, though many also have Norwegian blood. Some are more recent arrivals to the island as well, but what unites them all is a love of where they live. In a country founded by explorers, both Inuit and otherwise, you’ll find kindred spirits and have experiences you will remember for a lifetime.
Photo: Andreas Kalvig Anderson, Andrea Klaussner and Camille Seaman
People who choose to take a cruise to Greenland, instead of more typical destinations, are also an interesting bunch. They are likely to have the exploration bug just like you do, which means you might make lifetime friends among your fellow travelers simply because you all enjoy the kind of magic Greenland offers.
Both on board and on land, there’s a lot going on to make the most out of your journey, including small-boat cruising, nature landings, hiking, lectures, and a science program and photo program, to name a few.