Pristine, beautiful, peaceful – these are some of the words often used to describe Greenland, and we’ll show you why. See pale blue glacial ice sparkle in the sun, walk through lush green valleys and Arctic tundra, and look out for wildlife from Arctic foxes to polar bears, depending on where we go.
Our expedition ships allow you to experience places few others ever visit, whether that’s the silent vastness of Northeast Greenland National Park, on an island beach in remote Disko Bay, or deep within a mist-shrouded fjord. With expertise built up over many years, your onboard Expedition Team help you unlock the secrets of this immaculate island wilderness. They’ll help to bring you closer to its majestic scenery, its captivating wildlife, and its unique culture.
When to see
Summer in Greenland starts in June and lasts until early September. The pleasant climate makes this the best time to visit the island. Despite the relatively low average temperatures, the dry air in Greenland means that summer temperatures will often feel warmer than you might expect. Even in summer, be prepared for heavy rain and wind. Most of the country’s coasts will become snow-free during these months and, especially in the south, animals like reindeer, arctic hare and muskox can be seen grazing on the vegetation. The remote Northeast Greenland coast optimal time to visit is mid-August to mid-September, when the ice moves offering a window to explore the area, including Scoresby Sun.
During the summer months, the melting ice opens up the sea and makes it possible to navigate the fjords and bays along the coast, although it can variate in each region. The coasts of South and East Greenland can hold the ice for longer, while West Greenland’s coast stays open longer. Icebergs up to 100 meters high (328 feet) are a formidable sight and are best seen in June and July. Kayaking in between icebergs, for example, is an activity exclusive for the summer period.
Late summer is the best time for whale watching, with many species passing close to shore. Up to 15 species visit Greenland’s waters, but the most common are the fin whale, humpback whale, and minke whale. You can experience whales from the south all along the west coast of Greenland, and even in some of the fjords. Narwhals, with their unique tusks, are often seen in Northeast Greenland in summer.
You can see different types of seals along the entire coast of Greenland. Harp, ringed and hooded seals are among the most common. They breed in March-April, so expect to spot pups in the early summer. They often swim in larger groups close to shore and in the fjords, playing near the surface of the water.
Due to its location right on the Arctic Circle, Greenland is great for northern lights spotting. It is best experienced from midnight on a dark, clear night in the period from September to April. In the south of Greenland, however, the aurora borealis can be seen from the end of August. Kangerlussuaq is known as one of the best places in Greenland to see the lights due to its unique location; it has more than 300 days of clear skies!
In Greenland there are periods in the summer where the sun does not go under the horizon at all. This is known as the midnight sun, a natural phenomenon that occurs north of the Arctic Circle at 66° N 33’. If you visit the very north of Greenland, you can experience the phenomenon from late April to late August. The Arctic Circle passes through the south of Greenland, just north of Nuuk and Manitsoq, where the midnight sun is visible from June to mid-July.
Typical best value
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Cruises to Greenland
Disko Bay – The Heart of Greenland
8 departures between Jun 2023 and Jul 2024 - 16 days
MS Fridtjof Nansen
Greenland Summer Explorer - Cruising Under the Midnight Sun
July 20 2023 and July 18 2024 - 20 days