If looking to fly commercially, you can choose one of the two weekly flights with Icelandair from Reykjavik’s domestic airport, RKV (which services internal Iceland routes and routes to Greenland). The destination airport is Constable Point (Nerlerit Inaat in Greenlandic). We chose to fly with a private plane which we organised through a personal acquaintance.
Depending on the time of year you arrive, there are different methods of transport to take you from the airport to Ittoqqortoormiit (helicopter, snowmobile, dogsled or boat) which is located approximately 40 km to the south-east.
Luckily, we were able to take one of the scheduled helicopter flights with Air Greenland. It was a 10-minute helicopter flight to Ittoqqortoormiit. If there are no scheduled Air Greenland helicopter flights available, you can opt to charter a helicopter or get there by snowmobile or dog sled.
On the way back to the airport at the end of our trip, we endured a two-hour snowmobile journey in the freezing temperatures. This was when I saw the most incredible sunset of my life. The halo around it was truly extraordinary to witness.
The town is covered in snow 9 months of the year, which means this same journey is doable by boat for only 3 months of the year, when the sea ice melts.
Challenge 2: Lots of Planning!
We got in touch with Nanu Travel early on when planning the trip. They were instrumental in sharing with us what we could expect, what we should bring and the various activities on offer.
Based on this, we decided it would make sense to bring some dry food with us, such as pasta, canned food, bread, etc. We also brought fresh fruit for the locals kids from Iceland.
However, upon arrival we found that the only grocery store in town (which happened to be run by the husband of our guide) had everything one could need: fruit, vegetables, toys, diapers, Nutella, guns (to scare the polar bears away), Kikkoman soy sauce, instant noodles, soy milk, eggs, avocado, hardware tools, etc.
All meat sold in the store is imported from Denmark and is frozen. Fresh meat should be sourced directly from the hunters, and your guide will be able to help you get your hands on some.
Challenge 3: Clothing
It was -25°C at the end of March. To endure a snowmobile ride in that condition, I wore: 1 thermal bodysuit, 1 thermal top, 1 jumper, 2 fleeces, 2 pairs of socks, 1 pair of tights, 1 pair of long johns, 1 ski pants, 1 down jacket, 1 balaclava, 1 hat, 1 hooded down jacket, 1 ski mask, 1 shawl, 1 big hooded overall, 2 pairs of gloves and an extra sheepskin lining in a pair of borrowed moon boots.
I wish I had worn more. Going to the toilet with all those clothes on proved to be a challenge.
The list of reasons for overcoming these challenges could be endless, but here’s a start: