Cruise ship tourism in Greenland is still in its infancy, and there are lots of places in the country that cruise ship guests have not yet seen.
On the other hand, there are obviously also towns and locations that are particularly popular to visit because the range of onshore activities is great, the scenery is quite unique and the disembarkation facilities good.
In the following you can read about some of the typical routes and landing sites that during the last ten years have attracted an increasing number of cruise ship tourists to Greenland.
The route between Ilulissat in North Greenland and Narsarsuaq in South Greenland has been a real hit among cruise guests in Greenland for many years.
With landing sites in the string of towns that lie between the two destinations, tourists are assured of getting a varied insight into several of the country’s most popular towns and settlements.
Wonderful sights and attractions can be experienced on a daily basis, but South Greenland’s nature and Viking ruins and North Greenland’s huge icebergs are without doubt absolute highlights on such a journey.
South Greenland's nature and Viking ruins and North Greenland's huge icebergs are without doubt absolute highlights on such a journey.
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Special expedition ships that can carry 50 to 250 passengers have become popular in Arctic waters.
These expedition cruises are characterised by choosing atypical routes and landing sites, including small settlements or rarely visited natural attractions.
In particular, trips to remote towns in Greenland, Qaanaaq in North Greenland’s hunting district as well as Ittoqqortoormiit and the National Park in Northeast Greenland are popular amongst globetrotters looking for experiences of nature of the highest order.
Several cruises depart from the main gateway to Greenland, the international airport at Kangerlussuaq, from where the route typically takes in the fantastic Evighedsfjord (Fjord of Eternity) and the dogsled town of Sisimiut just north of the Arctic Circle, as well as a number of fascinating landing sites in Disko Bay.
This applies to, for example, Ilulissat with the UNESCO-protected ice fjord, and also occasionally to Qeqertarsuaq on the formerly volcanic Disko Island, where dog sledding on Lyngmarksbræen is possible during the summer.
Some cruise ships sail further north to Uummannaq, which is the essence of a real Arctic hunting town.
A handful of cruise ships that can carry a couple of thousand passengers call at Greenland on transatlantic voyages that typically start in North America and Europe.
These cruise ships usually try to sail through Greenland’s perhaps most beautiful fjord, Prince Christians Sound in South Greenland – if the mouth of the fjord is not blocked by large icebergs.
The ships typically have the cultural town of Qaqortoq in South Greenland as a port of call and sometimes also the country’s biggest town and one of the world’s smallest capitals, Nuuk.