4 Things To Look Out For During Your Greenland Expedition
The first thing you will notice during your Greenland expedition is the fact that the land is not green at all. In fact, around 80% of the entire island is covered in ice and so there isn’t much chance for any greenery to grow. Another interesting fact about Greenland is that it is the largest island in the world and over twice as big as the next largest, New Guinea. A Danish colony since 1814, Greenland is the least densely populated country in the world.
Aside from these interesting facts, Greenland is an excellent destination for a polar cruise and offers a wide range of exciting experiences. Here are four things to look out for during your trip.
The waters around Greenland provide some of the best opportunities in Europe to see whales feeding and frolicking amongst the waves. Minke and Fin whales are perhaps the most common in these areas but there are also regular sightings of belugas, humpbacks and sperm whales.
These majestic creatures are present practically all year round but it is much easier to see them in the summertime when the ice melts and the waters are easier to navigate. Although, as you might expect, they drift nomadically along the coastline, there are a few spots which they particularly favour. Disko Bay is one such area, hence the fact that many of our whale watching expeditions focus on this part of the island. As well as whales, you may also get to see narwhals and killer whales (which are actually dolphins).
The Northern Lights
When darkness finally falls, following a lengthy spell that sees the sun never drop below the horizon, the Northern Lights will grace the skies of Greenland with a transcending show of light and colour. This time of year (September to April) offers travellers an exciting opportunity to experience one of nature’s truly amazing phenomena.
Conditions need to be right, though. Clear skies, a still night, and the absence of any other light sources will all make seeing the Aurora Borealis much easier. It’s best to persevere too. Most occurrences happen around midnight, so you need to be prepared to wait it out. When travelling on one of our polar expeditions, though, the captain is likely to announce any sightings over the public address system.
Quaint Fishing Villages
Just like Norway and Iceland the coastal areas of Greenland are dotted with quaint little fishing villages, characterised by colourful wooden buildings. Places like Ilulissat, Qaanaaq, Niaqornat, Kullorsuaq and Nuussuaq are all perfect examples of thriving communities which rely heavily on fishing and hunting within the surrounding waters.
The indigenous people of Greenland are known as the Kalaallit and there may well be a chance to interact with them during your polar cruise. It is traditional that any animal that is caught during these fishing and hunting sessions will be used entirely so that nothing goes to waste.
Because of the giant ice cap that covers Greenland, there are many glaciers on the island. These can really be a sight for sore eyes, especially if you are lucky enough to catch one calving into the sea and filling the air with a massive roar.
Glaciers may be frozen rivers of ice, but they are still on the move. In fact, Greenland is the home of what is thought to be the fastest moving glacier in the world. Jakobshavn Glacier, situated close to Ilulissat, has been recorded travelling at around 10.5 miles per year. That’s three times faster than it was moving 25 years ago. Other awesome Greenland glaciers include the Humboldt Glacier and the Kong Oscar Glacier; both of which are found in the north-west of the country.
If you would like to know more about what you can expect from one of our Greenland expeditions, or you would like to book a polar cruise in this part of the Arctic, the Fred.\ team is on hand to help. Just call us today or submit your enquiry online.