Cruises to Greenland are something that every traveler should consider when planning either their next cruise vacation or a trip to the harshly beautiful island of Greenland. This largest island in the world is a fascinating destination, and as a bonus, many of the cruises that visit Greenland make stops in other amazing places. For those who prefer to focus just on one destination, it is also possible to fly to Greenland and then take a cruise once you arrive. Either way you go, there will be plenty of great things to see and a range of unusual activities, such as dog sledding trips and tours.
These cruises are still a small part of the market, but they’re becoming more popular as travelers around the globe are looking for unique destinations and starting to realize just how amazing this northern country is. In addition, more cruise companies are seeing the value in Greenland cruises, and the availability of these trips has risen as well. There are now cruises to Greenland that depart from Europe, the U.S., and Canada. Also available are Greenland cruise packages that include flights to Greenland itself, or to another North Atlantic destination such as Iceland, and then beginning their cruises from there.
A popular option when it comes to Greenland cruises is to fly to either Iceland or Spitsbergen and then begin the cruise from there. Spitsbergen is an island in Norway’s Svalbard archipelago, and it serves as a popular Arctic cruise destination. There are also cruises to Greenland that originate in northern Canada. You can depart from Kugluktuk, for example. Formerly known as Coppermine, this outpost can be reached by way of charter flights from such Canadian cities as Edmonton and Alberta. On the European continent, it makes sense that Denmark is a popular starting point for Greenland cruises—though it has a great deal of autonomy, Greenland is, after all, officially part of the Kingdom of Denmark.
Regardless of where your cruise begins, there are multiple options for the ships themselves as well. For instance, some of the Greenland cruise ships are old research vessels that have been renovated and refitted for tourism. Your boat might also be a larger cruise ship that was built for this purpose but may not have access to smaller harbors, so travelers can choose accordingly. Cozy cabins are a standard option on all the ships, and no matter where you are around Greenland, the views from the deck’s are stunning. The other on-board amenities will depend on your ship; they can include things such as a barbecue area, a dining room, a bar, and a fitness center.
The best thing about cruises to Greenland is the fact that they allow passengers to enjoy the great outdoor experiences that the island offers. Possible onshore activities include trekking among high-rising mountains, searching for polar bears, strolling along beaches, taking Zodiac cruises among icebergs, seeing glaciers calving, visiting Inuit communities, and relaxing in the natural hot springs. Whale watching is an option as well, at the right time of year. Some Greenland cruises also offer onboard lectures by scientists, and there are typically shore excursions involving tours led by a guide who knows a lot about the country’s geography, its people, and its wildlife.
Cruises to Greenland are best taken during the summer season, as this is when the pack ice recedes in the High Arctic, and cruises in the short days of winter can be very limited, if they’re available at all. July to September is an especially popular time to visit the beautiful realms of the arctic.