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Destinations Polar Regions Arctic Polar Voyages to Greenland

Polar Voyages to Greenland

As the World’s largest island, Greenland has a population of just over 56,000, a third of which live in the capital city of Nuuk. The Arctic conditions in Greenland are greatly affected by the variations in sunshine, creating very distinct seasons throughout the year. Greenland experiences short summers with temperatures that range from cool to almost mild and the seasons bring with them a variety of outdoor pursuits to enjoy throughout the year, from the midnight sun activities in the summer, to the snow-based adventures during the winter months.

All of our current trips operate in the summer months, from June to September. The days at this time of year are long and bright and it is the best time to visit for walking and wildlife-watching. Under the midnight sun, you can benefit from the long days and milder temperatures. From the end of May to the end of July, the sun rarely sets in parts of Greenland and it is a magical time to be there. You will see children playing out in the street at close to midnight and groups of friends sitting around on the hillside, soaking up the never-ending rays of sunshine. Towards the end of the summer, whales frequent the fjords, while icebergs spawned from massive glaciers, glitter in the light of a late evening sunset. This is a perfect time of year for photography, as the light is continually changing and the multi-coloured skies form an incredible backdrop to the extraordinary glacial scenery.
Known as the the Land of the People, Greenland offers unique encounters with isolated Inuit communities, where hospitality is second to none. You will hear first-hand accounts of what life is like in this untamed environment and hear tales of old as locals recount ancient tales of early fishermen, handed down through the generations. You may even get the opportunity to sample a traditional kaffemik which involves good company, coffee and cake. Greenland offers an incredible mix of nature and wildlife with its breath-taking landscapes, towering ice formations and incredibly deep fjords. There is also an abundance of wildlife to be enjoyed with flocks of seabirds filling the skies above and humpback and bowhead whales breaching in the waters below.

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In the sea there are good chances of spotting some of the many whale species which ply the food-rich summer waters. If you are lucky, you might even spot narwhal – the only cetacean to sport a spiral tusk from its head (males only). These waters are also home to seals, walrus and a variety of seabirds.

Zodiac inflatable boat excursions allow you to travel deep into some of the fjords where it’s possible to spot some of the land mammals such as musk oxen, reindeer, Arctic fox and Arctic hare. Polar bears also inhabit the land but tend to stay in the more remote areas. You can set foot on shore to explore the tundra and see some of the area’s bird life and perhaps visit some ancient Nordic ruins.

Greenland supports a small human population too. Remote Inuit settlements are scattered along the coast. These hardy people support themselves mainly by fishing and hunting. It is sometimes possible to stop at the village of Ittoqqortoormiit (Scoresbysund) – the most isolated settlement in Greenland - to get a close up look at how the Inuit survive in the harsh conditions.

The Disko Bay region there are countless icebergs, rocky islands and glaciers form the backdrop of this stunning wilderness and whales can be seen in their plenty as belugas, narwhals and humpbacks gather in the Bay’s rich waters to feed.

If you are keen on the natural world in all its splendour, then our September trips are a perfect time for photography – the changing daylights hours bring about the pinky, orange sunsets that Greenland is famous for, offering an excellent backdrop to photograph the ice shapes that accompany late season.

If you are keen to explore the Polar Regions, but perhaps find elements of it a stretch on time and budget, then Greenland is the perfect destination. Like Antarctica, Greenland offers an abundance of marine and birdlife and also incredible ice sculptures and icebergs, as seen in the south with the added bonus of offering interaction with not only the native wildlife, but also the human population that inhabit this region.

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