From unique cultures and rare wildlife to majestic landscapes and towering icescapes, Greenland is beyond imagination.
Describing Greenland as multicultural might seem a little unorthodox, however when you learn about its rich Viking history, the journey of the Dorset people, as well as the Greenlandic people and the Danish immigrants, you’ll agree that Greenland is a melting pot of old and new mores.
Visiting communities big (up to 5000 residents) and small (some as small as 150 people), you’ll be guided by locals who provide a unique perspective on your experience. Children in both modern and traditional dress play with husky puppies in training to become sled dogs; village elders lay their pelts out on the front porch to dry in the Northern sun; old Viking churches still erect transport you back to the days of Erik the Red and the Viking settlements of yesteryear; all paint a beautiful photo in your mind’s eye of the Greenlandic way of life.
Greenland is a green and lush country with vegetation aplenty. Hiking presents opportunities for everyone to enjoy the scenery. Sit on a rock on the beach and watch as the sun inches west, take a hike far and high to explore the land in all its beauty or just follow your photography guide to capture the moment. While hiking through the valleys, you’ll come across Uunartoq Springs, naturally occurring sulfur hot springs with an average temperature of 38°C (100°F). Sit back, relax and enjoy the view as you watch incredible icebergs floating past.
Kayaking was invented here. The word ‘Qajaq’ was adopted by the rest of the world. Traditional kayaks were made of drift wood, animal skin and bones. A kayak demonstration will show Eskimo rolls amongst other tricks. Experience kayaking in Greenland for yourself by taking a more contemporary kayak out; professional guides will show you all the nooks and crannies of this wondrous land and steer you around the immeasurable icebergs.
When you think of icescapes, you have probably never imagined anything like Ilulissat icefjord. As the fastest moving glacier in the world (at a rate of 25-30m per day (82-98ft), this UNESCO World Heritage Site should definitely be on everyone’s bucket list. The icebergs that calve from this fjord are so enormous it is hard for the average person to even begin to fathom their size. Measuring more than 600m (2000ft) below the surface of the water and two city blocks long, these icebergs cannot leave the fjord until they break up into smaller icebergs; there is, quite literally an iceberg traffic jam.
If wildlife is your thing, Greenland offers rare, but impressive sightings. During the Arctic summer, you can spot humpback, minke and fin whales – these creatures weigh up to 70 tons! You’ll spot ring seals swimming around the fjords, birds both at sea and flying over land, and perhaps even floating on calmer waters waiting to catch their dinner. Even the pre-historic looking musk oxen roam around Greenland near Kangerlussuaq, preparing for the upcoming winter.
An expedition to Greenland with Quark doesn’t end with your on-land experiences; quite the contrary. Your on-land experiences are complemented by your shipboard home-away-from-home. While aboard Quark’s all-suites ship, Sea Spirit, you’ll be treated to five-star meals, all-inclusive drinks, lectures from experts in the fields of marine biology, glaciology and more. Laurie Dexter, recipient of the Order of Canada, your onboard historian, will regale passengers with stories of the Vikings, Dorset and modern-day Inuits.
With a warm blanket and hot tea in hand, relax on your private balcony to watch as the sun sets and the Aurora borealis dances you into a deep slumber, preparing you for another day of exploration.