Greenland, Land of the Icebergs

MR0121Greenland is to the east of Canada’s Arctic Archipelago, relatively closer to Iceland but traditionally part of the Danish Realm. Viking Norsemen arrived here in longboats in the 10th century. Three centuries later, the Inuit people arrived. Both came to reap generous harvests from the rich biodiversity available.

Along the fringes of the ice-free shores, we find a green and pleasant land. All the towns and settlements are here. While inland there is a vast accumulation of ice so heavy it depressed a basin 300 m (984 ft.) below sea level. If Greenland’s ice all melted, global sea levels could rise by over 7 m (23 ft.). That’s an awesome thought about an awesome place.

Approaching Iceland: A Dream Come True

A voyage to Iceland is an incredible experience as we approach, and find ourselves surrounded by pods of whales and packs of seals. On a clear day, the blue ocean glistens. At night, myriads of stars twinkle, and we may see magnificent displays of Northern Lights in season.

We like to anchor at the Qooroq Ice Fjord in summer, when ice melts carve huge icebergs from the tips of glaciers. They send them crashing into the sea in one of nature’s finest moments. The place the Inuit people call ‘The Land of Great Length’ will continue to astound you, as you experience wild creatures you may not have seen before.

The Incredible Diversity of Greenland Wildlife

Offshore, and in the rivers inland, the waters are alive with fish. The nation exports large quantities of salmon, halibut, cod, and shrimp. Migratory seabirds flock here in huge numbers annually. Onshore, snowy owls, gyrfalcons, and white tailed eagles tirelessly hunt for small mammals and the occasional fish.

On land, we may see arctic foxes, huge musk ox, polar bears, and arctic wolves. Arctic hares scurry through sparse vegetation among white birches, willows, and small trees. Greenland on the edge of the Arctic Circle will challenge you when you arrive. You will sail away with a deeper understanding of why we should preserve this wilderness forever.