Belonging to the Kingdom of Denmark but run independently, those who cruise to Greenland meet a world where European culture meshes with that of the Inuit in a harsh but beautiful landscape of ice, rock, and the sea. Greenland or “Kalaallit Nunaat” (“Land of the People") in the Greenlandic language is a place of extremes.
Greenland is dominated by the second largest ice-sheet of the world. Although huge in size it is inhabited by less than a 100.000 people. The majority of the Greenlandic population is formed by Inuit, the indigenous people of the Arctic.
Despite the restricted access to land due to the ice sheet Greenland sports a diverse array of wildlife. Many land mammals enjoy the northern and eastern shores of the island where human populations are few and far between. The waters around Greenland are alive with belugas, blues, fins, Greenland whales (a.k.a. bowhead whales), minkes, narwhals, and sperm whales.
Cruises to Greenland
A classic three island voyage : Ice , Inuit and Remoteness
RVR28-23 The Spitsbergen and Northeast Greenland cruise sails waters filled with breath-taking scenery. The expedition passes through areas that are home to seals, seabirds, whales, and polar bears.
s/v Rembrandt van Rijn
1 Aug - 19 Aug, 2023
Explore Earth's largest fjord system
RVR29-23 Our Scoresby Sund voyage ventures into the largest fjord system in the world, visiting historic Inuit sites, exploring sensational shorelines, and possibly even encountering the exotic wildlife of eastern Greenland.
s/v Rembrandt van Rijn
19 Aug - 30 Aug, 2023
A classic three island voyage: Ice, Inuit and Remoteness
PLA12-23 The Spitsbergen and Northeast Greenland cruise sails waters filled with breath-taking scenery. The expedition passes through areas that are home to seals, seabirds, whales, and polar bears, topped off with nighttime viewing of the Northern Lights.
20 Aug - 2 Sep, 2023
Enjoy some of the Arctic’s most iconic sites and wildlife on a voyage spanning Spitsbergen and northeast Greenland, featuring such highlights as Earth’s largest fjord and one of the best spots for viewing polar bears
OTL08x23 The Northeast Greenland to Spitsbergen cruise visits a number of areas as rich with wildlife as with fantastic polar scenery. During this fantastic expedition, you may encounter whales, seals, polar bears, and numerous species of seabird, with potential...
20 Aug - 2 Sep, 2023
19 Days Ultimate Arctic Discovery Voyage , Iceland – Northeast Greenland – Spitsbergen – Bear Island – Norway
Get the ultimate Arctic experience with this epic combination of two voyages that explore the most scenic and animal-rich areas of Svalbard and northeast Greenland
OTL08c23 Get the ultimate Arctic experience with this epic combination of two voyages that explore the most scenic and animal-rich areas of Svalbard and northeast Greenland
20 Aug - 7 Sep, 2023
Greenland cruise video
Oceanwide’s Polar Class 6 vessel Hondius set sail from her homeport Vlissingen in the Netherlands on Sunday, delivering
Greenland cruise reviews
Did you know, that the Inuit people made up the word "kayak" (qajaq)? I learnt that during my trip on M/V Hondius. It makes sense to strengthen paddling skills in the area where kayaking was born:
Where is Greenland?
Greenland is the world’s biggest island stretching approximately 2800 kilometres (1750 miles) from north to south. 85% of Greenland is covered in ice and is therefore white on the map.Read more »
What is the temperature and weather like in Greenland?
The size of Greenland creates a diverse range of temperature and climate conditions. For example, the populated sections of Greenland are all found on the coast because this area is free of ice. Meanwhile, the central region of Greenland is covered bRead more »
What will I see along the coastline of Greenland?
The surface of Greenland is dramatic and spectacular. Heavily indented with numerous fjords, the coast is formed by spectacular high mountains, 2000 meters (6500 feet) high cliffs and innumerable glaciers. The large glaciers produce the huge cathedraRead more »
What wildlife can I expect in Greenland?
A Greenland cruise may enable you to see a large variety of birds. There are about 52 bird species on the island. The number of land mammal species is relatively small, but it is still possible to see polar bears, Arctic hares, reindeer, musk oRead more »
What does the surface of Greenland look like?
Huge outlet glaciers slowly slide down the mountains towards the sea where the ice breaks of and creates the huge cathedral like icebergs that are so abundant in the Greenlandic waters.Read more »
What is the time in Greenland?
Greenland uses Coordinated Universal Time (UTC), with a range of UTC +0 to -4. This means that if it is 18:00 UTC (6 p.m.) in Nuuk when you travel to Greenland, it would be 16:00 (4 p.m.) in New York City, USA, 21:00 (9 p.m.) in London, U.K. and 09:0Read more »
Greenland: The Land and People
Fewer than 100,000 people call Greenland home, the majority of them Inuit – the indigenous people of the Arctic. Positioned northeast of Canada, Greenland is considered part of North America, though politically it has always been associated with Scandinavia.
Despite the mile-thick ice sheet that covers most of the island, Greenland is home to a variety of wildlife. Numerous land mammals reside along the northern and eastern shores, where human populations are scarce. The waters around Greenland are similarly rich with belugas, blues, fins, Greenland whales (bowheads), minkes, narwhals, and sperm whales.
Greenland’s ice sheet is the only one of its size outside Antarctica. About a tenth of the Earth’s surface is covered in similar sheets, nearly all of which are concentrated in Greenland and the Antarctic Continent. As such, human centers of activity―even the capital of Nuuk―are chiefly located along the shore. It almost goes without saying, then, that there are no roads connecting the Greenland coasts. Travel there is done only by air and sea.
Facts About Greenland
- Greenland is officially part of Denmark, though it retains a great degree of self-rule
- Almost 80% of Greenland is frozen in ice – only Antarctica has a larger ice sheet
- The remaining 20% of Greenland’s ice-free land is nearly the size of Sweden
- Greenland is the largest island (and least densely populated landmass) on Earth
- An estimated two million seals live in the waters around Greenland
- Greenland’s ice sheet is estimated to be between 400,000 and 800,000 years old
- Words like “igloo” and “kayak” – and more than a few synonyms for snow – originated from the Inuit of Greenland
- Greenland’s warmest temperatures don’t average much higher than 10°C even during the summer
Travel to Greenland
Those who join one of our cruises to Greenland, or Kalaallit Nunaat (Land of the People) as it is called in Greenlandic, encounter a country in which European and Inuit cultures intersect to create a world wholly its own. It is a severe but stunningly picturesque landscape of sprawling ice, towering rock, and limitless sky-blue sea.
From the midnight sun to the northern lights, the great polar bear to the colossal blue whale, the full range of this mythic environment’s awe-inspiring attractions are possible on our many Greenland cruises. Our ice-strengthened cruise ships, Plancius and Ortelius, will provide you a comfortable home base from which to embark on daily expeditions, allowing you to dig deep into the Greenland experience. And if traditional sailing is more your speed, join us aboard our three-masted schooner, Rembrandt van Rijn.
Our Greenland expeditions afford you experiences that are truly once-in-a-lifetime: hiking the same trails as the Vikings hundreds of years ago, watching the many species of whale that visit the spirited Greenland coast, meeting the Inuit people and learning firsthand about their vibrant Thule ancestry―not to mention bird watching, polar diving, and kayaking opportunities also available when you explore this otherworldly Arctic island with us.
You can see the wide array of Greenland cruises we offer on our dedicated Greenland Cruise Page.