Greenland – The Coolest Place On Earth

Greenland – The Coolest Place On Earth

Judy Doughty – Marketing Assistant Arctic Travel Centre

I’m just about to embark on my first cruise and oh what a first, in the Arctic. The feeling of excitement and anticipation of choosing this adventure was strong and it was so close now.

In part this cruise was for me about discovering first-hand the unknown; as well as discovering the beauty of this wild and sparsely populated country with vast fjords, icebergs, glaciers, Inuit communities and so much more.

I often contemplated about what was to become my world on a 15 day cruise to Greenland and what the reality of life at sea with excursions via zodiacs and heli-landings, all of which were new to me, would be like; and all that thinking didn’t prepare me for the amazing experience ahead.

Before embarking on the Ultramarine I had a few magical nights in beautiful Reykjavik (a city I’d written about at school – and now I was there). The enchanting city was so engaging I didn’t have time to think too long or hard about the voyage ahead, ‘A trip of a lifetime’ (the marketing on this is so accurate and true). My adventures in this beautiful city is another story and blog in itself which I’m looking forward to sharing.

Hallgrimskirkja Church

Leif Eriksson, Hallgrimskirkja Church Reykjavik                                                            Funky Reykjavik street art

It was wonderful spending a couple of relaxing days at sea enjoying the dining service on board, getting to know the crew and layout of the ship in between presentations and information sessions about helicopter flights, landings and zodiac excursions. It was also enough time to get used to the sun setting around midnight and rising again within a few hours ; I was very appreciative of the block out curtains.

Wow – Arriving in the rugged wild East Greenland; an incredible feeling. First time ever in a Polar region it felt like I was inside a National Geographic magazine. I reminded myself a couple of times this experience was real , that I was there and I’m going to devour every moment of this journey.

Greenland Sunset

There were so many firsts for me on this voyage; here are just a few:  

My first sighting of a pod of Fin Whales it was thrilling and for everyone on board. I quickly updated my knowledge of the Fin whale (and other whales we might encounter). There are only about 100,000 in the world and sightings are less common of this the second largest creature in the world to have ever existed. The ocean at this point was so still and calm and hearing the sounds from these creatures was mesmerizing.

Soon I was leaving the ship on my first zodiac cruise; shortly after our guide, Sarah, pulled the zodiac up onto a piece of floating sea ice, turned off the outboard motor and all I can hear is the stunning sounds of the ocean – time stands still.

Fin whale blow                                                                                                                      Terminus of glacier

I still had many more firsts ahead of me; a helicopter flight, a heli-landing excursion and hike on Greenland, visits to Inuit communities, cruising along stunning fjords and a flight back to Iceland over the Greenland ice cap to name a few.
Now I understood why for many of my fellow expeditioners this was not their first expedition cruise but their second, third or fourth.

I guess you have to start somewhere and my first expedition cruise to Greenland will always be special to me; Greenland the Coolest Place on Earth.


Subscribe to our email newsletter ‘Tailor-made Journeys’ to hear about our latest news, new experiences and all things Arctic, Antarctica and Latin America.