We made a 3 week Arctic Exploration on board of ms Marco Polo (Cruise & Maritime Voyages).
Greenland is the world’s largest island and extends about 2,670 kilometers from north to south and 1,050 kilometers from east to west at its widest point. The area is 2,2 million square kilometers, 4 times the area of France. Over four fifths of its landmass (some 1,7 million square kilometers) is covered in an ice sheet with an average thickness of 1,500 meters, and reaches a maximum thickness of about 3,000 meters.
With a population of about 56,000, Greenland is the least densely populated country in the world. All towns and settlements are situated along the ice-free coast, with the population being concentrated along the west coast. Transportation between towns and villages happens by air, by sea, dogsled or snow scooter.
The cruise with seven calls in Greenland, gave us the ultimate opportunity to discover some of Greenland’s most wonderful scenery - dramatic fjords, mighty icebergs and some of the world’s most active glaciers, but also the vibrant and dynamic culture of its people - in one journey.
Travel to this magnificent scenic arctic area does require a degree of flexibility and understanding. Weather and ice conditions can change rapidly and are not always predictable.
Greenland’s coastline is 44,087 kilometres long. This distance is roughly equivalent to Earth’s circumference at the Equator.
Working on a photoshoot at the Ililissat fjord, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Here, with about 40 meters per day, the Sermeq glacier moves faster than any other glacier in the world.
Our itinerary from Edinburgh (Scotland) to Faroes, Iceland and Greenland:
5,311 nautical miles (9,836 kilometres).
In the gallery a random selection of my most favorite shots made on our sea journey to Greenland
Click on an image in the webgallery to view a larger version.
Greenland Ice Cap
Over 80% of Greenland is locked under a perpetual icesheet covering an area of 1,7 million square kilometres.
Ilulissat is Greenland's third largest town, located in western Greenland approximately 350 kilometres north of the Arctic Circle.
Rainbow-coloured houses are scattered right at the mouth of a 40 kilometres ice fjord.
Ilulissat, West Greenland
Great hiking opportunities to the Ilulissat ice fjord.
Ilulissat, West Greenland
Huge icebergs can be seen from allmost all over the Ilulissat area.
Ilulissat Ice Fjord
The Northern Hemisphere's most productive glacier, Sermeq Kujalleq produces about 20 million tons (!!!) of ice each day, all floating into the Ilulissat Ice Fjord and Disko Bay.
More than 35 billion tonnes of ice flow out of the Ilulissat ice fjord each year, calved from the Sermeq Kujalleq glacier (Jakobshavn glacier) and the result is gigantic icebergs.
The scenic town of Qaqortoq is located far inside the Southern Greenlandic fjord system.
Nuuk is the capital and largest city of Greenland. Nuuk, located in Western Greenland, contain almost a quarter of Greenland's population of 56,000 inhabitants.
Nuuk, like most other areas in Greenland, features an artic climate, with normally two seasons, summer and winter. The highest summer temperature in Nuuk is roughly 10 degrees.
Sisimiut, formerly Holsteinborg, is the second-largest city in Greenland, 320 kilometres north of the capital Nuuk. Fishing is the principal industry here.
Qeqertarsuaq - Disko Island
A sunny summerday at the beach of Qeqertarsuaq, located on the south coast of Disko Island on the West coast of Greenland.
Iceberg at 12 o'clock
Midnight sun over Davis Strait, the sea between West Greenland and Baffin Island (Canada).
Sailing around Greenland is the ultimate opportunity to see whales.
Narsarsuaq - South Greenland
A glimpse of Qooroq glacier at the mouth of a majestic fjord.
Kangerlussuaq - West Greenland
The village of Kangerlussuaq is located on the far end of a 180 kilometres long fjord with the same name. Here starts the only road to the Greenland ice sheet.
The climate in Kangerlussuaq is continental with stable warm and very dry summers (+ 15 degrees) and very cold winters ( -25 degrees).
The valley here is named Sandflugtdalen (valley of flying sand) and refers to the occasional sand storms down the valley. The fine sand comes from glacial deposits and gets easily wind-borne.
Sunrise: up all day
Sunset: up all day
The Greenland ice sheet
Standing here on the edge of the Greenland ice sheet, and seeing the colossal mass of ice twinkle in the sunlight, is a breathtaking experience.
Close to the ice cap (1)
Kangerlussuaq is the best place in all of Greenland to get close to the ice cap. Here at the edge, the ice is obviously not that thick, but at the centre of the ice cap, the thickness is actually more than three kilometres!
Close to the ice cap (2)
It is an incredible experience standing here, realising that there is nothing but hundreds and hundreds of kilometres of ice in three directions.
Fjord carved coastlines
44,087 kilometres of coastline offers a fascinating view of spectacular landscapes characterized by fjords, glaciers and huge icebergs!