Our great ship, National Geographic Explorer, meandered her way into the beauty of one of Greenland’s most picturesque fjords, heading to Kangaamiut. Our morning was filled with presentations by Emmett Clarkin giving a presentation on “The Motion of the Ocean,” followed by Karen Copeland discussing “Feeding the North.” In the afternoon, guests were given the opportunity to cruise as close as possible to the calving ice of a very active glacier. The cracks and growls and roars and howls were incredible as ice fell into the ocean, delighting guests and staff alike.
National Geographic Explorer
After crossing Baffin Bay from Nunavut, we arrived in Ilulissat on Disko Bay, on the west coast of Greenland. Parking proved a little difficult and required the intervention of two Zodiacs to nudge a small iceberg out of the way before the ship could be berthed. Our destination was the nearby Ilulissat Icefjord, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Boat tours took us among the fjord’s icebergs, past multiple pods of humpback whales, and by a solitary minke whale. We visited the Sermermiut archaeological site which overlooks the icefjord. The site has played a key role in establishing the archaeological chronology of Greenland. Occupied for more than 4,000 years, first by the Saqqaq, then the Dorset and, finally, the Thule, it was ultimately abandoned in 1850, after cooling temperatures caused the ice to advance so far that seal hunting became impossible. After exploring the town, we returned to the ship, cruising past icebergs and humpback whales en route to Kangaamiut Kangerluarsuat, our next destination.