Expect huge adventure in eastern Greenland, home to the world’s biggest fjord system and the largest nature reserve on earth. Scoresbysund’s massive fjord network — which branches out from the 70-mile-long main fjord — extends some 14,700 square miles across and more than 200 miles in depth. Its towering basalt walls reach 6,500 feet in some spots, while calving glaciers often match the size of the Empire State Building. Scoresbysund remained an Inuit secret until English explorer William Scoresby first navigated the system in 1822; its only town, tiny Ittoqqortoormiit, sits at the sound’s northern entrance. The town also serves as gateway to Greenland National Park, which comprises the entire northeastern corner of the country — a mind-numbing 375,000 square miles. (Texas clocks in at a mere 269,000.) Greenland’s sole national park is mostly covered by its ice sheet, and has no human inhabitants save a few meteorologists and members of the Sirius Dog Sled Patrol.
Your Seabourn expedition voyage spends five full days exploring this fantastical labyrinth of fjords, one of the last wild and untouched places on the planet. Anticipate vast, seemingly endless arctic landscape teeming with wildlife, including great colonies of Atlantic puffin and other seabirds. Muskoxen and reindeer are often seen grazing below the coastal cliffs, while the fjord’s deep waters attract beluga whales, narwhals, and the ever-elusive Greenland shark. This is also the best region in Greenland for polar bear sightings.
Your time in eastern Greenland is entirely expedition focused with no set itinerary, although highlights may include:
Ittoqqortoormiit: Around 400 hardy souls inhabit Scoresbysund’s only town, a blend of Inuit and Danish cultures with colorful, kit-style buildings scattered about the rocky bluff.
Sydkap (South Cape): Situated along Scoresbysund’s northeastern coast and set against a breathtaking alpine backdrop, this sloped headland boasts some of the area’s most impressive tundra flora.
Bear Islands: Ruins of ancient Thule stone houses can be found amongst this small cluster of low-lying rocky islands, located at the head of Øfjord.
Rødefjord (Red Fjord): Deep within Scoresbysund lies this spectacular fjord walled entirely by red sandstone cliffs. Your Zodiac navigates a small sea cave on monolithic Røde Ø (Red Island) and, conditions permitting, lands for a chance to survey the colorful panorama.
Regular Zodiac cruises with your Expedition Team often provide the best vantage to admire East Greenland’s grand landscape, huge icebergs, and glacier fronts. While encounters with fascinating marine life are possible, your Zodiac can also be a good platform for watching birds overhead and grasping the immensity of this beautiful land.
Set out on foot across the stark, seemingly barren tundra landscapes as your Expedition Team members point out delightful small plants and flowers that thrive in this hostile environment. Encounters with arctic foxes, muskoxen, or interesting bird species are always possible, as is the rare polar bear sighting. Whether seen as a tiny white speck in the distance or ambling slowly along a shoreline, a glimpse of this “king of the Arctic” is always awe-inspiring. Rest assured that all walks are carefully monitored by Bear Guards, who work to maintain the safety of visitor and bear alike.
Join your Kayak Team for a paddle along the shores wherever your expedition stops in East Greenland. The chance to experience this spectacular and magical region from a water-level perspective is unique and not to be missed.
Diving by Submersible
Delve below the frigid water surface of eastern Greenland in one of your ship’s custom-built submarines, exploring a plankton-rich realm where few have ever ventured — and fascinating discoveries are yet to be made.