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Pre-departure information

 

IMPORTANT 

Greenland consists of a wide variety of lifestyles, from urban towns to small and very remote communities. Indigenous people follow centuries-old ways of life, in terms of hunting, trapping and fishing. The people are friendly, but sometimes reserved. Please always ask permission before taking photos. 

Natural resources and climate are perhaps the two most important factors shaping Greenland and its inhabitants. Access to natural resources often dictate where people settle, while the relatively cold climate and unpredictable weather influence cultural norms, traditions and mentalities.

Hunting, trapping and fishing still play an important role in large parts of Greenland. This is something we as visitors must respect. Please note: 

  • You will see blood on the grounds from hunting
  • You will see different animal skins strung up to dry
  • Alcoholism can sometimes be a problem in the settlements
  • Never approach or pet a sled dog. They are not tame as regular pets. 

It is very important that you reed the AECO Community Guidelines, where you find more insights on what's important to know, when visiting Greenland. You can also read them here.

ITINERARY

Please note: The itinerary of your expedition cruise is never set in stone. Factors such as weather and ice conditions play an important role in where the ship can venture.The daily schedule is decided by the Captain and the Expedition Leader, who both have great experience of the areas we are travelling in. Remember that flexibility is the key to a successful expedition!

GUIDES

A successful journey is often marked by the presence of leaders who are both well-informed and passionately engaged. A few weeks prior to your voyage, you will receive a short introduction of the guides who will be on your trip.

MEDICAL CONDITIONS

To participate in this expedition cruise, you must be in generally good health and have good mobility. If you have had any major surgery in the last two years or have any pre-existing medical conditions that the staff and crew on board need to know about, please complete and return our medical form. You can find the form here. Open the form, save it to your computor/tablet. Fill it in (if required also by your pysician) and send it to us. 

We also ask you to bring a list/description of your medication.

If you occasionally are in need of an extra hand, you must have someone travelling with you. Our guides need to be available for all passengers on board and can unfortunately not provide extra attention to someone in need of special assistance.

INSURANCE

It is very important to have full medical, emergency evacuation and repatriation coverage throughout your voyage. 

PASSPORT & VISA

All visitors to Greenland (and Iceland if applicable) need a valid passport. Please check with your nearest Danish Embassy if you are required to obtain visa for this trip. You also need to check how many months your passport needs to be valid after the date you plan to leave Greenland.

CURRENCY

The currency of Greenland is the Danish Krone (DKK). In most places in Greenland you can pay with Credit Card. It is generally always a good idea to bring cash in DKK, especially when visiting small towns and settlements.

(If applicable: The currency in Iceland is the Icelandic Krona (ISK) and debit cards are accepted.)

SOUVENIRS

You are encouraged to buy local souvenirs and products, but be aware of the legalities of importing/transporting purchases into other countries, see more info on www.cites.org. Many souvenirs can only be paid for in cash. 

LUGGAGE WEIGHT

Please read about luggage restrictions on the airlines' website: Air Greenland or Iceland Air

(On the flight between Keflavik and Kulusuk booked by PolarQuest for travellers going to East Greenland, the luggage weight is a maximum of 1x20 kg for checked in luggage and a maximum of 6 kg for hand luggage.)

LOST LUGGAGE

Lost luggage is beyond our control. We recommend you take the following precautions:

  • Pack your hand luggage with your essentials, such as medication and valuables
  • Fly with your jacket on/with you on board
  • Avoid travelling in light summer shoes
  • Bring a change of clothes in your hand luggage
  • If you have a travel companion, pack a few items in each other’s luggage. If your luggage goes missing, you will still have some of your items available.

FACTS

  • There are no roads connecting any of the towns in Greenland.
  • The island is home to the Greenland Icesheet, the second largest ice sheet in the world after the Antarctic, the world’s longest fjord system and National Park.
  • Greenland is 84% permanently covered by ice – so it's no wonder that the Greenlanders have over 50 different words for snow and ice.
  • The first people to inhabit Greenland was indigenous Inuit people from Arctic Canada, who crossed the then frozen Thule strait.
  • The UNESCO World Heritage Site, The Ilulissat Icefjord, is the most productive glacier in the world.
  • The word "kayak" comes from the Greenlandic word "qajaq", and it was the Greenlandic hunters who invented this extremely maneuverable water transport.
  • The official language of Greenland is Kalaallisut (West Greenlandic) and the locals are always delighted when visitors try to speak a few words of the local language. A good start is to learn the words “hello”, which is called “aluu”, or “goodbye”, which is simply “baaj”.
  • During the colonial period, a color-coding system was introduced to the houses in Greenland which was later retained by the GTO (Greenland Technical Organisation). This color coding made it easy to identify a building's actual function: fish factories were blue, hospitals were yellow, schoolhouses were red, and the telephone company was green.
  • Greenland has a population of 56,000 people, making it the most sparsely populated country on Earth.