I would like to see the Northern Lights, and travel on a dog sled. Other than that, what else is there to do? Is the cuisine interesting? And, what is the easiest way to get there (from the USA)?
I have never been to Greenland or even met anyone that has outside of military members. There aren’t very many people or much infrastructure there. Is there a reason that you want to go there instead of Alaska or Iceland? Those also have the experiences you want and the tourism infrastructure to support a good experience. Iceland is on my very short list of places to go soon. Hotel and airfare packages are very reasonably priced especially if you live in the Northeast or can get to New York, Washington or Boston easily (Iceland Air has direct flights to Reykjavik from those cities and tourism companies have packages to do everything you want from there). Alaska is fairly easy if you live closer to the West Coast.
You certainly can go to Greenland if you really want to but it is much harder to get to and more expensive than the other options. It is exotic though which may be important if racking up obscure vacation destinations is a priority.
Yeah, I did some research on it on my own just to see why few people go to Greenland. It is very difficult to get there from the U.S. or anywhere else and it isn’t set up for tourism. The few ways I could find to get there involved going to Europe first or taking a ship at a huge expense. However, it isn’t impossible. There are a few very small hotels and B&B’s plus some people that can take someone dog sledding but that is definitely a remote and exotic location.
Iceland, on the other hand, is a 1st world country with a thriving tourism scene. I have never heard of anyone that visited there that didn’t love it and it meets the stated goals much better unless you are into really extreme travel enough to pick Greenland because of the obscurity factor.
If there’s one geography lesson I learned from George Carlin, it’s that Iceland is green and Greenland is full of ice. Firsthand accounts from others have borne this out.
To be fair, the part of Greenland I visited was not exactly a tourist destination. The view up on the ice cap was–if you’ll pardon the expression–pretty cool, and I got some “No shit, there I was” stories out of it, but it’s not a place I’d recommend for a vacation. Some of the starker points: the first stop after getting off the plane was to be issued survival gear, the second was the store to pick up non-perishable food to keep in our rooms. It was a wretched place, and that’s coming from someone who likes cold. Unless you decide to go to Qaanaaq, though–which I would not advise–you’ll be looking at places way south of where I was.
For dogsledding, Sisimiut is probably the farthest point south you’d look at. It’s a town of around 6,000 that lies just north of the Arctic Circle. Hiking, skiing, snowmobiling, fishing, and boating would probably be your other options for activities. Poking around a bit shows dogsledding tours from a short ride to a 3-day trip to a neighboring town, with prices from ~$150 to $1400. (Not including rental of appropriate clothing, which, since the long trip involves tent camping, will probably be required.) That’s just for the excursion–getting there is going to be expensive, as will lodging and probably food.
Food-wise, I’d expect lots of seafood, and not just in Sisimiut, including meat from marine mammals. Land-based protein may include reindeer, musk ox, and hare. Protein-heavy overall, though extended growing seasons may be changing that in the south.
Do your research and make sure you know what you’re getting into. It’s not likely to be as bad as where I went, but when the tourist info starts spinning things like “authentic” and “do-it-yourself style”, it’s time to do some reality checking.
I hear Iceland is nice, and you can probably do the things you want cheaper and more easily. Just remember that anyone trying to talk you into eating hákarl is not your friend.
You can definitely see Northern Lights and ride dog sleds in Alaska. There are hotels and resorts that cater to this sort of thing.
Or you could see if there are still any hotel rooms left in Anchorage at the beginning of March, and go see the start of The Last Great Race.
Is there passenger service by ship from Iceland? that would be a nice way to go…only a few days I would think.
Any opinions on Canada, Norway, or Russia as a possible destination?
Norway is laughably expensive, I know that much.
There doesn’t seem to be anything like a ferry service to Greenland from anywhere. Looking at a [url=http://www.icelandprocruises.com/pages/cruise-trips-2016/greenlands-wonders-of-nature-and-iceland.html]cruise itinerary, it appears to be about 2 days by ship between the southern tip of Greenland and Vestmannaeyjar on the southern coast of Iceland.
Let me run down the options for getting there:
Fly from Reykjavik. There are regular flights to Nuuk (about 2/week). They plan to start flights to Kangerlussuaq this summer. Cruises may involve charter flights to or from Kangerlussuaq. (If you go to Nuuk, you’ll probably need an Air Greenland flight or take a coastal boat to get far enough north for the things you want to do.)
Fly from Copenhagen, probably with a layover in Reykjavik. (So, basically the same flight, just with an extra leg.)
You might be able to fly from Iqaluit, Canada…but that’s not the easiest place to get to, either.
Take an Arctic cruise. There are a number of starting points, but most of them are for very long cruises that don’t go where you’d want. You’d probably want one out of–guess where–Reykjavik. They’re shorter and at least some have Kangerlussuaq at one end, where you could get your dogsledding on before flying back.
Find a cargo ship that takes passengers. There are some that sail from Canada to Greenland that do so, I think.
(Note: I haven’t done any of these. I got there via military transport.)
Better hurry, I hear it’s melting.:eek:
I just visited Iceland a couple months ago, and several of the tour companies operating out of Reykjavik offered day trips or overnight trips to Greenland.
But, unless your heart is set on Greenland specifically, a wintertime trip to Iceland should provide what you’re looking for, and probably at a more reasonable price. I went on a Northern Lights tour, and saw several advertisements for dogsledding as well.
Note that, if you do a Northern Lights excursion, schedule it as early in the trip as feasible. The companies that run them generally offer a voucher for the next night if the lights don’t show up when you’re out there, and then again if you’re unsuccessful again, and so on, but that doesn’t do much good if your flight leaves the next morning.
Ask the Girl from Ipanema. She went there.
(80s B52 song)
whta is Greenland like in the summer? i understand there are actually some forested areas there now-are these accessible?
All I know is that Vizzini was able to make kind-hearted Fezzik capture an innocent girl just by threatening to send him back to Greenland.
Not sure you want to go there, my friend.