Ilulissat, Greenland Cruise Port

Those who love exploring the Arctic will find that a cruise to Ilulissat, Greenland is a dream come true. Ilulissat is Greenland's third-largest city, with the nearby Ilulissat Icefjord as its most popular tourist destination. Located about 220 miles north of the Arctic Circle, the number of humans and sled dogs are almost equal (indeed, the coat of arms features a row of sled dogs facing a moon, sun, and snowflake). Established as a trading post in 1741 by the company founded by Dano-Norwegian merchant Jacob Severin, it was named Jacobshaven in his honor; eventually, the name Ilulissat stuck, and for obvious reasons: It's the Kalaallisut word for "icebergs." Despite its small population of approximately 4,500, there have been several citizens of note, including polar explorers Knud Rasmussen and Jørgen Brønlund, and artist Jens Rosing. Here are some of our favorite experiences for the cruise port of Ilulissat, Greenland:
 
  • The Ilulissat Icefjord has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Here you'll find gigantic icebergs from the northern hemisphere's most productive glacier which you can see up close via tour boat. Their size in combination with the sounds made by fast-moving glacial calving (chunks breaking off and falling into the water) is truly breathtaking.
     
  • To get into the town's history, visit the bright red Ilulissat Museum, also the birthplace of explorer Knud Rasmussen. Here you'll learn about Rasmussen's expeditions, examine artefacts, and the Inuit settlement of Sermermiut. You'll also find a display of current events, including how climate change is affecting the area's glaciers.
     
  • Those who want to breathe the crisp, cold air will find there are multiple well-marked hiking trails throughout the area. With different levels of intensity and mountains of varying size, there are options for all types of nature lovers.
     
  • Where else can you go dog sledding? Ilulissat has a number of tour groups that can set you up on the ride of a lifetime, as a team of joyful canines takes you on a whirlwind tour of Greenland's countryside.
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