Wildlife holidays in Greenland
Tell me about Greenland …
Greenland is the world’s largest island. It is 10 times the size of the UK and has an area of 2,415,100 sq km and a 40,000-km long coastline. Unknown to Europeans until the 10th century, the modern Inuit Greenlanders arrived around 1200 AD from the north-west. It is now part of the Kingdom of Denmark but Home Rule was established in 1979, moving it towards relative independence. Its population of 56,000 is predominantly Inuit.
An immense ice cap covers about 85% of the island – it’s the world’s second largest ice sheet after Antarctica’s. The ice cap is up to 3km thick and contains over 4 million cubic km of ice. The ice-free area is about 350,000 sq km – roughly the size of France. Approximately one third of Greenland is national park. Iceland lies about 300km away and Canada is its nearest neighbour.
Our Greenland specialist recommends...
"‘West Greenland – Bowheads, Icefjords & Glaciers!’ is a fantastic tour which includes a 7-night cruise around Disko Bay in search of arctic mammals (particularly the rare Bowhead Whale), birds and other wildlife, plus the spectacular scenery of West Greenland."
Disko Bay marks the transition between central and northern Greenland and lies 400km north of the Arctic Circle. Some of the biggest icebergs in the world float in the crystal clear sea here. The best known of Greenland’s glaciers is at Ilulissat which, at its terminus, flows at speeds of up to 22 metres per day.
Greenland’s rocks are the oldest yet discovered. Gneiss from Nuuk area is about 3.87 billion years old – close to the Earth’s age of 4.6 billion years.
What’s special about its wildlife?
Home, or temporary home, to such iconic species as Polar Bears, Walrus, Bowhead Whales, Narwhal and Arctic Terns, Greenland (its seas and coasts in particular) can teem with life. In the summer whales, seals, dolphins and thousands of birds visit Disko Bay, while Disko Island boasts a fascinating flora.
Naturetrek Tour to Greenland
We offer one wildlife holiday to Greenland – a 10-day tour, including a 7-night cruise, around Disko Bay in search of Bowhead and Humpback Whales, huge icebergs and spectacular West Greenland scenery.
What might I see?
- We go in search of the rare Bowhead Whale on the ice edge
- Humpback & Fin Whales feed in the rich seas around Disko Bay
- Bearded & Ringed Seals are often seen resting on smaller ice floes, while Hooded & Harp Seals are also sometimes seen in these waters
- Breathtaking scenery around Disko Bay, including the Ilulissat Kangerlua (Icefjord)
- Spectacular glaciers, icebergs, icefjords & coastline
- Explore Disko Island & smaller offshore islands such as Hunde Ejland
- Look for Long-tailed Squa, Glaucous Gull, white-phase Gyr Falcon, Arctic Tern, White-fronted Geese & Grey Phalarope
- Unfortgettable land and seascapes & polar wildlife
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