Arctic Circle Cruise | Sisimiut | West Greenland
The arctic Circle is very close to Sisimiut which means that in the summer you will be able to see the the midnight sun. With a 24-hour period one can see the midnight sun at the Arctic Circle, and the further north you go the period of daylight becomes distinctively longer.
This is an unique opportunity to cross the Arctic Circle and experience the magnificent snow covered mountains where eternal snow and glaciers decorate the impressive landscape.
You will be sailing south on the coastline enroute towards the Polar Circle where you along the way will be passing a number of abandoned villages, that has been uninhabited during the 60's and 70's. Today however, they are used as vacation houses.
You will be passing Nipisat Island which in the old days used to be a station of the danish government to prevent Dutch whale Hunters from hunting illegally, but unfortunately they had to close it down due to the harsh conditions in the winter.
Today however the Island is said to be applying for a spot on the UNESCO's World Heritage list.
You will stop right at the spot of the Polar Circle 66°34′ N for a chance to take pictures before heading to calmer waters where you will enjoy your lunch break, with a marvelous view of the surrounding mountains and breathe in the fresh air.
Heading on to Itilleq a colourful small village where you will be able to walk around and experience the area and witness a place where time basically stands still. Go and see the inside of the local church and school and even the famous house of where former Prime Minister Hans Enoksen used to live. The village Itilleq was first located on the map when signed by the Foreign Minister Per Stig Møller from Denmark and later Prime Minister of Greenland Hans Enoksen, signed in may 14th 2003.
Then it is time to head back north, arrival to Sisimiut town around the afternoon.
- Available: Jun. - Aug.
- Duration: 7 hours
- Activities: Sight Seeing, Cultural Activity, Fishing, Boat Excursion, Photography, Arctic Wildlife
- Difficulty: Easy
- Languages: English, Danish
Experience adventure and culture in Greenland’s second largest city. Sisimiut is beautifully located with its colourful houses lying on the coastal foreland, surrounded by mountains and the sea. This location offers plenty of activities of all sorts, both winter and summer.
Background of the City
With its around 5.500 inhabitants Sisimiut is Greenland’s second largest city located by the Davis Strait on the west coast, approximately 75 kilometers north of the Arctic Circle. Through thousands of years there have been different settlements, from various Inuit people in the area. Today it is still possible to see the traces, from these settlements dating 4.500 years back to the Saqqaq-culture. In the summertime you can see the traces and learn about the history, by going on the guided tour “Hike Back in Time” (Hotel Sisimiut). Sisimiut Museum, located in old colonial buildings, displays a great exhibition of the history both the city and area. In Sisimiut you will also find a small and cozy blue church, this is the Bethel-church, which is the oldest church in Greenland. Today Sisimiut is a modern city with the most important industry, being the fishing industry.
Hiking & Activities
It is not all about the city and culture, when in town you cannot avoid the mountainous backdrop of the city. The area provides plenty of ways to experience the beautiful nature, for those who like some action and for more tranquil travelers.
A popular route is hiking the Arctic Circle Trail, which is 160 kilometers between Sisimiut and Kangerlussuaq. Here you will feel small in the vast open landscape in roaring silence of the nature far away from city life. The route goes through a landscape with mountains and a lot of pure lakes and streams. You can bring your own tent or use some of the basic open cabins, that you will find along the trail.
As the winter snow melts the landscape turns into a paradise for hiking. The tallest mountain around the city is Nasaasaaq (Kællingehætten) with its the 784 meters. From the top you will get a splendid view of the city and surroundings. A bit north of the city you will find the 544 meter tall Palasip Qaqqaa (Præstefjæld) where you apart from spectacular views over the fjords and mountains can see local flora and birds. Around the city there are also numerous trails leading into the mountains of the highlands and along the fjords.
In wintertime Sisimiut backcountry comes alive with different activities. The valleys and mountains become an excellent snow covered playground.
If you love the sound of an engine and would like to go a bit faster, there are plenty of options for snowmobile rides - for experienced riders and beginners. In this way you can fast and easily get around the backcountry as driver or passenger. You will reach spectacular views of the mountains, over the Davis Strait and feel the fresh cold air. Some snowmobile tours are also combined with e.g. ice fishing.
When in Sisimiut you will in a couple of places see the Greenlandic sled-dogs outside the houses. To experience the landscape around the city in winter you can join on a dogsledding trip. These trips vary in length, from a few hours up to a whole day.
There is something very special about experiencing Greenland from the perspective of a dog sled. Whizz quietly through the majestic white winter-landscape. Dog-sledding plays a big role in Greenlandic culture and historically it has been an important means of transportation for the Inuit. This is very unique experience of human and dog working together as a team. Before leaving you will see the excitement of the dogs, jumping and howling - eager to run off into the wild. As soon as the break of the sled is up and you go, you will only hear the soaring silence of nature and the many paws quietly stomping away on the snow.
In early spring Sisimiut is also home of the very popular cross country skiing race “Arctic Circle Race”. Which with its 160 kilometer long route stretches over three days. The mountainous terrain makes this one of the world hardest races.
With the city’s location there are also great opportunities for boat trips into the surrounding fjords for fishing, sightseeing and visiting abandoned settlements. When sailing you can enjoy the view of the highlands and might be lucky to catch a glimpse of a whale. The huge and beautiful humpback whales have been spotted gliding quietly through the water when sailing around Sisimiut, as they come very close to the shores. These huge, peaceful creatures come to the waters around Sisimiut to eat ammassat (capelin fish) in the summer. Furthermore there also might be an opportunity to spot other marine mammals, such as the minke and fin whales.
All in all Sisimiut ceases to disappoint. This arctic experience is for all ages, but no matter what age, it is a must visit. Guaranteed to be a trip to remember.
What to see & what to do in Sisimiut
Departure time : 10:00
Arctic Circle certificate
What to bring:
Warm clothing and footwear
Mosquito net/ hat
Good to know:
When traveling in Greenland make sure you are ready for any sorts of weather.