Winter sail tour among icebergs to the settlements of Kapisillit and Qoornoq

By Verified Expert

If you fancy breathtaking landscapes, snow-capped mountains, and crystal blue icebergs, this winter sailing tour will sweep off your feet. Read on and hear about my first experience in the astonishing Nuuk Fjord.

Ready, set, sail!

I met the captain and the crew in the morning at the Industrial Harbor in Nuuk. Originally, the pickup point was at the Tidewater Stairs, but due to snow, ice, and to avoid the passengers sliding into the freezing water, the industrial harbor seemed to be the better choice for pickup.

Departure from the Industrial Harbor
Departure from the Industrial Harbor

We all got on board and found ourselves at ease. Hereafter, the captain and the crew gave us a quick brief about the tour and safety rules. The atmosphere onboard was clear: we were all pretty excited about what lay ahead of us. After the brief, we set sail (started the engine) and set course for Kapisillit.    

Brief of the day
Brief of the day

Sailing out of Nuuk  

Sometimes you have to shake things up and see it from a new angle, so they say. This expression was on point when it came to the view over Nuuk. As if the city was not beautiful enough in itself, the outside view over the Colonial Harbor and the Mosquito Valley was just something else.

The view over Mosquito Valley
The view over Mosquito Valley

From one spectacular scenery to another, the view over Nuuk quickly changed to the majestic Mount Sermitsiaq and then to the beginning of the fjord. And did you know the Nuuk Fjord is actually the second biggest fjord system in the world? Pretty incredible stuff.

Slalom between the icebergs 

During our sail along the fjord to Kapisillit, there was time for coffee, tea, hot chocolate, and a good chat and laugh with the captain and the crew. These guys were locals and could answer every question related to Greenland from A to Z. Or at least that was my clear impression! They sure had a big part in making this experience as good as it was. 

The captain and the crew
The captain and the crew

After one hour or so, the landscape turned into a fairytale land with countless floating icebergs. Somehow, it felt like an old Nintendo game where you had to maneuver left and right to avoid hitting the icebergs. The captain however had +20 years of sailing experience in these waters, so I felt pretty convinced he could pull it off blindfolded.

A land of icebergs
A land of icebergs

Moreover, we also spotted some sea eagles taking a well-deserved rest on the icebergs!

First stop: Kapisillit

It took us around two hours to reach the settlement of Kapisillit (fun fact: the name “Kapisillit” means the place with the salmon in Greenlandic). Since the harbor was a big blanket of ice, we had to reach land in a bit of an alternative way by finding a cliff along the shore. Nonetheless, we made it!

Arrival to Kapisillit
Arrival to Kapisillit

We spent around 45 minutes walking around in the charming settlement with the crew. They showed us the local church, the only store in town, and shared stories about the settlement. Kapisillit is actually the only settlement in the Nuuk Fjord where people live all year round!

The settlement of Kapisillit
The settlement of Kapisillit

Second stop: The abandoned settlement of Qoornoq 

The next and last stop on our sailing tour was Qoornoq. An abandoned settlement where people only stay for a summer get-away.

The settlement of Qoornoq
The settlement of Qoornoq

We walked around for 30 minutes and enjoyed the colorful houses and the incredible mountains that surrounded the charming settlement – and of course hugged some icebergs!

A happy iceberg hug
A happy iceberg hug

In this little corner of the world, I somehow felt the meaning of the word silence reached new heights with the settlements’ peaceful atmosphere. After our short sightseeing in Qoornoq, we headed back to the boat. Once again, we got on board in a bit of an alternative way!

Getting on board from Qoornoq
Getting on board from Qoornoq

Destination home

The way back was all about just enjoying the ride. I spent a lot of time on deck with red cheeks and a running nose since I had to get the best possible view of the sun disappearing behind the snow-capped mountains on the horizon.

Beautiful view over the Nuuk Fjord
Beautiful view over the Nuuk Fjord

This winter sail tour was an absolute joy. The Nuuk Fjord is without question something everybody visiting Nuuk should experience. 


If you want to try it out for yourself, you can see the tour I went on here.

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