Frequently Asked Questions
BY CRUISE GUESTS IN GREENLAND
We have compiled useful information and good advise for your cruise in Greenland in our list of Frequently Asked Questions. We also encourage you to get in touch with your cruise operator for more specific details about practical considerations regarding your itinerary.
As the saying goes, there is no bad weather – it is only a question of dressing properly. What to wear depends on the season, place, type and level of activity and the weather.
When hiking in Greenland it is often good to think on bringing multiple layers, so you can adjust accordingly to temperature and weather. Take off layers when you are warm and put on layers when you are cold.
In general we advise you to bring:
- Waterproof and breathable footwear with a good grip and support around your ankles. Many places in Greenland you will find yourself walking on rocks, gravel or dirt tracks. Proper footwear may be the difference between great and bad experiences.
- Rain- and windproof breathable clothing. Even on days with blue skies, the weather may change and the wind is almost always cool. A light and packable jacket allows you to wear it when needed.
- Warm clothing, to wear if the temperature changes.
- Warm and sheltering headwear. Your head is one of the main areas of warmth drain and should be covered in cold conditions. In high summer the sun can be very strong, and a hat or cap can come in handy.
- Gloves. To protect your hands on the water and chilly days.
- Sunglasses. The sun is very strong during summer and especially on the water.
- Sunscreen for exposed skin. In summer the air may feel cool, but the sun still burns
- Mosquito net and repellent. Especially in July and August. If you are allergic to insect bites, you should bring antihistamine.
All prices in Greenland include tips and gratuity.
If you find the service at a restaurant or by a guide to be good, gratuity is appreciated. How much you wish to give is entirely up to you.
Also feel free to express if the service exceeded your expectations, as this both encourages and makes the service provider conscious of what they are doing good.
Most people in Greenland welcome visitors and are in many cases just as curious as you are. For many visitors and locals the best experiences comes from meeting and engaging each other in a way that provides value for both. This can be from just a smile, a conversation to engaging in shared activities.
Even if a small Greenlandic village may seem like another world from your home, the general rule of conduct is basically not to behave in a way you would not at home.
There are however some special considerations as most settlements in Greenland are working areas and designed for local use. In North Greenland sled dogs are not pets and should never be approached. You may find tools and equipment apparently lying around, but be sure it belongs to someone and has a purpose.
Ask your onboard-guides if there are special considerations before going a shore, and follow these simple advices:
- Smile and say hello
- Ask before you take pictures, and always respect a “no”
- Talk to people, not about them
- Respect local habits
- If invited into a local’s home, always remember to take off your shoes before entering
Danish kroner (DKK) is the valid currency in Greenland. Some souvenir shops may accept foreign currency, but only in notes. In smaller towns and settlements the local Pilersuisoq shop accepts cash in Danish Kroner, Euro, US Dollar, Canadian Dollar, British Pounds, Norwegian Kroner and Swedish Kroner.
As a general rule it is always a good idea to bring cash in DKK, especially when visiting small towns and settlements.
The following credit cards are accepted in Cash Dispensers (ATMs): Visa, Mastercard, Eurocard, Diners, Dankort and American Express. Pin-code must be used to draw money.
Cash Dispensers (ATMs) are found in the following towns: Nanortalik, Narsaq, Qaqortoq, Paamiut, Nuuk, Maniitsoq, Sisimiut, Kangerlussuaq, Aasiaat, Qasigiannguit, Ilulissat, Qeqertarsuaq, Uummannaq, Upernavik, Tasiilaq.
The shear size of Greenland makes for considerable differences in climatic conditions from the South-west to the North-East. Even within the regions there may be great differences, whether you are near the ocean or in the fjords, or between night and day.
Mean temperatures are only advisory and are averages over a period of years. You may encounter considerably colder or warmer temperatures on site.
TEMPERATURES IN DEGREES CELSIUS
TEMPERATURES IN DEGREES FAHRENHEIT
The association of Arctic Expedition Cruise Operators, AECO, have produced an informative and comprehensive animated short film about best practices for visitors to the Arctic which you can watch below. For more information about guidelines when visiting the Arctic you can visit the AECO website.
If your browser has trouble displaying the video you can also find it on Vimeo.
There are hospitals in the towns and nursing clinics in the settlements.
If you use medication regularly it is recommended, that you bring your own medicine for the stay in Greenland.
In larger towns in Greenland you may be surprised at the variety of shops and goods. There may only be a few shops, but the selection is wide. Often there are one or two larger super markets selling all from hardware to milk, and a selection of smaller specialized shops. In Nuuk you will find the first proper mall in Greenland.
In smaller towns and settlements the selection is smaller. Here there may only be a single store dealing in food, hunting equipment, fishing tackle and other items necessary. You may also find postcards and greenlandic handicrafts for sale here. The store also functions as post office and bank.
There is no VAT in Greenland, but as most goods must be either shipped or flown in, prices tend to be on par or a bit higher than in Northern Europe.
In Greenlandic shops prices are set and not for negotiation. This is also the case for most street vendors. Do not attempt to hackle unless expressly invited to.
If you do not need a visa for Denmark, you do not need a visa for Greenland.
If you need a visa to enter Denmark, please be aware that you need a special permit to enter Greenland, as Greenland is outside the Schengen agreement. Make sure to note that you are traveling to Greenland, when applying for a visa.
PEOPLE & PLACES
People in Greenland are generally welcoming and friendly, and most people will enjoy being photographed. However, always ask before taking a photo and always respect a “no” or a gesture signaling no.
You are also always allowed to photograph in the public space, including photos of both the natural world, public buildings, and private homes.
However, please be considerate when photographing in public, and note that some destinations, especially in the Disko Bay area in and around Ilulissat, see a lot of visitors every year. This may at times make locals a little less forthcoming when you ask about taking their photograph.
When photographing wildlife of any species and size do not disturb, frighten, approach, or feed the animal in order to try and make it respond or move. Be patient and enjoy the moment – and accept that most natural wildlife shots require the kind of good timing which does not always happen in the spur of the moment on a quick visit.
OBJECTS & PLANTS
Also, leave everything in place where you find it, so please do not rearrange objects, plants or other features of the natural environment in order to get “the right shot”. The right shot is what is available in the context of the environment around you, and changing body position or camera angle is the wiser choice compared to physical intervention.
About Visit Greenland
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