FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

Cruise Amid the Remote Beauty of Greenland with Ponant, Hurtigruten and More

by Margaret Backenheimer and J.D. Brown

Feb 18, 2021

PHOTO: © CRYSTAL CRUISES

January/February 2021

In terms of cruise destinations, Greenland is the new Iceland, as Greenland is becoming the hottest destination in Arctic cruising. This owes to its remoteness, beauty and peculiarities. Earth’s biggest ice sheet (outside of the South Pole) occupies most of the huge island, leaving just the green fringes for villages and towns, none connected by road or rail. The ice and snow are spectacular year-round, the mountains steep, the glaciers vast, the wildlife (whales, polar bears, musk oxen, reindeer) wide-ranging. Most citizens are Inuit, native migrants from nearby Canada, and many still lead a traditional life, pitted against the extreme elements of the Arctic Circle. The capital, Nuuk, is home to about 18,000 of Greenland’s 56,000 residents.

PHOTO: © PONANT

For travelers by sea, Greenland ranks among Earth’s most remote and dazzling polar destinations, and expedition cruise lines, with their small, ice-resistant ships, serve it well. Here the French cruise ship operator Ponant will inaugurate its revolutionary hybrid electric polar expedition vessel, the 270-passenger Le Commandant Charcot, on a May 31–June 14 voyage exploring the “world’s largest fjord” (Scoresby Sound) as well as remote Ittoqqortoormiit, one of the coldest permanently inhabited places on Earth.

Hurtigruten, a company known for its coastal ferry services in Norway, will make three Greenland sailings as well this summer from Reykjavík, Iceland, to the west coast of Greenland on the 530-passenger MS Fridtjof Nansen. Each cruise calls on Nuuk, home to the National Museum and its four 15th-century Greenlandic mummies.

Lindblad Expeditions/National Geographic Cruises scheduled an 18-day Reykjavík roundtrip to Greenland’s stunning Disko Bay, where a maze of icebergs crams the 25-mile-long Ilulissat Icefjord, a UNESCO World Heritage site. The 148-passenger National Geographic Explorer is particularly well-staffed for Greenland sailing, with an expedition leader, eight naturalists and a National Geographic photographer on board.

Quark Expeditions, the first cruise line to serve the North Pole and circumnavigate the Arctic Ocean, offers a new icebreaker for Greenland passengers: the 199-passenger Ultramarine, a vessel with 20 Zodiacs and two of its own helicopters. The helicopters come in handy for September cruises from Iceland that wander the nearly unpopulated shores of northeastern Greenland in search of the northern lights. (The parka provided on these trips is yours to keep.)

Those who want to explore Greenland in full luxury can choose from three expedition-style options. Seabourn will launch a new expedition vessel, the 264-passenger Seabourn Venture, at the end of 2021 to complement a varied slate of Greenland voyages in the summer of 2022. Destinations range from Disko Bay to Scoresby Sound. The new ship carries double sea kayaks and 24 Zodiacs, sufficient to transfer all guests to shore in one swoop.

Silversea Cruises’ 254-passenger Silver Cloud “breaks the ice between expedition and luxury” with four fine restaurants, a swimming pool, a beauty salon, all-suite accommodations, butlers galore and all-inclusive fares — nearly everything one expects on a grand, non-expedition ocean cruise. Greenland destinations vary, from Disko Bay to Prince Christian Sound, a narrow, 66-mile waterway with snowclad mountains, fast-melting glaciers and waterfalls.

Crystal Cruises’ 200-passenger Crystal Endeavor offers a third deluxe option, an all-inclusive, all-suite vessel with a spa, salon, sauna, fitness center, two-story solarium, casino, six dining venues, two mud rooms, two helicopters and one seven-person submersible. Greenland destinations in 2022 include a variety of ports on the southeast and southwest coasts during prime viewing ( June–September) when the sun almost never sets.

From endless days to icebergs to musk oxen to mummies, Greenland proves one strange and wonderous island — and one increasingly on the bucket list of adventurous world travelers.

GREENLAND’S FIRSTS AND FOREMOSTS

SIZE: If size matters, Greenland is the largest (noncontinental) island on the globe.

And the world’s largest national park is Northeast Greenland National Park, larger than all but 29 countries.

POPULATION: Greenland, the least crowded human-occupied region on Earth, boasts a density of one person per 10 square miles. Nuuk, Greenland, is considered the world’s smallest capital city.

ICE: Greenland has more ice than Iceland, with the world’s largest ice sheet (outside of Antarctica). One to two miles deep, the ice sheet contains 100,000 years of climate history and enough frozen water, if melted, to raise global sea levels by 24 feet.

MUSK OXEN: Forty percent of the world’s musk oxen reside in Greenland.

STAR WARS: Nearly a thousand Americans live at Thule Air Force Base, site of a United States Space Force installation in remote northwest Greenland.

KAYAK: The word originated in Greenland, where this Inuit “rowboat” dates back thousands of years.

GOLF: This land of icebergs and glaciers features two public golf courses. The one in Nuuk offers the world’s only Arctic grass layout, and the other course hosts the annual World Ice Golf Championship.

TEMPERATURE: The lowest temperature ever recorded in the Northern Hemisphere was in Greenland in 1991, when the mercury caved to minus 93.3 degrees Fahrenheit.

Introducing

FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

#globility

Insta Feed
March 2021
Mar 8, 2021

Venture Out in Vienna, a City of Opulence and Grace

Brewing long and deep at its center before radiating out to the rest of Europe, Vienna boasts an illustrious history and lasting intellectual impact. The Austrian capital dates back to Celtic and Romen rule, the latter inhabitants using the center city as a military hub among many other employments.

The Greatest Show on Earth

Step right up to the greatest show on Earth as FXExpress Publications, Global Traveler, trazeetravel.com and whereverfamily.com celebrate their 2020 award winners! Join the big top on Dec. 14 as we virtually award the winners of the 17th annual GT Tested Reader Survey awards, including the Airline and Hotel of the Year; the 17th annual Wines on the Wing Airline Wine Survey; the eighth annual Leisure Lifestyle Awards; the sixth annual The Trazees; and the third annual Wherever Awards.

Daily
Mar 8, 2021

Redeem AAdvantage Miles for At-Home COVID-19 Testing

Whether taking a COVID-19 test before boarding a flight or looking up different travel restrictions before planning your trip, travel has looked a little bit different this past year. With all the extra steps for traveling, American Airlines is committed to finding ways to provide ease and more flexibility and choices for passengers when traveling.

Daily
Mar 5, 2021

3 Recipes for Lent from New Orleans’ Top Chefs

The Lenten season continues through April 3. This year, New Orleans’ top chefs share some Lent-friendly recipes for at-home dining.

Daily
Mar 4, 2021

SoJo Spa Club: Tranquility with an Urban View

When you think of a relaxing spa day, mountains, rivers and view of gorgeous landscapes pop in your head; a place to get away from the hustle and bustle of any city’s booming music and honking taxis. SoJo Spa Club and Hotel gives you the relaxing feeling of being away while still staying close to the busy center of Manhattan.

eFlyer Deals
Mar 3, 2021

Mackinac Island’s Grand Hotel’s Reopening Offers

Dance the night away with Grand Hotel’s Ballroom Dance offer, available May 16–18. Dancers of all skill levels will experience a diverse range of ballroom dance styles, alongside daily breakfast and dinner, a welcome reception and complimentary golf green fees.

eFlyer Lead
Mar 3, 2021

4 Travel Experiences for Women’s History Month

March marks Women’s History Month, and there are a number of ways to celebrate through travel. Here are just a few ideas to honor women in history.

Daily
Mar 3, 2021

The Galt House Hotel Updates Meeting Offerings

The Galt House Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky, introduces new meeting offerings starting this month. Louisville’s only waterfront hotel recently underwent a property-wide $80 million renovation on all guestrooms, meeting spaces and new food and beverage concepts.