Greenland is one of the more accessible but still remote polar locations for travelers to experience. As the world's largest island with one of the smallest population densities in the world, Greenland is a beautiful land rich in natural wonders and cultural history that creates a unique travel experience for the adventurous polar voyager. Since Greenland is located off the east coast of Canada, travel to Greenland from US cities is very similar to travel from Canada.
If you plan to travel to Greenland from US cities, there are a few things you should be aware of ahead of your voyage. Let's break down some of those key points and set you up for a successful journey to a remote environment.
Quark Expeditions guests land on the massive Greenland Ice Sheet. Photo: Hugo Perrin
If you're someone who appreciates sightseeing across large parcels of the land untouched by human activity, there is something to see in nearly every corner of Greenland. The island is renowned for its collection of vast glaciers, captivating the traveling eye for miles on end. You'll also come upon rare families of wildlife, including muskoxen, polar bears, walruses, and other mammals that thrive in colder climates.
Guests enjoy helicopter-supported mountain biking in South Greeland. Photo: Dagny Ivarsdottir
Why travel to Greenland
All of these and more highlights are the main takeaways of an adventure on our Essential Greenland: Southern Coasts and Disko Bay journey. This is a 15-day journey that departs from the Icelandic capital so keep in mind that when you wish to travel to Greenland from US cities, you'll need to book a flight that takes you to Reykjavik to catch the cruise. Once aboard, you'll sail along the southern coast of Greenland where you'll witness the world-famous Greenland Ice Sheet.
Best time to travel to Greenland
Since Greenland is an island, you only have two options to arrive on shore: by air or by sea. If you fly in, you'll get there faster but you'll miss many of the incredible sights that are unforgettable when viewed at eye level. Traveling to Greenland by polar vessel is by far the preferred mode of transportation.
For that reason, you want to make sure you pick the right time to visit Greenland. The summer season from June through September is the optimal time to travel to Greenland since weather conditions near the shores of the island are safer and more manageable for approaching vessels. During the winter, it's less safe to navigate through those waters.
Viewing the phenomenal Northern Lights is a highlight of polar voyages to Greenland. Photo: Acacia Johnson
How to travel to Greenland from U.S. destinations
Before you do anything else, you should make sure that you have the proper travel documents to legally make the voyage to Greenland. Thankfully, if you're a United States citizen, you're one of many who do not necessarily need a visa to legally enter Greenland. That's one thing you can cross off the list.
Now, what is the best way to have a Greenland adventure that you'll remember? We recommend taking the Greenland Adventure: Explore By Sea, Land, and Air voyage to travel to Greenland from US locations. This is a 9-day journey across the Greenland Ice Sheet and much of the southern coast. You'll have the chance to witness incredible sights like the Tasermiut or Lindenow Fjords. Best of all, you can hike all across the land and even take a hell-hiking experience for a bird's eye view of the hiking trails.
What to keep in mind when traveling to Greenland from the United States
Don't feel like you'll have to conform to some predetermined adventure guidelines for your trip. You can customize the type of Greenland experience you wish to have by choosing voyages that include activities or the possibility of wildlife sightings on your wishlist.
For those travelers who prefer more remote journeys, keep this fact in mind: while a part of the Kingdom of Denmark, Greenland is an autonomous entity that offers a unique experience rather than an urban Danish experience on an island. The largest settlement in Greenland is Nuuk, which highlights the history of the island from when Inuit tribes first settled there to the Vikings and the Danish adventures who followed.
Greenland is also a favorite destination for people wishing to have an unobstructed view of the Northern Lights. That's why we have the special Under the Northern Lights: Exploring Iceland and East Greenland adventure that offers you 14 days of unforgettable exploration with the potential to witness the natural wonder of Aurora Borealis from the deck of your ship. You'll also see polar bears, muskoxen, seals, whales, and other animals near the shoreline of the island.
Quark Expeditions guests in East Greenland photograph a polar bear as it hunts for food along
the ice edge. Photo: Acacia Johnson
Greenland expedition cruise
If your goal is to have an expedition with the purpose of having as many experiences as you can imagine, there's one final voyage to consider. Our Three Arctic Islands: Iceland, Greenland, Spitsbergen journey includes stops on three of the most remote northern islands in the world, Greenland among them. You'll have 15 days to immerse yourself in three different national cultures while witnessing entire families of wildlife swimming near chilly waters of the Arctic Ocean, potentially right alongside your cruise ship. Make sure you have your cameras ready to snap some unforgettable photos!