“The best morning of my life.” That was a cameraman’s reaction to filming in one of the hottest cruise destinations today. The Arctic’s icecaps, glaciers, icebergs and fjords are drawing intrepid cruise travelers who want to experience some of the most remote, pristine, – and epic – scenery in the world.
You may have already cruised to Alaska and experienced some of the wilderness along some of its Arctic and Pacific northwest coast.
But that doesn’t even begin to touch the scale of Greenland’s fjords. They are some of the largest on the planet – and the least accessible or traveled.
On one, unforgettable early morning during our expedition cruise on Seabourn Venture, our camera crew got the call: we’d be transiting through the Prince Christian Sound fjord across the southern tip of Greenland, and had permission to board zodiacs off the ship to get right down to water level to film our sailing past colossal peaks, skyscraper-high waterfalls, glaciers and through iceberg fields.
WATCH THE VIDEO ABOVE to soak in the wonder of Arctic scenery only a few fortunate people will ever see.
Seabourn Expedition Team lead Sarah Scriver joined us as another Expedition Team member, Sierra Phillips drove our zodiac through the impossibly green, icy waters in the early morning air – the kind that instantly clears your lungs and head and makes you feel exhilarated to be alive.
You can see the light change in the video, as the sun was rising enough to finally clear the mountain peaks to make the green hull and vermilion racing stripe of the Seabourn Venture shine as we raced in our zodiac alongside.
It felt like a moment of discovery; our ship alone in the fjord with our necks craning from one impossibly-stunning vista to the next. Our cameras could hardly keep up with capturing the never-ending succession of larger-than-life landscape.
As Sarah pointed out, in many places in the world, like Alaska, all of the peaks and glaciers that flow into well-traveled sea waters would be named on maps and highlights of a coastal cruise. In Greenland, the sheer volume of unnamed mountains, glaciers, bays and inlets ignites our spirit of exploration.
Greenland is the world’s largest island and 80% of it is entirely covered in ice, with only a tiny edge of coastline that’s ice-free – in the summer. There are no roads connecting the coastal villages where fewer than 60,000 people in total on Greenland live, traveling by sea to fish and hunt and visit neighboring communities.
A cruise is not only the best – and most authentic – way to experience Greenland. It’s the only way. And certainly the only way to be part of one of the planet’s most breathtaking landscapes.
Epic mountains and glaciers in fjords still feel like an unexplored wilderness. And most are not named, they’re just there.
People speak of some of Greenland’s fjords as “the Arctic’s Yosemite” or a “northern Patagonia.” We were sailing past the feet of silent giants, with some of the tallest peaks reaching to over 7000 feet (twice the height of the highest point in Yosemite National Park) into the crystal blue Arctic skies. Add in glacier after icy-blue glacier that appear out of nowhere around a bend, and Greenland’s fjords are a collective natural wonder.
Prince Christian Sound fjord is about 60 miles long and connects the Labrador Sea on the west coast of Greenland with the Irminger Sea. It's on the southernmost tip of the Greenlandic mainland and the southernmost tip of Greenland’s icecap. In places, as you can see in the video, it’s only about 1600 feet wide.
Glaciers flowing into the sea – called tidewater glaciers – give us a glimpse of Greenland’s massive (but shrinking) icecap, that regularly ‘calves’ icebergs that surround us in the water with their whimsical and dramatic shapes. Seabourn Venture's Polar-Class 6 ice hull plows through the ice floating in the water smoothly.
The 4:45 am crew call – as one of our camera crew said when we re-boarded the Seabourn Venture at the end of the Prince Christian Sound fjord - turned out to be, “The best morning of my life.”
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Video and story: Lynn Elmhirst/ BestTrip TV
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