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Scoresbysund Fjords

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Iceberg-watching on a cruise in Greenland Ittoqqortoormiit  Greenland

Iceberg-watching on a cruise in Greenland

Don’t let the Vikings fool you about Greenland; though its name implies lush forests and verdant valleys, the overwhelming majority of the island is covered in ice, year-round. This means cruises to the region (with outfitters such as Wilderness Travel) include glacier and iceberg sightings. It also means that most trips feature at least a handful of sightings of humpback, fin, and minke whales. Shore excursions in South Greenland often include Viking ruins at Hvalsey and Qassiarsuk, the latter of which was reportedly the home of Erik the Red. According to some travelers, locals in the town of Itilleq also have been known to challenge cruise ship passengers to soccer games. On the other side of the nation, some cruise outfitters lead day trips into Northeast Greenland National Park. Here, the main attractions are the Scoresbysund fjord system (considered to be the largest in the world), and a massive herd of musk oxen; biologists believe the group comprises roughly 40 percent of the world’s population of this particular species.