From Nuuk Greenland we sailed to Qaqortoq Greenland a distance of about 335 Nautical Miles (620kms, 385 miles). Unfortunately, due to fog, we had to slow down which meant we did not arrive in Qaqortoq until 15:00 (3pm for land lubbers) about 2hours late, reducing our time in this scenic port. Luckily my tour was not impacted.
Sailing in there were a number of smaller icebergs in the channel, but none, that I saw were obstructing our way to our anchorage.
What added to the picturesque nature of Qaqortoq was the iceberg that was just off the bow when we were anchored. A number of the passengers congratulated the CEO of Regent for placing it there, I think if he had done it he would have had it branded with the Regent logo. Jason Montague (the CEO) was quick to mention that he wished he had thought of the idea to have an iceberg greet us.
Passage into Qaqortoq
After the transfer from the Ship by tender we met our guide for the day who took us on a walking tour through, with around 3.2K inhabitants, the fifth largest settlement (could not bring myself to call it a city) in Greenland, Qaqortoq.
My tour today was a hike around Qaqortoq Great Lake.
JJU-005 HIKE ALONG THE GREAT LAKE
Duration: 3.00 Hrs Tour
Don your trail shoes and set out with your guide along paths hugging the shore of Qaqortoq’s placid “Great Lake.” The majestic scenery is sure to inspire you, and your well-informed guide will be ready to field any and all questions about this unique and surprisingly fertile sub-Arctic environment. Your ramble begins right from the pier as you take in a scene of colorful homes climbing up the hillsides above the harbor.
This is South Greenland’s largest city, population a stratospheric 3,200 souls. Soon, you’ll leave this mini-metropolis behind as you trek outward toward Lake Tasersquaq, aka the Great Lake – its serene blue waters framed by rugged mountains and pure enough to be Qaqortoq’s source of drinking water.
Making your way along the lake’s picturesque shoreline, you’ll soon appreciate how this region’s mild summers and generous rainfall make it something of a remote Eden. Look for plump sheep grazing lazily along grassy upland meadows, crowberries ripening on low bushes, and the magenta-petaled niviarsiaq, Greenland’s national flower. Be on the lookout skyward for white-tailed eagles, often seen soaring over the lake in search of fish to swoop down and pluck out of the water.
Led by a guide very familiar with the terrain, hike through Qaqortoq and out to its tranquil Great Lake. Learn about the local flora and fauna as you circle this unspoiled blue expanse of glacier-fed water. Discover how Southern Greenland’s sub-Arctic environment is actually quite fertile and lush. See sheep grazing and eagles swooping and many a flower, flowering.
After about 3 miles of majestic trekking, return to Qaqortoq both invigorated and fully ready to relax. Wear weather-appropriate clothing; include a light jacket or windbreaker. Flat, sturdy walking or hiking shoes are recommended. Bring a hat, sunglasses and sunscreen, insect repellant and a bottle of water from the ship.
This tour involves some 2.5 hours of moderate-to-strenuous walking over mostly uneven and natural terrain, with some inclines. Total distance covered is approximately 3 miles. The tour is not available to wheelchair guests or those with mobility concerns. Participants should be in good physical condition
This was definitely a good choice for me. It was a barmy 10 degrees Celsius, slightly overcast, perfect weather for a hike.
We hiked around the more level shore of the lake, the opposite side has some decent looking undulations. Whilst we were walking there were a number of joggers who passed us, they were on the way around the entire 20kms of the lake (apparently).
One thing I was not expecting to see in the Arctic Circle were orchids growing in the wild. Our knowledgeable guide pointed out a lot of the different flora around the lake, this was the surprise, an Orchid. According to Wikepedia, this is a herb that is native to North America and Greenland. I would like to see one in bloom.
The return to the town of Qaqortoq was back along the same path, the weather was starting to turn, though we had no problems and were back well before it had set in. By the time I returned to the ship I walked a bit over 9kms, so definitely got my steps in for the day.
Another walk through the township. What I noticed is that they use pre-poured concrete walls to build here, expect that they would struggle to make concrete and that it would be even harder for it to set in this place..
Time to leave Qaqortoq Greenland.
Just after I returned to the ship our iceberg neighbour calved, expect all of the traffic associated with the tenders did not help.
Tonight’s departure from Qaqortoq Greenland was one of the most picturesque of the entire cruise, an amazing sunset combined with icebergs.
Do you think I took too many pics of the icebergs?
Oz’s Useless Trivia
The soccer (well football in this part of the world) field, Qaqortoq Stadium, we walked passed was inaugurated by the then President of FIFA, Sepp Blatter. It is an artificial surface as turf does not grow here, previously people played on sand and ash pitches.
If you are in Greenland a visit to Qaqortoq is a great idea. Other passengers had the opportunity to taste the local food, not all were game enough to try the dried seal or smoked reindeer. I would have if I had time.
Next up, hopefully is, Prins Christen Sund. Fingers crossed that the fog doesn’t affect our transit through the Sund…