Overnight, we traveled to Ilulissat, arriving about 1 am. I woke up a few times during the night to see the sun shining on the icebergs. Ilulissat lies at the mouth of the Kangia ice fjord. Icebergs float down the 40 km fjord and ground at the entrance, at depths of 250-300 meters. These are huge icebergs.
Shirley went on a long hike to Sermermiut, a UNESCO world heritage site, where we could view boats and kayaks in the ice fjord. Along the way we passed the sled dog area, where there were a few puppies. Larry took a shorter trip into town.
The Sea Spirit anchored off shore, and we traveled back and forth by zodiac. We had lunch outdoors on the aft deck of the ship, then headed back into town to catch a boat tour of the icebergs in the fjord. We were assigned to a small water taxi (6 passengers). The icebergs were very impressive from close up. But you can’t get too close—these icebergs can break apart and/or roll over, creating big waves. This tour was one of the highlights of our trip.
Larry: The icebergs were big beyond my imagination. We’ve seen glaciers in Alaska, and ice broken off the glaciers. The icebergs in Greenland were orders of magnitude larger. Imagine a football field standing on end above the water level, and think about the bottom caught on the glacial moraine 200 meters down. That image gives an idea of the size but it doesn’t capture the colors – the blue of the sky and the white/blue/turquoise of the ice and deep blue of the waters of the fiord. Nor does it capture the silence. I don’t know what lives in the waters, but little lives above the surface – only a few birds, or so it seemed, and even they were silent. Our boat driver turned off the engine at one point while we were in the middle of the ice floes, and the silence was so thick I could almost taste it.
We came back to the ship for tea at 4 pm. We also had a group photo before the recap and briefing. After dinner we had gluhwein (hot mulled wine) on the back deck.