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Destination Discovery: Greenland

DESTINATION DISCOVERY

Destination Discovery

For Cruisers Who Have Done it All

By Julie Gedeon

Next Stop: Greenland . . .

Sailing under a midnight sun as it glistens off the watery veins of a drifting iceberg is reason enough to pack for Greenland. Knowing you’ll see more of Greenland in a week than most Greenlanders do in a lifetime makes a cruise to the world’s largest island even more special.

A massive ice sheet, active glaciers, calving icebergs, howling sled dogs, grazing muskoxen, unicorn-inspiring narwhals, and the hardiest flowers make Greenland unique. Summer can be chilly, but welcomes are always the warmest as Greenlanders enthusiastically share their culture, cuisine, and crafts.

Get Your Bearings

Dominating the North Atlantic, Greenland is geographically considered part of North America, but linked with Europe. At times claimed by Norway, it became a Danish colony in 1814 and part of the Kingdom of Denmark in 1953. It obtained the right to largely rule itself in 1979, and had that authority broadened in 2009.

            Triple the size of Texas, Greenland has approximately 56,000 inhabitants. Nearly one in four lives in Nuuk, the world’s smallest capital. The rest inhabit coastal towns unconnected by road or rail. Boats, planes, and dogsleds are the only ways in or out.

It seems odd to call a place 81 percent covered by ice “Greenland” until you see the verdant hills Erik the Red discovered in the summer. Temperatures vary from 25 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit on the same July day, depending on how far north or south you are.

JETTING THERE

Lighten Up!

Travel expert Johnny Jet proves that you can pack for a cruise in only a carry-on.

I know you’re shaking your head. Pack for a cruise in only a carry-on? It can’t be done!

I’m here to tell you that it can, and if I was able to convert my girly-girl girlfriend into a carry-on-only traveler, I’m sure I can convince you, too. So read on — and keep an open mind.

Getting There

If you’re driving to your cruise port, you can fill your car with anything you want (although I still maintain that you will be happier keeping track of a smaller load). But more often than not, you’re probably flying to the port. If so, it especially behooves you to go light. Here are five advantages of flying with only a carry-on:

1. Because you’re not loaded down, you can easily take public transportation to and from the airport/port, which will save you time and money.

2. If you print your boarding pass at home and don’t check all those enormous bags, you can show up to the airport later because you won’t have to wait in long check-in lines. Once you land, you won’t have to wait an eternity to collect your luggage at baggage claim — and you won’t have to worry whether the airline lost your bags.

3. If there’s a mechanical problem or delay, you can switch flights much more easily.

4. Do I even need to mention the airlines’ hefty luggage fees?

5. You won’t need to worry about people stealing from your bag. By keeping it with you at all times, you eliminate the possibility that sticky-fingered personnel and passengers along the way will dip into your bag while it’s sitting alone and vulnerable in a vacant hallway.

 

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