We arrived bright and early at the small port of Kangerlussuaq. A port so small that even the Ocean Majesty had to anchor. It is mainly a supply dock for anything needed in the area and for those people living and working at the airport. That is basically the only thing that is there, the airport. Built in 1941 by the US Air force, it played an important part in the Second World War and later during the cold war. It now belongs to the Greenlandic autonomic authority and is the only airport in Greenland big enough to accommodate Boeings 747â€™s.
Kangerlussuaq means Great Fjord in Greenlandic and when going with the bus from the seaport to the airport you drive for 20 minutes along the fjord. The little port is at the end of the deep-water part and the ship had to spent most of the night travelling through the fjord to get there. The end is very shallow with approx 5 miles of it falling dry during low tide. The airport is located at the very end, so planes coming in and taking off, are flying through the fjord with the mountains on either side.
Page and Moy has two charter planes coming to this place. One from Manchester and one from London-Gatwick. I went back with the Gatwick plane as it easier to get back home via London. Transport in England is mainly North South and getting across from East to West is a big challenge. So I left my wife on the Ocean Majesty and returned home after 10 days. I will see Lesley again in late September when she joins me for one of the Canadian Maritime cruises from Montreal on the Veendam.
Transport from the port is done by school buses, which means that you cannot do a change over of guests when the schools are open in the towns on the coast. Luggage is taken on and off the ship by barge and then it goes by truck to the airport. You leave your suitcase outside you cabin and you will get it back at the final airport that you are travelling to. Hand luggage is restricted to the same regulations as anywhere else in the world, and a lot of our guests had forgotten, although being told, that you are not allowed to have anything over 100 ml. in your hand luggage, so a lot of tax free bottles bought on board had to be left behind.
I found Greenland fascinating and as I do not like the cold I was very happy that we had 10 days of glorious sunshine and no wind. The towns are still un-spoiled by tourism and that makes a nice difference from where I normally sail. It is not a place to visit with a large cruise ship. Apart from Prinz Christians Sund and Nuuk, the towns along the coast can really only accommodate small number of visitors at one time.
You have to be really lucky with the weather. It can blow and rain, with freezing temperatures, even in mid summer. But fascinating it is. This time the only rain I saw was when arriving back home. It rained all the time, when I travelled home from Gatwick.
My Veendam blogs will start again on September 10th. I am rejoining the Veendam on 9th September at New York, when we start a number of Canadian Maritime cruises to Montreal.