top of page

Sabin’s on the Sea 2023 - Day #29 - Qaqortoq, Greenland

by Nina Sabin - Travel Blog

Today I spent sometime on my ‘BEEN’ App. You can mark down every country you have visited. What is exciting is now we can check off Greenland as another country we have explored.

This morning started out foggy so it was hard to see the village of Qaqortoq from the ship. As the day progressed, the fog burned off and views of Qaqortoq were wonderful.

We were dressed and ready to get off the ship on the first tender. Our Australian friends were waiting for the tender as well. Together we started our exploration of Qaqortoq.

Qaqortoq is located near Cape Thorvaldsen. It is South Greenland’s most populous town.

This area has a rich history as it has been consistently inhabited since prehistoric times.

Remnants of Thule and Norse civilizations can be seen throughout the town, including ruins of 14th-century Hvalsey Church by nearby Hvalsey Fjord.

The town of Qaqortoq is home to the oldest fountain in Greenland. Built in 1932, it depicts whales spewing water from their blowholes.

Most of the city’s main attractions are on the main street by the port. These include the town’s museum, fish market, stores to buy handicrafts and souvenirs, and a couple of restaurants to enjoy local food.

Our excursion began with a two hour trail around Lake Tasersuaq. The trails lead through the rugged mountains. The Norse(Viking) ruins encompassed by the extensive UNESCO - listed Kujataa World Heritage Site.

Also the trail we were enthralled by the Arctic landscape and the majestic views of the tundra. There is nothing quite like the landscapes of Greenland.

We made it to the top of the lake and then headed back. You could walk around the whole lake which takes about four hours or so but with more treacherous terrain as one went. We were happy with the choice we made to turn around after an hour and head back to town.

After walking around Lake Tasersuaq, we were ready to rest our legs and have a snack. At the beginning of the trail there is a local store. John enjoyed an imported Dutch beer, and I had a local red soda, we were not sure of the flavor but it was very tasty. We also devoured some chips as we were famished after such a long hike.

During the hike and also while in town we noticed the mosquitoes swarming on and off. This time we were prepared with our netted bags for our face. Definitely not a fashion statement, but it helped with the bugs.

One thing that we will always remember about Greenland will be the swarms of mosquitoes. Thank goodness it was on and off and not swarming the whole time we were walking around town.

Along the walls of the town are permanent art installation ‘Stone and Man’, a series of 40 carvings by contemporary Nordic artists.

The Zuiderdam was not the only shipped anchored by Qaqortoq. One of the Princess Cruise Line ship was also anchored at the same time. This small little town looked like it was invaded by tourists.

Four hours later, 19,500 steps, and aching bodies we were ready to get back on the Zuiderdam. We are taking home wonderful memories of Greenland.

As we were getting ready to leave Qaqortoq we noticed a big cloud of smoke coming from just outside of town. We watched as a helicopter would collect water from the bay to put out the fire. The smoke filled up the sky and surrounded the whole town including the two ships anchored near the port. The smoke was from a landfill that caught on fire. The fire would eventually subside, but we didn’t get to see that before we left.

Tomorrow is another sea day and then we will be in St. Anthony, Newfoundland. This amazing 35-day Viking Voyage is winding down. Only four more ports to go and three more sea days; then it will be time to head home.

bottom of page