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Sabin’s on the Sea 2023 - Day # 9 - Nanortalik, Greenland

by Nina Sabin - Travel Blog

Another foggy morning with the captain blowing the horn every two minutes. On these foggy days you can’t see beyond the railing on the deck.

We were pretty much riding in the fog from port to port. The captain and his crew have done a fabulous job maneuvering around the icebergs. Such a challenging task they have. Their number one goal is to keep the passengers safe.

As the Zuiderdam moved closer to our next port the fog began to lift and the captain opened up the bow so we could get a great look at icebergs and the amazing mountains of Greenland.

It was pretty fascinating to watch the fog dissipate and the mountains appear.

Nanortalik, Greenland includes some of Greenland’s most beautiful fjords, and dramatic, rugged mountains. No trees but lots of lovely wildflowers.

Visitors come to admire Nanortalik natural “skyscrapers” the steep peaks and mountain walls lining the nearby fjords. If you’re lucky you may even experience viewing a polar bear drift by on big ice floes. The town name means place of the polar bears.

Just as we did for Paamiut, we had to tender into town due to the smaller port that can only have one tender dock at a time. Our ship had to anchor just outside the port area.

Greats news, no mosquitoes due to the wind. We did have other greeters instead, three young local boys waiting for the passengers to arrive and were very excited. They enjoyed getting their picture taken and getting to see themselves on camera. They were much better greeters than the gnats!

Our journey off the tender was to explorer this town of 1000 people; even smaller than yesterday at Paamiut.

The village looked very similar to Paamiut, with the adorable, colorful buildings and lots of little sailboats.

More locals were out in town walking around and selling handicrafts.

We met some adorable children who came over and said “yes” or “no”. We weren’t sure what they meant, but they wanted to know if we would like the fish stick snack they were having. They were excited to share with us. I happened to have some candies in my bag. I asked them the same question “yes” or “no” and they responded with an emphatic “yes” with big smiles on their faces. It was a such a precious and memorable experience.

The local market was just down the road from the children. John was hoping to try a beer; however, even though it appeared to be in a refrigerator it wasn’t cold, and he couldn’t imagine drinking a hot beer. The beer is imported and not local.

As we walked around Nanortalik we saw the school which for some reason had a graveyard next to it. We also saw the police station, fire department, hotel, youth center which appeared to be not opened anymore, an old church, and the museum which is one of the highlights.

The museum costs $10 per person to see. It has twelve buildings to explore with items from old machinery, whale oil barrels, medical equipment, the history of the settlements in Greenland, and boats that are 30 - 45 feet long. I can’t imagine what it was like during that time. Many of their methods started from when the Vikings settled in Greenland.

On the way back to the ship we stopped at the Fish Market. There they had their recent catch of seal meat - John tasted it. He said it tasted fishy and oily.

It has been such an amazing opportunity to be able to visit such a remote place. We feel so blessed to be having these once-in-a-lifetime experiences.

It has been good but hard being unplugged for three days and we still have two more to go. I didn’t realize it would be five days until we can get wifi.

I miss being able to check up and see what is happening beyond the cruise but it is also relaxing and freeing at the same time.

Since it was Sunday, the cruise offers an interdenominational service. Our table mates were going so we thought we would try it out. We sang without accompaniment from hymnals. It actually sounded pretty good. The Chaplin’s sermon was very good. Going over the names and characteristics of Jesus out of Revelation 1:4-6. The service finished by taking communion. The captain did make an announcement in the middle of the service. The Chaplin didn’t miss a beat and continued his sermon right after the interruption.

The next two days we will be at sea. Tomorrow is a special treat as we will be going through Prince Christian Sound. That is going to be another incredible viewing opportunity of viewing the fjords.

Back online hopefully in three days.

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