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Baltic Cruises

About Nanortalik

The world’s largest island, more than three-quarters of Greenland is covered in ice. This contributes to its low population density, the lowest on the planet. Nanortalik, which translates locally into “place of polar bears,” is nestled on an island near the mouth of a fjord on southwestern shores. It was established in 1770, though a small group of Vikings led by Erik the Red first arrived in this region in the 10th century. As the Icelandic sagas tell it, Erik was exiled from Iceland for manslaughter and he set off with his family and servants to explore this patch of ice. Once he discovered a habitable swath of land on southwestern shores, he named it “Grœnland,” or Greenland, in hopes of attracting more settlers. Norse colonies later perished and today, the Inuit people dominate this austere and picturesque landscape. Still today, Nanortalik is not connected to any other communities by roads. Your hardy hosts keep their long Inuit traditions alive, fishing for crab, hunting hooded seals and welcoming visitors with a festive kaffe-mik, a coffee party with plenty of their famed Greenlandic cake.