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Qaqortoq, Greenland is a place teeming with thousands of years of Nordic history, soothing hot springs, and water activities like exploring on a sailboat. On a transatlantic cruise that stops in Greenland, you’ll find yourself far from the ordinary. Traveling in an Arctic climate requires a certain level of curiosity and adventure, but you never have to sacrifice comfort while you explore the region on one of our luxury cruise ships.
Only about 3,000 people live in Qaqortoq, which means it’s a cozy, tight-knit community. Take a dip in the hot springs of Uunartoq for complete rejuvenation and restoration. Discover the ruins of an ancient Viking settlement at Hvalsey Church. Experience authentic cuisine from the area, or simply walk around the colorful streets. On your Greenland cruise, this quirky colonial town will welcome you with open arms.
The majestic beauty of this artsy Greenland town is best experienced on foot. A hike around Lake Tasersuaq promises incredible views of Qaqortoq and the mountain just beyond.
The last evidence of the Vikings in Greenland can be found at Hvalsey Church, where the best-preserved Nordic ruins in the area overlook the waterfront. The isolated, commanding ruins showcase thousands of years of Nordic history. Guided tours are popular, and it takes about 25-30 minutes via boat to reach the ruins of Hvalsey Church.
The Qaqortoq Museum is an ideal stop for history buffs during a Greenland cruise. The museum is cleverly located within an old blacksmith workshop. Here, you’ll find artifacts of both the Inuit and Norse populations from thousands of years ago.
Take a tour called the Qaqortoq Art Walk, where you’ll experience an interactive, open-air art exhibition featuring the work of nearly 20 Nordic artists. Each of the 24 sculptures carefully cradles the city of Qaqortoq. Called “Stone and Man,” it’s a can’t-miss experience for Nordic history buffs and art lovers.
Qaqortoq is best experienced on foot, whether you’re taking a nature tour through the foothills or gallivanting through the center of town. Qaqortoq’s hillsides lead to stunning fjord views, dramatic landscapes, and rows of colorful colonial homes in red, orange, and green everywhere you look.
The food scene in Qaqortoq is minimal, so don’t expect to find chain restaurants lining every street corner downtown. Stop in for drinks and live music at Arctic Cafe. When you see a yellow VW peeking from the wall, you’ll know you’re in the right place. Restaurant Napparsivik is popular for morning or afternoon coffee, fresh meat and fish dishes, and regional eats. Inside the Hotel Qaqortoq, enjoy a drink at Mikisoq, a local pub.
Surviving in the frigid climate was no small feat for early residents, who were Paleo-Eskimo populations, Norse Vikings, and later, the Dorset people. Most of Greenland is occupied by arctic ice caps, so most people who settle down to live in the country gather in coastal cities and towns. By the 20th century, Greenland had established strong trade ties with North America and Denmark. The economy relies on natural resources, from whaling to fishing.
Once you arrive, there is a tourist office with helpful city maps and free internet. You can get your bearings here before heading out to explore. Local maps detail the area’s hiking trails and the most popular attractions you can choose from on a Greenland cruise to Qaqortoq.
Qaqortoq is fairly walkable, and there’s a ferry service that connects the city to other parts of the country. You can head into the center of town after a short tender ride while on cruises to Iceland and Greenland.
Shopping near the Qaqortoq cruise port is fairly minimal since the town has a population of 3,000 people. Qaqortoq Souvenir Shop is a popular place to shop for keepsakes like handmade goods and authentic souvenirs.
The official currency of Greenland is the Danish krone (DKK), but you’ll find British pounds and U.S. dollars are accepted in some establishments. Credit and debit cards are less likely to be used in smaller shops, so be sure to ask when you arrive before trying to pay with a credit card. A service charge is typically included in your bill at restaurants.