Adventure on the Eternal Fjord, Kangerlussuatsiaq

A boat trip to the Kangerlussuatsiaq Fjord north of Maniitsoq in Greenland is an unforgettable experience in unusually beautiful nature. Meet calving glaciers and high mountain peaks or take a dip in the turquoise blue water!

As part of my work with Nature Guide Greenland, I traveled around Southwest Greenland in September 2021. I had the opportunity to sail to the Kangerlussuatsiaq Fjord – or the Eternal Fjord as it’s litterally called in Danish. My travel description and photos can be viewed at Politiken online (though behind payment wall). The article is in Danish and also appeared in the paper version of Politiken on 26/12/2021.

A large iceberg breaks off the glacier front and lands on the sea surface with a deafening bang. Completely unexpected and we are almost stunned as we stand there staring from the boat a few hundred meters away. In the next few seconds, a dangerous wave rises.

Images go through my head of huge tidal waves that wash people overboard and houses in the sea, as has happened in Greenland before. Our boat seems vanishingly small – like a small piece of toy in front of the giant glacier. The distance to the nearest neighbor, the small village of Kangaamiut, is over 100 km so if an accident happens, the help is certainly not near.

“Is it a tsunami coming? Is it dangerous?” exclaims several of us… 


3 other adventures in Manniitsoq


1. View from the Eiffel Tower

Maniitsoq has many staircases and several of them lead up to mountain peaks with great views of the area. Start by taking a trip to the ‘Eiffel Tower’, which stands on a small mountain in the north of the town, close to the museum and the old cemetery. A wooden staircase leads up 485 steps (count them yourself!) to a viewpoint at a radio mast that looks just like Paris’ famous landmark. The views of the town, archipelago and mountains are stunning!

2. Whale watching

Maniitsoq is one of Greenland’s best places to spot whales. During the summer months (May-September) they frolic in the archipelago and can often be seen directly from the shore, for example from the Whale Spot, a wooden platform in the north-eastern part of the town, where you can use binoculars for free. If you want to get closer, go whale watching with one of the local operators who know where the whales were last seen. The playful humpback whales are the most common, but it’s also possible to see sperm whales, minke whales, fin whales and harbour porpoises.

3. Iviangiusat Mountain and the Flower Valley

From Maniitsoq, a beautiful but challenging hiking trail leads to the highest point on Maniitsoq Island, the 570 metre high Iviangiusat Mountain. The route is approx. 10 km each way and marked with white crosses, but has demanding climbing sections in some places. The view from the top is indescribable, and in clear weather, the archipelago, mountains and ice cap are razor-sharp in a radius of several hundred kilometres. You can even see all the way to Nuuk.

Read my account of this hike here.

A shorter hike takes you through the Flower Valley, a valley near the town, where you can experience the Arctic flora and dwarf shrubs up close. This hike takes 2-3 hours.

At the base of the Kangerlussuatsiaq Fjord are several glaciers that constantly send huge chunks of ice into the fjord.


How to get to the Kangerlussuatsiaq Fjord in Greenland

Air Greenland flies daily from Copenhagen to Kangerlussuaq, from where regional flights go directly or via Nuuk to Maniitsoq.

From Nuuk, Maniitsoq can be reached by fast boats that sail three times a week from late April to mid-November. This trip takes 4 hours.

The coastal vessel Sarfaq Ittuk calls at Maniitsoq twice a week on its route up and down the west coast of Greenland.

Maniitsoq Tour Boat organises boat trips every Saturday in the summer (May-September) to the Kangerlussuatsiaq Fjord, located 50 km north of Maniitsoq. The trip lasts 8 hours. Along the way, you can also visit the village of Kangaamiut, located on a small island at the mouth of the fjord.

Sailing to the Kangerlussuatsiaq Fjord with Maniitsoq Tour Boat. Photo: Bo Normander

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