Sunday, 8 September 2013


The morning was packed with interesting lectures again.  After some occasional ice floes that we passed during breakfast, the ice became denser and we passed several ice belts in the approach on Danmarkshavn, our afternoon landing location. Guests standing in the fresh breeze out on deck with their binoculars were rewarded with some sightings of seals resting on the ice flows (actually, you could have almost the same view comfortably sitting in a chair next to a window in the MV FRAM Observation Lounge, with a mug of hot chocolate next to you…).

And, as the first cruise ship within the last four years, we managed to get into Danmarkshavn on the Northern side of Dove Bugt! The station personnel were really happy to see some new faces! Six persons are currently living there, running a meteorological service. A little to the side of the main station, we visited Danmarks Minde, also called Villa Danmark, the hut built in 1906 by the Danmark Expedition. Some guests also enjoyed a stroll over the tundra towards a small rocky outcrop with a great view over the bay and the station.

The woolly seeds of the Arctic willow formed small silver cushions on the tundra, indicating that the summer was definitively over in Greenland. Instead, winter is approaching fast, and the mountain tops were already covered by a thin layer of powder snow. We also saw plenty of animals: snow hares were feeding willow leaves, building up their winter reserves. Two Polar foxes were not shy at all and some of us managed to get some great close-up shots. And finally, a gyrfalcon was using the radio masts of the station as look-out point, overviewing the unusual outburst of activity at Danmarkshavn.