Assaqutaq Village and Sisimiut, Greenland
Nuuk, Greenland marked the start of our Ship’s 24-day expedition to cross the Canadian Arctic region from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean on the so-called “Northwest Passage” – a dream of European (and Russian) governments and adventuresome sailors for five centuries. While the British Navy lost many ships and hundreds of sailors over the centuries, it was the Norwegian explorer, Roald Amundsen, who completed the first transit from 1903 to 1905 in the Gjøa (a sailboat with a small engine) with six men.
Our Ship was the first passenger ship in history and the largest vessel in history in 2012 to complete a transit of the Northwest Passage (West to East). This summer, upon completion of the East to West transit of the Northwest Passage, we will set another record as the first passenger ship in history to have transited in both directions. Needless to say, everyone aboard, especially our adventuresome captain and crew, are very excited to be on this journey.
From Nuuk, Greenland, we sailed north a day to the last winter ice-free port in western Greenland, Sisimiut, which lies just north of the Arctic Circle. The town was founded in 1756 as a mission and trading station. Today it is Greenland’s second largest city with a population of about 5,500 people.
Rather than spend time in town, we opted for a cruise to Assaqutaq Village (about 10 kilometers / 6 miles from Sisimiut) where we had a tour of the former fishing village at the foot of the southern side of Nasaasaq mountain, that is now a summer camp for Sisimiut primary school children.