Greenland, where nature has been left raw and adventurers have the ultimate freedom to play in one of planet earth’s precious polar scenes before retreating into the lap of superyacht luxury.
Imagine cruising through Arctic waters in search of polar bears, narwhals and walruses, before kicking back, Greenlandic coffee in hand, to soak up the midnight sun. Whether on foot, ski, boat, helicopter or dogsled, venturing in Greenland means getting up close with ice-blue fjords flanked by imposing mountains, the world’s fastest-moving glacier and a diverse population of wildlife. This is the destination for both sheer adventure and divine rest and relaxation, made infinitely better by being a guest on board a luxury explorer superyacht.There are very few roads in Greenland so consideration to transportation is key, but not for guests of the 73.2-metre yacht Planet Nine, as this Ice Class vessel comes with a superb specification including her custom explorer helicopter, which can be deployed from her hangar by the crew in 30 minutes and then take off from the fully commercial helipad. Designed by the renowned Tim Heywood, every inch of this all-new explorer has been carefully considered to ensure she not only works hard, but plays hard too. Her well-constructed layout includes a large beach club at sea level, a plush onboard cinema and a vast observation lounge for days out at sea, all decked out in a handsome, naval-inspired style and classy interior.With a massive 2,189 GT of volume, Planet Nine can accommodate up to twelve guests and four occasional workers in nine elegant cabins, including a dedicated owner’s deck and a main-deck VIP suite. With every modern-day amenity and a fine collection of contemporary artwork, the interiors throughout the yacht are welcoming and inviting, luring guests in from the fresh breeze outside to curl up in the corner with a book or warm up in the steam room spa. With a lift connecting all five decks, guests can roam free, particularly those staying in the owners’ suite, who can enjoy a 3,000-square-foot apartment with a full suite, dressing rooms, saloon, study and terrace.Captain Rob Williamson, a dedicated yachtie who was appointed as owner’s rep for the build and knows Planet Nine better than most, leads and adapts expert itineraries for all charter voyages. Here, we share a 10-day explorative charter to Greenland on Planet Nine, which is an unforgettable experience for those who dare to delve into this far corner of the planet.Photo: SuperYacht TimesKangerlussuaq
The Inuit name for Sondre Stromfjord is Kangerlussuaq, meaning ‘the long fjord’. One of the longest in the world, the 100-mile fjord cuts a straight path into the interior of Greenland and is framed by dramatic, glacial-carved mountains. At the end of the fjord is the old American Sondrestrom Air Base and Camp Lloyd, the supporting base camp alongside the present seaport. All day long, travellers touch down here at the gateway to Greenland to embark on crisscrossing adventures around the country. In the hills, the fresh breeze sent down by the Greenland Ice Cap smothers the area and the low level of sound is matched by an abundance of sights. Look upon the heaths, salt lakes and mountain tundra which are all homes to a mix of wildlife such as caribou, musk oxen and arctic fox. Another sight to behold is the dazzling magic of the aurora borealis, which can be seen best here, thanks to more than 300 days of clear sky a year.Photo: Jesse OrricoDisko Bay
This chunk of coastline is filled with ice fields and glaciers, outlined by rugged mountains and a wild landscape. Within the various pockets of the bay, the waters hold humpback whales, walruses and seals, while the coastal cliffs are host to various birds and Arctic mammals. Disko Bay is a hub where guests immerse themselves in many activities whilst being dazzled by nature. Take the time to come ashore, make contact with the local Inuit population and try the local fare, such as musk ox steak and caribou (reindeer) steak at one of the few restaurants whilst watching icebergs float by the windows.Photo: Rolf GelpkeIlulissat
The bay of Ilulissat Kangerlua (Ilulissat Icefjord) is where nature gets to business and blocks of ice the size of houses come to meet. Set against the town of Ilulissat, the third-largest town in Greenland with a population of around 5,000 (whose name means icebergs in Greenlandic), is the 1100-metre-thick glacier, Sermeq Kujalleq, which flows an average of 25 metres and feeds the bay with monstrous icebergs every day. Here is the place to pull up a seat to enjoy one of mother nature’s best cinema screenings. Be mesmerised by the ice monsters and listen to the almighty thunderclaps as they crack or explode in the warmth of the sun. As if any further encouragement for a visit is needed, this glacier is one of the world’s most prolific outside of Antarctica and was added to the UNESCO World Heritage Site list in 2004. Between November to April, Ilulissat is also a destination for dog-sled tours.Eqip Sermia
Only accessible by boat, the Eqip Sermia glacier is north of Ilulissat. Your scenic voyage there will drift past the village of Oqaatsut and into the northern parts of Disko Bay. As one of the most active glaciers in the country, the three-mile-long front edge constantly carves icebergs into the open ocean, creating an incredible orchestra of crashing waves and ice. Some of the astonishing sounds are caused by compacted snow that forms ice with air bubbles trapped in between the snowflakes that explode once the ice cracks. Take it all in by enjoying a drink on the deck with ice cubes made from a piece of ice collected from the glacier. There are also opportunities to take off and drift over to the Glacier Lodge Eqi, where a few hiking trails are available for those who want to pick up the pace. One easy trail will take walkers across a small river and slightly up the mountain for a view of the glacier, whereas a more demanding trail leads up onto the Greenland Ice Sheet.Photo: Cookson AdventuresAasiaat
This picturesque town gives an insight into the Inuit people of Greenland and how their unique juxtaposition of traditional cultures exists alongside modern amenities. The Inuit Greenlandic society is rich with culture which is first expressed by the smattering of colourful houses that greets guests upon arrival. Now with a three-day rock festival in the summer, a post-world-war weather station, the Aasiaat Midnight Sun Marathon and a factory for salting and packing codfish, the town is getting livelier. The surrounding waters, however, have always been lively with migrating humpback whales, acrobatic fin whales and the large population of seals. Taking to the water to meander around the islands on a kayak is also an option for observing the goings-on of this captivating town.Photo: Visit GreenlandQeqrtarsuaq
As the only large town on the volcanic island of Disko, Qeqertarsuaq is an emerald on the ice with its lush green hills and long sheep fields. Hiking trails can lead you up through the volcanic rock formations that have dropped from the impressive Basalt Mountains and the year-round dog sledging can bring guests back down to base. Along the way, have a hot tea made with the clean water from the waterfall outside of the town whilst admiring the view and catching glimpses of humpback whales gliding amongst the icebergs in the bay. For those who fancy learning more about Greenlandic history, Qeqertarsuaq Museum holds many stories of when the town was the capital of the north and how it is now home to the Arctic Station, the oldest continuously manned station in the Arctic.Photo: Andy BrunnerSisimiut
This Arctic Circle backcountry is rough and remote, but the town still has many pleasant amenities for passersby to enjoy. With a few hotels and shopping options up against mountain hikes and fly fishing in the crisp rivers, the time spent in this town can be as exuberant as you like. Skiing and snowmobiling are also possible, with a dog-sled on standby to cover the ground in between.
With around 250 inhabitants, the rhythm of this local village is quiet. Located at the mouth of the Eternity Fjord, Kangaamiut is overshadowed by one of Greenland’s most impressive fjord-scapes flanked by rich fishing waters. Albeit a quiet place, guests are invited to roar down the slopes from the helicopter as heliskiers frequent this favourite spot for its virgin snow and varied terrain. Finish off with a cultural exchange and a bite to eat with the locals.Planet Nine is available to charter with Edmiston and cruises to the Caribbean, Central America and Greenland in winter. To make an enquiry, contact Edmiston directly via their website: www.edmiston.com
This article was first featured in The SuperYacht Times newspaper. Subscribe now to receive your copy straight to your door and never miss another issue.