Highlights and main attractions of Scoresby sund & Ittoqqortoormiit

Scoresby Sund - or Kangertittivaq in the native Greenlandic - is the world’s largest fjord system, extending for over 200 miles into the frozen interior of Greenland’s east coast. The fjords intricate, tree-like structure was first mapped in 1822 by the Arctic explorer William Scoresby, who was reportedly enchanted by the regions incredible natural beauty. Rugged mountains and basalt cliffs rise sharply into open tundra, home to muskox and Arctic foxes, while families of walrus and harbour seals can be found hauled-out along the shoreline.

The remote town of Ittoqqortoormiit is the only settlement in the region, formed of a collection of colourful wooden houses that sit perched overlooking the entrance to the fjord. The town and its few hundred inhabitants are completely blocked off by sea ice for nine months of the year, and the community has existed for generations solely through hunting and fishing in the surrounding wilderness.

Towering icebergs, mountains and breaching whales characterise this isolated region of east Greenland.

Where ARE Scoresby Sund & Ittoqqortoormiit?

Wildlife of the Fjords

The fauna and flora around Scoresby Sund is rich and diverse compared to other regions of similar latitudes, due to the presence of open water which remains unfrozen year-round and the protection from wind afforded by the surrounding mountains. On a hike across the tundra you may encounter herds of grazing muskoxen and Arctic foxes with distinctive blue coats, specially adapted for blending in with the regions basalt rock. In the winter, polar bears travel south from Northeast Greenland National Park to hunt for seals on the sea ice around Ittoqqortoormiit. In recent years, sightings have become much more frequent, as warming temperatures and reduced sea ice cover force them to search for food further inland.

Sailing along the meandering channels of the fjord system, you will likely pass by groups of  hauled-out walruses resting along the shoreline, as well as the ringed, harbour and hooded seals that visit the region to breed. The calm, wildlife-rich waters of the fjords also attract marine species such as the narwhal - distinguished by its long, helical tusk - while migratory minke, humpback and fin whales are often seen in open waters along the coastline.

The cliffs and islands around Scoresby sund are an important breeding ground for seabirds such as little auks, guillemots and eider ducks.

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