Cruising to Greenland
Greenland, the world's largest island, is about 81% ice-capped. Vikings reached the island in the 10th century from Iceland; Danish colonization began in the 18th century, and Greenland was made an integral part of Denmark in 1953. It joined the European Community (now the EU) with Denmark in 1973 but withdrew in 1985 over a dispute over stringent fishing quotas.
Greenland was granted self-government in 1979 by the Danish parliament. The law went into effect the following year. Denmark continues to exercise control of Greenland's foreign affairs.
Location: Northern North America, island between the Arctic Ocean
and the North Atlantic Ocean, northeast of Canada
Territorial sea: 3 nm
Arctic to subarctic; cool summers, cold winters
Flat to gradually sloping icecap covers all but a narrow, mountainous, barren, rocky coast
Lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
The economy remains critically dependent on exports of fish and substantial support from the Danish Government, which supplies about half of government revenues. The public sector, including publicly-owned enterprises and the municipalities, plays the dominant role in the economy.
Despite several interesting hydrocarbon and mineral exploration activities, it will take a number of years before production can materialize. Tourism is the only sector offering any near-term potential, and even this is limited due to a short season and high costs.
Airports: 14 (2005)
Total: 2 ships (1000 GRT or over) 4,236 GRT/400 DWT
Sailing Specifics: Ports and terminals
Managed dispute between Canada and Denmark over Hans Island in the Kennedy Channel between Canada's Ellesmere Island and Greenland
Other Sailing Destinations in the Region