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Canada - Greenland cruise


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I did this cruise Aug 2019.  The scenery is beautiful and you if you love to photograph nature you will really enjoy.  Take an excursion that will take you out to the ice caps/sheets.  Along the way you will see lots of iceberg.  I was able to get an excursion in Qaqortoo from an independent operator and walked on the ice cap.  

 

The Greenland ports are mostly fishing villages and in most cases the ship passengers will out number the residents.  

Edited by hooked_on_cruising
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10 hours ago, satxdiver said:

We will be on the cruise in 2022 after having our 2020 cruise canceled. Following

 

We booked this one, it's so far away, so who knows if we'll still be interested in this by next year.   But I did notice that lots of cabins were already booked.  

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I have not personally cruised on this itinerary but I perused through the roll call of the 2019 cruise (found here) and learned a lot about how people planned their time and what opportunities they found. I also recall reading some people's comprehensive overviews of their cruise after they came back, though unfortunately, I can't seem to find them anymore. But in terms of a bit of a drawback, what stuck out to me from what some said was the tendering issues in Greenland. Some cruisers above mentioned that the villages themselves are small and really not used to handling or seeing a vessel like the Caribbean Princess, so it's by no fault of the villages, but just know that this is a potential bottleneck when it comes to exploring those ports. However, I'm hoping more cruisers can come in and also share their experiences with you as I'm just sharing hearsay.

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1 hour ago, snoozecrooze said:

I have not personally cruised on this itinerary but I perused through the roll call of the 2019 cruise (found here) and learned a lot about how people planned their time and what opportunities they found. I also recall reading some people's comprehensive overviews of their cruise after they came back, though unfortunately, I can't seem to find them anymore. But in terms of a bit of a drawback, what stuck out to me from what some said was the tendering issues in Greenland. Some cruisers above mentioned that the villages themselves are small and really not used to handling or seeing a vessel like the Caribbean Princess, so it's by no fault of the villages, but just know that this is a potential bottleneck when it comes to exploring those ports. However, I'm hoping more cruisers can come in and also share their experiences with you as I'm just sharing hearsay.

 

We did the Voyage of the Vikings a few years back which stopped at several ports in Greenland.  The Maasdam held 1200 passengers and it was a zoo when we were in port.  The Caribbean Princess has 3100 passengers.  I imagine that it will be an extremely bad experience when she comes to some of the very small towns in Greenland.  The population of Qaqortog  which was one of our stops is ~3000 people.  What will it be like if 3000 passengers hit the town.  Not for me.

 

DON

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We did this itinerary on the CB in 2019 and absolutely loved Greenland.  With that said, though, they need to do this one with a smaller ship.  The Pacific would be ideal, but even the Coral would be great.  Leaving out of New York is incredibly convenient, but the Caribbean is just too big a ship for the ports to handle.  For future cruisers' sake, I am hoping that since I was on the first of these cruises, Princess has learned from their mistakes for future voyages.  We certainly told them about them in our post-cruise survey.

 

DH and I are early risers so we got on the first tenders out for the Greenland ports and had no problems getting to port.  However, the vast majority of the ship waited until a little later in the morning and by that time the tender wait was hours-long. I feel bad for passengers who waited hours to get to shore, then had only a very short time before they had to join the line to get on a tender back.  And the lines back were extremely long.   

 

The other main issue is that the Caribbean has way too many passengers for the indoor public places to handle.  The weather was foggy, rainy and very cool on the sea days, and every indoor area of the ship was jam-packed.  Every activity, from crafting to lectures to shows in the theater, was impossible to get into unless you lined up at least 45 minutes or more early, and even then it was not at all certain you would get in.  The cruise director was young and seemed inexperienced, and was clueless on trying to come up with any ways to alleviate the issues.  He just shrugged, blamed the number of passengers, and said there was nothing he could do.  Towards the end of the cruise he did add an afternoon show a couple of times.  Also, there were zero lectures on Greenland, it's history, wildlife, or geography.  Zilch.  Nothing.

 

After realizing the issues we were facing, we readjusted our approach and made sure to be up at the crack of dawn for  the Greenland ports, resigned ourselves to standing in line well over an hour to get back to the ship, and either didn't bother with activities or took a book to kill the wait-time before the shows, etc.  We were also fortunate in that I was able to find fantastic independent excursions in each of the Greenland ports, and we were blown away by our trips to the ice cap and through the icebergs.  They were amazing and I loved our interaction with Greenlanders as much as seeing their stunning country.   Excursions are few and far between, and not much was offered by the ship, so if you are interested start looking early.

 

So, even though the cruise itself had lots of problems, I would absolutely do it again.  Greenland is hard to get to and leaving from NYC makes it doable.   Just go into it with your eyes open.  If you are elite, that will help with the tendering issue but even so, get to the tenders early.  And bring things to occupy yourself onboard, because unless Princess has changed things, you will not get into most of the ship's activities.  And do you own research on Greenland if you want to know about it, because Princess may not offer anything.  

 

 

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We have been to some of the ports on the cruise that you are thinking about taking. The advice from Pompeii is excellent and i absolutely agree that being on a large ship like Caribbean Princess will make it more difficult when visiting the small settlements in Greenland but I really think it will be a worthwhile cruise particularly if your interests are scenery and wildlife photography. Below are a few photographs to wet your appetite.

St John's, Newfoundland. We did a 'Puffin and whale watching tour' which was very interesting even though we didn't see any whales. The sail-in and sail-out of St. John's was very scenic too...

IMG_1292.thumb.JPG.ffa1bf84c02c9c1961e77bca06b35029.JPG

 

We docked right in the centre of the city

IMG_0063.thumb.JPG.bfc8bb03de852d713e1d7721f5274ca6.JPG

 

We saw lots of puffins....very cute!....

RB2A8707.thumb.JPG.a2867e7803a8926f48181900a4b24907.JPG

as well as lots of other sea birds

IMG_3303.thumb.JPG.9e15bcf36d42ed3217573e31f1ae28b8.JPG

 

I'll post some Greenland picture in the next post.

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We visited Greenland in July but it was still quite chilly. The icebergs were spectacular.

Nanortalik is a small settlement but we were made very welcome by the local people. There isn't a lot to see in the town but there were a lot of walks through some wonderful scenery.

IMG_2590.thumb.JPG.2ea1c9a6395375b7e14c75b4138c3a34.JPG

 

IMG_2536.thumb.JPG.3fc528603f054ca910447ac8d52dc640.JPG

 

IMG_6539.thumb.JPG.a20fb52ed7c77a39e2b22b97c30947a5.JPG

Crew members were collecting ice to turn into ice sculptures!

IMG_2489.thumb.JPG.acd4335b79af9f5b46b22da50a6bdae6.JPG

 

IMG_2681.thumb.JPG.40ea389875c5085b6641512bae67aedb.JPG

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We are on the next cruise in 2022 (I hope!) so thanks for the information.  Having had the experience of the Princess Cays, I can imagine the tender congestion.  Being elite will be a plus.  Our interest is seeing the country, walking around on our own viewing, taking pictures and enjoying the atmosphere without any or few stimuli.  As for being up close to the ice, we live in south Texas for a reason and no thankyou.  We can view it from a distance satisfactorily.

 

As for the crowded ship interior due to the weather, that we have experienced before in other cruises due to bad weather and survivable.  We do know the secluded spaces on the CB.  We simply retreat to our balcony cabin.  The lectures, if they have them, can be viewed on the cabin TV instead of the crowded theater.  

 

We are looking forward to visiting Greenland crowds and all.  

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8 hours ago, pompeii said:

We did this itinerary on the CB in 2019 and absolutely loved Greenland.  With that said, though, they need to do this one with a smaller ship.  The Pacific would be ideal, but even the Coral would be great.  Leaving out of New York is incredibly convenient, but the Caribbean is just too big a ship for the ports to handle.  For future cruisers' sake, I am hoping that since I was on the first of these cruises, Princess has learned from their mistakes for future voyages.  We certainly told them about them in our post-cruise survey.

 

DH and I are early risers so we got on the first tenders out for the Greenland ports and had no problems getting to port.  However, the vast majority of the ship waited until a little later in the morning and by that time the tender wait was hours-long. I feel bad for passengers who waited hours to get to shore, then had only a very short time before they had to join the line to get on a tender back.  And the lines back were extremely long.   

 

The other main issue is that the Caribbean has way too many passengers for the indoor public places to handle.  The weather was foggy, rainy and very cool on the sea days, and every indoor area of the ship was jam-packed.  Every activity, from crafting to lectures to shows in the theater, was impossible to get into unless you lined up at least 45 minutes or more early, and even then it was not at all certain you would get in.  The cruise director was young and seemed inexperienced, and was clueless on trying to come up with any ways to alleviate the issues.  He just shrugged, blamed the number of passengers, and said there was nothing he could do.  Towards the end of the cruise he did add an afternoon show a couple of times.  Also, there were zero lectures on Greenland, it's history, wildlife, or geography.  Zilch.  Nothing.

 

After realizing the issues we were facing, we readjusted our approach and made sure to be up at the crack of dawn for  the Greenland ports, resigned ourselves to standing in line well over an hour to get back to the ship, and either didn't bother with activities or took a book to kill the wait-time before the shows, etc.  We were also fortunate in that I was able to find fantastic independent excursions in each of the Greenland ports, and we were blown away by our trips to the ice cap and through the icebergs.  They were amazing and I loved our interaction with Greenlanders as much as seeing their stunning country.   Excursions are few and far between, and not much was offered by the ship, so if you are interested start looking early.

 

So, even though the cruise itself had lots of problems, I would absolutely do it again.  Greenland is hard to get to and leaving from NYC makes it doable.   Just go into it with your eyes open.  If you are elite, that will help with the tendering issue but even so, get to the tenders early.  And bring things to occupy yourself onboard, because unless Princess has changed things, you will not get into most of the ship's activities.  And do you own research on Greenland if you want to know about it, because Princess may not offer anything.  

 

 

Thank you for a very informative review/explanation.  Yes, I would love to find independent excursions.  

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15 hours ago, zahav1 said:

Thank you for a very informative review/explanation.  Yes, I would love to find independent excursions.  

Here are the people we used.  It's very hard to say what will have changed with them from 2019 to 2022, not only from the just the passage of three years' time, but of course especially from Covid.  But you can use my contacts from last year as a starting point.  We were very pleased with all of them and would use them again without hesitation.  One piece of advice is to be sure to book a closed boat tour so you can go inside the cabin to warm up.

 

Nuuk:  nuuk@watertaxi.gl  We worked with a gentleman named Anders.

 Nuuk Water Taxi - Your local boat tour operator and boat charter company

 

Nanortalik:  info@tasermiutcamp.gl   Our contact here was named Freddy.

  Tasermiut Camp - Experience Tasermiut Fjord and South Greenland

 

Qaqortoq:  info@qaq.gl  I communicated with both Pitsi and Naja.  Don't get frustrated with slow communication from these guys.  I didn't always get answers to my emails but the tour worked out great.

Tours – Greenland Sagalands

 

Good luck!

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11 hours ago, pompeii said:

Here are the people we used.  It's very hard to say what will have changed with them from 2019 to 2022, not only from the just the passage of three years' time, but of course especially from Covid.  But you can use my contacts from last year as a starting point.  We were very pleased with all of them and would use them again without hesitation.  One piece of advice is to be sure to book a closed boat tour so you can go inside the cabin to warm up.

 

Nuuk:  nuuk@watertaxi.gl  We worked with a gentleman named Anders.

 Nuuk Water Taxi - Your local boat tour operator and boat charter company

 

Nanortalik:  info@tasermiutcamp.gl   Our contact here was named Freddy.

  Tasermiut Camp - Experience Tasermiut Fjord and South Greenland

 

Qaqortoq:  info@qaq.gl  I communicated with both Pitsi and Naja.  Don't get frustrated with slow communication from these guys.  I didn't always get answers to my emails but the tour worked out great.

Tours – Greenland Sagalands

 

Good luck!

Thank you, I saved this information, and bookmarked their websites.   I hope we can make this trip.

 

Edited by zahav1
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We did this trip in late August 2019. To me the trip to Greenland was all about the unspoiled beauty of the nature and landscapes and simplicity of living.  We  did the hikes that Princess offered in all 3 ports (26 miles total of all 3). Each was different and beautiful....a photographers delight.

We heard people comment about nothing to do in the ports but how many prople go to Greenland for shopping??  Country is 2/3 ice and uninhabiltable...

We had done Iceland in July which was also a treat.  Reykjavik was more developed than I thought - great city.  But trips out to the parks and scenery were spectacular.  And Blue Lagoon was well worth the time

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20 hours ago, gardenbunny said:

We did this trip in late August 2019. To me the trip to Greenland was all about the unspoiled beauty of the nature and landscapes and simplicity of living.  We  did the hikes that Princess offered in all 3 ports (26 miles total of all 3). Each was different and beautiful....a photographers delight.

We heard people comment about nothing to do in the ports but how many prople go to Greenland for shopping??  Country is 2/3 ice and uninhabiltable...

We had done Iceland in July which was also a treat.  Reykjavik was more developed than I thought - great city.  But trips out to the parks and scenery were spectacular.  And Blue Lagoon was well worth the time

 

I agree that the landscape and nature are the reasons we are going to Greenland and I am sure we will not be disappointed.  Iceland was interesting as we called on three ports and again it was the landscape and nature that made it so successful.  Reykjavik was a lot bigger and nicer than we had thought as well.  

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