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The 5 most common means of transportation in Greenland

Should I go by bus, kayak or plane to get to my destination? There are many means of transportation in Greenland – and just as many myths about them.

Greenland has many stories about transportation. What is true and what is a myth when you travel across Greenland? We uncover the 5 mostly used vehicles in Greenland for you. Some of the most popular transportation means are an experience in itself! Even if you don’t go dog sledding.

The top 5 vehicles in Greenland

 

  Air plane from town to town

  Helicopter from settlement to settlement

  Coastal ship along the west coast

  Boat from town to settlement

  Car in daily transport

 

By air plane from town to town

There is no way around Air Greenland on a trip in Greenland. Due to the great distances, there are no streets between towns in Greenland. That is why the largest part of all traffic between towns is operated by Air Greenland with their Dash-8-200 planes. They carry 37 passengers and fly pleasantly low, so that you get an amazing view and get to see Greenland from above on your flight.

 

By helicopter from settlement to settlement

In the small settlements in Greenland, there are no runways for air planes. Therefore trips to settlements often happen by helicopter, unless it is possible to take a boat. The fastest helicopter in Greenland, the AS-350, is travelling at a speed of 145 mph. On board of a chopper, you get the opportunity to watch the landscape from above and grab a lot of details.

By coastal ship along the west coast

The coastal ship MS Sarfaq Ittuk is travelling north and south along Western Greenland. It is a lifeline for many of the small settlements on the coast. Especially the local population uses the ship. Many tourists also travel on a passage of the route and get themselves a huge experience. Imagine waking up in a cabin with a view of huge icebergs…

By boat from town to settlement

In Greenland, it is very popular to own a boat and for many even a necessity. A lot of the transport around the towns happens by boat. On a boat you can easily move around in coastal areas and today, all fishing is done by boat. Pretty much all tourists in Greenland get to go on a boat trip in a fjord, to a beautiful glacier or a settlement.

A number of Greenlanders own a leisure house. They would often be located beautifully on the inside of a fjord, and a boat is the only way to get there. What about a kayak? you might think. Today, this is a means to training and exercise.

 

By car in daily transport

There are tarmac roads in all towns in Greenland. That is why cars are popular and well used as transportation means, especially in the larger towns such as Nuuk, Sisimiut, Ilulissat and Qaqortoq. Even though towns in Greenland aren’t huge, there are often a few miles from one end to the other. Obviously, the number of cars per inhabitant is much lower in Greenland than in other countries in the world. While around every other person in the US (53%) and the UK (47%) owns a car, it is only one in 20 people in Greenland (5,3%).

In the larger towns, you can go by taxi as well as by bus. In the smaller settlements, however, there are neither tarmac roads nor cars. The distances are so short, that you either can go from one place to the other or go by ATV- which is handy when transporting heavy materials.

Read here about how to travel by plane to Greenland.

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