Ilulissat Icefjord – also known as Sermeq Kujalleq
Sermeq Kujalleq is the name of the glacier at the base of the Ilulissat Icefjord, and it is an impressive one. It is the fastest glacier in the northern hemisphere, moving around 40 meters per day. Other so-called galloping glaciers have periodically moved faster. For instance, the one near Qeqertarsuaq, but they cannot keep the pace for long. Sermeq Kujalleq, however, keeps going and going.
The glacier is huge. It is 6 kilometers wide and 45 kilometers long. That corresponds to 66,000 football fields. The glacier is known for dropping the same amount of ice in the water daily, which equals the annual consumption of water of the entire island of Manhattan. Sermeq Kujalleq produces 10 % of all icebergs in Greenland.
A boat trip into paradise at the Ilulissat Icefjord
A boat trip to the mouth of the Icefjord is quite an experience. Enormous icebergs have run aground by the mouth of the fjord where the water is shallower than elsewhere in the fjord. The shallowness is a result of a large sandbank being pushed forward by the huge icebergs, causing the ice to run aground.
The icebergs will not move until they have melted enough to break free of the sandbank. Or if a large portion of ice calved from the glacier at the base of the fjord pushes more ice forward. Or if they are lifted over the sandbank by large waves caused by the calving of major icebergs.
Sailing near the icebergs is incredible. The captains bring their boats as close to the ice as safety allows – naturally keeping a proper distance to the enormous giants. The icebergs can be as tall as a skyscraper and can be very wide in diameter.
You should take a boat trip in the daytime and then the second one in the evening when the midnight sun spreads a golden hue. It might seem a little extravagant to go on the same boat trip twice, but we know from experience that people have loved how different the two trips have been.
Read more about the midnight sun.