Learn about Local Culture on a Greenland Cruise

Descendants from the Inuit and Viking explorers, the Greenlandic people have maintained a predominantly hunters’ world. Hunting is a revered profession, and most resident’s still hunt part-time to supplement their diets. Several dozen in the more northern Thule region hunt full-time to support their families. During your Greenland cruise you will also notice that many Inuits ice fish, and the regional annual dog-sled races enjoy participation by nearly every team available. These traditional elements of Greenland have attracted travel to their island - contests such as dog-racing, hiking, and cross-country racing invite adventurous foreigners to the island.

In order to sustain a hunting way of life, it has become necessary for at least one family member to hold a cash economy job in order to pay for things like electricity and other amenities. Traditional foods such as seal, walrus, narwhale, and caribou are regular main courses in the northern regions, and many hunters still wear hand-made polar bear skins to stay warm. Many northern region hunters boast world-class skill with a kayak and in harpooning. As valued as this way of life is, the hunting profession is under severe strain due to pressure from environmental groups and new hunting regulations. Hunters in the region say it is very difficult now to survive on the quotas that have been established, especially due to the decline in the sealskin business; this market collapsed due to pressure from environmental groups. It is a difficult situation. While on one hand no one wants to upset or eliminate the traditional cultures of the Intuit, but it is equally important to protect the rare and endangered wildlife in the region. No one would dispute that Greenland’s treasures – both its cultures and its wildlife – are rarities well worth protecting.

During your Greenland cruise you will find that the people of the island are a modern people, enjoying a suburbia lifestyle. While there are certainly a number of Greenlanders practicing the ways of their ancestors – sporting superb hunting skills – but the traditional way of hunting have meshed with modern-day methods, using bullets and motorboats to aid in the hobby. Traditional dancing and music mark special occasions, but in everyday life, most dress according to modern day trends. Travel to the Greenland and you will hear the locals speaking English and Danish.