By Wendy Redal, Editorial Director at Natural Habitat Adventures
From a distance, Base Camp Greenland is hard to discern. The seven raised tent-cabins perched on the rocky shoreline blend in with the mountains that flank either side of the broad glacial valley that meets this protected bay. Gradually, as our boat approaches, we make it out more clearly. It will be our home base for four days of exploring one of the world’s most remote and exhilarating wilderness areas. It’s been a multi-day journey to get here.
First, a turbo-prop flight on Icelandair from Reykjavik to Kulusuk in southeast Greenland, then a short, scenic helicopter hop over to Tasiilaq on Ammassalik Island, followed by a four-hour small-boat cruise through ice-dotted channels to reach Base Camp. When we finally arrive, we feel like we’ve reached Ultima Thule—the far-northern place in medieval geography that lies beyond the border of the known world.
Base Camp Greenland sits just off Sermilik Fjord, a large inlet on the east coast of Greenland where pack ice floating down the Greenland Current meets massive icebergs calved from the glaciers that feed the fjord—a frozen fairyland of white and blue, backdropped by sharp peaks that rise a mile into the sky.
Until now, travelers who wanted to experience this outer edge of the world’s largest island had to paddle or trek their way between points, find shelter from the elements in nylon tents and sleeping bags, and cook over camp stoves. Base Camp Greenland has changed that markedly.
Guest cabins here are surprisingly comfortable: built of heavy-duty vinyl and raised on platforms with private verandas that overlook the bay, the interiors are warmed by a kerosene heater, and twin beds with down duvets keep guests cozy on chilly nights here 60 miles below the Arctic Circle. En suite bathrooms have washbasins and toilets, while hot showers are available in the adjacent bathhouse.
The food is impressive, too: a dedicated camp chef whips up meals that are downright gourmet for our environs, including grass-fed Icelandic beef with roasted root vegetable mash and arugula salad, and local options when possible, such as freshly caught Arctic char.
But it’s the adventures beyond Base Camp that are the top draw, from hikes over rugged, trailless terrain to sea kayaking excursions (the nimble boat itself a Greenlandic invention) to Zodiac outings to the edge of the Greenland ice sheet.
Scroll down to see more images of Base Camp Greenland [all photos by Wendy Redal]: