I flew in to Greenland from Copenhagen via Kangerlussuaq International Airport to Ilulissat. From there I took the boat to Saqqaq operated by Diskoline. The boat trip takes about 7 hours. Saqqaq is a little village on Greenland’s main island only separated by the Vaigat street from Disko Island.
The boat trip from Ilulissat to Saqqaq gives access to a very spectacular scenery. For no other reason big cruise ships take the same route. There are not as much icebergs like on the route from Qeqertarssuaq to Ilulissat, which I took at the end of my trip.
The boat route takes you close to the coasts of Arved-Prince-Islands and Disko Island allowing to have a view on the coastlines as well as of the glacier topped mountains of Disko island, giving a first idea where I am heading to. The boat stops at Rodebay and Qeqertaq before arriving in Saqqaq.
The boats operated by Disko Island are predominantly used by tourists. Locals seem to move on their own with their own boats. This was the case for my boat trip as well as. The boat was in German hands as most of the boat’s capacity was booked by a German tourist group which later turned out to be an excursion organized by the Northern German chapter of the German Geographic Society.
The group was about 15 to 18 in head count and consisted mostly of middle aged men, middle aged in the sense of being as old as me or slightly older. They were very easily recognized as typical German mainstream outdoor fashion followers.
More or less all of them were wearing Jack Wolfskin, North Face, Morehead, or likewise branded xyz-tex clothes, which apparently, due to lack of any signs of wear and tear, were recently purchased with this particular trip in mind.
Soon after embarking the boat, the water tight Tupperware enclosure of my digital camera arose their curiosity. Somehow, that was really funny for them. I did not really catch the joke about the Tupperware enclosure of my digital camera. It was cheap and perfectly fine as a protection against dropping and humidity. I showed them the equally watertight plastic enclosure of my mobile phone.
Up to today, I still do not catch the joke. Did they think, my solution was impractical, either because a waterproof camera would be more practical or because it is nor necessary because of watertights pockets of their clothing would be sufficient (which I strongly doubt). I do not know.
They got curious about my plans and we started to chat. I was interested to learn more about the surroundings, the geography, and polar bears. I learnt that in the past several similar excursions have been organized and that the participants got substantial knowledge about the area. Some of them had relevant academic background in geology and geography particularly about the area and Disko Island.
However, as it turned out later knowledge of Disko Island was limited to its coast line and general aspects like geologic history as a whole. Still the professor I met, was wrong about Disko Island being completely of volcanic nature with basalt being the only type of rock aside of sedimentary rocks at the south and east coast of Disko Island which actually hold the well known coal deposits. At least in the west e.g. around Kangerluk and Qivitut gneiss is abundant.
Asking them about their plans, they told me that they will stay about 1 week in Saqqaq and then return back to Ilulissat. In Saqqaq they, except for Klaus, stay in private houses that they rented will do day trips into the surroundings of Saqqaq. Klaus was the guy who prefers to stay overnight in his tent.