Among the Arctic countries, Greenland is often overlooked in terms of travel. Sure, you've probably flown over it on the way to Europe from the U.S., but that's hardly a visit. If you take time to research this amazing island nation, however, you'll find plenty of reasons to come see Greenland on your next cruise travel adventure. We've compiled a few of the best of them below - and you'll have to travel to Greenland yourself if you are interested in finding out more.
1. See a changing Greenland
As Smithsonian Magazine noted in 2011, many people are flocking to Greenland because it's 80 percent covered by a polar ice cap. As climate change continues to progress, the face of Greenland is changing. It's a sobering reminder that human-created global warming is real and has consequences - and it's a moment now to take in Greenland as it is.
"Some people we met there were saying things like, 'I want to visit Greenland before it completely disappears. I want to see polar bears before they are completely extinct,'" Alban Kakulya, a photographer, told the magazine.
While the case may not be so dire as all that, seeing Greenland now is a good choice. It may also be a profound to come to understand what climate change means worldwide - and could change the way you live after you come home.
2. Unlike anything you've ever seen
Regardless of how extensively you've traveled, you're unlikely to have seen anything quite like Greenland before. As we mentioned above, the vast majority of the country is covered in ice. Add in a very sparse population and vast tracts of wilderness, wildlife you don't often see outside of nature documentaries and the northern lights, and you have a destination that seems almost alien to many people who are seeing it for the first time. If you're looking for a unique cruise travel experience, Greenland is a good bet for you.
3. Meet a diverse and welcoming nation
Greenlanders themselves are a welcoming people by all accounts, and are also remarkably diverse both in terms of cultural origin and how they spend their time. Some live rurally, hunting on dog sleds and fishing when possible, while others live urban lives full of offices and coffee houses. The amazing thing about Greenland is the amount of overlap between lifestyles, too - the businessman you meet in Nuuk, the capital, may very well take time off to go hunting in the wilderness every year, for example, and take the pursuit just as seriously as someone who lives there.
Greenland is increasingly welcoming a new wave of immigrants from Europe and elsewhere, and is consistently engaged in a national dialog on what it means to be a Greenlander and what the country wants for itself going forward. This is a familiar story to Americans, who will see the same pioneering spirit that inspired their ancestors in many of the Greenlanders they meet.