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Your Greenland cheat sheet

Greenland is an autonomous Danish territory, which means a lot of what you'll need to know for your Greenland cruise is really about Denmark.

Greenland is an autonomous Danish territory, which means a lot of what you'll need to know for your Greenland cruise is really about Denmark. However, it has its own unique characteristics as well (such as being 80 percent covered in ice and largely above the Arctic circle, for example) that influence the country and its inhabitants.

What currency does Greenland use?
Greenland uses the Danish krone, as it is a territory of Denmark. The plural of this currency is kroner, and 1 U.S. dollar is equivalent to 6 kroner at the time of this writing. There are coins up to 20 kroner, and notes up to 1,000 kroner. Much like other currencies in use in this area of the world, prices written out in kroner may be shocking to American eyes and wallets. Keep the exchange rate in mind and you might feel a bit better about it, however. As with all travel, it's a good idea to exchange at least a few dollars to cover incidentals at places that will not accept your credit or debit card, or if you have chosen not to use these forms of payment while you are in the country.

What is Greenland's form of government?
Since 1979, Greenland has been an overseas administrative division of Denmark. It governs itself, though it is still subject to the Danish Constitution and technically is ruled by Denmark's Queen Margrethe II. The Government consists of a Parliament, which appoints a Premier who in turn appoints a Cabinet. The Government is made up of ministries, each with its head, formed to handle practical work. All Government actions happen in the framework that the Greenland Parliament has agreed to, including audits and the supervision of an ombudsman. Greenland has representation at the European Union in Brussels as well.

Brief guide to culture
Greenland was originally settled by the ancestors of the present Inuit people, and was named Greenland by the Norse explorer Erik the Red. These twin influences, as well as many more, shape the culture of Greenland. Inuit culture thrives, as does Nordic culture, within the country, and many people feel very strong ties to their ancestry. Around 80 percent of Greenlanders are of Inuit descent, with the rest generally of Danish heritage. The interaction between these cultures has created a unique country, and one whose inhabitants bond over their love of the actual land of Greenland as much as over a sense of national identity.

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