Qasigiannguit - Capital of Whales

Qasigiannguit is beautifully situated in the Disko Bay and surrounded by high and steep mountains rising approx. 450 meters. The name Qasigiannguit means “spotted seals”, and refers to the fact that this seal species were numerous here in the past. In Danish it is called “Christianshåb”, named after King Christian 6. Qasigiannguit is a modern town with everything you need but it still has a lot of atmosphere as an original settlement and everything is to be found at a walking distance. The nature and surrounding area is outstanding and very well suited for easy hiking trips and the lucky ones may encounter musk ox in the area. 

By Boat to Qasigiannguit

The boat trip from Ilulissat to Qasigiannguit is magnificent. Shortly after departing the harbour in Ilulissat the mouth of the Ilulissat Ice Fiord appears at port. The Ice fiord was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2004. The justification was “the scientific value” within geology and glaciology, but also its natural beauty – make your own opinion! The trip back and forth Qasigiannguit, where we experience two expanded boat trips around the ice fiord, gives us something to look forward to. In clear weather most passengers spend their time on the deck, spotting for seals and whales or simply enjoying the icebergs. When spotting whales the crew usually positions the boat, giving priority to this magnificent experience. South of the submarine moraine where the icebergs are grounded, Ilimanaq appears with its colourful wooden houses. Early in the afternoon we arrive at our destination: Qasigiannguit. Hotel Diskobay is beautifully situated at the top of a point at the entrance to Qasigiannguit with a fabulous view of the harbour and the Disko Bay. Depending on which ship is sailing the day in question, the boat trip takes approx. 3-4 hours.

Qasigiannguit is a town in which life is lived in traditional Greenlandic manner. Sledge dogs are a natural part of the transportation and the harbour is busy with boats rushing to and from fishing close to the great icebergs.

Please notice: This video has been recorded mainly in Diskobay area

Hiking and Nature in Qasigiannguit

Qasigiannguit is called the capital of whales. It is exactly here the many humpback whales gather together in the summer to breed. During May to September it often shows it tail during submersion and often slaps the water - close to the coast. The surrounding area is ideal for easy hikes, for instance to the fishing place "strømstedet". If you look for a little more challenge you might hike to "Udsigten" which rewards you with an impressive view of Disko Bay and all the way to Disko Island - despite the distance of 100 km!

Museum and "Live Settlement"

The city museum stores some of Greenland's most well-preserved ancient discoveries and exciting collections. In cooperation with the city museum in Qasigiannguit, it is possible to gain a unique insight into a part of the history of Greenland on Sundays, when the project " Live Settlement" can be visited. Volunteers and professionals work together in re-enacting and illustrating the Thule-culture as it was around 18th century: Kayaks are put in the water, participants dress in skin clothing and show traditional household activities like cooking over the fire etc. Since the event is operated on a voluntary basis, we can not guarantee that you will be able to attend the 'show' on your exact trip.

Excursion Suggestions
  • Qasigiannguit Museum
  • Guided city walk
  • Living Settlement - on selected Sundays during the summer
Free Adventures in the Area
  • Hike to Kangerluluk - Paradise Bay
  • "Udsigten" - Trek to the 456 m mountain with a view of Disko Bay and the Ice Fiord in Ilulissat
  • Fishing at “Strømstedet at the mouth of “Laksebugten”
  • Walk around town
  • Visit "brættet"
  • Musk oxen in the mountains around Qasigiannguit
  • Historical turf huts
  • Service in Qasigiannguit Church
  • See the tail of a hump back whale from the coast in the summer (not guaranteed)
Hotels i Town
  • Hotel Diskobay