Two cruiseships in port at Sisimiut - West Greenland

How to get here and get around

Destination Arctic Circle is one of the easiest regions to reach in Greenland, with plenty of options for getting around.

International arrival

There are currently only three departure points for flights to Greenland – Denmark and Iceland. There are no international ferries.

The following are the most direct routes to each town within Destination Arctic Circle:

For Kangerlussuaq, your flight options are:

  1. Copenhagen -> Kangerlussuaq (Air Greenland)
  2. Billund -> Kangerlussuaq (Air Greenland)
  3. Reykjavik/Kevlavik -> Nuuk -> Kangerlussuaq (Air Greenland or IcelandAir + Air Greenland)

For Maniitsoq, your flight options are:

  1. Copenhagen -> Kangerlussuaq -> Maniitsoq  (Air Greenland)
  2. Billund -> Kangerlussuaq -> Maniitsoq  (Air Greenland)
  3. Reykjavik/Keflavik -> Nuuk -> Maniitsoq(Air Greenland or IcelandAir + Air Greenland)

For Sisimiut, your flight options are:

  1. Copenhagen -> Kangerlussuaq -> Sisimiut  (Air Greenland)
  2. Billund -> Kangerlussuaq -> Maniitsoq  (Air Greenland)
  3. Reykjavik/Keflavik -> Nuuk -> Sisimiut (Air Greenland or IcelandAir + Air Greenland)

Domestic Flights

Air Greenland has the following direct flight options:

  • Kangerlussuaq:  Ilulissat, Aasiaat, Sisimiut, Maniitsoq, Nuuk, and Narsarsuaq 
  • Sisimiut: Nuuk or Kangerlussuaq (most often), and occasionally through Ilulissat, Aasiaat, or Maniitsoq
  • Maniitsoq: from Nuuk or Kangerlussuaq
  • Sarfannguit: limited from Sisimiut
  • Itilleq: limited from Sisimiut

Please note that Sisimiut airport and Maniitsoq airport have limited operating hours, and Air Greenland’s customer support line only operates during the mornings Mon – Sat.

Air Greenland domestic plane
Photo: Mads Pihl – Visit Greenland
Sarfaq Ittuk passenger ferry - West Greenland
Photo: Mads Pihl – Visit Greenland

West Coast Ferry – Sarfaq Ittuk

Both Maniitsoq and Sisimiut are major ports of call for Arctic Umiaq Line’s Sarfaq Ittuk passenger ferry. This ship operates most of the year and is on a weekly schedule along the west coast from Qaqortoq to Ilulissat and back.

Northbound, it takes around 10 hours to sail between Nuuk and Maniitsoq and just under a day between Nuuk and Sisimiut. Southbound, it takes around a day to sail from Ilulissat to Sisimiut, and 18 hours from Ilulissat to Maniitsoq. Along the way you call in briefly at a few other ports and it is a wonderful way to see the Greenlandic coastline.

Getting around town

The towns in Greenland are not large and most people simply walk wherever they want to go. That said, there are bus services in Kangerlussuaq, Maniitsoq, and Sisimiut, and taxis are also available in Kangerlussuaq (+299 55 23 23), Maniitsoq (+299 52 08 44) and Sisimiut (+299 86 55 33). 

The buses don’t run to the airports, you will need to take a taxi (or walk).

Maniitsoq's public bus during winter - West Greenland
Photo: Filip Gielda – Visit Greenland
Passengers in a transfer boat in Greenland
Photo: Aningaaq R Carlsen – Visit Greenland

Local Transfers

Travel between the 3 major towns of the Arctic Circle region is generally through domestic flights with Air Greenland (see above).  This is also true for access to Sarfannguit and Itilleq from Sisimiut during the winter months (by helicopter).

Maniitsoq Tour Boat offers the following scheduled transfers:

  • Maniitsoq – Napasoq – Atammik – Nuuk – Atammik – Napasoq – Maniitsoq (late April – mid November)
  • Maniitsoq – Napasoq – Atammik – Maniitsoq 
  • Maniitsoq – Kangaamiut (January – March)

but any other travel needs to be arranged with one of the tour operators as a private charter.

Arctic Circle Trail

Greenland’s most famous long-distance trail is a 160km link between Kangerlussuaq and Sisimiut. From mid-June to mid-September, the Arctic Circle Trail is very popular with hikers, but guests can also traverse it in winter on dogsled, snowmobile, or (for very experienced winter backcountry adventurers) skis.  

Contact the local tour operators to arrange a dogsled (3-days) or snowmobile (1-day) trip from one town to the other.

Hiker overlooking the Itinneq River valley on the Arctic Circle Trail between Kangerlussuaq and Sisimiut - Greenland
Photo: Lisa Germany – Visit Greenland
Person on an ATV on the ATV track near Kangerlussuaq - West Greenland
Photo: Lasse Kyed – Destination Arctic Circle

Arctic Circle Road

In  the coming years, Kangerlussuaq and Sisimiut will also be linked by a gravel road. This will be the first road in Greenland to link two population centres.  

The road has not yet been started, but the planning stages are well underway in an effort to make this a reality in the next few years.


Most cruise ships visit Greenland between mid-July and mid-August, and those that visit the Arctic Circle region are usually under 600 passengers. 

Kangerlussuaq is often the destination where you join or leave the ship, and from there, it depends upon the ship’s itinerary.  Many cruise ships call into Sisimiut (regardless of whether or not they stop in Kangerlussuaq) and a smaller number visit Maniitsoq. 
Visit Greenland has additional information about cruising in Greenland, and also a complete list of cruise calls with links to the various international companies.

Two cruiseships in port at Sisimiut - West Greenland
Photo: Lisa Germany – Destination Arctic Circle
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