SAFETY IN ARCTIC WATERS
In accordance with the ‘Order no. 1698 on Pilotage Around Greenland‘ issued by the Danish Maritime Authority it is required for passenger ships with more than 250 passengers to use a local pilot. Read more here.
General safety measures
In a number of incidents Zodiacs and dinghies have been used by cruise vessels to bring passengers within close proximity of icebergs and glaciers in Greenland.
We must stress that such excursions and transports may endanger the lives of passengers and crew.
Over the past few years there have been several incidents in which calving icebergs and glaciers – and their resulting tidal waves have caused boats to capsize. Unfortunately, we have also had a case of a glacier that suddenly calved and released a flood of melting water with fatal injuries on tourists that had been landed nearby the glacier to take photos.
We therefore strongly urge that all boat excursions be carried out by certified passenger vessels, whose crews have extensive knowledge of the area and of the ice. And we strongly advise you not to land passengers nearby glaciers.
In general, exercise pertinent precaution when sailing near glaciers and keep a MINIMUM distance of 200 meters, preferably more. Regardless of the vessel type – including cruise ships – remain at a safe distance from icebergs and glacies. Icebergs can suddenly and without prior indications fall apart or flip over. Likewise, glaciers occasionally calve huge chunks of ice into the sea causing big and dangerous waves which can hit the coastline several nautical miles from where the ice calved.
Visit Greenland – The National Tourist Board of Greenland.