The morning light comes slowly in the Arctic. In the early hours, we steamed north toward an enchanting warm glow. Mountains painted by the dawn gave way to a gorgeous blanket of yellows and oranges cast on the waves. Seabirds passed by the ship, illuminated by the morning, as we set towards the harbor at Sisimiut.

Sisimiut, the second largest settlement in Greenland, is a joy to see. Colorfully painted buildings dot the green hills, and steeples and flagpoles accent the landscape. In the morning, local Greenlanders shared with us some highlights of their town. Hiking through Sisimiut, we peeked into museums and around archaeological sites, learning the rich history of this location. We were served a buffet of delicious local foods, including musk ox, reindeer, Atlantic cod, and crab. Clear skies and a light breeze gave us a gentle welcome to the country.

Underfoot, the tundra plants put on a show. Bright flowers waved in the breeze by the roadsides and along the cliff faces. Phalaropes poked around the ponds, which were accented by cotton-grass on the banks. This peek at the botany of the area gave us a taste of what’s to come and demonstrated the diversity in fauna that will diminish as we sail towards the pole.

We were fortunate to have a local Greenlander put on a show for us. Paddling out of the harbor in a traditional kayak, he showed us an impressive array of rolls on his craft. This exhibition of rolls is an art that is kept alive in Sisimiut, and it is incredible to behold.

Today was our first full day in Greenland, and it did not disappoint. Beautiful weather in an incredible location gave us a great start to our voyage. We set our bow to the north to continue exploring this amazing region.