This fall, Arctic Umiaq Line has transported 403 passengers north of Ilulissat on three rotations via Uummannaq and Upernavik. All rotations have experienced good weather conditions without any registered flight cancellations and are therefore considered a clear picture of passenger transport. Notably, 2/3 of the passengers north of Ilulissat were round-trip travelers who did not have Uummannaq or Upernavik as their start or end destinations but wanted to experience these places as part of their journey.
This fall, the shipping company has tested extended stays at selected destinations and changed its sailing schedule, where long stretches are placed as overnight trips followed by a few hours of stay. The format was a combination of a 14-day program between Nanortalik and Upernavik and a 7-day express program between Qaqortoq and Ilulissat from mid-September to mid-November.
“Our test of a potential role renewal of Arctic Umiaq Line for coastal communities, where we move from an express format with down to 15 minutes of docking time to a few hours of stay with time to experience the destinations before continuing the voyage, not only attracts the significant staycation segment but also working travelers with time to serve the citizens along the coast,” states the shipping company’s director Jens-Jakob Sandgreen, and continues:
“The extended stay times have left an enriching impression, where, among other things, we have seen citizens make use of the ship’s store and held meetings with meals in the café parallel to local guides who received customers while the ship was docked. It is positive to experience how remote and smaller dwellings are strengthened when the ship increases its presence. It provides an attractive insight into the future for a special coastal community, where it may not just be about supporting A to B needs but about supporting the entire alphabet. In addition to serving the local traveler and tourist, with a passenger ship that has room for more than 200 overnight guests, we have an opportunity to develop services for citizens and local businesses with increased presence,” concludes AUL’s director, Jens-Jakob Sandgreen.
In addition to Uummannaq and Upernavik, the three rotations with the 14-day program included Qasigiannguit with 105 passengers, Kangaatsiaq with 43 passengers, and Nanortalik/Narsarsuaq with 51 passengers. In 2024, Arctic Umiaq Line will have a fixed 14-day program between Uummannaq and Nanortalik from June 1st to October 19th.