The Ilulissat Icefjord Center is an attraction in itself thanks to its contemporary architecture. The building was designed by Danish architect Dorte Mandrup to symbolize the wingspan of the snowy owl. The structure is integrated into the landscape, so much so that the boardwalk to Sermermiut will take you right over its roof. Inside, exhibitions celebrate the ice, the abundant wildlife and the local culture, with programming that seeks to educate the public on climate change.
“With these views, you have to stop and just try to grasp the greatness silently,” Momme advises, looking out through the building’s glass walls. “Viewing the icebergs reflected in the calm ocean is something very special to me, and I think I am very blessed to be able to experience that almost every day.”
Another way to experience the ice is on one of the many midnight sun cruises offered from the small harbor in the city. A half-hour cruise will transport you to another world. When the captain turns off the engine, the silence is almost frightening. To be surrounded by the towering icebergs, with only the sound of the seabirds and the occasional moaning of the ice as it releases tension, is an exercise in perspective: you are reminded of how small you are.
It is generally best to visit Ilulissat during the summer months, when hiking is less complicated and temperatures relatively mild; you can get by with a light jacket.
The midnight sun is a draw in its own right. On night cruises, the light from the sun illuminates the icebergs with colors—yellows, oranges, reds and blues—that aren’t seen at other times of the year.
Just as each iceberg has its own unique form, every evening in Ilulissat is different: the icebergs are always moving, turning and drifting through the bay. And, just as the forces of nature are changing the ice all the time, you may find yourself changed by the experience.