PROGRAM & PRACTICAL INFO
AT A GLANCE
The conference itself takes place at Hotel Narsarsuaq on 15-19 July 2020 with a Free Day on 20 July 2020. Extra Courses or book-self tours available, for extra cost. There will also be a Market on certain days, where it is possible to buy handmade goods.
Recommended travel dates are 14 July and 21 July 2020. While you are responsible for paying for your own travel, the Agricultural Consulting Services has reserved seats on flights from Reykjavík and Copenhagen, as space is limited. Please reserve travel via us upon registration. NOTE: The Reykjavík flight is Sold Out.
Lodging will be in single private rooms (unless otherwise requested) with en-suite bathrooms at the conference venue, Hotel Narsarsuaq, and your room is automatically reserved upon registration.
Final registration deadline: 1 April 2020
We are so glad you are interested to participate in the North Atlantic Native Sheep & Wool Conference 2020 in Narsarsuaq, Greenland!
Please register via e-mail to Sarah Woodall at firstname.lastname@example.org with the following information:
First name, Last name
Birthdate (DD / MM – YY), for flight booking purposes
Mobile number during travel, for flight booking purposes
Desired flight route – via Copenhagen or via Reykjavík (NOTE: The Reykjavík flight is Sold Out)
Course selection, if applicable (see Extra Courses below)
Allergies, if applicable
Note: if you are registering another person(s) in addition to yourself, please give these informations about each individual.
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email and instructions for payment.
Payment made via international wire transfer.
The conference will be held at Hotel Narsarsuaq in Narsarsuaq, Greenland over the course of five days. There will be interesting presentations from both Greenlandic and global speakers as well as an entire Excursion Day for discovery in sheep farming settlements.
There will also be ample time to explore Narsarsuaq and the surrounding area on your own.
Tue 14 July – Arrival & Registration, Marketplace open (details published later)
Wed 15 July – Conference all day*
Thur 16 July – Conference all day
Fri 17 July – Excursion Day
Sat 18 July – Conference all day
Sun 19 July – Conference all day
Mon 20 July – Free day; Extra courses available, for additional fee; Marketplace open (details published later)
Tue 21 July – Departure
* Individual times will be publicised as the conference date approaches.
"North Atlantic Native Sheep & Wool through 10 years" by conference founder, Karin Flatøy Svarstad.
A discussion of how this conference came to be, the importance of international networking amongst people with like interests, and the role visibility plays for addressing challenges in the wool industry. A holistic overview of the full sheep and wool industry throughout the entire North Atlantic region.
"Traveling Knots: Weaving the Vikings' Life Insurance" by Marta Kløve Juuhl & Monika Ravnanger.
These two women from Østeroy Museum in Norway will give a discussion on a textile research project about a reconstruction of a 1000-year-old shaggy woolen textile from Borgund Kaupang near Ålesund, Norway. Borgund was a Norwegian small city during the Viking Age, but after the year 1500 it did not exist any longer. Finally, there will be a discussion of similar shaggy woolen fragments, which are found around the North Atlantic, for example the Heynes fragment from Iceland and three fragments from Greenland.
"Icelandic Sheep & Sheep Farming: Past and Present" by Dr. Ólafur Dyrmundsson.
A discussion of several aspects of the great genetic diversity of this North European short-tailed breed, now with the largest population of Northern short-tails in the world. Its history will be reviewed briefly, including breeding, grazing, feeding and the production of high quality meat, wool, skins and milk. This will include a section on exports of Icelandic sheep to overseas countries, especially to Greenland a century ago. Past and present sheep management practices will be addressed including references to disease control. The importance of Icelandic sheep, the only breed of sheep in the country, will be discussed in relation to both farm economy and the maintenance of rural communities.
"Organic Wool & Meat Production in Shetland, Scotland" by Ronald Bruce Eunson.
A description of all aspects of native sheep production, processing of products, marketing, sales, and an offer of suggestions towards future developments.
"Faroese Wool: Challenges and Opportunities" by Dorthea Joensen.
A discussion of Faroese sheep holding and wool. There will be a description of the wool collection process at the speaker's organisation Búnaðarstovan – The Agricultural Agency. In particular, how to collect the wool, sort and pack it and later market it for sale. Finally, a note on the challenges of finding interested buyers and opportunities to get the wool used.
"Manx Loaghtan Sheep: A Thin Line Between Survival and Extinction" by Jenny Shepherd.
Manx Loaghtan sheep were left on the Isle of Man by the Vikings over a thousand years ago and have been close to extinction more than once. The talk will briefly cover this breed's history, the amazing attributes it has which are especially favourable for wool and meat, and sustainable measures to ensure the breed persists for at least another one thousand years.
"Leader Sheep in Iceland" by Daniel Hansen. The Leader Sheep Center opened in 2015 and Leader Sheep was accepted as a special species of sheep in 2017. What has changed since then? What input and changes has it had for sheep farming in Iceland?
There is a lovely all-inclusive meal package for all participants which will keep you full and satisfied and will give you the opportunity to taste a wide range of local South Greenlandic specialties.
Lunch will be served daily in Restaurant NuNa at Hotel Narsarsuaq, including Arrival Day, the Free Day and Departure Day. On Excursion Day, you will receive a bag lunch as well as have a nice tasting in the settlement you visit. On Conference Days, there will also be mid-morning and mid-afternoon coffee/tea breaks in addition to lunch and dinner.
Dinner will be served daily both at Restaurant NuNa and at the settlement’s one local restaurant, Polar-tut Café. Everyone will have the opportunity to eat at both establishments in the course of the week. We have taken the liberty to assign participants to two groups, each with designated dinner rotations. You will receive your dinner group assignment upon arrival.
This all-inclusive meal package is charged separately from the participation fee. Note: beverages must be paid on your own.
Sample dishes from Restaurant NuNa include:
Braised South Greenlandic lamb with poached leeks
Lamb fillet with Jerusalem artichoke & onion
Minke whale tataki with capelin, horseradish and iginneq (fermented Hooded seal fat, a specialty from the Cape Farewell area of South Greenland)
Smoked lamb with angelica and a horseradish cream cheese
Arctic thyme brulee with bluebell and herbs
Pan-fried Arctic char with garlic, beerbread chips and a summer salad
A selection of extra courses will be offered on the Free Day, Monday 20 July, for those who will like to continue the sheep & wool theme. These are charged separately from the participation fee. Book your spot upon registration.
The following courses will be available:
Lace knitting (instructed by Minnie Mouatt from Shetland)
Felting with raw wool (instructed by Heidi Greb from Germany)
Knitting with Icelandic Lopi yarn (instructed by Johanna E. Palmadóttir from Iceland)
Handicraft with Greenlandic bone and horn (Instructor name pending)
For those who would like to use the Free Day, Monday 20 July 2020, to explore more of Narsarsuaq and the surrounding area, there are many local tour operators ready to welcome you. These tours are not part of the official program, and must therefore be booked & paid on your own.
Participation fee: 3.000 DKK.
Included: Conference participation (including Excursion Day), accommodation for 7 nights (14-21 July) with breakfast on all days, and 1 excursion by boat to farming settlements nearby Narsarsuaq.
Not included: Travel. However, the Agricultural Consulting Services has pre-reserved seats on direct flights from both Reykjavík and Copenhagen. See below. Upon registration, please indicate if you would like to book one of these seats, and you will be billed accordingly. You are responsible for booking & payment for your travel from your home town to either Reykjavík or Copenhagen.
Not included: All-inclusive meal package, extra courses.
Travel costs: starting at 7.102 DKK
Included: Flight from either Reykjavík or Copenhagen.
Not included: Transport from your home town to either Reykjavík or Copenhagen. Any necessary overnight layover either on the way to Greenland or on the way home again. Coordinate with the itinerary times below.
Not included: Travel insurance.
All-inclusive meal package: 2.990 DKK
Included: all lunches (7); All dinners - a combination of buffets & plated dinners (7); and All mid-morning and mid-afternoon coffee/tea & snack breaks on Conference Days (4)
NOTE: All breakfasts (7) included in the participation & accommodation fee.
Extra course participation fee: 400 DKK
Extra course materials fee: 100 DKK
Photo credits: Mads Pihl - Visit Greenland
While you are responsible for paying for your own travel, the Agricultural Consulting Services has reserved seats on flights from Reykjavík and Copenhagen, as space is limited.
Please reserve travel via us upon registration.
Note: you will have to book your own transport from your home town to either Reyjkavík or Copenhagen.
Air Iceland Connect: 2 hours
Round-trip airfare: 7.187 DKK
July 14, 2020 from Reykjavik To Narsarsuaq
Departure from Reykjavik at 11.25 (IS time)
Arrival to Narsarsuaq at 11.45 (GL time)
July 21, 2020 from Narsarsuaq to Reykjavik
Departure from Narsarsuaq at 12.30 (GL time)
Arrival to Reykjavik at 16.55 (IS time)
Air Greenland: 4 hours
Round-trip airfare: 7.102 DKK
July 14, 2020 from Copenhagen to Narsarsuaq
Departure from Copenhagen at 12.20 (DK time)
Arrival to Narsarsuaq at 13.10 (GL time)
July 21, 2020 From Narsarsuaq to Copenhagen
Departure from Narsarsuaq at 15.00 (GL time)
Arrival to Copenhagen at 23.30 (DK time)
Accommodation will be at the conference venue, Hotel Narsarsuaq,
and your room is automatically reserved upon registration.
Everyone will stay in private rooms (unless otherwise requested) with en-suite bathrooms.
COVID-19: What effect will the Corona virus have on the conference? Please see more about COVID-19 and Greenland here.
Accessories: What to bring? The following items usually prove to be useful when on holiday in Greenland: binoculars, camera, extra portable battery pack for charging phones or other devices, hat & light scarf, journal & pen, mosquito net hat, reusable water bottle, sunblock/sunscreen, sunglasses.
Airport transfer (Narsarsuaq): How far is it from the airport to the hotel? Narsarsuaq is a small settlement, so there's only half a kilometer from the airport to the hotel. There will be airport transfer on arrival and departure day. Be aware that the vehicles are smaller, so wait time can be expected.
Baggage: What are the rules? Air Iceland Connect has the following baggage allowance per person for your ticket. Please see www.airicelandconnect.com for more information regarding dimensions, etc.
1 checked bag – 20 kg / 44 lb max
1 carry-on bag – 6 kg / 13 lb max
Air Greenland has the following baggage allowance per person for your ticket. Please see www.airgreenland.com for more information regarding dimensions, etc.
1 checked bag – 20 kg / 44 lb max
1 carry-on bag – 8 kg / 18 lb
Overweight baggage on either airline is subject to additional fees, at your expense.
Boat transfer – Excursion Day: What will Excursion Day be like? In order to reach the two locations for Excursion Day, Qassiarsuk and Igaliku, it is necessary to be driven down to the Narsarsuaq Harbour to get on board small motor boats and sail to the settlements. Blue Ice Explorer will be providing all the elements of Excursion Day.
At the harbour, you will walk down an angled ramp with handrails to a floating dock. We recommend giving each other plenty of space and walking with care. Once on the floating dock, there will be two steps to get into the boat. The boat is heated and has space for 6-12 passengers, depending on the model.
Upon arrival to Qassiarsuk and Igaliku, there will be a similar procedure to come into land – a few steps to a floating dock followed by walking up a ramp. At Igaliku there will be car transport as the harbour is 4 km from the settlement itself. In Qassiarsuk, there is no car transport as the harbour is located right in the center of the settlement.
Iceland Airports: Aren't there a few different airports? For those travelling through Reykjavík, please note that the Air Iceland Connect flights depart from / arrive to Reykjavík Domestic Airport in the center of town. In order to meet connecting international flights to either USA or Europe, you will have to transfer to Keflavik International Airport, approximately 45 minutes’ drive away.
While there are several bus companies offering airport transportation, we recommend using Reykjavík Excursions. Airport Transfers can be purchased online ahead of time at www.re.is.
Note: this is not a paid partnership; we are simply advising from personal experience.
Insurance: Should I buy? Yes, we highly recommend purchasing a travel insurance policy.
Money: Does Greenland accept credit card? Businesses in South Greenland accept payment by cash (Danish Kroner) and credit card (chip & pin). It would be a good idea to have both on hand. Cash may be useful if you would like to purchase goods from private local vendors, especially at the Marketplace. Handmade crafts vary in size and intricacy, of course, but generally they can cost between 400 – 1500 DKK.
Mosquitos: Are there mosquitos? There can be mosquitos in Narsarsuaq, though not so many in Qassiarsuk and Igaliku due to the prevalence of sheep farms. It is recommended to bring a mosquito net hat, just in case.
Settlement size: What are the inhabited places like? Narsarsuaq, Qassiarsuk and Igaliku are small places. Narsarsuaq is approx. 2,5 km (1.6 mi) from one end to the other and has 123 residents. Qassiarsuk and Igaliku are a blend of sheep farms, residents and summer cottage owners totaling 20-80 residents each. All three have a lot of charm as small rural communities nestled amongst a vast and beautiful Arctic landscape with fjord, mountains and glaciers.
Sheep: Will I see sheep while at this conference? As ironic as it sounds, no, you won't be seeing sheep on a daily basis. From June until September, Greenlandic sheep run free in the backcountry to enjoy the nature and freedom just like we Greenlanders do! It gives the sheep farmers a bit of a break in summertime to get other chores done around the farm and gear up for the annual Autumn Collection Period which involves, quite literally, running after the sheep near and far, to the tops of mountains and back again, to bring them home for rounding up and slaughter.
Temperature: How hot or cold is it? South Greenland does get warm in the summer (think 15-20 degrees Celsius / 60-70 degrees Fahrenheit, with little shade). The inland positions of Narsarsuaq and the surrounding areas make it especially warm. That being said, it can also suddenly get foggy or windy, causing the
temperature to drop considerably. Having a selection of layers with you is always the best bet – a short-sleeved shirt, a lightweight sweater and a waterproof & windproof jacket should be perfect. Warm accessories like a hat and a light scarf would also come in handy, especially on the boat rides if you want to be outdoors to photograph and catch the fresh breeze. See more under “Clothing”.
Travel: What tips can you give? We suggest giving yourself ample time to meet connecting flights during your travel, especially on the homeward bound route to Reykjavík or Copenhagen. If you are travelling via Reykjavík, remember to also leave time for transport between airports. See more under "Iceland Airports".
In the event of your desired connecting flight having a tight connection time, either in Reykjavík or Copenhagen, we suggest you play it safe and take an overnight layover, if necessary.
Walking accessibility: Will I be able to get around easily? Narsarsuaq has one paved main road. There are also several side roads and pathways which are unpaved yet well-trodden. Qassiarsuk and Igaliku have dirt roads and grassy terrain that is slightly hilly. It is highly suggested to wear solid supportive footwear and to take care when walking around. There are no designated sidewalks in any of the three settlements. Cars and ATVs are not so frequent, but when they do approach, kindly step to the side to let them pass.
Popular walking routes in Narsarsuaq on paved road:
Hotel – Arboretum: 100 meters (350 ft)
Hotel – Airport: 0,5 km (0.3 mi)
Hotel – Harbour: approx. 2 km (1.2 mi)
Hotel – Hospital Valley: approx. 2 km (1.2 mi)