Sila Greenland DMC: Bespoke experiences of Greenland’s unique nature and culture
By Trine Ejlskov Jensen-Martin
Few places leave you constantly at the mercy of Mother Nature’s ever-changing moods, but if you take a trip to Greenland, you can explore a landscape and way of life where sudden drops in temperature and heavy snowfalls change things instantly. Go with an open mind and a visit to this breathtaking country could change your life and stay with you forever.
Lykke Geisler Yakaboylu is the founder and owner of Sila Greenland DMC (Destination Management Company), a bespoke travel agency behind tailormade, luxury trips to Greenland. Born and raised in Denmark, Yakaboylu moved to Greenland aged 19, and has lived in Narsaq, Qaqortoq, and Nuuk. Her mother’s family is from Aasiaat in western Greenland near the southern end of Disko Bay, where her grandparents raised six children in the traditional ways of a hunting family. Her uncles still live and work as fishermen and hunters in Nuuk.
A vision to share the raw beauty of Greenland
The meaning of the word ‘sila’ is at the heart of the company. Sila represents the universe, the elements, consciousness, and world order, and Yakaboylu hopes to inspire curiosity and a sense of wonder in the beauty and power of nature. The ambition is that her customers will feel enriched by discovering this vast land with its deep history, age-old traditions, and otherworldly vistas.
All trips are curated with the greatest respect for Greenland’s natural and cultural environments, its people, and their traditions. “We do everything we can to create life time experiences, and to help build memories that will last” she says. Sila’s bespoke adventures encourage customers to engage with local culture and customs and to embrace the elements, which can play havoc with even the best-laid plans.
Yakaboylu worked for Visit Greenland for 20 years before launching Sila Greenland DMC in 2018. The first year was a success and turnover in the second year was outstanding. Then, restrictions of COVID hit and all business in Greenland was suspended for two years. Now, Yakaboylu is finally able to curate tailor-made experiences of Greenland again. Thanks to her many years in the industry, she has an in-depth knowledge of tourism in Greenland as well as an extensive local network. She only uses local guides and hosts for her tours. “The key is to experience the land, the earth, the air, and the sea in their truest forms, and to travel and explore on the terms of nature, alongside it, not against it,” she explains.
At the core of her venture, is a wish to show the unspoiled, raw beauty of Greenland, and to share the lesser-known aspects of the country. The company’s USP is Yakaboylu ’s personal and professional experiences, and she has combined this with her local contacts to craft specific itineraries tailored to a broad range of interests, demands, and bucket lists. With an extensive knowledge of local nature, culture, and customs, she can create custom-made trips to include whatever guests desire – from dogsled adventures in Sisimiut to polar bear sightings in the wild.
More than a travel company
“It is a luxury to experience local culture and breath-taking nature,” Yakaboylu says. “To eat freshly-caught fish, and to be invited into people’s homes for dinner, that is what true luxury is.” Indeed, Sila Greenland DMC is redefining the term ‘luxury’ and the scope of tourism. For many, Yakaboylu ’s personal touch and input will be welcome anti-dotes to large, impersonal travel agencies.
Besides bespoke trips for groups and solo travellers, Yakaboylu has arranged climate-related tours, including Arctic Basecamp in 2019 with Gail Whiteman and Rainn Wilson for Climate Action and the Blockchain x Climate Leadership Network expedition in 2022. “We really feel the climate changing here in Greenland,” she explains. And, Yakaboylu is passionate about the issues surrounding climate change, so whilst Sila creates happy experiences for customers, learning and being open to different perspectives on life, nature and culture has become an organic part of the trips. Previous customer feedback and testimonials speak of incredible, life-changing experiences, and Sila’s international customer base will undoubtedly continue to grow in the future, with two new imminent airports being built (Nuuk in 2024 and Ilulissat in 2025).
Travelling to Greenland is expensive and Yakaboylu wants to provide luxurious trips to reflect the cost. Every aspect of the experience is created in close communication with the customer, and Yakaboylu does everything she can to make dream trips come true. “Some of my customers know a little about Greenland and what they would like to experience before they embark on a trip here,” she says. But most know very little and trust in Yakaboylu to create a unique, unforgettable experience of stunning Greenland.
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