Navigational Planning

Mariners can obtain information for the safe navigation in charts and nautical publications. The Danish Geodata Agency publishes the official paper charts, electronic navigational charts (ENC) and nautical publications of the Greenland waters.

Mariners should be aware that the majority of the paper charts for Greenland were originally compiled in the 1960s. The source material on which these paper charts are based had limitations, especially with regard to their geometric accuracy.

The positioning of the information in these paper charts (i.e. topography, including the coastline, and hydrography) is therefore not accurate.
Since the positioning accuracy that can be achieved with satellite navigation systems (for instance GPS) is better than that of the paper charts, mariners are advised to use sources of positional information other than satellite navigation systems.

Read more about the precautions that mariners should take when planning navigation with Greenland charts.



Electronic Navigational Charts
The current ENC coverage of Greenland waters can be seen in the IHO World Catalogue.

West Greenland waters - introduction of ENC with limited content
The Danish Geodata Agency (GST) is responsible for the surveying and mapping of Greenlandic waters.

For the past 20 years, GST has been surveying the waters along the coast of West Greenland using modern techno­logy (multi-beam echo sounder). GST has thereby built up a larger portfolio of high-quality depth data.

In parallel, GST has for the past 10 years worked to create coverage of the waters along the coast of West Greenland with both high-quality paper charts, and electronic charts (ENCs). The purpose of the effort has been to replace old paper charts with new paper charts and create ENC coverage.

So far, the effort has resulted in the creation of coastal ENC coverage from Sisimiut to the south of Nuuk. ENC cove­rage of the west Greenland coast, north of Sisimiut and south of Nuuk, is still outstanding.

Most of the coastline north of Sisimiut and south of Nuuk is covered by old paper charts and ENC coverage is lacking.

From the beginning, the strategy of GST in relation to establishing coverage with new charts has been to publish new paper charts and ENC simultaneously. The strategy has several advantages. Among other things, it ensures that there is consistency between hydrography (depth information), coastline, etc. in newly released paper charts and ENC.

However, the strategy is resource intensive. There are still 6 years of work to be completed before full coverage of the West Greenland coast has been established with new paper charts and ENC.

If the strategy is maintained unchanged, it will mean that a quantity of high-quality depth data will only be used as a basis for navigation in several years’ time.

For the next 6 years, GST will continue to pursue the strategy of simultaneously releasing paper charts and ENCs. However, GST has decided to supplement the strategy with a new initiative, namely the publication of ENCs with limited content.

By the end of 2023, these ENCs with limited content will create full, coastal ENC coverage north of Sisimiut and south of Nuuk, i.e. the part of the West Greenland coastline where there is currently no ENC coverage.

These ENCs with limited content will be published and updated on an equal footing with the other ENCs from GST. The usual distribution channels for ENCs will be used.

These ENCs with limited content incorporate both an accurate coastline and depth data from new surveys.

The purpose of the new initiative is to ensure that shipping gets ENC access more quickly and thus the opportunity to navigate using satellite navigation as well as ECDIS and with the support of depth information generated from new surveys.

It can be difficult to distinguish ENCs with limited content from ENCs with full content. There are a number of simila­rities. However, there are also points where ENCs with limited content differ from ENCs with full content. Points that navigators need to be aware of.

The introduction of ENCs with limited content also creates a number of inconsistencies across nautical chart products. Navigators need to be aware of these inconsistencies.

Navigators and others can find detailed information about ENCs with limited content on GST’s website. Information that thoroughly sheds light on what navigators should pay special attention to when using ENCs with limited content as a basis for navigation in West Greenlandic waters.

Index map of Greenland charts
An overview of the paper charts covering the Greenland waters can be found on the Danish Geodata Agency’s website.

Chart Corrections
When procuring paper charts and printed publications, subsequent corrections that are published in Chart Corrections must be entered in charts and publications by the mariner.

Chart Corrections is published every Friday and describes the corrections necessary to maintain the Danish Geodata Agency’s charts and nautical publications covering the waters surrounding Denmark, the Faroe Islands and Greenland.
Information is also provided about new editions and updated reprints of the charts and about the continuous updates to the Danish Geodata Agency’s online publications.

The Danish Geodata Agency’s website contains the latest version of Danish Chart Corrections and an archive of previous editions.
There is also a list of corrections to current paper charts listed chart by chart.

Notices to Mariners
The Danish Maritime Authority publishes weekly Notices to Mariners (EfS). Notices to Mariners announce matters of importance for shipping in Danish and adjacent waters, as well as waters around the Faroe Islands and Greenland.

Nautical publications
Nautical publications are a necessary complement to the charts. In connection with navigational planning, nautical publications are indispensable because this is where the mariner can obtain information that is not available from the charts. Like charts, it is mandatory to have nautical publications on board for a ship to be declared seaworthy.

The Danish Geodata Agency publishes a number of nautical publications, which can be purchased in print or downloaded from the internet. The nautical publications covering Greenland waters and harbours are primarily only available as online publications from the Danish Geodata Agency website.

Purchase of charts of Greenland waters
Rosendahls distributes all the paper charts and a range of nautical publications for the Danish Geodata Agency, covering Denmark, the Faroe Islands and Greenland. Paper charts and nautical publications can be purchased from the distributor website or at the distributor’s dealers.

There is pilot services available that meets the requirements of the Danish Maritime Authority's "Order No 1698 of 11 December 2015 for Greenland on pilotage, etc. around Greenland" and the Danish Maritime Authority's “Order No. 1699 of 11 December 2015 on the activities of pilotage service providers and the obligations of pilots in Greenland”.

The boarding of pilots is normally the last port before calling Greenlandic waters, and disembarkation is the next port of call after leaving Greenlandic waters.

Many ships use the services of a local agent to order a Pilot, but it is also possible to order a pilot directly via:

DanPilot Greenland

Imaq Pilot ApS