It is the longest fjord on the Labrador Sea coast of Greenland, and one of the longest in the inhabited part of the country. From its position beside the island's capital, it was formerly known as Godthaab Fjord (Danish: Godthåbsfjorden).
Initially, the fjord flows to the northwest, to then turn southwest at Sermitsiaq Island with the Sermitsiaq mountain visible from most of Nuuk, Qeqertarsuaq Island, and Qoornuup Qeqertarsua Island., splitting into three arms in its lower run, with three large, mountainous islands in between the arms:
Nuuk, the capital of Greenland, is located near the mouth of the fjord, on a mountainous peninsula bounding the fjord from the southeast. Kapisillit is located 75 km (47 mi) northeast of Nuuk, near the head of Kapisillit Kangerluaq, one of the tributary fjords of Nuup Kangerlua.
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- The pre-1973 spelling was Nûp Kangerdlua
- "TIL OPPLYSNING". Norwegian University of Science and Technology. Retrieved 12 July 2010.
- Markham, Clements R. The Voyages of William Baffin. Hakluyt Society.
- Nicoll, James. An Historical and Descriptive Account of Iceland, Greenland and the Faroe Islands. Oliver & Boyd, 1840.
- O'Carroll, Etain (2005). Greenland and the Arctic. Lonely Planet. p. 154. ISBN 1-74059-095-3.