Greenland Photo Tour in Scoresby Sound

Greenland Photo Tour in Scoresby Sound


Join us on this 10 day adventurous photo expedition to the rugged land of Scoresby Sound in east Greenland where we will be photographing majestic other worldly sceneries you have probably never witnessed before.


Total price: 7900 USD

To take a trip through the icy wilderness of Scoresby Sound is to go back to a time when things were simpler, when our collective will was worth little in the face of nature’s supreme power. There are few places left in the world where landscapes, weather and the seasons combine to leave you feeling both small and in awe, but the eastern coast of Greenland is certainly one of those remaining wonders. This photography tour is an adventure through the rugged waterways of Scoresby Sound, a network of stunning fjords that will take your breath away.

We will spend eight spectacular days sailing through pristine arctic landscapes, gazing up at imposing basalt cliffs, capturing icebergs as they make a break for the open ocean, and delighting in the rare wildlife that calls Greenland home. The tour will be led by local guides and an expert photographer, and will include regular workshops and talks on landscape photography to help you capture the many magnificent sights that we will come across.

Despite what its name might suggest, more than 75% of Greenland is actually covered in ice. This, combined with the fact that it’s the least densely populated country in the world, means that the untouched landscapes here are perfect for a photography tour. During the summer when this trip will take place, we will travel under the light of the midnight sun, and shoot in the near-constant glow that comes from being this far north at this time of year.

Rare arctic plants, serene icebergs, towering cliffs and spectacular glacier formations are just the tip of the iceberg; we are also likely to witness whales in their natural habitat and countless species of birds.

The bulk of our traveling will take place on board our ship the Donna Wood. It’s a fitting way to explore this part of the world, and we will sail along in silence without disturbing areas that have stood quietly for thousands of years. While the deck of the ship will offer incredible views throughout the tour, we will be using zodiac boats to take trips onto shore and extend our exploration of the many glaciers and icebergs.

Highlights of the Tour

Spectacular Arctic landscapes

Scoresby Sound is one of the world’s largest fjord networks. It covers an area of more than 38,000 km² of east Greenland, and branches out into more waterways than you could count.

Size is all well and good, but Scoresby Sound offers so much more than just a huge area of wilderness to explore. Photographers, whether you’re into scenery and landscapes or wildlife, will find no shortage of subjects for incredible photo shoots. Much of this adventure will focus on landscapes: Tranquil icebergs of all shapes and sizes are dotted along the waterways, enormous glaciers will tower over our ship, granite mountains dominate the horizon all around. But Greenland also has a heart beneath its bold natural sights. We’ll take the time to explore villages and settlements home to friendly locals who hold a burning passion to preserve their incredible environment, and there’ll be no shortage of curious wildlife to capture with our cameras.

Scoresby Sound - History

Despite being the largest fjord network in the world, Scoresby Sound managed to remain hidden from the wider world until relatively recently. The main body of the fjord was first mapped in 1822 by English explorer William Scoresby, although people of the Thule culture populated the area many years before. Only since the mid-80s has the area been easily accessible to international travellers, and these days the settlement of Ittoqqortoormiit is home to less than 500 friendly Greenland natives.

Ittoqqortoormiit

The settlement of Ittoqqortoormiit was founded in 1925 with people coming from all over Greenland. In part, it was funded by Denmark, who wanted to increase its territory on the world’s largest island. The town has become a hub for hunters and tourists, as well as a base for people looking to explore Scoresby Sound.

Any place as remote as this is going to have something different about it. The Ittoqqortoormiit locals are a friendly, hardy bunch, and sometimes just living here can be an adventure. The settlement’s closest neighbour is the world’s largest national park, and the arctic landscape all around is an untouched wilderness full of birds, polar bears, musk oxen, reindeer, walrus and 18,000 km of desolate coastline.

Flora & Fauna of Scoresby Sound

During this photography adventure in Scoresby Sound, we’ll come across a plethora of arctic animals, birds and plants. Each has its unique charms, and some are easier to find than others, but we can expect to photograph many species of sea bird, seals, walruses and even Bowhead whales. The plant life can also be spectacular in this part of the world. Fertile, unspoilt land, areas of open water that don’t freeze all year round, and towering mountains that provide shelter from the freezing winds all contribute to a thriving ecosystem. During our trip we’ll take plenty of time to leave the boat and explore the shorelines, where, with any luck, the group will come across musk oxen, arctic foxes, lemmings and many other animals native to Greenland.

Itinerary

Day 1 - Arrival

The adventure begins with your arrival at Keflavik international airport, Iceland. From the airport, a speedy bus service, flyBus, will take you to your hotel in the center of Reykjavík. Once you’ve settled in and had some time to rest, we’ll collect you from the lobby in the evening and head out for a group dinner. There we will eat, get to know each other and talk some more about the trip to come.

Day 2

On day two we’ll leave Iceland’s capital and take a two-hour flight to Constable Point airport, Greenland. After landing, the group will board the ship that will be our home for the next week. We’ll have a full safety briefing and discuss any additional information about the journey to come.

We’ll then head to village of Ittoqqortoormiit, one of the most remote yet incredibly located settlements in the world. Less than 500 people call this town home, and the locals are a hardy bunch that rely on hunting, gathering and fishing to get by. There’s plenty to shoot here, from the rugged residents to their colourful houses and the breathtaking landscape all around.

Day 3

Ittoqqortoormiit sits at the mouth of Scoresby Sound, and on day three we will begin our journey into Greenland’s largest fjord. Together we will witness a changing landscape of arching mountains of ice and stone, and floating formations of serene icebergs. These sights, combined with the mystical light of the midnight sun, will ensure that we have a memorable day of photography aboard our ship. One definite highlight will be Rødefjord, an inlet full of majestic icebergs. We will also hear for the first time the eerie creaking of the ice. The day will end with a stop in the peaceful, former Inuit settlement of Hekla Havn, a wander around the area, and the chance to shoot the scenery all around.

Day 4

The fourth day of this Scoresby Sound photography tour will be characterised by the imposing basalt mountains and steep cliffs on either side of the Føhnfjord. The mountains of Gåseland will rise above our port side, while the 2,000 metre-high cliffs of Milne Land will dominate the horizon to starboard.

Later on we will pass through Harefjord - an area packed with photographic sights all around, before sailing further through Rødefjord, where we'll encounter more iceberg formations offering plenty of opportunities to practice your newfound ice-shooting skills. We will stay in the area for two nights, making the most of the arctic landscapes, ice-filled waterways and rugged rock formations.

Day 5

On day five we will continue to explore Harefjord, wandering its shorelines in search of wildlife, subjects and landscapes to capture with our cameras. With any luck there will be plenty to choose from, with dramatic mountain ridges, glacial outlets, arctic foxes, stoats, mountain hares and eagles all around. To end a memorable day, the group will enjoy a cosy bonfire and fill up on delicious flame-grilled treats.

Day 6

On day six we will sail away on through Harefjord and head towards Øfjord for an awe-inspiring day of Arctic photography. There we will witness jagged, mountainous peaks rising from the water, and pass below granite cliffs towering over 200 metres above us. It’s a magnificent spectacle, and one that will stay with you forever, whether or not you choose to document the experience with your camera!

It goes without saying that this will be an incredible day for photography, and to help you make the most of it our expert photographer will guide you through and offer plenty of advice. Once we drop anchor at Jyttes Havn at Bjørneøe, there will be more chances to capture breathtaking scenery; the area is known for beautiful coast, lakes and imposing cliffs.

Day 7

Day seven will be spent wandering around Jytteshavn in the Bear Islands. The area was declared a natural reserve a few years ago and enjoys a strict protected status as a result. There are several options in terms of hikes, depending on how keen group members are to walk and shoot simultaneously.

Day seven will be fantastic for more wildlife photography. The steep cliffs on the island are home to huge colonies of seabirds, and there’s plenty more to discover among the gentler slopes we will explore on foot.

Jytteshavn is also the perfect spot to take a swim. Yes, really. Believe it or not, the water temperature here can be as surprisingly not-freezing as 13°C at this time of year. To end the day we’ll enjoy a meal together on board the ship and make a warming bonfire on the beach.

Day 8

On day eight we will enjoy a scenic cruise down what’s known as the Arctic Riviera, the Tyhe channel - between Bear Islands and Milne land. This final leg of our photography adventure will provide amazing views of the huge icebergs that reside in these waters. The evening will slide by in a haze of ice and magical light, and we’ll wake up in the morning having arrived back at Constable Point.

Day 9

On the morning of day nine we will enjoy a hearty breakfast and take some time to look back upon all we have experienced and photographed together. We will then disembark our wonderful ship and catch a flight back to Reykjavik.

Day 10

Day ten is always a bittersweet experience. On the one hand, you’ll be eager to get back home and share your experiences and photos with loved ones, but on the other, you’ll be well aware that you’re leaving one of the world’s most stunning wildernesses behind.

You’ll catch your flight home from the Icelandic capital safe in the knowledge that you’ve had the experience of a lifetime.

Donna Wood

Donna Wood is beautiful two mast oak ship. Representing Danish shipbuilding tradition at its very best Donna Wood was originally built as a lighthouse ship but in 1990 the ship underwent massive restoration and was equipped with rigging and sails.

Donna Wood is a roomy ship with a deck saloon seating 24 and ample space below deck comfortably accommodating 12 people in 7 cabins equipped with washbasins and closets. The hallway features spacious shared shower facilities and toilets.

Total Price :7900 US $ per person double occupancy .
Registration deposit: 2000$
Maximum Number of Participants: 12
Payment in Full: 90 days prior to the workshop's starting date.

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After you signup, we’ll send you a recommended camera gear and packing list. Please pay special attention to things that we say are absolutely required.
Included:
  • Flight from Reykjavik to Constable Point and back to Reykjavik
  • Transport to and from the airport in Reykjavik and Constable Point
  • Accommodation in Reykjavik
  • Accommodation in made up bunk/beds with shared facilities.
  • Soft drinks, services of the crew.
  • Full board(breakfast,lunch,dinners).
Not Included:
  • Airfare to and from Iceland.
  • Excess baggage charges.
  • Laundry charges and items of personal nature.
  • Alcoholic beverages (available for extra charge & to be paid upon departure with cash money).
  • Optional pre or post tours in Iceland

FAQs

How do I get from the airport to the boat?
After collecting your luggage upon arrival a pickup truck with an open and wide platform will transport you to the harbour (approx. 3 minutes ride) where our crew hands over your warm and floatable device (overall) for the tour. Upon boarding the vessel, you’ll be shown to your cabin/bunk. The actual transport to the schooner is done by zodiac – let the adventure begin !!
How difficult is the trip?
The trip is not challenging unless you really want it to be. You can unwind and relax surrounded by the beautiful stunning landscape. You will be able to do some easy to moderately difficult hikes (allways accompagnied with a professional guide) when ashore in various beautiful settings, and if willing, and only if, you can help the crew on board in their tasks while cruising or sailing. No specific preparations or skills are required for the trip itself, but a good spirit and love for the nature and adventure is a „must-bring-along“ !
Do I need to bring sleeping bags and towels along?
Not needed in your baggage, we provide warm bedding and covers as well as blankets and a set of towels.
How is the accommodation onboard?
Your accommodation is in traditional but new and clean bunks. Please understand, the space onboard is limited, also for luggage storage (please do not bring hard cover luggage).
How is the food offered onboard and do you offer beverages?
Our fullboard service includes breakfast, lunch and dinner. We have put a lot of care in planning supplies and your meals. Occasionally we also serve a light snack during the day, and snacks are also available upon request. Soft drinks and water are available at any time and alchoolic beverage/liquor is for sale onboard at a reasonable price. After you confirm your booking, a Medical Information sheet will be sent to you, gathering information on your health and/or allergies for various foods.
Is there a shower onboard?
Yes, we have a simple but hot shower onboard, which is available most of the times. But please understand, water supply can be limited, therefore we will kindly ask you to adapt.
How is the acessibility onboard?
Please be aware, the staircases to living quarters have steep stairs but with good railing and parts of the ship have a low ceiling so mind your head. You should also be aware, that transfer between land and the schooner is operated by zodiac (there are no harbours in the whole of Scoresbysund area), so no gangway.
What should I bring on this expedition?
  • Small flashlight
  • Sunglasses
  • Sun-protection and bug repellant
  • Warm clothes incl. scarf, mittens, hat and warm
  • Thermal underwear
  • Light wool sweater or fleece (2nd layer).
  • Warm Jacket – Wool or fleece (3rd layer).
  • Shell Jacket or/and Rain jacket with hood – Waterproof and breathable material. Gore-Tex or alternative
  • Hiking Boots – The boots should be of leather (or leather and synthetic) with high cut to give sufficient ankle support. Preferably the sole should be soft but robust. Gore-Tex or alternative waterproof membrane is a preferable extra.
  • Water container – e.g. plastic bottle (pet plastic).
  • Camera equipmen
  • Toothbrush, earplugs and other personal belongings
  • It is advisable that what you wear is either waterproof or easy to dry
  • No umbrella is needed !
Can I wash or/and dry your clothes?
Due to shortage on water supply, we will ask you to avoid cleaning your clothes on board. If anything gets wet during the trip, the engine room is very warm and can be used as a perfect drying place
Can I recharge batteries and use the electrical power onboard?
Power for charging your batteries is available during sailing, when the motor is running (220V). We ask you to not charge batteries during the night, when anchoring. Standard Icelandic plugs are available (two pins EU size)
Is there phone / web access?
The area we are cruising is very remote. Cell phones and internet are not working. Part of the charm of the trip is this fact actually! However cell phones work at the airport in Constable Point. If urgent, passengers can make a phonecall with one of the ship’s satellite phones or send e-mail, sms or fax via Inmarsat, (the ship’s satellite communications system)
How is the climate / weather ?
You can expect temperatures between 2 and 12 dregree Celsius, but the area is also known for having very little rain. It can be windy but on clear days and no wind, the sun can be very strong! Due to the longlasting high pressure over Greenland, the weather is usually very still
Do you use the sails most of the time?
No! Due to still weathers, narrow fjords and many icebergs we use the engine most of the time when traveling in the fjord system. We will however take up sails when possible and at least one time during the trip we should have the opportunity to experience proper sailing, without the engine. The crew will gladly and proudly educate you about the Sailing ships.
Can I help/assist onboard?
You are more than welcome to assist at any point with whatever duties need to be done – but it is not mandatory at all.
Am I likely to be seasick?
No !! The excitement of your approaching sea cruise needn't be spoiled with the fear of sea sickness. Until you actually sail, there's no way to tell. Please note however, that the sea in Scoresbysund fjord is very calm and you are therefore not likely to get seasick. However, if you tend to suffer from this illness, like many other people, the best is to take sea sickness precautions. If you haven't been to sea before, better be safe than sorry and take preventative measures. The motion sickness patch is probably the most popular these days - to be placed behind your ear 4 hours before boarding and changed if necessary after 72 hours. This is quite an effective way to prevent seasickness but causes things like a dry mouth and blurry vision. Better to be thirsty than sick, though! The active ingredient, scopolamine, is absorbed through the skin.
Do I need cash and various monies currencies?
We kindly ask to pay your consumption of alcoholic beverages onboard on the last day in cash in ISK or EUR. We do not accept creditcards. There is only one small souvenir shop, supermarket, small shop and one bar in Ittoqqortoormiit. They do accept DKK or EUR. Payment in EUR will receive change in DKK. Credit cards are accepted only at the supermarket and the souvenir shop.

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Cancellation and Refund Policy

We strongly recommend you to get a Trip Cancellation & Travel Insurance after booking your trip. If you cancel and the Workshop is otherwise filled, we will refund you the full amount you have paid towards the tuition, minus a $300 service charge. If you cancel and the Workshop does not fill, then you will be refunded according to the following schedule, based on the full fee of the Workshop:

Greater than 90 days from the start date of the Workshop: full refund minus $300 service fee.
75 days or more: 75% refund
60 days or more: 50% refund
Less than 60 days: no refund


Refunds will be paid by the same method that the original payment was made.

Disclaimer

The tour is always dependent on weather, as the Arctic weather can indeed be highly unpredictable.When it comes to the Northern Lights, while they are most likely to be seen between September and April, there is no guarantee that they will appear at a given time. There is however always plenty to see and do if conditions do not favour any part of our original plan.

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