Greenland Photo Tour in Scoresby Sound | Sailing on Schooner
Join us on this 10 day adventurous photo expedition to the rugged land of Scoresby Sound in east Greenland, capturing otherworldly scenery like you have never witnessed before.
This photography tour is an adventure through the rugged waterways of Scoresby Sound, a network of stunning fjords that will take your breath away. To take a trip through the icy wilderness of this region 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.
We will spend ten 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. It will be summer when we sail, so we will travel beneath the ethereal light of the Midnight Sun, shooting in the near-constant glow that comes from being this far north at this time of the 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.
What are you waiting for? Ten spectacular nights aboard the Donna Wood in the spectacular surrounds of Greenland await. Secure your place today!
Day 1 - Arrival
Day 2 - Ittoqqortoormiit
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
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 - Harefjord
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 - Harefjord
Day 6 - Bjørneøe
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 - Bear Islands
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 - Bear Islands, Constable Point
Day 9 - Reykjavík
Day 10 - Departure
You’ll catch your flight home from the Icelandic capital safe in the knowledge that you’ve had the experience of a lifetime.
About the Donna Wood
The two masted Donna Wood is a beautiful oak ship, designed and built as a lighthouse ship in Denmark in 1918. It underwent significant restorations during 1990, when it was modernised and equipped with the sails and rigging that you see today.
It has carried out numerous expeditions to Iceland and Greenland, specialising in the pristine fjords of Scoresby Sound.
The Donna Wood is a spacious ship that has been built to withstand the Arctic waters.
There is ample room for us to sit down in the deck saloon for photography masterclasses and post-processing sessions.
The Donna Wood is completely equipped to meet stringent safety requirements for sailing in the present day, carrying a certified and experienced crew onboard.
There are 7 passenger cabins on the vessel, all equipped with wash basins and closets. They accommodate a total of 12 passengers.
The hallway features spacious shared shower facilities and toilets.
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 (always accompanied 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 full board 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 alcoholic 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 ACCESSIBILITY 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 Scoresby Sound area), so no gangway.
WHAT SHOULD I BRING ON THIS EXPEDITION?
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).
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 phone call 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 degree 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 long lasting 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 Scoresby Sound 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 credit cards. 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.
We highly recommend that you get a travel and medical insurance. Your own domestic medical insurance and private health scheme will not cover you whilst you are overseas.
The tour will always dependent on weather, as the weather can be highly unpredictable. Likewise, sightings of wildlife will be dependent on the movement of animals and cannot be guaranteed.
2 – 11 August 2022 - Guided by Raymond Hoffmann
2 - 11 August 2023 - Guided by Raymond Hoffmann
9- 18 August 2023 - Guided by Raymond Hoffmann
Terms of service
One of his photos was even elected as one of the best photos in the 10 years history of the organization. Raymond’s work has featured in various publications, from books to newspapers and magazines, and he actively takes on assignments for publishers and advertising agencies.
These days he works as a nature photographer, mostly leading expert tours across the stunning nordic nations. He is an ambassador for the Lucroit filter system, and has won awards in a range of international photography contests.