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. 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 in the spectacular surrounds of Greenland await. Secure your place today!
Day 1 - Arrival
The adventure begins with your arrival at Keflavik international airport, Iceland. From there, you will transfer to the city of Reykjavík where you'll have some time to rest before meeting the rest of the group for dinner in the evening. Over a delicious meal, we'll get to know each other and talk some more about the trip to come. Please note hotel in Reykjavík is not included in the price but the welcome dinner will be at Fosshótel Reykjavík restaurant if you want to use that same hotel
Day 2 - Ittoqqortoormiit
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
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 - Harefjord
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 - Harefjord
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 - Bjørneøe
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 - Bear Islands
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. 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
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 - Reykjavík
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 - Departure
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.
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.
6-15 August 2024 - Guided by Raymond Hoffmann / one spot for female left
5-14 August 2025 - Guided by Raymond Hoffmann
The ship has a main cabin that invites you with a cozy atmosphere where you can talk about the day’s adventures over a warm European meal. In the large wheelhouse there is a sheltered area for our guests to enjoy the landscape as we sail past. Each two person cabin has a washbasin with warm and cold water. At the front of the ship, there are two showers and two toilets. Both cabins at midship have a toilet and shower. The galley of Tilvera is fully equipped with an electric range, oven, microwave, refrigerator and freezer. On a misty day, we enjoy the warmth of central heating.
On Tilvera we will give you a warm welcome and safe feeling. We want you to go home with a smile on your face and hundreds of beautiful pictures (also in your head). The Tilvera ship is very suitable for fantastic photo safaris!
The boat Tilvera is very suitable for fantastic photo safaris. Our speciality is the far North as Greenland and Svalbard and the far South as Antarctica, and Patagonia
There is ample room for us to sit down in the deck saloon for photography masterclasses and post-processing sessions.
Tilvera is completely equipped to meet stringent safety requirements for sailing in the present day, carrying a certified and experienced crew onboard.
There are 6 passenger cabins on the vessel, all equipped with wash basins and closets. They accommodate a total of 11 passengers.
At the front of the ship, there are two showers and two toilets. Both cabins at midship have a toilet and shower.
Raymond is an award-winning photographer with a worldwide reputation. Known for his magnificent landscape photos, his career took off in 2011, when he was voted as ‘Best Nature Photographer’ by one of Europe’s largest online photo communities.
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.