East Greenland is one of the most isolated areas in Greenland and offers fantastic possibilities for photographing. This is the tour for the serious landscape and wildlife photo enthusiast who’s willing to go back in time and explore the Arctic, to travel off the beaten track to get amazing imagery.
Scoersbysund fjord system is the largest fjord system on earth with its deep fjords and steep mountains. This remote area as some of the most dramatic scenery in Greenland and the only way to explore it is on a boat.
Payment in Full: 90 days before the trip starts.
Maximum number of participants: 11
Cooperation with: Arctic Exposure travel agency.
2019August 27- September 5, 2019 on Donna Wood guided by Örvar Þorgeirsson and Mai Kanya. 1 seat available September 3 – 12, 2019 on Opal guided by Örvar Þorgeirsson and Nanut Bovorn. Fully booked.
2020September 1 – 10, 2020 on Donna Wood guided by Örvar Þorgeirsson and Nanut Bovorn. Available. September 8 – 17, 2020 on Opal guided by Örvar Þorgeirsson and Mai Kanya. Available.
Trip Summary – What to expect
On this tour you’ll have the options of photographing ice bergs at the size of skyscrapers, steep mountains which fall into the sea, deep fjords, floating icebergs, glaciers, wildlife (whales, muskoxen, Arctic fox, Arctic hare and if we are lucky polar bears) and the Northern Lights. We have scheduled this workshop in September to have the chance of capturing the Northern Lights.
We have chartered a wooden schooners Opal and Donna Wood for the these trips. We will sail the calm fjords for 8 days / 7 nights and the boat will be our base camp. The boats sail slowly and and are especially quiet which enhances the experience of the silent fjords. It has comfortable double cabins (shared showers) and has a crew of 4 which will assist us making the adventure pleasurable.
Early September is a season of change in the high Arctic. We will have peak fall colors and snow in the towering peaks above. We might even experience some snow fall sailing the fjords. Even though the temperature can go below freezing the calm weather of the deep fjords is pleasant and the boat is a very warm and comfortable.
Each day we will go on land to photograph and stretch our legs. Also if the sky is clear we will go on land after dark to photograph the dancing Northern Lights.
The steep mountains in the area and deep fjords makes these waters very sheltered and still. The complete quietness in these fjords is something we never experience in our busy modern world. A single bird or a water drop falling of an iceberg is sometimes the only thing braking up the silence.
Below is the rough itinerary. We will stay flexible and go with the weather and conditions. We are in the high Arctic and conditions are never certain and the ice is on a constant move.
Day 1 (Sept. 11th / Sept. 18th 2018)
Arrival in Iceland. A group dinner at a local restaurant in Reykjavík.
Day 2 – Flight to Constable Point – Greenland
Depart Keflavík for a flight to Constable Point in Greenland, a small airfield on the west side of Hurry Inlet in Jameson Land. Embark the Schooner and get an introduction and a safety briefing by the crew and then sail towards the village of Ittoqqortoormiit where the evening is spent with locals in perhaps the most isolated village of the world.
Ittoqqortoormiit was founded in the 1925s by people from Ammassalik island. It is the most northerly settlement on the east coast of Greenland. The 450 inhabitants make their living mostly by subsistence hunting of seals, Narwhale, Muskoxen and Polar Bear. The quaint little houses dot the rocky slopes of south Liverpool Land with magnificent views of Kap Brewster and the Volquart Boons Coast to the south.
Day 3 – Sailing Scoresbysound
We sail out early morning and head across the Scoresbysound fjord system to the towering basalt peaks on the south coast of the fjord. We sail between whole palaces of icebergs that gently drift under the influence of the currents in the Arctic waters in the mighty fjord of Scoresbysound, after calving from the parent glaciers originating in the Inland Ice. We will likely anchor in late evening at Hekla Havn, on Denmark Ø, the site of an old Inuit settlement and wintering camp of the first scientific expedition to Scoresby Sound over a hundred years ago.
Day 4 – Føhnfjord and Iceberg City
Sail west through the narrow Føhnfjord with the majestic basalt mountains of Gåseland on the port side and 2000 metres high sheer granite cliffs of Milne Land on the Starboard side. At the end of the fjord we will anchor at Red Island and even make landfall here. In the afternoon and evening we will take a Zodiac ride to the magnificent Iceberg City where hundreds of huge iceberg get stranded.
Day 5 – Rødefjord and Harefjord
The tour continues to the north through Rødefjord which is often filled with both larger icebergs and ice crust from icebergs that are breaking up. This is the calmest and most vegetated part of the fjord which will be in peak fall colors. Sailing the calm fjord we will see Muskoxen roaming the hillsides. Somewhere along the fjord we will take a short hike to photograph the vivid colored vegetation and try our luck with the wildlife. We will arrive in Harefjord in the late afternoon where anchors are set. Here we will have very good chances of photographing the northern lights if the sky is clear.
Day 6 – Harefjord
Depending on weather and ice condition we will stay another night in the Harefjord scouting for muskoxen, snow hares, grouse, geese and other wildlife, which normally graze on the south facing slopes. Between 6 and 7 hours of easy to moderate hiking with a lunch break at the top of a ridge with a breath taking view over Harefjord where the glacier tongues descend into the sea. Those who prefer less exercise can stroll at the coast or stay on board enjoying the view. In the evening the crew will make a bonfire and prepare BBQ at the rocky beach.
Day 7 – Øfjord and Bear Islands
The sailing continues eastwards through the awesome Øfjord. This is one of the most spectacular parts of the trip. Terrific mountain peaks and granite walls tower 2000 meters up from the sea just like Patagonia mountains of Fitzroy and Cerro Torre had been moved to the Arctic. Usually the sea breeze in the Øfjord during the middle of the day allows sails to be set. You are more than welcome to assist with the rigging. This day ends by setting anchors at Bear Islands in the afternoon.
Day 8 – Bear Islands to Constable Point
Sailing the channel between the Bear Islands and Milne land with a breathtaking view of the spectacular archipelago. As we sail into the last evening and night of the trip it is likely that we‘ll be experiencing sights of the largest and the most fascinating icebergs of the journey. This provides a fantastic opportunity for photographs of the majestic and impressive icebergs that are often found in this particular area. When we wake up the next morning we are anchored at the at the airstrip in Constable Point.
Day 9 (Sept 13th / Sept 19th) – Greenland to Iceland
The last morning we will enjoy a good breakfast together, write in the diary on board and share contact information with each other. Then we will disembark the schooner for the last time and board the aircraft in Constable Point and fly back to Keflavík Iceland.
Örvar Atli Þorgeirsson – Lead Guide
Icelandic owner of Arctic Photo and pro photographer with years of experience guiding in Iceland and Greenland. An mountain adventurer since his teenage years. On his many trips to the Icelandic mountains and wilderness the photographer became obsessed with capturing the raw beauty of the places he visited. Over the years he has captured Iceland’s most wild places on his camera from the colorful and never ending midsummer arctic sunset to the inspiring displays of northern lights in winter. Örvar has won multiple international awards for his photos and has been running a photo gallery in central Reykjavík since 2008.
Skarphéðinn Þráinsson – Lead Guide
Pro Landscape Photographer and Tour Operator in Iceland, Born 1972 in Egilsstadir, East Iceland. Living his passion of outdoors travelling, hunting, fishing and exploring the nature of Iceland since childhood. He’s specialising his exquisite photography work on the Iceland nature including volcanoes, ice caves, wildlife and classic landscapes. Skarpis’ images have appeared in numerous national and international publications, books, and calendars, including Discover Magazine, Digital Photo Magazine, USA Today, Daily Mail and The Guardian to name a few. Along with running Photography Tours and Workshops in Iceland, Skarpi runs a stock photography website www.skarpi.is and runs a postcard, calendar and souvenir publication via Arctic Art.
Kanya Hanklang – Assistant Guide
Originally from Thailand but living in Iceland now she has traveled extensively in both Iceland and Greenland and has operated tours in the Arctic for 4 years. Known for her warm attitude and lively personality she makes every trip and enjoyable experience for everyone. She goes by the nick name Mai and is also Örvar´s wife.
Nanut Bovorn – Assistant Guide
A professional photographer from Thailand (Bangkok). Nick named Noom he loves to explore the world through his travels and fell in love with Iceland and Greenland. He has photography experience for over 15 years and I great experience hunting and photographing and and exploring ice caves.
• Two professional photo guides.
• Schooner expedition in Greenland in double cabins.
• Flights from Iceland to Greenland and back.
• Airport transportation in to and from Keflavík airport in Iceland.
• Breakfast, lunch, snacks and dinner on board the schooner in Greenland
• Dinner the first night in Reykjavik, Iceland.
• Flights to Iceland.
• Alcohol, snacks and beverages.
• Lodging in Iceland before and after the Greenland tour.
Location in Greenland
Schooner Opal and Donna Wood
The boats we use are comfortable wooden schooners. They have 12 passenger capacity plus a crew of 4 people. They sail by engine and wind power. Schooner Opal as an electric propulsion system which enables it to sail very quietly through the calm fjords.
Cancellation and Refund Policy
If you cancel and the Workshop is otherwise filled, we will refund you the full amount you have paid towards the tuition, minus a $150 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 121 days from the start date of the Workshop: full refund minus €150 fee.
120-91 days: 75% refund
90-61 days: 50% refund
Less than 60 days: no refund
Refunds will be paid by the same method that the original payment was made.
Refunds will be initiated within 72 hours of the time that the request is approved.