East Greenland Expedition 2024
Landscape Photography in East Greenland
ABOUT THE EXPEDITION
East Greenland is an incredible place. It will inspire you, fire your imagination and fulfill even your wildest photographic ambitions.
It’s home to some of the world’s most extraordinary geology. Ice and water have shaped the landscape over thousands of years. The scarred red and orange rock contrasts with the electric blue icebergs that calve off its many glaciers and drift slowly down its deep fjords.
September is the ideal time to visit Greenland. That’s when this majestic place hovers on the boundary between summer and winter, giving us the best chance of maximizing everything Greenland has to offer landscape photographers. We can expect soft golden light and far more interesting skies than during the summer, when endless blue skies are common. We could also experience frosty mornings and even snowfall.
Our expedition will explore the Scoresby Sound fjord system in Eastern Greenland, which is the largest and most spectacular fjord system in the world.
We'll fly from Iceland to Constable Point where we'll board Vestland Explorer, the expedition ship that will be our home for 8 days while we explore the fjords and circumnavigate Milne Land. At the end of our voyage, we’ll fly back to Iceland.
We’ll photograph icebergs from the safety of the ship as we cruise the fjords. We’ll also go ashore, where we’ll photograph from the coastlines and explore the Arctic tundra. We’ll use the Zodiacs to cruise among icebergs and scout for wildlife.
This expedition is dedicated to landscape photography. While there is some wildlife in the area, it won’t be our main focus. By September, most of the birds have migrated away for the winter. Musk ox roam in a few locations, but they are challenging to approach. And although we will be in polar bear territory (and will have to be vigilant on land at all times), Greenland isn’t a good place to photograph them, compared with prime wildlife locations like Svalbard.
Daníel has led a number of trips to Scoresby Sound and has teamed up with expedition leader Morten Jørgensen, who has vast practical knowledge of the region. Renowned nature photographer Mark Buckler will join us as a photography leader on this expedition.
WHAT TO EXPECT
This is a photography expedition. The photographic opportunities in the Scoresby Sound fjords are limitless and we intend to take maximum advantage of our time here. We’ll use the Zodiacs to make daily shore excursions, and use them to cruise among stranded icebergs and brash ice.
Scoresby Sound is the world’s largest fjord network. It covers an area of more than 38,000 km² and branches out into countless waterways. Here you’ll see some of the most incredible iceberg formations on Earth, created by the constant thawing and freezing of the glaciers. It’s a photographer’s paradise. Many of the icebergs are towering monoliths covered in electric blue cracks and fractures. The juxtaposition of these natural sculptures against the orange and red rock is unique. You won’t see this raw and beautiful combination anywhere else on Earth.
This is a rare opportunity to visit this stunning place for the sole purpose of photography. Scoresby Sound is a relatively untouched wilderness. Few expedition ships ever visit this part of Greenland. Almost none of them tailor their itineraries to the needs of photographers.
Our expedition ship, the Vestland Explorer, is ideal for this type of adventure and is a vessel with a high standard of luxury. It has low decks for ship-based iceberg photography and large Zodiacs for cruising where the ship can’t go, and for making landings.
In addition to the crew, our group will consist of max. 12 participants, plus the three of us who will lead and guide you.
Once inside Scoresby Sound, we’ll be in sheltered waters and you should rarely feel any motion of the water. However, while the ship is in transit from Constable Point (the airport) into the fjords and then while coming back, the ship may possibly pitch and roll a bit, but much dependent on weather.
Please note: The weather in the Arctic can be fickle. To make sure you get the best experience, we reserve the right to make last-minute changes to the itinerary to both avoid bad weather and to take advantage of good weather and light. Our intention is to make every effort to maximise the amount of time for photography in the best possible light.
PLACES WE MAY VISIT IN SCORESBY SOUND
Ice, weather & time permitting, include:
Sydcap (South Cape) is a prominent south-facing peninsula between the mouth of Nordvestfjord and Nordøstbugt. It used to be a successful location for hunters, who were active here for a while from 1934 onwards. You can find the ruins of their houses west of the cape. You can also find hut rings from the ancient Thule culture here. This is a good area to photograph latge icebergs that drift out of the Nordvestfjord, which produces some fo the largest icebergs in this region. We also aim to do a landing or two at Sydcap, hopefully one of them to photograph Musk ox, which can often be seen in this area. An Arctic hare or two might also be spotted. But we are mostly there for the landscape features, which will be our main focus.
Bjørneøer (Bear Islands) are a group of islands located northeast of Milne Land. From a few of the islands, you’ll get a view across Øfjord to some of the most incredible mountain peaks in the fjords. The mountains are dominated by Mount Grundvigskirken. We’ll spend at least two days exploring and photographing the islands from the water and land. Our plan is to make a number of landings on the Bear islands of both sunrise and sunset photography.
Rypefjord and Harefjord are two fjords separated by Cape Hoffman Halvø. Rypefjord is lined by superb rock formations at its entrance. Musk ox roam in this part of Greenland and there are opportunities to hike over the tundra in search of memorable photographs. We will do multiple landings in these two fjords and spend at least two days there to fully explore this wonderful area.
Øfjord is the fjord north of Milne Land. It’s a fairly narrow fjord with towering mountains on both sides, rising straight out of the ocean. It is dotted with icebergs of all shapes and sizes. Sailing through Øfjord is an experience like no other. This is a time to be out on deck and capture this incredible landscape.
Hall Bredning is the vast open area east of Milne Land. This will be our main playground for massive icebergs set against a backdrop of towering mountains.
Please note: This isn't a complete list of the places we’ll visit. The final itinerary will depend on the conditions we have at each location. How long we spend in each location will be decided by what we find there. This expedition is just that—an expedition. We are free to spend as much, or as little, time at any given location within the time frame of the expedition.
FLIGHTS BETWEEN ICELAND AND GREENLAND
To avoid 3 days at rough open sea we will be flying on a charter flight from Iceland to Greenland an then back to Iceland at the end of our expedition. The exact charter cost has not been set but is estimated at around $2000 per person. The charter cost will be invoiced with your final payment.
THE SHIP AND ACCOMMODATIONS
M/S VESTLAND EXPLORER
This A1 ice-class polar yacht was built in 1994 to perform oceanographic research in Greenland. With the goal of reducing its impact on the environment, it was decided to completely renovate the vessel for the 2021 sailing season. At 46.5 meters long and 10.5 meters wide, the Explorer is designed for easy navigation through high seas and ice. The spacious, refurbished interiors offer top-notch amenities–making for a comfortable and refined cruising experience. A spacious panoramic lounge, a gym room, sauna, and two Jacuzzis are all available for you to relax in after your exciting small-boat outings. Or you can choose to spend some time on the bridge where a second panoramic lounge opens out to an outdoor lounge-bar area. The Explorer is fitted with 14-to-20 sq. m. cabins ranging from single to twin or double cabins, and suites equipped with floor-to-ceiling or picture windows for greater observation.
M/S Vestland Explorer was built Denmark in 1994. The ship was built as Buoy Handling Vessel and Seabed operation for the Danish Maritime Authority. It was converted to an expedition vessel in 2019 and started operating in the Arctic in 2022. Explorer offers cruise ship comfort on a small ship with en suite cabins.
FACTS ABOUT THE EXPEDITION
Dates: September 12th – September 19th, 2024
Group Size: 12 guests plus leaders
TRANSPORTATION: M/S Vestland Explorer
COST (per person in USD): $12,450 USD per person
Cabins are either sole use or dual occupancy. There is no single supplement fee and cabins will be allocated based on order of registration. The first 4 people (that don’t opt to share a room) to register will have the option of a sole use cabin. Flights between Iceland and Greenland are not included and will be billed separately (estimated at $2000)
PAYMENT SCHEDULE AND TERMS:
$3,000 deposit at registration
$4,000 due March 1st, 2024
Balance before June 1st, 2024
To request a booking click below:
INCLUDED IN THE EXPEDITION RATE:
7 nights of accommodation aboard the ship
all meals while on board
water, coffee/tea ad libitum
guides and crew services
daily excursions by Zodiac
instructions from highly experienced photo leaders
one of Greenland’s most experienced expedition leaders
lectures, briefings and shore side interpretations
magnificent scenery and wonderful wildlife encounters
great company and safe and friendly travel
any pre- or post-cruise expenses including flights between Iceland and Greenland
other drinks than mentioned above
customary tips for crew and staff
anything else not specified as included