Wild Photography Holidays - Photographic Adventure Travel: East Greenland – Scoresby Sund Sailing Expedition

Sailing boat in Scoresby Sound

East Greenland – Scoresby Sund Sailing Expedition

Highlights include…

  • Wilderness destination
  • Icebergs
  • Inuit settlements
  • Aurora photography
  • Wildlife
  • Superb arctic light
  • Zodiac excursions ashore
  • Walking explorations (optional)
  • Vibrant autumn colours
  • Beach BBQ
  • Glaciers
  • Iceland, (2 nights)
  • Iceland – Greenland flights

Introduction

Encounter extreme arctic landscapes and wildlife in one of the most remote places in the world. The Scoresby Sund on Greenland’s east coast is the largest fjord system in the world, and the focus of our new photographic sailing expedition. This extensive fjord system flowing from the Greenland Ice Cap is home to some of the most scenically spectacular landscapes anywhere. This fjord system is ice covered for nine months of the year. There is only a narrow window of time when the sound is open to exploration by boat, few photographers make it to this remarkable and remote area which is truly of the last great wilderness destinations on our Earth. During the time of our sailing the Scoresby sund is packed with icebergs and water that can often be mirror smooth with superb reflections especially around sunrise and sunset. In Autumn the east Greenland tundra is time for the vibrant colours of dwarf willow, birch, blueberry and the very last alpine flowers. There is also a great chance that we will be lucky enough to experience and photograph the northern lights. We start and finish this expedition with included flights Iceland-Greenland-Iceland plus a hotel in Reykjavík on the first and last day of our adventure. This is a fabulous addition to our growing portfolio of photographic adventures in Greenland, truly the trip of a lifetime.

Photographic Tutor

James Rushforth is an accomplished photographer and three times published author, he has won several international photography competitions, the latest is the the prestigious Siena International Photo Awards. James is a regular and popular photographic leader for WPH both in the Dolomites and Iceland. He is currently writing the FotoVue photography guide to Iceland assisted by Wild Photography Holidays owners Martin Sammtleben & Geraldine Westrupp who are based in Reykjavík.

Our Boat

This is a dedicated photography sailing where the maximum number of guests is 11. Our expedition Schooner is the beautiful two mast oak ship Donna Wood built in 1918. 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. This 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 a wardrobe. The hallway features two spacious shared shower facilities and toilets.

Brief Itinerary

Our trip PDF will be online shortly.

Day 1: Reykjavík

We transfer from Keflavík, Iceland’s international airport to our hotel in the heart of Reykjavík. We will meet in the evening for introductions, a trip briefing from our photographic tutor followed by dinner together in town.
Accommodation Hotel Reykjavík (D)

Day 2: To Kulusuk Greenland

Late morning we take a flight north over Iceland and the North Atlantic Ocean, our destination Constable Point Kulusuk on the east coast of Greenland. We will embark the Donna Wood sailing boat and settle into our cabins followed by an introduction/safety briefing by the crew. Once we have set sail we will head for the Inuit village of Ittoqqortoormiit the most northerly settlement on the east coast of Greenland. This one of the most isolated villages in the world and we will enjoy some peaceful tranquility for this our first photographic location. The village’s four hundred and fifty inhabitants make their living mostly by subsistence hunting of seals narwhales, muskoxen and polar bears. They live in colourful small wooden houses dotting the rocky bluffs and without exception there are magnificent vistas.
Accommodation Boat (B,L,D)

Day 3: Sailing in Scoresby Sund

This morning we set sail early morning to head across the Scoresbysund fjord system where we will encounter towering basalt peaks on the south coast of the fjord. The iceberg photographic opportunities are out of this world. Bergs the size of skyscrapers gently drift under the influence of the Arctic currents after calving from glaciers originating in the inland ice. Our likely anchor will be at Hekla Havn the site of an old Inuit settlement and wintering camp of the first scientific expedition to Scoresby Sound over a hundred years ago.
Accommodation Boat (B,L,D)

Day 4: Røde Fjord and Iceberg City

Continuing our sail in a westerly direction we pass through the narrow Føhnfjord with its striking basalt mountains on the port side. To the starboard we will feel dwarfed by the towering 2000 metres granite cliffs of Milne Land. The whole scenario will make for some exceptional and striking photography. At the end of the fjord, we will anchor at Red Island and possible go ashore to explore. At sunset will enjoy what must be one of the trips highlights, a zodiac journey to the magnificent Iceberg City where hundreds of huge icebergs become stranded. The colours at sunset enhance the ice with ethereal pink and blue hues and are often reflected in the still fjord.
Accommodation Boat (B,L,D)

Day : Harefjord & Wildlife Walk

Today we sail the short distance to Harefjord where we we will take a walk to photograph the vividly coloured vegetation and hopefully photograph some of the abundant wildlife. We will focus on searching for musk oxen, arctic hare, grouse, arctic fox, geese and other wildlife that enjoys grazing on the fertile and sheltered south-facing slopes. We will walk for around six hours to top out on a ridge where we will have lunch. There will be breathtaking view over Harefjord. The terrain drops down all around and the glacier tongues snake their way downhill into the sea. Those who prefer less exercise can stroll at the coast or stay on board enjoying the view. In the evening we will have very good possibilities to photograph the northern lights if the skies are clear. Our best chance will be to go ashore in the zodiac to allow for success in our long exposures.
Accommodation Boat (B,L,D)

Day 6: Setting Sails in the Majestic Øfjord

Our sailing continues eastwards through the majestic Øfjord. This must surely be one of the most spectacular parts of our journey. Superb and shapely mountains create a jagged skyline reminiscent of Cerro Torre in Patagonia. The autumn colours of the Tundra are most striking at this time of the year. Usually, the sea breeze in the Øfjord during the daytime allows sails to be set to take a closer look at some of the most striking cliffs or to get close up to the calving snout of the glacier. Our day ends as we set anchor in Jyttes Havn, Bear Islands.
Accommodation Boat (B,L,D)

Day 7: Bear Islands

Today we will have the opportunity to go ashore for exploration and photography in and around Jyttes Havn in the Bear Islands. This is possibly one of the attractive and picturesque anchorages in Scoresby Sund. There are two options for a longer or shorter walk in the Bear Islands. There is also the possibility to take the zodiac up to the northernmost tip of Milne Land. As ever, much depends on where you wish to focus your photographic antennae! If conditions and time allow, we will light a bonfire on the beach and, given clear skies, photograph the aurora.
Accommodation Boat (B,L,D)

Day 8: Islands & Icebergs

Today we sail the channel between the Bear Islands and Milne Land with a breathtaking view of this spectacular archipelago. As we sail into the last sunset of this expedition it is likely that we will encounter some of the largest and most interesting icebergs of our whole journey; superb and breathtaking photography right up to the end of our sailing expedition.

Please note that if conditions do not allow for visiting Ittoqqortoormiit on our first day, the visit will take place today.
Accommodation Boat (B,L,D)

Day 9: Flight to Reykjavik

This will be our last morning aboard the Donna Wood. Following a good breakfast together we will disembark the sailboat for the last time to board the aircraft at Constable Point and our flight back to Reykjavík, Iceland. On our arrival we will transfer to our city centre hotel. We may have time to head out and explore the city before meeting together to head out for a final celebratory dinner.
Accommodation Reykjavík Hotel (B,L,D)

Day 10: Homeward Flights

This morning after breakfast transfer to Reykjavík’s international airport for homeward flights.
(B)

Payment for Scoresby Sound Sailing Expedition

A place on this sailing can be secured with a deposit of £700 with the balance due in full 120 days prior to the trip starting date.

What’s Included

  • Flight Reykjavík – Constable Point – Reykjavík.
  • All Airport transfers in Greenland & Iceland
  • 2 nights Hotel Reykjavík
  • 7 nights boat accommodation
  • All meals
  • Photography Guide

What’s not Included

  • Flights to/from Iceland
  • Visas
  • Travel Insurance
  • Excess baggage charges.
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Snacks/drinks apart from meals

Further Details

Further details can be found in our trip description PDF which will be online shortly.

Image Credits

Images in the gallery are by James Rushforth and Richard Burdon as noted. All other images by Wild Photography Holidays.