Disko Island is Greenland’s largest island. Its spectacularly shaped basalt hills and vegetation cannot be found anywhere else in Greenland. With this wonderful backdrop, the photographic opportunities will abound and we guarantee this is an adventure you will remember forever. But there is more! We also travel to world-famous Ilulissat, home to the most productive glacier in the Northern hemisphere. We explore both on this incredible adventure in the heart of Greenland’s Disko Bay.

Dates:
15-22 July 2018 – 8 places left
24-31 July 2018 – 6 places left
Tour leader: Karim Sahai
Price: 4700 € (twin share)
Single supplement: 900 €
Deposit: 900 €
Group size: 10 max
Arrive and depart: Copenhagen, Denmark
Accommodation: hotel, lodge
Meals: breakfast

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Greenland

Greenland is truly a world of its own. Icebergs and the inland ice are probably the most famous aspects of the Greenlandic nature. Colossal icebergs in fantastic shapes of blue and white float on the deep blue sea. The inland ice – a truly incomprehensible sheet of ice, kilometers thick, which seems frozen solid and immovable but, as the roaring and creaking reveals, is in fact under constant movement and change. And, unfortunately, these changes are more extreme than ever. The ice sheet is melting and retreating at an unprecedented rate. The changing global climate is unmistakably leaving its mark. But the ice is not all there is. Greenland is a place of green mountains, beautiful wild flowers, long majestic fjords, impressive cliffs, hot springs and skies so high and air so fresh. It is easy to see why it is not just people who enjoy living here. Animals also thrive – at sea and on land – whales, seals, reindeer, musk oxen, polar bears, are just a few of the spectacular main characters in Nature’s own gallery.

greenland_summer_itinerary_map

 

Day 1 Departure from Copenhagen at 11:00. Arrival in Kangerlussuaq at 11.40 (-4h time difference). Transfer to Hotel Kangerlussuaq. After settling down, we start our  adventure with a bus trip to the world-famous Greenland Icecap located approximately 40km from Kangerlussuaq. The photogenic mountains, plains and semi-dessert valleys on the way were formed by the expanding and retreating icecap over centuries. If we are lucky, we may even spot musk oxen and reindeer on the way. We finally reach the ice cap itself, the second largest ice body in the world after the Antarctic Ice Sheet. If conditions permit, we will walk onto the Icecap itself. Drive back to Kangerlussuaq and Greenlandic dinner at “Roklubben” on the shore of Lake Ferguson.

Photographers capturing a glacier in Kangerlussuaq, Greenland

Photographers capturing a glacier in Kangerlussuaq, Greenland


Walking on the Ice Cap in Kangerlussuaq, Greenland

Walking on the Ice Cap in Kangerlussuaq, Greenland

 

Day 2 Our adventure resumes after breakfast. We fly from Kangerlussuaq to Ilulissat. Make sure to have your cameras ready when we pass over the magnificent ice fjords where icebergs stretch all the way to the horizon. We then sail to beautiful Disko Island. During our 2h cruise, we navigate through an area very popular with seals and whales and see a myriad of icebergs. We arrive at the small harbor in Qeqertarsuaq and proceed with checking into Hotel Disko, located in the center of  Qeqertarsuaq. The town is set against a backdrop of magnificent basalt mountains and the colouful houses situated near the water where the giant icebergs drift by are sure to capture your photographic interest.

Colorful houses of Qeqertarsuaq, Disko Island, Greenland

Colorful houses of Qeqertarsuaq, Disko Island, Greenland

 

Day 3 Geologically, Disko Island is much younger than the mainland. Its characteristic high and steep basalt mountains are the result of volcanic activity that occurred more than 40 million years ago.  The dramatic landscape of Qeqertarsuaq is shaped by Apostle Hill, Cormorant Hill, Lyngmark Glacier and Cormorant Hill. as well as its volcanic past. Today, we set off with a local guide towards Red River and hike along the coast towards Kuannit, a very fertile area where the Wild Angelica plant is grown. Angelica has a strong perfumed scent, reminiscent of anise, musk and orange. All parts of the plant are edible. Disko island is probably where we will experience the most unsoiled nature during this tour.

Day 4 Today is a relaxed time for photography, with small hikes along the black lava-beach and a quiet study of Qeqertarsuaq at our own pace. We use the day for a town walk and visit the local museum. In the late afternoon we will hop on the boat heading to Ilulissat. We will inevitably take many photos from the boat, as it offers beautiful views of Disko Island. The Ilulissat Icefjord that we will cross one last time, and under the early evening light, is designated as a protected area of outstanding beauty. Since 2004 it has been on UNESCO’s World Heritage List. We check into Hotel Hvide Falk upon arrival in Ilulissat. The hotel offers a unique view the fjord, its icebergs and the midnight sun.

Iceberg seen from a boat on the way from Disko Island to Ilulissat

Iceberg seen from a boat on the way from Disko Island to Ilulissat

 

Day 5 Today we discover Ilulissat, the third largest town in Greenland and also one of its most photogenic. We will walk past the old colonial harbor, explore “brættet” (the wood-board) where fishermen sell their catch, see the house of the legendary polar explorer Knud Rasmussen and the iconic Zion Church. After our Illulissat discovery, we go on a hike we are sure you’ll never forget. Make sure to have space on your memory cards as we walk around Sermermiut valley, towering icebergs float by. For 4000 years, different Inuit cultures lived in the settlement and today you can still see many remains that indicate their presence. We continue our exploration and reach the Kangia icefjord, a UNESCO World Heritage site. It is said that an Iceberg from this very glacier front sank the Titanic. The view from here is spectacular. A large amount of Greenland’s sea-bound icebergs travel through the narrow strait at Kangia and very few of the world’s glaciers produce as many icebergs of the size we will witness. We return to Hotel Hvide Falk. In the evening, we prepare for some photography under the warm light of the ‘never-setting’ sun and head out on a cruise, for a much closer look at the ice giants in the Ilullisat fjord. Seeing them from our small boat gives us a whole new perspective to the massiveness of these giant bodies of ice.

Full Moon seen during evening cruise in Ilulissat Fjord

Full Moon seen during evening cruise in Ilulissat Fjord

 

Day 6 Today is another day to write home about! We depart in the early morning and sail north to the fascinating Eqi glacier – one of Greenland’s iconic natural wonders. During the voyage, we will hear information about the settlements we pass. On the boat we are able to sail up to the the safe edge of the glacier. Today the front of the glacier is up to 100m at the highest point, but that changes all the time. If we are lucky we will with the iceberg calving. The noise made by old ice cracking and dropping of into the sea is unforgettable.  A solid lunch will be served onboard. Depending on the weather we will eat our lunch onboard or on land. We will spend approximately 1.5h at Eqi glacier and hope to photograph the calving. After a good lunch at the glacier (on boat or on land, depending on weather), our boat anchors at the eco-friendly and solar-powered Glacier Lodge Eqi. The untamed nature is just outside the door and the overwhelming silence sometimes broken by the crashing sound from ice calving. The area has an abundant wildlife and geology. Polar foxes, hares, grouses and sea eagles can often be seen on land and seals swim nearby the lodge. Walk around this wild and dramatic landscape and you will undoubtedly live what the first Arctic explorers experienced many generations ago. We ill arrive back in Ilulissat in the late afternoon.

Day 7  The Disko Bay area is a remarkable place in the summer months. Many species of whales migrate to the cooler waters of the Disko bay area. In the months of July and August then chances of seeing these big marine mammals swimming around are very high. If we are lucky, we will witness them performing massive jumps out of the water. The most common mammals we will meet on this safari are humpbacks, fin, sei, blue whales and bowhead whales. The latter is known as the Greenland right whale. It is the only whale that spends all its life in Arctic waters, unlike other whale species which migrate for reproduction and feeding. Seals are also known to hang out in the areas we will be explosring. The combination of large marine mammals and giant icebergs make for great wildlife photography. After this 5h excursion, we return to our ‘home’ in Ilulissat, Hotel Hvide Falk.

Humpback whale during whale safari in Ilulissat Fjord

Humpback whale during whale safari in Ilulissat Fjord

 

Day 8 We bid farewell to Greenland and after an early breakfast we transfer to the airport. Our first flight is to Kangerlussuaq flight. We hope to get good aerial views on the way. A second flight will take us to Copenhagen. Arrival in the evening.

Accommodation in Greenland

In all of Greenland’s major towns, you can find hotels with modern facilities and comfort. However, our photography adventures take to the wilderness, where Greenland’s heart is. Instead of modern hotel facilities, we will therefore use the available hostel-type accommodation of the small settlements on our way.

Hotel Kangerlussuaq, Kangerlussuaq

Hotel Kangerlussuaq is based at Greenland’s largest international airport. It is very convenient for a short one-night stop over.

  • double rooms
  • private facilities
  • wireless internet with Tele Greenland’s Tele Point

 

Hotel Disko, Qeqertarsuaq

Qeqertarsuaq is an exceptional place in the truest sense of the word. Everything about it is the first, the largest, or the only. Qeqertarsuaq stands alone on the great Disko Island far off Greenland’s west coast, and the Lyngmark Glacier that towers above the town is the only place in Greenland to go dog sledding in summer. Hotel Disko is located in the middle of Qeqertarssuaq and consists of 4 different buildings near each other.

  • double rooms
  • shared facilities

 

Hotel Hvide Falk, Ilulissat

Hotel Hvide Falk is situated in the middle of Ilulissat, and offers 40 rooms and an annex with 4 double rooms and 9 apartments. The rooms, restaurant and pub all overlook the fjord and the icebergs, and the views are wonderful.

  • double rooms
  • private bathroom & shower
  • wifi (charge)

 

Pricing & Dates

Trip dates:
15-22 July 2018 – 8 places left
24-31 July 2018 – 6 places left
Tour leader: Karim Sahai
Price: 4700 € (twin share)
Single supplement: 900 €
Deposit: 900 €
Group size: 10 max
Arrive and Depart: Copenhagen, Denmark
Lodging: hotel, lodge
Meals: breakfast

Group size

For the comfort and enjoyment of this unique photography-focused adventure, the group is limited to a maximum of 10 travelers.

Included

  • Flights Copenhagen to Kangerlussuaq / Kangerlussuaq to Ilulissat / Illulissat to Kangerlussuaq/ Kangerlussuaq to Copenhagen.
  • Ice Cap hike in Kangerlussuaq.
  • 1 night in Hotel Kangerlussuaq, Kangerlussuaq.
  • Ferry from Ilulissat to Qeqertarsuaq and back.
  • 2 nights in Hotel Disko, Qeqertarsuaq.
  • Guided hike to Kuannit, Qeqertarsuaq.
  • Guided hike to Innaarsuussuaq.
  • 4 nights in Hotel Hvide Falk, Ilulissat.
  • Guided walk in Ilulissat.
  • Guided walk to Kangia Icefiord.
  • Day Cruise to Eqi
 Glacier from Ilulissat.
  • Whale safari in Ilulissat.
  • 7 breakfasts
  • 2 airport transfers

Not included

  • international airfare to Copenhagen, Denmark
  • alcoholic beverages
  • gratuities
  • phone & internet service
  • gifts
  • airline baggage fees
  • travel insurance

What to wear

When packing for your Photography Adventure, choose clothing items which will last for your entire time in Greenland. While it is possible to purchase items of clothing, footwear and head wear in locally, the cost may come as a shock.

Whether you are standing on deck to photograph whales or you are at a restaurant, summer clothing in Greenland should always be practical. Greenland’s climate is very dry. With no wind, it usually feels warmer than it is, but it quickly starts to feel cold in the breeze. In other words, be prepared for several types of weathers and temperatures.

It’s much preferable to wear multiple thin layers rather than a few thick ones, as this enables you to make fast and easy adjustments for comfort and to regulate body temperature. Inner layers keeps the body warm. Outer layers protect against rain and wind. On sailing trips we recommend that you also bring a warm cap, gloves and a scarf. The water is no more than a few degrees warm and the icebergs also give off a lot of cold.

For photography hikes and excursions, we recommend comfortable, sturdy hiking boots. Ideally, bring a pair that you’ve worn before. Brand new shoes may cause blisters! Hiking footwear should be of leather (or leather and synthetic), with sufficient ankle support. The sole should be soft but resilient. Gore-Tex or alternative waterproof membrane is a preferable extra. Bring many socks  – we find that merino socks are best for Greenland – and a pair of indoor shoes too. In the summer, light can be very harsh so we recommend sunscreen and a pair of quality UV protection sunglasses, which are large enough to cover the eyes.

Packing list

  • water and wind resistant trousers
  • warm cap or hat
  • mosquito head net
  • gloves/mittens
  • scarf
  • warm wool socks
  • hiking footwear
  • thermal underwear
  • warm jacket & sweaters
  • soap, shampoo
  • sunscreen & sunglasses
  • lip salve

Recommended photography equipment

To make the most of your Greenland Photography Adventure, we highly recommend that you bring:

  • 1 or 2 digital camera bodies, preferably digital SLRs or mirrorless
  • camera charger & several camera batteries (at least 2)
  • wide angle lens or zoom (24 mm or wider)
  • medium range lens or zoom (24 to 85 mm)
  • telephoto lens or zoom (ideally, longer than 100 mm)
  • mechanical or electronic shutter release
  • variable neutral density filter
  • sturdy tripod with adjustable head
  • several memory cards
  • memory card reader
  • laptop with photo editing software
  • portable hard drive(s) for backup
 (HyperDrive ColorSpace or equivalent)

Protecting a vulnerable environment

While exploring Greenland we will very often go through undisturbed and remote landscapes. The water in the streams is drinkable and in many places there is not another human being in sight. We would like it to stay this way. We ask everyone who visits and uses nature in Greenland to take care of the fragile Arctic surroundings.

Adventure Highlights

  • Hiking on the Greenland Ice Cap
  • Navigating picturesque Disko Bay
  • Hike to Kuannit, one of the most beautiful places in Greenland
  • Qeqertarsuaq guided photo hike
  • Boat cruise to Ilulissat
  • Illulissat historical tour
  • Icefjord photo excursion
  • Day cruise to Eqi glacier
  • Whales safari
  • Photograph unique Greenland fauna
  • Nightly photography review and discussion