Greenland is the birthplace of the most incredible icebergs in the world. Wild nature, limited amount of tourists, colorful and friendly local villages… Greenland is absolute must-see at least once in a lifetime! If you ask us what is the best time to go, we’ll definitely answer: the second half of July! This time of the year the sun just slightly touches horizon, giving incredible opportunity to photograph all the night long! Imagine infinite sunset slowly going into sunrise during the midnight sun period!
The Disko Bay is located on the West coast of Greenland, north of the Arctic Circle. It’s a pure Arcic, and not only because of the biggest icebergs in the world, but also because of the wildlife (arctic foxes, musc ox, humpback whales…)
Our base will be located in Ilulissat, the capital of the Disko Bay Ice Kingdom. We don’t need to change hotels. You will be accommodated at the best 4-star hotel in Greenland all the tour! You’ll have a proper rest, and you will be able to taste amazing food of Greenland in the best restaurants. Ilulissat is a nice local town with colorful houses, dog sledges around and very friendly people. In Ilulissat you can find museums, restaurants, nice hikes, fish markets, souvenir shops and many optional activities. Ilulissat is situated next to beautiful icefiord. Sermeq Kujalleq glacier is the place where the most giant icebergs in the world are born. Imagine that the glacier advances for 20 meters per day! Ice production of the glacier is around 46 cubic kilometers per year ( it is equivalent to U.S. annual water consumption). Word “Ilulissat” means icebergs, that’s explains the thing.
The sea is the only one road that connects Greenlandic villages. There are no highways or roads between settlements. That’s why we charter our private boat for the whole period of our journey.
We will primarily work together in the night, taking photos from the boat. We will cruise among huge icebergs at Icefjord, scout for best compositions, and reach distant icebergs.
We also visit Greenlandic settlements like Qasigiannguit, Aasiaat, Oqaatsut.
On the way to these settlements we also hunt for huge icebergs, as you may find “Iceberg-skyscraper” only in the open sea, where it rotates and polishes by sun. Disko bay is well-known area where humpback whales and seals are feeding. Whale watching is essential during our adventure!
Since the dates of our tour fall on the most amazing light at Disko bay, our itinerary will be based on photography during the night period. We start late at the evening and continue through the night, chasing the best available light. It will help us to get dramatic and colorful photos of ice and fire. Usually colors are very saturated in the night, from deep blue ice to flaming red and pink color in the sky. The magic light lasts from 2 to 4 hours long, so our night boat cruises will last around 3-5 hours long. A great way to chill down in the middle of summer, isn’t it.
The tour is suitable for any level of activities. Our captain works with photographers for a long time, and knows where to slow down or stop. Usually there are no ways in the Icefjord, as ice blocks ripples and waves. So you might be able to see amazing reflections! Please note that the itinerary proposed may subject to the weather conditions, but we aim to get you to the best locations and help you to get brilliant photos. 6 days in Arctic and 5 beautiful nights wait for you!
We recommend you the flight which arrives around 13:00 to Ilulissat. Please check AirGreenland for available tickets. The best way is to fly from Copenhagen with one change at Kangerlussuaq. We will meet you on the recommended flight and transfer for check-in to the airport. After the lunch we meet for the briefing at hotel and discuss upcoming sessions.
After the dinner we load to our vessel and depart to the Icefjord. You meet with greatest icebergs in the world tonight! The magic light usually lasts around 2-3 hours. Sun slightly touches horizon, giving incredible colors, and roll on distant mountains. All these 3 magic hours we photograph icebergs , cruising around the fjord. Our trip is constructed for photographers, unlike touristic cruises you may book on solo trip to Ilulissat.
We finish the cruise around 2-3 a.m. in the night. We have a spare time until breakfast. If you feel you can endure some more, you are welcome to walk around the Ilulissat after the breakfast, observing how the settlement wakes up and starts its normal everyday life.
it’s worth planning our nights instead of days as we will have a lazy afternoon after the breakfast and processing/photography instructions during the daytime when the light is harsh. After the dinner we sail again through the icefjord. Today we start earlier, as we want to take you to small settlements south from Icefjord Kangia, to Qasigiannguit and/or Ilimanaq. Our final choice will depend on ice conditions. Both settlements have beautiful colorful old buildings dating from the colonial time. On the way back we photograph icebergs of Icefjord, and open-water icebergs. Some of them may look like castles! Arches, mountain shapes, towers – it’s even hard to imagine these masterpieces the nature creates!
Arrival to Ilulissat around 2-3 a.m. in the night.
Following the breakfast we’ll have some sleep and after lunch we load to our boat to travel to Oqaatsut or Rodebay, a small settlement located to the north from Ilulissat. Here we have a little excursion through the village with just 45 inhabitants. Although they have a church, shop, school and church!
We have dinner at the settlement in the “whalehunter’s pub”, the small local restaurant H8. We may also go for lunch instead dinner to H8, depending on their weekly schedule. After the lunch or dinner we head back to Ilulissat and hike in the night to Sermermiut settlement and Sermeq Kujalleq glacier, the birthplace of amazing Disko bay icebergs. We begin at the old part of Ilulissat at the outskirts of the town, past Seqinniarfik, the hilltop where local people meet first rays of sun on January, 13. The path is very simple, in most places made with wooden paving.
This is a pleasant 1 hour hike (each way) on a great path, suitable for all levels of activity. We have many stops on the way, enjoying the midnight sun and looking for wildlife. In the night we spend at least 2 hours taking photos of beautiful Icefjord. It is possible to take long exposures and take photos with tripod tonight.
We finish our hike late in the night again, so our comfortable bed in 4* hotel waits for us!
During the daytime we have post-processing lessons. We never give up on our active nightlife, so we start our midnight sun sailing approximately at 23:00. We sail around Icefjord in search of best compositions and light. Icefjord is included in UNESCO world heritage, so it’s worth visiting multiple times! We return back to hotel late in the night.
After the breakfast we have discussions and critique session. By that day you’ll definitely have a large luggage of photos needed to be arranged and criticized. You will always have 2 professional award-winning photographers “at hand” during the tour. In the night we sail again through Icefjord and Disko bay.
We have breakfast and farewell-meeting. Transfer to the airport is included. Or you may plan your journey further to other Greenlandic settlements (Nuuk, Tasilaq, Aasiaat etc). We aim to assist you in planning your wonderful vacation!
Highlights of the trip:
· We focus on beautiful landscapes and seascapes of Disko Bay. Sail among greatest icebergs in the world in the best available light through the year!
· Enjoy the walk through Greenlandic settlements reachable only by sea. You have time for travel and people photography during the tour.
· Hike with us along fjords and icebergs during the midnight.
Whale safari. As we spend plenty of time in the sea each day, we should encounter plenty of whales on our way.
· You have a best available comfort in Greenland. Live in comfortable hotel and have a taste of Greenland with 3-course dinners.
· boat rides each day of the tour! Enjoy the private chartered cruise.
· In-field instruction from 2 professional photographers.
· Post-processing classes, portfolio review and critique sessions during the daytime.
Included in the price:
- Comfortable hotel accommodation
- Meals in best Greenlandic restaurants – breakfast, dinner
- Private boat charter
- Transfers to and from airport
- Port taxes and fees, fuel
- Instruction and classes from 2 award-winning photographers
Not included in the price:
– Airfare to and from Ilulissat airport
– Lunches, beverages
– Visas (if applicable)
What to bring
– DSLR camera with tripod and remote shutter release
– A wide angle lens. For example, Nikkor 14-24 or Canon 17-40. Best lens for use in wide-angle scenes or architecture photography
– A middle-zoom lens such as a 24-70 mm
– A telephoto zoom lens, such as a 70-200 mm. 300 mm with 1.5 TC or 500 mm, 600 mm are recommended for wildlife and bird photography. Be sure to have additional tripod mount to this lens.
– Waterproof and windproof jacket (consider the average temperature 0 – +10 C at nights and +8 – +15 C during the daytime)
– Waterproof pants
– Warm jacket and thermal pants
– Wellingtons or fishing boots
The full list will be sent by mail to participants.
Daniel was born in Moscow area. In his childhood he graduated the art school. After that, he is studied in Moscow institute of Physics and Technology and became an optics physicist. During the study he gain experience not only in physics, but also in mountain climbing and hiking, guiding tourist groups in winter and in summer in Russian mountains. Right after graduation he became a guide of photo-workshops and chief editor of “Continent expedition” magazine. This magazine is about travel and adventures all over the world. He has got several awards in photography: Golden Turtle’ 13 Nature nomination winner, National Geographic Russia contest 2013 and 2014 finalist, Best of Russia’13 and ’14 winner, best photographer’13 finalist and others. He is spending most of his time in Norway, Lofoten islands and in Tuscany at villa Gaia, guiding groups of photographers.
Iurie Belegurschi is a landscape photographer based in Iceland, where he runs photo tours and workshops. He was born in Moldova and has been living in Iceland since 2006. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Tourism and Hospitality. His photos have been published worldwide in books, calendars, greeting cards, magazines and some of the most popular newspapers like The Daily Mail, The Independent, The Sun, The Huffington Post, and The Telegraph