Experience the extraordinary scenery and Inuit culture of Greenland’s captivating coastline. This trip along the striking and sparsely populated east coast of Greenland will begin and end in the village of Kulusuk, but everything in between is truly an exploration. Glacier hikes, stand-up paddleboarding, sea kayaking, and of course photography––you’ll have the opportunity to do all of these and more on one of our grandest adventures yet.
September 4-13, 2020 — Sold Out, Join Waitlist Below
This is a 9-night, 10-day photo tour. Your adventure begins with an overnight flight to Reykjavik, Iceland, on September 3. You will land early in the morning on September 4 and spend the night at a hotel in Reykjavik. The group will travel together from the Reykjavik City Airport to Kulusuk in Greenland on the morning of the September 5. We will spend the nights of September 5 to 11 onboard a yacht. On September 12 we will fly back to Reykjavik for a farewell dinner and another night in the city. You’ll fly home on September 13.
$6,995 + flight from Reykjavik to Kulusuk ($800 to $1,000). Register below.
Open to all who have a positive attitude, an adventurous team spirit, and a willingness to sacrifice comfort in exchange for experience.
9, with 1 instructor (plus 3 crew) — 9:1 ratio
Register Now Waitlist Only
HOPING TO GET A SPOT? Sign up Below for our no-fee WAITLIST
Deposit of $1,995 is required to request a position on the tour.
Balance $5,000 plus Reykjavik-Kulusuk flight due on June 6, 2020. Pay balance here.
You may choose the “Pay in Full” ticket if you desire to pay all at once.
Last day for a cancellation request is June 5, 2020 (see cancellation and refund policy).
The workshop fee does not include transportation to and from Reykjavik, alcohol, or breakfast and lunch upon arrival or lunch on the last day in Reykjavik. All food in Greenland, two breakfasts, and two extraordinary dinners in Reykjavik are included.
The East Greenland Experience
Like all of our international tours, we will be exploring and photographing both day and night. There is no classroom instruction, but Lance will be available to work with participants as much or as little as they like in the field. We’ll be based on a boat, but most of our photography will be done on solid ground as we explore coastal Greenland on foot. There will be hiking and guided glacier walks, as well as the opportunity to try sea kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding among the ice floes. There will be four kayaks and two paddleboards available, so everyone will have the opportunity to use them, but it is not a required activity.
As you can see from the photos on this page, Greenland is a great place to fly a drone. Drones are unrestricted, and there is practically no one there to be bothered by them. Opportunities for landscape photography are everywhere, from both onboard our vessel and ashore. Should the aurora begin while we are on board, we will be able to go ashore almost anywhere at any time. There is a high probability that we will see whales, a variety of seabirds, arctic foxes and possibly even polar bears. The trip really does offer something for everyone.
The itinerary may include:
visiting the big Sermilik ice-fjord
walking the streets of Tasiilaq
cruising the channels and sounds between Tiniteqilaq, Kummiut and Sermiligaq
exploring the abandoned American military base from World War II
What You Should Know
During our time in Greenland, we will be based on a fully equipped Dutch-built sailing yacht certified to circumnavigate the globe with up to 12 guests. The comfortable deckhouse makes sailing in northern waters very pleasant. There are four guest cabins (two four-person and two two-person), a spacious saloon and galley, and private crew quarters. The boat offers central heating, hot and cold water, two heads (toilets), one shower, and 220V electricity capable of charging batteries and other electronic devices.
The yacht is not a cruise ship. Space is tight, and there is no privacy onboard apart from the heads. You will be sharing a cabin with one to three other attendees, and each cabin has room for a bunk, each person’s packed duffle bag, camera gear and nothing else. You won’t shower every day—maybe not even every other day. You will have the opportunity to take the arctic plunge if you dare. You will have the adventure of a lifetime, with photos and memories to savor forever. Aside from eating and sleeping and moving from one place to another, we will spend most of our time ashore.
Deposit of $1,995 is required to request a seat on this sea-bound photo tour. We ask that you consider the following before requesting to be part of this experience:
be a team player (care about others and be helpful)
be willing to sacrifice comfort and privacy (it’s a boat, there is only so much room)
Lance will be conversing on the phone with all new registrants.* The purpose is to ensure that everyone understands the nature of, and will be prepared for, this unique adventure. We are structuring this photo tour quite differently from our other adventures, and neither party should be surprised by what it entails. The benefits are myriad—including access to places on the Greenland coast that perhaps others have never stopped to photograph. On the other hand, spending this much time together with little to no privacy and not much room to spread out is the reality.
If the above made you pause for thought, this perhaps isn’t the trip for you—we do have many other photo tours and workshops, and we’d be happy to help you choose. However, if the above caveats made you more excited, then we encourage you to join us next September.
* Should this conversation give pause to either party, we will be happy to refund you in full.
Night & Light Conditions
This tour begins just after the full moon, and ends a few days after the last quarter, which makes for great opportunities to photograph the aurora borealis, should we be lucky enough to experience it. The moon will rise well after dark during the entire trip, and a few hours before dawn at the end of the tour.
Your adventure begins with an overnight flight to Reykjavik on September 3. You will land early in the morning on September 4 and take the FlyBus to the city, then proceed to the fabulous Hotel Holt to drop off your bags. We have requested early check-in, but it is not guaranteed. You are free to explore the city, or relax until dinner, our official first meeting. You’ll have dinner with the group and spend the night in Reykjavik.
The group will travel together from the Reykjavik City Airport to Kulusuk in Greenland on the morning of the September 5. We will spend the nights of September 5 to 11 onboard the boat. On September 12 we will fly back to Reykjavik for a farewell dinner and another night at the Hotel Holt. Fly home on an afternoon flight on September 13.
National Parks at Night will book the flight from Reykjavik to Greenland when airline’s schedule is announced in November, and will include the cost in the final payment for the workshop.
Food & Lodging
In Reykjavik, we’ll stay at the luxurious Hotel Holt, which doubles as a museum for a wonderful private art collection. Every wall in the hotel is covered with a wide range of original 19th and 20th century Icelandic art. This private collection includes most of the gems in Icelandic art history, and is by far Iceland’s largest private collection with a total of 1,560 works. Around 460 works from the collection are on display at Hotel Holt. Lance has been bringing groups to Hotel Holt since 2013.
In Greenland, we’ll be based on the sailing yacht Arktika in tight, shared cabins. The two double-bunk cabins will be reserved for couples (if we have any), and the two quad-bunk cabins will be for everyone else. Once you are registered, you will receive more information and an extensive gear list of what to bring.
The quarters may be snug, but the food on the boat will be fresh, local, hearty and delicious. Expect lots of seafood. In Reykjavik, we’ll enjoy two breakfasts at the hotel and two fabulous dinners in the heart of the city. If you’ve traveled to Iceland with Lance before, you’ll know that he picks the best restaurants! All meals—from dinner on the first day through breakfast on the last—are included. The only exceptions are lunch on the day we travel to Greenland, as well as any alcohol you may wish to consume.
Expect daytime highs in the 40s to 50s F, lows in the 30s. Summers in East Greenland tend to be calm and relatively mild due to the Gulf Stream. In September the weather patterns begin to shift and become a bit less settled. This can bring some rain, but rarely storms. Winter storms don’t usually arrive until October.
With the shifting weather patterns comes the beautiful light that photographers crave. The weather earlier in the summer is warmer and drier, but the light is much less interesting. This is why we’re going in early September, the earliest month with a good probability of aurora borealis.
You will be sent a list of recommended attire upon registration
No vigorous activity will be required during the workshop, but please consider your physical abilities prior to registering. There will be opportunities for hiking, kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding in addition to photography, but these are optional activities.
At a minimum, you should be comfortable getting in and out of a dingy with your equipment, as well as carrying your gear over uneven ground. We anticipate only dry landings, but almost always on a beach rather than at a dock. The seas are generally calm in this area at this time of year, but there is always the possibility of a storm. If you are prone to seasickness, bring medication, or consider a different adventure.
Note: To ensure the safety of individuals and the group, National Parks at Night reserves the right for workshop leaders to use their discretion to limit an attendee from engaging in a rigorous activity on-site should that person's physical health or ability be in question. If you are unsure about your ability to meet the physical demands of this workshop, we will be happy to discuss your concerns one-on-one before you register. You are also, of course, welcome to attend a workshop and sit out any physical activity that makes you uncomfortable. In such cases, we can provide you with ideas for alternative shoot locations for that time.
Please read our FAQs section for more information about skill and gear requirements, and other information that pertains to all our workshops.
If you have questions, please contact us—we're happy to talk it over with you.
A Misleading Name ...
Shouldn’t it really be called Ice-land?
It’s been said that the Vikings named Iceland and Greenland backward in order to trick raiders into going to Greenland so that they could keep Iceland for themselves. They figured that no one would want to go to a place called Iceland, while Greenland sounded much more appealing. I’m not sure whether this is true or not, but it is a fact that Iceland is a lot greener than Greenland!
Someone recently asked me why I’m always traveling to cold climates, and I didn’t really have a good answer. There’s just something about the North Atlantic that speaks to me. The green of the sea, the crisp air, the light, the land, the people. There is an undeniable and inexplicable pull that keeps taking me back to explore the region.
This corner of the world is full of amazing places. I’ve been to Iceland about 10 times since 2012, and look forward to exploring the interior and far eastern parts of the country someday. Orkney won me over on my first short visit in 1995, and Shetland in 2005. Faroe is a place that’s been on my radar for a while, and not just mine; it’s now facing the reality that’s the tiny island nation’s infrastructure cannot cope with the recent influx of tourism.
So that brings us back to Greenland. It’s huge, it’s remote, it’s cold, but someday it too will likely be overrun by tourists longing to get away from it all in a world that makes it increasingly difficult to do so. For now, we will be among the relatively few who make it to East Greenland.
It’s more than just another tick off the bucket list, though. This is a trip to explore and photograph a place that is vastly different from our everyday realities, and to do so from the unusual perspective of being based on a sailboat.
This trip is part of my desire to create more active and challenging adventures for our clients. I know that there is a segment within our audience who also want more active experiences, and more time in nature. This is not a trip for the armchair traveler—it’s one for those of us who refuse to grow old before our time. It’s one for those who ask, “Why not?” instead of, “Why?”
I hope you’ll join me on our first exploration of Greenland.