Greenland is a destination high up on the bucket list of many, and for a good reason. The local landscape is unspoilt and spectacular, the weather and climate can be unforgiving. All these elements align and make Greenland every photographer’s dream. Ilulissat, the official Greenlandic word for iceberg, is a town located on the west coast, right at the mouth of the Icefjord, aproximately 250km north of the Arctic circle. Ilulissat was founded in 1741 as Jakobshavn. With approximately 4530 residents, it’s the third largest town in Greenland. The Ilulissat Icefjord, Disko Bay, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the fjord is filled with giant icebergs from the most productive glacier in the northern hemisphere, the monstrous Sermeq Kujalleq, the world’s fastest glacier. It advances 40 meters daily and creates 46 cubic kilometers of icebergs annually.
Don’t miss out on this 7 day/8 nights adventure in Greenland, highlights include several 4 hour private sunset boat excursions where we will position ourselves perfectly to be able to capture the gorgeous evening light illuminating the icy landscape. We will also do evening and night photography in and around the town of Ilulissat and explore the many UNESCO hiking trails just outside of the village.
GUIDED BY STIAN KLO
We have chartered private boat excursions for three sunset photography sessions. Each session will last for 4 hours, leaving us with plenty of time to explore the Ilulissat Icefjord and find the ideal compositions.
Day 1 – Arrival in Ilulissat
Arrival and check in at our hotel in Ilulissat. During dinner we will brief you on what’s planned for the next coming days and get to know eachother. After dinner we will do our first sunset/night shoot of the Disko Bay, the sea amid the outlet of the Icefjord and Disko Island. The giant icebergs in and around the bay are constantly changing and will hopefully be illuminated by the sunset.
Day 2 – Into the Icefjord boat excursion vol. 1
We enjoy a group breakfast at the hotel and and process images from the day before. Basic theory on how to capture images from a moving boat will be explained. During the day we will explore the Inuit town of Ilulissat and photograph the Greenlandic huskies and those who want can photograph the harbour and document typical everyday life in Ilulissat. We recommend trying the legendary Greenlandic coffee in town. We leave for our first of three Icefjord private boat excursions at 7PM, well in time for the 10PM sunset. In total, each boat excursion lasts for four hours, meaning that we will not be back at the hotel till just before midnight.
Day 3 and 4 – Into the Icefjord boat excursion vol. 2
Late breakfast at the hotel and processing/image review and critique on the images from the last couple of nights. During the private boat excursions in the Ilulissat Icefjord, we will instruct the boat captain on how to position himself in order for us to capture the best compositions and sunset conditions. If we are lucky, we will also be greeted by humpback, minke and fin whales. Same plan as day 2 in terms of duration of the excursions. Departure from the harbour is set to 7PM and we will back around 11PM.
Day 5 and 6 – Kangia hiking trails alongside the Icefjord
After three intensive days of boat excursions we will do in-depth processing sessions for the first half of the day. We will do an early dinner and then head out to the old heliport via taxi and start hiking the Kangia hiking trails. The hikes takes you along the Icefjord Kangia and we aim to spend around 4 hours in and around this area. Here you can photograph the icebergs from viewpoints overlooking the massive Disko Bay and mouth of the icefjord. Those who are interested in photographing geology, flora and local fauna will be in heaven. The sun will set around 9.30PM, so we will have plenty of time to practice night photography.
Day 7 – Catching up on the vast landscape
Our last day of photography and we aim to maximize your number photos and compensate for any potential bad weather days earlier in the week. We can also assist in booking both additional aerial (Cessna and helicopter) shoots and boat excursions if you want.
Day 8 – Departure
After breakfast we head to the Ilulissat airport (JAV) and start our journey back home.
Weather & climate
Ilulissat has a polar tundra climate. The warm season lasts from June 5th to August 31st with an average daily high temperature above 8°C. The hottest day of the year is July 19th, with an average high of 13°C and low of 7°C. The cold season lasts from December 17th to March 28th with an average daily high temperature below -6°C. The coldest day of the year is March 10th, with an average low of -17°C and high of -11°C.
The probability that there will be precipitation varies throughout the year. Precipitation is most likely around February 11th, occurring in 67% of days. Precipitation is least likely around July 19, occurring in 36% of days. During the warm season, which lasts from June 5 to August 31, there is a 41% average chance that precipitation will be observed at some point during a given day. When precipitation does occur it is most often in the form of light rain (66% of days with precipitation have at worst light rain), light snow (11%), drizzle (11%), and moderate rain (8%).
How to get there
By air to Greenland from Denmark
The Greenlandic airline Air Greenland flies all year around from Copenhagen to Kangerlussuaq in West Greenland and to Narsarsuaq in South Greenland in summer time. In the winter period there are four flights a week to Kangerlussuaq and up to ten flights a week in the summer. Narsarsuaq is served up to twice a week during the summer. The flight time to both destinations is just 4,5 hours. Onward transport to the towns on Greenland’s west coast, such as Ilulissat, takes place by airplane or helicopter, and there are frequent connections that ensure that it is normally possible to reach your final destination the same day.
By air to Greenland from Iceland
From March to October Air Greenland flies twice a week from the international airport in Keflavik to the capital, Nuuk and to Ilulissat. Furthermore, the Icelandic airline Air Iceland (not to be confused with Icelandair) has a service all year round from Reykjavik to Kulusuk and Nerlerit Inaat on Greenland’s east coast. Kulusuk is served twice a week in the winter season and every day during the summer. This is a very common travel route to East Greenland. During the summer period Air Iceland also flies to Narsarsuaq and Ilulissat several times a week, and to Nuuk from two to four times a week and to Kangerlussuaq.
By sea to Greenland
There are no ferry connections between Greenland and Iceland, Denmark or Canada. However, more and more cruise shipping companies are choosing to include Greenland on their itineraries, whereby it is possible to begin the voyage from Iceland or go onboard at, for example, Kangerlussuaq. Some shipping companies also sail from the USA and Canada or a country in Europe.Source: http://www.greenland.com/en/plan-your-trip/how-to-get-to-greenland/