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GREENLAND with Tony Spencer and Valda Bailey

East Coast of Greenland Expedition September 2023

This tour along the wild and rugged Eastern Coastline of Greenland will be unlike any other. This is truly one of the most remote regions on the planet and especially true of the northern hemisphere.

The world's biggest fjord systems, huge mountains rising straight out of the ocean, and the biggest icebergs imaginable are all plentiful along our voyage into this magical wilderness.

MYTHS AND LEGENDS

East Greenland is an isolated and extraordinary place. The language is different and the culture is deeply rooted in myths and legends. The people of Greenland love storytelling - folktales of wandering spirits and supernatural beings. This will be a journey of the imagination as well as a journey of spectacular scenery.

We may be lucky to witness the Northern Lights. Glowing emerald over the winter skies, the northern lights create wonder wherever they are observed. The Greenland people of old fondly imagined that the each time their ancestors played football with a walrus skull in the sky, the northern lights would dance.

MAJESTIC SILENCE

Magnificent and completely natural works of art.

TASIILAQ

Our journey will begin in the town of Tasiilaq, a picturesque Greenlandic town and the largest on the entire East Coast. We will set sail from Tasiilaq heading north, with the possibility of spending a day in the massive Ammassalak Fjord system, where massive icebergs fill the fjords with dramatic mountains as a backdrop.

Our route will pass the mouth of Scoresbysund and up into Kong Oscars Fjord and into the massive Kaiser Franz Joseph Ford. These fjord networks are absolutely enormous, dwarfing the fjords of Norway and anywhere else on the planet.

We will be able to explore in calm protected waters the endless mountains, glaciers, icebergs and incredible geology, capitalising on every opportunity. Our aim will be to get far enough north we can reach the pack ice itself and observe wildlife, giving us the chance to see polar bears in their natural environment, hunting on the ice.

This is a very much unexplored route and on many occasions we will be in uncharted waters. We will likely be the first civilians to land in a few places in the northern areas of our route.

We will be stopping to make the most of any wildlife encounters. We should expect to see polar bears, walrus, multiple species of whales including blue, fin, minke, beluga, grey, humpback, orca and if we are lucky, narwhale, sperm and bowhead are all possible.

Seals and many species of birds including raptors such as snowy owls and gyrfalcon also.

SCORESBYSUND

Looping back we will aim to take a different route through even more of these spectacular fjords making our way down to Scoresbysund.

Scoresbysund itself is the largest of all fjord systems on earth. Even more spectacular geology can be found here along with icebergs the size of towns and multiple landing sites. There is an endless supply of possibilities in each and every one of these locations along our route.

It cannot be overstated how spectacular and varied these locations are. Entire mountains and cliff faces expose geology that has to be seen to be believed. The formations change constantly as we travel north and south along the coast.

This is a very much unexplored route and on many occasions we will be in uncharted waters. We will likely be the first civilians to land in a few places in the northern areas of our route.

REYKJAVIK

Our journey will end in Reykjavik, Iceland. We will disembark our ship and make our way to Keflavik, ready to fly home.

TOUR LEADERS

Although our approach to photography differs wildly, we can see no reason why they shouldn't dovetail to provide a diverse and stimulating creative offering. Tony's technical proficiency, meticulous planning and compositional brilliance are, quite rightly, recognised globally. His classic landscapes are transcendent, beautiful and timeless.

My way of working is, I suspect, less structured. I do my research but it tends to be less concerned with weather patterns and practical logistics and more about exploring the visual arts and culture of a country in a bid to try to understand how I might best interpret it.

Two very different approaches which we hope will provide a cohesive and engaging insight into how best to depict the frozen landscape.

DETAILS

MS Togo

Our home for this voyage will be the MS Togo, a wonderful vessel especially converted for expeditions in this part of the world. Please note that cabins will be shared with two people per cabin. I will ensure to plan and ensure everyone will be sharing with the same sex room mate and of similar ages and interests. Anyone booking as a couple/ friends will of course be able to share a room together. Single occupancy is available but the cost will be the same as two places on the ship minus 10%.

Photographic equipment & Clothing

Each participant is advised to bring all their normal camera equipment including a long lens in order to photograph the wildlife. On many occasions I have had animals such as polar bears come up and touch the ships I have been travelling on. This isn’t always the case though and some bears may keep more of a distance. A long lens of at least 400mm focal length will be essential.

Temperatures will likely be between a few degrees below freezing to the around 15c. Gloves, hats, waterproofs, thermal layers as well as other synthetic layers such as fleece and down jackets will all be necessary. Standing on the deck of our vessel making photographs as we travel will be breezy and likely to feel much colder. Full tour notes will be issued to answer all of these questions to each participant.

We will have a planned itinerary but everything is always subject to the weather and conditions in this part of the world. Changes may have to be made to accommodate for inclement weather or conditions.

Flights & Travel

Please note that our journey will begin in Tasiilaq, we will each need to fly to Kulusuk airport. We will finish in Iceland so will need to fly home from Keflavik Airport.

Exact timings are being finalised with the ship. It is recommended due to flight schedules to spend the night in Greenland the day before the tour begins we will be issuing specific recommendations for flights in the late winter/early spring of 2022, however we would recommend also allowing for an evening in Rekjvavik at the conclusion of the tour. We will also issue a comprehensive tour notes document including clothing, equipment and full itinerary plans at the same time.

Maximum group size 12