NWS RAW - Small Group Safari

Greenland East Coast PHOTOGRAPHIC Wilderness Expedition

Explore the intricate fjord systems of Greenland's east coast aboard the M/S Freya with photographer Andrew James discovering rugged landscapes, breathtaking ice sculptures and Arctic wildlife.

Duration 11 days
Price From $9,304
When Aug 2018
Destination Greenland

Safari Overview

This small ship pioneering safari sees you navigate the rugged fjords and landscapes of the east coast of Greenland. Cruise past towering icebergs and intricate ice sculptures, and head ashore for hikes across the tundra in search of muskox, Arctic fox and other wildlife, accompanied by photographic leader Andrew James and your expert expedition team – Beau Pruneau, Hadleigh Measham and Jens Wikström.

THE SEA ICE SURROUNDING EAST GREENLAND BREAKS UP IN THE SUMMER, ALLOWING US TO EXPLORE THE REGIONS BREATHTAKING LANDSCAPES AND GLACIER-CARVED FJORDS.


Your exact itinerary will depend on weather conditions, but we hope to explore Scoresby Sund, the largest fjord system in the world, paying a visit to the Inuit settlement of Ittoqqortoormiit. If weather and ice conditions permit, we will sail north to Kong Oscar and Kejser Franz Josef fjords for spectacular scenery and wild landscapes.

What makes this trip extraordinary?

  • Experience the towering icebergs and breathtaking icy scenery of east Greenland.
  • Search for polar bears hunting on the ice or padding across the tundra.
  • Marvel at the rugged mountains reflected in the still waters of the fjords.
  • Experience a remote wilderness - it’s unlikely that you will see any other tourists in this part of the world!
  • Photograph icebergs larger than buildings as they calve from some of the most active glaciers found anywhere on earth.
  • Watch the waters for the chance to see elusive narwhal, and whales breaking the surface of the calm waters.

Aperture - SPECIALIST photographic expedition

  • Photographer Andrew James will provide expert photographic tuition. He has led trips in Antarctica, South Georgia, Iceland, The Falklands and Faroe Islands and is an expert in photographing the types of wild landscape you will encounter in Greenland. Read some of Andrew's top tips for photographing ice on our blog.
  • As well as spending hundreds of hours sat out in wild landscapes mentoring others, Andrew was Editor in Chief of the UK's two biggest photographic magazine titles for over 10 years, and is well placed to share his expertise to ensure you come away with the best possible images from the trip. 

Expedition experience

  • Joining Andrew will be Expedition Leader Beau Pruneau, who is one of the leading experts in the field of Arctic wildlife. Having studied the behaviour of multiple bear species, and with an impressive array of bear lectures and talks, Beau will be on hand to teach you the ways of the wildlife you encounter as you travel this remote part of the world. Beau also has a keen interest in photography and lectures on polar survival.
  • Hadleigh Measham, our Assistant Expedition Leader, has particular experience in East Greenland, the focus of this expedition. On his last visit to the region in 2017, he made sightings of 19 polar bears around the Scoresby Sund fjord system, and his specialist knowledge of seldom-visited polar bear hangouts also led to sightings during every trip of his in 2016.
  • With over 100 trips to the polar regions under his belt, Jens Wikström completes our Expedition Team on board as a Naturalist Guide. Jens spends the majority of his time at sea out on deck watching for wildlife and has a special talent for spotting bears through binoculars! Jens has spent many months on board your expedition ship the M/S Freya and is an avid ornithologist with a passion for preserving the polar regions.

Explore Scoresby Sund, the largest fjord on earth; desolate and spectacular, a wonderland of huge icebergs, towering mountains and Arctic wildlife

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Day by day

Day 1

Aug 4: Arrive Akureyri

Today you will arrive in Akureyri, nestled at the head of Iceland’s longest fjord. Explore the town with its quaint cafés and galleries before boarding your expedition ship in the afternoon. Your Expedition Leaders will be waiting to meet you, where you will be transferred to the ship. You will be shown to your cabin, and have time to settle in ready to set sail in the evening with your course set for Greenland! Depending on sea conditions, late this evening, you should cross the Arctic Circle – make sure to spend some time on the bridge so the crew can let you know how close you are to the Arctic!

Overnight: M/S Freya D

Day 2

Aug 5: At Sea - Sailing to East Greenland

Having left Iceland behind, you’ll be on route to Greenland with a day on board to settle in, get to know your fellow passengers and learn about Greenland from your guides. Hope for calm seas across the Denmark Strait and spend time out on deck in the refreshing Arctic air in the company of seabirds, and hopefully whales! This is the perfect time to make sure you are comfortable with your camera settings before you make it to land. Depending on the weather, ice and sea conditions, you will either sail into Scoresby Sund this evening, or head north if the fjords are accessible and clear of ice.

Overnight: M/S Freya B, L, D

Days 3-9

Aug 6-12: Exploring East Greenland

After waking up to spectacular views of Greenland and breakfast on board, today your exploration of the wilds of east Greenland begins. The exact itinerary will depend upon the weather conditions and wildlife – though there is no set itinerary for this safari, our plan is to explore Scoresby Sund in as much depth as possible, and if ice conditions allow, spend a few days exploring Kong Oscar Fjord and Kejser Franz Josef Fjord. Scoresby Sund is the largest fjord system in the world, where you will enjoy incredible views and possible landings to visit the local community at Ittoqqortoormiit, to meet with the Inuit people and visit the post office. You will also have the opportunity to explore on foot, as you really get a feel for this wild and wonderful part of the world. East Greenland is as far from a tourist destination as it’s possible to get these days, and you are unlikely to encounter any other ships as you sail around massive icebergs that make the M/S Freya seem small. Visit the basalt columns and sculptures of ice at Vikingebugt as you search for magnificent polar bears, and marvel at the crystal clear reflections of the mountains on the ice waterways. Visit Kong Oscar Fjord and Kejser Franz Josef Fjord if the weather permits. As you sail along the open coastline, you will be watching for marine wildlife and photographing the other worldly landscapes. Stealthily creep across the tundra to look for muskox, keep your eyes open for Arctic hare, and listen to the call of the birds that fill the skies. Each evening your expedition team will be on hand to discuss the wildlife and history of this spectacular region with a series of talks and presentations.

Overnight: M/S Freya B, L, D

Day 10

Aug 13: East Greenland - Akureyri

Leave Greenland behind today as you sail back towards Iceland with full memory cards and fantastic memories. After witnessing some of the most spectacular scenery anywhere in the world, the seas will seem much flatter, but it’s a great opportunity to catch up on some sleep, edit some photos and relax with your new friends. Enjoy the captains dinner tonight and some farewell drinks.

Overnight: M/S Freya B, L, D

Day 11

Aug 14: Depart Akureyri

Your adventure is at an end as you dock back in Akureyri this morning. After a final breakfast, you will be transferred from the ship to the airport or to the town, depending on the time of your departing flight.

Trip Details

This Trip

This is a small group NWS RAW expedition aboard the M/S Freya. With just 11 passenger cabins, this is a small intimate ship perfect for exploring the rugged coast of Greenland and ensuring your proximity to wildlife-rich areas of interest. 

Dates and Prices

2018 Departures

Date   Cabin Price per person 
 Aug 4 - 14   Twin £6,995 
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What is NWS RAW?

Remote. Authentic. Wild.

The latest addition to our NWS Select service, NWS RAW safaris take you outside of the norm, revealing a different side to oft-visited countries. These pioneering expeditions are designed for the seasoned traveller who yearns for new experiences, who favours discovery over tourist traps, and who is willing to go the extra mile in order to truly explore and understand their next destination. NWS RAW is for the intrepid, the boundary-pushers, and those for whom travel is more than just a holiday.

Discover our NWS RAW safaris

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Further Information

Banner image © Mads Pihl/Courtesy of Visit Greenland