Join me on the elegant 12-passenger ship M/S Balto, on a true expedition cruise in Northeast Greenland – one of the last unspoiled wildernesses in the world. As we venture into the world’s largest fjord system, we will experience breath-taking nature and scenery, large icebergs of unimaginable shapes. The clean air, the silence, and the enormity of nature are captivating.
Below is an illustration of the M/S Balto. This ship will allow us to go where we want and get up close and personal with this region. You’ll have so much to share on your return.
Two workshops are available on the M/S Balto a 12-passenger ship. I have chartered the ship for Rockhopper Workshops only. Join me and 12 other passengers as we explore one of the most picturesque locations you have ever seen.
Northeast Greenland – Scoresby Sound In-Depth SOLD OUT
With Kevin Raber
August 23 – 30, 2023
I have been coming to Greenland for years now and usually on a larger ship with 50-65 passengers. In 2023 I will again be visiting Scoresby Sound, but this time on a 12-passenger trip. This ship is a photographer’s dream come true. A small ship low to the water can go where other ships can’t. From the time we board the ship until we depart, we will be on a non-stop quest for the most amazing images you may ever take in your life.
Along with the Captain and Expedition Leader, I will lead you on a trip to some of the most amazing places Scoresby Sound of Greenland. We will see icebergs and landscapes you can’t even imagine. We will land at some of the most amazing places. We will cruise along glacier fronts and hunt down incredible icebergs the likes and size of which you have never seen before. If it sounds like I am excited, it’s because I am. After three years without traveling and visiting Greenland and other destinations, I am ready, and I hope you are too, for an incredible catch-up year. This trip I assure you will make up for your lost time photographing. Spots are already filling on this trip.
My goal is to make sure you have an unforgettable experience. I will be there to help you maximize your photographic potential. I will work with you elbow to elbow during our cruising time and then be there with you on Zodiac cruises and landings. I’ll help you see things differently and answer any technical questions you may have. Since this is a ship cruise, we will be together the whole time. Learning and sharing never stop as we have time to share in the lounge and during meals. We are only stepping away from the deck which is all our at a low level to get you up close and personal with whatever we encounter.
As a photographic cruise, we will be working to make sure we visit locations at the best times for ideal light. Don’t be surprised if you are shooting from dawn to sunset. And, the nights won’t be long.
An expedition cruise to Scoresby Sound – one of the last unspoiled wildernesses in the world. The grandiose landscape is dominated by glaciers and beautifully shaped icebergs. Most of the year this ice-choked fjord system is inaccessible and it is only in summer, when the tundra is clad in autumn colors, that we have a chance to get here.
On this exciting Arctic expedition, we venture into one of the largest remaining wilderness areas in the Northern Hemisphere, where large areas are virtually untouched by man. Northeast Greenland National Park, covering an area of over 972,000 square kilometers, is the world’s largest national park.
Our group will be 12 photographers/attendees, myself, and an expedition leader. You’ll have plenty of time for one on one help. Our goal is to make sure you get the most out of this wonderful photographic trip. Oh, spouses are welcome and we are sure they will enjoy this incredible location as much as you will.
The expedition starts in Reykjavik, Iceland. You’ll fly from Reykjavik to Constable Point to board the Balto and begin your expedition. The Balto will be perfect for this trip. (see the price section below for the mandatory flight/ hotel package).
Once we land at Constable Point, we get right into Expedition Mode. After a short safety briefing and a chance to get settled into your cabin, we will lift anchor and start cruising. From this point on the photo opportunities will come at us fast.
The Immensity Of Greenland
The video above was made by Chris Sanderson and I feel describes how I felt about Greenland. Everything is big. Greenland is one of my favorite places to visit. It’s a dynamic landscape. There is not a cliche to be found. From the immense landscape to the intricate close-up details of an iceberg, Greenland will not disappoint you. I hope you enjoy this video and that you give great consideration to joining me for what will be an amazing photographic adventure.
Space Is Limited To 12 Passengers. SOLD OUT email me to be put on standby list
I see the world through the lens and a frame. Photography for me is an extension of who I am. I have gone through many stages in my career. At one time I was a portrait photographer with many prestigious clients. Over time I grew restless for something else in the field. I truly enjoy my current work as a fine art landscape photographer. There is something special about examining and photographing everything from grand scenes in nature that are there for a moment and then gone to industrial landscapes and focusing on the incredibly minute details of peeling paint and rust. I am most fortunate to be able to travel to many wonderful places.
I have fond memories of nights and weekends spent in the darkroom creating prints. The stereo blasting. It could be fun and it could be tedious. You didn’t always know what you were going to get and, at times, it required extensive hands-on darkroom manipulation. I can still smell the chemicals. I was taught by the masters of the darkroom.
Today, that has all changed thanks to the advent of computers, digital cameras and Photoshop. The darkroom is the computer. Some things are still unpredictable, but the tools to achieve the final result allow you to see them immediately on the screen in real-time and right in front of you. Digital allows you to capture a range of tonalities and exposures that were impossible with film. Variables such as emulsion, temperature, chemistry and exposure are taken out of the equation. What you see on your computer monitor is what you will get when printed. One thing that hasn’t changed is the music. It goes along with creating and working on images. Thank God for iTunes.
I embraced digital early on. It continues to evolve and provide flexibility to all who embrace it. The digital age is still young and has completely transformed our industry. Never before has a switch from analog to digital been so prevalent as in photography. I’m looking forward to seeing where the next ten years take us.
My career in photography has evolved since 1972 when I first began making a living with photography. Today I am also CEO and Owner of photopxl.com, one of the most visited and prestigious websites for the photographers on the internet. I lead photography workshops to the edge of the planet locations as well as provide instructional videos to photographers on how to improve their craft.
There doesn’t seem to be anything that can dampen my passion and enthusiasm for photography. It has opened doors to the world for me and I am most grateful I can share my experiences with others.
M/S Balto Accommodations & Pricing
Day 1: Constable Point
We fly to Constable Point and board the M/S Balto. We are now in a part of the world where we are totally dependent on ice and weather conditions. Our exact itinerary depends on these factors and on the wildlife we encounter. Our goal is to make landings every day with our rigid Zodiac crafts.
Day 2 – 7: Exploration of Scoresby Sound
We are traveling in one of the largest wilderness areas in the Northern Hemisphere. It introduces its visitors to some of the most spectacular coastlines in the world and the deep fjords are surrounded by majestic peaks and tundra covered slopes. We will use our sturdy Zodiacs to explore further afield, cruise amongst large stranded icebergs, and make shore landings.
Scoresby Sound is the world’s largest fjord system and could be explored for weeks. It offers some of the most spectacular scenery Greenland has to offer: jagged peaks as tall as 2000 meters coming straight out of the sea and rare glimpses of the Greenland ice cap, the largest ice cap in the northern hemisphere. Large glaciers pour into the sea, giving birth to an unexpected quantity of beautiful icebergs, some of them larger than high-rise buildings.
We hope to circumnavigate Milne Land, the second largest island in Greenland, sailing through the narrow and spectacular Føhn Fjord, Røde Fjord, and Ø Fjord. During walks on the tundra, we may find remains from early Inuit cultures that settled here more than 2000 years ago. We also have good chances to spot magnificent prehistoric-looking musk ox or the lovely white Arctic hare. We also keep an eye out for snow bunting, wheatear, and ptarmigans.
DAY 5 | BLOMSTERBUGTEN AND RENBUGTEN
Blomsterbugten, also known as the Bay of Flowers, is home to beautiful purple- and-gold-colored rocks that you’ll view from distance or on a hike if you wish. Later, we’ll continue to Renbugten, or Reindeer Bay, named for the herd of 12 reindeer seen on one of the first expeditions to the area. Arctic hare is a common and delightful sight here.
With a portion of luck, we actually might encounter polar bears.
Time permitting, we may sail up into the rarely visited Nordvestfjord. This fjord is often filled with icebergs making for a challenging but spectacular navigation.
We also plan to visit Ittoqqortoormiit, home to some 450 Greenlanders, and the only settlement in Northeast Greenland. It is located 500 kilometers north of the Arctic Circle and the nearest town is Tasiilaq, 800 kilometers to the south.
In a town where the sea ice blocks ships from visiting most parts of the year, hunting and fishing are the only ways of survival. During our visit, we get a unique opportunity to learn more about living and surviving in this remote part of the world.
Day 8: Disembarkation
In the morning we disembark in Constable Point for homebound flights.
Please note: Our exact route will depend on ice, weather conditions, and wildlife. The places mentioned are just examples of some of the many sites this region of Greenland has to offer. We always strive to maximize your experience. Please remember that flexibility is the key to a successful expedition!
Embracing the unexpected is part of the legacy—and excitement—of expedition travel. When traveling in extremely remote regions, your expedition staff must allow the sea, the ice, and the weather to guide route and itinerary details. This itinerary is a tentative outline of what you’ll experience on this voyage; please be aware that no specific itinerary can be guaranteed.
Pricing and Registration
Prices are shown in USD and priced per berth. To reserve your spot a $2500.00 USD deposit is required. This will be payable to Polar Quest. Please read the Terms & Conditions. Polar Quest Expeditions will handle all the bookings and related questions and information.
Rockhopper workshops will handle all workshop-related questions and details. As we get closer to the trip we will send out more information regarding suggested camera gear and clothing. Please feel free to contact Kevin Raber at firstname.lastname@example.org or cal 317-379-7482 for any questions regarding this workshop. Airfare is not included and it will be your responsibility to arrive and to arrange departure flights from Reykjavik.
This is a perfect workshop to bring your spouse. We have some cabins set up perfectly for couples.
Double Cabin with double bed . . $8790.00 USD per person (2 cabins available) Superior Cabin Twin Beds . . $9,490 USD per person (1 cabin available) Owner’s Cabin with double bed . . $10,590 USD per person (great for a couple) Single Cabin with a single bed . . $10,880 USD per person (sold out)
Important: A mandatory flight- & hotel package is on top of this as well: USD 1950 per person. It includes two nights in Reykjavik (one before, one after), a flight to CNP from Iceland, transfer in connection to this flight. Talk to Kevin about a pre or post-Iceland tour.
M/S Balto Deck Plan
You can download the registration form Download.Return the completed registration as shown on the registration form.Instructions for making your deposit are on the registration form. If you have any questions, please email Kevin at email@example.com
We are proud to present the latest addition to our fleet of small expedition ships, M/S Balto, named after the leading sled dog of 1925 Nome serum run. She was built for the highest ice class in Rauma, Finland, to serve as a government service vessel in the Baltic sea. During 2019-2020, she has been totally refurbished and is now one of the roomiest and most elegant small polar expedition yachts in service. M/S Balto offers relaxed luxury accommodation for 12 guests in 7 outside cabins, all with private facilities and lower beds. The spacious cabins include 1 Owner’s cabin, 1 superior cabin, 3 double cabins, and 2 single cabins. The Owner’s cabin is 30m2, has 6 windows and a queen bed, the superior cabin has two twin beds while the double cabins have a queen bed. The Owner’s and superior cabin also offer a separate seating area. In all cabins, you find a desk with a chair and a closet for storage.
On the guest deck, you also find a cedar-lined sauna, accommodating 4-6 persons, with a cold shower and a small changing room. The richly appointed saloon and the beautiful dining messroom feature mahogany paneling, a bar, a card table, a library, and coffee and tea stations. She offers a large restaurant-style open galley, where you can check on the marvels of our chefs and sample freshly baked bread.
There are several open and semi-enclosed deck spaces from where you can enjoy and photograph the stunning Arctic sceneries. You are welcomed by an international crew and the bridge is open for visitors.
The ship has been fitted with electric-diesel propulsion capable of maintaining versatile maneuvering and survey speeds with no vibration. It is therefore ideal as a film and photo platform. There is also a mudroom for expedition gear and two Zodiacs for wilderness cruises and offshore experiences. M/S Balto is truly one of a kind when it comes to small polar expedition ships. Traveling by this unique 12-passenger ship offers a completely different and much more intimate experience of Greenland compared to a larger expedition ship.
A small group of merely 12 passengers gives us more flexibility, unique itineraries, and more time ashore. Also, the footprints we leave behind are a lot smaller!
The M/S Balto is designed to explore the most remote fjord systems, visit isolated Inuit settlements, take you to secret anchorages and maximize each guest’s experience in the unspoiled wilderness. This is true micro cruising.
Weather conditions are highly variable, with temperatures hovering around the freezing mark. The continuous daylight warms sheltered areas so that you may find temperatures warm enough for t-shirts. However, you may encounter snow squalls, fog, and white-outs during an expedition and should be ready for any conditions.
What To Wear
Prior to the trip, we will go into more detail about what clothing is needed. We will also help you with deciding what photo gear to bring and what to expect.
August 24th - 31st, 2022. Two Berths Available
Price: Double Cabin with double bed . . $8790.00 USD per person (2 cabins available) Superior Cabin Twin Beds . . $9,490 USD per person ( Owner’s Cabin with double bed . . $10,590 USD per person (great for a couple) Single Cabin with a single bed . . $10,880 USD per person.
A mandatory flight & hotel package is on top of this as well: USD 1950 per person. It includes two nights in Reykjavik (one before, one after), a flight to CNP from Iceland, transfer in connection to this flight.
7 nights onboard M/S Balto
All meals onboard
Coffee and tea
1 Expedition Leader and 1 guide
Guiding ashore and lectures on board
All excursions and activities
Comprehensive information material before the expedition
The trip is climate compensated
Mandatory transfer package from Reykjavik to Constable Point with a return. Polar Quest will reserve seats on the same flight and bill each participant.
International flights to and from Iceland
Travel and cancellation insurance (A Must!)
The customary gratuity to the ship’s crew
Personal expenses such as bar and shop charges
Hotels in Iceland prior to the trip and after. We suggest you arrive in Iceland a few days early and enjoy Iceland.
Once you have booked your cruise, Polar Quest will assist you in booking the flights to and from Greenland.
May I suggest you leave some time in your schedule to explore Iceland (Kevin can help with plans there).