On an iceberg hunting excursion in Greenland, Alan and I hit the photography jackpot. Along with other Silver Explorer guests, we’re motoring near the whimsically shaped icy giants that fill the northern end of Scoresby Sund at Hall Bredning. Suddenly Silver Explorer appears in the arched opening of an iceberg. Wow! This boomer adventure promises to be as spectacular as when we walked on the Arctic Ice earlier in the cruise.
If you’re planning an Arctic cruise, make sure the itinerary includes Scoresby Sund in eastern Greenland. It’s the world’s largest and longest fjord system, offering plenty of opportunities to explore on land and sea. So far, we’ve hiked, visited Ittoqqortoormiit, the only settlement in eastern Greenland, and enjoyed an iceberg hunting zodiac trip in Rode O. But the icebergs at Hall Bredning make the Rode O icebergs seem like miniatures.
The show starts from the moment Alan and I wake up and look out the window. There they are—masses of ice floating in the sound representing every shape imaginable.
Where do the icebergs come from? Some of Scoresby Sund’s fjords extend all the way to Greenland’s inland ice cap (at least 70 miles). As large tidewater glaciers calve, the icebergs begin their journey down the fjord and into the sound. Because of its size, Scoresby Sund creates an internal gyral circulation that flushes icebergs out of the fjords creating the wonderland that Alan and I are about to experience.
After breakfast, we go on deck, photography gear in hand, to capture the scene as the soft, morning light glints off icy surfaces. In addition to the exceptional photography opportunities, we’ve hit the jackpot with the weather, as well. The sun shines, temperatures are comfortable—for eastern Greenland—and there are just enough clouds moving in the sky to make photography composition interesting.
When it’s our group’s turn for iceberg hunting, Alan and I head for the boot room to put on the boots we rented from Silversea one last time as this is the concluding cruise excursion of the trip. And because we’ll be sitting still and very close to the water, we’re wearing waterproof pants over thermals and the jacket provided by Silversea over a long sleeve turtleneck. Add to that a hat, gloves, neck warmer (for me) and the darkest pair of sunglasses that we own. Put on the life jacket and it’s time for an active travel adventure.
Check out more of our recommendations for cold weather gear.
And the Iceberg Hunting Begins
After everyone settles into the zodiac, the expedition guide motors away from the ship. The iceberg view is even better from the water. These are huge pieces of ice!
Arches exist in several of the icebergs creating fun photography opportunities. And Captain Alexander Golubev knows how to pose Silver Explorer in exactly the right spot.
Later into the ride, clouds roll in totally changing the experience, photography-wise. However a thicker cloud layer results in colder temperatures so I’m glad for the toe warmers that I attached to the inside of my boots in the boot room. And, yes, they made it through TSA security without any problems because the patches are air activated rather than battery operated.
The guide keeps us out as long as possible. But, even then, our group of travelers is sad for this excursion to end. Although we didn’t see any wildlife—lemmings and narwhals were a possibility—hunting icebergs is great fun, not to mention the photography experience of a lifetime.
This is a doable excursion for physically challenged boomers as long as you can get in and out of the zodiac with assistance.
Have you cruised in Greenland? Did you go iceberg hunting? Come join the conversation at the My Itchy Travel Feet page on Facebook. Or send us an email with your thoughts.
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