Northern Lights & killer whales photography vacation, Iceland

“Even without the photography aspect, witnessing the rare aurora and orcas would be astounding. But with guidance from expert tutors, this trip becomes truly exceptional.”

Highlights

Northern Lights | Two boat trips to see orcas | Snaefellsnes Peninsula | Snæfellsjökull glacier | Kirkjufell Mountain | Lava fields | Fishing villages | Black sand beaches | Volcanic craters and lakes | Chance to photograph seabirds following the herring migration | Reykjavik

Map

Check dates, prices & availability

Date
Price
Basis
29 Jan 2017
£ 2000
excluding flights
Full
 
Our top tip:
Temperatures can be deceiving; the worst thing here is the icy wind, so come prepared with windproof clothes.
Trip type:
Small group tour.
Activity level:
Leisurely/moderate.
Accomm:
6 nights in a family-run, coastal hotel with outdoor hot tubs.
Solos:
Solo travelers welcome. Single rooms available with supplement.
Included:
Accommodation, all meals, photography tutor, guide, transfers and transport, listed activities, whale guide.
Vouchers
Accepted

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Northern Lights & killer whales photography vacation, Iceland

Environment

Out in the field
We encourage you to travel responsibly and to consider the following guidelines:
• When out in wild places we encourage you to keep erosion to a minimum, keep to footpaths and avoid stepping on or picking native flora, Iceland is especially fragile environmentally and the country is currently embarking of many projects such as tree planting to reduce erosion.
• We encourage you to use water sparingly and to avoid buying plastic bottles of water; use your own metal or heavy-duty plastic bottle such as Nalgene to refill with water from a safe source as recommended. In Iceland water should never be bought from a shop as most water sources are exceptionally pure.
• River water could also be drinking water, do not contaminate water supplies by washing in it. Any washing products should be phosphate free.
• Respect local customs religion and traditions.
• Carry out some research about Iceland and being able to speak a few words of Icelandic is always appreciated.
• Don’t take photographs of local people and places of religious significance without permission.
• Keep promises! Send copies of photos to local people if this is what you have said you will do.
• Read the labels and buy local products such as food and souvenirs so that money directly benefits the community.
• Minimize pollution, and carry out all litter. Iceland has one of the lowest levels of environmental pollution in the world and it is good to keep it this way.

Iceland Conservation Volunteers
We support the Environment Agency of Iceland through passing on information about its policy and encouraging people to join their volunteer scheme. Our company is currently setting up an itinerary for UK schools expeditions to visit Iceland to participate in the project.
• Each summer more than 200 international volunteers take part in the Environment Agency programme. The volunteers now complete over 650 weeks of work around Iceland every year.
• The Environment Agency hosts volunteers from all over the world and works closely with a variety of international organizations. The programme is organized in partnership with the British conservation volunteer organization BTCV.
• The work began over 30 years ago in Jökulsárgljúfur, Vatnajökull National Park, with a team of 15 volunteers. Today, if you visit Iceland’s national parks, there is a very good chance that you will walk on trails built and maintained by Environment Agency volunteers.
• All volunteers live and work in some of the most beautiful parts of Iceland throughout the summer. The teams gain experience of a wide range of practical conservation skills while working closely with local staff and other international volunteers.
• Although work is focused on the improvement and maintenance of hiking trails, volunteers are also involved in wilderness management and heritage management
• Many volunteers from the scheme worked on cleaning the ash that devastated the rural and farming areas around the erupted volcano, Eyafjalljokull.

Wherever possible we work electronically, we are totally web based, our paper use is minimal.
We work from a home based office reducing car travel to a minimum.

Community

Iceland has been hit hard by their bankruptcy/crisis of October 2008. More than ever communties are having to return to their roots and rely on traditional ways of making a living. Tourism, fishing, farming and local crafts such as knitting are seen as a way of restoring economic stability to the country and giving a sense of dignity to Icelanders.

In particular communities away from the central hub Reykjavik are relying on visitors to boost their economy. Since way before the current crisis we have been supporting these less visited areas and we are rewarded with a very personal service, quieter locations, fresher home grown produce and insight into the lives and folklore of local people. Now it is cheaper for us to visit Iceland as we get an excellent exchange rate. We always ensure that participants on our vacations get the opportunity to see and purchase local products.

We always try to travel off season to extend the time that local people can earn money from tourism.

Local providers
Our transport will be local and with the exception of Reykjavik we use a small family run hotel as our base. Our boats to see the whales are local and our hotel owner is often the captain too! Our connections with these local providers of accommodation and transport go back many years. These local providers appreciate our on-going commitment to their livelihoods. All our meals will be from locally sourced products such as fish, lamb, homemade breads and yoghurts. Our guest are encouraged to buy their gifts in the local shops rather than in Reykjavik.
All of our service suppliers are informed of our responsible travel policy.

Reviews of Northern Lights & killer whales photography vacation, Iceland

You can trust Responsible Travel reviews because, unlike many other schemes, reviews can ONLY be written by people who we have verified have been on the vacations.

I am reborn! Simply the best vacation I have ever been on
Some great stories to tell the grandchildren. Would recommend to a friend
Very enjoyable
It was OK
A bit disappointing really

Reviewed on 26 Mar 2016 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


Got to see a pod of eight orca whales including a baby on a whale watching cruise from grundurfordur.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Take plenty of warm clothes, especially for northern lights shooting at night.
Hand and foot warmers are a good idea if you have bad circulation or feel the cold in your extremities.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


We ate in local cafes and restauraunts, and went out on the whale watching cruise twice, so I'm sure the tour is a benefit to the local community.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


Really good tour, photography tutor had extensive knowledge of best locations to see in prevailing weather conditions.

Reviewed on 22 Mar 2014 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


We had a 24hr period where everything just went right. Killer Whales, dolphins and a surprise display of a fantastic Aurora.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Be prepared for it to be very cold and windy at times.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Yes we used local business run by local people throughout the vacation.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


A lot of what we saw was by chance which is natures way but it certainly helped that our guides had done their homework. It was a fantastic vacation.

Reviewed on 09 Mar 2014 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


Seeing the Orca swim under the bridge we were standing on and the grade 5 Aurora Borealis - painting the sky in technicolour! For the photographers Geraldine, Stuart & Tesio made the itinerary fluid enough that they could make the most of the light available.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Wrap up warm - the wind is bitterly cold in February.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


This is a family run company and Geraldine and Martin live in Iceland so we used small locally-run hotels and eateries.The food was excellent and the showers wonderful! Driving was inevitable but we did this in as few vehicles as possible.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


Good itinerary, but Iceland is geologically so interesting that the coastal scenery could have been replicated elsewhere, e.g. west coast of Scotland! More uniquely Icelandic were the lava fields and glaciers. However, we are planning to return to the south-east coast with Geraldine et al where we will get the chance to see the glaciers very close up!

Reviewed on 19 Feb 2014 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


Seeing the northern lights and the glacier ice cave.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Take lots of warm clothing and layers. No need to take out lots of cash as can pay by card. Add a day or two in Reyjavik onto your vacation.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


I think so

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


Good vacation. The emphasis is on photography (all levels) and there is enough time at each stop. Experienced photographers to help you and you also get to see some lovely places in Iceland.

Reviewed on 16 Feb 2014 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


The whole trip was excellent.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Read/bring your camera manual with you !
make sure your outer clothing is wind proof

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Used local cafes

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


Excellent

Reviewed on 11 Jun 2013 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


All parts were memorable.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Small groups better

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


Very Good. Martin provides excellent knowledge on photography and on Lightroom. Geraldine provides excellent service in ensuring all aspects to the trip were good and no difficulties.

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