Faroe Islands

Landscape Gems of the North Atlantic

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Far to the north, amidst of the frothing swells of the Atlantic Ocean, lies a small archipelago of remote and rugged islands.  Situated halfway between Norway and Iceland—and far off the radar screen of most photography travelers—they are known as the Faroe Islands.  These eighteen little-visited island gems beckon adventurous landscape photographers who want to discover new photography horizons and explore in the rarefied glow of vernal northern light.  The Faroe Islands straddle the 62nd parallel north and are buffeted by the Atlantic’s Gulf Stream and subject to a subpolar oceanic climate of cool wet summers and relatively mild winters.  The springtime months here provide for a lush velvet green mantle of treeless terrain, stretching to misty mountains and wave-battered sea cliffs.  It is this same rugged environment that provides a living to the 50,000 people who call the archipelago home.  Forty percent of the population lives in one community, leaving the remainder of the residents spread out over the rest of the islands.  Forged from Viking blood, their lives reflect a strong sense of Nordic identity, honed by their time-honored fishing traditions.
Photographing in the Faroe IslandsDuring our photo tour we travel the well-defined network of roads, bridges and tunnels that provide access to some of the islands’ most photogenic terrain.  This excursion is designed to get our landscape shooters to exciting locations to create impressive images in a dramatic and little-known corner of the world.  With the North Atlantic just a short distance from nearly every location, the weather can be moody and constantly changing.  This dynamic weather often provides for even more dramatic lighting conditions, adding to the mysterious nature of the Faroes.  Here, little is offered for flat ground.  The angular nature of these mountainous islands, dotted with small rushing streams and quiet reflective lakes, provides many compositional elements—adding impact to the rugged landscape.  This is a place where streams plunge from great heights to free fall into the waiting sea or verdant valleys below.  Rocky and tortuous basalt cliffs rise vertically out of the silvery ocean depths to offer safe nesting for thousands of seabirds each summer.  The raucous activity of gannets, murres, fulmars and puffins along these cliffs is testament to the North Atlantic’s great productivity.
 
Along with photographing the striking scenery of the seaside cliffs and waterfalls, we photograph the quaint, colorful, and well-ordered fishing villages tucked along the jagged coastline.  These small communities give the Faroes much of their vibrant and timeless character.  Many of the villages and towns have well-preserved buildings with "elfin" turf roofs—the oldest dating back nearly 500 years—adding to the unique strength of this photogenic location. 
 
The Faroe Islands will reach out and take hold of those photographers who come seeking its mystical beauty and will carry them to new insights of landscape photography possibilities.  Come along with us as we venture to these far-off isles to capture images in this magical place of light and land in springtime.

Tour Itinerary

Day 1 
Depart home en route to Vágar Airport in the Faroe Islands.  The Faroes are best accessed by flights via Iceland or Denmark.  We will know the 2019 flight schedule to Vágar from those locations later in the spring of 2018.  It is recommended to overnight either in Iceland or Denmark and catch an early morning flight to the Faroes on May 10, 2019.
 
Day 2 (May 10)
Arrive at Vágar Airport in the Faroe Islands and transfer to our comfortable guesthouse on the island of Eysturoy.  Transfer logistics will be included in a subsequent email sometime after your enrollment.  (LD)
 
Seascape in the Faroe IslandsDays 3–5
We spend our first three nights in the fishing village of Gjógv, nestled among small and colorful houses overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.  Creating images of tidy homes and working fishing boats from this small village’s perch on rugged cliffs beckons.
 
From our base in Gjógv we begin our photographic adventure exploring the northern reaches of Faroe’s landscapes.  A well-established network of roads and tunnels gives us access to the islands and the seascapes spread out before us.
 
A visit to the Fossá waterfall provides an opportunity to photograph one of the archipelago's largest and most photogenic water features.  Fossá—translated as river of waterfalls—makes two major plunges of over 360 feet from the uplands to the sea.  The longest drop approaches 200 feet and can be easily photographed from the road.
 
At these higher latitudes we take advantage of the occasional long and low light counterpointed by awe-inspiring storm clouds that make these remote islands such an exciting photographic destination.  Located this far into the North Atlantic, the weather is extremely unpredictable—conditions can change within minutes and miles. We operate a very flexible daily schedule, allowing us to quickly adapt.  Gásadalur, Sørvágsvatn, Saksun, Tjørnuvík, Funningur, Norðradalur and Sornfelli, plus many others, are on our itinerary of potential destinations.  Indeed, the entire archipelago is packed with great shooting locations, so weather and light conditions will determine where we go and when.  (BLD)
 
Waterfall Faroe IslandsDays 6–8
Today we bid farewell to the hamlet of Gjógv and photograph our way farther south into the archipelago.  We travel amidst tundra-like vegetation dominated by arctic alpine plants, wildflowers, grasses, mosses and lichens.  From our new base on the island of Vágar we are in place to photograph more iconic island landscapes.  Seaside farms and fishing villages dot this undulating terrain, and turf-roofed buildings and weathered fishing boats provide a multitude of photographic compositions to capture.
 
Mulafossur waterfall—one of the most iconic landscapes to photograph in the Faroes—is on Vágar.  Just beyond the outskirts of the tiny community of Gásadalur, photogenically set between soaring mountains and the sea, the falls plunge over 130 feet from a precipitous cliff to the waiting blue of the Atlantic below.
 
Having the time and flexibility to work with the weather conditions, we spend one of our days in the southern reaches of the islands visiting westernmost Mykines for an opportunity to photograph the gathering of seabirds that nest on the island’s volcanic cliffs each summer.  Weather permitting, gannets, northern fulmars and Atlantic puffins can be photographed from these seaside heights.  The bird numbers in the Faroes are impressive: 600,000 breeding pairs of northern fulmars, 350,000 pairs of Atlantic puffins, 230,000 pairs of black-legged kittiwakes, 2,000 pairs of northern gannets, and dozens of other bird species.  (BLD)
 
Day 9 (May 17)
After breakfast we say good bye to the Faroe Islands and transfer to Vágar Airport for our flights homeward.  (B)
 
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Joseph Van Os Photo Safaris Enrollment Information

Faroe Islands

May 09, 2019 - May 17, 2019


1. REGISTRATION
A deposit and completed and signed Registration Form are required to reserve a place for you on a Joseph Van Os Photo Safari.

2. PAYMENTS, CANCELLATIONS AND REFUNDS

All prices are quoted in US dollars and all payments must be paid in US dollars. For deposit only, we accept Visa, MasterCard or American Express. Final payment of the trip fee is due 120 days priors to departure and must be paid by check or bank transfer. Trip deposits are non-refundable and non-transferable.

We must receive written notice of your cancellation, at which time cancellation fees in the following amounts apply:

If Written Cancellation is Received:
90 days or prior:
89 to 61 days prior:
60 or fewer days:
Cancellation Fee:
100% of deposit
50% of trip fee
100% of trip fee


No partial refunds are made for unused portions or services of a trip for any reason whatsoever. Trips are sold as a package only. This policy also applies to tour extensions and independent travel arrangements. Cancellation fees are not transferable.

3. TRIP INSURANCE
Protect your travel investment and purchase a trip insurance policy that includes emergency evacuation coverage. A trip insurance brochure will be sent with your enrollment confirmation.

4. HEALTH CONSIDERATIONS
Joseph Van Os Photo Safaris are within the capabilities of average people in good health. Some of these trips require the capability of walking for several miles over uneven trails, stepping from a small boat to a wave-washed rocky beach, flying in small planes and helicopters, and occasionally hiking at high elevations—all while carrying an assortment of camera equipment. If you have concerns about your own capabilities and/or fitness as it relates to a trip, please inquire with our office before reserving a space. By forwarding a signed Registration Form and trip deposit, you certify that you do not knowingly have any physical or other conditions of disability that would create a risk for you or other trip participants and you agree to inform our office in writing if changes in your health occur any time prior to the tour. We reserve the right to request a doctor's statement of good health. The company's or trip leader's judgment shall provide the ultimate determination of an individual's ability to embark upon or to continue a trip. Once a trip has been confirmed, medical circumstances will not be considered as exceptions to our cancellation policy. We assume no responsibility for medical care or for special dietary requirements. “Meatless” meals are normally available at most locations. Due to the remote nature of many photo locations, and the growing diversity of today’s dietary trends, participants requiring special food items are encouraged to bring their own.

Tour members are asked to refrain from smoking with or near the group.

5. CONTACT SCHEDULE
Participants will receive three emails before the trip departs: 1. Initial Tour Information sheet confirms the deposit and provides pre-departure information. 2. Invoice/Practical Information provides clothing and photo gear recommendations, climate data, applicable health advisories and reading list. Visa information will also be included (if applicable). 3. Final Tour Information includes arrival instructions, itinerary revisions (if any), hotel addresses, trip telephone contact information and participant list. We provide the trip leader's telephone number(s) and/or e-mail address with final documents so you can inquire about special photographic questions you may have regarding your trip. We welcome your calls or e-mail messages to info@photosafaris.com.

6. PHOTO SAFARI COSTS
Information supplied upon enrollment describes the specific costs that are included in your trip fee. Generally these costs include lodging in double room occupancy, all meals (specified in the itinerary as BLD denoting breakfast, lunch or dinner), ground transportation during the trip in vans or small busses, air transportation as specified, meal and baggage tipping, and guide services provided by the trip leaders. Not included are airfare or other transportation from your home to the trip staging location, airport departure taxes, insurance, alcoholic beverages and bar expenses (plus bottled water and soft drink expenses on international tours outside of North America), tips and gratuities to local guides abroad, phone calls, passport or visa expenses, laundry or items of a personal nature. Gratuities to Joseph Van Os Photo Safaris trip leaders are optional and always appreciated. Rates are based on group tariffs; if the trip does not have sufficient registration, a small party supplement may be charged.

Single accommodations are available for a supplemental cost in many locations; see the pre-departure trip information or call our office for details. You will be charged the single supplement fee if you desire single accommodations or if you wish to have a roommate, but one is not available. In some remote locations, clients with single rooms are infrequently compelled to share a room due to circumstances beyond our control. In such cases, appropriate per diem refunds will be made reflecting the direct cost of the single room at the facility where clients are required to share. There is no additional single supplement fee on ship-based cruises, if you request a roommate and one is not available.

Cost increases may occur unexpectedly due to rising costs of airfares, ground transport, fuel surcharges, accommodations and currency fluctuations, among others. Joseph Van Os Photo Safaris, Inc. may be compelled to amend prices, and we reserve the right to do so without prior notice. An increase in trip prices shall not be sufficient grounds for any refund of funds paid for the trip other than as determined by the terms of our cancellation policy.

7. LOGISTICS
Whenever possible, our trip participants are lodged in comfortable, modern hotels. We select among the best available accommodations, but refrain from extravagance. Some interesting photographic destinations are far removed from modern amenities, however, and where necessary we will be accommodated in rustic country inns, cabins or tented camps.

Meals are always a special part of our trips for the camaraderie they engender and the opportunity they provide to try new foods from different areas. Depending on the trip and specific locale, participants order restaurant meals from the full menu or, less frequently, table d'hôte. Some trips include picnic lunches in the field. Fruit juice for breakfast and coffee or tea are included with the meals. Soft drinks are included with meals on tours within North America. Participants are responsible for their own bar tab (including bottled water, soft drinks and alcoholic beverages on tours outside of North America) at restaurant lunches and dinners.

Our itineraries are intended as examples only. Participants should allow for flexibility due to changes in weather, natural history or cultural events, or other logistical arrangements deemed necessary by Joseph Van Os Photo Safaris, Inc. or our leaders.

The second tour leader (and any subsequent additional leaders) listed for each trip on the website will be added as the group size warrants. If only one space remains on a trip, and logistics permit, we accept two persons traveling together, even if it exceeds the trip maximum.

8. RESPONSIBILITY
Joseph Van Os Photo Safaris, Inc. and/or their Agents act only as agents for the passenger in regard to travel including, but not limited to, sightseeing, meals, lodging, transportation, and all other services whether by railroad, motorcar, motor coach, boat, ship or aircraft and they assume no liability for injury, damage, loss, accident, delay or irregularity which may be occasioned either by reason of defect in any vehicle or for any reason whatsoever, or through the acts or default of any company or person engaged in conveying the passenger or in carrying out the arrangements of the trip.

They can accept no responsibility for losses or additional expenses due to delay or changes in air or other services, sickness, weather, strike, war, volcanic eruption, terrorist acts, political unrest, quarantine or other causes. All such losses or expenses will have to be borne by the passenger, as trip fees provide for arrangements only for the times and locations stated. Baggage is at the owner's risk entirely.

The right is reserved to 1) substitute hotels of similar category for those indicated and to make any changes in the itinerary or transport where deemed necessary, or caused by changes in air schedules or equipment substitution; 2) cancel any trip prior to departure, in which case full refund of the paid trip funds will be given, but Joseph Van Os Photo Safaris, Inc. is not responsible for any other trip preparation expenses such as penalized or non-refundable air tickets, visa fees and medical related expenses; 3) substitute trip leader(s) for the leader(s) originally specified, in which case the substitution is not a basis for participant cancellation or refund other than provided by our normal cancellation policy; or 4) accept or retain any person as a member of any trip.

Trip prices are based on tariffs and exchange rates in effect at the time of publication and are subject to adjustment in the event of any change therein.

A Registration Form including the Release and Assumption of Risk section must be signed by each participant prior to the commencement of the trip. Participation by any trip member will be declined in the absence of the signed Registration Form including the Release and Assumption of Risk section, with no trip fee refund. No modification to the Registration Form including the Release and Assumption of Risk section will be accepted.

Should Joseph Van Os Photo Safaris, Inc., or anyone acting on their behalf be required to incur attorney's fees and costs to enforce this agreement, the enrolling trip participant(s) agree(s) to indemnify and hold them harmless for all such fees and costs. In the event a lawsuit is filed, the enrolling participant(s) agree(s) to do so solely in the County of Lewis in the State of Washington. Certain ship owners require the use of pre-printed ticket forms that limit the ship owner's and operator's liability. When such tickets are used, the passenger is bound by the terms of these tickets with respect to the passenger's legal relationship to the owners and operators of the ship, their agents (Joseph Van Os Photo Safaris, Inc.), and the ship's crew.

Faroe Islands
Highlights
  • Unspoiled, unexplored, unbelievable: The keywords National Geographic Traveler used in its description of the winner of best island destination in the world—the Faroe Islands
  • Ever changing weather conditions create many moods for dramatically lit landscape images 
  • Rugged basaltic mountains rise steeply above treeless alpine terrain, photogenic waterfalls plunge into a wave-tossed sea or a quiet verdant valley
  • Experience colonies of breeding seabirds on stark volcanic sea cliffs. 
 
May 09 - May 17, 2019
Fee: $5,495 from Vágar, Faroe Islands
Deposit: $800
Limit: 12
 
Tour Leaders
 
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