Why Shetland archipelago is so special?
It has the UNESCO Global Geopark status thanks to its rich and varied earth heritage spanning almost three billion years and it is a landscape of extremes. The sense of wilderness and isolation is overpowering. It feels, smells and looks magical, offering intimate experiences to whom has the curiosity and the patience to explore its dramatic rugged rocky coastlines, the diverse set of seascapes with big rough cliffs, sea stacks, sandy beaches, hidden bays, the barren pastures swept by the winds.
In addition to these wonders, there are two National Nature Reserves, Noss and Hermaness, where admire seabirds during their breeding season, when they rear their chicks. Both these places have large colonies of gannets nesting on cliffs, along with puffins, fulmars, great skuas and many other species. Both reserves offer different and unique experiences and great photographic opportunities and provide several kilometres of beautiful coast to photograph.
We can observe otters and seals playing hide and seek with kelp fronds; admire thousands of sheep largely kept in wild or semi-wild state, fed on herbal pastures; linger on the high cliffs to observe the foam of the waves break on the jagged coasts, while hundreds of nesting birds take off to fish.
The underwater pictures of gannets are possible because birds will be lured with fish baits thrown directly underwater. This procedure allows the birds to follow their instinct and fall under the surface like torpedoes, at incredible velocity, releasing streams of microbubbles from their wings, thus reducing friction of the water as they look for fish with their eyes wide open.
People will enter the water with snorkeler gear only, no scuba tanks will be provided. The average water temperature is +10 / 12°C, so it is possible to use a thick semi-dry or a dry wetsuit, depending on your tolerance to the cold water.
All outdoor activities in the Shetland are heavily conditioned by the weather and we must accept to change the plan of the day accordingly to what it will be better to do, day by day. We have chosen to organize this trip in the second half of July, which is expected to be the best period of the year for our aims.
Do you need more information ? Please do not hesitate to contact us to deepen your doubts.
20 – 27 July
December, on request
ins and outs
We will meet at Aberdeen harbor to board the ferry and navigate to Lerwick. We’ll rent a shuttle and start our tours by hiking at Sumburgh head for the first above-water session photography. The activities of the following days will be decided by the weather conditions, the plan is flexible. Expect four sessions of underwater and topside photography of gannets; one long session of seals underwater, one of otters on the shores; five sessions of topside photography and hiking.
We will visit Sumburgh Head, Hermaness Reserve, EshaNess, Moussa island and Noss by boat.
Underwater and topside photography of seabirds and seals by boat, otters by hiking, guided by a local expert marine biologist
Topside photography (by boat and hiking) of wilderness, sceneries, seabirds colonies, mammals, cliffs
Six nights in a private villa, in double occupancy.
Half board (no drinks), breakfast plus light-packet lunch, snacks and soft beverages during the days; three group dinners at the villa included; three group dinners at restaurants. All transportation on the island. Return transfer from Lerwick ferry to the villa.
Is this trip right for you ?
This trip is perfect for nature’s enthusiasts, suitable for photographers of all levels, preferably equipped with telephoto lenses. You don’t need to be an expert diver for this tour, since the underwater sessions will be limited to staying in the water and snorkeling. Tolerance to cold water is mandatory, also because physical activities will be limited. Water temperature is about 10°C. Weather can change suddenly and without warning in Shetland. We’ll do our best to make all activities planned, but the date scheduled for each one might switch.