Set sail for the adventure of a lifetime on this 11-day expedition to Svalbard! Situated between Norway and the North Pole, this arctic archipelago is brimming with photographic opportunities across its rugged, remote terrain. Hidden within the tundra, you'll find polar bears, reindeer and Arctic foxes on which to train the lens of your camera as you immerse yourself in this untouched wilderness. Whether you are a beginner, an amateur or a professional photographer, you'll be sure to expand your portfolio as you take your photography skills to a whole new level.
10500 USD double/twin with shared facilities (6,2,1)
11500 USD double/twin with private facilities (4, 8, 11, 15)
9500 USD triple with private facilities (3)
This tour is now Sold Out.
This photography expedition takes place during early September, when the archipelago of Svalbard experiences its very first sunsets of the season. Long summer days will give way to the return of night – the result is some seriously beautiful and dramatic light, offering spectacular conditions for photography.
Our focus will be on the wildlife and incredible landscapes in Svalbard. We'll spend the majority of our time in Spitsbergen, the largest and only permanently populated island of the Svalbard archipelago, which is surrounded by deep fjords, majestic mountains and glistening glaciers. There will be numerous opportunities to land on shore with our Zodiac crafts, so that we can get up close and personal with our surrounds as well as the wildlife. Be prepared to photograph polar bears, fur seals, whales, walruses and Arctic foxes, all within their natural habitat.
Due to the unpredictable nature of the weather in this region, our expedition itinerary will be flexible. However, we'll ensure that you'll be at all the right places at the right times to take advantage of the conditions and the light. We'll sail aboard a private ship, meaning that we'll have full access to stop when and where we please.
Arrival & Departure
We suggest that you fly into Longyearbyen the day before our journey officially begins. SAS flies regularly to Longyearbyen via Oslo and Tromso.
Radisson Blu Polar Hotel is our accommodation of choice, as it is one of the most well-placed hotels in the area. Basecamp Trapper's Hotel is another good, colourful and quirky option.
Ideally, we will meet as a group for dinner the day before the official start time of our journey, in order to get to know one another a little better and to go over the itinerary for the days ahead.
We'll sail through Svalbard aboard our privately chartered ship, the M/S Malmö.
The captain and crew have a wealth of experience in these Arctic regions. They'll work hard to ensure that we have smooth and easy sailing on the icy seas.
Our route will depend largely upon the weather conditions, the level of ice with which we have to contend, our preferences as a group, and the wildlife that we will be likely to encounter along the way. However, our captain will always have the final say on where we sail, as well as when it is safe for us to set foot onshore.
The fjords of Svalbard are known to be breathtaking, completely dominated by majestic mountains all around and interspersed with glaciers. We'll visit Raudfjorden in the north of Spitsbergen, as well as Kongsfjorden which has often been described as Svalbard's most spectacular fjord.
There'll be many opportunities to photograph fur seals hauled out onto the ice, as well as polar bears playing in their environment. If we're lucky, we may even spot a whale or two, frolicking in the waterways. The fjords are also home to several bird sanctuaries, so keep your telephoto lenses on-hand to capture all of the intense bird activity at sea, as they make their way to and fro from hunting for fish in the water back to the cliffs on the surrounding islands.
The former mining town of Ny-Alesund is now a scientific research centre, which is known as the gateway to Arctic. Situated on the southern shores of Kongsfjorden, this tiny settlement makes for an interesting contrast to the surrounding scenery.
We'll explore this area at length, unearthing fascinating compositions that make the perfect juxtaposition between new and old, as well as natural and man-made.
Scouting for Polar Bears on the Pack Ice
No trip to Svalbard would be complete without spotting polar bears hunting, exploring and living upon the frozen pack ice. Although the ice will be difficult to navigate, our crew will do their best to negotiate our ship through the seas, getting us to exactly where we need to be.
Our chances to photograph these regal animals will increase the further north that we sail of Spitsbergen. It is thought that up to 4,000 polar bears live in this region, meaning that they actually outnumber the human population!
Aside from these majestic white bears, there will be opportunities to photograph plenty of other species on the shores, including fur seals, walruses and native deer.
The steep basalt cliffs of Alkefjellet span for kilometres and are home to hundreds of thousands of Brunich's guillemots.
We'll spend some time skirting around this extraordinary 'Bird Mountain' along the coastline with our Zodiac, photographing these magnificent birds as they nest upon the stone walls.
We'll witness the guillemots making their way to and from the ocean, back to the lofty peaks of their cliff colony, as they hunt for fish in the open waters. The cliff-face makes for a breathtaking sight when lit up by golden rays of sunshine, highlighting the black and white bodies of these sea birds.
Situated north-east of Spitsbergen is Nordaustlandet, the second-largest island in the Svalbard archipelago. Two large ice sheets cover this island, making for a truly astonishing sight.
We'll make our way all around the glaciers, keeping a look out for polar bears and their young as we make shore-landings with our Zodiac.
Barentsøya and Edgeøya
In the east of Svalbard lies the smaller islands of Barentsøya and Edgeøya. These islands are covered in ice caps and home to flat coastal plains with rich tundra which a number of native species, including walruses, Arctic foxes and Svalbard reindeer, call home.
We'll sail through the scenic channel that separates these two islands, keeping our cameras trained on the incredible wildlife and vegetation of the surrounds.
Days 1 to 9
The adventure begins when we meet as a group in Longyearbyen. From there, we'll board our ship and set sail into the Arctic waters.
Our itinerary over the next few days will be guided by the weather conditions, the pack ice and the group's preferences. However, the plan is to make daily landings with our Zodiac, so that we can explore the islands onshore as well as off.
We'll continue shooting until the evening of the tenth day, when we'll sail back towards Longyearbyen, arriving around 11pm at night.
This will be the final day of your Svalbard adventure. We'll disembark from the ship in the morning and begin our journey home.
Expedition on M/S Malmo ice class ship
Accommodation of your choice: The first people to book the tour will get the right to choose the cabin.
All meals onboard. We will have a range of European cuisine on board throughout the course of the trip, and there will always be access to tea, coffee and drinks from the bar.
Zodiacs for landings and shootings from water level
Professional photo guides
Guides’ services and zodiac driver’s services
Your flight to Svalbard
Hotel in Longyearbyen the night before the expedition starts for those who arrive the day before
Visa and insurance
Fuel extra charge*
Cancellation and Refund Policy
We strongly recommend you to get a Trip Cancellation & Travel Insurance after booking your trip. If you cancel and the Workshop is otherwise filled, we will refund you the full amount you have paid towards the tuition, minus a $300 service charge. If you cancel and the Workshop does not fill, then you will be refunded according to the following schedule, based on the full fee of the Workshop:
Greater than 90 days from the start date of the Workshop: full refund minus $300 service fee.
75 days or more: 75% refund
60 days or more: 50% refund
Less than 60 days: no refund
Refunds will be paid by the same method that the original payment was made.
We highly recommend that you get a travel and medical insurance. Your own domestic government medical insurance and private health scheme will not cover you whilst you are overseas.