Cruising the Arctic waters around Svalbard we’ll seek out incredibly photogenic polar bears amongst the drifting ice. There is plenty more to keep our shutter fingers busy including huge flocks of birds that breed in the area during the summer months and other wildlife such as walruses, Svalbard reindeer, Arctic fox, bearded seals, ringed seals, humpback whales, fin whales, blue whales and belugas.
Longyearbyen is the small capital of Svalbard and the point where our voyage begins. Our first night will be spent in a hotel which provides flexibility in choosing flights and allows for any delayed arrivals.
You’ll meet your photography leader and the rest of the group this evening for a brief chat about the tour.
The morning is free for you to explore a little of Svalbard, or to relax after your journey. There are a couple of interesting museums in the town, and there is the opportunity to take short walk on Longyear Glacier and hunt for the fossils that are being slowly revealed as the glacial ice creeps relentlessly along.
In the late afternoon we board our ship and set sail through Isfjorden fjord where we’ll start to get a sense of the spectacular scenery that we’ll find during our expedition.
Today we head north along the coast of Spitsbergen, the largest island in the Svalbard archipelago. The scenery will consists of icy mountain peaks, ice floes and glaciers; the kind of place polar bears love to call home. We’ll make use of our zodiac boats to go ashore when a photographic opportunity presents itself, and get as close as we can to the wildlife we find.
Please note that the actual route we take throughout the tour may vary due to ice conditions.
The further north we go and the farther from civilisation, the more surreal the landscape and more frequent the wildlife encounters. On this day we should start to see some of the whales that inhabit the waters around Svalbard. With any luck that will include the largest animal to have ever lived – the blue whale. With the long days and good light, the photography opportunities are almost endless, and to make sure we don’t miss any our experienced crew is always on the look out, ready to alert us of any whale or polar bear sightings.
Depending on the ice conditions we’ll reach the island of Nordaustlandet today which is a particularly good spot for photographing walruses. There are roughly 3,000 of these impressive tusked marine mammals across the whole archipelago.
Just off the coast of Nordaustlandet lies Storoya. This is a haven for walruses and also a great place for polar bears and we’ll take all the time we need to get those perfect shots.
The Hinlopen Strait is a narrow stretch of water between Spitsbergen and Nordaustlandet. Its towering cliffs are home to large bird colonies, mostly Brunich’s Guillemots, and walrus and polar bear sighting are also very likely in the 150km long Strait.
The 30km long Liefdefjorden, or ‘love fjord’ is located in the north of Spitsbergen. The landscape here is quite varied with glaciers, red limestone rock, ice floes, and the famously photogenic Monaco Glacier. The area is also a haven for thousands of seabirds such as eiders, kittiwakes, and terns that come to the area to breed, and numerous seals and walruses.
We spend another day cruising around the Liefdefjorden Fjord, making sure that we take full advantage of the incredible light and all the landscape and wildlife photography opportunities.
Today we sail out of the Liefdefjorden Fjord and start making our way back along the north coast of Sptisbergen.
Heading back towards Longyearbyen, we stop at Prins Karls Forland where we can get up close with walruses on the beach. We also stop at the Alkehornet area where there are cliff faces full of nesting birds. We’ll go ashore here searching for Arctic fox and Svalbard reindeers, before continuing back to port where we expect to arrive around midnight.
Our trip ends after breakfast in Longyearbyen.
Our photography holidays and tours are designed to maximise the chances of getting great images by visiting photogenic sites at times that are good for photography. This cruise uses a relatively small vessel with a maximum of 12 passengers and is ideal as it means we can get close to wildlife and manoeuvre in to the best spots. Our exact route is flexible so that we can take full advantage of the photography opportunities available and allow for specific ice and weather conditions.
Our holidays are planned for dates when the weather is expected to be suitable for photography; however, with an ever more unpredictable climate there is always the possibility that we’ll experience poor conditions. In this case we’ll give what advice we can to help you get good results from your photography, and we may make changes to the tour to try to make the best of the situation.
Please note that on sea voyages in the arctic regions, the weather, sea currents and ice conditions can impact the exact route we take.
Visas are not required by UK and EU citizens, all other nationalities should consult their local embassy or consulate. All visitors to Svalbard, including Norwegian citizens, are required to bring a valid passport.
The joining time is 18:00 on day 1 at the hotel reception, your photography leader will meet you there.
We can arrange transfers for you at the beginning and end of your tour at a cost of £29 each way.
It is condition of booking that you are covered by adequate travel insurance. Please ensure that your insurance company is aware of the itinerary and activities that are involved in the tour. If you are bringing expensive photography equipment we recommend that this is insured too.
The following photography equipment is recommended:
• DSLR or mirrorless camera
• Wide angle lens
• Mid range zoom
• ND filters
• Remote shutter release
• Sufficient memory cards and storage devices
• A waterproof camera bag and lens covers are also a good idea
On this trip we’ll experience very cold conditions. Apart from being uncomfortable, there is a danger of frostbite. The key is to wear three or more layers. This allows for perspiration, keeps you warm, and protects against the wind. It also means that layers can be removed when temperatures change.
The Inner Layer
The first layer should keep you dry by taking perspiration away from the skin. It should be tight fitting and good materials are wool or synthetic fabrics. Cotton should never be worn close to the body, and preferably not at all.
The Middle Layer (or Layers)
This layer provides insulation and retains body heat without restricting movement. Suitable materials are polar fleece or wool. We recommend you have two or more middle layers available for particularly cold days; several thin layers are generally more effective than one thick layer.
The Outer Layer
The main function of this layer is to offer protection against the wind and water, but ideally it should also to let out excess body heat. Breathable materials such as Gore-Tex are recommended. Impregnated cotton materials should be avoided
Your Head and Face
You should always wear a hat and the best materials are synthetic fibres or wool, preferably wind proof. It is best if your hat covers as much of your head as possible and it should allow you to wear a ski mask, which is also required to protect from frostbite.
Hands and Feet
Hands and feet are very sensitive to the cold and it is very important to keep them dry and warm. Again, layering is recommended. Use inner gloves made of synthetic fibres, silk or wool, and use wind and waterproof mittens as the outer layer; mittens are much warmer than gloves and you should have a spare pair with you.
You should wear inner socks of synthetic fibres covered with wool or synthetic socks. A pair of solid rubber boots is required when going ashore on the Zodiacs and will be provided for you.
Rooming is based on a twin share basis, although twin cabins are limited on this tour. If you book a twin but you are travelling alone you will be sharing with another single traveller of the same sex. Single cabins are available at an extra cost. If you desire privacy, are a light sleeper or a loud snorer then we’d recommend you book a single. Some cabins have en suite showers and some share facilities. We can advise you at the time of booking if cabins with en suite facilities are available.
Your first night’s accommodation is on bed and breakfast basis, but all meals are included while you are on board the ship, along with drinking water. You’ll need money to cover lunch on day 2, and any drinks other than water while on the cruise.
|14 Jul 2019||25 Jul 2019||From £7925||N/A||Renato Granieri||Limited|
|13 Aug 2019||24 Aug 2019||From £7925||N/A||Renato Granieri||Limited|
Available: Places available to book
Guaranteed: Trip is guaranteed to run
Limited: Only a few places left
Full: No more spaces available on this departure
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Tel: 020 8242 6618
Hours: Mon – Sat 09.00 – 17.00 Sunday CLOSED
Photography Holidays Ltd is a limited company registered in England and Wales. Registered No: 10731934. Registered office: 481 Green Lanes Palmers Green London N13 4BS.