All images by Staffan Widstrand
THE KINGDOM OF THE POLAR BEARS
Tour dates 2020: 1-8 May
Tour dates 2021: Coming soon
Where: Svalbard (Spitsbergen)
Length: 8 days
Tour leaders: Magnus Elander & Bjørn-Anders Nymoen
Number of participants: 12 - 18
€ 4 780 euro (Share in cabin with private WC/shower)
(Registration fee 1 100 Euro)* (FULLY BOOKED)
€ 4 880 euro (Share in superior cabin on deck with private WC/shower)
(Registration fee 1 200 Euro)* (FULLY BOOKED)
€ 4 380 euro (Share in cabin, shared showers/WC just outside the cabin) (1 SPOT AVAILABLE, FEMALE) (Registration fee 1000 Euro)*
€ 4 600 euro (Share in cabin, private WC, showers just outside the cabin) (1 SPOT AVAILABLE, MALE) (Registration fee 1 000 Euro)*
€ 5 140 euro (Single cabin with shared showers/WC just outside the cabin)
(Registration fee 1 200 Euro)* (FULLY BOOKED)
€ 5 770 euro (Single cabin with private WC/shower)
(Registration fee 1 400 Euro)* (FULLY BOOKED)
Share in specified cabin and meals according to itinerary. Local guides, photo workshops/lectures, cruise around the Svalbard archipelago (exact route depend on weather and ice conditions). Transfer to and from Longyearbyens airport.
Choose cabin type and single when booking.
Price does not include
Flights in and out of Longyearbyens airport, tips, insurance, cancellation insurance, beverages, meals that are not specified in itinerary, phone and internet charges, personal items.
Longyearbyen airport. The tour starts and ends here.
How does the tour look like:
Some highlights of the tour:
A great chance to see Polar Bears in a magnificent landscape.
Visit to Walrus colonies.
Arctic foxes and Svalbard Reindeer.
Ivory Gulls and other exciting birds.
The use of Zodiacs for going ashore and for getting better angles of photography.
Glaciers and pack-ice.
The tour leader will show you their best sites and provide photographic advice to a small like-minded group.
Geographically, Svalbard belongs to Europe, but hardly resembles any other part of the continent. An arctic area, between 74 and 80 degrees north and only 600 km from the North Pole. Svalbard has fantastic environments with glaciers, icebergs and pointy mountains – which have given Svalbard it’s other name – Spitzbergen.
Apart from ice, glaciers and mountains, Svalbard also has arctic tundra, where arctic flowers bloom just during the short summer. Despite it’s isolated location, Svalbard is one of the most accessible arctic regions in the World. This is thanks to the infrastructure developed by Norway around Longyearbyen.
The archipelago has fantastic glaciers, glittering in the sunlight, midnight sun from mid April until the end of the summer, and an interesting wildlife. Svalbard is mostly known for it’s Polar Bears, but also has Walruses, seals, reindeer, arctic foxes and Whales. Arriving in May, when the landscape is still white is a great experience. Most of the snow and ice melts in the summer.
The Svalbard Reindeer roams here. It is a subspecies, adapted to the harsh winter environments. Walruses search for mussels along the beaches, whilst baleen and toothed whales feed in the rich sea currents.
Polar Bears and Walruses can be quite curious and come close. You can never be sure with wild animals, which is important to be aware of. The chance of coming across Polar Bears is good, and the backgrounds for Polar Bear photography are unique.
Our route is not set from start. As we have the use of the whole boat, we also have the freedom to plan depending on weather, ice and animal reports. The boat has Zodiacs for landing, but also for photography from low angles. We will use the Zodiacs to access areas that M/S Origo cannot get to.
Nature and wildlife are the focus of this tour.
Crew, captain and guides all have extensive experience of the arctic, and photography in these special conditions. The crew speak Swedish and English.
The M/S Origo has a capacity for 24 passengers and two guides. We will limit the numbers of passengers to 18. The ship offers six rooms with private shower and WC. Another room has a private WC and shared shower. Other rooms have shared WC and showers. The WC/showers are just outside these rooms. Beds are made and cabin cleaned daily, or as often as possible. The chef produces delicious food. Nobody goes hungry on this boat.
The photographic tour leader will hold several lectures.
During the tour there will be time for photographic workshops, e.g. covering techniques for the next day’s photography, but also looking at image composition and discussing each others images. All in order to take your photography to the next level.
Day 1 (1/5) (Dinner)
Those arriving at Longyearbyen on the afternoon flight will be picked up and transfered to the boat. Anyone arriving earlier will be picked up at their hotel. We head out from Adventfjorden at about 4 o’clock, probably heading north via Isfjorden unless anything indicates that it is better to see Polar Bears on the east side. Welcome dinner in the evening.
Day 2-7 (Breakfast – Lunch – Dinner)
Cruising, with a schedule updated daily if necessary. We are likely to head through the drift ice on the north side of Spetsbergen and Nordaustlandet, going into various fiords. Apart from Plar Bears, we hope to see Walrus and seals. The landscape will be very wintery and white. If lucky we will pass Alkefjell, with about 5000 Thick-Billed Murres. They nest on the cliffs amongst snow and ice. With the midnight sun, we will be photographing both day and night.
Day 8 (8/5) (Breakfast)
Arrival back in Longyearbyen. After a departing breakfast you will be transfered to the airport or town.
A wide range of subjects will be available to us, from landscapes to mammals and birds. Therefore it is good to bring everything from wide-angle to telephoto lenses. To increase focal length you can use a teleconverter.
Rain/snow protection is important on safaris. If you have two camera bodies, bring both in order not to have to change lenses as much.
Temperature in Svalbard can, at this time of the year, be well below zero degrees C. We recommend that you bring proper winter clothing in layers. Gloves, hats and rain clothes are a must.
Group and language
Our tours are open to all nationalities, so the group may be international. Our tour leaders speak Swedish and English.
*Terms of payment
Registration fee to be paid on registration. Remaining fees to be paid latest 60 days before the tour starts.
Contact your insurance company about insurance, including cancellation insurance. Contact your doctor about vaccination requirements.