Between northernmost Norway and the North Pole lies Svalbard, often also called Spitsbergen, an arctic wilderness that fascinates, with sea ice, glaciers, mountains and polar tundra. Despite its isolated location in the Arctic Ocean, 657 km north of Nordkap in Norway and over 1,000 km from the nearest airport in Norway, Svalbard is the most accessible high arctic area in the world, thanks to the infrastructure that Norway has built around, above all, Longyearbyen. The archipelago has both fantastic glaciers that glisten in the sunlight, midnight sun from mid-April to late August and exciting Arctic wildlife. Polar bears are perhaps best known for Svalbard, but here there are also walruses, seals, reindeer, arctic foxes and several species of whales and dolphins. In autumn, most of the snow on land and the land-based ice have melted away, so that the boat can often proceed without major problems with ice conditions. In this way, we can often reach further up towards the pack ice than during trips in early spring and summer. In addition, this is usually a very good time of year to see polar bears and walruses.

Svalbard is also home to the small-grown and hardy Svalbard reindeer, a subspecies of its own, adapted to the extreme winter climate. In the summer, the arctic fox hunts where there are birds, and in autumn and winter it follows the polar bears. Along the northern shores, walruses forage for clams, and baleen and toothed whales hunt in the rich sea areas along the continental shelf, where ocean currents swell.

In Svalbard, polar bears and walruses are often curious and can get very close. At the same time: with nature and wild animals you never know. You have to be aware of that.

This time we have extended the tour to 10 days to be able to travel a little bit further. Our ship, m/s Origo is a real veteran in Svalbard, with a high coziness factor and 12 passengers.

Arctic veteran Erland Haarberg acts as expedition leader and Floris Smeets will be your photographic leader.

For this tour, we charter the entire ship M/S Origo with 24 berths, but we limit the number of participants to 12. Origo was built in 1955 at Finnboda shipyard in Sweden, on behalf of the Swedish Maritime Administration, as an ice-reinforced pilot ship and lighthouse keeper. The ship has two zodiacs, each with room for 12 people. Although this is strictly a photography trip, of course non-dedicated photographers can come along and have an absolutely amazing arctic experience. The fact that it is a photo trip means that we spend the time we need to get a chance for good photos. Often this means a little more time with the motifs. We postpone meals if necessary; that is, if we have good subjects and good light, it takes precedence. Polar bears and walruses naturally have the highest priority.

The travel route is never completely decided in advance. Our tentative plan is to head northeast. Since we rent the whole ship, we have the freedom to plan the expedition as we want, based on weather, wind, current ice conditions and reports of polar bears in particular. Nature and wildlife are at the center of this trip. The crew, the captain and our guides on the tour have extensive experience in both the Arctic and photography under the special conditions that prevail. The crew is Swedish and English speaking and the participants can be from several countries. The ship is perfect for photography. The chef on board usually offers exciting and very good food. No one has to go hungry.

Lectures will be given by the tour guides. We will look at the participants’ photos and come up with positive photo criticism. And we, as leaders, will of course assist the participants with the necessary help and camera technical and photographic advice.

Main deck

1 superior double cabin (2 lower beds) up on deck with private WC / shower. (FULLY BOOKED!)

5 cabins (with upper and lower bunkbeds) with private WC / shower. (FULLY BOOKED!)

1 cabin (with upper and lower bunkbeds) with private WC and shared shower. (FULLY BOOKED!)

2 cabins (with upper and lower bunkbeds) with shared shower / WC. (FULLY BOOKED!)

Fotoresa med Wild Nature fotoresor. Foto Henrik Karlsson


Day 0  (25/8)
Arrival in Longyearbyen and transport to hotel on your own. NOTE: This is one day before the travel arrangement begins, to be sure not to miss the ship’s departure. We will organize and offer a guided tour in Longyearbyen’s surroundings in the evening or early in the morning the next day, for those who want, for an additional price.

Day 1  (26/8) (Dinner)
Pick-up at the respective hotel in time for check-out, transport of the luggage to the ship and then free time in Longyearbyen until it is time for the ship’s departure, after 16.00. Then we sail out of Adventfjorden, and via Isfjorden we probably head north, if we didn’t have better indications to reach polar bears on the eastern side via the southern route. Welcome dinner on board.

Day 2-9 (27/8-3/9) (Breakfast – Lunch – Dinner)
Crusing, with a schedule updated daily if necessary. We fully adapt to current and upcoming weather, ice conditions and wildlife sighting reports. We will most likely cruise north of Svalbard and the northeast. In addition to polar bears, we also hope to meet walruses, whales and seals. So this year the walrus colonies are bigger. Photography as long as there is good light, both late evenings and early mornings. Sunrise between 06.40 and 07.40 and sunset between 17.40 and 18.40. Good to have time during the dark part of the day to sort photos, attend lectures and photo shows and also manage to sleep!

Day 9 (4/9) (Breakfast)
Arrival back in Longyearbyen. The tour ends after breakfast.

More information

    As we will be able to photograph a range of different subjects, from landscape, plants, people, mammals and birds, we recommend a range of lenses from wide-angle to telephoto. A wide-angle zoom, e.g. 24-70 mm and a tele-zoom, e.g. 70-200 mm, 80-400 mm or 200-500 mm will give the best opportunity for a range of subjects.
    A longer prime telephoto lens, e.g. 500 mm or 600 mm is very useful for bird and mammal photography. To ”increase” focal length, you might use a teleconverter, or a camera with a smaller sensor.

    It is important to protect your gear from snow, rain and saltwater splashes. Good waterproof covers for your camera bag or rucksack. Maybe a waterproof sack for all your gear whilst on the zodiacs?

    If you have two camera bodies, bring both. Tripods can be good for photography and film-making ashore. Bring plenty of memory cards and storage space, because more photos are taken on these tours than most people think.

    Proper field clothing is necessary. Consider the conditions as similar to a Scandinavian winter. Hooded down-parkas are great. We will be borrowing insulated buoyancy overalls onboard, and these must be used when in the zodiacs. They are also great for watching from the ship, and everyone will have their overall hanging outside their cabin. Woolen sweaters (preferably) or fleece, with several layers (thin, mid and thick layer) will allow you to regulate your temperature. Large mittens, preferably with a woolen inner mitten are recommended. Warm, insulated boots (e.g. wool-lined Nokian boots), skidoo boots or warm winter-lined hiking boots (e.g. Sorel or Meindl) are great. Arctic boots can be purchased in Longyearbyen. Some landings can be so-called wet landings, stepping out of the zodiac into up to knee-deep water. A telescopic hiking pole can be useful ashore. A warm hat (or fur cap) and sun-glasses against the strong sunlight. Thermal underwear in merino wool are great and are strongly recommended. A double layer of woolen socks, one thick and one thin. No need for elegant clothing. Indoor shoes or slippers onboard. Swimwear – there might be an opportunity for an ice-bath!

    Both the boat, use of zodiacs and the nature means that the nature of the trip is a bit limiting in the event of severely reduced mobility. Contact us at the slightest doubt.


    Share in double cabin, shared shower / WC  75 900 SEK (FULLY BOOKED!)

    Single cabin, shared shower / WC  89 900 SEK (FULLY BOOKED!)

    Share in double cabin, own WC, shared shower 83 900 SEK (FULLY BOOKED!)

    Single cabin, own WC, shared shower 98 900 SEK (FULLY BOOKED!)

    Share in double cabin with its own WC / shower 88 900 SEK (FULLY BOOKED!)

    Single cabin with its own WC / shower 108 900 SEK (FULLY BOOKED!)

    Share in superior cabin on main deck with its own WC / shower 99 900 SEK (FULLY BOOKED!)

    Single superior cabin on main deck with its own WC / shower 129 900 SEK (FULLY BOOKED!)

    Share in double cabin according to booking, meals according to program, photo lessons, special lectures, cruise where the exact route depends on ice conditions and weather.

    Return flights to Svalbard, tips, insurance, cancellation protection, drinks (other than those served with the food) and things of a personal nature.

    We will pick you up at your hotel or the airport on the 26th August and drop you off on the 4th September 2024. Exact time will be given before the tour.

    The registration fee, 30 % of the total price of the tour, is paid via invoice in connection with registration. The remaining amount is paid no later than 100 days before the trip. The terms of this and our other voyages when we charter an entire ship deviate from our usual terms in that the registration fee is slightly higher than 20% and the date for final payment is a little earlier (normally we have 60 days before departure).

    Payment will be in Swedish crowns (SEK). Amount in Euro and US dollars mentioned above are just reference amounts.

    If you are an EU citizen travel within the EU or to the Schengen countries Norway, Switzerland, Iceland and Lichtenstein, you must always bring your passport. When checking in for a flight, a passport is required.

    For citizens outside of the EU please check if you need a visa to enter Svalbard.

    Contact your insurance company about travel insurance and cancellation insurance. We always recommend travel insurance that covers medical transports both at the destination and for transport home.

    Contact your doctor for advice on vaccinations. Also check any requirements for medical tests for entry into the country.

    Our tours are open to all nationalities, which means that the group can be international.
    The tour guides on our trips speak Swedish and English.

    Terms and conditions

Photographic leader

Floris Smeets, born 1986 in the Netherlands. Living in Norway since 2010. Since 2014, Floris has been working full-time with nature photography, guiding and as a workshop leader.
He has a great passion for guiding and loves to share his knowledge with the participants at workshops.

Floris has a strong focus on the Norwegian nature and especially animals and landscapes. He always works with great respect for animals and nature and thinks it is very important that pictures are taken without disturbing the animals or changing the environment. With his pictures, he not only captures the beauty of nature, but in a way where the pictures tell a story.

Floris is the Sony Europe Imaging Ambassador. His images have been published in a wide range of magazines and exhibitions.

Floris is a licensed guide in Dovrefjell National Park and has many years of experience camping under really challenging winter conditions. Floris speaks English, Norwegian, Dutch and German.


    Registration for waiting list

    The kingdom of the Polar bear - Svalbard 26th Aug - 4th Sept 2024

    NOTE! When you have made your registration you will immediately get a confirmation e-mail. If you don´t get the confirmation e-mail please check your spam e-mails or contact us by telephone, +46705 89 13 18.
    Your name*


    Zip code, city and country*

    Telephone number*

    Your e-mail address*

    All correspondence will by via e-mail if nothing else is specified by customer.