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 journey by another night and day to be able to reach a little 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 Frida Hermansson 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 us who are the guides on the trip have extensive experience in both the Arctic and photography under the special conditions that prevail. The crew is Swedish-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!)

Fotoexpedition till isbjörnens rike, Svalbard. Fotoresa med Wild Nature fotoresor. Foto Jan Gyllensten


Day 0  (24/9)
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  (25/9) (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 2-8 (26/9-2/10) (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 (3/10) (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  69 900 SEK (FULLY BOOKED!)

    Single cabin, shared shower / WC  79 900 SEK (FULLY BOOKED!)

    Share in double cabin, own WC, shared shower 74 900 SEK (FULLY BOOKED!)

    Single cabin, own WC, shared shower 84 900 SEK (FULLY BOOKED!)

    Share in double cabin with its own WC / shower 79 900 SEK (FULLY BOOKED!)

    Single cabin with its own WC / shower 99 900 SEK (FULLY BOOKED!)

    Share in superior cabin on main deck with its own WC / shower 94 900 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 25 September and drop you off on the 3rd October 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. With reservation for that government decisions because of the somewhat unclear Covid-19 situation may mean various limitations that we do not know of today.

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

    All travel regulations according to Covid-19 must be fulfilled.

    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

Frida Hermansson
Lives in Roslagen. Frida has had a fascination and love for animals and nature since childhood. She also works as an AD and graphic designer and that has shaped her image creation.
In her photography, she is curious and constantly strives for new ways to portray her subjects, whether it is animals, landscapes or graphic details.

Frida has had several photo shows and exhibitions and also participated in SVT’s Mitt i Naturen, “The art of photographing nature”.
Frida’s pictures are published in Fotosidan Magasin, in articles and reports on Natursidan.se, the book “Experiences in Stockholm’s Nature”, and local press.

As a photographic guide on trips and workshops, Frida is passionate about sharing knowledge and inspiration, and the goal is always for the participants to come home with new knowledge, memorable experiences and really good pictures.

Website: www.fridahermansson.com

    Registration for waiting list

    The kingdom of the Polar bear - Svalbard 25th Sept - 3rd October 2024/h3>
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