Some highlights

  • Expedition cruise for 9 days around Svalbard’s fantastically wild landscape. Price from 74 900 SEK
  • On board the traditional vessel m/s Origo, a classic from 1955 with a high cozy factor and built ice-reinforced according to Lloyd’s highest ice class
  • Only 12 participants, which gives more space in zodiacs and on board
  • Full photo focus throughout the expedition and visits to blue shimmering glaciers, drift ice and pack ice
  • Great chance to see polar bears against magnificent landscapes and along the edge of the pack ice
  • Zodiacs used for landings and better photo angles, with a maximum of 6 participants in each
  • Visit to walrus beaches with big congregations of walruses
  • At this time of the year there is midnight sun at Svalbard. This gives us many 24 hours a day of good light to photograph in
  • The Arctic fox cubs are just coming out at this time of the year and with a little luck their curiosity can provide unique photo opportunities
  • Midnight sun the entire cruise, which gives us long photo days and many photo opportunities
  • Svalbard reindeer
  • Good chances of encounters with several species of whales and dolphins
  • Close encounters with harbor seals and harbor seals
  • Best time of year to visit the phenomenal bird cliff Alkefjellet, with its hundreds of thousands of Brünnich’s guillemot and black-legged kittiwakes
  • Seabirds such as glaucous gull, northern fulmar, pomarine skua, great skua, arctic skua and hundreds of thousands of little auks in their giant colonies
  • Chance to meet the “phantoms of the pack ice” – the ivory-white, high arctic ivory gull
  • The tour leader will show you their best sites and provide photographic advice to a small like-minded group

SVALBARD
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 pointy mountains – which have given Svalbard its other name – Spetsbergen. Further more we alos find exciting Arctic wildlife here. Polar bears are perhaps the best known animal of Svalbard, but here there are also walruses, seals, reindeer, arctic foxes and several species of whales and dolphins. In July, much of the snow on land and the land-based ice have melted away, so our ship can make its way without any problems with ice conditions. At this time of the year we can often reach further up north and the pack ice there than during trips in early spring. In addition, this is usually a very good season to see polar bears, whales 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.

The bird life is very rich, with fulmars, Brünnich’s guillemot, little auk, Svalbard ptarmigan, long-tailed skua, pomarine skua, great skua, red phalarope, kittiwakes, pink-footed goose, barnacle goose, king eider, black guillemot and more. The exclusively high arctic ivory gull, the “Ghost of the Ice Pack”, is also often seen.

This time we have extended the tour to 9 days. Our ship, m/s Origo is a real veteran in Svalbard, with a high coziness factor and 12 passengers.

Arctic veterans Staffan Widstrand, who will be your photographic leader, and Jan Gyllensten, who acts as expedition leader will be hosting the cruise .

THE SHIP M/S ORIGO
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 tour, of course non-dedicated photographers can come along and have an absolutely amazing arctic experience. The fact that it is a photo tour 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.

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

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

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

NEW REGULATIONS ON SVALBARD
Wild Nature Photo Adventures have organized Svalbard photo expeditions since 2017, here focusing on Arctic wildlife and landscape photography. We have photographed polar bears, seals, walrus, reindeer, arctic fox and many other animals and birds on our expeditions here, without ever disturbing the wildlife. Our strategy has always been to spend time in the pack ice to find Polar bears in that spectacular environment. To do nature photography without disturbing nature has been at the core of our philosophy and it will certainly continue to be so.

In May 2024, the Norwegian parliament, after year-long debates, decided on a set of new environment laws for Svalbard, including new rules regarding how to behave when encountering wildlife. Detailing even the specific distances to be kept to certain species.

The new laws have jurisdiction on the Svalbard territory, which reaches out 12 nautical miles (≈22 km) from its coastline, applicable from 1st January 2025. Within this area, it will then no longer be allowed to approach polar bears at a closer distance than 500 meters during the period 1st March – 30th June, and 300 meters during the rest of the year.

Our company and our expedition leaders of course set great pride in following the rules of all territories in which we work, while at the same time doing all we can “to be on the best spots possible, at the best time, for the best possible photo opportunities”.

Since the drift/pack ice edge is a great wildlife habitat, being a natural hunting ground for fish and therefore also for whales, seals, walrus and not least, for polar bears. Wild Nature Photo Adventures will continue its strategy to spend time along the drift/pack ice edge, working to find wildlife in their natural habitat, on or along the ice, also far out from Svalbard shorelines (sometimes even as far north as 82°N), weather and ice conditions permitting.

The new laws will have some impact for all Svalbard expeditions on how to use zodiac rubber boat dinghies, not allowing them to stay closer than certain distances, if we spot a polar bear on Svalbard territory.

Regarding walrus, the new law has very little impact on the ways we already work when photographing these majestic creatures.

Please trust our experienced team leaders to do all they can within the law, to provide the best opportunities for the photos you dream of.

Fotoexpedition till isbjörnens rike, Svalbard. Fotoresa med Wild Nature fotoresor. Foto Floris Smeets
Fotoresa med Wild Nature fotoresor. Foto Henrik Karlsson
Isbjörnens rike - Svalbard. Fotoresa med Wild Nature fotoresor. Foto Henrik Karlsson
Fotoexpedition till isbjörnens rike, Svalbard. Fotoresa med Wild Nature fotoresor. Foto Frida Hermansson

Itinerary

Day 0  (7/7)
Arrival in Longyearbyen and transport to hotel on your own. Lodging can be booked on M/S Origo for this night for an extra cost.

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  (8/7) (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 (9-15/7) (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.

Day 9 (16/7) (Breakfast)
Arrival back in Longyearbyen. The tour ends after breakfast.

More information

  • PHOTOGRAPHIC LEARNING
    On all our trips we have different theoretical photography workshops. These workshops are always related to the specific trip and can be anything from teaching different photography techniques or tips and tricks for image editing to talking about image composition or preparing for special photo opportunities on the trip.

    Throughout the trip, our photography leader provides active photography advice when we are out in the field. Everything for you to develop as a photographer and take fantastic pictures home with you.

  • PHOTO EQUIPMENT
    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.

  • CLOTHING
    Proper field clothing is necessary. Consider that the conditions can be 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!
  • ACCESSIBILITY
    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.
  • PRICES AND CABINS

    Share in double cabin, shared shower / WC  74 900 SEK

    Single cabin, shared shower / WC  89 900 SEK

    Share in double cabin, own WC, shared shower 79 900 SEK

    Single cabin, own WC, shared shower 89 900 SEK  FULLY BOOKED!

    Share in double cabin with its own WC / shower 84 900 SEK

    Single cabin with its own WC / shower 99 900 SEK

    Share in superior cabin on main deck with its own WC / shower 99 900 SEK

  • INCLUDED IN THE PRICE
    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.

  • NOT INCLUDED IN THE PRICE
    Return flights to Svalbard, tips, insurance, cancellation protection, drinks (other than those served with the food) and things of a personal nature.

  • MEETING POINT
    We will pick you up at your hotel or the airport on the 8th July 2025 and drop you off on the 16th July 2025. Exact time will be given before the tour.

  • TERMS OF PAYMNET
    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.

  • PASSPORTS AND VISAS
    A valid passport is required for traveling to/from Svalbard. Svalbard is not part of either the Schengen area or the EU. This means a mandatory check of a valid travel document. When checking in for a flight, a passport is required.
  • INSURANCE
    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. For travel within the EU, we recommend that you bring your EU card, that gives you access to medical and dental care when in an EU/EES country. The card is only valid for medical or dental care thatcannot wait until arriving back home.

    NB! The EU card does not cover home flights by e.g. ambulance transport. Therefore you need an additional private travel insurance.

  • HEALTH AND VACCINATIONS
    Contact your doctor for advice.

  • THE GROUP AND LANGUAGE
    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
    NOTE: The terms and conditions for this trip differ from the regular ones in that the final payment must be made 90 days before departure. This also changes the cancellation conditions as follows. If the cancellation takes place more than 90 days before departure, an amount corresponding to the trip’s registration fee is taken out as a cancellation fee. If the cancellation is made 90 days or less before departure, no refund will be made. Note that if the cancellation takes place 90 days or less, before departure and final payment has not yet been received, the remaining amount must be paid immediately.

    Terms and conditions

Photographic leader

Staffan Widstrand, born in 1959 is a photographer and writer. Sony Imaging Ambassador.

Staffan is one of Sweden’s internationally most recognized photographers. In 2011, Outdoor Photography Magazine called him ”one of the most influential photographers in the world”. Appointed ”Wildlife photographer of the year” in Sweden and a winner of international photo competitions, such as:

Wildlife Photographer of the Year
European Nature Photographer of the Year
Emirates Wildlife Photographer of the Year
Årets Bild i Sverige
PGB Awards

Staffan has been on the jury of several international photo competitions and was one of the main jury members in World Press Photo 2013.

Published in most of the major magazines in the world, such as National Geographic Magazine, GEO, Stern, Der Spiegel, Le Figaro, La Repubblica, El Mundo, El País, Natur, Terre Sauvage, Animan, Veja Brazil, The Guardian, The Sunday Times, FOCUS, Yomiuri Shimbun och Shanghaibaserade The Bund Pictorial.

Staffan has had international solo or group exhibitions in Toronto, at the Swedish Embassy in Tokyo, at Tromsø Museum, at Bodø Museum, at the Kunst-und Ausstellungshalle in Bonn, Oslo City Hall, Finlandia Hall in Helsinki, the Swedish Embassy in Washington, in Mérida, Mexico, in Mexico City, in Salamanca, Spain, at the National Zoological Museum in Beijing, in Chengdu, Tianjin, Shanghai and Shenzhen, China, at the National Museum of Wildlife Art in Jackson Hole, the museum of Torino, Italy as well as major outdoor exhibitions in The Hague, Prague, Berlin, Madrid, Copenhagen and Stockholm. In Sweden, he has had exhibits at Kulturhuset in Stockholm, the regional museums in Kristianstad, Luleå and Malmö, at Fotomässan in Gothenburg and in Stockholm, as well as at the Skansen, Kolmården and Borås Zoos, at Hornborgasjöns Konsthall and at Bränneriet Art in Österlen.

Staffan has published 18 books, four of which have been winners of the WWF Panda book award.
A picture editor at Natur & Kultur publishers in Stockholm for 5 years, a nature tour guide and tour production manager all across the world for many years. Appointed as Visiting Professor at the Beijing Ministry of Culture Old University, and he is also one of the founders of a possible ”Wild Wonders of China” initiative.

Staffan is a member of the Swedish Nature Photographers Association (Naturfotograferna/N)

Webpage: www.staffanwidstrand.se

www.wild-wonders.com
www.rewildingeurope.com
www.de5stora.com
www.wildwondersofchina.com

    Book the tour

    The kingdom of the Polar bear - Svalbard 8th - 16th July 2025

    NOTE! When you have made your booking 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.

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    Share in double cabin, shared shower / WC 74 900 SEKSingle cabin, shared shower / WC 89 900 SEKShare in double cabin, own WC, shared shower 79 900 SEKShare in double cabin with its own WC / shower 84 900 SEKSingle cabin with its own WC / shower 99 900 SEKShare in superior cabin on main deck with its own WC / shower 99 900 SEK
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    All correspondence will by via e-mail if nothing else is specified by customer.