This workshop is fully booked. It is no longer open for registration.
31 July – 10 August 2019
Over 800km north of the Norwegian mainland is the archipelago of Svalbard; an icy, inhospitable wilderness like nothing you will have seen before.
This is the end of the world as we know it, and a place where there are more polar bears than people. But despite the climate and remote nature of life this far north, there are many residents perfectly happy to have settled here. So what’s the secret? To find out, this photography tour offers an incredible Arctic experience enjoyed through the lens of your camera. Over the course of eleven unimaginable days we will open your eyes to the pristine landscapes, diverse wildlife, and effortless serenity of Svalbard.
This photography expedition coincides with Svalbard’s opening sunset of the season, as the permanent summer sun of the Arctic reluctantly settles just below the horizon for the first time. Early September was a very deliberate choice for our visit. This far north the seasons are dramatic and long-lasting, and the summer sun doesn’t offer good conditions for photography. September marks the end of that extended summer, and this 11-day adventure in the Arctic will take full advantage of light conditions perfect for photography. Colors are more vivid, natural saturation is high, and our images will radiate the clarity and silence we come across at every turn. With incredible light guaranteed, the landscapes and wildlife will provide an array of iconic scenes throughout this photo tour.
The landscapes and natural life of Svalbard are dynamic and constantly changing. Because of this we need to be equally flexible. In order to make the most of every possible opportunity, for the duration of this tour we’ll have full use of a private ship. With an experienced crew, local guides, and professional photographers, we’ll glide through the serene Arctic waters in search of perfect pictures.
Naturally, our immediate focus will be on the animal kingdom and the wondrous Arctic landscapes. Spitsbergen, where we will be spend much of our time, literally means ‘deep fjords’, which gives you some clue as to what to expect in terms of scenery. Surrounded by muscular mountains, glaciers, and polar bears, we will spend time each day scouting out the best scenes in this ever changing landscape. We will have to make adjustments during the trip, taking into account the ice situation and weather conditions, but having a relatively small group ensures that everyone’s photography priorities will be taken into account.
Another advantage of traveling in a smaller group is increased mobility. Our little ship is unlikely to scare away any of the local wildlife, and it’s agile enough to go where larger vessels can’t. We also have a Zodiac craft that can be launched at a moment’s notice. This will come in handy when we need to navigate through tight spaces to capture the perfect shot, get up close and personal to the animals, or take a quick trip to the shore.
Our timetable is more or less free. Ideally we want to go to North Spitsbergen, but in itself that won’t be our goal. The main aim will simply be to venture around the area and get as many stunning shots of the Arctic as we can. We’ll make a point of searching for and shooting polar bears, and with any luck we should also come across fur seals, whales, walruses and arctic foxes.
Plans will change according to conditions, and you never know what photographic wonders we might come across. Because of this we will draw up a timetable at the beginning of everyday based on the information we have. One thing’s for sure: You will need your telephoto. 500 mm and 600 mm lenses will be a good choice for a close-up and 300 mm, 70-200 for a long shot and an extender.
Arrival & Departure
SAS fly regularly to Longyearbyen through Oslo and Tromso. We recommend that you arrive at Spitsbergen at 14:00 on the day before our journey begins. We suggest the following hotels, and ideally we will meet the night before for a meal.
Radisson Blu Polar Hotel is one of the biggest, most well-placed hotels in the area.
Basecamp Trapper’s Hotel is good, colorful and quirky.
Our ship, the M/S Malmö, is under the control of a captain and crew with years of experience sailing through Svalbard’s waters.They are also actively working to man responsible expeditions that respect the fragile environment in this part of the world.
The exact route of our expeditions will depend on ice, weather conditions, group preferences and wildlife encounters. But having said this, the ship’s captain will have the last word on when and where the ship will sail and when it is appropriate to put passengers ashore.
On day one (31st July) we will meet in the administrative capital of Svalbard, Longyearbyen. The group will board our ship in the afternoon around 16:00 (4PM) and this Arctic photography tour will begin.
From then on we will set sail into a world where natural forces dictate many of our decisions. Our exact itinerary depends on several factors, from weather to pack ice to the group’s preferences. What we can say for sure is that every day we will plan to make several landings with the Zodiac, scouting out the best possible scenes with the help of our expert photography guides.
Day 1 – 9
The following are some examples of highlights we will do our best to visit on this Svalbard expedition
On the night of our tenth day we will sail back towards Longyearbyen. We will arrive to Longyearbyen around 11 PM. (23:00)
In the morning at 9AM we will disembark and begin the journey home, laden with unforgettable memories and loaded memory cards!
Workshop Full Details
The majority of the accommodation on board our ship comes in the form of double cabins with facilities. All cabins have upper and lower berths, and 5 out of 6 have a WC and a shower. There are also single and triple cabins. So in total there are three types of cabin to choose from.
- 10500 USD double/twin with shared facilities (6,2,1)
- 11500 USD double/twin with private facilities (4, 8, 11, 15)
- 9500 USD triple with private facilities (3)
90 days prior to the workshop starting date.
After you signup, we’ll send you a recommended camera gear and packing list. Please pay special attention to things that we say are absolutely required.
- Expedition on M/S Malmo ice class ship;
- Accommodation of your choice: The first people to book the tour will get the right to choose the cabin.
- All meals onboard
- Zodiacs for landings and shootings from water level
- Professional photo guides
- Guides’ services and zodiac driver’s services
- Your flight to Svalbard
- Hotel in Longyearbyen the night before the expedition starts for those who arrive the day before
- Visa and insurance
- Fuel extra charge*
We will have a range of European cuisine on board throughout the course of the trip, and there will always be access to tea, coffee and drinks from the bar.
Cancellation and Refund Policy
If you cancel and the workshop greater than 120 days from the start date of the workshop, and the seats does not fill, we will refund you the full amount you have paid, minus a $200 service charge.
If you cancel and the workshop within 120 days or less from the start date of the workshop, and the seats does not fill, the fee is non-refundable.
This workshop is fully booked. It is no longer open for registration.