svalbard cruise

Introduction

Step onboard an expedition vessel for this Svalbard photography tour with photographer Rick Tomlinson as we journey north to explore and photograph the Arctic wildlife and landscapes of Svalbard. This unique voyage takes place in April as Svalbard emerges from the winter. This tour takes place on a warm and comfortable expedition vessel with just 12 guests. The exact route will be determined by the sea ice conditions which is all part of the spirit of adventure of exploration.

Are you looking for a longer tour? We also run a 9-day Natural Wonders Photo Tour.

Svalbard Photography Tour Highlights

  • Early in the season gives us the opportunity to photograph Svalbard in its frozen state as it emerges from the winter.
  • Explore the frozen North-west of Spitsbergen with a good chance of encountering polar bears.
  • Develop your photography skills in the field with a highly experienced Arctic photographer.
  • Learn about the area from our expert Svalbard guide.
  • Encounter the wildlife which could include polar bears, walruses, Arctic foxes, Svalbard reindeer, and whales.
  • Photograph and explore the coastline by Zodiac landing craft.
  • Comfortable, and intimate ice-strengthened expedition vessel.

The Voyage

Day 1 Welcome aboard! Depart Longyearbyen pm
Day 2 Prins Karls Foreland
Day 3 Sea Ice
Day 4 North-west Spitsbergen
Day 5 North-west Spitsbergen
Day 6 North-west Spitsbergen
Day 7 Ny-Alesund
Day 8 Arrive Longyearbyen am

Day by Day

Day 1

Longyearbyen

Our Svalbard photography tour departs from Longyearbyen. Upon leaving the port we will say goodbye to civilisation for the next 8 days to explore the rugged coastline, searching for landscape and wildlife photography opportunities at every stage. As we sail north we are likely to encounter glaciers and sea ice which make the perfect photo subjects. Our exact route will be determined by the sea ice conditions which vary year on year.

.2° N, .6° E

.3° N, .7° E

Days 2

Prins Karls Foreland & Sea Ice

As we leave the Isfjord we will keep a good lookout on deck for whales and other marine life that is common in this area. We have frequently encountered whales including blue and humpback whales, belugas, and walruses. We plan to land on the island of Prins Karls Foreland and do a short hike to a walrus colony. Here we will spend some unhurried time observing and photographing the walruses as they swim and haul out onto the beach.

Days 3-6

Sea Ice and North-west Spitsbergen

We will sail as far north as possible along the west coast of Spitsbergen keeping a lookout for wildlife including polar bears that inhabit the area. Our ultimate plan if the conditions allow is to venture up to the edge of the sea ice and spend some time there searching for polar bears that use the sea ice to hunt from. The sea ice itself is a mesmerising photography subject and in calm conditions, it can be possible to launch the landing craft to cruise in between the ice. We will then explore the frozen north-west coast travelling as far as the ice will allow us in search of photography opportunities.

.5° N, .4° E

.5° N, .3° E

Days 7

Ny-Alesund

As we head back south towards Longyearbyen if the ice conditions permit we will visit the scientific research settlement of Ny Alesund, the most northerly settlement on earth. We will explore the area around Kongsfjord and sail as close as we can get to one of Svalbard’s largest glaciers on the Lillyhook fjord for some great photo opportunities.

Day 8

Longyearbyen

Our Svalbard photography tour ends back in Longyearbyen. After our final breakfast we will say our goodbyes and disembark at the port after making new friends and sharing an exciting photography adventure together.

The above itinerary is a guide only. A part of any Arctic adventure is the flexibility to take advantage of the weather and ice conditions. Our expedition leader will make sure you see as much a possible.

.2° N, .6° E

Inside This Trip

Our Svalbard photography tour is aimed at anyone with a passion for exploring the Arctic with a small group of like minded individuals on a comfortable small ship cruise and include :

Amazing Wildlife

We will visit areas where walruses haul out, encounter reindeer and Arctic foxes on land, observe whales and other marine life and explore coasts where polar bears are known to roam.

Stunning Scenery

We will encounter mighty glaciers, cruise tranquil steep-sided fjords and spend time outside exploring the beautiful untouched wilderness.

Expedition Vessel With 12 Guests

We believe the best way to experience an environmentally sensitive place such as the Arctic is with a small group of travelers. New expedition cruise ships now take up to 350 passengers, we believe smaller is better.

Expedition Leader and Guide

An aspect of our journeys is to learn about the place you are visiting. Our onboard guides are the core of what we do and will share their passion and knowledge of Svalbard throughout the trip. We offer the best guide to guest ratio available.

Zodiac landing craft for shore landings

Shore landings are the essence of every expedition and your guides will take you exploring on a daily basis. The vessel is equipped with landing craft that can be used to reach remote beaches so you can experience the wilderness firsthand.

Climate Compensated

Caring for the environment is what we do. For every trip we run we plant trees in Greenland to offset the emissions. As a member of AECO, we follow strict guidelines to ensure minimal disturbance to wildlife and natural sites.

rick-tomlinson-profile

Rick Tomlinson
Photography Guide

Rick is a marine photographer specializing in yacht racing, expedition photography and workshops. His work has featured in National Geographic and he has extensive shooting in the Arctic and Antarctic.

Your Vessel

Expedition Motor Vessel Villa

expedition vessel villa

Step aboard M/V Villa an adventurous expedition vessel

Join an adventure on a real expedition vessel. Villa is a former research vessel with an ice-strengthened hull that has been recently converted into a passenger ship that can accommodate 12 guests in tasteful cabins.

There is a large viewing area located on the bridge level which is perfect for viewing Svalbard’s stunning scenery from the warm. She features a large dining saloon, small library, wine cellar and a reading room.

Crewed by a team of experts with decades of experience navigating Arctic waters, she is a the ideal vessel for guests looking to go on a real expedition to hard to get to polar regions.

There is accommodation for 12 guests across 6 comfortable cabins with ensuite and shared facilities located next to the cabins. She is equipped with Zodiacs for shore landings and exploring.

  • Fast and capable ice strengthened expedition vessel
  • Small group size of 12 guests ensures an intimate experience
  • Former research vessel built for the polar environments
  • Refurbished to a high standard with warm, comfortable cabins
  • Equipped with 2 x zodiacs for shore landings
  • Large open deck space and raised areas for photography
  • Expert team of crew and guides
  • Full safety gear
See Vessel

Svalbard Cruise Dates and Prices

Prices quoted are per person. Twin and double cabins are based on double occupancy.

Date

Trip Name

Duration

Vessel

Cabin A

Cabin B

Cabin C

Cabin D

 
6th - 13th May 2023Svalbard Photo Tour8 DaysMV Explorer€ 10,900€ 11,900€ 8,900€ 8,500Book
13th - 20th May 2023Svalbard Photo Tour8 DaysMV Explorer€ 10,90011,900€ 8,900€ 8,500Book
31st May - 8th June 2023Natural Wonders Cruise9 DaysMV Kinfish€ 9,500€ 8,700n/an/aBook
13th - 20th June 2023Natural Wonders Cruise *8 DaysMV Explorer€ 10,900€ 11,900€ 8,900€ 8,500Book
27th July - 6th August 2023Natural Wonders Cruise11 DaysMV Kinfish€ 11,500€10,700n/an/aBook
5th - 18th August 2023Svalbard Pioneer14 DaysMV Origo€ 14,700€ 13,300€ 12,600n/aBook
6th - 16th August 2023Natural Wonders Cruise11 DaysMV Kinfish€ 11,500€10,700n/an/aBook
7th - 18th August 2023Svalbard Expedition12 DaysMV Explorer€ 18,300€19,900€14,900€13,500Book
16th - 25th August 2023Natural Wonders Cruise10 DaysMV Kinfish€ 10,600€9,800n/an/aBook
25th August - 3rd September 2023Natural Wonders Cruise10 DaysMV Kinfish€ 10,600€9,800n/an/aBook

Date

Trip Name

Duration

Vessel

Cabin A

Cabin B

Cabin C

Cabin D

Cabin E

 
6th - 13th May 2023Svalbard Photo Tour8 DaysMV Explorer£9,500£10,400£7,700£7,500n/aBook
13th - 20th May 2023Svalbard Photo Tour8 DaysMV Explorer£9,500£10,400£7,700£7,500n/aBook
31st May - 8th June 2023Natural Wonders Cruise9 DaysMV Kinfish£8,200£7,600n/an/an/aBook
13th - 20th June 2023Natural Wonders Cruise *8 DaysMV Explorer£9,500£10,300£7,800£7,500n/aBook
27th July - 6th August 2023Natural Wonders Cruise11 DaysMV Kinfish£9,900€10,700n/an/an/aBook
5th - 18th August 2023Svalbard Pioneer14 DaysMV Origo£12,320£11,200£10,500n/an/aBook
6th - 16th August 2023Natural Wonders Cruise11 DaysMV Kinfish£10,000£9,300n/an/an/aBook
7th - 18th August 2023Svalbard Expedition12 DaysMV Explorer£15,900£17,200£12,900£11,700n/aBook
16th - 25th August 2023Natural Wonders Cruise10 DaysMV Kinfish£9,200£8,500n/an/an/aBook
25th August - 3rd September 2023Natural Wonders Cruise10 DaysMV Kinfish£9,200£8,500n/an/an/aBook

Date

Trip Name

Duration

Vessel

Cabin A

Cabin B

Cabin C

Cabin D

Cabin E

14th - 23rd July 2022Svalbard Explorer 10 DaysPolar Pioneer € 10,800€ 9,800€ 8,800€ 7,800€ 6,900Book
15th - 24th July 2022Natural Wonders Cruise10 DaysMV Villa € 9,900€ 9,400€ 8,900n/an/aBook
2nd - 11th August 2022Natural Wonders Cruise10 DaysMV Villa € 9,900€ 9,400€ 8,900n/an/aBook
20th - 29th August 2022Natural Wonders Cruise10 DaysMV Kinfish€ 10,600€ 9,800n/an/an/aBook

Date

Trip Name

Duration

Vessel

Cabin A

Cabin B

Cabin C

Cabin D

Cabin E

14th - 23rd July 2022Svalbard Explorer 10 DaysPolar Pioneer $12,600$11,500$10,300$9,200$8,000Book
15th - 24th July 2022Natural Wonders Cruise10 DaysMV Villa $11,600$10,900$10,300n/an/aBook
2nd - 11th August 2022Natural Wonders Cruise10 DaysMV Villa $11,600$10,900$10,300n/an/aBook
20th - 29th August 2022Natural Wonders Cruise10 DaysMV Kinfish$11,700$10,800n/an/an/aBook

Date

Trip Name

Duration

Vessel

Cabin A

Cabin B

Cabin C

Cabin D

Cabin E

14th - 23rd July 2022Svalbard Explorer 10 DaysPolar Pioneer £9,300£8,400£7,500£6,700£5,900Book
15th - 24th July 2022Natural Wonders Cruise10 DaysMV Villa £8,500£8,000£7,500n/an/aBook
2nd - 11th August 2022Natural Wonders Cruise10 DaysMV Villa £8,500£8,000£7,500n/an/aBook
20th - 29th August 2022Natural Wonders Cruise10 DaysMV Kinfish£8,900£8,300n/an/an/aBook

The Cabins

MV Villa sleeps 12 guests in 6 well appointed cabins.

Nansen (Category A)

A suite with 2 lower twin beds, en suite toilet and shower, sitting area and window.

Amundsen (Category B)

A twin cabin with bunk beds, sink, wardrobe, seating, window and en suite bathroom.

Arnesen (Category C)

A twin cabin with bunk beds, sink, wardrobe, seating, window and shared toilet and bathroom with Andree.

Andree (Category C)

A twin cabin with bunk beds, sink, wardrobe, seating, window and shared toilet and bathroom with Arnsen.

Boyd (Category C)

A twin cabin with bunk beds, sink, wardrobe, seating, window and shared toilet and bathroom with Shackleton.

Shackleton (Category C)

A twin cabin with bunk beds, sink, wardrobe, window and shared toilet and bathroom with Boyd.

Bathroom

Bathroom

Deck Plan

villa deck plan
Peace Of Mind Coronavirus Booking Guarantee

We would like to ensure our guests about our risk free booking policy.

As travel returns to normal we would like to ensure you we will do everything to make sure your trip goes ahead as planned.

If your trip is canceled by us you can rebook on another departure free of charge or receive a full refund with no questions asked.

If you can’t enter the departure country due to covid travel restrictions we will offer you a free rebooking on a future departure.

You can read our full policy here.

Payment Options & Information

We offer payment via the following methods:

  • Credit card
  • Payment by bank transfer

Please let us know at the time of booking your preferred method.

A 30% deposit is taken at the time of booking with the final 70% payable 90 days prior to departure.

We highly recommend you take out comprehensive travel insurance at the time of booking that also covers cancellation.

Solo Travellers

Solo travellers are welcome on all our voyages. We often host solo travellers, particularly on our photo voyages so the chances are you won’t be the only one. We offer the following accommodation options:

  • Option to share a twin cabin with another traveller of the same gender.
  • Option to have your own cabin for an additional supplement. Please contact us for this option as the price varies depending on trip and availability.
Booking terms

This trip is operated by Secret Atlas and is subject to the Secret Atlas terms and conditions of travel. You can read the full booking terms here.

Trip notes and what’s included / excluded
Departure Location Longyearbyen
Arrival Location Longyearbyen
Trip StyleExploration
Physical RatingEasy
Maximum Group Size12
Accommodation6 x Twin cabins
Duration8 Days
Time of YearApril
Included
Not Included

If you have any questions about this Svalbard photography tour
please get in touch

Useful Information

Longyearbyen Travel Guide

All the information you need to plan your trip including how to get to Longyearbyen, arrival information, places to stay, and activities to do before your cruise.

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New To Expedition Micro Cruises?

Find out all about the experience of travelling on an expedition vessel with 12 guests and how it compares to other cruises.

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50 interesting Svalbard facts to inspire your visit

Svalbard is one of the most fascinating and unique places on the planet. Discover some of the interesting facts about Svalbard.

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What Our Customers Say

On each journey we welcome customers from all corner of the globe, with a variety of different ages and backgrounds all united in their passion to experience what the Arctic has to offer

Pan – Business Executive from Italy

‘This is the closest you can come to a real expedition. We saw glaciers seals, whales, walruses and polar bears’

From an early age Pan dreamed of visiting the Arctic. At the age of 42 he made that dream come true by joining Secret Atlas on an expedition micro cruise.

Annie – Interior Designer from the USA

‘The micro cruise experience felt like being on your own private boat. The crew were fantastic’’

Annie had always wanted to go an expedition in Svalbard and joined us as a solo traveler..

All Svalbard Cruises