Join pro photographer Roger Brendhagen on a Svalbard photo expedition onboard an expedition vessel with just 12 guests. The journey will take us up the north coast of Spitsbergen with the view to opening up as many photo opportunities as possible. We will explore frozen shores and photograph the Arctic wildlife and landscapes of Svalbard. This unique voyage takes place early in the season as Svalbard emerges from the winter. The mountains are snow-covered and the shores still frozen, offering some great photo opportunities. 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.
Svalbard Photo Expedition Highlights
- Early in the season gives us numerous opportunities to photograph Svalbard’s frozen landscapes as they emerge 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.
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
Our Svalbard Photo Expedition 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. Early in the season, our exact route will be determined by the sea ice conditions which vary year on year.
Prins Karls Foreland
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.
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.
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.
Inside This trip
Our Svalbard Photo Expedition 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 :
Photograph 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.
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 photograph an environmentally sensitive place such as the Arctic is with a small group of photographers. The new expedition cruise ships now take over 300 passengers, we believe smaller is better.
Photo Guide and Expedition Leader
On this tour, we will be accompanied by professional photographer Roger Brendhagen who will be our photography guide. Roger will provide advice to assist you in getting the best out of your photography. We will also be accompanied by an expedition leader who 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 to photograph ashore. The vessel is equipped with landing craft that can be used to shoot from. With a small group, there is room for everyone and it offers the perfect opportunity to get great shots of sea ice, wildlife and glaciers.
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 we do not cause a disturbance to wildlife on our trips.
Meet Our Experts
Roger is a Norwegian nature photographer extraordinaire specialising in wildlife photography. He is passionate about photographing nature and has extensive experience in running photo courses and workshops. His work has been featured across numerous publications and newspapers in Europe and you can see his photos in the Smithsonian National Museum in Washington. Roger is an ambassador for Nikon cameras.
Expedition Motor Vessel Villa 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 Large open deck space and raised areas for photography Expert team of crew and guides Full safety gear
Step aboard M/V Villa an adventurous expedition vessel.
Expedition Motor Vessel Villa
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
Large open deck space and raised areas for photography
Expert team of crew and guides
Full safety gear
Svalbard Photo Expedition Dates and Prices
Prices quoted are per person. Twin and double cabins are based on double occupancy.
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.
Arnesen (Category C)
A twin cabin with bunk beds, sink, wardrobe, seating, window and shared toilet and bathroom with Andree.
Boyd (Category C)
A twin cabin with bunk beds, sink, wardrobe, seating, window and shared toilet and bathroom with Shackleton.
Amundsen (Category B)
A twin cabin with bunk beds, sink, wardrobe, seating, window and en suite bathroom.
Andree (Category C)
A twin cabin with bunk beds, sink, wardrobe, seating, window and shared toilet and bathroom with Arnsen.
Shackleton (Category C)
A twin cabin with bunk beds, sink, wardrobe, window and shared toilet and bathroom with Boyd.
Peace Of Mind Coronavirus Booking Guarantee
We understand that there is a lot of uncertainty with travel due to the coronavirus so we have added a peace of mind guarantee for all bookings made for 2021. If your trip is interrupted due to coronavirus travel restrictions you will be able to move your trip to a future booking free of charge. At this point, we believe that all our trips will be able to operate normally in 2021, and we have put this in place as an added reassurance so you can have full confidence when booking. You can read our full statement 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 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.
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.
If you have any questions about this
Svalbard Photo Expedition please get in touch
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.
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.
50 Svalbard Facts
Discover some of the interesting facts about Svalbard before you visit.
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.