svalbard cruise

Introduction

Join us on an exciting Svalbard photography expedition led by veteran expedition leader and wildlife spotter Rinie van Meurs. Choose from an 8-day voyage in June or a 12-day voyage in August to explore and photograph the wildlife of Svalbard.

These two unique voyages take place on Svalbard’s most comfortable small ship MV Explorer with on deck hot tub and sauna to warm up at the end of the day.

Under Rinie’s guidance we will explore the northern regions of Svalbard in search of wildlife photography opportunities. There is a good chance we will encounter polar bears, walruses, Svalbard Reindeer and a great variety of bird life.

Our small expedition vessel will allow us to get up close to nature and reach the places the larger ships can’t reach.

Svalbard Photography Tour Highlights

  • Explore on a modern, hi-end expedition vessel with just 12 guests.
  • Numerous opportunities to photograph Svalbard’s stunning wildlife from the ship and shore.
  • Get up close and photograph glaciers and sea ice.
  • Develop your photography skills in the field with a highly experienced expedition leader.
  • Encounter the wildlife which could include polar bears, walruses, Arctic foxes, Svalbard reindeer, and whales.
  • Photograph and explore the coastline by Zodiac landing craft.
  • Learn about the area from our expert Svalbard guides.

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 North-west Spitsbergen

Day 8  (June only) Disembark Longyearbyen am

Days 8 – 12  (August only) Explore the far north east of Svalbard.

Day by Day

Day 1

Longyearbyen

Our Svalbard photography tour departs from Longyearbyen, the most northerly town on earth. Upon leaving the Port of Longyearbyen 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.

.2° N, .6° E

.3° N, .7° E

Days 2

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 or Zodiac cruise 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 3-7

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

Day 8

Hornsund

If the time and conditions allow we may sail south to visit Hornsund or Belsund. Early in may the fjords are usually still full of fast ice and it is possible to encounter polar bears hunting along the ice edge.

Day 9 – 12 (August Only)

Extended Exploration of North East Spitsbergen

Our longer 12 day tour offers the opportunity to explore the farther reaches of Svalbard. If conditions allow we will sail to the north east of Svalbard and spend some extended time wildlife watching and exploring the many natural wonders there are to see in this area.

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 trips are 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.

Expert Guides

On our photography voyages we have an expedition leader, 2nd guide and photo expert. 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.

Meet Our Expert

Rinie van Meurs

Rinie van Meurs

You will be accompanied on your journey by expert photographer and expedition leader Rinie van Meurs. He is the only person who spend 31 consecutive years as expedition leader in Svalbard, and locked more than 250 cruises in his seafarers book. He has been fortunate to photograph and study many Polar Bears in the Arctic and has become passionate about these magnificent animals as well as other Arctic wildlife.

He developed a broad interest in the entire sea ice ecosystem and marine life which resulted in his book “The Future Polar Bear: The impact of the vanishing sea ice on an Arctic ecosystem”. Rinie will show you the most beautiful places in Svalbard and will give expert advice on photography in this unique environment.

Your Vessel

Expedition Motor Vessel Explorer

Step aboard MV Explorer an adventurous expedition vessel

MV Explorer is a former Danish Maritime Authority polar vessel that has been meticulously converted into a hi-end expedition yacht. She offers cruise ship comfort on a small ship with ensuite cabins and suites, an open plan lounge with large windows, hot tub, outdoor jacuzzi and a mini gym.

  • A hi-end vessel with a large lounge and observation area
  • Recently refitted to a very high standard
  • Small group size of 12 guests ensures an intimate experience
  • Former maritime vessel built for the polar environments
  • Refurbished to a high standard with warm, comfortable cabins
  • On deck hot tub and sauna
  • Large en-suite cabins with suites, doubles, twins and singles.
  • 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 Photography Tour 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 Tour w/ Florian Ledoux8 DaysMV Explorer€ 10,900€ 11,900€ 8,900€ 8,500Book
13th - 20th May 2023Svalbard Photo Tour w/ Florian Ledoux8 DaysMV Explorer€ 10,900€11,900€ 8,900€ 8,500Book
31st May - 8th June 2023Natural Wonders Cruise9 DaysMV Kinfish€ 9,500€ 8,700n/an/aBook
13th - 20th June 2023Svalbard Photo Tour w/ Rinie van Meurs8 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 Photo Tour w/ Rinie van Meurs12 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£10,000£9,300n/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

2024 dates and pricing to be announced shortly. Please get in touch to express an interest and be the first to be notified about new dates.

Cabins

Double Suite - Type A

  • For 2 Guests
  • Double bed
  • Ensuite shower and toilet
  • 17 m²
  • Located on deck 3
  • Window & door with direct deck access
  • Corner desk & chair
  • Wardrobe
  • Cabins 401 & 402

Single Suite -Type B

  • For 1 guests
  • Single bed
  • Ensuite shower and toilet
  • 11 m²
  • Located on deck 3
  • Window 
  • Desk & chair
  • Wardrobe
  • Cabins 403 & 404

Double / Twin Superior - Type C

  • For 2 guests
  • Twin or double bed
  • Ensuite shower and toilet
  • 17 m²
  • Located on deck 1
  • Portholes 
  • Desk & chair
  • Wardrobe
  • Cabins 210 & 208

Double / Twin - Type D

  • For 2 guests
  • Twin or double bed
  • Ensuite shower and toilet
  • 14 m²
  • Located on deck 1
  • Portholes 
  • Desk & chair
  • Wardrobe
  • Cabins 207, 209 & 2011
explorer deck plan secret atlas

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.

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 our Svalbard photography tour. 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:

  • Single cabins are available on MV Explorer with no supplement.
  • Option to share a twin cabin with another traveller of the same gender.
  • Option to have your own double 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.

Departure Location Longyearbyen
Arrival Location Longyearbyen
Trip StyleExploration
Physical RatingEasy
Maximum Group Size12
AccommodationSuites, Doubles, Twins & Singles
Duration8 - 12 Days
Time of YearJune or August
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