PHOTO EXPEDITION IN EARLY SUMMER


IN COOPERATION WITH VEGA EXPEDITIONS

Traveling to Svalbard is an unforgettable experience. Due to its inaccessibility, nature has remained pristine and the fauna is unique. The archipelago exerts a great attraction on nature lovers and explorers, many of whom didn’t survive its harsh environment in the past. Today, exploring the islands is easier. An unforgettable experience for any photographer and adventurer!

 

Tour dates

27 June – 6 July 2021

 

Group Size

14 people

 

Condition

Easy to moderate, comfortable, cold!

 

Book Before

1st of December 2020

Schedule

Day 1
Departure: flight to Longyearbyen, where we check in to the hotel. Being present one day before the departure of the ship is highly recommended, to avoid trouble with cancelled flights or delays. The extra day gives you a great opportunity to experience daily life in the high Arctic.

Day 2 – 8
We embark the MS Freya, which will be our home for the next 8 days. You will explore one of the worlds wildest and most beautiful areas, making daily landings and discovering Arctic wildlife. This is an expedition, so ultimately our route will be determined by wind, weather, ice and the presence of wildlife. Patience and flexibility are the keys to success as we strive for the ultimate Svalbard experience!

Day 9
After breakfast, we check out of the ship at 9 AM.


Great Conditions

During early summer, there is a lot of sea-ice around the north of Svalbard and fjords are still covered with fast ice. Breeding birds arrive and are in full display. The beautiful light of the midsummer sun enables you to scout and take photographs all night long.

We explore the waters around Svalbard with an ice-strengthened ship, ideal for Arctic expeditions. Sailing into ice-covered fjords and spending lots of time in the pack-ice, you are sure to get amazing photo-opportunities.


Wild Nature

Svalbard is without a doubt one of the purest and wildest places in Europe. Remote, yet easy to reach, you set foot on the archipelago after flying across the Barents Sea. Usually departing from Oslo or Tromsö, you can already admire the snow-covered peaks, glaciers and frozen fjords from the air. Very few people venture to the north of the islands in early summer. This trip is for those who look to make unique images in one of the most unspoiled parts of the world.

The waters surrounding Svalbard are our playground. After we lift our anchor and get the engine running, the itinerary depends on nature and climate. The presence of wildlife, the weather and the ice conditions are unpredictable, so patience and flexibility are the keys to a successful expedition!


Accommodation and transport

The MS Freya is the perfect vessel for Arctic photo-expeditions: strongly built, spacious inside and ideally sized on the outside. The ships contains 11 comfortable cabins for 14 participants, so most travellers have a single cabin. The ship has one of the lowest decks available and offers plenty of observation space for all.

Prices:
– Single cabin: 77 800 Norwegian kroner (NOK) 

– Shared cabin: 69 800 NOK
– Cabin 3: 85 500 NOK
– Private cabin for couple: 82 000 NOK each

We assign cabins on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Two strong, very large Zodiacs are used for our landings, so everybody gets plenty of space for their lenses. As we travel in a small group, we remain flexible and base our planning on the best light conditions and wildlife sightings. Be ready to meet those polar bears in extreme close-up!


Unique wildlife

Svalbard boasts some spectacular species, some of which you can’t photograph anywhere better than here! One of our main goals are polar bears, so we spend a great deal of time photographing them on pack-ice and in front of blue glaciers. We will meet walruses and several other species of seal, Svalbard reindeers, Arctic foxes, Svalbard ptarmigans, the enigmatic ivory gulls and many more.

Whales come back to Svalbard at this time, and birds such as little auks, geese and waders start to breed. Most of these animals show little fear for humans and can be photographed from up close, always in a stunning winter landscape.


Photography

Everyone is welcome on this photo tour, whether you are a beginner or a pro. Taking pictures is not a prerequisite, as long as you love adventure and have a lot of patience. As for the photographic equipment: any kind of lens will get you good results here.

We base our planning on the best photo opportunities on deck, aboard the Zodiac or on land. Count on me to answer any questions, inspire you to try out new techniques and point out fresh perspectives. Come and explore!


Climate, clothing and gear

Warm and waterproof clothes are essential on this trip, as we will be outside for many hours in sub-zero temperatures. You will receive a thorough briefing about how to dress warm and what kind of clothes to bring. We can expect temperatures varying from -5°C to 5°C, wind-chill factor not included! Aboard the ship, you can relax in the warm lounge where hot drinks are available around the clock.

Protecting your camera equipment from the cold, salt and snow will be very important. We will be happy to show you how we keep our gear up and running in the harshest conditions.


Experienced guides

One of the keys to success on our Svalbard expeditions are the guides. This trip is lead by Oscar Westman from Sweden and myself. We both have extensive experience, having undertaken many photo-expeditions in the polar regions. We are qualified to drive Zodiacs in difficult conditions and know where to position the boats to get the best light angle, background and distance.

With two professional guides, count on unmatched flexibility both in the Zodiacs and on land. And with two rubber boats, count on more space for you and your equipment!

 


SPOT LOCATION


INCLUDED

Professional guidance, all meals and nights aboard the MS Freya, hot drinks, daily landings and excursions by Zodiac, lectures onboard and ashore, booking fees.

NOT INCLUDED

Flights to and from Longyearbyen, hotels in Longyearbyen before and after the boat trip, soft drinks, alcoholic beverages, cancellation insurance, travel insurance (make sure it covers Arctic regions such as Svalbard!), purchases of personal nature, gratuities.

 

TESTIMONIALS


THESE PEOPLE JOINED ME ON ONE OF MY TOURS. MY GRATITUDE GOED OUT TO THEM FOR THEIR TRUST!
  • I certainly recommend a trip with Yves. He’s not only an excellent photographer but also an excellent tour guide. He’s very social, speaks a lot of languages and is very pragmatic and hands-on. He takes care of his people during the entire trip.
    Carl Verstraelen, Belgium
  • I undertook no less than 16 (!) photo trips with this guy, starting in 2012. Why? All I can say is that I have a lot of beautiful images. Yves provides all the right photo opportunities and my skills have increased considerably. Everything I expect from a trip as a photographer is there. Just see for yourself and book a trip, you won’t regret it!
    Julien Herremans, Belgium
  • Yves knows a lot about Svalbard! He is very helpful, has expertise of photography and equipment, loves a good joke and is a very kind person.
    Alex Boel, Belgium
  • I met Yves in Norway. His humor and optimism was infectious! He gives the best of himself and brings out the best in you as a photographer. Travelers get lots of space to do their thing!
    Regi Popelier, Belgium
  • Yves has lots of patience with his group and plenty of knowledge about wildlife and landscape photography.
    Wim De Baets, Belgium
  • We join Yves every year since we first met him! Hiss social skills, his knowledge of the environment he explores, his possibility to adapt to changing situations and the fact that he will never put his team in danger: trips with Yves are smooth and hassle-free!
    Bert Van Der Krieken & Kristien Van Acker, Belgium
  • We always delight in traveling with Yves. He does his best to satisfy the travelers every single time and is very responsible for the group. The trips are always perfect!
    Pascale Carrette & Bas Talpe, Belgium

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