“This was the best holiday of my life”, I heard one of the participants say. For two years I had planned this expedition to the northern parts of Svalbard. I was so grateful to have brought such a motivated group of photographers on board of our vessel, the MS Origo.
We sailed for 10 days through icy waters, fjords and ice, along enormous cliffs and glaciers. All along, we scouted for wildlife. And we were rewarded! We saw 16 polar bears, many walruses, lots of birds, Arctic foxes, bearded seals, whales … We photographed during the best light, from the boat or the zodiac, with a low view over the water or ice.
Svalbard is such a magical place. It’s the ‘easiest’ destination to go so far north and be close to arctic wildlife. We sailed on a small boat and were free to go where we wanted, so we remained as far as possible from the big ships. Svalbard seemed to be all ours, and many animals let us come close because our boat and our group were so small. With no strict timing for breakfast, lunch or dinner, we seized every opportunity that came our way, day and night!
I’ll never forget the look on those faces when I entered the dining room and shouted ‘walrus in sight!’. Everyone left their warm dinner plates and ran out! Or when I awoke everybody to come see another polar bear. The nights were short, but that’s what the arctic is about during summer: long days and magnificent light. Sleep is for the weak!
The entire trip was a success, and I know everybody was thrilled about the experience. I’m planning more trips to Svalbard. If you’re interested, send me a message and I’m sure I will convince you to join us! 🙂