Join Adam Jones on an exclusive Photo Quest to photograph Polar Bears in Svalbard!
Unforgettable and remote, Svalbard is one of the last wild places in the world. Witness the spectacle of polar bears up-close as they hunt seals on pack ice, shepherd cubs along the beach, or swim near our Zodiacs. A small, comfortable ship makes it possible to cruise close to shore and enter small fjords.
The High Arctic is best explored in August, as the pack ice recedes. From the deck there's a lot to photograph. Polar bears, walrus, seals, and even Arctic foxes haunt the ice edge, while millions of seabirds breed and raise their young on ledges and barren islands. Remote villages, icebergs and magnificent scenery and historic sites make for unforgettable PhotoQuest.
Receive first class photo instruction from Adam Jones to help you create remarkable landscape and wildlife images. Whether you are an adventurer or a photographer, join us for a once-in-a-lifetime experience with the majestic polar bear. This Photo Quest is perfect for spouses as well.
All images © Oceanwide Expeditions
Chances to encounter walruses, Arctic fox and Svalbard reindeer
Svalbard offers countless spectacular fjords and beautiful glaciers
Ice strengthened vessel proved to be ideal for exploration in remote regions
Small expedition vessel offers an intimate friendly atmosphere
Flexibility to take advantage of wildlife opportunities by using zodiacs
Small ships can’t sail in the sea-ice, where most of the bears are therefore this vessel is ideal for photographers
Day 1: Arrive in Longyearbyen (LYR), Norway
Arrive in Longyearbyen, the administrative capital of the Spitsbergen archipelago. Before embarking there is an opportunity to stroll around this former mining town, whose parish church and Polar Museum are well worth visiting. The ship will sail out of Isfjorden around 5 PM.
Day 2: Krossfjorden
Heading north along the west coast, we arrive by in Krossfjorden, where we board the Zodiacs for a cruise along the sculpted front of the 14th of July Glacier. On the green slopes near the glacier, a variety of flowers bloom, and large numbers of Kittiwake and Brünnich’s Guillemot nest on the nearby cliffs. There is a good chance of spotting Arctic Fox, who patrol the base of the cliffs, or Bearded Seal.
In the afternoon we sail to Ny Ålesund, the world’s most northerly settlement. Close to the village is a breeding ground for Barnacle Goose, Pink-footed Goose and Arctic Tern. Visitors interested in the history of Arctic exploration will want to walk to the anchoring mast used by Amundsen and Nobile before their flights to the North Pole.
Day 3: Phippsøya
We sail through Beverleysundet. Today we will reach our northernmost point at Phippsøya, in the Seven Islands north of Nordaustlandet. Here we will be at 81 degrees north, just 540 miles from the geographic North Pole. Polar Bear inhabit this region, along with Walrus and Ivory Gull.
Day 4: Nordaustlandet
We push east to reach the area of Nordaustlandet, where the Nobile expedition drifted around in 1928. There we hope to get to Alpinøya, reached by Sora in 1928, and then to the mouth of Finn Malmgrenfjord, and Albertinibukta and to climb Soraberget. From there, we have a fantastic view on the icecap of Nordaustlandet.
Day 5: Kvitøya
Today we hope to get to the rarely visited Kvitøya farthest to the east, close to the Russian territory. The island is dominated by an icecap, which leaves a small area bare of ice and snow. We will land at the western tip at Andréneset, where the Swedish explorer André and his companions perished in 1898.
Day 6: Isisøya
South of Nordaustlandet we will try to land on Isisøya - formerly a Nunatak area surrounded by glaciers. Now it is an island surrounded by the sea. Later, we sail along the front of the Brasvell Glacier, the longest glacier front in Spitsbergen. In Olga Strait we have chances to spot the elusive Greenland Whale.
Day 7: Barentsøya
In Freemansundet we plan to land at Sundneset on the island of Barentsøya to visit an old trapper's hut and then take a walk across the tundra in search of Spitsbergen Reindeer and Barnacle Goose.
Later we cruise south to Diskobukta on the west side of Edgeøya. After a Zodiac cruise through the shallow bay, we land on a beach littered with whale bones and tree trunks, which have drifted here from Siberia. We can also climb to the rim of a narrow gully inhabited by thousands of Kittiwake, Black Guillemot, Glaucous Gull. During the breeding season, the base of the cliffs are patrolled by Arctic Fox and Polar Bear, searching for young birds that have fallen from the nesting ledges.
Day 8: Spitsbergen
We start the day quietly cruising the side fjords of the spectacular Hornsund area of southern Spitsbergen, enjoying the scenery of towering mountain peaks. There are also 14 magnificent glaciers in the area and very good chances of encounters with seals and Polar Bear. We may visit the Polish research station where the friendly staff will give us insight into their research projects. Behind the station the mountains are home to thousands of pairs of nesting Little Auk.
Day 9: Ahlstrandhalvøya
Today we land on Ahlstrandhalvøya at the mouth of Van Keulenfjorden. Here piles of Beluga skeletons, remains of 19th century slaughter, are yet another reminder of the consequences of thoughtless exploitation. Fortunately, Beluga were not hunted to the edge of extinction and may still be seen locally. Indeed, there is a good chance that we will come across a pod. Cruising into Recherchefjorden during the afternoon we can explore an area of tundra at the head of the fjord where many reindeer feed.
Day 10: Return to Longyearbyen (LYR), Norway
Return to Longyearbyen and disembark for the transfer to the airport and the flight to Oslo and home.
As the number of participants is limited to maximum 100 passengers our small expedition vessel offers a friendly, intimate atmosphere. Our photography group will be limited to 16 photographers. We will spend as much time ashore as possible, combined with educational and informative lectures onboard. The coarse of the vessel can easily be changed and can have the zodiacs ready in no time for the finest cruises among the icebergs.
The vessel can safely navigate through the pack ice and remote narrow waterways.
The ice-strengthened vessel is an excellent vessel for Polar expedition cruises in the Arctic and Antarctica, providing us with possibilities to adventure in remote locations.
The vessel was built in Poland in 1989 and has the highest ice-class notation (UL1 equivalent to 1A) and is therefore very suitable to navigate in solid one-year sea ice and loose multi-year pack ice. The ship is a great expedition vessel for 100 passengers with lots of open-deck spaces.The vessel is manned by 20 highly experienced international nautical crew, 19 international hotel crew, including stewardesses, we will have 8 expedition staff (1 expedition leader and 7 guides/lecturers) and 1 doctor.
The vessel offers simple but comfortable cabins and public spaces twin porthole cabin with 2 single lower berths, twin cabins with windows and 2 single lower berths, twin deluxe cabins with windows and 2 single lower berths, superior cabins with double beds. All cabins are spacious outside cabins with a minimum of two portholes or windows per
cabin and all cabins have private shower and toilet.
The Vessel offers a comfortable hotel standard, with two restaurants, a bar/lecture room. Our voyages are primarily developed to offer our passengers a quality exploratory wildlife program, trying to spend as much time ashore as possible. As the number of passengers is
limited to approximately 100, flexibility assures maximum wildlife opportunities.
Length: 91.25 meters
Breadth: 17.61 meters
Draft: 5.8 meters
Ice class: UL1 (equivalent to 1A)
Displacement: 4575 tonnes
Engines: 6 ZL 40/48 SULZER
Speed: 12 knots (14.3 knots max)
Adam explores the world through his nature, travel, and wildlife images. His award-winning photography is widely published in magazines, posters, calendars, books, and national advertising campaigns. Adam is recognized worldwide as an outstanding stock photographer. His work has sold for editorial and commercial usage in over 30 countries. Publication credits include National Geographic Books, Time, Life Magazine, National Wildlife Federation, Audubon, Sierra Club, Disney and hundreds of textbooks. Adam teaches photography workshops around the world helping students reach their full potential in the exciting world of digital photography. He is noted for his enthusiastic, down to earth approach and his ability to communicate effectively with all skill levels.
Cotton clothing like normal t-shirts and jeans are not advisable as cotton tends to get wet
and stay wet while hiking. Bring wind and waterproof outer layers. Beware of tight clothing that leaves no room for trapped air, which is an excellent insulator. Wool, silk and some of the new synthetic fibers like polar fleece retain heat better than cotton.
The secret to keep warm is the “layer principle”. It is better to have several light layers of clothing than one heavy layer. This also gives you flexibility in your clothing so you can take off a layer if you are too warm or put another layer on if you are cold. The most important layer is the outer waterproof and windproof shell because even a light wind of 6 kph (about 4 mph) can carry away eight times more body heat than still air!
The so-called “wind chill factor” measures the increase in cooling power of moving air, whether it’s wind that is blowing or you who are moving rapidly and, in effect, creating a wind against yourself. A common complaint is “it’s not the cold, it’s the wind”, but an equally common polar maxim is “there is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing!”
You must be in good general health and you should be able to walk several hours per day on rough terrain. However, the expedition is ship-based and physically not very demanding: although we spend as much time as possible ashore, you are welcome to remain aboard the ship if you like. It is very important, in order to join most excursions, that you are able to easily get up and down the steep gangway from the ship to the water level to board the Zodiacs. Staff will assist you in- and out of the boats. Ashore it can be slippery and rocky. You are travelling in remote areas without access to sophisticated medical facilities, so you must not join this expedition if you have a life-threatening condition, need daily medical treatment or have difficulty walking.
Valid passport and visa if required. Please make sure your passport is valid for at least six months after your trip ends. Since visa requirements differ for each nationality, we ask that you check with the nearest consulates/embassies and secure visas if required.
Svalbard is connected to the telephone network on the mainland through a fibre optic cable. This ensures good coverage in Longyerabyen, Barentsburg, parts of the Isfjord area, Svea and Ny-Ålesund. Outside these areas it may be diffi cult to achieve coverage.
The Norwegian currency are used throughout Svalbard,including the Russian settlements. The most common credit cards are accepted at most of the accommodations, tour operators and in the shops. You will also find a cashpoint close to the bank in Longyearbyen
Despite Svalbard being so close to the North Pole, the archipelago has a relatively mild climate compared to areas at the same latitude. In Longyearbyen, the sun remains above the horizon at midnight and temperature only drops slightly during the night. In general temperatures in the Arctic vary from 5 to 15 °C (June to September).
$11,200 based on double occupancy.
A single supplement is available upon request.
It is highly recommended that you purchase separate travel insurance.