Svalbard 2019
Svalbard 2019
Svalbard 2019
Svalbard 2019

Svalbard 2019

Svalbard

No other expedition in the world is dedicated to spending as much time amidst ice floes and glaciers in one of the last wild and frozen frontiers on earth - Svalbard. We will take you to this spectacular and photogenic destination where the polar bear is king. We plan our expeditions in April and May in Svalbard when the ice is beginning to break up. Our expeditions are an ice lover’s dream. Besides seeing the Isbjørn (Norwegian for ice bear), we will also  encounter walruses on drifting ice floes and on shore. The walrus population has been on the increase over the past 20 years, and we will linger as long as possible to get close to these massive mammals to observe and photograph in detail. During our landings, we will search for the stocky Svalbard reindeer and the beautiful Arctic foxes. We hope to encounter various seals species as well as whales.

Svalbard is also home to some of the largest concentrations of Arctic seabirds. We will see large colonies of little auks, Brünnich's guillemots nesting, black-legged kittiwakes, ivory gulls and fulmars. With luck, we may even see puffins flying along the cliffs.

Our Wild Focus Expedition starts with spending two nights and a full day in Longyearbyen. We have an action packed day planned to get us ready for our expedition on the ship. After our first breakfast, our group will split into two. This year we are offering two adventurous and exciting options to our group.  We can choose to spend our first day on snow mobile and travel across a treeless tundra to a fjord on the east side of Spitsbergen. If our drivers are experienced enough, we may be able to venture across to the East Coast. During this adventure, we will have great chances of seeing Svalbard reindeer, seals, ptarmigan and maybe even a polar bear. The reindeer that we will see are very curious animals. If we are still and quiet they may approach us within a few feet.

In addition to snowmobiling, this year we will take up to 8 people dog sledding for the full day. We will have 2 people on each sled who will take turns at driving the sled (mushing). We will learn how to harness our dog team, control the sled, give commands and mush for the entire day. While one person is mushing, the other person is relaxing on the sled under a blanket experiencing the glistening snowy Arctic landscape while looking for wildlife. We will mush out to a glacier where we will secure our dog teams and sleds in the ice. We will then take our helmet and headlamp from our sled in order to descend deep into an ice cave inside of a glacier. We will have ample time to explore the ice cave to enjoy its beautiful ice formations in total darkness with our headlamps. The dog sled mushers will switch out after lunch to give everyone experience with dog mushing.

On both trips, we will have lunch outside enjoying the gorgeous scenery and landscapes of Svalbard. Since we can only take 8 guests mushing, there is a first come, first serve policy for sign-ups. Please note that anyone opting to go dogsledding must be in good physical condition.

After our adventurous day out on the tundra, we will return to our cosy Basecamp and enjoy a wonderful dinner together as a group to share the details of our day and to start off our expedition.

The next day we will board the M/S Freya which will be our home during the expedition. It will take us along the western side of the island of Spitsbergen. Because drift and fjord ice conditions vary from year to year, we will travel to either the southern or northern fjords to search for polar bears, our main goal. Our captain and crew are highly experienced and have traveled these arctic waters for many years.

Because we specialize in exclusive small group travel (16 passengers maximum), we have freedom and extra flexibility on our Svalbard expedition that may not be enjoyed with larger groups. We can linger as long as we like at wildlife sightings. We have time to capture the perfect light while enjoying or photographing the majestic landscapes. We will look for calving glaciers and stunning icy landscapes during our expedition. Because pack ice is dynamic and always changing, each day will bring a new adventure allowing us to have a glimpse into the life of the earlier adventurous Arctic explorers. We hope to welcome you to the Arctic's sparkling icy realm - one of the most remote, fragile and magical locations on Earth.

Svalbard is Wild Focus Expeditions’ flagship tour and usually fills far in advance. Please don’t miss this once-in-a-lifetime-experience; Svalbard should be on every adventurer’s and nature lover’s bucket list.

 

Please read the REVIEWS of our past Svalbard Expeditions

Duration
13 Days
Group Size
16 People
Price

$9,795.00

Per person sharing

Trip Registration Form
Travel Insurance

Terms and Conditions

Travel Information

Per Person Sharing, Single Supplement.

Letters correspond to points on the map in the map tab.

A

Day 1: May 1 - Arrive to Spitsbergen

We arrive in Longyearbyen, Spitsbergen, before transferring to our hotel. Overnight stay at BaseCamp Spitsbergen, where meals are on your own.
B

Day 2: May 2 - Exploring Longyearbyen

After breakfast, we begin exploring the island and its inhabitants by snowmobile or dog sled. Please send us an email if you opt to dog sled on your first day. We can only take 8 guests dog sledding and so this activity will be on a first come, first serve basis. Please note that each guest must be physically fit to mush a team of dogs.  Overnight stay at BaseCamp Spitsbergen, where meals are on your own.
C

Day 3: May 3 - Adventfjorden

After our last breakfast on shore and some relaxing time to wander around the town of Longyearbyen, we board the M/S Freya and depart the Adventfjorden at approximately 16:00. Breakfast, dinner and overnight stay on the M/S Freya is included, while for lunch we are on our own. Our ocean expedition begins now!
C

Day 4-12: May 4-12 - Svalbard Archipelago

The next nine days are dedicated to exploring the Svalbard Archipelago in search of the ice bear and other northern wildlife. We will photograph towering glaciers and sea ice in many shapes and forms. Because we chartered the entire ship, we are free to go where the light and ice take us and linger as long as we like to capture the magical light available to us for arctic photography. Breakfast, lunch, dinner and overnight stay are included on board the M/S Freya.
A

Day 13: May 13 - Longyearbyen

We enjoy breakfast on the ship before disembarking in Longyearbyen in the morning. We transfer to the airport in Longyearbyen to connect to our outbound flights home. Please book your flight out of Longyearbyen no earlier than noon.

Included

  • Accommodation for 12 nights in twin/single share room basis
  • Meals as indicated in the itinerary
  • Assistance on arrival and departure at each destination
  • Snowmobile excursion
  • Sled dog excursion
  • Zodiac excursions
  • Certified bear guards
  • Two Wild Focus Expeditions trip leaders

Not Included

  • Any expenses of a personal nature such as telephone calls, beverages, liquor and wines, etc.*
  • International airfare
  • Tips and gratuities
  • Travel/medical insurance (highly recommended)

*Beverages including liquor can be purchased in USD on the ship at the bar.

Expedition Leaders

"There is a magic about the Arctic that is difficult to describe...even for me having lived in the far North for more than two decades. You have to experience it for yourself. Svalbard is one of the best places to do so!"

The Arctic is indescribably beautiful. For centuries, explorers were drawn to it. It is one of my very favorite places to photograph and explore. Ice is a photographer’s dream. And polar bears, the ultimate predators, live in this icy landscape. This expedition is the ultimate adventurer's adventure and will give you a fantastic opportunity to see the mighty polar bear in his natural and magical habitat."

Wild Focus Expeditions

Wild Focus Expeditions provides specialized, small group photography tours. Our photography expeditions are designed to get participants into distinctive, engaging locations around the world at the optimum times for photography. Our photo tours are created by our team of photographers who want to experience and photograph the world's top wildlife, nature and traditional cultures locations.

NEWSLETTER SIGNUP

Our quarterly newsletters are the best way to stay up on the latest news and information for both our current and upcoming expeditions.