Svalbard Landscape Expedition

Svalbard - Arctic Exposure

The High Arctic is a place to inspire the imagination. Nowhere is it more accessible than the Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard, located deep within the Arctic Circle.

Follow in the footsteps of the great explorers and join landscape photographers Daníel Bergmann and Skarpi Thrainsson plus the Nozomojo expedition team, with one of Svalbard’s most experienced expedition leaders on board, on a unique voyage of discovery to one of the most fascinating photography locations on our planet. Unlike most Svalbard ship expeditions, we plan to spend extended time ashore photographing some of the extraordinary landscapes of the islands: rock formations, glaciers, and mountains. And when possible we’ll do hikes on the tundra to explore photo locations and cultural remains. The soft light in late August and early September is ideal for this kind of photography and the weather conditions, with the possibility of fresh snow, make it even more special. It is also the time of autumn storms, with their accompanying dramatic light and clouds. We will travel onboard the Antigua, a wonderfully romantic barkentine – a three-masted sailing ship and Antigua’s low decks are ideal for photography. We will take only 20 passengers on this unique expedition.

You’ll love the experience of being on an authentic triple masted barque with an experienced deck crew and all the necessary modern navigational equipment to ensure a safe and rewarding trip. We will be using Zodiac boats for our daily excursions and landings and we will spend extended time at each landing and return to a location if we feel that it requires a more in-depth exploration. Due to this slow approach to photography, we shall also limit our sailing range to the western and northern part of Spitsbergen, which is Svalbard’s largest island. Svalbard is famous for it’s access to High Arctic wildlife, such as Polar bears, Walrus and Arctic birds. But it remains a fairly undiscovered location for serious landscape photography. And although the landscape will be our primary subject we will not bypass wildlife opportunities if we encounter them.

Highlights

Landscape focus – Extended time ashore photographing extraordinary landscapes of the islands: rock formations, glaciers, and mountains.

Wildlife photography – if we encounter the opportunity we will grab it

Zodiac excursions – We’ll go on a daily excursion on Zodiacs

Transportation – We will travel on-board the Antigua a three-masted sailing ship

Professional Photography Guides – We have two of Svalbard’s most experienced expedition leaders with us

Activity Level – Easy

Duration – 11 days / 10 nights

All-Inclusive Workshop – We’ll meet you in Svalbard and we take care of the rest

SCHEDULE

2021

Date

Available

Guide

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August 29 - September 8, 2021

Available

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Payment info
  • Deposit payment $2,500 USD upon booking
  • Balance spread over two consecutive payments, in January 2021 and April 2021
  • Price for twin cabin is $9,950 USD pr. person
  • Single cabin $11,950 USD pr. person (only 8 available)

Total price: From $9,950 USD

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What's included
  • 10 days of accommodations aboard the ship
  • All meals while onboard
  • Coffee and tea
  • Daily excursions by Zodiac
  • Guiding by an Icelandic Pro Photographer and crew services
  • Instructions from highly experienced photo leaders
  • Two of Svalbard’s most experienced expedition leaders
  • Magnificent scenery and wonderful wildlife encounters
  • Lectures, briefings, and shore side interpretations
  • Image Critique & Post Processing session
  • Great company and safe and friendly travel
What's not included
  • International Flights and other transfer
  • Cancellation Insurance and mandatory evacuation insurance
  • Other drinks than mentioned above
  • Items of personal nature
  • Gratuity for your Photography guide and staff
  • Anything else not specified as included

Itinerary

Day 1 - Getting to Svalbard & Boarding the Antigua

SAS and Norwegian fly to Longyearbyen in Svalbard from Oslo. We strongly recommend you arrive in Longyearbyen at least one day before the ship departs in case of lost luggage or delayed flights. There are a number of nice hotels in Longyearbyen and day tours can be taken out of town with local operators. Please contact us for questions or assistance booking international flights (flights not included) at info@arcticexposure.is

Normally the seas we sail around Svalbard are smooth as there are sheltered fjords, but some crossings rougher seas can be expected. This is nothing to worry about though, not dangerous, but a patch or sea sickness pills are suggested if people are not used to boats.

We will meet at the dock and board the Antigua in the afternoon when everyone is settled in we’ll gather together and go over details of the expedition.

 

Day 2-4

We sail on the Antigua and go on daily excursions on Zodiacs.

As always, we will need to be flexible and adjust to the weather conditions to make the most out of the expedition and travel safely.

September is the month of the magic light. The first sunset after 4½ months occurred late in August, and now the nights are slowly getting longer. While there will be some dark hours every night, there will also be many hours every morning and evening of low golden sun, adding a hue to Svalbard that is missed during the entire summer. Winter is not here yet, but it is not far off – there is a good chance we will have snowfall on some days. Although there can be magic golden light there is generally also a lot of overcast conditions in September, which creates ideal light for intimate landscape studies. We will be watching the weather forecast closely and will make location decisions based on our experience as we know where to find shelter in different wind directions.

There will be some ship movement – pitching and/or rolling – while we travel from one major fjord destination to another, but generally, the seas are fairly calm in Svalbard, at least when compared to open ocean passages.

Day 5-6

We sail on the Antigua and go on daily excursions on Zodiacs.

Polar bears are present year-round in Svalbard. In September, the cubs of the year are about 9 months old, still with their mothers. Sometimes we meet young, newly independent bears almost three years old – they are often extra inquisitive. Some years, there is still a lot of sea ice around the archipelago in September, meaning that we find bears there.
But in recent years the trend has been for the pack ice edge to have retreated far north of the islands. In such conditions there are some bears stranded on the islands, waiting for the ice to return, and there are also bears that don’t leave with the ice but choose to spend their time on and near land, hunting seals in front of glaciers. We therefore always have to be on alert for possible Polar bear encounters. We scan potential landing sites and set up safety perimeters, which you can work within. These areas of safety are large enough to allow everyone to be working within their boundaries. But we must at all times show discipline while onshore as we are guests in the realm of the Polar bear. If we come across a Polar bear that can be safely approached with the ship or Zodiacs, without disturbing the animal, then we shall, of course, welcome that as a photographic opportunity. The same holds true for walrus and seals, on ice or in the water.

Day 7-8

We sail on the Antigua and go on daily excursions on Zodiacs.

The intention is to spend as much time as possible on land. We will use the ship’s Zodiacs to make landings on beaches or small islands where we can roam and explore. Occasionally we may do fairly long Zodiac drives until we find a location we want to explore further on foot but usually, the rides from ship to shore are short. We, the expedition team, have a lot of experience in Svalbard and have done dedicated landscape photography trips on the Antigua before, the first one in September 2018. That trips, as far as we know, was the first dedicated landscape photography
ship expedition in Svalbard that focused on the northern and western part of Spitsbergen island exclusively, rather than trying to cover as much distance as possible in search for wildlife, which is the usual aim of Svalbard based expeditions.

Day 9-10

We sail on the Antigua and go on daily excursions on Zodiacs.

We will often use the dark hours of the night to move the ship between locations so that we can be somewhere interesting to do a pre-breakfast landing. And if we have golden light in the evening we will venture out after dinner. During overcast conditions, we have the whole day to work with. In general terms, as on any photography expeditions, the weather dictates our working hours in the field. Talks will be given on wildlife, conservation and photography topics – usually, while we move the ship over long distances. And you will have the attention of two photography leaders, both native Icelanders that have worked extensively in the Arctic. This expedition is not only an opportunity to explore one of the last wild regions on the planet but also to learn and expand your photography vision.

Day 11 – Departure day

Departure day. We deboard the Antigua and say our goodbyes as we fly back home.

 

For cancellation and refund policy for our workshops, please visit the Terms & Conditions page.

The Antigua

Our ship, the Antigua, is an experience to be aboard in itself and is also a wonderful platform for a photography expedition with low decks and great visibility. With a capacity of 32 berths, we will only be filling a maximum of 20 guests plus leaders, giving plenty of room for your comfort. You’ll love the experience of being on an authentic triple masted barque with an experienced deck crew and all the necessary modern navigational equipment to ensure a safe and rewarding trip.