Rod Thomas Photography

Arctic Light - SVALBARD

17th - 27th September, 2020

  • Price: $8500 eu

  • Deposit: $2,000.00

  • Duration: 10 days

  • Location: Longyearbyen, Norway

  • Participants: 12

Svalbard, located at 78 degrees north, has a little bit of everything - massive scenic fjords from which artfully sculpted glaciers emerge to meet the sea, the high snowcapped peaks, and the  Arctic tundra covered in colourful vegetation such as mosses and lichens that the Svalbard reindeer love to feed on. It’s not uncommon to find seals or walruses resting on ice floes at the mouths of these fjords, and if we’re lucky, we’ll spot a whale or two as we sail up the west coast.

We’ll plan to stop in at the world’s northernmost civilian settlement, the research village of Ny Ålesund, which also boasts the world’s northernmost post office. At the height of the summer season, there are about 120 inhabitants working amongst the 15 permanent research stations.

It’s from here that Amundsen and Nobile initiated their courageous attempts to reach the North Pole by airship, and there are a couple of monuments dedicated to their efforts that are worth visiting.

From there we’ll continue heading north, poking into other landing sites and fjords of interest, getting out into the two zodiacs to make landings where we’ll plan hikes to stretch our legs and optimize our chances for excellent wildlife opportunities. 

We’ll be constantly scouting for the beautiful Polar Bear – Ursus maritimus in Latin – and if we find them, get as close as we can without disturbing them or putting passengers at any risk. Again, getting out into the inflatable zodiacs is an excellent way to safely observe the wildlife from proximity.

Weather and ice conditions permitting, we’ll sail into Hinlopen Strait and plan to visit Alkefjellet (‘Bird Mountain’), a series of otherworldly basalt cliffs stretching a number of kilometres in length and in some places, up to 100 meters high, (click on the underlined text to see an amazing video!) on which we’ll find thousands of nesting birds and the occasional Arctic fox hunting nearby.

Nordauslandet, Bråsvellbreen, Barentsøya, and Edgeøya are all locations that we may also explore, weather and ice permitting, and offer magnificent scenery with vast tundra which hold the prospect of continued incredible landscapes and wildlife sighting opportunities.

  • 17th - 27th September 2020 - Longyearbyen

    While there is a carefully planned daily schedule based on distances between points of interest and the location of the ice in any given season, our timetable in Svalbard by nature must be flexible.

     

    We usually begin by heading North towards the ice edge which is a great place to scout for polar bears, but that’s not the only goal. We’ll use our planned itinerary as a rough guide so that every day the conditions are maximized for the best wildlife watching opportunities, be they land or sea-based.

    Every morning your Expedition Leader will work with the bridge officers to make decisions about the day, taking into account ice situation and the weather, looking at whether Plan A makes the most sense or if Plan B, C, or D will be better for us. If we come across something amazing, we would never just pull the plug because we have something else “scheduled” for the afternoon. While the captain has final say on all decisions made, we will always check in with the group and take into account your wishes.

    Please keep in mind that our actual route will be entirely dependent on weather and ice conditions at the time of sailing. 

    Arctic Light - SVALBARD
  • WHAT IS INCLUDED ?

    • All meals whilst on board the ship, R/V Kinfish.
    • All zodiac excursions during the entire trip.
    • Any shore excursions we might do while on the trip.
    • The services of 2 expedition guides and 2 photographic guides.
    • Informative lectures about the history of the region and also Polar Bears.
    • Small ship experience that cant be matched by any other operator in the area.
    • Twin share accommodation. A single room can be had for 1.8 times the trip cost.
  • WHATS IN NOT INCLUDED ?

    • Airfares to Longyearbyen, Norway.
    • Visas if required by your country to visit Norway.
    • Travel Insurance. This is mandatory and shoudl be arrange prior to the trip.
  • TERMS AND CONDITIONS

    **  Your spot on this tour is not confirmed until we receive both a completed booking form and either the 50% deposit required or full payment at time of booking. **

     

    Cancellation Policy: 

    Deposits are non-refundable. Cancellations must be received via email. Should you need to cancel your place on the tour, we will only refund any amount over and above the deposit you have already paid.. If you cancel less than 55 days before the tour starts there will be no refund of fee or deposit. Should another participant be found to fill the vacant place we will then, and only then, refund the deposit and/or balance you have paid. Final payment is due 60 days prior to the start of the tour unless otherwise specified. Your registration is guaranteed only when we have a deposit payment. Registrations are allocated on a first come first served basis. If the workshop is cancelled by us you will receive a full refund of your booking fees. Tour itineraries may be subject to change due to weather, road conditions or any other other unforeseen circumstances.

    Travel insurance: 

    Travel insurance is MANDATORY and highly recommended for cover of unforeseen circumstances. Camera and equipment insurance is the responsibility of the individual photographer. 

    Camera experience required: 

    A modest level of photographic experience would be advisable to get the most out of this tour. Familiarising yourself with your basic camera operations is also strongly advised. Please bring camera manuals in case the tutors need to make adjustments to your camera settings. 

    Minimum numbers: 

    All tours are conducted based on a minimum of participants booking. This may vary according to the tour you have chosen. If we cancel due to minimum numbers not being reached you will get a full refund of the tour cost only that you have previously paid. Other bookings you may make related to this tour are not our responsibility and so we recommend travel insurance to cover this. We will only run this trip if we reach the required minimum number of guests.

    Guides Availability: 

    We will be assisting you to take photographs and provide tuition throughout the tour if needed. In the event of a guide being unable to attend due to illness or other circumstances beyond our control we will endeavour to provide another guide of similar experience. 

    What else do you need to know? 

    There maybe some moderately energetic walking involved to get to certain locations so please consider this related to your physical abilities. If you have any other medical conditions that might affect your enjoyment of the workshop please let us know. Evening and early morning shoots will form part of the tour. You may choose to not participate in these but we recommend that you do take part. 

    Early morning shoot times are entirely dependant on the sunrise times so schedules we set for departure will need to be adhered to strictly. It’s not fair to the group as a whole to have to wait for a late riser so we will leave exactly at the times we say.

    Please bring clothing suited to early morning or evening shoots that may be a little chilly, sturdy foot wear, hat, sunscreen and camera of course…. Like any trip away from home please bring personal medication requirements. We usually meet the evening before the workshop to have drinks and/or dine together and get to know each other. Please consider this when planning your travel arrangements. 

    Liability Limitation Statement:

    We aim to provide every participant with a safe and enjoyable experience during the tour. As there is always an element of risk associated with the outdoors and travel in general we accept no responsibility/liability for injury, death, illness, losses or additional expenses associated with tour participation. By signing the booking form you are agreeing to all the listed terms and conditions. 

    Privacy Statement: 

    The information provided by participants will not be released to any other parties.

    Trip Investment: 

    The cost of the trip is $8500 eu. A deposit of $2000 eu, or full payment plus any single supplements, is to be paid with the return of the booking form. If paying just the deposit amount with your trip registration, the remainder of the trip needs to be paid no later than 60 days prior to departure. 

    Other questions? 

    If you have any questions about this tour please do not hesitate to contact us.