High Arctic in the Warm Light
High Arctic in the Autumn Light
Svalbard Photo Expedition, April 2019

Svalbard Photo Expedition 2020
Start: April 9, 2019, Longyearbyen, Svalbard
End: April 20, 2019, Longyearbyen, Svalbard

Guides: Mike Reyfman, Dmitry Arkhipov

Tour ended
The main focus of this expedition will be Arctic winter light, landscape, and wildlife. In April the light conditions on Svalbard are magical. The length of days during our expedition increases dramatically for 30 minutes a day and by the end of our trip there will be 24 hours of daylight. Sun is still very low in the sky and golden light continues for hours. This gives us the chance to photograph landscape and wildlife in perfect light conditions.

Some fjords are frozen this time of the year and we will look for polar bears on the fjord ice in front of snow-covered mountains and blue glaciers. Raindeers and arctic foxes are in winter coats, seals and walruses are resting on the ice and birds are beginning to return to breeding grounds.

Those who have already been to Svalbard will get a new experience of traveling to the winter Arctic, which is quite unlike the one at summer and more exciting.

We are going to visit the western and northern areas of Spitsbergen at this time of the year
A high Arctic archipelago situated between Norway and the North Pole, Svalbard is a place of deep fjords, snow-capped mountains, massive sheets of ice, and magnificent polar bears. Travel under the midnight sun aboard an arctic classice-strengthened M/S Malmo in a small group, strictly limited to 12 guests, and search for the very symbol of the Arctic—the Polar bear — and observe these majestic creatures in their natural habitat.

The combination of a comfortable ship, the crew that has already made dozens of expeditions in this region, an experienced captain who knows how to approach the animals taking into account ice situation and light will give us many chances for an unforgettable hunting with a camera. Everything else is in the weather's hands.

The whole ship is at our exclusive disposal and we decide where and how long we can stay and when to dine. We use 2 zodiacs (6-8 people per boat and not 12-14 as on standard cruises) to shoot wildlife, icebergs and landscape from the water and to go ashore. 2 armed guides travel with us in case of meeting the owners of the Arctic – Polar bears. So if anybody wants to shoot landscape from the shore, there will be such opportunity.

One of the main topics of our trip is wildlife in the context of dramatic Northern scenery.

Nothing can prepare you for Svalbard. It is an incredible wilderness at the top of the world, a wildlife photographer's dream and our goal during this photo safari is to photograph and experience as much of it's beauty as possible. From polar bears and walruses to arctic foxes and whales, this photo safari promises not only unbelievable photo opportunities but memories that will last you a lifetime.

So get your cameras ready – we are going to Svalbard!
White bear on the sunset
White bear on the ice, Arctica
Green ice, Svalbard
The whale
Polar bear, Svalbard
We have favorite places on the archipelago, and always try to visit them. Nevertheless, the route depends not only on our desires but also on the current ice situation, the latest data on the whereabouts of animals and never repeats exactly.
Map of the Svalbard photo-tour
Day 1
Today we arrive to the capital of Svalbard – Longyearbyen.

The easiest way of getting to Svalbard is by taking a plane. Most of the year, there are daily flights from Oslo and Tromso to Longyearbyen. Both SAS and Norwegian have flights to Longyearbyen. Norwegian have direct flights from Oslo, while SAS have both direct from Oslo or via Tromsø. From Oslo the flight time is 2 hours and 50 minutes, and from Tromsø it is 1 hour and 40 minutes. For booking and more information, please contact SAS or Norwegian

We will meet you at airport and transfer to hotel in Longyearbyen. It's possible to arrive on April 10th just before ship will leave the dock, but we advise to come on April 9th, get acclimatized, walk along the cozy streets and buy some souvenirs and "T-shirt with bears". Longyearbyen is Northern-most capital in the world and the weather is moody here - so it's better to play safe. The first night accommodation in Longyearbyen is included.
Day 2
You can photograph landscape, arctic foxes and birds around Longyearbyen in the morning.

We board our expedition ship at 4 p.m. on April 10th and our Ice Odissey starts! This evening we drift along the splendid Ice Fjord.
Days 3-10
We are in the Arctic - the part of the world where everything is under ice movements' and weather's control. Our precise itinerary depends on many factors – bears', walruses', birds' and other animals' location and activity. The main goal of our expedition is to see and photograph wildelife and lanscape of Svalbard.

We will plan our route taking into account our captain's opinion, the weather, ice conditions and information from other ships in the area.

In the history of our voyages to Spitsbergen the route never repeated. We'll explore Western and Northern parts of the archipelago and if the weather conditions are fine we probably sail round its Northern part.

We'll also find time to discuss our footage and to listen about walruses and seals.
Day 11
Today we sail in Longyearbyen direction. We stop on Alkehornet point where we may see Arctic foxes and deer. The last stop (on the participants' request) we do at Arctic Coal trust ownership, Barentsburg.

We arrive at Longyearbyen by midnight and spend the night on board.
Day 12
Our expedition ends and the participants may go home. You can book the early morning a flight from Longyearbyen. If you decide to fly from Longyearbuen later in the day, you can store your baggage on board, but you will have to leave the ship after breakfast before 9.00 a.m. You should pick-up your bags not later than 2:00 p.m.
Mountains of Svalbard on the sunset
Svalbard landscape
  • Mike Reyfman
    is a professional nature photographer, specializing in the Polar and sub-Polar regions of the globe. Mike is a passionate traveler, teacher, and adventurer and has been leading photography tours and workshops since 2005.
    You can read more about Mike here
  • Dmitry Arkhipov
    is Russia leading nature photographer. He has been leading photography workshops in the Arctic regions of Svalbard and Greenland for a number of years.
    You can learn more about Dmitry here
Both guides will be available for photographic instruction throughout the expedition. There will be informal lectures and masterclasses on board the ship at various times throughout the expedition.


* Hotel in Longyearbyen (double occupancy);
* Transfer from the airport to hotel in Longyearbyen;
* Transfer from the hotel to harbor;
* Transfer from the harbor to airport;
* Expedition on M/S Malmo ice class ship;
* Accommodation of your choice on board*;
* All food on board;
* Zodiacs for landings and shooting from water level;
* Armed guides;
* Guides' services;

* Round-trip air ticket to Longyearbyen;
* Insurance (must have);
* Alcoholic beverages;
* Tips for the team - about $100 from each person;
* Fuel extra charge**;
    *Cabin are assigned on the "first-come, first-choose" basis.

    **In the uncertain, often volatile oil market, it is difficult to predict long-term fuel costs, and more specifically, costs at the time of the voyage. Our prices are based on the prevailing fuel rates at the time of the publication, which is well in advance of departure. While we will do everything possible to maintain our prices, if fuel prices increase significantly at or before the time of the voyage, it may be necessary to institute a fuel surcharge
    . Usually surcharge (if necessary) is not more than $250-350 per person.
    Special conditions for booking cancelation*

    • If we are informed 7 months and more prior to the expedition, deposit cost is deducted;
    • If we are informed 7 months and less prior to the expedition, 50% of tour's cost is deducted;
    • If we are informed 4 months and less prior to the expedition, 100% of tour's cost is deducted;
    • No refunds are made to participants who do not complete the expedition (or in cases where a participant withdraws from the expedition prematurely), regardless of the reason.
    Itinerary Cancellation

    WorldPhotoTravels reserves the right to cancel an itinerary before departure for any reason whatsoever, including too few participants or logistical problems such as strikes, wars, acts of God, or any other circumstances which may make operation of the trip inadvisable. All trip payments received will be promptly refunded, and this refund will be the limit of WorldPhotoTravels liability. WorldPhotoTravels is not responsible for any expenses incurred by trip members in preparing for the trip, including non-refundable or penalty-carrying airline tickets, special clothing, visa or passport fees or other trip related expenses.

    *We understand that unforeseen circumstances may force you to cancel your participation in our trip. Please let us know as soon as possible if you have to cancel and we will try to find replacement on your spot.
    The full refund will be issued if we/you will find a full-paying customer taking over your spot

    М/S Malmo
    M/S Malmö has been in service for the Swedish Maritime Administration for many years as an ice-strengthened pilot ship. She was built 1943 in Helsingborg shipyard for the Maritime Administration and has been used as a mooring service vessel for laying out buoys, for marking of fairways, refueling of Kasun light houses with oil and water, for transport of acetylene to gas light houses, and also for ice breaking and pilot training.

    This ship has a lovely patina and has been listed as a traditional ship of cultural value since 2004.

    During 2013/14 she was gently refurbished to retain her original charm. New navigation and safety equipment was installed and the vessel has passed all necessary inspections and safety checks required.

    M/S Malmö is a homely ship of maritime historical dignity, already loved by many. She is decorated in a classic style with an old fashioned Captain´s lounge and beautiful wooden decks. A perfect ship for a small group of photographers that need a lot of deck space.

    The ship was reequipped for charter expeditions in 2013.

    After the re-equipment a cozy dining room with a small bar was added, the majority of the cabins were equipped with a shower and WC. At the same time Malmo managed to preserve its out fashioned charm and fascination. In 2014 the boat began its new career as an expeditionary ship in the Arctic waters.

    An experienced Swedish team and a captain, that made hundreds of expeditions on the boats of the similar class in the waters of Svalbard, will make our voyage safe. At the same time our sea-dogs didn't lose curiosity and hunger for adventure! Comparatively low vessel draft allows us to sail into fjords and bays that are closed for big cruise ships. In such places we can unite with wonderful animal nature of the archipelago and to make unique photos! Low Malmo's sides and vast decks allow us to make photos from the right angle shooting animals even from the ship. That allows curious bears to come close to the ship and allows us to be safe at the same time. All illuminators in the ship's cabins can be opened giving us unique shooting possibilities.

    The main accommodation on board is a double cabin with facilities. All cabins have upper and lower berths. 5 out of 6 cabins have WC and a shower. There are also single and triple cabins. For more details see cabins and prices »
    European cuisine is tasty and various on board. You can always have tea, coffee and drinks from the bar.
    We won't go (or almost won't go) to the touristic sights such as the remnants of wintering unlucky explorers. There will be no crowds of tourists in red jackets in your viewfinders and nobody will scare away our funny walruses!

    M/S Malmo