June 21st - July 1st, 2020
Join Dan and Tanya for a 10-night voyage in Norway’s archipelago! The newly upgraded M/S Sjøveien charter accommodates only ten guests (plus eight crew and Dan and Tanya) with the luxury of each cabin having a private bathroom. It is ideal for small group expeditions to discover remote locations in the great north that are inaccessible to the larger cruise ships.
Polar bears create an unforgettable spectacle whether hunting seals, shepherding cubs along the beach, or swimming near our Zodiacs. High above the Arctic Circle, we’ll explore deep fjords, polar deserts, tundra tinged with wildflowers, and vast glaciers calving into the sea. Summer in the Arctic! On foot and by Zodiac, we’ll be on the lookout for walrus, Arctic fox, reindeer, and revel in millions of migratory birds, including little auks, guillemots, and puffin. The seas are alive with whales along with bearded and possibly ringed seals.
Meet Daniel and Tanya Cox
2020 Svalbard Photography Tour Travel Plans
What makes this tour special is that it will have a “flexible” schedule, meaning if we find polar bears we can stay with them to maximize photography opportunities. Travel with a small group on a very comfortable and welcoming boat, and go off the beaten path to remote locations that the 50-200 passenger cruise ships cannot travel to.
As with all wildlife, polar bears are not guaranteed. This trip is weather and ice dependent. Each year is different. This is a great opportunity for anyone who has always wanted to visit this region of the world.
Sunday, June 21 (D)
Arrive in Longyearbyen, Norway. Transfer to the M/S Sjøveien mid-afternoon to board the ship and head north to begin our polar expedition!
We will suggest SAS flights closer to trip time for everyone to book. Please book the suggested domestic flights to ensure you remain with the group for transfers.
Monday, June 22 – Tuesday, June 30 – 10 nights on M/S Sjøveien (B, L, D)
Spitsbergen is the largest island in the Svalbard archipelago in the Arctic Ocean, north of Norway. Very mountainous, the island of Spitsbergen (which means ‘pointed mountain’), presents all the characteristics of the polar environment. It offers stunning panoramas, gigantic glaciers plunging into the sea, steep mountains, and also flowering plains and welcoming tundras. It is home to a very diverse arctic fauna: polar bears, bearded seals, walruses, reindeer, polar foxes, whales (belugas and minke), as well as many birds such as common eiders, Arctic terns, puffins , Guillemots, mergules, bunches, geese, ivory gulls, and phalaropes.
Every day we will be in a different place, sailing along the coast with many stops to the north of the island. Apart from the first and last day, our sailings will consist of zodiac landings of a few hours—sometimes lengthened by encounters with bears, whales, or seals. We will spend our nights anchored at the foot of the glaciers or in beautiful, peaceful bays.
Notes from Tanya
We have been to Svalbard with groups on very small boats and a mid-size ship; there are positives and negatives to both options. Dan and I believe—based on our experience—chartering our own boat is the best way to have flexibility. We can adjust our schedule anytime during our journey based on what we encounter and where. We will have access to some areas large ships cannot explore.
Remember, June in Svalbard is land of the midnight sun—long days to look for bears. Our goal is to search for bears. However, it would be nice to find other wildlife and birds along the way too. We will make decisions daily based on the group’s input and adjust the schedule depending on what everyone wants to see. We will also base our decisions on the captain’s experience, his contacts with other ships, weather, and ice conditions. We want guests to be willing to put in the time to look for bears and have patience along with understanding that finding bears is not always easy or guaranteed.
Wednesday, July 1 (B)
Disembark the M/S Sjøveien for our return flight home in the evening. Please book domestic flights as shown in the Flights To Book section to ensure you remain with the group for transfers.
SCROLL DOWN TO SEE GALLERIES FROM EXPLORERS ON PAST SVALBARD TRIPS.
10 Guests Maximum
Rooms #5, 6, 7, 8 (standard room on lower level with 2 twin beds, porthole, private bath)
13,200 pp double occupancy
14,200 single occupancy
Rooms #3, 4 (standard room on main deck with 2 twin beds, window, private bath)
13,800 pp double occupancy
Room #2 (superior room on main deck with 1 double bed, window, private bath)
14,800 pp double occupancy
Add 1000 per person
All pricing quoted in USD
Please Note: If the US/Euro exchange rate drastically changes between now and then, we may have to share in this surcharge to adjust for any currency influx. We are booking almost two years out!
$2500 Per person due at time of booking
Visa, MasterCard, AmEx, Discover, or check accepted
Deposits are non-refundable. If cancellations are necessary, we require this request in writing. We will do our best to resell your space. Only if we can resell your space, we will refund (minus deposit and discounts given to sell your space). No partial refunds are possible for unused services.
June 1, 2019: $5000 per person first installment
January 1, 2020: Final installment
Check only for first installment and final payment.
Please make check payable to Natural Exposures and mail to:
810 N. Wallace, Suite E
Bozeman, MT 59715
- Accommodations for 10 nights onboard M/S Sjøveien
- Airport transfers in Longyearbyen to/from ship on scheduled itinerary days
- All meals and non-alcoholic beverages onboard ship
- All shore excursions from the ship on Zodiacs
- International flights to and from Oslo, Norway (OSL)
- Domestic flights Oslo-Longyearbyen and Longyearbyen-Oslo
- Longyearbyen transfers on non-itinerary arrival/departure days
- Airport departure taxes
- Laundry, phone calls, and other miscellaneous personal expenses
- Travel insurance
- Emergency evacuation fees/insurance
Flights to Book
Book your international flights to and from Oslo, Norway (OSL) to correspond with your Oslo-Longyearbyen domestic flights.
DOMESTIC FLIGHTS (Norway)
June 21, 2020
Depart Oslo (OSL), arrive in Longyearbyen (LYR)
Board M/S Sjøveien today, time TBA
July 1, 2020
Disembark M/S Sjøveien today, time TBA
Depart Longyearbyen (LYR), arrive in Oslo (OSL)
Travel/emergency evacuation insurance is not required for this photo tour, but we always recommend purchasing it for any trip. We recommend one or more of the following, depending on your needs:
(use code natexp)
Allianz Global Assistance
(use travel agency ID F203564)
Terms & Conditions
Natural Exposures cannot control nor is responsible for abnormal weather, natural disasters, or any other disaster that might affect the trip. Travel insurance should be purchased to cover any missed flights or medical problems that may affect/delay your travel. National Parks have the right to change our itinerary.
By booking a trip with Natural Exposures, you agree to the following CANCELLATION AND LIABILITY POLICY
Accommodations for 2020 Svalbard Photography Tour
M/S Sjøveien (meaning the Seaway) was built in Bergen in 1964 for the Norwegian Government and worked for them in various capacities. From 1979 until 1995, she was used as a training ship for mariners. Since 1995, she has been in private ownership and during the many years since, worked for the Norwegian coast guard. After being a hotel ship for the past few years, M/S Sjøveien has now been refurbished into a classic and exclusive passenger ship and started her career in Svalbard the summer of 2017.
M/S Sjøveien is a true beauty with wooden decks and vintage details. There is a lot of deck space on the main deck and there is also an excellent area on top of the bridge from where you have wonderful views of the magical Svalbard scenery.
To accommodate a maximum of 12 passengers (10 guests plus Dan and Tanya), there are eight outside cabins, all with private facilities. On the lower deck there are four twin cabins with portholes. On the main deck there are two larger twin cabins with windows and one large superior cabin with a double bed and windows. The eighth cabin is located on the upper deck and is a large superior cabin with windows. The dining area on the main deck is where you are served breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Here is also a lounge area where you can relax with a cup of tea or coffee and listen to interesting talks by the guides. There is an international crew on board who speak English and the bridge is open for visitors.
All cabins have private bathrooms.
Lower Deck: 4 cabins each with 2 twin beds + porthole
Main Deck: 2 cabins each with 2 twin beds + window
Main Deck: 1 cabin superior with 1 double bed + window
Upper Deck: 1 cabin superior with 1 double bed + window
Helpful Information for 2020 Svalbard Photography Tour
Closer to trip time, a list of camera gear suggestions will be sent to each guest along with a “goodie box” to get you prepared for the trip. Daniel will also call you to say hello and answer any camera gear questions you may have.
New to Photography?
Everyone is welcome, regardless of skill or equipment! The majority of our guests are amateur enthusiasts who love traveling and taking pictures during their vacations. Our groups are non-competitive and friendly—we’re here to have fun! This trip is perfect for the guest who wants more than just a cruise. Daniel will work with each guest individually to help them advance their photography skills. Non-photographing spouses are always welcome!
Passport and Visa
A visa is not required for stays under 90 days. Your passport should be valid for at least six months beyond your period of stay. Two empty pages are required for the entry stamp. You must be able to demonstrate sufficient funds and a return airline ticket.
There are no vaccinations required to enter Norway.
In summer the day is permanent; the sun shines at midnight. The temperatures can range between 32 and 59 °F.
There is ample storage space in your cabin on the ship.
The Ship Crew
Dan, Tanya, and eight crewmembers—captain, mate, AB, cadet, steward and chief cook, and two zodiac guides–onboard to take care of your needs.
How often will we get off the ship?
We aim to get off the ship as much as possible, depending on weather. Weather permitting we spend between one to four hours at each location. We come back to the ship for meals.
Travel insurance and medical evacuation insurance is highly recommended for all guests. We advise you have insurance for voyage cancellation to ensure you will be covered financially if you are forced to cancel your voyage due to circumstances beyond your control. We will do our best to resell your space if needed. We recommend one or more of the following, depending on your personal needs:
Global Rescue (use code natexp)
Allianz Global Assistance (use travel agency ID F203564)
Be sure any medical evacuation insurance purchased includes evacuation in Arctic regions!
Walking poles might be a good idea, especially if you have trouble walking over uneven ground. Some of the landings can be on slippery rocks or deep snow, and we may go for extended walks to see different parts of our landing point.
Computers to download your digital images are not provided. We recommended you bring a laptop computer or similar downloading device to download your images.
Internet and Telephone
There is no GSM/3G coverage outside Longyearbyen, so there is no Internet onboard the ship. However, there will be a satellite telephone onboard the ship that can be used for emergency contact only.
Special Dietary Needs
The chefs will take your dietary requirements into their meal planning and ensure you receive tasty, healthy meals. Please ensure you list any dietary requirements on your photo tour sign-up form or email them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
You should be in good general health and be able to walk reasonable distances, sometimes over uneven terrain. However, if you have problems walking on rough ground, you can enjoy the scenery closer to shore. Please notify us if you have any physical limitations.
Seasickness depends on the individual. Typically a small percentage of people get seasick on any trip and most of these people are fine after a day or two at sea. If you’re particularly susceptible to seasickness, then it’s a good idea to talk to your doctor before trip time. Bring motion sickness tablets.
As with all wild animals, we cannot guarantee you will see polar bears. However, the time of year we visit is when bears can be seen. The experienced leaders and crew are aware of the bear’s habitats and are well trained to spot these marvelous creatures in the wild.
Testimonials from Natural Exposures' Explorers
"If you ever want to travel to another country and you want to go first class, travel with Natural Exposures. They are number one in showing their guests the best time ever in the classiest way. I would recommend Natural Exposures Tours to everyone. If you want to go in style, go with NE!"
Michelle Duggan, Massachusetts
"Tanya and Dan’s logistic skills provide a seamless photo tour where one can truly enjoy the experience. With unlimited photographic opportunities Dan’s instruction has taken my photography to a higher level."
Linda Henry, Oregon
"What a trip
What a group
What a fabulous everything
To our next encounters with nature"
Maud and Leon Soriano, Florida
"I just wanted to again thank you for a wonderful week of photography and relaxation away from the office. It was a really a good group."
Sue Wolfe, Texas