Arctic Adventure

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A 5-day nature-watching and photo holiday to Svalbard 

- wander among polar bears, blue whales and fjords this Summer 2020.

Location          Svalbard, Norwegian Arctic

Dates                 Trip 1: 7th - 13th June 2020 - 2 SPACES LEFT        

                      Trip 2: 13th - 19th June 2020 - NO SPACES

Cost                £2450 single / £2350 supplement incl. flights!  

                            What's Included

Group Size        Maximum of 6 participants per trip 

This trip is perfect for photographers and nature enthusiasts who want to see the amazing wildlife that the Arctic has to offer. Places are limited to ensure the best experience for everyone.

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Trip Overview

Lying halfway between Norway and the North Pole, Svalbard is a wild land of glaciers and tundra, making it an irresistible destination for the artist or traveller inspired by nature. Unlike larger commercial tours, we will base ourselves for 5 full days in one location, the charming town of Longyearbyen, to make the most of its unique landscapes and help you get stunning images of walruses, whales, seabirds and our resident foxes!

Highlights of our stay in Longyearbyen will include:

  • Staying in a traditional timber cabin, with friendly huskies and eiders as our neighbours

  • Boat-trip and landing visit to a Walrus colony

  • Whale watching in the fjords - with high chances of Blue Whale, Beluga and rarer whales

  • Close encounters with Arctic Foxes on our own private property

  • Photograph Red-Throated Divers and tundra birds at nest and with chicks

  • Birdwatching on the lagoons for iconic Arctic species

  • Visits to nesting seabird colonies of Little Auk and Brunnich's Guillemot

  • Excursion to the town of Pyramiden, with good chance of Polar Bear on the glaciers 

 

Activities are tailored to whatever animals are active at the time of day, as well as to weather/light conditions and participant preferences. Each day we will discuss options on how best to maximise your artistic and wildlife viewing opportunities. 

 

All local outings and day excursions are optional, allowing for relaxed exploration and more intrepid creative sessions under the midnight sun! With 24 hours of daylight and many animals to see within minutes of our lodge, we can make repeat visits to sites to get the best out of our subjects. 

Your Guides

Paul Collins

Paul is an award-winning nature photographer, featured in British Wildlife Photography Awards and Scottish Nature Photography Awards. He regularly leads workshops in the UK, Italy and Svalbard.

Mattia Cialoni

Mattia has a particular fondness for bears and wolves, and regularly runs excursions to track these animals in his homeland of the Italian Abruzzo.

 

Our Base

Unlike other more expensive Arctic tours, we will stay in one location so that you can deeply discover this unique environment over time. For the duration of the holiday, you will be based in a prime location for the best local wildlife and cultural opportunities. Staying at a cosy timber lodge (once a miners' cabin!) in the town of Longyearbyen, you'll have arctic foxes, ptarmigan and reindeer as your friendly neighbours, allowing endless opportunities for artistic inspiration or to enjoy the view. 

The cabin is equipped with private bedrooms, a communal kitchen, lounge area, bathroom and washing facilities, plus heating and wifi. This will suit those looking for the memorable and comfortable Svalbard experience of cabin life.

 

Just a short stroll from Longyearbyen centre with cafes, restaurants, gift shops and the North Pole Museum, as well as some of our favourite photo locations.  

Birds

Mammals

  • Arctic Fox

  • Reindeer

  • Walrus

  • Bearded Seal

  • Ringed Seal

  • Polar Bear

  • Blue Whale

  • Beluga Whale

  • Humpback Whale

  • Fin Whale 

  • Minke Whale

  • Bowhead Whale (Rare)

  • King Eider

  • Common Eider

  • Long-Tailed Duck

  • Svalbard Ptarmigan

  • Red-Throated Diver

  • Grey Phalarope

  • Red-Necked Phalarope

  • Little Auk

  • Brunnich's Guillemot

  • Common Guillemot

  • Puffin

  • Arctic Skua

  • Glaucous Gull

  • Ivory Gull (rare) 

  • Sabine's Gull (rare)

  • Kittiwake

  • Arctic Tern

  • "Blue" Fulmar

  • Purple Sandpiper

  • Pink-Footed Goose

  • Barnacle Goose

  • Snow Bunting

In addition to the typical species, on our trips we have seen some very rare birds such as Broad-Billed Sandpiper (the first for Svalbard), American Snow Goose and Steller's Eider. The area has also been visited by Blue-Winged Teal, American Golden Plover, Great Bittern, Great White Egret, Solitary Sandpiper, Lesser Yellowlegs, Baird's Sandpiper, Bonaparte's Gull, Franklin's Gull, Ring-Billed Gull, Black Tern and Yellow-Browed Warbler. 

 

What might you spot? 

 

Birds Of The Tundra

 

You will have abundant opportunities to capture images of a dazzling variety of birds on the tundra lakes during the daytime and under the midnight sun. Unlike other photo tours, we will make the most of these golden hours of day to open creative possibilities for vibrant portraits. 

These sessions are great fun and allow tremendous chances to photograph stunning bird portraits and breeding behaviour at very close range in flight and at water level, without need for a hide - many birds come very close! Paired with a backdrop of snow-capped mountains, there's no place quite like it! 

Photographable Species: King & Common Eider, Red-Throated Diver, Grey & Red-Necked Phalarope, Long-Tailed Duck, Arctic Skua, Pink-Footed Goose, Purple Sandpiper, Dunlin, Reindeer

Mountains

 

We will also make a couple of visits to the mountains to spot ptarmigan in the snow. As these are so close to our accommodation, it is easy to head up into the lower peaks at short notice. Males look fabulous with their red eyebrows and white coats whilst the softly patterned females allow for a more subtle photography approach in the tussocky grass. 

Photographable Species: Ptarmigan, Snow Bunting, Purple Sandpiper, Pink-Footed Goose, Barnacle Goose, Reindeer

Walrus Safari - Optional Boat Trip