Thursday 28 November 2019

Photographic Expeditions See Norwegian Arctic in The Best Light

#expeditioncruising .

Late season voyages to Svalbard in the Norwegian Arctic offer ideal light conditions in which novice and expert photographers alike may capture images of the unusual icy landscapes and captivating wildlife.  Specialist polar tour operator Swoop (tel:  0117 369 0296; is offering two 10-day, small-ship expeditions to the Svalbard archipelago during September 2020 to take advantage of the amazing light.  Both trips are for just 12 guests each and both are accompanied by special photographic guides.

September is the last month in the Svalbard season, when the period of 24-hour sunlight has passed, leaving visitors with fewer daylight hours but a greater contrast in the light conditions provided by the sunrises and sunsets.

The outline itinerary for Svalbard – a Small Ship Itinerary – which, naturally, has to be flexible according to ice and weather conditions – aims to include several stops of interest during the voyage.  They hope to include the northernmost international scientific research village of Ny Alesund, as well as Bird Mountain, where thousands of nesting birds can be seen, and Bourbonhamna off the west coast of Spitsbergen, which is popular with beluga whales.

Each day of the expedition the photography guides will maximise the opportunities to spot wildlife, assessing the climate and often taking zodiac excursions in to massive fjords, closer to stunning, sculpted glaciers or in order to access the flower-covered Arctic tundra.

Every day the group will scout for polar bears, both on land and on the ice and, with a stable population of between three and four thousand, there’s every chance that they will be successful.  Other wildlife may include reindeer, seals, walruses and the odd Arctic Fox.

Departing on 7th September 2020, guests will be accompanied by Ben Osborne, a wildlife and landscape photographer for more than 35 years, who has worked regularly for the BBC – including on documentaries such as Life in the Freezer, Planet Earth and Blue Planet – and who is also a qualified Polar Tourism Guide and experienced photography coach.

Travellers who choose the second Svalbard expedition cruise departing on 17th September 2020, will be joined by two expert photography guides, Norwegian Tommy Simonsen and Australian, Rod Thomas.

Tommy has been travelling to and photographing Svalbard since he fell in love with the destination 20 years ago and his knowledge of the archipelago is, arguably, unrivalled.  Rod also brings a wealth of photographic experience, having lead groups for the past seven years to destinations as far and wide as Slovenia and the US, Norway and New Zealand.

The photographic guides will be on hand throughout to give advice on how best to photograph the glorious polar Autumnal scenes in a warm glow as the sun sits low in the sky.

Both of Swoop’s Svalbard photographic expeditions depart from and end in Longyearbyen.  Passengers travel on board the newly-refurbished R/V Kinfish, an ex-research and rescue vessel with all the comforts of a larger ship but small enough to navigate narrow inlets that are inaccessible to the bigger cruises, giving it an air of exclusivity.

Prices start from £7,420pp based on two people sharing a twin cabin and include the 10-day cruise as outlined, all meals on board, plus wine and beer with lunch and dinner, expedition guides and zodiac excursions.

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