svalbard cruise

Introduction

Step onboard an expedition vessel with photographer Rick Tomlinson as we journey north to explore and photograph the Arctic wildlife and landscapes of Svalbard. This unique voyage takes place early in the season as Svalbard emerges from the winter. The mountains are snow-covered and the shores still frozen, offering some great photo opportunities. This tour takes place on a warm and comfortable expedition vessel with just 12 guests. The exact route will be determined by the sea ice conditions which is all part of the spirit of adventure of exploration.

Highlights

  • Early in the season gives us numerous opportunities to photograph Svalbard’s frozen landscapes as they emerge from the winter.
  • Explore the frozen North-west of Spitsbergen with a good chance of encountering polar bears.
  • Develop your photography skills in the field with a highly experienced Arctic photographer.
  • Learn about the area from our expert Svalbard guide.
  • Encounter the wildlife which could include polar bears, walruses, Arctic foxes, Svalbard reindeer, and whales.
  • Photograph and explore the coastline by Zodiac landing craft.
  • Comfortable, and intimate ice-strengthened expedition vessel.

The Voyage

Day 1  Welcome aboard! Depart Longyearbyen pm

Day 2 Prins Karls Foreland

Day 3 Sea Ice

Day 4 North-west Spitsbergen

Day 5 North-west Spitsbergen

Day 6 North-west Spitsbergen

Day 7 Ny-Alesund

Day 8 Arrive Longyearbyen am

Svalbard photo tour map

Day by Day

longyearbyen cruise

Day 1

Longyearbyen

Upon leaving Longyearbyen we will say goodbye to civilisation for the next 8 days to explore the rugged coastline, searching for landscape and wildlife photography opportunities at every stage. As we sail north we are likely to encounter glaciers and sea ice which make the perfect photo subjects. Early in the season, our exact route will be determined by the sea ice conditions which vary year on year.

.2° N, .6° E

.3° N, .7° E

rick tomlinson

Day 2 

Prins Karls Foreland

As we leave the Isfjord we will keep a good lookout on deck for whales and other marine life that is common in this area. We have frequently encountered whales including blue and humpback whales, belugas, and walruses.  We plan to land on the island of Prins Karls Foreland and do a short hike to a walrus colony. Here we will spend some unhurried time observing and photographing the walruses as they swim and haul out onto the beach.  

Days 3 – 6

Sea Ice and North-west Spitsbergen

We will sail as far north as possible along the west coast of Spitsbergen keeping a lookout for wildlife including polar bears that inhabit the area. Our ultimate plan if the conditions allow is to venture up to the edge of the sea ice and spend some time there searching for polar bears that use the sea ice to hunt from. The sea ice itself is a mesmerising photography subject and in calm conditions, it can be possible to launch the landing craft to cruise in between the ice. We will then explore the frozen north-west coast travelling as far as the ice will allow us in search of photography opportunities. 

.5° N, .3° E

.5° N, .3° E

Day 7

Ny-Alesund

As we head back south towards Longyearbyen if the ice conditions permit we will visit the scientific research settlement of Ny Alesund, the most northerly settlement on earth. We will explore the area around Kongsfjord and sail as close as we can get to one of Svalbard’s largest glaciers on the Lillyhook fjord for some great photo opportunities.

svalbard photography cruise

Day 8

Longyearbyen

Our adventure ends back in Longyearbyen. After our final breakfast we will say our goodbyes and disembark at the port after making new friends and sharing an exciting photography adventure together.

The above itinerary is a guide only. A part of any Arctic adventure is the flexibility to take advantage of the weather and ice conditions. Our expedition leader will make sure you see as much a possible. 

.2° N, .6° E

Inside This trip

Our trips are aimed at anyone with a passion for exploring the Arctic with a small group of like minded individuals on a comfortable small ship cruise and include :

icon-trip-Amazing-Wildlife

Photograph Amazing Wildlife

We will visit areas where walruses haul out, encounter reindeer and Arctic foxes on land, observe whales and other marine life and explore coasts where polar bears are known to roam. 

icon-trip-Stunning-Scenery

Stunning Scenery

We will encounter mighty glaciers, cruise tranquil steep-sided fjords and spend time outside exploring the beautiful untouched wilderness.  

icon-trip-Expedition-Vessel-Togo

Expedition Vessel With 12 Guests

We believe the best way to photograph an environmentally sensitive place such as the Arctic is with a small group of photographers. With the average expedition cruise ship now taking over 300 passengers, we believe smaller is better. 

icon-trip-Expedition-Leader

Photo Guide and Expedition Leader

On this tour, we will be accompanied by world-renown photographer Rick Tomlinson who will be our photography guide. Rick will provide advice to assist you in getting the best out of your photography. We will also be accompanied by an expedition leader who will share their passion and knowledge of Svalbard throughout the trip. We offer the best guide to guest ratio available. 

icon-trip-Zodiac-Craft

Zodiac landing craft for shore landings

Shore landings are the essence of every expedition and your guides will take you exploring to photograph ashore. The vessel is equipped with landing craft that can be used to shoot from. With a small group, there is room for everyone and it offers the perfect opportunity to get great shots of sea ice, wildlife and glaciers. 

icon-trip-Climate-Compensated

Climate Compensated

Caring for the environment is what we do. For every trip we run we plant trees in Greenland to offset the emissions. 

polar bear photo tour in svalbard
rick tomlinson wildlife photo tour
expedition-vessel-cruise-in-svalbard

Meet Our Experts

rick-tomlinson-profile

Rick Tomlinson
Photography Guide

Rick is a marine photographer specializing in yacht racing, expedition photography and workshops. His work has featured in National Geographic and he has extensive shooting in the Arctic and Antarctic.

Your Vessel

Expedition Motor Vessel Togo

Step aboard M/V Togo a classic expedition vessel.

Togo is a 102ft /31m motor yacht, custom built in 1965 by legendary Dunston Shipyard and last refitted in 2018. Originally built as North Sea trawler she was converted into Lloyd’s safety vessel in 1980s, then into a Yacht with extensive refit 2012 and upgraded to expedition yacht in 2018.

Togo has a well-appointed galley and mess room, elegant and comfortable mahogany paneled salon with bar and kitchenette. Her deck areas are spacious with semi-enclosed sides. She is a sturdy vessel with elegant sheer, sails with abundant intimacy from the bygone era of tramp steamers.

  • Accommodation in twin cabins and double cabins with private shower and w/c (mostly en-suite).

  • Small group size of 12 guests ensures an intimate experience

  • Hot Showers

  • Equipped with 2 x zodiacs for shore landings
  • Large deck space for photography

  • Large saloon with bar.

  • Ice-strengthened hull for travel in the polar regions

  • Full safety gear

expedition ship deck plan

Dates and Prices

Prices quoted are per person. Twin and double cabins are based on double occupancy.

Early Bird booking offer save €500. Book before September 1st 2020.

2021

Date
Trip Name
Duration
Cabin A
Cabin B
Cabin C
Cabin D
13th - 23rd April 2021
10 Days
£6,400 £5,900
£6,400 £5,900
£5,600 £5,100
£4,800£4,300

25th April - 2nd May 2021
8 Days
£7,000 £6,500
£7,000 £6,500
£6,300 £5,800
£5,700 £5,200

10th - 17th May 2021
8 Days
£6,500 £6,000
£6,500 £6,000
£5,800 £5,300
£5,200 £4,700

27th May - 4th June 2021
9 Days
£7,700 £7,200
£7,700 £7,200
£6,900 £6,400
£6,300 £5,800

4th - 12th June 2021
9 Days
£7,200 £6,800
£7,200 £6,800
£6,400 £5,900
£5,800 £5,300

4th - 12th July 2021
9 Days
£7,200 £6,800
£7,200 £6,800
£6,400 £5,900
£5,800 £5,300

12th - 26th July 2021
14 Days
£11,200 £10,700
£11,200 £10,700
£10,400 £9,900
£8,000 £7,500

5th - 13th August 2021
9 Days
£7,200 £6,800
£7,200 £6,800
£6,400 £5,900
£5,800 £5,300

Date
Trip Name
Duration
Cabin A
Cabin B
Cabin C
Cabin D
13th - 23rd April 2021
10 Days
€7,400 €6,900
€7,400 €6,900
€6,400 €5,900
€5,500 €5,000

25th April - 2nd May 2021
8 Days
€8,100 €7,600
€8,100 €7,600
€7,100 €6,600
€6,500 €6,000

10th - 17th May 2021
8 Days
€7,600 €7,100
€7,600 €7,100
€6,600 €6,100
€6,000 €5,500

27th May - 4th June 2021
9 Days
€8,800 €8,300
€8,800 €8,300
€7,800 €7,300
€7,200 €6,700

4th - 12th June 2021
9 Days
€8,300 €7,800
€8,300 €7,800
€7,300 €6,800
€6,700 €6,200

4th - 12th July 2021
9 Days
€8,300 €7,800
€8,300 €7,800
€7,300 €6,800
€6,700 €6,200

12th - 26th July 2021
14 Days
€12,900 €12,400
€12,900 €12,400
€12,000 €11,500
€9,000 €8,500

5th - 13th August 2021
9 Days
€8,300 €7,800
€8,300 €7,800
€7,300 €6,800
€6,700 €6,200

Date
Trip Name
Duration
Cabin A
Cabin B
Cabin C
Cabin D
13th - 23rd April 2021
10 Days
$8,000 $7,500
$8,000 $7,500
$7,000 $6,500
$6,000 $5,500

25th April - 2nd May 2021
8 Days
$8,700 $8,200
$8,700 $8,200
$7,700 $7,200
$7,000 $6,500

10th - 17th May 2021
8 Days
$8,200 $7,700
$8,200 $7,700
$7,200 $6,700
$6,500 $6,000

27th May - 4th June 2021
9 Days
$9,500 $9,000
$9,500 $9,000
$8,500 $8,000
$7,800 $7,300

4th - 12th June 2021
9 Days
$9,000 $8,500
$9,000 $8,500
$8,000 $7,500
$7,300 $6,800

4th - 12th July 2021
9 Days
$9,000 $8,500
$9,000 $8,500
$8,000 $7,500
$7,300 $6,800

12th - 26th July 2021
14 Days
$14,000 $13,500
$14,000 $13,500
$13,000 $12,500
$10,000 $9,500

5th - 13th August 2021
9 Days
$9,000 $8,500
$9,000 $8,500
$8,000 $7,500
$7,300 $6,800

2022

Date
Trip Name
Duration
Cabin A
Cabin B
Cabin C
Cabin D
12th - 22nd April 2022
11 Days
£6,900
£6,900
£6,100
£5,300

24th April - 1st May 2022
8 Days
£7,500
£7,500
£6,800
£6,200

9th - 16th May 2022
8 Days
£7,000
£7,000
£6,300
£5,700

18th May - 26th May 2022
9 Days
£8,200
£8,200
£7,400
£6,800

3rd - 11th June 2022
9 Days
£7,700
£7,700
£6,900
£6,300

3rd - 11th July 2022
9 Days
£7,700
£7,700
£6,900
£6,300

11th - 25th July 2022
14 Days
£11,700
£11,700
£10,900
£8,500

Date
Trip Name
Duration
Cabin A
Cabin B
Cabin C
Cabin D
12th - 22nd April 2022
11 Days
€7,900
€7,900
€6,900
€6,000

24th April - 1st May 2022
8 Days
€8,600
€8,600
€7,600
€7,000

9th - 16th May 2022
8 Days
€8,100
€8,100
€7,100
€6,500

18th May - 26th May 2022
9 Days
€9,300
€9,300
€8,300
€7,700

3rd - 11th June 2022
9 Days
€8,800
€8,800
€7,800
€7,200

3rd - 11th July 2022
9 Days
€8,800
€8,800
€7,800
€7,200

11th - 25th July 2022
14 Days
€13,400
€13,400
€12,500
€9,700

Date
Trip Name
Duration
Cabin A
Cabin B
Cabin C
Cabin D
12th - 22nd April 2022
11 Days
$8,500
$8,500
$7,500
$6,500

24th April - 1st May 2022
8 Days
$9,200
$9,200
$8,200
$7,500

9th - 16th May 2022
8 Days
$8,700
$8,700
$7,700
$7,000

18th May - 26th May 2022
9 Days
$10,000
$10,000
$9,000
$8,300

3rd - 11th June 2022
9 Days
$9,500
$9,500
$8,500
$7,800

3rd - 11th July 2022
9 Days
$9,500
$9,500
$8,500
$7,800

12th - 26th July 2022
14 Days
$14,500
$14,500
$13,500
$10,500

See Cabins

Double Cabin with Ensuite

Cabin A – Double with Ensuite

A comfortable cabin that sleeps 2 in a double bed with an en-suite toilet and shower situated on the lower deck.

Twin Cabin with Ensuite

Cabin B – Twin with Ensuite

A comfortable cabin that sleeps 2 in 2 single beds with an en-suite toilet and shower situated on the lower deck.

Twin Cabin with Shared

Cabin C – Twin with Shared 

A twin cabin that sleeps 2 in 2 single beds with a shared toilet and shower situated directly opposite the cabin on the upper deck.

Single Cabin with Shared

Cabin D – Single with Shared 

A single cabin on the lower deck with a shared toilet and shower accessed via a staircase on the deck above. 

Peace Of Mind Coronavirus Booking Guarantee

We understand that there is a lot of uncertainty with travel due to the coronavirus so we have added a peace of mind guarantee for all bookings made for 2021. If your trip is interrupted due to coronavirus travel restrictions you will be able to move your trip to a future booking free of charge. At this point, we believe that all our trips will be able to operate normally in 2021, and we have put this in place as an added reassurance so you can have full confidence when booking. You can read our full statement here.

Payment Options & Information

We offer payment via the following methods:

  • Credit card
  • Payment by bank transfer
  • Monthly installments to spread the cost of payments

Please let us know at the time of booking your preferred method.

A 30% deposit is taken at the time of booking with the final 70% payable 90 days prior to departure.

We highly recommend you take out comprehensive travel insurance at the time of booking that also covers cancellation. 

Single Travelers

Single travellers are welcome on all our voyages. We often host single travellers, particularly on our photo voyages so the chances are you won’t be the only single traveller. We offer the following accommodation options for single travellers:

  • 2 x single cabins
  • Option to share a twin cabin with another traveller of the same sex.
  • Option to have your own cabin for an additional supplement. Please contact us for this option as the price varies depending on trip and availability.

Booking terms

This trip is operated by Secret Atlas and is subject to the Secret Atlas terms and conditions of travel. You can read the full booking terms here. 

Trip notes and what’s included / excluded

Departure Location Longyearbyen
Arrival Location Longyearbyen
Trip StyleExploration
Physical RatingEasy
Maximum Group Size12
Accommodation3 x Twins and 1 x Double with en-suite, 1 x Twin and 2 x Singles with shared bathroom
Duration8 Days
Time of YearApril
Included

Not Included

If you have any questions about this trip
please get in touch

 

Useful Information

longyearbyen travel guide

Longyearbyen Travel Guide


All the information you need to plan your trip including how to get to Longyearbyen, arrival information, places to stay, and activities to do before your cruise.  

micro expedition cruise

New To Expedition Micro Cruises?

Find out all about the experience of travelling on an expedition vessel with 12 guests and how it compares to other cruises. 

svalbard cruise

50 Svalbard Facts

Discover some of the interesting facts about Svalbard before you visit. 

What Our Customers Say

On each journey we welcome customers from all corner of the globe, with a variety of different ages and backgrounds all united in their passion to experience what the Arctic has to offer

greenland small ship cruise

Pan – Business Executive from Italy

 

‘This is the closest you can come to a real expedition. We saw glaciers seals, whales, walruses and polar bears’

From an early age Pan dreamed of visiting the Arctic. At the age of 42 he made that dream come true by joining Secret Atlas on an expedition micro cruise.

Annie – Interior Designer from the USA

‘The micro cruise experience felt like being on your own private boat. The crew were fantastic’

Annie had always wanted to go an expedition in Svalbard and joined us as a solo traveler.

All Svalbard Cruises