Springtime in Svalbard Photography Special 9 DaysAboard: M/S Quest
Join this fantastic voyage aboard a small and intimate Arctic expedition ship to discover the breathtaking landscapes and bountiful wildlife of Spitsbergen’s enchanting west coast. This special itinerary has been arranged in cooperation with camera developer Olympus, and two of Olympus’ knowledgeable representatives will be on board to provide first-class photography workshops designed to help you to capture the perfect wildlife and scenery images. You will also have the chance to try out a wide range of Olympus equipment and learn all about the tools and tricks of the trade.
Travelling in May, you can delight in watching the fairytale winter landscape transform into spring, an indescribable experience that is made even more exciting by the fact that your small expedition vessel will be able to sail into enthralling areas that are inaccessible to the larger expedition ships. This is also an excellent time to spot wildlife, with seals and walruses often being seen resting on the fjord ice, Svalbard reindeers and Arctic foxes still in their winter furs, and the iconic Polar bears venturing out and about with their new cubs. Birdlife will also be in abundance with the bird cliffs teeming with a variety of species. You can expect to see little auks, Brünnich’s guillemots, king eiders and rock ptarmigans amongst many others.
- Special onboard photo workshops delivered by photography experts from the leading camera manufacturer Olympus
- Springtime in Spitsbergen
- Spectacular scenery where fjords & glaciers abound
- Polar bears, whales and other wildlife
- Historical sites
- Abundant birdlife
- Exciting explorations by Zodiac and on foot
- Snowshoeing options available
- Full board accommodation on board ship
- 1 night hotel stay in Longyearbyen pre-expedition
- Programme of lectures by expert guides
- Shore and Zodiac excursions
- Illustrated post-expedition log
- Olympus photo workshops
So much to experience
Too much to choose from? This is where we come in
Take advantage of our vast experience, passion and expertise to help you hand craft the perfect Arctic adventure for you.
Mike has more than fifteen years hands-on experience in the industry, travelling to some of the most incredible wild places on the planet. His far-reaching knowledge and invaluable skills will ensure that your wildlife travel adventure is a dream come true.
Simon’s deep passion for and first-hand knowledge of a vast range of destinations all over the world gives him the ideal skills to help you create a truly unforgettable wildlife inspired adventure to the most exciting places on the planet.
With countless travel experiences and an enduring hunger for adventure, Zoe knows exactly what’s needed to craft a holiday of a lifetime. Her experience and generosity of spirit are legendary and she’ll help you build an itinerary that will make all your dreams come true.
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All our itinerary holidays are fully customisable
Having arrived independently to Longyearbyen, the administrative capital of Svalbard, you will transfer to your hotel for your included overnight stay. Time allowing you can enjoy a walk around this unique Arctic town before settling down for a good night’s sleep in preparation for the adventures that lie ahead.
Exploring Western Spitsbergen
On the morning of day 2 we will begin our exploration of Svalbard with a tour around Longyearbyen, with lunch included, before making our way to the port to board your small expedition vessel to begin your voyage around Spitsbergen’s enchanting west coast.
As with all polar expedition cruises, flexibility throughout our voyage will be key, and as we travel through this untamed wilderness your experienced crew and captain will determine the best course for unparalleled scenic and wildlife experiences based on ice and weather conditions and likelihoods of wildlife encounters. Your crew are there to ensure you experience the very best of what Spitsbergen has to offer. Exploring by ship, Zodiac and on foot we will discover north and south of the dramatic west Spitsbergen coastline, with each day bringing a new experience and adventure. This could mean a wakeup call in the middle of the night as we sail by a polar bear on the ice, or spending more time in one destination than others due to the high concentration of wildlife. Whatever happens, this is sure to be the adventure of a lifetime!
Our route is likely to vary but there are some particular areas that we expect to visit during our time here. Our first stop is likely to be the bird cliffs of Alkhornet at the entrance to Isfjorden where we will go ashore to discover the beautiful tundra and spot some of the abundance of birdlife that is usually found here including Brünnich’s guillemots, barnacle geese, snow buntings, glaucous gulls and tens of thousands of kittiwakes. We are also likely to see Arctic foxes here as they stalk below the cliffs searching for eggs and other treats that may have dropped from above.
Next we will sail past the narrow strip of Prins Karls Forland to see its beautiful landscape of snow-covered mountains and search for seals in the surrounding waters, before sailing north to Kongsfjorden and Krossfjorden to explore around the scientific village of Ny-Ålesund and discover the beautifully sculpted front of the 14th of July glacier. Sailing further north we plan to reach Raudfjorden, an area of immense natural beauty that is dominated by beautiful glaciers and is a favourite spot for seals and abundant birdlife, before reaching Danskøya, the northernmost point of our voyage. It is here where two of the most courageous attempts to reach the North Pole started and there are still interesting remnants from these expeditions left on this site.
Turning to sail south we will venture close to the bottom of the island to reach Bellsund to visit beautiful Vårsolbukta where little auks nest by the tens of thousands and we can enjoy an exciting walk across the tundra. Our last stop is likely to be the majestic Hornsund to see the magnificent fjords and enormous glaciers that dominate the landscape. Here we will have our best chances of seeing the Kings of the Arctic…the iconic Polar bears!
Arrival back in to the port at Longyearbyen sadly signals the end of our voyage. After breakfast you will disembark, bid a fond farewell to your expedition crew and begin your journey home filled with enchanting memories of your Arctic adventure.
Please note: Various land and flight packages are available for getting to and from Longyearbyen, and also for extensions to your tour. Please enquire for further details.
A view from Above
Formerly named Sea Endurance, the M/S Quest was built in Denmark in 1992 to serve as a ferry on Greenland’s west coast. In 2004/2005 she was completely refurbished and now has a career as a small and comfortable expedition ship. The M/S Quest takes 53 passengers and all 26 cabins are outside cabins with private facilities. The triple cabins have upper and lower berths. All other cabins have two lower berths or a double bed. In your cabin you find a desk with a chair and a cupboard for storage. The superior cabins are spacious and have armchairs and TV/ DVD. The Owner’s cabin has a double bed, two large picture windows, a separate seating area and TV/DVD.
In the dining room you are treated to delicious meals in between landings and in the panorama lounge you can enjoy breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape. Here you can listen to entertaining talks on the area’s flora, fauna and history. In the lounge you also find a bar and a small library. The ship has spacious observation decks, where you can enjoy the beautiful vistas. Passengers are welcome on the bridge around the clock and there is always something to see or search for. There is an international crew on board the M/S Quest and the atmosphere is relaxed and very friendly.
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