Spitsbergen in Focus – Photographic Symposium

Vavilov Cruise Ship
Vavilov
92 Passengers
Adventure Options

Spitsbergen and the Svalbard archipelago is a remote island chain situated between Norway and the North Pole. These wild and remote islands offer a tremendous wildlife and birdlife experience, as well as a fascinating lesson in glaciology. First used as a whaling base in the 17th and 18th centuries, the islands are now celebrated as a breeding ground for many seabirds, along with marine mammals and the elusive polar bear. Our expedition ship is the renowned Akademik Sergey Vavilov, perfectly suited for remote exploration.

Our 10-night itinerary allows for a thorough exploration of the western and northern coastline of the island of Spitsbergen, the largest of the islands that make up the Svalbard archipelago. As we voyage up the coastline we make frequent stops at well known wildlife sites, places of historic interest and witness glaciers, ice filled bays and fascinating plant life, while soaking up the stunning landscapes that surrounds us. A major focus on our voyage will be the wildlife that inhabits the edges of the Arctic ice pack. It's here, at more than 80° North of latitude and less than 600 miles from the North Pole, that we often find polar bears. These magnificent animals are the iconic symbol of the Arctic and a major highlight of any voyage in Spitsbergen. We also hope to see a great diversity of wildlife including beluga whales, walrus, reindeer, Arctic fox and witness birdlife in staggering numbers. Our days are filled with guided shore excursions affording excellent hiking opportunities, zodiac cruising and exploring on the ship.

A further highlight of this departure will be the shipboard photography symposium open to all guests. In addition to our regular program of presentations on history, ornithology, geology and the natural world, this unique voyage will have a major focus on photography, with four professional photographers on staff and a professional water colorist. Our team of professional photographers all have their special area of expertise including wildlife, landscape, composition as well as the technical aspects of photography including gear and equipment and computer based file management, storage and processing. We make regular use of our ship-board multi-media studio for breakout sessions and to review and critique our images. Our photographic goals on this departure will be formed and led by the light available both onshore and on the water. With a varied and diverse itinerary and flexible plans, we aim to make the most out of the beautiful Arctic light, even if outside conventional shore landing times. For the photography buffs, this trip is not to be missed!

Day 1 — Longyearbyen, Svalbard

Today we embark our expedition ship, the Akademik Sergey Vavilov in Longyearbyen and as we throw the lines, we sail out of Adventfjorden and into Isfjorden during the early evening. With almost 24 hours of daylight at this time of the year, enjoy the views from the outer decks of the ship as we depart. We meet our expedition team during an introductory briefing and then enjoy a welcome dinner in the ships comfortable dining room.

Days 2 & 3 — Krossfjorden and Northwestern Spitsbergen

The rocky shores of Krossfjorden are home to numerous bird colonies and a range of species. We anchor the ship off one small harbor and cruise in the zodiacs along the bird cliffs near the 14th of July glacier. Bearded and ringed seals are known to frequent the area and we keep our eyes peeled for them in the dark waters of the fjord.

Lilliehook Glacier, at the head of the northwestern arm of Krossfjorden is an incredible sight. The glacier face stretches almost seven kilometers and has a height of around 80-meters. Viewed from the ship or on a zodiac cruise you come to appreciate the enormous scale of our surroundings. Later in the day as we sail out of Krossfjorden and Kongsfjorden, we may be fortunate enough to see the historic airship anchor pylon near the scientific community of Ny Ålesund. This remote outpost earned its place in aviation pioneering history as a starting point for North Pole aviation exploration. Notable pioneer aviators including Zeppelin, Amundsen, Ellsworth, Byrd and Nobile all passed through Ny Ålesund.

Smeerenburgfjorden has a four hundred year history of whaling and is a favorite spot as we round the north-western tip of Spitsbergen. A wander along the beach looking at the blubber cookers, or an hour behind a tripod shooting landscapes on your camera might be on the schedule, and we are always on the lookout for wildlife that can appear anywhere in Svalbard.

Days 4 & 5 — Polar Pack Ice, Phippsoya and the Seven Islands

We continue north and east up into the ice, aiming to cross the 80° north parallel. As we approach the ice edge the ship slows down and all hands are either on the bridge or out on the outer decks as we start scanning for wildlife. Bearded seals, ringed seals and walrus may be found hauled out on the edges of the ice. Harp seals swim in herds of 10 to 20 through the open water channels in the ice. A buttery colored lump miles away on the ice metamorphoses into a polar bear as we slowly work our way through the ice toward it. Our ship is perfectly designed for near silent approach to the wildlife on the ice and our Captain takes great pride in bringing us in close enough to experience the wildlife without disturbing it.

At 81° degrees north latitude, Phippsoya, one of the Seven Islands, is only 540 nautical miles from the North Pole. Because of its proximity to the permanent pack ice, Phippsoya offers the potential for great polar bear viewing. We have enjoyed excellent encounters with them in recent seasons in this vicinity. Be sure to get up to the bridge and take a picture of the ships GPS showing this incredibly high polar latitude, so close to the North Pole!

Days 6 to 8 — Hinlopen Strait and Nordaustlandet

From the ice edge we head south into the strait separating Svalbard’s two main islands: Spitsbergen and Nordaustlandet. In Hinlopen Strait the bird cliffs at Alkefjellet are home to more than a hundred thousand breeding Brunnich’s guillemots, as well as thousands of kittiwakes and black guillemots. A spectacular site and a challenging one for our zodiacs as the tidal currents roar through Hinlopen Strait. Nearby Murchison Fjord is a wonderful place to kayak or cruise as we navigate the waterways between the islands. There are some excellent hiking routes here which take us up to high points affording staggering views, countless photographic opportunities and chances of encountering Arctic wildlife.

Day 9 — Leifdefjorden

Entering Leifdefjorden we slowly cruise towards the Monaco Glacier - a vast sweep of ice several kilometers wide. We often encounter beluga whales along the coastline in this vicinity. The adults are pure white and the younger animals a mottled grey. It is estimated that there are approximately five to ten thousand belugas in the Svalbard population. The beluga has no dorsal fin, a diagnostic feature of other whale species that live in the high Arctic such as the narwhal and bowhead. Since a dorsal fin could be damaged when the animal surfaces in areas with ice, it has been postulated that the lack of dorsal fin is an adaptation to living in waters that are frequently covered by ice.

Monaco Glacier provides a fabulous backdrop for a zodiac cruise. Miles of ice face broken up by ice caves and tumbling seracs are a sight to behold, as are the thousands of black-legged kittiwakes feeding on the upwelling of nutrients found near the sub-glacial outflow. A morning of cruising in the ice is best followed by a hike on the tundra. Red phalaropes, purple sandpipers and vibrant tundra provide plenty of viewing and photography opportunities. As we explore the landscape on foot, the remains of fox traps and sun bleached seal bones speak of both human interaction and wildlife predation.

Day 10 — Alkehornet

Alkehornet, at the mouth of Isfjord, offers breathtaking views and an incredible tundra walk as we near the end of our adventure in Svalbard. Arctic fox can often be seen here, as well as reindeer. Towering above the landing site is a horn-shaped mount covered in guillemots and kittiwakes. Only as we approach and stop to listen will we hear the chorus of thousands of birds, all singing at the same time. This evening we celebrate our journey with a special dinner attended by the ship’s Captain. It's a great time to reflect on a wonderful voyage in this wild and remote corner of the planet.

Day 11 — Longyearbyen

Arriving back into Longyearbyen this morning, we disembark after breakfast and say farewell to our expedition team and fellow passengers. A transfer into town is provided for those choosing to stay a few days. If you are departing today, we have a few hours this morning to explore the town, before transferring to the airport for your onward flight to Tromso or Oslo.

* Itinerary may be subject to change

Only show rates under
$ X
Please note that availability is updated about once a week.
Per Person USD
Rates Arctic 2017
Triple Shared
Twin Semi-Private
Twin Private
Superior
Shackleton Suite
One Ocean Suite
Charter
Air
Photography, Kayak
Kayaking Free on this Voyage

Note: An additional 5% Canadian GST will be assessed on all associated trip costs.
$3,195Limited$4,195Full$5,195Limited$6,195Full$7,495Full$8,995Full 
Photography, Kayak
Charter Air: Iqaluit/Ottawa

Note: An additional 5% Canadian GST will be assessed on all associated trip costs.
$5,195Full$6,445Full$7,790Full$9,390Full$11,290Full$13,490Full$995 
Photography, Kayak
Charter Air: Iqaluit/Ottawa

Note: An additional 5% Canadian GST will be assessed on all associated trip costs.
$3,495Full$4,495Full$5,995Full$6,495Full$7,995Full$9,495Full$995 
Photography, Kayak
Charter Air: Ottawa/Iqaluit & Resolute/Edmonton

Note: An additional 5% Canadian GST will be assessed on all associated trip costs.
$6,995Full$7,995Full$9,495Full$9,995Full$11,495Full$12,995Full$1,995 
Photography, Kayak
Charter Air: Edmonton/Resolute/Edmonton

Note: An additional 5% Canadian GST will be assessed on all associated trip costs.
$6,495Full$7,495Full$8,995Full$9,695Full$10,995Full$12,495Full$1,995 
Photography, Kayak
Charter Air: Edmonton/Resolute/Edmonton

Note: An additional 5% Canadian GST will be assessed on all associated trip costs.
$6,495Full$7,495Full$8,995Full$9,695Full$10,995Full$12,495Full$1,995 
No trips meet your criteria. Please increase the budget above to view more results.
Click on the tour dates in the left column to view a trip itinerary. Point MOUSE at Cabin Category to view DETAILED description.

Special pricing available for families & young people traveling with parents:
Children under 18 receive a 25% discount, and young people ages 18-21 & in full-time education receive a 20% discount.

A 5% GST tax applies to all travel on the domestic Canadian voyages and will be calculated on the full voyage cost including charter flights, hotel, and kayaking.

Rates are per person, based on twin-share. Single Supplement for twin cabins is 1.5 times the twin rate & single supplement for suites is double the suite rate.

All cabins are smoke-free. Smoking is only permitted in designated areas.
Trip cost does not include Mandatory Charter Flights listed in pricing chart.
Airfare to/from destination is not included.

Kayaking option available for $695 per person.
Adventure options must be pre-booked and paid for prior to start of the trip. Space is subject to availability. Some activities require experience.

All trips subject to possible fuel surcharge.
Mandatory Emergency Evacuation insurance is required on all trips.

Only show rates under
$ X
Please note that availability is updated about once a week.
Per Person USD
Rates Arctic 2018
Triple Shared
Twin Semi-Private
Twin Private
Superior
Shackleton Suite
One Ocean Suite
Charter
Air
Photography, Kayak
Special Photography Symposium

$1,000 Discount (Prices in Red)
Expires Aug 31st 2017
$5,695$4,695$7,195$6,195$8,195$7,195$9,395$8,395$10,295$9,295$11,395$10,395 
Photography, Kayak
$1,000 Discount (Prices in Red)
Expires Aug 31st 2017
$5,695$4,695$7,195$6,195$8,195$7,195$9,395$8,395Limited$10,295$9,295$11,395$10,395Full 
Photography, Kayak
Charter Air: Ottawa/Kangerlussuaq & Cambridge Bay/Edmonton

50% discount on charter air!
Expires Aug 31 2017
$9,595 $11,395 $13,695Limited$14,695Limited$16,095Limited$17,095Full$1,995$998
Photography, Kayak
Charter Air: Edmonton/Cambridge Bay & Kangerlussuaq/Ottawa

50% discount on charter air!
Expires Aug 31 2017
$9,595 $11,395 $13,695Limited$14,695Limited$16,095Limited$17,095Full$1,995$998
Photography, Kayak
Charter Air: Ottawa/Kangerlussuaq &
Iqaluit/Ottawa

50% discount on charter air!
Expires Aug 31 2017
$6,695 $7,595 $8,995 $9,495 $10,895 $12,295Full$1,995$998
No trips meet your criteria. Please increase the budget above to view more results.
Click on the tour dates in the left column to view a trip itinerary. Point MOUSE at Cabin Category to view DETAILED description.

A 5% GST tax applies to all travel on the domestic Canadian voyages and will be calculated on the full voyage cost including charter flights, hotel, and kayaking. 

Rates are per person, based on twin-share. Single Supplement for twin cabins is 1.5 times the twin rate & single supplement for suites is double the suite rate.

All cabins are smoke-free. Smoking is only permitted in designated areas.
Trip cost does not include Mandatory Charter Flights listed in pricing chart.
Airfare to/from destination is not included.

Kayaking option available for $695 per person.
Adventure options must be pre-booked and paid for prior to start of the trip. Space is subject to availability. Some activities require experience.

All trips subject to possible fuel surcharge.
Mandatory Emergency Evacuation insurance is required on all trips.

DeckPlan_Vavilov_c

   One Ocean Suite
Located on deck 5 this cabin is separated into two very spacious rooms. A spacious lounge area is perfect for relaxation and features a sofa (convertible to bed), large table, writing desk, ample storage, plus large picture windows overlooking the bow (forward facing) that can be opened.
The separate bedroom features a double bed with upgraded linen/ pillows, night light, and window over the port side of the ship. The bathroom has a bathtub and shower. There is also a region specific iPad, mini stereo, capsule coffee maker, fully stocked mini bar, iPod alarm clock with audio line and several arms chairs.
   Shackleton Suites
Located on decks 4 and 5 these cabins are separated into two spacious rooms, one that is ideal for relaxation with a sofa (convertible to bed), large table, writing desk, chair, ample storage and a large window that can be opened. A separate private bedroom has a double berth with upgraded linen/ pillows, night light, private facilities, a region specific iPad, mini stereo, capsule coffee maker, fully stocked mini bar, iPod alarm clock with audio line.
   Superior Cabins
There are three superior cabins, all located on Deck 3. These spacious and well-appointed cabins feature two lower berths, a writing desk and chair and plenty of storage space. Washroom facilities are private and all cabins have a porthole, which opens. These cabins provide great access to the outer decks, the dining room and gangway.
   Twin Private Cabins
Located on decks 3, 4 and 5 these spacious, well-appointed cabins feature two lower berths, with private washroom facilities (sink, shower, toilet and bathroom cabinet). There are tall wardrobes with internal shelving for storage, a writing desk, chair, bookshelf, and a window that can be opened. Twin Private cabins on deck 3 feature portholes instead of windows.
   Twin Semi Private Cabins
Located on deck 4 these cabins have two lower berths, one of which can be converted to a sofa during the day. These cabins have tall wardrobes with internal shelving for storage, a writing desk, chair, bookshelf, and a window that can be opened. Facilities are semi-private – meaning you share the washroom with the adjacent cabin.
   Main Deck Triple Cabins
Located on deck 3 these cabins feature two lower berths and one upper berth. One lower berth can be converted to a comfortable sofa during the day. Washroom facilities are shared. There is a washbasin in the cabin, a writing desk and chair and ample storage for all cabin occupants. These cabins are efficient and well-appointed with two portholes with the option to open one.

 

Cabin and Voyage Inclusions            
Outside View With Opening Porthole/Window
Complimentary use of Wet Weather Gear
Complimentary use of Wellington Boots
Complimentary use of Waterproof Backpack and Binoculars
Innovative Dream Sleep Package
100% Cotton Bathrobes
Custom Blend Natural Canadian Made Essential Oil Amenities
Custom Color Coordinated Canadian Made Linen Package
Black Out Curtains
Clock Radio with Media Connector
Desk with Chair
Complimentary Water Bottle
In-Room Coffee & Tea Station
In-Room Private Field Guide    
In-Room Private Reference Library      
In-Room Mini Bar        
In-Room iPad Preloaded With Reference And Fictional Content        
In-Room Single Brew Coffee System        
In-Room Mini Stereo        
Complimentary Welcome Package (Wine, Fruit Basket, Natural Snacks)        
Complimentary Field Guide to the High Arctic        
Early Morning Adventure Concierge Coffee Service