“This was the best holiday of my life!” When I heard this from one of the participants that I had been guiding in Svalbard last month I was really happy. For two years I had been planning this expedition to the northern parts of Svalbard, and I was glad I could bring such a motivated group of photographers on board of our vessel, the MS Origo. We sailed for 10 days through icy waters, fjords, ice floes and pack-ice, along huge cliffs and glaciers and scouted for wildlife along our journey. We saw a total of 16 Polar bears, many Walruses, a lot of birds, Arctic foxes, Bearded seals, whales,… All the time we spent the maximum of time photographing during the best lights, on board of the Origo, or from the zodiacs, with a low view over the water or ice.
Svalbard is a magic place, it must be the ‘easiest’ place on earth to get so north and so close to arctic wildlife. We sailed on a small boat and we were free to go where ever we wanted, so we tried to spend time as far as possible from the places where the big ships go. Almost all the time it was just all of Svalbard for us alone, and animals would let us come close, because of our small boat and small group. We had no limitations in time, and were not bound to strict timing for breakfast, lunch or dinner, so we were able to take all the chances we saw! Day and night! I will never forget the look on everybody faces when I entered the dining room and shouted ‘walrus in sight!’ and all left their plates with warm food! Or when I waked everybody because I just discovered another Polar bear. Yes, our nights were short, but that’s what the arctic is about in summer; long days and wonderful light. Sleep is for the weak!
The whole trip was a succes, and I know everybody was thrilled of the experience. I’m planning more trips to Svalbard, and if you want to join me, send me a message, and I’m sure I will convince you to join us!