"Ever since I was a kid, as a photographer I've been looking for a new view on the world."

MICHAEL NICHOLS

EXPLORE

Svalbard is a place of deep fjords, snow-capped mountains, massive sheets of ice, and magnificent polar bears. It is a Norwegian archipelago situated in the Arctic Ocean between the North Pole and Norway. Travel under the mid-night sun on board M/S Malmö and experience nature in its purest form.

Polar bears thrive here. Roughly half the estimated 3,000 bears in the Barents Sea population raise their young on the archipelago’s isolated islands. Humans are warned not to venture beyond town without a rifle as protection against ursus maritimus.

Seabirds migrate to Svalbard in the millions. Five species of seals and 12 kinds of whales feed in the waters off the coast. Atlantic walruses prosper on the rich clam beds along the shallow shelf of the Barents Sea.

On the open tundra of Svalbard’s plateaus and valleys, reindeer forage and arctic fox hunt free from predators.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Explore the arctic landscape of Svalbard while having the M/S Malmö as base.
  • Shoot amazing wildlife photos of whales, seals, birds and polar bears.
  • Excursions onto the pack ice in hunt of polar bears or unique ice landscapes.
  • Discover the old whaling islands of Danskøya, Amsterdamøya Ytre Norskøya.

WHAT YOU WILL LEARN

You will learn how to approach the unique challenges of wildlife photography at the best place in the world for polar bear and wildlife photography. With private “one to one” workshops and lectures, this expedition will optimize your photographic skills and take them to the next level.

ON LOCATION

  • Teaching and training in the best techniques and personal hints and advice
  • Composition and focus on lines, golden section, perspective, foreground
  • Learning about the lenses that optimize your wildlife photography
  • How to handle equipment with care on location
  • Private hands-on lessons that can help taking your photography skills to the next level

IN CLASSROOM

  • Expert review and constructive criticism of shots taken during the day
  • Private portfolio review
  • A Better Moments Certified Photo Instructor is available during the entire workshop to offer assistance with camera settings, the basics of composition, guide and help in general

 


ITINERARY


DAY 0: Getting ready

We recommend you to arrive at Longyearbyen at least one day before departure.

DAY 1: Departure from Longyearbyen through Isfjorden

The focus on our expedition will be polar bears on the drifting ice. The ice situation at this time of year usually allows us to explore the northeastern parts of the archipelago. But due to the weather, wildlife etc. we point out that, that changes to the program may occur.

We travel onboard our expedition ship M/S Malmö – your base for a truly wildlife adventure.

We sail out through the beautiful fjord and the snow-capped mountains – heading towards one of the most remote areas in the world.

After welcome drinks and dinner, Michael Nichols will present his first of many lectures – “How to be one of the best wildlife photographer of the world”.

DAY 2: Polar bears

Sailing toward the ice,  looking for polar bears. Depending on the ice conditions, this will probably be north of Spitsbergen and Nordaustlandet.

During the day Michael will hold private portfolio reviews and  workshops on deck.

After dinner we show our pictures that we shot during the day and Michael will give constructive criticism – so you can adjust your shots for the next day of photography.

DAY 3-4: Walruses

Weather and ice determine our route, but we plan to sail toward East toward Storøya, where there usually are numerous walrus colonies. Each day we will explore Svalbard with Zodiac Expeditions and today is no exception. From our private Zodiac we will get close to the wildlife and come ashore where we can make landscape and wildlife photography.
After dinner, Michael will give constructive criticism on the picture from today.

DAY 5-7: Into Hinlopen

Sailing south toward Bråsvellbreen and into Hinlopen with walruses and bird cliffs. We cross Liefdefjorden with the Monaco glacier, the north-western corner of Spitsbergen with walruses, seals and great landscape. South we pass Lilliehööksfjorden and Kongsfjorden, with glaciers, birds and marine mammals.

Both night, Michael will give constructive criticism on the pictures taken during the day and hold lectures about wildlife photography.

DAY 8: Bird cliffs

Sailing south to Prins Karls Forland for our last landing with walruses, and in the afternoon Alkehornet with bird cliffs, arctic fox and Svalbard reindeers.

Tonight we hold our diner together with the captain and as a Better Moments tradition will celebrate the expeditions last evening by Michael presenting the top three photographers with a great price and  all participants with a personal diploma.

DAY 9: Longyearbyen

Back to Longyearbyen in the morning and after breakfast leaving the ship and prepare the travel home.

IMPORTANT

Due to the weather, wildlife etc. we point out that, that changes to the program may occur.

Airport pick-up:
Better Moments arrange one pickup and one return to the airport on arrival day and departure day. Most often, none of our guests will wait longer than one hour, as all international flights arrive and depart at the same time.

QUICK GUIDE

GETTING THERE

Svalbard’s only international airport, Longyear Airport in Longyearbyen, is served by SAS with almost daily flights from Oslo and Tromsø in Norway. Flight times are 4 hours from Oslo and less than 2 hours from Tromsø. The airport is located about 5 km (3 miles) from the town of Longyearbyen.


VISA

Norway is a member of the Schengen Agreement. Nationals of EU and EFTA (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland) countries only need a valid national identity card or passport for entry. All other visitors are required to have a passport valid for at least three months beyond the intended stay, and some will need a visa. Please check with the local embassy.


WEATHER

Svalbard has an Arctic climate tempered by the warm North Atlantic Current. Due to the convergence of cold air from the north and mild, humid air from the south, weather conditions can change quickly and often, with occasional strong winds and wind chills. Average daily temperatures in Longyearbyen varies from -17.5°C in January to 5.0°C in July.
 


LANGUAGE

The official language is Norwegian, but almost all Norwegians speak English.


CURRENCY

The Norwegian monetary unit is the Krone (NOK)


QUICK GUIDE

  • The Svalbard Museum in Longyearbyen is an impressive, recently inaugurated exhibition space. Themes include the life on the edge formerly led by whalers, trappers, seal and walrus hunters and, more recently, miners.
  • At the gallery in Longyearbyen you can see the Svalbard collection of old maps and books, a slide show from the photographer and composer Thomas Widerberg, and an exhibition of Kåre Tveter’s paintings. From time to time there are also sales exhibitions.
  • The Longyearbyen Church is open for visitors every day and there is a service nearly every Sunday. Every Tuesday evening, the church sells coffee and Norwegian waffles. Here you get to know Longyearbyen and the people better.
  • The cable trestles are cultural monuments over the manual driven coal mining in Longyearbyen. At that time, the coal was transported in “kibs” (carriers) on the cable way to the cleaning plant.
  • The Svalbard Islands are home to seven Norwegian national parks: Forlandet, Indre Wijdefjorden, Nordenskiöld Land, Nordre Isfjorden, Nordvest-Spitsbergen, Sassen-Bünsow Land, and Sør-Spitsbergen.
  • Little known but amazing natural attractions of Svalbard are the diverse springs. Fløtspingo and other Reindalen pingos are the highest pingos in Svalbard and some of the highest open system pingos of the world, up to 42 m high. Hot and thermal springs, for example Jotun Springs, Troll Springs and Tempelfjorden thermal submerged spring
  • One day trip by boat to the Esmark glacier and Oscar II Land and the Russian mining settlement looms on the side of the mountain above Grønfjorden. During the cruise, the guide will provide useful information about Svalbard.
  • Emergency phone number: 112

    Svalbard is among the safest places on Earth, with virtually no crime.

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SVALBARD

LAND OF THE POLAR BEARS

September 01 – 10, 2018

9 days

Visit Svalbard in the spirit of expedition. Travel and live on the seas while exploring the captivating ice landscape of Svalbard.

MICHAEL NICHOLS

TRAVEL WITH THE BEST

A native of Alabama, Michael Nichols is an award-winning photographer whose work has taken him to the most remote corners of the world. He became a staff photographer for the National Geographic magazine in 1996 and was named Editor-at-Large in January 2008. He has photographed 26 stories for National Geographic magazine.

Svalbard is some distance from Michael’s usual locations of choice, but he looks forward to applying the same patience and desire to see wildlife and nature there which served him so well in the Serengetti, Congo, and in other wild and unforgettable places.

SEE ALL EXPERTS

OVERVIEW

Number of guests: 8-12

Local transport: Ship
Exertion level: Easy 
Accommodation: M/S Malmö
Meals: All meals included
Type of photography: Landscape, Wildlife
Weather in May: Min -3°C , Max 8°C .

PRICES AND CABINS

Twin cabin, Shared WC / shower: €8.995

Single cabin, Shared WC / shower €11.495

Twin cabin, Private WC / shower: €9.995

Single cabin, Private WC / shower €12.495

Triple cabin: Private WC / shower €14.995 Sold out

Groups
If you sign-up a group of 4+ participants you will receive a discount based on the size of your group.

Includes:
Accommodation on board M/S Malmö.
All meals and non-alcoholic beverages.
All excursions.
Coaching, teaching, workshops and seminars with Michael Nichols.

Excludes:
Transportation to/from Svalbard, alcoholic beverages and travel insurance.

Our ship

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A passionate photographer speaks out:

“I enjoyed that there are only 12 guests on the boat, it is total luxury for me. Our Better Moments guides know exactly when and where we will sail, so we get the best photo experiences. The trip is well organized with workshops every evening and location photography – I could not dream of more.”

– Peter Stenius, from Finland, participant in a previous Better Moment Svalbard expedition