“Taking pictures in the Arctic, I feel is very special, as there is always something new and different to attract your eye.”

SISSE BRIMBERG

EXPLORE

Journey to the mysterious and captivating islands of the extreme north, in the company of celebrated National Geographic photographer Sisse Brimberg. Witness majestic polar bears as they wander through the frozen landscape and capture incredible photographs of imposing glaciers rising from the icy waters.

Sisse Brimberg and Better Moments CEO Christian Nørgaard, help you discover the hidden secrets of Svalbard, in a way that few visitors ever get the chance to. Learn about Sisse’s life-long career with National Geographic, during which she visited Svalbard countless times.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Learn about life as a National Geographic photographer, covering wildlife and landscape photography in the spectacular landscapes of Svalbard.
  • Explore the islands on board of a classic vessel, designed to navigate the narrow straits and fjords where few travellers have a chance to go.
  • Delve deeper into the heart of the islands, braving the fjords aboard small and nimble Zodiac boats. We use the smaller 6-person boats as opposed to the larger and less agile boats more commonly used.
  • Capture intimate shots of fascinating wildlife, including polar bears, walruses, seals and Svalbard reindeer.

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 arctic 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

PLEASE NOTE: Travelling in the Arctic can often be unpredictable, so the itinerary may change to suit local weather conditions. We may also alter course to make sure we get the best shots, depending on where the polar bears happen to be at the time.

DAY 1: ARRIVAL IN LONGYEARBYEN

Longyearbyen is the largest settlement in Svalbard with a population of about 2000, named after its founder, American industrialist John Munro Longyear. Upon arrival we will transfer to the hotel for an introduction and pre-workshop briefing, conducted by Sisse Brimberg and Christian Nørgaard. 

Day 2: THE ADVENTURE BEGINS

The next morning, we set sail on the M/S Stockholm, a charming classic ship built in 1953. This small but comfortable vessel carries a maximum of 12 passengers in well-equipped cabins, allowing us to navigate waters that few larger ships can reach.

Our primary mission is to photograph polar bears as they make their way across the drifting ice. Polar bears are quite plentiful in Svalbard and together with two local guides, we will set the course to where they are most likely to be.

We sail out through the beautiful fjord, between snow-capped mountains – heading towards some of the most remote landscapes in the world. Throughout the journey, we will attempt to make daily stops on the coast using our Zodiac boats, bringing you as close as possible to wildlife and points of interest.

After welcome drinks and dinner, Sisse Brimberg will present her first of many lectures on wildlife photography and her experiences working for National Geographic in Svalbard.

DAY 3: FANTASTIC FJORDS AND WILDLIFE

Sailing towards the ice and keeping an eye out for polar bears, we make our way up Forlandsundet, alongside the Prins Karls Forland island. This narrow strip of land is home to various seabirds, as well as harbour seals. To the other side, a multitude of picturesque fjords cut into the shore. Depending on the ice conditions, we will explore some of these inlets and make land using the Zodiac boats to capture some dramatic landscape and wildlife photography.

During the day, Sisse Brimberg and Christian Nørgaard will hold private portfolio reviews and workshops on deck. Both photographers have spent countless hours photographing the awe-inspiring scenery of Svalbard, and share their local knowledge and experience to help you get the most out of every location.

After dinner we share photographs shot during the day, while Sisse Brimberg and Christian Nørgaard give constructive criticism – helping you adjust your shots in preparation for the next day of photography.

DAY 4-5: FOOTSTEPS OF GREAT ADVENTURERS

Making our way past Kongsfjorden, where adventurers Nobile and Amundsen launched their famous flight to the North Pole in 1926, towards the islands of Amserdamøya and Danskøya, where the shore of Virgohamna is still littered with remnants from previous expeditions launched here in the early 1900’s. There are still intriguing artefacts scattered here from American explorer and journalist Walter Wellman’s attempt to reach the North Pole by airship. There are good chances to spot walruses, seals and other wildlife along the way. 

Following the coastline eastwards, we will see some of the largest and most spectacular fjords in Svalbard, including Liefdefjorden or “the fjord of love”. Hopefully, if the ice allows, we will sail up this inlet to photograph the towering Monaco Glacier. Alternatively, we can explore the Krossfjorden or Raudfjorden, both with their own beautiful glaciers. These fjords are also home to large populations of seals and birdlife.

In the evenings, Sisse Brimberg will conduct workshops and share some fascinating knowledge about Svalbard, accumulated over the years of photographing landscapes and wildlife for National Geographic.

DAY 5-6: POLAR BEARS AND SVALBARD REINDEER

Cruising down the Hindlopen Strait we pass spectacular basalt cliffs, home to an estimated 200,000 Brünnich’s guillemots, also known as the thick-billed murre. Making our way along the island of Nordaustlandet, we will witness a magnificent landscape covered with hundreds of waterfalls, an incredible sight to behold! 

This is also where we have the best chances of encountering some of Svalbard’s most photogenic wildlife, including walruses, the much-admired Svalbard reindeer and the elusive Arctic fox. Hugging the coast, and using our Zodiac boats, we will have excellent opportunities for landscape photography and chances are good that we will also encounter polar bears along this stretch. 

Sisse Brimberg and Christian Nørgaard will offer individual feedback on the photos taken so far, with one-on-ones as well as group sessions.

DAY 8: HORNSUND GLACIERS AND MOUNTAINS

Today is the absolute best chance to take the perfect polar bear photograph. Cruising along Southwest Spitsbergen towards Hornsund, we will explore some of the favourite haunts for Svalbard’s polar bears, as well as bearded seals resting on the coastal ice. Our Zodiac boats will bring us as close as possible to these magnificent animals, without disturbing them. 

Horsund offers breathtaking views of glaciers and towering mountain peaks, including the Hornsundtind which is the highest mountain in Svalbard at 1431 meters.

In the evening we will celebrate in the traditional Better Moments fashion, with Sisse Brimberg offering prizes for the best photographs. Each guest will also receive a certificate of completion, as we look back on the adventure this far.

DAY 9: Longyearbyen

Arriving back in Longyearbyen, we will enjoy a farewell breakfast on board of the M/S Stockholm before leaving the ship to prepare for the journey home.

REMINDER: This itinerary depends heavily on ice, weather conditions, and wildlife. The exact route and sites mentioned above is only a rough indicator. We will follow the advice of our captain and local experts to make sure we have the best possible experience.

SVALBARD

INTO THE ICE

September 16-25, 2019

10 days

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

SISSE BRIMBERG

TRAVEL WITH THE BEST

Sisse Brimberg is a highly experienced photographer who has photographed over fifty stories for National Geographic Magazine and National Geographic Traveler ranging from the far corners of Japan’s paper industry to northern Europe’s Viking culture. Her work is exhibited around the world.

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CHRISTIAN NØRGAARD

Christian Nørgaard is the founder and CEO of Better Moments. For years he has photographed and traveled extensively in Asia and has received wide acclaim for his unique photographic talent. In recent years he has also collaborated with Steve McCurry and other National Geographic’s leading photographers for exhibitions and events. His workshops in Burma and India are unique opportunities for any photographer to combine adventure, travel and reportage photography and to work with one of the best in the field.

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OVERVIEW

Number of guests: 8-12

Local transport: M/S Stockholm, Zodiac boats
Exertion level: Easy
Accommodation: M/S Stockholm
Meals: All meals included
Type of photography: Wildlife and Landscape
 
THE WEATHER
We have chosen September where the light is soft and Svalbard offers beautiful sunrises and sunsets. Likewise, we are probably the only ship in the area, which is a great advantage for our photography.
 
EXPEDITION DETAILS  
Expedition leader: CEO and founder of Better Moments, Christian Nørgaard.
Photo expert: Award winning National Geographic photographer, Sisse Brimberg
Private Better Moments wildlife guide: As the only operator in Svalbard we have two local wildlife guides with us.
 
Sisse Brimberg and Christian Nørgaard have run a great number of Svalbard expeditions before.
 
PRICES AND CABINS
Twin cabin, Private toilet and shower:
€ 9.995
Twin cabin for single use, Private toilet and shower:
€13.500
 
INCLUDES

Accommodation on board Stockholm.

All meals and non-alcoholic beverages.

All excursions. We will use 2 Zodiac boats when we cruise the arctic waters of Svalbard searching for wildlife or going ashore for hiking. This will give all photographers great flexibility when taking pictures.

Coaching, teaching, workshops and seminars with Sisse Brimberg and Christian Nørgaard.

 
EXCLUDES

Transportation to/from Svalbard

Alcoholic beverages

Travel insurance

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

Better Moments will arrange one pickup transfer and one return transfer to the airport on the arrival- and the departure day.


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.


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

IMPORTANT

Better Moments will arrange one pickup transfer and one return transfer to the airport on the arrival- and the departure day.