Polar Bears, Arctic Wildlife, and Landscape

We invite you to join us on an exciting photo expedition to Svalbard in April 2018, specially arranged for nature photography enthusiasts. We have chartered our own private ship, the M/S Origo, for this expedition. Strictly limited to 12 guests, we will have three pros on board for a very high instructor to guest ratio.

The main focus on this expedition will be Arctic winter light, landscape and wildlife. In March and April the light conditions on Svalbard is magical, and we are really looking forward to visit the western and northern areas of Spitsbergen at this time of the year. Usually winter trips to Svalbard are limited to snowmobiles quite close to Longyearbyen. With our expedition ship we will explore a much larger area, which nobody has done before. Are you ready to join us on a real expedition?

We expect to meet wildlife like polar bears, walruses, seals and reindeer. Polar bears and walrus are not as numerous as in summer time, mostly because there is more ice to hide on in winter, but there were great encounters on all 4 winter expeditions in 2016. The seabirds are getting back to their breeding grounds.

The group size is limited to 12 participants giving us plenty of space and time to explore and to photograph the magical Arctic winter.

We hope to see you on this expedition, have a look at the video below to see what's in store for you!

Location:

Svalbard, Norway

Tuition:

$11,995

Dates:

April 18–27, 2018

Fitness Level:

Easy

Your Pros:

Juan Pons
Ole Jørgen Liodden

Availability:

Limited to 12 Guests

All the “above and beyond” effort that Muench Workshops puts into making sure every detail is covered and everyone feels special, as well as putting us right in the middle of the action, and giving great instruction, makes every adventure worth every penny :)
— Chellie Hyre, CA Ranch '12, Iceland '15, Muench Madness '15, Svalbard '16, Yukon '16, Antarctica '17

Itinerary and Details

Polar Bears: Our main target on this expedition is the polar bear. During the last ten expeditions (2011-2016) our local guides have seen and photographed more than 250 of them. It’s one thing to see a lot of bears—but getting close to them in great light is quite another!

Imagine the thrill of spotting one of these magnificent creatures at a distance, and then approaching carefully to get great shots. We may get lucky and find a mom with cubs, a bear with a kill, or even males sparring. While we can never guarantee any sightings, our guides have years of experience and have perfected their approach, providing unforgettable encounters with the King of the Arctic. The resulting images have won awards in competitions such as BBC WPY, Natures Best and GDT.

Aboard M/S Origo: Our home for 9 days and 8 nights will be the M/S Origo, a traditional ship built in 1943 for the Swedish Maritime Administration. After a long and successful career as an ice-strengthened pilot ship and maritime training vessel, she was rebuilt in 2013 to become a passenger ship with space for 12 passengers, 2–4 guides, and a crew of 8. She is a well-maintained ship, in excellent condition, with all the latest navigation, security and safety equipment on board. The Origo is 37 meters long and carries two zodiacs on board for our off-ship activities. Although our cell phones will not work, the satellite phone is available for emergencies and, for a fee, calls to home or anywhere in the world. Electricity on board is 220 volts using European 2-prong plugs, so bring an adapter.

Accommodations on Origo consist of 5 single cabins with private facilities, 3 single cabins with shared facilities, 1 twin cabin with private facilities and 1 twin cabin with shared facilities. The cabins are bright, clean, and comfortable. The ship has large observation decks for wildlife spotting and photography. The decks are lower on Origo, so we’ll be closer to eye-level when we’re lucky enough to spot a polar bear on the ice. We’ll have a feeling of privacy and intimacy on our ship for 12, unlike many ships that ply these waters with 50 or more passengers. We will enjoy three great meals a day, as well as afternoon tea and coffee. Special dietary requirements can be handled with no problem. Mealtimes will be as regular as possible, but our crew knows that photography has priority on this expedition and that flexibility is necessary.

April 18, 2018: Fly from your home to arrive in Longyearbyen, Norway (LYR) to arrive anytime on the 18th. Overnight at hotel in Longyearbyen.

April 19-22, 2018:  Western coast of Spitsbergen, visiting Kongsfjorden, Lilliehööksfjorden, Magdalenefjorden, Prins Karls Forland and other areas where we will have great landscape, glaciers and good chances for wildlife as Polar bear, Walrus and seals.

April 23-25, 2018:  North-western coast of Spitsbergen with Smeerenburgfjorden, Raudfjorden and Liefdefjorden, with great landscape and good chances for wildlife on the ice. The weather and ice condition has to be in our favour to get into these areas in March and April. It is also an option to head south to Bellsund and Hornsund if the northwestern corner is not accessible.

April 26, 2018 Sailing back to Isfjorden and arrive Longyearbyen late in the evening around 24:00.

April 27, 2018: Workshop concludes after breakfast. Disembark M/S Origo, depart LYR on early 5am flight or stay aboard for breakfast and take 12pm flight. 

What’s Included

  • Double Occupancy Lodging (Single in OSL and LYR available)
  • All meals during the workshop
  • Photographic guiding and instruction from three pros
  • Expedition suits on board M/S Origo
  • All permits, fees
  • Fun, inspiration and a great time!

Whats Not Included?

Airfare, both international and domestic (OSL–LYR–OSL). Accommodations in Oslo on April 28, 2017, if needed. Passport and visa fees. Travel medical, medical evacuation and trip cancelation insurance. Items of a personal nature. Alcoholic beverages. Tips for the Origo crew. Anything not specifically listed as included.

Payment Terms

Your non-refundable deposit of $3,500 will hold your place on this workshop. Further non-refundable payment of $4,000 is due on October 31, 2017. Final non-refundable payment of $4,495 is due by January 1, 2018. All of our other standard terms and conditions apply. Need special payment arrangements for your deposit? No problem, just ask us.

Additional Information

Small group, three pros, polar bears—what more could you ask for? If you've been thinking about this, don't delay—click the "Sign Me Up!" button now and register, and we'll see you in Svalbard! Got questions?