Svalbard Photography Expedition - Autumn Light

9 Nights / 10 Days • Cruise Adventure


  • Join professional photographer Tommy Simonsen on this exclusive small ship photography expedition
  • This trip has been planned to take advantage of the spectacular light at the end of the boreal summer, when the sun dips below the horizon
  • The family who own and run this company have been working in this part of the world for decades
  • As with all expedition itineraries, the route taken will depend on weather and sea conditions, but the crew and leaders are keen to ensure the best opportunities for photography and wildlife viewing 


  • 9 nights on board Polarfront
  • All meals onboard the vessel (incl non-alcoholic drinks such as coffee, tea, water, breakfast juice + soft drinks)
  • Expedition leader + guide, photography group leader, other ship personnel
  • Excursions with two Mark V Zodiac boats


US$11,150 • September 4 – 14, 2018

Price is per person, based on double occupancy in a Polarfront Suite.
Single Supplement US$7805; See below for other cabin options.

This trip operates with a maximum of 14 passengers – as a result, availability is very limited. Please enquire.


What to Expect:

This is a photography-focused trip, designed and operated by professionals who have been working in this region for decades, and whose goal is to ensure a terrific experience full of photo opportunities. However, every trip is unique and every itinerary must be flexible.

Weather and sea conditions play a major role in any route taken – every morning the photography guide works with the expedition staff and bridge officers to determine an ideal plan for the day. 

The experience of the guides and staff are of utmost importance on this type of expedition. We can confidently say that these are amongst the best in the region.

DAY 1 - Arrival Day

Board the Polarfront at 4pm from the dock in Longyearbyen and enjoy a welcome champagne with the captain.

DAYS 2 - 10 - Svalbard

Svalbard has a little bit of everything, including massive scenic fjords from which artfully sculpted glaciers emerge to meet the sea, up to the high snowcapped peaks, and all the way down to Arctic tundra covered in colourful vegetation such as mosses and lichens that the Svalbard reindeer love to feed on. It’s not uncommon to find seals or walruses resting on ice floes at the mouths of these fjords, and if we’re lucky, we’ll spot a whale or two as we sail up the west coast.

We usually begin by heading North towards the ice edge which is a great place to scout for polar bears, but that’s not the only goal.

We’ll plan to stop in at the world’s northernmost civilian settlement, the research village of Ny Ålesund, which also boasts the world’s northernmost post office. At the height of the summer season there are about 120 inhabitants working amongst the 15 permanent research stations.

It’s from here that Amundsen and Nobile initiated their courageous attempts to reach the North Pole by airship, and there are a couple of monuments dedicated to their efforts that are worth visiting.

Next we’ll continue heading north, poking into other landing sites and fjords of interest, getting out into the two zodiacs to make landings where we’ll plan hikes to stretch our legs and optimize our chances for excellent photographic opportunities.

Weather and ice conditions permitting, we’ll sail into Hinlopen Strait and plan to visit Alkefjellet (‘Bird Mountain’), a series of otherworldly basalt cliffs stretching a number of kilometres in length and in some places, up to 100 meters high, on which we’ll find thousands of nesting birds and the occasional Arctic fox hunting nearby.

Nordauslandet, Barentsøya, and Edgeøya are all locations that we may also explore, weather and ice permitting, and offer magnificent scenery with vast tundra which hold the prospect of continued incredible landscape photography with the September light to play with.

During the entire expedition we’ll be on the lookout for polar bears, which can be spotted on land just as often as on the sea ice. There are an estimated 3000-4000 animals in the region and the population is considered to be stable. This powerful animal is amazing to behold in the wild, with males weighing up to 700kg when they are at their healthiest.

This will be an adventure like no other. 

DAY 11 - Disembarkation day

Disembark in Longyearbyen around 8:00am


Tommy Simonsen

Photography Guide + Ambassador for Fujifilm Nordic

An experienced professional photographer and avid outdoorsman, Tommy Simonsen started his career in 1990, when he first took cameras out in the field. Since 1998 he has focused on travel and documentary / landscape photography.

Tommy’s long and extraordinary career has included working over a decade as a professional photographer for Norway’s largest publishing company (giving him local knowledge of Norway’s exciting northern regions, but also Greenland, Iceland and Antarctica
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The Polarfront

Polarfront is a sophisticated polar vessel offering many big ship comforts in a small package: 

  • Tastefully appointed twin cabins (both lower berths)
  • Lounge and polar library
  • Gym, sauna, and outdoor jacuzzi
  • The services of a French chef
  • Not to mention, the bridge is always open

Polarfront’s spacious forward & rear decks are low to the water – ideal for getting closer to wildlife on the ice She also has a bird’s nest on the front mast for getting those high up panorama shots

Designed with guest comfort in mind, Polarfront has many thoughtful extras, such as plentiful electrical outlets in the suites and common areas for charging batteries and laptops, and a warm, dry mudroom for your wet outer gear.

Svalbard Photography Expedition

September 4 - 14, 2018

Polarfront Suite$11,150 USD
Deluxe Suite$11,950 USD
Owner’s Prestige Suite$12,550 USD

In Autumn 2017, the Polarfront is being retrofit.

This purpose-driven process will ensure she is the most comfortable small ship option in Svalbard, with all lower berths and all en-suite cabins.

By design, Polarfront’s retrofit will further modernize the ship for the digital age – and provide thoughtful touches for custom groups such as photographers and wildlife enthusiasts.

Polarfront Expedition Ship Svalbard_scaled
Polarfront Expedition Ship Svalbard2_scaled
Are you interested in this trip or one like it? Get in touch - we would love to help!

[email protected]
Helen Hewetson

Price is per person based on two people sharing a Polarfront Suite. Other cabin types: please inquire. Proof of insurance is mandatory; if you need to purchase trip cancellation or health insurance please inquire. For full Booking Conditions, please see Tour is operated by The Travel Society, Inc., 174 Spadina Ave., Suite 404, Toronto, ON, M5T 2C2, Canada; 1 (877) 926 2500; TICO Registration #1280649