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Spitzbergen Explorer

Wed, 02/20/2008 - 22:20

Hi - this is my first ever Exodus trip and I am both excited but a little unsure of how well prepared and equipped I will be. I am looking for guidance from anyone who has done this trip before or who is going on the trip and has started packing!


Tue, 04/01/2008 - 17:08

Hi there, our first with Exodus too. We haven't started packing yet but intend to bring along plenty of thermal gear and layering. We understand that some kind of welly warming sock is a good idea for sitting on Zodiacs for prolonged periods of time in 'Spitzbergen summer'. Wouldn't mind feedback on photo management. How reliable is on vessel download to disc facility?

Sun, 05/25/2008 - 15:36

We travelled in the 'Vavilov' to the Antarctic in Jan 2007. There were two computers in the lecture room via which you could transfer your photos to your own CDs/DVDs. They were MACs but I had no trouble as a Windows user getting my pictures onto disc. There was also the facility to transfer your best pictures to the MAC for inclusion on a DVD with which we were all presented at the end of the trip which contained all the guests pictures plus useful logs and trip info from the staff.

Re thermal gear - we hired the waterproof jackets and trousers available on board as they were much better than our own gear at keeping out water - and kept us warm as well. We could also borrow wellingtons left behind by previous guests as well - plenty to choose from!

Hope this helps


Tony Grimley

Wed, 06/04/2008 - 23:34

You travelling on 25 June?  You from Airdrie?

Thu, 06/05/2008 - 17:12

no , on Vavilov on June 9 , leaving this Saturday not quite from Airdrie , Garrowhill. Is it such a giveaway, I thought it would be neutral an an English? And you?

All the Best

Bill Ferguson

Thu, 06/05/2008 - 23:29

yeah, for a footie fan.  QoS supporters on our way to Europe although living in Edinburgh.  Hope you have a great trip.  I cant imagine how excited you must be = so soon for you.  Hope you get loads of great photos.

Fri, 06/06/2008 - 14:44

Don't forget, we got into Europe too - Sparta Prague in 1992. Good luck in Europe , will let you know how our trip goes, at the moment, just can't wait to see what's up there.

Tue, 04/01/2008 - 20:47

Hi, this is my first Exodus trip too, and also very excited too!! Planning on taking thermals, ski tubes / socks, thin and thick gloves (to wear at the same time!), thermal hat, lots of layers....not sure if I'll take my ski jacket or hire the waterproof gear yet.....less sure about what to take on the camera gear side, as I only got my slr back in November, so am a relatively new anyone??

 Also anyone going alone?


Sun, 04/06/2008 - 16:39

This will be my third Exodus Trip - but have done a number of "adventure" trips.  First time I have ever gone North though.  I will be travelling alone.  Not started packing - I tend to be a last minute packer.   Have emailed all my friends to see what I can borrow gear wise.   I am really excited about going though.  A couple of our local adventure shops have a sale on their winter stuff so will be checking them out.

I am not too good with camera's - I am a point and press and hope for the best person - but we should get loads of tips from Simon Calder.  Quite exciting that he is coming on this trip


Mon, 06/02/2008 - 14:36

Is Simon Calder on the 28th June trip then?

Thanks Sarah, good point, I will raid some of my friends wardrobes I think! :-) Think I'll also get the wet weather gear on board after Tonys comments - less to carry afterall!

Wed, 04/02/2008 - 08:19

Hi.  This is our second trip with Exodus.  The first was to Peru - I can honestly say that the trip was excellent, well planned, with expert guides and an experience that I will never forget.

The Spitzbergen trip sounds equally as exciting - I have been going to photography classes for the last 12 weeks, and when I saw this adventure, I immediatly thought that I must go.  As I have only just booked I haven't received any info regarding what to take etc. 

I would be interested in hearing any photography tips before going - ie equipment to take etc, as well as how many pairs of secks I will need!!!!!

Sun, 04/06/2008 - 13:11

We are interested in doing sea kayaking on this trip.  There is a minimum number

required to do this, so would anyone else be interested?

Steve H

Sat, 06/07/2008 - 12:45

Hi, Yes would definitely be interested in the canoeing, I have had some experience of canoeing but only on a small pond near me in the summer, so a large expanse of cold water is a bit daunting, but nothing ventured...nothing gained.  Any tips for this kind of excursion ??

Sat, 05/31/2008 - 13:55

Hi Del,

I replied to Claude as I though he might know about cameras, having mentioned it in his message. I see that you also mention cameras, lenses and a flashgun which all sounds very impressive. Having sorted my layers out could you recommend a cheap digital camera for about £30 ? Time is pressing so any guidance would be very helpful. Like Claude are you also sharing ??


Mon, 06/02/2008 - 14:45

Hi Tim, digital camera under £30....there aren't many around that I know of let alone good ones! 3 sites you could try - ebuyer, 7dayshop or ebay, or 2nd hand at a local camera shop - if you're planning on taking shots of polar bears you'll probably need better than a 3x optical zoom (doubt we'll get that close!) I previously had a casio elixim which was a decent point and shoot, I've also heard the Panasonic Lumix is half decent - both more than £30 though - don't forget you'll need your cards / storage on top of that too!

Mon, 06/02/2008 - 23:37

Hi Tim and Louise: I am travelling with a digital camera and am hoping there will be someone on board with a fantastic SLR who will share their photos. I have been offered a loan of a decent SLR but will probably spend more time trying to operate it than appreciating the wildlife.! My friend went to Borneo with Exodus and came back with a fantastic album of shots, all of which he had seen but none of which he took.

Wed, 06/11/2008 - 15:16

Hi Tim, seems I was on the wrong forum as I'm off on 28th hence my lack of reply...I will be taking a full Digi SLR and selection of 3-4 lenses, 8+ memory cards and a portable downloader... the panasonic Lumix is supposed to be pretty good for a compact but as someone else said not £30...

Claude as in Claudia : )

Sun, 05/25/2008 - 09:17

Hi guys and gals, done countless trips with Exodus and so far only one was a slight let down. Last one was also photo based with Paul G and was fantastic. Who said something about packing already, its still a month away? for such enthusiasts - layers is the word  -lots of midweight layers that can go on and come off easily incl liners fro gloves etc that are thin enough to operate camera through preferably. And yes I want to go Kayaking - do we need prior experience or knowledge? And yes I am travelling alone - sharing a cabin with someone....


Mon, 05/26/2008 - 20:50

Hi Claude

I'm glad there is someone else interested in the kayaking.  I don't think two will be enough but perhaps  others with take the plunge(!).  From what I read some experience is required but nothing formal, better not to be the first time I think.  It has to be booked in advance so come on the rest of you, lets make the experience even better. 


Sat, 05/31/2008 - 08:17

Hi Claude

Really sounds as you know what you are talking about, I think I have the layers sorted. I bought some Army Surplus gear cheap, although I fear I may look like I am on some military mission. I was looking to purchase a digital camera for under £30, as you mentioned a camera what would you recommend ?? - also sharing a cabin with someone.....



Mon, 06/02/2008 - 23:44

ha ha  Okay, one guy on a military mission.  One female looking like a novice skier who has lost her way, in a pair of salopetts bought on sale in the outdoor store - cosy as toast though for standing on deck......and they are a lovely shade of polar bear white.  I too am sharing a cabin with someone.  It is recommended to take earplugs in case you are with a snorer or to avoid you hearing the person cursing you snore!

Thu, 06/05/2008 - 18:26

I agree, I think plugs would be a good idea. Have been told by previous room sharers that I am prone to sounding like an aircraft taking off at 2am. Hope that does not put you off, I also sleep walk so hoping that won't be a problem on a boat !!


Does anyone know where we meet in Heathrow for the flight to Oslo? 

Tue, 06/03/2008 - 12:54

25th June....I'm not going till the 28th, and I've got an overnight in Oslo on the 28th - Presume there aren't 2 trips going at the same time, so hoping you've typed the wrong dates Sandi?

Wed, 06/04/2008 - 23:23

Tuesday 24 June Edinburgh to Stansted. 

Wednesday 25 June Heathrow to Oslo

Thursday 26 June Oslo to Longyearbyen 

You gave me a fright!  I have checked 10 times and I am sure it is right.  Hope I am not travelling alone!!  You have a great time on your trip Louise - or do you have the dates wrong!  haha 

Thu, 06/05/2008 - 13:52

Sorry for the alarm Sandi, I've just checked and the one I'm on is the Spitzbergen Adventure on the Vavilov - I've created a new forum topic for this one - names were too similar!!

Hope you have a fab time tho, and we'll be out there the same time and so maybe we'll get to wave between the boats!


Sat, 06/14/2008 - 10:53

Hi Sandi,  I'm flying out of Heathrow (according to website T3) on 25 June as well.  Travelling solo & cabin sharing.  Looks like there are at least 11 other Exodus travellers.  As we arrive into Oslo before dinner, I was looking at catching a train into Oslo to look around and have dinner.  As for camera gear, I'm taking a digital SLR, many memory cards and lithium batteries (these seem to last the longest in cold climates).  Happy packing, Kerri-Ann :-)


Wed, 06/04/2008 - 13:41

Hi there fellow travellers. Anyone travelling on the Vavilov trip, leaving Heathrow this Sunday? We'll be packing lots of layers and lots of camera stuff. Not really sure what to expect, but getting very, very excited!

Jayne & Richard

Wed, 06/04/2008 - 18:52

Hi Jane

Yes I'm going - most of the posts here seem to be about the later trip but there will be 30+ Exodus people on our trip. I am having a bit of a packing crisis at the moment as I normally travel light but all these layers won't fit in a little bag! Look forward to meeting you.


Thu, 06/05/2008 - 17:08

Spitzbergen Trip #1 of season

Hi there ,

we fly out on Saturday afternoon from Newcastle (anything to avoid HeathRow) so get into Longyearbyen early on Sunday afternoon. Really looking forward to this trip, weather on webcams looks ideal - clear blue skies and still some snow.

Not sure how much to bring as I suspect that the weather will be similar to early Spring/winer up here in the North East so will probably end up packing layers and see how it goes.

All the Best

Bill & Helen

Tue, 06/17/2008 - 20:00

Hi All.  We are on the trip, flying out of heathrow T3 on Sat 28 July, with stop over in Olso that night.  We cant wait for the real adventure to start.  I will be loaded with camera, tripod, memory cards and memory storage etc.  Have decided to get wet weather gear on board ship as it saves trying to pack it.

Looking forward to meeting people either in Oslo or as we get on board the boat x

See you all in just over a week

Shane & Stuart

Fri, 06/20/2008 - 00:10

Hi Kerri-Ann:  I would be up for going into Oslo for dinner although it is REALLY expensive.  I was in Oslo on Christmas Eve with my son and we went to a Tapas Bar!  Wow a few tapas cost the same as a full meal in Edinburgh!  Still, who cares. I am keen to get to know my fellow travellers before the ship.  Anyone else up for it?

Sat, 06/21/2008 - 18:41

Only 2 sleeps left until I leave Edinburgh - ha ha.......Looks like it is just you and me for dinner then Kerri-Ann!  Do you know if we have to take towels?  I dont think I can get another thing into my rucksack so I hope not.

Sun, 06/22/2008 - 09:17

Hi Sandi, Towels don't seem to be listed in the pre-departure list, but I always take a small travel towel just in case.  I'm heading down to Heathrow on Wed am from Manchester.  Haven't packed anything yet as I was in France last week, so I need to unpack before repacking.  C u Wed :-)

Mon, 06/23/2008 - 14:47

Just a thought on towels..... I find a small flannel can substitute perfectly well  for a towel when packing for a long trip.  Tim

Mon, 06/23/2008 - 21:59

Hi Sandi, As the Wed trip has been cancelled, I've been booked onto the trip departing Sat 28 June.  Hope you were able to get a place on a trip when you have time available - might see you on Sat?  Kerri-Ann

Tue, 06/24/2008 - 20:30

Hi Kerri-Ann - Lucky you that you got to go on 28th.  I was absolutely devestated at the news.  I was not offered 28th.  I have accepted the offer to go on the Photographic Charter on 15th July.  I do hope you have a wonderful time - my email is [email protected] if you feel like dropping me a line when you get back to let me know how the trip went.  Maybe see you...........up Kilimanjaro? Sandi

Tue, 06/24/2008 - 20:33

thanks for the flannel tip.

Wed, 06/25/2008 - 17:32

Thanks Sandi.. sorry to hear you are not on the trip... another tip  Instead of taking dental floss and cotton just take one they both work well as substitutes for each other.  Not long now..

Thu, 06/26/2008 - 22:14

Hi Sandi, Have a wonderful time on the July trip.  Will let you know about trip I'm on when I'm back.  Down to London Fri night.  Not quiet ready to tackle Mt Killi just yet & have all holidays planned until Feb next year.  Have fun & take care, Kerri-Ann

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