Spitzbergen, Polar Bear

Spitsbergen Explorer - Paul Goldstein & Mark Carwardine Photographic Charter

12 days
from
$11,000 NZD
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Traveller ratings
5 / 5 from 2 reviews >
Moderate
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Trip code: 
PNC
Way to Travel:
Guided Group
Activity:
Polar
Min age:
18
Max group size:
100

Exclusive photographic charter in the Svalbard Archipelago accompanied by Paul Goldstein and Mark Carwardine.

Spitsbergen has 24 hours of daylight which both Paul and Mark intend to maximise on this photographic charter. They will not follow a rigid itinerary but instead concentrate on Polar bears, walrus, vast bird colonies and glaciers. Exodus has done many of these special departures and they never short-change.

Paul Goldstein, Expedition Leader
Exodus guide and award-winning photographer Paul Goldstein has often said that he is happiest on the plains of the Masai Mara or the decks of The Vavilov. Having completed over twenty expeditions, his choice for our summer months is Spitsbergen, a programme he pioneered eight years ago. Exodus is now the market leader in small ship voyages there. Paul has a ridiculous amount of energy and is, as the Sunday Times described him, ‘a preposterously vivacious guide of almost psychotic gusto’.

Mark Carwardine, Expedition Leader
Mark Carwardine is a zoologist, an active and outspoken conservationist, an award-winning writer, a TV and radio presenter, a widely published wildlife photographer, a magazine columnist and a conservation consultant. He has written more than 50 books (including several bestsellers) and hundreds of newspaper and magazine articles and has been writing a provocative monthly column in BBC Wildlife magazine since January 2004. He presented the popular six-part BBC-TV series Last Chance to See, with actor and comedian Stephen Fry, in which the unlikely duo travelled the world in search of a motley collection of endangered species (following in the footsteps of a similar journey Mark had made with Douglas Adams, author of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, 20 years earlier), and for many years, he presented the weekly half-hour programme Nature on BBC Radio 4. He was also Chairman of the Judging Panel of the prestigious Veolia Environment Wildlife Photographer of the Year Competition, jointly owned by BBC Wildlife magazine and the Natural History Museum, from 2005 until 2011. His own extensive collection of wildlife and conservation photographs, taken in more than 100 countries, is sold through this site and picture agencies around the world. He and Paul have worked together frequently and are an effective and invigorating partnership. They rarely agree with each other but both bring a lot to the polar picnic in terms of photography, knowledge and opinion!

"Paul Goldstein is an extraordinary guide who made a superlative effort to ensure that our expedition to Svalbard was the best it could possibly be. I have the pictures to prove it." Peter Pickford, professional wildlife photographer and author

"It was a great trip and you and the team delivered 'gold' as always - I expect nothing less of course! Thank you for your passion, enthusiasm and sheer hard work to make it another memorable adventure." Diana Lester

Highlights

  • Explore the remarkable Svalbard Archipelago in 24 hour daylight
  • Incredible wildlife viewing including seabirds, walrus, Arctic foxes and Polar bears
  • Exodus Exclusive Photographic Charter with Paul Goldstein
  • Accompanied by zoologist and award winning photographer Mark Carwardine.
  • Travel on the Akademik Sergey Vavilov with a maximum group size of 100
  • Accompanied by a team of around 63 expedition staff

Key information

  • 11 nights on the ship
  • Expedition aboard the Akademik Sergey Vavilov
  • Exodus Exclusive Photographic Charter with Paul Goldstein and Mark Carwardine
  • A choice of cabin types with shared or en suite facilities

What's included

  • All meals while on the ship
  • All accommodation
  • All transport and listed activities
  • Fantastic expedition staff and photographic tuition by Paul Goldstein and Mark Carwardine

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Single accommodation (available on request)
  • Visas or vaccinations
  • Flights & Accommodation Package (please contact our Polar sales team for a quote)
Call for general departures:
0800 643 997
Call for tailormade trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Mountain landscape with Mt Fitz Roy in Patagonia, South America

Responsible Travel

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here… 

Itinerary

  • Day 1

    Start Longyearbyen.

    The transfer to the ship takes place in the afternoon. Once on board there is a get together for introductions to the expedition team, to learn about the ship and its layout, talk about the itinerary for the next 12 days and participate in the obligatory lifeboat drill. Departure from Longyearbyen is normally around 6:00 p.m.

    Meals included: Dinner
  • Days 2-11

    Exploring Spitsbergen and the Svalbard Archipelago

    A photographic charter is unlike any other Spitsbergen expedition. It maximises every possible opportunity for photography and its agenda is very clear.

    This trip concentrates on Polar bears and will often spend many hours or days in the sea ice searching for them. Polar bears on ice are pretty close to the wildlife grail and it takes work to find them. However, with 24 hours of daylight, the opportunities are increased by the complete lack of a timetable. Walrus, Arctic foxes, bird colonies and ice are also high on the list, but Polar bears remain the principle quarry.

    With a superb team of experts on board and the finest polar vessel - the Akademik Sergey Vavilov - no-one has ever been short-changed. Expect to become a better photographer, expect some mind-blowing scenery and expect to be woken at all hours. You’ve been warned!

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 12

    Disembark and end in Longyearbyen

    We arrive back into Longyearbyen early this morning and on disembarking after breakfast you are either transferred to your hotel or the airport.

    Meals included: Breakfast
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Essential Info

Group Information

The Akademik Sergey Vavilov takes a maximum of 100 passengers.

Visas

Arctic

No visa required for British passport holders.

Vaccinations

Arctic

There are no specific health risks.

Eating and Drinking

All meals while on the ship are included.

Typical Meals

The ships galley offers good quality service and cuisine throughout, with excellent chefs preparing international menus including vegetarian dishes, accompanied by a wide variety of drinks from around the world on sale.

Breakfast: Buffet style – unlimited tea and coffee, a selection of fruit juices, hot options including bacon and eggs or omelettes, a selection of bread and toast and jam/honey/marmalade, fruit and cereal.

Lunch: Three course set meal or buffet, or the occasional BBQ.

Dinner: Three or four courses with a starter of soup and/or salad, a choice of mains with at least one vegetarian option and a dessert, with tea and coffee.

Weather

Spitsbergen has a short season from mid June to mid August; and there is 24 hour daylight in all three months. There may be more sea ice in the earlier months and some more flowers, but in reality with the capricious nature of the weather and wildlife there is not much to choose between them.

Longyearbyen

Is this trip for you?

Travelling Conditions
Our Polar charters are designed to be as flexible as possible, taking advantage of circumstances and events as they occur. The atmosphere on board is relaxed and friendly with expedition staff, including naturalists and Polar experts always on hand. The ship is kept warm, clean and comfortable with a wet/mud room in which to hang gear and store boots ready for the next excursion.
On the Zodiacs you are sitting still for most of the time with the potential for some sea spray and a cold headwind - if you are not dressed appropriately you will get cold. On the shore excursions, the majority of landings are 'wet' which means that the Zodiacs beach and you are helped to slide into the ankle deep shore break before walking up onto dry land (good wellington boots are issued to all passengers). There are, of course, no paths, so be prepared for slippery, rough terrain and sometimes snow.
The Vavilov is not a cruise ship and has none of the ethically questionable acoutrements that these gin palaces sport. It is the best in the business for quietly approaching Polar bears in ice: the main focus of this expedition. Fast, sleek and with a fascinating heritage, there is a reason Paul Goldstein has spent over a year of his life on this one vessel.
Exodus are market leaders in the UK in the poles, these very special charters are a big reason for this.

Call for general departures:
0800 643 997
Call for tailormade trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Accommodation

Akademik Sergey Vavilov

The Paul Goldstein & Mark Carwardine Spitsbergen Photographic Charter is offered on the Akademik Sergey Vavilov which is a Polar Adventure Ship. Full board accommodation on the ship, generally on a twin share basis in a variety of cabin types, all with shared or en suite facilities. Please visit the Polar Fleet page (www.exodus.co.uk/polar-holidays/polar-fleet) for Ship Information and Deck Plans.

Polar Adventure Ship:

These are small ice rated vessels well qualified for Polar waters. Intimate adventures are always more enjoyable with like-minded passengers and staff, so these voyages are for people who like flexible itineraries and plenty to keep them busy. Activities include frequent Zodiac excursions, trekking, kayaking and many hours on deck in areas that other ships only dream about accessing. Food and staff are superb and every guest benefits from the technical advances of this superb fleet.

Call for general departures:
0800 643 997
Call for tailormade trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Experts

Contact a member of staff who has done this trip

Call for general departures:
0800 643 997
Call for tailormade trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Expert Blog Entries

  • Photographic tour of Spitsbergen with Mark and Paul

    Excellent tour even if you are not a photographic specialist

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing first polar bear

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Hard working and inspirational if you are photographically minded

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared for lack of sleep

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Great tour
  • Spitsbergen Explorer - Paul Goldstein & Mark Carwardine Photographic Charter

    I had been on a trip exactly 2 years earlier with a competitor company. It promised to see the realm of the polar bear.' It didn't. That is why I took this second trip to the Artic. Paul & Mark's trip was exceptional. Everything was done to put us in the right place at the right time

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    It was seeing the photographs of Paul & Mark and learning from them

    What did you think of your group leader?

    They were exceptional. Nothing was too much trouble

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Check for programs coming up in the future - You will have to book well in advance t get on these specialist trips

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I would go again in the blink of an eye

Dates & Prices

Polar Ships: For information regarding ship specifications, visit the Polar Fleet page.

 

Call us on 0800 643 997