14:25 , August 13, 2012
Posted in: Blog, Svalbard 2014

Svalbard #3 2014


We invite you to join us on this exciting 10 days photo expedition to Svalbard in August 2014, specially arranged for nature photography enthusiasts. Naturfokus will be chartering  the entire ship, M/S ORIGO, during the period of 4 – 14 AUGUST 2014. This expedition offers many advantages for photographers, when compared to other Svalbard tours.

See the report from the previous 10-day expeditions to Svalbard in 2010 and 2011 HERE.


Polar Bear in Nordaustlandet, Svalbard (Ole Jørgen Liodden)
Polar Bear at Nordaustlandet, Svalbard. Copyright © Ole Jørgen Liodden / Naturfokus.


Why travel with us to Svalbard

  • We have been to Svalbard many times so we know where to go to get your best pictures and experiences. Pro nature photographer Ole Jørgen Liodden will be the expedition leader and photo guide. He is experienced and has arranged 10+ previous photo expeditions to Svalbard.
  • We are chartering the entire ship M/S Origo, for our exclusive use, which means that we can best  optimize the expeditions for photo enthusiasts.
  • This expedition will have only 12 photographers (+ the expedition leader and one guide) distributed amongst 2-3 Zodiacs, which limits 7-8 persons per Zodiac. This is a major advantage considering all of the photo equipment when compared to typical tours involving 13 to 14 persons in each Zodiac. This will enhance our photographic endeavours considerably!
  • Other participants on the trip share your interests in arctic and nature photography. Good travel companions are important on our expeditions.
  • Our guides will ensure a safe and flexible expedition.
  • We can be out in the Zodiacs for longer periods and be more flexible with  mealtimes and other “fixed” schedules.
  • We can decide to stay in certain areas because of light conditions or photo opportunities, instead of roaming around in search of tourist attractions.
  • We continually obtain updated info on where to find exciting animal life, etc., so that we can more effectively approach the species and types of nature we wish to photograph.
  • We’ll be circumventing all of the standard “stops”, souvenir shops, rusty ovens and abandoned whaling stations, unless there are requests to visit some of these places.
  • All photographers (except 2 shared cabins) will have private cabins for this expedition. This means more space for your luggage and photo gear.


Walrus at Svalbard (Ole J�¸rgen Liodden)
Walrus, Svalbard. Copyright © Ole Jørgen Liodden / Naturfokus.


Svalbard is situated at about 80 degrees north, so we schedule the expedition in accordance with prevailing weather and ice conditions. Our captain is an expert navigator in arctic conditions. He is an important advisor in planning the expedition in a manner that allows us maximize the photo opportunities and enjoyment of this trip. Also included will be some excursions going ashore amongst walrus colonies (or walruses on the ice), bird cliffs, and places that are seething with life during this time of year.


Ice Map

The ice will determine where we can navigate our ship. Get an updated report of ice conditions (updated almost every day).




Our safety will have top priority during the entire expedition and security will be provided by the crew of the M/S Origo. We adhere to all applicable safety regulations – especially with regards to polar bears. This also pertains to use of the Zodiac boats (inflatables) in close proximity to icebergs and glacial edges where there may be elements of risk which are not apparent. The safer we feel, the easier it will be for all participants to concentrate on nature and photographic opportunities.



We shall NOT contribute to existing negative impressions of some nature photographers who visit Svalbard. We will therefore be scheduling longer stops than usual when going ashore in order to provide participants with ample time needed to get excellent pictures without exposing the wildlife to unnecessary stress. We are omitting the traditional “cruise-ship stops” as these eat up precious time without providing any real interesting photographic opportunities.


Our boat

The M/S Origo is spacious and well suited to photography. All participants will be lodged in SINGLE cabins with shared shower and toilet. The beds are made ready and bed linen and a towel are provided. Food service will be at a designated time, but we intend to be flexible in this regard if photo opportunities arise which dictate that the food can wait. The chef generally has a varied and exciting menu.


The first day aboard the ship may consist of a transport leg, and it may be advisable to take seasickness medication and taking it easy until your body adjusts to being aboard a ship at sea. The vessel’s crew members speak Swedish and English.


Photographing from Origo. Copyright © Ole Jørgen Liodden / Naturfokus.


Origo on the west coast of Svalbard. Copyright © Ole Jørgen Liodden / Naturfokus.


Inflatable Boats

We have use of 2-3 Zodiacs which are very spacious. These boats will be used to get closer to photo subjects or while going ashore. It is a good idea to bring rubber boots due to certain wet conditions when exploring ashore.


Zodiak. Copyright © Ole Jørgen Liodden / Naturfokus.


Information concerning photography

There are no scheduled lectures/photography courses during this trip, but we may have an opportunity to look at each other’s pictures via the projector if there is an interest in doing so during some spare time. Vibrations from the ship’s engines may present problems when photographing polar bears, etc. A monopod, VR (IS) lenses or handheld photography may present a solution. This problem is minimal under lighting conditions that allow a min. 1/1600 sec shutter speed even with a 600mm lens mounted on a tripod. It is advisable to bring a laptop in order to transfer and review pictures as quickly as possible. You can easily surpass 10,000+ exposures during your expedition to Svalbard, so an external hard drive or lots of available space on your computer’s drive is the best way to go. There are 220V outlets in the cabins for charging batteries, etc. Be sure to bring along enough batteries and memory cards. There may be ocean fog and poor lighting conditions on Svalbard so fast optics are a definite advantage.



You register by submitting payment of USD $2000 and sending in a signed booking form [request booking form and payment info]. On the backside (i.e. second page) of the booking form, you will find the terms and conditions which pertain to this expedition. Full payment must be made no later than 90 days prior to departure (14 MAY 2014). Private cancellation insurance should be purchased by all participants. The total price for this expedition is USD $9950,-.


The price includes

  • 10 nights aboard the M/S Origo, with boarding on 4 AUGUST at 17:00 and disembarking on 14 AUGUST at 03:00 or 09:00
  • All meals aboard the vessel
  • Expedition leader, guide, guards and other personnel
  • Excursions with the Zodiacs


The expedition price does not include

  • Overnight accommodation prior to and following the trip aboard the ship
  • Personal expenses related to mineral water, alcohol and souvenirs purchased aboard the ship
  • Tips (recommended) for the vessel’s crew members
  • Travel insurance and cancellation insurance


If you have any questions, please contact us at email: post@naturfokus.no   Welcome to Svalbard!

This post is also available in: Norwegian Bokmål

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  1. Hello Ole

    any possibility to come with this trip? hope to hear from you soon

    Maurizio Biancarelli

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